Thoughts on All These New Cameras

Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

I don’t usually talk about gear any more, but the recent new camera announcements from Canon and Nikon, and more recently Fuji, Panasonic and Sigma have gotten me thinking about cameras.  Not to buy a new one, I promise!  Just thoughts on what cameras we buy and why we buy them.

When the so-called mirrorless cameras came out, the whole idea – at least in my mind – was the ability to have a high-quality camera in a size that was smaller and much lighter than all of the full-size gear we had been hauling around.  Small and very capable cameras from Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji and others paved the way for a lot of folks to “downsize” to a camera and lenses that had excellent image quality without having to haul around a bag of bricks.  For myself, unloading 30+ pounds of Canon gear and replacing it with the smaller and lighter Fuji gear was a welcome change.  No longer did I have to carry my camera equipment in a suitcase that weighed more than my clothes!  I specifically remember checking into a hotel one time and having the bellman pull my Think Tank Airport Monstrosity out of the trunk with a “what the heck is in this thing…library books?” question.  Ah, not exactly!

Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Inevitably, some companies started working toward the idea of the “full frame mirrorless” cameras.  After a slow start, Sony has become a major player in a field.  I know a number of folks that have converted to Sony cameras, but it always interests me that those cameras and lenses are as big and heavy as the cameras they replaced!  Canon and Nikon have recently introduced their own versions of these “full frame mirrorless” cameras, but they are nearly as large as my old 5D and lenses.  What happened to smaller and lighter?

Ever since I traded in my medium format Mamiya 7 film camera for my first 5D, I hoped that some day there would be a digital equivalent of that Mamiya camera.  Fuji just announced a camera that comes very close, but at $4500 for the body it is out of my price range, and it is huge!  Nothing like the Mamiya 7, 3 lenses and a box of 5 rolls of film that I was able to put in a fanny pack.  Airport Monstrosity 2.0 here we come!

I’m really happy with my decision to move to the smaller APS-C Fuji cameras and lenses.  Right now my “ancient” X-T1 is still better than I am, and while I may eventually succumb to the siren song of a newer model, the stuff that I have suits my needs just fine.  It is interesting to watch where all the technology is headed, but watching from the sidelines is a pretty comfortable place to be!

Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

For fun, here is a link to a size comparison on

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on All These New Cameras”

  1. I have been following dpreview on all the hoopla and getting a bit tired of it all. I am quite satisfied with my little X-T10. It has all the potential to help me become a better photographer than any of the newer gear. What calls to me more would be a smaller camera such as the X-T3. For the price I think it is way more camera than I could ever out grow. Full frame does not interest me as it does increase size and cost. I’m happy!

    1. That’s the main reason why I stopped looking at those websites – all they do is tell me about stuff that won’t actually improve my photography or make me happy. That’s money I can spend on going places to take photos! Plus all the wah-wah-wah complaining is annoying. Happy is good! 🙂

  2. The design specs of most cameras these days, beyond some point-and-shoots, far exceed my daily needs. A few years ago I would have followed each review with keen interest but I seldom even read them now. I moved away from full-frame DSLR for the same reasons as you, Tom, lighter weight and smaller size. I’ve not regretted it either although sometimes I do miss the ergonomics of my old Nikon D700.

    Good post. I love fog photos and these are very nice.

    1. The technology is fascinating and from that standpoint we live in a very interesting era. Unfortunately the marketing aspect of selling us on all that technology gets in the way of appreciating it for what it is. Cameras are a good example, but phones are an even better example of being sold something way more than we actually need. For those fortunate enough to stop and think about it we can stay off that bandwagon for as long as possible.

      We were fortunate to be in the meadow on the day the weather finally cleared. The scene went from completely socked in to clear then back again over and over during the course of an hour or so. It was a good day to be patient!

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