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Thread: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

  1. #1
    graynomad's Avatar
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    To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    As you can see from my signature I've got a lot of good quality gear, trouble is it's so heavy and I'm getting a little sick of lugging it all around.

    Now as I see it the writing is on the wall for DSLRs, a new wave of CSCs is here and while they aren't up to the DSLR specs yet that can't be far away.

    So after 40 years of lugging big glass and big bodies I'm considering the unthinkable, sell the lot while it still has some value and get a CSC (probably the NEX7 although it's lens range is a bit limiting at present).

    Now I haven't physically handled these cameras and it largely depends on the quality of the EVF (they used to be crap). If I find they don't handle and/or the EVF is no good then all the above is moot, but if they are nice there could be a garage sale.

    OTOH I could get a gym membership and keep my gear, even buy more as the stuff loses value, after all I can't really do better than what I have, it should be good for the next 10 years, especially the lenses.

    Has anybody gone down this path before? Any ideas?

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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    I am getting older too and the gear keeps getting heavier. However, I will keep on carrying the gear for as long as I can manage it. I now limit what gear that I carry and I use an OPTECH Dual harness to carry my pair of cameras. Having the weight of the gear distributed across my shoulders really helps. I most often will limit the gear that I take on a shoot. Just because I own all that gear doesn't mean that I need it on every shoot. Maybe someday I will need to limit my walkaround gear to a single camera but, that time is not yet upon me...

    Some photographers carry a ridiculous amount of gear when out shooting. I have seen some who actually carry their notebook computers. I don't cary a camera bag any more when shooting. Rather, I put a limited amount of gear in my photo vest. When I do carry gear in a bag (from place to place rather than while actually shooting) I have settled on a Domke F2 which is a light weight but sturdy bag.

    As far as upgrading my gear... I am perfectly happy with the results of what I own now and that gear will probably last me most of my remaining time this side of the grass (I am 72).

    Now as far as the EVF - I would need to evaluate one with hands on testing. I use an EVF on my dedicated Panasonic video (I purchased a model which includes eve level viewing). However, I would be most concerned with the shutter lag difference (if any) between a still camera with an electronic viewfinder and a camera with TTL viewing. I have read the reports regarding shutter lag time but, I don't have any reference on which to base any conclusions. I really don't know what lag time is acceptable for me and what time is too lengthy. I do know that working with the same camera, the shutter lag time will be increased when using the LCD live view against TTL viewing. Will the electronic viewfinder also be slow in that regard? Lag time is very important for me since much of my shooting is of dogs...

    It seems that some of the crop DSLR users are going for smaller cameras with smaller formats while others are opting for full frame cameras. I, personally, am really quite happy with my 1.6x crop equipment. Maybe I don't walk as far and as long as I used to but, I still manage to get along...

  3. #3
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    The gear gets too heavy for two reasons, but the first one is the most problematic:

    1) too much gear.

    2) getting older.

    I simply can't carry all my gear around anymore because I have too much (and I don't even have on flash).

    The 70-200 f/2.8 (I recently acquired one in a moment of weakness) is a beast to lug around, and it won't fit in my bag (which was already full anyway).

    It's probably time for me to cast a critical eye on what I actually shoot in terms of focal lengths. But having said that, it's hard to part with our beloved gear.

    Looking at the OP's gear list, my suggestion is to pare it down to one body (1DS), and the 24-105, and perhaps the 100 macro (do you really use the 10D's?). And how many flashes and related stuff?

    I looked at an M43 camera a few weeks ago (can't recall the brand) - the EVF was hopeless IMO.

    Glenn

  4. #4
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    I also don't carry everything, I'm usually in "wildlife/bird" mode or "macro" mode and in either case just carry one body and one lens with appropriate flash.

    Looking at the NEX7 kit I can get 2 bodies and 2 lenses, this covers the 15-300mm equiv range and means no lens swapping in the field. This entire kit weighs the same as a SINGLE one of my current bodies But there's more to it than weight.

    Unfortunately 300mm is not really long enough for wildlife and certainly not for birds, but maybe they'll bring out a long tele in the near future (Anyone know of a Sony lens roadmap?). They do have a macro lens but I'm not sure how good their macro flash is and I need a remote flash for macro as well. And as I said the EVFs have always been unusable but these new OLED ones are supposed to be almost as good as an optical finder, even better in some ways.

    Then there's the slow contrast-based autofocus.

    I don't think shutter lag is a problem with these new cameras, in fact the NEX has a lag of 39mS IIRC, that's faster than most DSLRs I think.

    I've got a FF body and a 1.3 crop body, either one is fine but of course I tend to use the 1.3 for wildlife and the FF for scenery.

    I really can't see myself swapping but some hands-on time with a CSC may nudge me over the edge. I sold all my film gear when it was still worth quite a lot, I'm thinking maybe I should do the same with my DSLR gear.

    I am 72
    That's some inspiration to me then, at 58 I shouldn't be complaining about weight should I?

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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Sell it all.....

    2 advantages - free at last from weight and quantity, and possibly more time to do other things.

    NEX7, it will do anything. Also it will take ANY lens ever manufactured (with suitable mount). There is even an adapter that will make non AF lens AF.

    I dont have one but many of my seasoned photography friends now have one as a 2nd or walkaround camera. Either the 7 or the newer 6 (which is a bit cheaper)

    One of them has gone totally video and pulls frames if he wants a still.

    Was just over to dpreview and the Olympus OM5 was voted camera of 2012. So that might be another one to look at.

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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Hi Rob,

    I can not advise you to sell your gear or not, but just had a look at your website, and just wanted to tell you it is just great, have to came back more times, just so much to see and read, we have been several times around Australia with our camper, I just love the outback, and so I found many photos at your website which are know to me as well.......

    All the very best to you,

    Griddi.......

  7. #7
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Hello Rob,

    I've taken a small step in a similar direction. Bought a Panasonic micro 4/3" model. I'm currently eyeballing my D50 and seeing (a few) dollars for post-holiday pauperdom.

    I've read that you can buy lens adaptors for the micro 4/3" system if you had some glass you REALLY didn't want to sell. You know that those little 4/3" lens need and are given lots of correction in-camera, right. So, your RAW/Editor would have plenty of extra work to do if you are a RAW shooter.

    I'll be keeping the two house-bricks (SD10's) though - something's got to prop the door open ;-)

  8. #8
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    @Glenn
    No I don't use the 10Ds, they are backup units these days although I did think they might be useful for remote shots where there's a chance that the camera may get squashed by an elephant.

    pare it down to one body (1DS), and the 24-105, and perhaps the 100 macro
    Trouble is birds/wildlife is (currently) my main interest, and that 400 is perfect for that. And I could never go down to a single body, too risky WRT failures. I'm largely retired these days and so don't have any serious consequences if I don't return with the shots, but a single camera?...Just goes against the grain I'm afraid

    As for the flashes, I use all three, the 420 and 24 for macro and 580 with a better beamer for wildlife.

    (1DS), and the 24-105
    I spent years just doing landscapes, maybe I should return to that in which case 1 or 2 smallish lenses is all you need. It's the wildlife stuff that needs all the gear.

    @Bobobird
    Sell it all.....
    That's what I like, decisiveness

    As I understand it the Sony 10-18 and the 18-200 are pretty good lenses, so that's the 15-300 (equiv) range covered but not the long end. Now as you say I could use my 400, but if I don't sell that I probably can't afford the swap

    Why don't Sony bring out a long lens?

    Maybe sell the 400 and get a long Sigma zoom or some such.

    @Footloose
    CSC = Compact System Camera, basically a mirrorless camera that has interchangeable lenses as I understand it.

    @Griddi
    Thanks, it keeps me off the streets. 13 years of journals, I can't believe it's been going that long.

    we have been several times around Australia with our camper,
    It's a good life eh? It's nice when you look at a site or a book and recognise most of the places.

    @Ted
    can buy lens adaptors for the micro 4/3" system if you had some glass you REALLY didn't want to sell.
    See above re keeping the 400 and as a consequence not being able to afford the swap. At least I think that's the case, it will be about $4k for a NEX "system", maybe I would get that much for everything except the 400.

    I'll be keeping the two house-bricks
    That's the trouble with bodies these days, they are worth nothing 6 months later. My Canon F1s worked for decades and I still got good money for them in 2004.

    Looking at it from the other side though, I usually stay 1 or 2 levels behind the bleeding edge, the new 1ds are probably worth $6-7k but I can get good 1D(s) mk2s for maybe $1k. I was happy with them 3 years ago I should be happy with them now. Once things get good enough there's no point getting any better, and I think that's a problem a lot of high-tech stuff has.

    I'm trying to convince myself that I can afford to go back to Kenya later this year, as such I'm tempted to just get another 1d Mk2 and continue lugging the weight. It's just so hard to shrug off 40 years of "knowing" that you need big glass and big cameras to get quality.

    I have read a couple of in-the-field reviews about the NEX by the likes of Michael Reichmann et al where they took Canons and a NEX (for evaluation) on a trip. By the end of the trip the Canons were being left behind in the hotel.

    Those guys can afford to buy and try (or they get loaners), I can't and any swap is a one-way trip.

    It's all too hard

  9. #9

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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    The suggestion to get a NEX is simply plain silly as while the body saves a few grammes it uses the same weighty lenses you have been carrying around . I believe that only one or two NEX models come with an EVF inbuilt so with most it is just an LCD to frame with .. not my cup-o-tea for sure

    If you want to save weight, I'm a not-fit 81 and gave away my SLR camera and bag of lenses nearly a decade ago*, only sold it two or three years ago , you have to go the full mile and get a smallish body and matching lenses as with m4/3. Probably the smaller Nikon mirrorless may not give you the IQ you are used to though they are reputed to be excellent.

    I have been using the EVF for that near decade and with AF have no inclination to use an optical viewfinder and manually focus.
    The EVF is so absiolutely superior with its automatic adjusting for light levels helps these old eyes see what I am shooting in any light level. Again the G3 holds its brightness level for three stops either side for those who like to adjust and see the effect, best of both worlds I guess.
    It is easy enough with the Panasonic G3 to select the focus spot you want, with a very small target area for accuracy if desired, on the LCD .. I believe you can do this with the EVF but not learnt that trick as yet. If you are into self portraits you can set a point, and twisting the LCD around to face you, position your body to suit the focus area, did that early on for a VBCU of my eye, not repeated it so far.
    Currently I am using the GH2 which I find more pleasing with all the 'needed' controls at my finger tips outside the body instead of in a menu. The GH3 missed me by a month when I moved from the G3.

    There is so little difference IQ-wise between m4/3 and APS-C I am sure it wouldn't bother you as a competant photographer.
    The less competant need the DSLR to cover their deficiencies

    *This was when I bought my Nikon 5700 bridge camera and despite the limitations of a small sensor it could almost do what my SLR and bag of lenses could ... one 'miss' was it was unable to use my extension tubes and bellows ... so I got a DSLR for that purpose but with a close-up lens and zoom I can get most tight framings I want with my bridge camera so the DSLR hasn't been used for at least two or three years now.

  10. #10

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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    The suggestion to get a NEX is simply plain silly...
    Really now?

    I have a few words for paper based experts but will keep that to myself.

  11. #11
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Jcuknz
    Well that was interesting, I just came back to check this thread after spending an hour or so researching the GH3 and Panasonic lenses and thinking "hmmm that looks alright".

    I really liked the m4/3 format when it came out and almost made the switch then to an E3, what mostly stopped me was the huge weight of the Oly long zoom (90-250?). In hindsight it's probably good I didn't change to that.

    So, the GH3 looks pretty nice, do you have any thoughts on these lenses

    7-14
    14-140
    100-300

    The 10:1 range of the middle one might be a concern, when I'm done here I'll get back to google and find some reviews.

    Looks like I can get 2 bodies and the above lenses for about $5800, add a macro lens , flash etc and maybe around the $7k mark. Total weight about 2.5kgs, or put another way, 2/5ths of 5/8ths of bugger all.

    Do you know if the Sigma DG/DC lenses all fit and work? (presumably with the DMW-MA1 adapter?)

    There is so little difference IQ-wise between m4/3 and APS-C
    I find that doesn't worry me so much these days, I never print a photo, seldom sell one and when I do it's for a magazine and not repro'd very large, most stuff winds up on the web or a laptop. I'm sure the IQ from any modern camera will be good enough.

    Rob

  12. #12
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Quote Originally Posted by graynomad View Post
    Looking at it from the other side though, I usually stay 1 or 2 levels behind the bleeding edge, the new 1ds are probably worth $6-7k but I can get good 1D(s) mk2s for maybe $1k.
    Hi again, your numbers tell me we live in different worlds, although I still think that micro-4/3" will not disappoint you.

    I just bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12MP and am as delighted as @jcuknz is with the EVF and Live View. I paid $140 used for the body only and $120 for an unused 14-42mm kit lens. Under $300 including shipping & insurance. For a few dollars more, plenty good lenses out there to suit an adventurer such as yerself for only a few dollars more. Camera comes armed with real knobs and buttons - not too much "menu-itis" but it does creep in on later models, I've read.

    There's a bigger selection of lenses in the straight 4/3" sytem which can be used with a standard adaptor (they're designed for a mirrored sytem). Wikipedia has good articles on both systems. There's a forum on dpReview and there's a 4/3 website I believe.

  13. #13
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Hi Rob,

    CSCs are really very good. However the key point of a CSC set-up over a DSLR is to reduce size. This does not fit well with telephoto lenses. If you are keen on wildlife and require 400mm or more then the advantage of a CSC disappears. This is my main area of photography so I can sympathise with your choice as I have considered it myself.

    You may save 400 grams on the camera body but with a lens that weighs well over 1.2 kilos (Canon 400mm f5.6) and is at least 300mm long there does not seem any point in having a small camera body.

    Secondly with wildlife you require good continuous viewfinder tracking and autofocus. Current EVFs do not compete with an optical viewfinder and the on sensor phase detect does not compete with the mature technology of mirror based phase detection focussing. I admit my experience has been limited to using the latest models in a camera store but I was not impressed compared to what I am used to from my DSLR. I advise you to do the same and go try out all the potential models.

    So for street, travel, landscape and other photography where you use shorter (<135mm) focal lengths on subjects that do not move fast a CSC is great. For long focal lengths or where things are moving fast a DSLR is better.

    I would even go as far as to say that in 10 years the DSLR will be the camera for sports and long lens applications but the main market for cameras will be in phones and CSCs. The market of "cheap" DSLRs for those wanting better image quality will dry up and move to CSCs. DSLRs will become a smaller market and so much more expensive. But the DSLR will not be totally replaced since it has no disadvantage in certain scenarios and is a familiar form factor.

    Alex

  14. #14
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Sometimes one body and lens can be too much on the joints; depending on how you carry it and your reason for carrying it in that fashion. I have an Olympus 4/3rd mirrorless which is very light weight and I purchased a 70-300mm lens which was designed for a DSLR, cost was the reason, and it is much heavier than the micro 4/3rd version. If this is the only gear I plan to use I won't bother with the camera bag and choose to carry the gear holding the lens rather than the body and after a few hours it can wear on the arm. I can carry it with the strap on my neck but then I still have to cradle the lens so it doesn't wear on my neck.

  15. #15
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    I take only what I need and hope that's enough. I have look at some small compact cameras and have try two before sending them back for one reason or the another, one being the Nikon1 V1 and the other being the Pentax K-01. So I'm still looking for a small compact camera that will almost do the same things as my DSLR dose.

  16. #16
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    I think I've dropped the idea of a NEX, so moving onto Panasonic.

    For the moment let's forget about IQ and focus speed and just look at weight

    Panasonic

    GH3 x 2 ---> 1100
    7-14 ---> 300
    14-140 ---> 460
    100-300 ---> 520 Total 2380gms

    Existing Canon gear

    1d x 2 ---> 3130
    17-40 ---> 500
    24-105 ---> 670
    70-200 ---> 1570
    400 ---> 1940
    1.4x ---> 220 Total 8030gms

    I could probably lose the 24-105 but I think it's clear that weight-wise it's a done deal, especially when you consider the weight when hand-holding the long lens; 3725 vs 1070.

    That leaves the EVF and auto focus.

    with wildlife you require good continuous viewfinder tracking and autofocus.
    Very true, the GH3 has "Lightspeed AF", who knows what that actually means but bad AF is a deal breaker that's for sure. As is a bad EVF, obviously some of the guys are happy with their EVF but we all have different expectations.

    I advise you to do the same and go try out all the potential models.
    I will have to do that, I'll be in the city in a week or two and will try to find some hardware to play with.

    If you are keen on wildlife and require 400mm or more then the advantage of a CSC disappears.
    But my 400/4 (actually 520/4 on the 1D) becomes a 200/4 (or 250/4 if they made one) on an m4/3 system, that's a massive difference.

    Note Re IQ:
    I just downloaded some example photos from http://www.four-thirds.org that were taken with the above Panasonic lenses. I have to say that I was not happy with the quality of the images. That's a real worry.

  17. #17
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    @John
    I do the same, swap from one hand to the other, then different grips on each hand sometimes holding the barrel and sometimes the tripod mount, then cradle the lot, then support it partly with the strap, then start all over again

  18. #18
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Rob, I'd still keep the Olympus OMD-EM5 on your list to consider. Allegedly the best m4/3 sensor to date. Also weathersealed. Even can get a grip for it.

    I enjoyed looking through your gallery. Wonderful shots. That camper is a beast!

  19. #19
    graynomad's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Ok, I've just had a quick look, not a pretty camera I have to say but that's not the important thing eh?

    I gather the Panasonic lenses all work on the Oly? I don't normally like to mix brands and I'm warming to the Panasonic lens range, not that I've looked at the Oly range yet.

    I see you're not that far from us, we're near Bundy at present.

  20. #20
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: To sell or not to sell (all my gear)

    Quote Originally Posted by graynomad View Post
    But my 400/4 (actually 520/4 on the 1D) becomes a 200/4 (or 250/4 if they made one) on an m4/3 system, that's a massive difference.
    I had not considered a CSC with a 2x crop factor. I was comparing like for like with approximately 1.5x crop factors on both sides. In any case I often find my 400mm too short for walk around bird photography. So a 300mm with a 2x crop factor will be at roughly the same limits.

    I don't want to start an off topic discussion of improving field skills to get closer. In many situations, no matter what field skills you have, it can help to have a longer lens. These are better for image quality on a DSLR than a CSC but you pay a massive financial price for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by graynomad View Post
    Note Re IQ:
    I just downloaded some example photos from http://www.four-thirds.org that were taken with the above Panasonic lenses. I have to say that I was not happy with the quality of the images. That's a real worry.
    I follow the lens rentals blog and it does have a lot of useful information on there about different equipment, especially focussing on image quality since they have an automated testing setup. Roger (the author) investigated lots of options for CSCs:

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012...amera-overview

    There may be a few more articles following that one so have a look. In the end he chose an OMD E5 and noted that there were not many options for long lenses among manufacturers. That just about sums up this thread so far.

    Please keep feeding back info onto this thread when you investigated the options at the camera store.

    Alex

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