24MP ‘Flexible but Light’ Trip Comparison
Profile: Just another variant of the above, for someone who thinks 550 shots is ample for an outing and where a fast standard lens and a compact tele lens are a welcome substitutes for one slow mid-range zoom.
A7, 2 batteries, 16-35 f4, Zeiss 55mm f1.8, 90mm Leica f2.8 Tele (1524g)
Mk II (1664g)
D750, 1 battery, 16-35 f4, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8 (2071)
Here, the Nikon outfit is 548g heavier (36%) than the Mk I Sony and 407g and 24% heavier than the Mk II Sony.
36-42MP Landscape Lightweight Expedition Comparison
Profile: You’re going on a landscape photography trip and expect to be able to recharge fairly reliably on a daily basis, if not every other day. You are not a machine gunner and over 1500 frames between recharges is [cough] enough. You want all the resolution you can get and want to cover 16-200mm with superb quality. You may do day hikes and may also work close to the car, but want to keep weight down so that you can carry it all with you for hikes if need be. This trip is costing you $thousands, so there is no way you are going to leave home with just one body.
2 x A7R, 6 batteries, 16-35mm f4, 55mm f1.8, 70-200f4 (2723g)
Mk II (3003g)
2 x D810, 2 batteries, 16-35mm f4, 50mm f1.8, 70-200f4 (3825g)
The Nikon is 40% (1102g) heavier than the Mk I Sony and 820g, or 27% heavier than the Mk II kit (and the MK II Sony also benefits from stabilisation over the standard 50mm f1.8 lens). The Sony has marginally less overall shot capacity, but gains from redundancy. If you lose one of the Nikon batteries, or it fails, you’re down to one body usage.
24MP FF + APS-C Ultra- Light Travel: Primes with Back Up.
Profile: You’re going to India to do some regular ole fashioned travel photography. You’ll be there for two weeks on this hard-earned trip and want to take back up, but don’t want to fork out for another FF body, so decide to pick up a second-hand APS-C body as an alternative, which will also give more reach on the long lens when needed. Your goal is ‘light and compact’, because you have other travel baggage to carry along the way. Plenty of batteries will ensure that you can go a good few days without recharging.
A7, A6000, 6 batteries, Sony 28mm f2, 50mm ZM Planar, Leica 90mm f4/f2.8 Tele. (1603g)
Mk II (1743g)
D750, D5500, 2 batteries, 28mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8 (2226)
The Nikon is 623g or 39% heavier than the Sony Mk I and 28% heavier than the Mk II (which gives stabilisation to all your lenses, whereas none are stabilised with the Nikon).
24MP Day Tripper
Profile: You want to throw your kit into the smallest bag possible and keep it as light as possible because you will be doing other things beside photography.
A7, 2 batteries, 28mm FE, 50mm ZM planar, 90mm Elmar-C/f2.8 Tele (1135g)
Mk II (1275g)
D750, one battery, 28mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8. (1716g)
The Nikon is 581g or 51% heavier than the Sony Mk I kit and 35% heavier than the Mk II (which gains stabilization on all lenses vs. none with the Nikon). The Nikon is a little faster at the long end, however.
24MP Best Quality ‘Wide Side’ Scenic Trip Rig
Profile: You might be out all morning and all night so need plenty of battery capacity shooting in Prague. You don’t need long lenses because you rarely use them, but what you do want is a good spread from ultra-wide to mid-range and with superb optical quality because you detest squishy corners. Only the best 24MP will do for you, sir!
A7, 4 batteries, CV 15mm Mk III, 25mm f2 Batis, 35mm f2.8 FE Sonnar, 55mm f1.8 (1567g)
Leica M, one battery, CV 15mm Mk III, 21mm Super-Elmar f3.4, 28mm Elmarit-M asph, 50mm ZM planar (1580g)
D750, one battery, 14mm Samyang, 20mm f1.8, 28mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8 (2235g)
The Sony and Leica come in about the same and both about 660g lighter than the Nikon. This puts the Nikon at 43% heavier than the Mk I Sony and 41% heavier than the Leica M. Maybe you will throw in that 90mm f2.8 Leica Tele-Elmar instead (and still come in 430g (a pound) lighter) after all. It can go in your coat pocket, which is not something you’d try with a SLR lens).
Now you can upgrade to the A7 II and gain stabilisation at all focal lengths too and still come out nearly 300g lighter. Add an A7 back up body and the Sony is now only 115g (two Mars bars) heavier, but has gained stabilisation, a back up body and a 90mm lens. Yes, you could get rid of the 14mm, 20mm and 28mm Nikkor lenses and add a 16-35f4 instead, but you now lose lots of speed, but its still 140g heavier than the unmodified Sony A7 Mk I outfit listed above and the bulk difference between the D750+16-35 vs. the Sony or Leica is vast.
Walkabout – Weight on Wrist/Neck
Profile: You love 35mm and use this as your body cap. You have other lenses in your bag, but prefer to have your favourite camera ready to rock and in your hand at all times. In order to give the Nikkor a better chance I have gone for the much lighter old 35mm f2.8 AF-D lens, which saves over 100g.
A7, one battery in body, 35mm f2.8 Sonnar (578g)
D750, one battery in body, 35mm f2.8 AFD (1050g)
Ouch. The Nikon is a whopping 82% heavier (472g) than the Sony Mk I outfit, which means carrying an additional 16 ounce or 500ml bottle of water around your neck or on in your hand all day. The Nikkor is likely to remain consigned to a neck strap, but the Sony can go on a wrist strap, where it is much more quickly used and won’t bounce around or make you stand out. The 35mm FE Sonnar is also in a different league optically, so if you want to give it a fair competitor we need to go to the 35mm f1.8, which raises the weight to 1145g (98% heavier). Ah, but the Nikon is now faster! True, but by shifting to the A7 II we have stabilisation and an all in weight of 718g in hand, still leaving the Nikon 427g or 59% heavier and without stabilisation.
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