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05-12-2015, 04:10 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomasbrowphoto Quote
The D would be a great camera/ any 645 would be a great back up, but I'm more looking for something smaller/less noticeable but still capable, something I can even leave in my car kind of camera.
I have a Sigma Merrill I purchased used for $450USD. I leave it in the car and can carry it in a coat pocket. The files rival those from a 645D.

05-12-2015, 09:16 AM   #17
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If I want a decent quality image then I have the Z, that despite the fact that I have a M9 and those files are quite lovely too. If I'm just taking snaps then the phone comes out with either Snapseed or Hipstamatic. That's about as nimble as it gets, one extreme to the other!
05-12-2015, 05:16 PM   #18
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I'll keep my trusty 6D (and pile of Canon glass) as a backup. If I ever (hopefully) get to the point of making decent money (this year I'm just hoping to cover the 645z), I'll pick up a second Pentax as a backup. My day job is as a roadie and ethic of always carrying a spare has followed me into photography.
05-12-2015, 06:28 PM - 1 Like   #19
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This is a great question and there is no easy answer.

Before I got into MF, I had the same problem, what to do when I didn't want to carry a big rig like the Canon 1D4 or 5D2 along with the fairly large lenses. Image quality was important. So I moved from the NEX7 to the Fuji X100 and then the M9 and the M240 with the usual lenses. None of them did it for me, although at the time these were alternatives to 35mm DSLRs and not MF.

Finally the Sony A7R, IMHO the much 'bigger' brother of the NEX7 and so much better too. Less than a third the price of the M240 with a lot more to offer.

I've tried every lens I own on the A7R, the Leicas, Zeiss, Canon and even the Nikon 14-24 (I don't own any Nikon body but the lens is simply out of this world) via various adapters. I love the incredible detail in the files, especially with Sony's own 55 1.8 lens which is super sharp.

My favorite 'small size' package is the A7R with the 35mm, can fit into a small bag, very unobtrusive and quick focusing. You can put just about any lens on it, which is great.

The down side is the relative lack of native really, really sharp, AF lenses. Hopefully that will be amended in the future.

One thing I've found is that with third party lenses like the Canon with adapter, although you have AF, you really need to use live view to confirm focus because the resolution is so high that even the slightest error is magnified. Which means that you cannot use those lenses in a 'casual' shooting mode. For landscape use though it would not matter since one would take a slow, deliberate approach.

I now find I am carrying the A7R almost everywhere I go, it is small enough that you can even take it to a formal event like a wedding (in a small bag) without standing out.

And if you have a good smartphone it simply complements the Sony for the times when you really need 'small'.

Pradeep

05-12-2015, 07:18 PM   #20
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Thanks guys, appreciate the comments! I know its a hard question... But being all MF shooters I thought you would be the best mob to ask.

Main Contenders for me are...

A7r or A7
Pentax k3
Fuji x100t or XT1

all completely different beasts in there own right.

I have heard about the Sigma's as Australian Phase one shooter Christian Fletcher uses the Merrils and Quatro bodys as back ups. He said the Image quality is astounding, but is indeed afraid of the dark... and the files are awkward to process.

Ill keep researching!
05-12-2015, 08:54 PM   #21
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The A7r all the way. With a good lens on in particularly a mid range zoom you can go light without compromising.
05-12-2015, 11:13 PM   #22
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back up

Canon 1DS Mark lll. Never got rid of it. Excellent back up to a D or a Z. Only got it because Pentax never made a 24x36 chip camera, but thats another area of the forum...................
05-13-2015, 04:09 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomasbrowphoto Quote
Thanks guys, appreciate the comments! I know its a hard question... But being all MF shooters I thought you would be the best mob to ask.

Main Contenders for me are...

A7r or A7
Pentax k3
Fuji x100t or XT1

all completely different beasts in there own right.

I have heard about the Sigma's as Australian Phase one shooter Christian Fletcher uses the Merrils and Quatro bodys as back ups. He said the Image quality is astounding, but is indeed afraid of the dark... and the files are awkward to process.

Ill keep researching!
In my quest for the perfect 'mini me' I too had bought the Sigma DP 1 when it first came out. While the files were great it was too slow, awkward to focus and just did not work as intended.

Remember, you need the small camera because you cannot or do not want to take the bigger rig to a particular location, which is usually street photography, an indoor event or while traveling with family where the Pentax may be a bit inconvenient. All of this means you need good AF, good low light capability and a fairly fast processing time. The Sony excels in all of these. You can take images in the typical indoor party lighting without fear and without flash. The pictures come out better than those with a P&S and flash. If your end needs are small prints or web publishing then the iPhone 6 is probably the best bet, but with the Sony, you can process the final image considerably and I've found the B&W versions of indoor shots in low light to be superb. If the light is good, eg on the streets or traveling in the day, the results are amazing.

Pradeep

05-13-2015, 04:31 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomasbrowphoto Quote
Main Contenders for me are...

A7r or A7
Pentax k3
Fuji x100t or XT1
I recently went through the same decision for mirrorless as 2nd system. While I did not try Pentax K3, I worked with your Sony and Fuji candidates quite a bit. In the end, I chose the Fuji XT1. Reasons for me were:
- Ergonomics... More similar to traditional cameras with dial and direct button interface vs deep diving into complex menus. Additionally, XT1 felt better in my hand. Obviously a personal view, YMMV.
- Lenses... Fuji lenses are excellent quality with a number of them being stellar. Furthermore, prices seem to be more reasonable (to me). Broad selection of lenses currently available (prime and zoom) with more on the way.
- Fuji support... Fuji's approach appears to be continued support of camera bodies for a number of years via firmware updates vs releasing new camera every year.
- Sensor... I really like the colors from Fuji. Also, while Fuji will most likely introduce 24mp model, the current 16mp XT1 is good enough for my uses of mirrorless (but then again, more may be better)

I also loved the handling and leaf shutter of X100s. It would be my first choice, except that I am really not a one lens photographer.

If you have access to a rental service, hands on trial would be good. Good luck with your decision!

John

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05-13-2015, 09:56 AM   #25
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Not knowing much about other Pentax systems, is there a FF Pentax option that takes 645 lenses?
05-13-2015, 12:53 PM   #26
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I'm interested in the comments on the Fuji X100s / t and X-T1. Why not the Fuji X-E2?
05-13-2015, 04:56 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by the_ether Quote
I'm interested in the comments on the Fuji X100s / t and X-T1. Why not the Fuji X-E2?
The X-E2 is a different form factor than the X-T1, built more like a rangefinder with the evf to the left side vs more in the center as with the X-T1. For me, it boils down to how they feel in the hand, and I prefer the X-T1... YMMV. They are both very capable cameras with the same 16mp sensor. While I haven't compared the specs with the most recent firmware, they should be quite comparable. Fuji has announced firmware v4.0 for X-T1 with improvements to autofocus and other features Substantial firmware updates for the X-T1, delivering a new AF system for better capture of moving subjects among other improvements | Fujifilm Global, link to video about AF improvements here TOP : X-T1? FUJIFILM. I am not a Fuji fanboy, but I believe they are doing a good job listening to customer feedback and needs/wants.

John
05-13-2015, 05:23 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomasbrowphoto Quote
Thanks guys, appreciate the comments! I know its a hard question... But being all MF shooters I thought you would be the best mob to ask.

Main Contenders for me are...

A7r or A7
Pentax k3
Fuji x100t or XT1

all completely different beasts in there own right.

I have heard about the Sigma's as Australian Phase one shooter Christian Fletcher uses the Merrils and Quatro bodys as back ups. He said the Image quality is astounding, but is indeed afraid of the dark... and the files are awkward to process.

Ill keep researching!
Thomas:

Along with the DPM2, I have a K-3. The Sigma is limited by a number of factors, but if conditions are right, i.e., good light, don't need a focal length other than 30mm and many other factors, I would always choose the Sigma over the K-3. The K-3 II may change that, but I don't know.

Tom
05-13-2015, 06:19 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
Thomas:

Along with the DPM2, I have a K-3. The Sigma is limited by a number of factors, but if conditions are right, i.e., good light, don't need a focal length other than 30mm and many other factors, I would always choose the Sigma over the K-3. The K-3 II may change that, but I don't know.

Tom
That exactly what I have heard about the Sigmas, Beautiful image quality, but very limited in a lot of situations. Which leads me to think it wouldn't be the best option for a everyday carry around camera, lets be honest how often to de we get perfect lighting, Thats where I hear the Fujis are great little cameras, all-round work horse. The hunt continues.

Thank you for all your insights, very interesting indeed. Keep them coming!
05-13-2015, 08:17 PM   #30
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I have a variety of cameras now (Canon 5D3 & 6D, Nikon D800E) but my 2nd camera will be the Canon 5Ds R for use with the EF 11-24L, 24-70 II and TSE-17mm. I see any "second" system as a complement to my primary system, filling in needs that the primary doesn't fulfill, and quite frankly, I not sure which camera will end up being primary. I've just finished my first photo trip of the year where I practically shot nothing but the 645z and while it may be a while before I begin processing images from this trip as I am backed up to last October's images, I did take a peak at a few and quite frankly I am not sure how to assess the general 645 lens performance thus far (or my performance with the lenses). I bought the 28-45 & 55mm new, and bought used 45-85 FA, 200 FA & 120 A lenses. Of concern are wide open performance and stopped down corner performance. Some of the trip's image results are at odds with my measured testing prior to the trip which may mean that I have some "getting used to" to be done. I will be right at home with the Canon kit and lugging a 645z with the 28-45 should make the 5Ds R/11-24L seem like the light-weight option. So, which one will I eventually gravitate to more often is a mystery to me right now.
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