It began innocently enough. I was out with a couple of other photographers on a day-hike, which is usually close to home. We are mostly gone for 5-7 hours, of which an hour or so is usually spent driving to the location.
That morning I packed my kit, which then consisted of a Sony a850 full-frame DSLR. I tucked away appropriate lenses, accessories, and other stuff into a ThinkTank/MindGear Trailscape 18L (link).
It only took about 45-minutes to arrive at our destination, which was a place none of us had photographed before. We turned off the highway and drove along a dirt road for another 20-minutes, checking out the scenery and looking forward to getting “out and about!”
Arriving at the location the trunk was opened, and the other photogs grabbed their bags. As I reached for mine, I was surprised at how heavy it was. Was it too heavy? Once the backpack was strapped on, however, it didn’t seem so heavy. With everyone ready we set out for the faraway peak.
A too heavy load…
About 20-minutes into the trek I realized my kit was beyond heavy. That was probably the first time I had given any thought to switching from my “perfect” kit to something less substantial. Not to mention the time the weight of the bag almost created the dreaded tumble effect as I was traversing some rough and hilly terrain!
Upon the return to my studio I contacted my youngest son who is an expert videographer, as well as a pretty decent photographer. His go-to kit at the time was a couple of Sony A7IIIs and two lenses, which were a Sony 16-35mm Vario-Tessar T FE F4 ZA OSS and a Sony – FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Standard Zoom Lens. Soon after that discussion I had the opportunity to visit him in the Seattle area. Thankfully, he wasn’t going to be using his kit for a few days, so he offered it to me. It only took one day to be hooked.
Once I returned home and after several lengthy email discussions, I had the system (on paper!) I wanted; the two lenses of his, plus a Sony a6000 mirrorless camera. It took a few months to acquire but once I had them in my hands, I have never looked back!
It’s all about the weight!
The difference between my former kit (the a850) and the latter (a6000/lenses) is amazing. My newly acquired system weighs in at about 3 pounds and the 850 system came in at 6 pounds, which makes quite a difference when you are on the trail for nearly four-hours with less-than-perfect knees.
The conversation about DSLRs and mirrorless, is a similar argument that occurred in the “so-long-ago” discussion about film vs. digital. It all comes down to preferences. I really like the lightness of the Sony a6000 as well as its quality. I can’t say enough about the lenses. They are a great combo for shooting just about anything.
Many who know me will not hesitate when asked if I am interested the tech aspects of photography, the answer will invariably be, “Nope!” I just want a camera to do what it is supposed to do: capture what I want. It’s simple.
The picture above will give you some idea of the terrain I often travel, here in the southwest.