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    • I have a dilema, I know that in a short time i will need a new camera. The way I travel they get abused even when i take care of them so its inevitable.

      Where will I be using it?
      Siberia, more specifically Road of Bones/ Bam Road, Mongolia lots of dust sand and water, the 'stans in mountainous regions and cold, northern Europe cold and damp, but also extreme heat

      How will I be carrying it?
      On a motorcycle, so it has to be able to stand up to vibration somewhat

      So let me ask a group of hypothetical questions and help me decide my next camera.

      1. weather proofed
      2. preferably just one lens
      3. compact but not neccessarily a compact camera
      4. any price range
      5. raw capability
      6. good sized sensor for crisp shots and depth of field (I do a lot of magazine work, print and digital)
      7. any company
      8. good battery life
      9. leaning towards mirrorless

      Thoughts? Are there camera companies out there looking for people like me to prove 'their cameras'?

    • Chris MacAskill

      Hmmm, I'm gonna be very interested in what people have to say because I have killed a few weatherproof cameras. My beloved Canon 1Dx, which is rugged and weather-sealed, only took a few minutes exposure to salt water to fry.

      This is the kind of travel rtwPaul is known for:

    • after a little research i found out that Sony after the a6300 are weatherproof but for some reason they don't advertise it, most new Pentax (my current DSLR) and a few of their lenses, and the newer Fuji X series.

      Also include the Nikon and Canon top of the range in that weatherproof catagory as well.

      ...but now carrying a big DSLR is great for 'that shot', but its like carrying a house brick, and some lenses making it feel like carrying two house bricks!

      For some reason I find myself leaning towards a Fuji X-T2 and 16-55 2.8 WR or a Sony a6300 len undecided

      The reason i point out the weatherproofness is we often encounter water, like this shot I took of my GF in Colombia a few weeks ago, this was with my Pentax k-70 and 18-135 WR lens

      The seach continues...

    • If I understand correctly, you wish to do mostly landscape, vistas, panoramas?
      Do you also do (or wish to do) wildlife, macro, BIF or action photography?

      If you could describe a couple of cameras, or systems, that you had and liked, along with listing things you would like to see improved upon, that would be a considerable help in making a recommendation.

      A single lens? Are you thinking a fixed focal length or a zoom? Please describe the field(s)-of-view you wish to cover.

      Have you considered a photographic backpack to carry your equipment? Using your knees to absorb shock can both save your back and, using a suitable backpack, can also help with longevity for your equipment.

      What do you do if you have a failure in the field? How important is camera/lens repair vs replacement for your destinations?

    • I shoot a little everything, in populous I find myself sniping portraits, macro is minimal and BIF is non existent but action/ movement then yes a lot

      I like a fast lens 2.8 and faster, but as a zoom they tend to be big, thinking 70-200/ 2.8, I have one with me and its huge.

      The other thing that a traveler wants is not to stand out too much this is why i mentioned size, the Sony/ Fuji/ Olympus fit this small size

      Defintly thinking a zoom purely so lenses don't have to be changed in the field and create the chance of ingress and i have a good range, but not excessive

      A backpack is a no go for a few reasons, I carry a hydropak full of water, yes i could carry it there but if i have a fall, the camera could cause me a personal injury where without it in that position I would have been ok. I have never had a camera fail due to vibration from a m/c its always dust or moisture that kills them for me. Hence the WR requirement.

      I travel slowly so if i do have a failure I can get a replacement delivered within reason so no considering it an issue

      Portraits do happen!

    • Kevin Harrington

      I slowly transitioned from the 5D Mark III to the Sony A7 line up for my primary camera. I've been through an A7, A7R, A7S, and A7II. I always keep on buying Sony mirrorless cameras now because I love them. And I've never looked back. Now I'm on the A7RII as my primary camera. It's nothing short of incredible. The sensor is remarkable. Mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter, and cheaper for superior image quality than their DSLR counterparts.

      The sensor in the A7R II / A7R III is the best mirrorless sensor you can buy today. And its better than nearly every DSLR and Medium Format sensor too. Just see how it stands up to others on DXOMark. Its 42 MP raw preserves almost 15 stops of dynamic range. Its effective color depth is 26 bit, which is better than most medium format Phase One and Hasselblad digital backs. The ISO performance is stellar but often understated because the raw images of its sibling, the A7SII, show less noise in high ISO situations. However, in my benchmarks, a 42MP A7RII/III image normalized to the 12MP native resolution of the A7SII is cleaner, pixel for pixel, than the A7SII at any ISO below 100,000.

      Unlike Nikon and Canon, most of Sony's FE lenses are sharp enough to warrant shooting full 42-megapixel images. Not a single Nikon and Canon lens can render a clear enough image to take advantage of every single pixel on such a high megapixel sensor.

      Of the tens of thousands of digital cameras costing under $50k, the A7RII/III is ranked in the top 7 sensors according to DXOMark. And, of those cameras, its the only small, light, and relatively affordable, full frame camera that takes interchangeable lenses 👇

    • Chris MacAskill

      Disclaimer: I bought one of the few cameras with a higher DXOMark score than Kevin's: the Nikon D850. I'm one of those terrible hypocrites who say "it's not the camera, it's the photographer!"

      Having said that, if I were in your situation, even I might say (which I did on Safari in Africa) maybe going to a smaller chip size gets me one lens to rule them all that can fit in my saddle bags—a Zeiss 24-600 f.2.4-4.

      Which brings me to the Sony RX10 iii. From DPreview: Lens shootout: Sony RX10 III destroys the competition

    • thats a comparison i hadn't found so i will certainly look at it in more depth, as the iii came out the ii is now a good price for a still excellent camera, so this could be the way to go.

      My question is this, out of the 83 lens available for that camera if you were to pick one 'do it all' lens would you have an opinion?

    • Funny you bring up this Sony, a friend of mine in Denmark was talking to me about cameras and telling me the prices are so high due to imports in his country the Sony was the best deal he could find and is super happy with his decision.

      ...but here's a comparison of a compact/ bridge camera that if you take away the extra 350mm of zoom you can buy a camera that the size a of a cigarette pakage for 60 percent less, this - http://cameradecision.com/compare/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-ZS100-vs-Sony-Cyber-shot-DSC-RX10-III

      might be a good carry around camera for less desible areas?

    • Chris MacAskill

      I remember in places like Belize City and Johannesburg, the police would stop me and say "you cannot be walking around with that camera!" Which brings me to my beloved Olympus TG. I have a friend who, like me, shoots with a Nikon D850 (he even has a Leica), and we both love this little jewel.

      It's light and durable and I shoot underwater with it in the ocean and pools. It's indestructible. Jimmy reviewed it (in Cuba! Who gets to go THERE?!) and the bottom line is it's you make some compromises for the ruggedness.

    • I carry th Fuji version, sensor is tiny photos are averag at best, video quality is ok for youtube but yes sometimes you want a camera that is basically nothing but can take good shots

      ...so many compromises, but I am genuinely interested in the Sony A7 series, they introduce new models so often it is now easy to get a good deal on an older model and for a few hundred more than the RX10 in some cases but the image quality will be huge

      but what lens, never even held a Sony camera so i know zero about them and the lens quality, wouldn't know where to start

    • Paul, Well I broke down and did some serious Googling against your 'cake' ID.

      You're one of those people who could probably take a PB&J sandwich, convince it to capture images, and make it work to do your bidding. In short that is an impressive body of work!

      Considering that you are interested in the Sony '7' series mirrorless bodies, I say, "Go for it".

      Yes, there is a diminished lens choice compared to many other brands, but the Sony mirrorless also has some of the best options for adapting lenses to its bodies, compared to other brands.

      I still don't have a good feel for what FOV range would work for you, but, assuming your travel needs are similar to mine I suggest 2 - zoom lenses to start:

      Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
      Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM
      (Additionally I suggest adding a high-quality diopter lens to mount on the tele-zoom for close-focus stuff.)

      While you could go with 2 - Sony Alpha a7R II (or a7R III) bodies, you might also consider 1 Sony Alpha a7R II and 1 Sony Alpha a6300, with a recommendation to keep the standard/normal 24-70mm on the FF a7R II body and the 70-200mm tele-zoom on the crop a6300. That way, the two bodies can work against each other to provide some backup in the system, and you prevent some ingress of dirt and moisture into the bodies by keeping the lenses attached. (In the event of a body failure, I suggest keeping the working body/lens plus the other lens in plastic garbage bags when not in use.)

      ziggy

    • it wasn't a body i had considered but now looking at it more I like the idea

      The 24-70 2.8 would cover about 90% of what i shoot, for the rest I think i would carry a small superzoom so as to have less gear, or just the zoom lens for those occasions or a tele converter

      Its interesting that there is a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD and owners are saying they sell the Sony glass once they have this and its a 1/3 of the price with 99% equal sharpness, but a lot less weight. Any opinion on that?

      As for waterproof I use waterproof bags over plastic because plastic tends to sweat and not breath enough. They actually sell on ein Wally World for about $8 which is DSLR sized

    • Kevin Harrington

      The A7RIII has faster AF and double the FPS than the A7RII, but besides that it'll capture nearly the identical 42 MP image. However, $1200 more for the RIII is pretty steep unless you need something really fast to shoot sports. I think the value is in the A7RII right now.

      Make sure you're looking at the R, an not the standard A7II/III. Those A7II/III 24 MP sensors are decent but not notable.

      For any camera system, you sacrifice quality for a 'do it all' lens. I always carry these three lenses to cover most situations:

      1. Voigtlander 21mm f/1.8 M mount w/ adapter - fast, sharp, and wide
      2. Sony 55mm f/1.8 FE - one of the sharpest lenses ever produced, affordable
      3. Sony 70-200mm f/4 FE - much lighter / cheaper than the 2.8 but still very sharp. Lens OSS combined with the in body stabilization gives you like 5 stops if you have a steady hand.

    • Kevin Harrington

      This is excellent advice -- the A6300 / A7RII(I) combo would be great.

      A while back, a wave splashed my A7II when shooting a surf contest from a jet ski at Mavericks. The A7II body is the same weather-sealed casing used in all the A7 2nd and 3rd generations. Be wary, it doesn't hold up well in salt water.

      I've shot on many commercial shoots in rain and snow with A7RII's, and never has any issues. I think the pro level Canon and Nikon DSLR's have better weather sealing than the Sony Mirrorless.

      👇Price of this image was an A7II 😢

    • Paul, you have good points and I promoted a misunderstanding. To elaborate:

      Quote: "The 24-70 2.8 would cover about 90% of what i shoot, for the rest I think i would carry a small superzoom so as to have less gear, or just the zoom lens for those occasions or a tele converter

      Its interesting that there is a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD and owners are saying they sell the Sony glass once they have this and its a 1/3 of the price with 99% equal sharpness, but a lot less weight. Any opinion on that?"

      The Sony 24-70mm is recommended over the Tamron 28-75mm for your application based on 2 points:

      1) 24mm is around 12 percent more FOV compared to 28mm. For vista and panoramic images this is a non-trivial improvement in single-shot performance.

      2) The Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD is so new that durability is fairly unknown. I recently upgraded from an (admittedly ancient) EOS 28-80mm, f2.8-4L USM to a Tamron SP 24-70mm, f2.8 Di VC USD, primarily to benefit from the extra FOV. It also provides a very usable image stabilization which is appreciated in indoor and low-light situations (important to Canon users since the camera body doesn't help with stabilization). The old Canon lens is a significantly more durable construction, and both lenses suffer similarly with mis-focus at close range, but otherwise the Tamron is a great performer.

      For your sort of harsh environments I believe that the seals and construction of the Sony lens will provide a better experience overall, and from looking at your Internet published images I also believe that you will appreciate the wider FOV. It would be a good idea to review your EXIF for your wide images to see how often you bump up against the widest FOV limit.

      ---------------------------------

      Quote: As for waterproof I use waterproof bags over plastic because plastic tends to sweat and not breath enough. They actually sell on ein Wally World for about $8 which is DSLR sized

      We are in agreement in a wet environment concerning plastic bags and storage of wet equipment.

      In a dry but dusty environment, cheap polyethylene bags provide additional protection against dust migration, which is important when you have to change lenses more often. When they do get overly/overtly dirty just throw it away and replace. (Generally, just demote them back to a garbage/refuse bag.)

      In a wet, snowing or blowing snow environment a plastic bag provides a simple and effective primary watershed just by punching, poking or cutting a bottom corner through which you push a bit of the lens.

      Keeping the equipment clean and dry in the first case is just easier with prudent use of plastic bags. I keep a few with me at all times. (Boy Scout motto here)

    • It's not necessarily the salt water that killed the camera...it's the water *pressure* that forced water past the seals. Any water that hits your camera with significant impact will likely kill your camera. That being said, salt water is crazy good at corroding exposed electrical contacts (think flash shoes, and such), also death to cameras. Shots like that are best done with full-on diving enclosures, which really adds to the cost of the whole setup, but that's how the pros do it.

      http://www.getolympus.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/thumbnail/1200x600/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/p/t/pt-ep14.jpg

    • Personally, I went with the Olympus m4/3 option to get top tier weather sealing on my lenses and body, while maintaining a decently compact kit. I just came back from a family trip to the beach, where I have always taken my mirrorless and dslr equipment into the surf to get shots of the family. The weather sealing won't perform miracles, and can always benefit from even basic redneck engineering (rubber bands and plastic bags come to mind). But they do allow for a bit of daring. I've had tons of family and strangers tell me I'm crazy to take my multi-thousand dollar kit into pools and ocean, and ski trips alike. But I bought the thing to catch these memories. You're darn right I'm taking the camera with me! So long as you're reasonably astute about its limitations, and how to work within them, I am a huge fan of the weather-sealed options.

      BTW, I keep an old Canon G7 with full diving enclosure for my amateur underwater shots. It's reasonably functional, and compact. If I were to ever get serious about underwater shots, I suppose I could drop the coin on an enclosure for my EM-1, but I doubt I'll ever do that.

      With my back facing the waves, the camera a foot and a half above the water...I might glance back every now and then for situational awareness...but if a wave catches me off guard and splashes my camera, I wipe off the saltwater, and carry on. This shot was taken maybe 5 years ago. I still use the camera that took the shot, and it's been in all sorts of weather since then.

    • You didn't say which model you have so i can only guess

      interesting option but looking at a E-M1 II side by side with my K-70 they both have equivilent weather proofing on body and lens, but mine has a larger sensor and comes in at a 1/4 of the price...so on that comparison i would take 4 of mine or one K-1ii or A7Rii and still save money

      Now the Olympus E-M10 MIII is a very close match and price but i don't think this is your 4/3's as its not weather proofed

    • Oh, ya, the Pentax DSLRs offer great value compared to the other DSLR options. They're also really well loved for their selection of killer primes.

      For me, though, I wanted a really really compact system, so I went mirrorless, with lenses engineered to take advantage of the smaller image circle, and mirrorless geometry, buying relatively miniaturized lenses....long lenses aren't nearly as long...wide lenses aren't nearly as fat, comparatively speaking.

      It's a different performance envelope, but with any system, you simply adjust to work within the parameters. And I have no particular ambition to replicate full frame background defocus...I'm plenty happy just simply throwing longer focal lengths at the challenge, or brighter primes.

      I did a variety of comparisons waaaay back when I was making the decision on sensor standards, and the kit size of the mirrorless m4/3 standard was compellingly attractive for me. Depending on what you equipped yourself with, the m4/3 mirrorless kit was anywhere from 17% to 44% smaller than a (roughly) equivalent dslr system.

    • Oh...yes...I do have an E-M1, not the mkII though. I would love to get a mkII body, but I'm more focused on rounding out my lenses first. I sorely need a nice wide prime in my kit. And while I love my constant f/2 zooms, they aren't the most practical to carry around.

    You've been invited!