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D800 or A6000?

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D800 or A6000?

Postby jornellas » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:59 pm

Good afternoon all!

I absolutely LOVE my Nikon however it is a beast.. With the attached 16-35 it comes in right around 4 lbs, add my Manfrotto and its around 7 pounds together (not including spare batteries and filters). In looking at the A6000 or perhaps A7000 coming in early summer I would wonder if the drop in weight would warrant the reduction in image quality. I typically shoot landscape, some long exposure with my "Big Stopper", some HDR, and some single exposure... I also think I could get away with a much smaller "travel" tripod and get my whole package to under 3 pounds...

Anyone with any experience moving from a DLSR to a small mirrorless?



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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:19 pm

Unless your make at least a partial living from selling art pieces, and need the most resolution possible, then reducing
weight makes sense. Even small 12 mp cameras, with good technique, and a sharp file to work with from the start, will
allow you to produce a good quality large print if needed.
Waiting to seeing the new 5Drs, so I can leave my 1Ds Mark 3 at home for local landscape usage, also waiting to see what
Sony and Nikon will offer in the 50 mp range this year, I need more mps because I need to print very large, and stitching
has it's limitation.
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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby fishmonger » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:49 pm

if you want to ask when you get home "wonder how this would have looked with the D800" then carry the gear.

I have a D600 and a Sony Nex-6, which is close to the A6000. I do not own any Sony glass, so it's the same lenses I have to haul with that smaller camera, and an adapter to make them work (in crop mode, unless I buy an even more expensive and heavier Metabones speedbooster adapter to get my wide angles back to wide). It's a wash as long as I want to shoot the same pictures with the same glass, maybe half a pound difference in total gear weight? To really drop weight, I would have to use the little plastic zoom that usually comes with these bodies. Good enough for memories, not good enough for my idea of why I carry a camera. That's really the decision at hand, not the weight savings, but what you may regret once you get home.

If you are worried the extra load may challenge the success of your entire hike, because you don't really know how much you can handle out there on an extended hike, start out with the smaller gear, or improvise wit the tripod (for years I managed with a pile of rocks and a remote trigger).

Most people are happy with photos taken with their cell phones. If you care about quality, you will eventually regret not having the gear you know delivers what you expect, but first time out, I don't think you want to carry all that stuff. It may spoil the fun so much, you may never go back :)
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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby jornellas » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:12 pm

Maverick & Fishmonger, those are the 2 exact schools of thoughts that I wrestle with... Knowing that composition is 98% of Photography & I don't sell my images however want the best photos I can create... My fear is indeed, "wow I wish I had brought my Nikon"... My goal is to lighten my load, 4 years ago I took an 80 pound pack on a 4 day trip (including my camera and 3 or 4 lenses) and have been whittling it down ever since. Currently with my Nikon and tripod I am about 45 pounds, the thought would be if I could get my camera gear down I could also go with a lighter weight pack which would shave another 2 pounds off. I think the real matter is that I backpack in part for photography (along with fishing, loving the outdoors, and escaping the everyday life...) and would be bummed if I cam back with regrets... If I did go with an A6000 it would boil down to getting an adapter so I think you are right that you only save a pound of so... I read of folks with these incredibly light packs and think it must be nice but with my fishing gear, camera gear, BV450, etc. I think I may need to settle on my current load...

Trip this year is Agnew to Tuolumne - July 17 can't get here soon enough!
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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby fishmonger » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:30 pm

well, I carried 12 pounds of camera gear last summer for 3 weeks, but I only had between 40 and 55 pounds total weight, depending on water and food. 80 pounds would mean I can bring my 600mm f/4.0 and a few other toys :unibrow:
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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:57 am

well, I carried 12 pounds of camera gear last summer for 3 weeks, but I only had between 40 and 55 pounds total weight, depending on water and food. 80 pounds would mean I can bring my 600mm f/4.0 and a few other toys


I'm going to wimp out again this year and not take the big gear. Going to give the Sony RX1 a shot and see how it goes.
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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby jornellas » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:19 am

Well - That 80 pounds may have included a 6 pack of Sculpin;)....

I'm thinking my 7 pounds of gear may not be so bad after all, heck I may even toss in another lens or 2! Ha
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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:34 am

My usual rig is a 1DS Mark 3, 17-40, 24-105, 100-400, 14, filters, Gitzo, and RRS Multi Pano gear. Planning
on getting the 11-24, 24-70 II, 100-400 II, 5Dsr and retiring my current line up of camera and lenses.
Stay with your D800 and lenses, and try to loose weight on the backpacking gear, I am not at 35lbs for a week.
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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby jornellas » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:02 pm

Wow Maverick that is impressive! My heavyweight items other than my camera gear are my pack (Aether 5.5 lbs) and I typically bring my REI char in at 2 pounds... I have an Alpinlite & Copper Spur that keep my larger stuff down in weight, can't seem to consider a quilt or tarp tent for myself. If i can keep to 40 pounds I guess I am pretty good.
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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby maverick » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:42 pm

Yeah, you could loose at least 2lbs off your backpack, and is that an REI chair at 2lbs? In the Summer,
a pancho-tarp combo takes care of the rain gear and tent at under 2lbs.
Cutting the weight by getting a lighter pack, dropping the chair, replacing the tent & rain gear could cut off
5-7lbs at least.
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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby SSSdave » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:52 pm

Since the image quality of any of the top end DSLRs and mirrorless models is similar at their rated resolutions what you seem to be actually asking is not about "quality" but rather resolution? In other words other than resolution they all are similar and noticeable improved from that of just a few years ago especially regarding color accuracy and dynamic range.

So if this is about resolution why does it matter for your purposes? That same kind of vague question pops up all the time over at boards like at dpreview or fredmiranda. And usually the OP admits they've never actually printed out anything professionally at size where it would make any difference and for the most part just post images on Internet websites where any of the higher end digital cameras create images in this era much larger than any UHD monitors. Even though many of them endlessly talk about how one lens is better than another while for what they are using the cameras for it matters little. In fact the majority of those doing commercial work owning such gear never need anything more than fit full page in magazines and is why there are also numbers of threads kicking around the question of "how many pixels do we really need?".

If high resolution to make large prints really matters then neither a D800 or A6000 or a 5DS are hardly going to be enough to impress landscape pros making large prints and instead you would need to buy panoramic gear and the high end software to stitch that goes with it or buy a PhaseOne IQ250.

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Re: D800 or A6000?

Postby jornellas » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:11 pm

Maverick, it is indeed close right around 28 or so oz.. Nice to have but is rather heavy, have thought of leaving that as well. As for rain gear I think I'm going to opt for a poncho rather than the NF Rain jacket that I have that is about 14 OZ. Can't see going away from my tent but would love to lighten up my pack, any suggestions at that point I think overall weight would be around 32-35 pounds if I dropped a few other odds and ends. I have thought of the ULA Catalyst but not sure how it would handle the load.

In regards to IQ on DLSR's and Mirrorless I am not concerned with MP and am certainly no expert but I can definitely tell the difference in ISO performance, dynamic range, and color definition.. I think what I was really hitting on was is the difference worth the weight savings, and to Fishmonger's point I would likely still be using my 16-35 rather than a kit lens that would be provided..
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