This is a quick comparison of weight/cost of building camera kits with equivalent 24-70mm and 70-200mm 35mm field of views on several systems.
My current primary camera is a Panasonic GX7, with a slew of Micro Four Third lenses. It is a great system with comprehensive glass, and I am pretty much covered in most situations. But the many newly released cameras shook my resolve and confused me at the same time. So this is going to be one of a few post to put the thinking into words and clear my head. There are a few things I wish are better with my current gears:
- Autofocus tracking – The GX7 is great for stationary subjects, but fails quickly once there is movement towards or away from the camera.
- Noise and Dynamic Range – Noise at high ISOs, and Dynamic Range at all ISOs.
There are a few others, but these are the main reasons. At first glance, these point towards DSLR. But I am not willing to give up EVF, constant live views, and focus peaking without a fight. So other mirrorless systems will be compared as well.
The systems will include Micro Four Third, APS-C (Fuji and Canon), and 35mm (Sony FE and Nikon). The lens choice for Micro Four Third and Fuji are obvious. There are some choices for Sony (FE vs. A-mount lenses), and a lot of choices for Canon and Nikon. I picked the lenses I would pick if I were to buy into each system. They are all constant aperture, and I prefer f4 lenses over f2.8 whenever possible to keep the size and weight down.
|MFT – My current kit||Weight(g)||Price($)|
|MFT – Upgrade body||Weight(g)||Price($)|
For these first 2 kits, I might consider replacing the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 with the new Olympus 40-150/2.8 for the added reach (especially with 1.4TC). But I don’t find this option attractive, as it put the total weight of the MFT kit into territory of the larger sensor systems.
That Fuji 50-140/2.8 is monstrous!
|Canon 70-200/f4 IS||760||1,299|
The 7DMk2 body is the heaviest in this comparison, dwarfing even the full-frame D750.
|Sony 24-70/4 Z||430||1,198|
|Sony 70-200/4 g||840||1,498|
These Sony FE lenses are quite expensive.
|Nikon 70-200/4 g||850||1,397|
This is the heaviest and most expensive kit in this comparison. (But not by much) The Sony FE kit is almost as expensive, and the Canon APS-C kit is almost as heavy. However, this is likely also going to be the best performing kit as well.
|Upgrade body to GH4||1,302||4,197|
This should bring a decent upgrade to autofocus over my current GX7, both in tracking and low-light focusing. It’s not going to match the D750, though, that much is clear. The high ISO noises is not going to be that much different. This is also the cheapest upgrade by staying in the same system.
But would I get the itch again in 6 months? That would not be a good thing!
X-T1 with 16-55/2.8 and 50-140/2.8
There should be less noises, and I love the Fuji colour. (I still own the X100S) But autofocus will take a hit, both static and tracking.
Autofocus improvement is not easy, and I think it will take more than a generation for Fuji to catch up. So, this is not going to work for me right now.
7DMk2 with Canon 17-55/2.8 and 70-200/4
Autofocus on this should be amazing. I don’t really need the 11 frame-per-second burst rate for my kid, but it’s good to know it can do that. The high ISO noises should be quite good as well on this latest Canon offering. (It’s good to see Canon catching up on sensor technology)
It is slightly more than double the weight of my current kit, though.
D750 with Sigma 24-70/2.8 and Nikkor 70-200/4
Again, autofocus should be a blast. High ISO performance & dynamic range should be superb and even better than the Canon 7DMk2. (From sensor size and sensor technology)
This weights about the same as the 7DMk2 kit, but will cost $500 more. Between the two, I would choose this over the Canon kit.
But the weight!
Sony A7ii with 24-70/4 Z and 70-200 G
This newest body from Sony is very light and affordable, compared to the above Canon and Nikon. And because Sony make f/4 lenses in both ranges, they can be relatively light weight. The Sony 24-70/4 is only 50 gram heavier than my current Olympus 12-40/2.8, and the Sony 70-200/4 is still on this side of manageable. (The Olympus 40-150/2.8 is a tiny bit heavier, in fact)
So, weight-wise the Sony kit is very attractive. Price-wise, it is less so. It is the 2nd most expensive after the Nikon kit.
Performance-wise, the ISO noise management and dynamic range should be very good. But I am unclear about the autofocus performance. Some people said it is very good for a mirrorless camera, others say it is still not in the same league with even mid-range DSLR. I need to have a better feel about whether AF is sufficiently good for me, because there is no point to make this big investment if it doesn’t meet one of the main goal.
I wait. Or perhaps the GH4? Hmm..