Looking for insight into the Mirrorless realm...

Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
213
Location
Alexandria, Va
my wife and I do a fair amount of hiking around the world (we just got back from Patagonia this evening), and we are starting to get a bit tired of lugging around the DSLR's (with 18-200+ lenses).
My wife has a D90 with 18-200, I have a D7100 with 18-270.
Not only do we get tired of the heft and bulk, but we worry about banging up the cameras while scrambling up rocky terrain or moisture when it starts raining.

I thought the 1 AW1 would be the ticket, until I read review after review of water leakage after the first dunk in water...and the nightmare of Nikon not honoring the warranty time after time and blaming it on user error. If I buy a "water-proof" camera, I would like to take some good snorkeling photos, too.
One review actually suggested a 1 S2 with WP-N3 waterproof case.
Is there anything out there that would be worth buying and save the DSLR's for non-rugged terrains?
Every trip I go on, I have to send my lens out to get professionally cleaned and adjusted...I'm getting tired of that, too...and wrapping the camera in a plastic bag won't last more than a day and is very annoying. Crossing a wind-blown volcanic desert in Iceland got sand all up in the zoom ring no matter how much I tried to protect it...putting the camera away for the 5 hour trek across the desert would be blasphemy!
Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
3,799
Location
The Netherlands
Water and dust will find a way into every camera and lens but with those weather resistant versions it will just take a little longer.

That aside, I've switched from using a D700 + 24-120/4, 35/1.8 and 50/1.8 lenses to using a Fuji X-T1 plus 10-24/4 or 23/1.4 and 56/1.2 lenses. This saves me some weight but it also reduces the reach I got. But usually I also carry a D7100 + 70-300VR or 80-400VR so that is not a real problem. I also have the Fuji 90/2 lens and this is another great lens and comes along if I want some additional reach.

Before I took the plunge I tried both the Olympus EM-1 and Sony A6000 but they didn't feel right in my hands. Image quality is excellent for these cameras but in the end I felt most comfortable with the Fuji.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
566
Location
Northeast USA
Its a tough road to travel still.. but sounds like you don't need huge reach so that helps quite a bit. I have a number of mirrorless systems and I think each has their own unique pluses.

My Nikon v2+70-300cx provide me with 189-810 range in a very light package. Couple that with a 10-30 and you have a very capable system. I like the ergonomics of the camera but the controls are a bit fiddly and the body isn't the latest technology.

My Olympus EM-5 with 40-150 takes some amazing photos... in fact, this may be my favorite camera body for sheer image quality. However, the body really really needs an aftermarket grip added and the styling isn't for everyone. I'm longing for a different set of buttons on the back - they layout is just confusing at times.

My Sony a6000/nex5-n with 16mm, 30mm or 18-55 kit is another great combo. The ergonomics is spot on - I typically carry the camera with a wrist strap and just my fingertips holding the grip. Its so light and unassuming with the sigma 30mm on it you don't realize after awhile you are even holding it. The photos are great, the autofocus speed on my a6000 is great as well.

Haven't used the fuji's but I have heard and seen they are great as well.... its a tough choice.. but once you lose the weight of the big rigs... you will never want to go back. I still grab my D7100 with 80-400 vr or 18-200 from time and time... and when I do, I marvel at the perfect balance of its controls, grip and image quality... there does seem to be something special with it. But - its like 4-6 extra lbs of weight that can be shed with a mirrorless combo... you might lose some image quality.. though in the right hands and the right conditions... you might not as well!

Hope this is useful is some way.... makes me realize I probably need to sell one or 2 of these systems! :_0 enjoy! - Andy.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
6,129
Location
N Idaho
I'm very happy with the V2 and 70-300cx - it along with the tiny 18.5mm lens is what I take when I travel. IQ from these lenses is excellent, and it's easy to carry and small enough to not attract any attention, I often put it in my jacket pocket.
I've had the AW1 since it came out and have used it many times in water and a few times in snow. I live in N Idaho and our climate is very wet, I snorkel and dive around Hawaii with it. Mine has never had a problem. I have both lenses for it, but most (maybe all..I'm not sure) of the leakage problems I've read about are with the 11-27 lens - so I've kept that lens off when going in the water and only use the 10mm in the water. The leakage problems might be human error too, I always take the time to service mine as instructed in the manual before a trip - and if I'm spending a week or two diving/snorkeling with it I leave it alone and only do the fresh water rinses. I'm happy with the photos I take with it. I had 3 Nikonos cameras over the years, and while I'd love to see Nikon make a digital Nikonos I'm not holding my breath. If you get a AW1, I'd recommend picking up the anti-fog filter for it - I think it's called the AW 40.5 NC. It works extremely well.
Both the AW1 and V2 cameras with the FT-1 will allow me to use my DSLR lenses - I've found the 70-200 2.8 and 50 1.8 to be very good on the V2, but I don't travel with the 70-200 unless I'm driving.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
213
Location
Alexandria, Va
I really don't want to spend a lot of money, and I would be buying two cameras, as my wife would like to have her own as well.
I was almost ready to settle on something as small as the Olympus TG4, for its "toughness", but I know that I would t be happy with trying to replace the DSLR's with a basic P-n-S gadget.
I started looking at the 1J4 for travel (since price is coming down in the advent of 1J5's being released) and the WP-N3 waterproof housing for snorkeling. Two of these 1J4's with WP housings can cost about the same a one 1AW camera....
Still haven't figured it all out yet, though...
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
620
Location
Alabamastan
If you don't need underwater and just want splash proof and dust proof I have seen E-M5 kits with the weather sealed 12-50 lens go for as little at $350 on the likes of Fred miranda and mu-43 forums. In my experience as a former D90 and E-M5 owner you will improve IQ with the OM-D. And my experience as a a6000 owner with the 24MP sensor v. the E-M5 you are going to lose some resolution but you will be hard pressed to tell the difference in jpeg output and it takes quite a bit of Raw wrangling to really see the benefit of the larger sensor.

I do own an Olympus TG-3 and I've been reallly happy with the output and ruggedness of the camera. It's made a fine compliment to my mirrorless cameras.
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
2,434
Location
Virginia
I bought the a6000 after surgery and the prohibition on lifting more then 8 pounds for a while. I found I loved it with the two kit lens it was under 800 bucks. It takes great pictures and I find I reach for it everywhere but the studio. I might end up with a MF and a Sony.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
213
Location
Alexandria, Va
I was browsing around and pretty much decided that if I do go mirrorless, it would most likely be the Oly EM5. There is even a nice underwater housing for it...!!!

However, the tally for all the goodies I'd want for it comes to more than what I originally wanted to spend (with all extra goodies to make life easier)....
I must now sit and think...
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
960
Location
Minnesota
I began using m4/3 with the intent of it being smaller and lighter than nikon, but have continued to use because I find the evf and other controls more enjoyable to use than Nikon.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
2,456
Location
Sydney, Oz
I was browsing around and pretty much decided that if I do go mirrorless, it would most likely be the Oly EM5. There is even a nice underwater housing for it...!!!

However, the tally for all the goodies I'd want for it comes to more than what I originally wanted to spend (with all extra goodies to make life easier)....
I must now sit and think...
id get a gopro for your underwater snorkeling duties rather than an AW1
get 2 oly bodies, a handful of lens' and a gopro silver. you're set and you're LIGHT.

i have found the nikon 1 unsuitable for hiking cos the lighting is just not good enough under forest canopies, in heavy shade and the like. m4/3 is the better choice imo.
 
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