A recent edition of the Guardian contained an interesting article by an Italian woman providing her experiences of 'lockdown' just as the UK were to enter into that same strange world. The one point she repeatedly made throughout the article was "YOU WILL EAT MORE".
She wasn't wrong. However, it's not my own weight that this entry is about, it's the weight of the equipment I carry.
Frustratingly, I have a damaged vertebrae in my neck, and carrying heavy loads gets more and more difficult as the years go by. When venturing high in the mountains, in addition to cameras, there's a whole lot of other equipment to carry. In winter when I may well be carrying crampons and ice axe, every gram counts.
I've shot with a Canon digital SLR for fifteen years now, and what amazing cameras they have each been. One thing which should not be a surprise is that as I progressed through the product line over time, the professional cameras and lenses I carry have become heavier and heavier. A previous blog entry described how I purchased a second SLR, a Canon EOS100D. A fine camera it was too, tiny and very light. However, to get the best out of it still meant retaining the 'L' Series lenses which are . . . heavy!
It was clearly then that a different approach was needed. I eagerly awaited Canon's entry into the world of mirrorless cameras, a technology which enables smaller camera body sizes to be achieved. However, on release, it quickly became apparent that these new cameras weren't much smaller than the camera I already have and the accompanying lenses were, well, huge. Weight savings could be made but not to the extent that would make a huge difference.
Moving from a dSLR to a mirrorless camera can not be described as a breeze. Would I take to the electronic viewfinder? A whole new set of menu structures to get used to?
The first thing to get used to is that nothing happens until you turn it on! Look through the viewfinder and you'll see just blackness. However, a few months on and can honestly say that it's not as difficult as I feared. In fact, I found for a while that if I was going out in a hurry, it was the Fuji I would reach for rather than the Canon. Results from the cropped sensor have been amazing and it handles tonal graduations particularly well. I have found that some of the switches are a little on the small side for anyone with large hands, but the camera's controls are so customisable that there's usually a way around any difficulties encountered. The selling point for me though is size and weight.
The photograph above shows the difference in size of my main camera equipment. The top row is my Fujifilm X-T30 fitted with kit lens, telephoto lens, and wide angle lens.
Below is the Canon equivelent. The difference in size is obvious but more importantly, so is the weight comparison:
Fuji total - 2110 grams Canon total - 3510 grams
Time for a switch then? Is my love affair with Canon over? No. Don't get me wrong, I'm hugely impressed with the Fuji. I'm achieving some great results with it and the quality of the sensor is outstanding. However, the times when I do pick up the Canon, usually for more local or studio work, I am instantly reminded of why I love this camera. That lovely, huge, bright viewfinder, the logical menu structure, and the way that the controls are laid out so that they just sit in exactly the right place. It takes some beating. So the outcome? Horses for courses. When venturing way off the beaten rack it will always be the Fuji which comes with me and I know that quality won't suffer. All other times, it's the Canon. There's life in to old dog yet!