Camera reduction options...

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Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 11:54 am

After a long run of playing with higher-end DSLR equipment, I'm finding that I still like to shoot but not as often, and no longer have the passion to carry around a giant bag of gear when I do. Here is what currently lives in my collection:

Canon EOS 7D body
Canon Speedlight 550EX
Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L
Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

I've got about $3k of resale money tied up in that collection, so if there was a way to buy a smaller camera with perhaps one walk-around lens and one tele-zoom for around $1k (maybe $1500), and still have tolerably good performance in low-light settings, I would strongly consider trading down and putting the extra money back into savings within, say, the next 3-6 months.

I've been reading some of the other threads and it seems like there are several good systems/options that might fit my needs, but I haven't been keeping up on camera tech lately so I'm unsure what the "best fit" would be. Any experience/suggestions?
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 12:15 pm

I personally carry around an Olympus OM-D E-M5 + Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens. That is my setup 90% of the time. I have an Olympus 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 R for when I need additional range, but that's rare for my usual subjects/composition. It's an amazing lens for $150 but won't fool anyone it's a pro lens.

Of course... this is above what you're looking to spend. There's also the E-M10 + stock zoom + tele-zoom. This could be done within your desired budget. My main concern this route would be low-light, which the 12-40mm /f.28 is great in.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 12:54 pm

From Sony, you can get the new, highly regarded a6000 with Sony's new 24MP APC sensor with better low light performance over the NEX-7.

For around $1150 you can get it with the kit lens (16-50mm) which, though not that great optically, is fairly compact, and can be considered decent enough given the built in camera lens corrections, along with the decent 55-210 telephoto.

If the 16-50mm kit zoom is a bit too much of a compromise optically, and you don't mind giving up a bit of compactness and spending 50% more, you can currently get the a6000 with the excellent Zeiss 16-70mm zoom (constant aperture of f4) for $1350, making the kit $1700 with the 55-200mm zoom. The 16-70mm Zeiss normally goes for close to $1000 alone. And while perhaps a bit too pricey for what it's worth, is reputedly a great lens.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 1:07 pm

Any preference on sensor size? The light hit on mft is awfully overblown. Its a very strong system.

Oly's new om-d em5 ($800) is a tremendously good value. Living in Colorado, everything is so stupidly bright, I wouldn't worry about the light loss. Only if you enjoy DoF would I look at an APS-C or even FF sensor.

If you go mft, look very long and hard at the Panny 14-45 ($290). It is nearly as good as the Oly 12-40 Pro ($1k).

I'd pick a good prime, either 17mm or 25mm. I love the rendering on the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4. What a stellar lens. It is running $630, which, if you use the focal length a lot, it is awfully sweet. If not, the 35mm equivalent is $300 for a Oly 17/2.8. Pick whichever focal length is better.

Right now, the Panny 35-100/2.8 is downright awesome performance for the size, but it is running $1400 right now.

That'd put you at:
EM-5 - $800
Panny 14-45 - $290
Leica Summilux 25/1.4 - 630
Panny 35-100 - $1400

Total there would be (even going with higher end choices) $3120. We could shave off $330 if you prefer a 35mm prime or $240 less if you want a 50/1.8 from Oly.

If you don't need the 70-200/2.8 equivalent and if you like shooting longer (wildlife peeping Tom stuff), the 75/100-300 is pretty capable at $550/600.

If you want something small, but want the maximum light and DoF, you could always go a7. I love mine. If you want to play around with it, shoot me a PM. Grad school is out this week, and I'll be home with my boy for the summer. I've got some Minoltas on the adapter, as well as the 55mm (I love it) and the 24-70 (growing to love this more as it does somethings extremely well and I can correct everything it does poorly.) I also have some Zeiss lenses for CY Mount that are stupidly cheap (under $300 each) if you can handle MF.

If you want a crop sensor, I would look either at the Sony a6000 or the really, really good Fuji XT-1.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 4:51 pm

That Sony+Zeiss kit is very tempting, assuming I got my existing gear flipped in a reasonable amount of time to take advantage. I have mixed feelings about giving up the 7D's excellent optical viewfinder but size and weight are larger concerns at the moment.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 5:10 pm

ludi wrote:After a long run of playing with higher-end DSLR equipment, I'm finding that I still like to shoot but not as often, and no longer have the passion to carry around a giant bag of gear when I do. Here is what currently lives in my collection:

Canon EOS 7D body
Canon Speedlight 550EX
Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L
Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

I've got about $3k of resale money tied up in that collection, so if there was a way to buy a smaller camera with perhaps one walk-around lens and one tele-zoom for around $1k (maybe $1500), and still have tolerably good performance in low-light settings, I would strongly consider trading down and putting the extra money back into savings within, say, the next 3-6 months.

I've been reading some of the other threads and it seems like there are several good systems/options that might fit my needs, but I haven't been keeping up on camera tech lately so I'm unsure what the "best fit" would be. Any experience/suggestions?


Define "tolerable performance" and "low light". What is your normal subject matter (85%+ of the time)?

I ask because I am working towards a collection that almost exactly matches what you have except in Nikon. Main difference is I have a slightly newer 24MP sensor and I'd opt for the Nikon 105mm Macro lens. I shoot lots of sports/action though. As a "walk-around" lens, I use an 18-200 f3.5-5.6 VR lens. That is what goes with me for family events and when carrying more than my small camera bag isn't feasible.

I know nothing of the quality/performance, but Canon makes a similar 18-200 lens. You could drop the two f2.8 zoom lenses and pick up the telezoom for about $400 new. My personal opinion is that if you are used to shooting with nice 2.8 lenses and you drop down in both lens and body, you won't be happy. Unless what you have now is just totally overkill for what you do normally. If you can give up the ability to take indoor shots with any sort of fast movement (faster than normal walking speed), then you have more options.

Just my nickel...
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 5:24 pm

Any of the Fuji X cameras would be at least as good, better really, than your present Canon. They are very light have fine lenses and for an APS-C camera are very hard to beat.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 5:46 pm

You said 'low light' and 'small' and 'inexpensive'- these things do not go together!

Hell, it's hard to get all that in a system regardless of cost. High ISOs kill MFT, low light kills mirrorless focusing systems, and the only thing that's small/light and has a decent sensor and decent focusing in strenuous conditions is the A7 (and not the A7R), but the lens selection is understandably meh, a given with Sony.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 5:55 pm

PenGun wrote:Any of the Fuji X cameras would be at least as good, better really, than your present Canon. They are very light have fine lenses and for an APS-C camera are very hard to beat.


The Fuji X-Trans cameras blow the 7D out of the water in anything less than excellent light. The sensor in the 7D (and 60D/T2i/T3i) has some of the worst noise performance of any currently produced large-sensor camera, both in degree of noise and in 'aesthetic quality'. If it weren't for the long list of other advantages that the 7D has over any other currently produced camera and associated system, the market would have retired it years ago; and outside of dedicated birders, it largely has.

So I'd go with PenGun on this one. The Fuji system is the most complete, and has the best sensor outside of the a6000/K-3/Nikon's current DX lineup, but has far better lens support than other mirrorless systems this side of MFT while having a better sensor than MFT can muster.

Only challenge is to make sure that you dig into the RAW converters- a lot of folks have started to use Photo Ninja for some or all of their processing; if you want to use Adobe's products, until they get their RAW converter fully sorted, you can make basic TIFF renders with Photo Ninja/Capture One/etc. and edit them in PS or LR.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 5:59 pm

PenGun wrote:Any of the Fuji X cameras would be at least as good, better really, than your present Canon. They are very light have fine lenses and for an APS-C camera are very hard to beat.


Unless your are doing action photography in which case you need to pre-focus on your best guess at where the action is going to end up and get the timing right.

So far I am yet to see an answer about why all the big f2.8 glass. It aint cheap so I'm sure ludi had a reason when he bought it. If that reason is still semi-valid, then it doesn't matter how much you like mirrorless cameras, they just may not cut it. Everybody has suggested their favorite manufacturer and series, but nobody has asked the intended use. That is critically important. Once that is known, the people who do that kind of photography chime in with their suggestions.

Asking a portrait photographer about a sports setup is like asking a mountain biker about road bikes. Some goes for asking a landscape photographer about macro photography. They just aren't the same other than they fall into the same general profession. The tradeoffs that are acceptable for each is completely different. Yes, you can get good a more than one subject matter, just as you can get good at mountain biking and road riding/racing, but you may very well use entirely different equipment for each.

</end of rant>

So, ludi, what do you photograph?

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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 6:03 pm

Oh, and just to be fair to Pengun, the Fuji X are very nice and if it weren't for the fact that they are poor at what I use high end camera gear for, I'd probably have one. For the rest of the stuff, a $300 point and shoot with a superzoom does the job quite fine -- I'm thinking family gatherings, trips and random stuff where the object is to capture the memories, not necessarily the perfect picture.

My original rant still stands though. Suggesting gear without knowing the use is useless.

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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 6:58 pm

ludi wrote: Canon Speedlight 550EX
Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L
Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
All of those would work well with the $384+free shipping EOS Rebel SL1, which is the smallest and lightest DSLR ever offered for sale. With the $112 EF 40mm f/2.8 STM mounted, you can stick it in a jacket pocket.

With the $392+free shipping EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS mounted, you can go anywhere and do anything. Only bring one of your other lenses if you have a specific need for a wide aperture.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 7:28 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
ludi wrote: Canon Speedlight 550EX
Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L
Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM
Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
All of those would work well with the $384+free shipping EOS Rebel SL1, which is the smallest and lightest DSLR ever offered for sale. With the $112 EF 40mm f/2.8 STM mounted, you can stick it in a jacket pocket.

With the $392+free shipping EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS mounted, you can go anywhere and do anything. Just bring one of your other lenses if you have a specific need for a wide aperture.


I think that the SL1 represents a credible alternative, with the caveats that it will only be slightly better in low-light IQ while being noticeably worse at focusing, and would be pretty well unbalanced with the two larger, heavier zooms. Also, the 40 pancake is a bit tight on a cropper, but the IQ is definitely there for it to be a decent short portrait lens.

And that 18-200- easily Canon's worst currently available zoom. Sigma has a better alternative in the price range, $399 new at major retailers, and it pairs well with the SL1- and it's quite a bit smaller and lighter than the aging Canon.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 7:39 pm

Airmantharp wrote:That 18-200- easily Canon's worst currently available zoom.
Not even close. Canon's worst lens by far is the 75-300.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 7:54 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:That 18-200- easily Canon's worst currently available zoom.
Not even close. Canon's worst lens by far is the 75-300.


By a hair :)
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 8:03 pm

ludi wrote:That Sony+Zeiss kit is very tempting, assuming I got my existing gear flipped in a reasonable amount of time to take advantage. I have mixed feelings about giving up the 7D's excellent optical viewfinder but size and weight are larger concerns at the moment.


If you're enamored with a good optical viewfinder (such as the one on your 7D) then I'd recommend you find a way to try out the electronic one in the a6000 prior to pulling the trigger. I've tried out the one on the NEX-6 and thought it was pretty decent and all the information overlay - particularly for manual focusing - was great after getting used to it for a bit. The viewfinder on the a6000 is a newer version. Lower resolution in the specs, but I've heard reports that the one in the a6000 is better regardless, so I'm not sure what to believe.

If low light is a key factor, as well as compact form factor (ie, you don't want a full-frame camera), I doubt you can do much better than the new Sony sensors (which normally premiere in the Sony stuff first). Micro 4/3 has some nice bodies (particularly that Olympus OMD), and nice compact lenses for (relatively) reasonable cost, but I don't see them matching the Sony on low light performance given the smaller/older sensor, smaller diameter lenses.

Unfortunately, you need to pay through the nose for the Zeiss glass. However, while you don't get the same selection of decently priced lenses with the Sony E-mount system, there are a few available, other than that 55-200mm zoom which is supposedly OK, such as:

35mm F1.8 Sony (I have one, and it's been great)
50mm F1.8 Sony
19/30/60mm f2.8 Sigmas (as sharp as just about any cheaper prime lens for the money)
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 8:49 pm

Ludi is more than welcome to try mine. We are both if not north of Denver, then at least around there. The a7's viewfinder is (probably, since there aren't any real rankings out there) second only to the Oly EM-1's. That thing is terrific, when I got a chance to shoot it. Its most noticeable when I had my eye at odd angles to the eye-cup.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 11:26 pm

Regarding use/subject matter: lately I've not been shooting much of anything, other than occasional nature/scenic type stuff; a bit of impromptu portraiture with family and friends; and electrical control equipment in varying light (i.e. jobsite stuff, but only about once every 2-3 months when I travel out of the office).

The big killer is that I have neither the time nor the passion to carry a large bag of equipment everywhere at this stage of life, and even the excellent 70-200 f/2.8L I picked up a year ago tends to slow me down when I use it. If the kit were smaller and lighter, I would be more likely to pick it up and go, and the camera you have with you is better than the exotic one you left behind...which means, ironically, that I've taken a number of quick snaps with my phone (shudder).

Other: the Fuji XE1 looks like another viable contender, but again I have no knowledge of glass outside of Canon. Basically, I want two lenses: a walkaround zoom, and a telezoom with good IQ. I actually find myself shooting the 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM with the stabilizer off pretty much all the time, because although the stabilizer works, it softens things ever so slightly. A minimum aperature of f/2.8 is not required but would be nice, as I do use it occasionally to force a shallow DoF.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Tue May 06, 2014 11:41 pm

Fuji's zooms are great- and you want the X-E2, the upgrades are worth it.

And I hear you about the 70-200/2.8L. Wish the 70-200/4L's came in black, personally :).
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 12:32 pm

If you are interested in minimizing clutter, bulk, etc, is an interchangeable lens system a requirement?

If not, at the risk of coming across as a Sony fanboi (not true, honest!), would you consider the RX10? At $1300, it is a pricey fixed lens zoom in a small SLR form factor. And it uses the same sensor as in the RX100II, so smaller than an APSC. However, low light performance is supposedly pretty decent. It also uses the same processor as the A7. But the real feature of this camera is the amazing zoom lens. A Zeiss 24-200mm (35mm equiv, I think) with a constant aperture of f2.8 across the entire range. This way, you get your f2.8, plus a usable telephoto, all within a relatively compact package, and without ever needing to worry about whether to bring other lenses along.

I personally value the interchangeable lens system. But if one of your primary goals is to simplify things, then this might be a consideration in your price range.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 12:50 pm

^This actuallt a pretty good idea. Lots left over to bank.

Another thought is to go rx100 and rx1. There are other options beyond the rx100 and the mark 3 is coming out. A 24-70/1.8-2.0 lens. You many need a used rx1, but the new models are coming out, allegedly with f/1.8 and a curved sensor. Now, how you fab a curved sensor is beyond me.... but check out the images with the rx1 at fm. The rx1 has a very Zeiss look to it, that also manages some unique pop to it. Could be very good for your landscape and adequate for low light.

Shoot, the x100/s are options, too. And they have some lens converters available.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 12:55 pm

TheEmrys wrote:Another thought is to go rx100 and rx1. There are other options beyond the rx100 and the mark 3 is coming out. A 24-70/1.8-2.0 lens.

I thought the rumour is 24-70/f1.8-2.8? It will still be a great achievement if they pull that off while keeping the dimensions in check.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 1:01 pm

Its a 2.8. I'll call it a tablet typo.....
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 1:17 pm

The RX10 looks pretty sweet, my only hesitancy is having the entire kit-n-kaboodle locked into a single device. A single failure anywhere means the entire device has to be sent away and repaired at great expense.
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 2:19 pm

I've been considering a change like this as well (D7100 or x100s). One thing to keep in mind are sites like borrowlenses.com that let you rent cameras for 7/10/14 days at a time. Once I'm closer to having the funds available for a new camera, I think I'll rent whichever I have in mind, so I have a few days to see how it works for me.

That is, unless you have a friend nearby with one ;)
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 2:31 pm

The 1" sensor in the RX100/II/RX10 isn't going to be close to approximating the low-light performance of a modern APS-C sensor...
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 4:04 pm

ludi wrote:The RX10 looks pretty sweet, my only hesitancy is having the entire kit-n-kaboodle locked into a single device. A single failure anywhere means the entire device has to be sent away and repaired at great expense.


Yes. I had the older sibling, the DSC-R1. It was dropped on the end of the lens only a foot or so off the ground. It sheared pins off inside of the lens assembly. I loved that camera, and the whole thing was shot for a couple of small pins I couldn't get to and the repair shop had no assemblies since they stopped making them.

That R1 was way ahead of its time, and optically very nice. If the RX10 is the same or better I would love it. My Panasonic cameras, while nice, still don't have that tonality, grain, and bokeh I loved about the R1 images.

I am finding I hate switching lenses, and tend to not just go out for the joy of shooting as much any more. That RX10 checks all of the right marks for me. I may sell my GH2 and lens collection and go get one to simplify.
liquidsquid
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 4:07 pm

Airmantharp wrote:The 1" sensor in the RX100/II/RX10 isn't going to be close to approximating the low-light performance of a modern APS-C sensor...


Why are people so hung up on this? When combined with a fast lens, how many times do you expect to go over iso800? Sure there is a rare occasion when you need it, but it is a case of diminishing returns. The best camera is the one you bring with you, and you will tend not to bring a big heavy SOB in the off-chance you need to shoot at iso-3gazillion. Low light performance sucks when shooting out of a drawer with the lens cap on.
liquidsquid
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 4:28 pm

liquidsquid wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:The 1" sensor in the RX100/II/RX10 isn't going to be close to approximating the low-light performance of a modern APS-C sensor...


Why are people so hung up on this? When combined with a fast lens, how many times do you expect to go over iso800? Sure there is a rare occasion when you need it, but it is a case of diminishing returns. The best camera is the one you bring with you, and you will tend not to bring a big heavy SOB in the off-chance you need to shoot at iso-3gazillion. Low light performance sucks when shooting out of a drawer with the lens cap on.


This. The sensor is fine up to ISO3200. Shoot, you can even print 5x7's at ISO6400.

I was sorely tempted to jump to a combo of an RX10 and an RX1R.
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TheEmrys
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Re: Camera reduction options...

Postposted on Wed May 07, 2014 4:30 pm

liquidsquid wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:The 1" sensor in the RX100/II/RX10 isn't going to be close to approximating the low-light performance of a modern APS-C sensor...


Why are people so hung up on this? When combined with a fast lens, how many times do you expect to go over iso800? Sure there is a rare occasion when you need it, but it is a case of diminishing returns. The best camera is the one you bring with you, and you will tend not to bring a big heavy SOB in the off-chance you need to shoot at iso-3gazillion. Low light performance sucks when shooting out of a drawer with the lens cap on.


I regularly exceed base ISOs shooting indoors with my 6D, in the ISO3200+ range, and it has some of the best high-ISO performance available on the market- maybe even the best, depending on subject. And that's with brighter lenses. I could actually use even more high-ISO performance.

But the point is this- if you're used to using an APS-C system with bright lenses, going to a 1" system with darker lenses would likely be a disappointment, though the RX10 is probably the best of said options.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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