DSLR or Compact Zoom?

DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby harkins on Mon 23 Oct 2017, 4:25 pm

I have had my Canon 7D MkI camera, 100-400mm L MkI and EF-S 15-85mm lenses for a few years now (all bought 2nd hand). I'm a very casual amateur photographer and nobody else ever sees any of my photos (never been good or interesting enough for here or FC). I've generally been happy with the kit, although noise is something that has always bugged me and even 400mm on a crop can leave reach issues at airshows these days.

So for a while I've toyed with the idea of upgrading a little - tending towards MkII versions of what I have now. However, I've just seen tommc's thread about his new Sony Advanced Cyber-shot RX10 IV and it's really got me thinking. First off, I have my FRIAT Mach III ticket bought for next year and the current style gear isn't really a problem as it's all I've ever used there. Then I have a small possibility of getting a few hours at the fence of Hyakuri air base in Japan in early January and this is probably what's really got me thinking about the Sony. To take the 7D and 100-400mm lens plus accessories all the way to Japan and lug it around there for two weeks before having this slim chance of getting to see some JASDF Phantoms (new year holidays & weather being the biggest threats) seems crazy. For one thing, I'll need a good few clothes in my case for a two week trip in winter.

So the Sony wins hands down in the convenience stakes for this trip, but is that alone enough and will I regret it when sat in the FRIAT stand? The way I see it is;

Sony RX10 IV - £1800

Pros: 24-600mm no need for lens swapping, a lot easier to carry, generally encouraging reviews, greater usage beyond just one or two airshows a year.
Cons: Battery life - 400 shots per battery (OK in Japan I guess but at RIAT?), steep learning curve?


Canon 7D & 100-400mm & 15-85mm - £0 (Trade in value - maybe between £200 and £400)

Pros: Zero outlay, know how to use, results not amazing but good enough for me.
Cons: Lens swapping (a nightmare at times), noise issues, requires a suitcase of its own.

Canon 7D MkII & 100-400mm MkII & 15-85mm - £2300 (2nd hand & based on a quick look at LCE)

Pros: Improved performance on current kit, no need for new batteries or grip, familiar operation.
Cons, Most expensive option, no advantage gained in portability.


I just thought that typing my mind in here might help me get my thoughts a little straighter and get some good advice from people who know cameras and know about pointing them at military aircraft at airshows and base fences. Like I said, I'm not a great photographer, I just enjoy combining my interest in military aviation with some photography - record shots I think they're called - but I do like to try and get good results of course. Also, circumstances mean that one or two base visits and one airshow constitutes a good year for me. And we all know how hit and miss it can be.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Phil
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harkins

Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby Roughcutter on Mon 23 Oct 2017, 8:50 pm

I see where you're coming from on this issue and have been in a similar situation myself. In November 2013 I ventured on a tour of Greek open days, and following advice from one or two wise travellers about the overzealous security there, I opted to leave my 7D/100-400L at home and borrowed a friends Lumix bridge camera. Okay in theory the camera was ideal for the trip, small compact and discreet, "all singing and dancing" (it even shot RAW). But on arrival in Greece, from the minute I pulled this camera out of the bag I had my regrets, so complex it was a pig to operate. I cocked up so many great shots, no good for panning with, okay for statics & museums and that's it, I really missed my regular set up out there. And to confound matters further everywhere I looked people were using dslr's :sad:
If you're going to Nippon take your 7D/100-400L, it's not that big a load to cart around. Add a couple of spare batts and spend your money on a very big CF card (128 or 256gb). Personally from my own perspective I think it would be a massive mistake to just use a bridge, believe me you will miss your dslr out there. :dunno:
MarkL
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby Pen Pusher on Mon 23 Oct 2017, 8:53 pm

Bridge cameras have come a long way since 2013.

https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/cybe ... dsc-rx10m4

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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Tue 24 Oct 2017, 11:24 am

Take what you know with you mate,

after all, where are you going to go to get used to new equipment in 2 months or so before you go?

One thing i would advise though, as you have a mk1 and i note that some 7D's are still being reported as potentially 'iffy' is to invest, as i have and incidentally my mate has now, in a 5D mk3. Not cheap as chips but within your range for a good second hand one (mine was 1K with only 9000 actuations, and will make a heck of a difference to you and a quantum leap upwards on the 7D mk1

You wont regret upgrading the body that's for sure.

cheers
Dave
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby harkins on Tue 24 Oct 2017, 12:59 pm

Thanks for the thoughts gents. I've read and watched a few reviews of the Sony RX10 IV and it does sound as if it's a pretty good piece of kit. A kind of jack of all trades if you like and it does have a lot going for it. But Dave makes a good point in that it is a rather sudden learning curve that I'd be facing for January - especially if I bought it over in Japan where I can shop tax free and thus maybe save a few quid.

The appeal of saving all that space and weight is huge and the camera sounds great. Just the usual low light issues with the zoom - but unless I invest in a full frame body and a 600mm prime I guess that's almost always the case. And if it's all claggy over Fairford, even 20k of kit doesn't produce great photos.

But for the sake of a long shot opportunity in January, I fear I might regret it next July. Hmm.

Also, regarding upgrading my current body, of course that should be an improvement, but I'm not 100% confident in my 100-400 MkI lens either. Upgrading both though would definitely smash the already stretched budget.
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby tankbuster on Tue 24 Oct 2017, 3:49 pm

I'm a mirrorless user and we see lots of DSLR users coming over to mirrorless and getting very poor results. On the other hand there is another set of users who get better results than with their DSLR. The reason for this becomes apparent in investigation. The first group think that they know their old kit and get great results. On switching they just carry on as they were before. The second group on the other hand realise that there are differences between shooting DSLR and mirrorless and consequently take the time and trouble to learn how to get the best from their new kit. It's the same with the bridge cameras and you can find many users who get quite astounding results because they know their camera. I can see the temptation to change your system when going on a long trip but it's almost bound to be a mistake. The time to take the new toy is when you are its master and when you know all of its great features as well as its foibles. . Even switching from Canon to Nikon DSLR before a trip is probably best avoided.
Trevor C
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby Brevet Cable on Tue 24 Oct 2017, 4:02 pm

Even switching from Canon to Nikon DSLR before a trip is probably best avoided.


Taking it one stage further, even switching to a different model by the same manufacturer is probably best avoided.
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby Roughcutter on Tue 24 Oct 2017, 4:56 pm

The thing is (depending on your circumstances) the rare opportunity of a trip to Japan for most people is virtually part of the "bucket list". So essentially you want to give that trip your best shot, like Tankbuster said "take what you know" with you rather than chance everything on something you're unfamiliar with - just for the sake of convenience. :wink:
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby harkins on Tue 24 Oct 2017, 7:58 pm

I'd really love to give the Sony a go as I'm pretty sure that for my level and my expectation it would be a cracking camera. However, the weight of opinion has pretty much convinced me that I should stick to what I know. The only change I think is a risk worth taking is upgrading to a 7D MkII as the improvement in noise and autofocus should be worth it over my MkI.
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby AlexC on Tue 24 Oct 2017, 8:06 pm

harkins wrote:A kind of jack of all trades if you like and it does have a lot going for it.


But you know what they say about a jack of all trades...........?
Pte. Aubrey Gerald Harmer, R. Suss. R. (att. to the Sherwood Foresters) KIA 26/9/1917 Polygon Wood, aged 19, NKG. RIP
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby harkins on Tue 24 Oct 2017, 8:39 pm

Very true. I suppose you could argue it's a master of convenience. And mastery of many elements of photography usually costs more than a car.
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby xkekeith on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 11:26 am

As the user of a Canon DSLR 7D ii / 100-400 ii etc I bought a Canon M6 for non aviation holiday trips etc, also has the advantage of using EF / EF-S lenses with an adapter which I got as a package with the camera. Am in the process of travelling around Japan and so far have been delighted. Also picked up a light weight cheap EF-S 55-250 zoom to travel with for a bit of reach. Also the M6 uses the same Canon layout which makes it easier to pick. Another option to think about.
xkekeith

Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby harkins on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 1:26 pm

The thing is sadly that I can't really afford to have a 7D and lens plus another expensive camera. My choice was really about trading in the DSLR towards the Sony and having that alone.

Right now, I'm mulling over just upgrading my Canon body and sticking with my lens or sticking with the lot and and accepting having to carry this pretty large and weighty kit around Japan for two weeks in the hope I get to use it on the last day there. I shall just have to pack less clothes in my case.
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 2:08 pm

Alternative suggestion.....Keep the 7D-1 body, bin the 100-400 lens & get a Sigma or Tamron 150-600 instead.
Brevet.. Meh !!
Not an enthusiast or a spotter
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby Pen Pusher on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 2:20 pm

That's a joke, yes?. Have you held a Tamron 150-600mm. That alone would take him over his baggage allowance weight.

Brian
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby harkins on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 2:43 pm

Definitely agree with Brian, that'd make things even worse. Also, given that I'm already a little concerned with image quality due to what I perceive as noise in my 7D, wouldn't that lens change also be a backward step?
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby harkins on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 3:11 pm

harkins wrote:especially if I bought it over in Japan where I can shop tax free and thus maybe save a few quid.


I've just read that Sony and Panasonic cameras in Japan are Japanese language only. So buying one there would have made the learning curve a whole lot harder!!
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harkins

Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 3:22 pm

Pen Pusher wrote:That's a joke, yes?. Have you held a Tamron 150-600mm. That alone would take him over his baggage allowance weight.

Brian

Nope...got a 100-400L, though....are the 150-600s really that much heavier ?
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby harkins on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 3:51 pm

I think they're a good half a kilo heavier and a 600mm longer too. But then they do have much greater reach of course.
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby Pen Pusher on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 3:52 pm

Weight
SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Canon EF 1.9 kg
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM 1.4 kg

Size
SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Canon EF 258 mm
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM 188 mm

Brian
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 4:06 pm

Didn't think there'd be that much of a difference.
That said, I've just looked up the Canon 100-400L-II ( as you mentioned that you were concidering upgrading to one ) and that's 200g heavier than the Mk.I ( 1.65Kg )
Brevet.. Meh !!
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Re: DSLR or Compact Zoom?

Postby vulcan558 on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 5:12 pm

Look at some of the Canon eos 1 models, real pro bodies.
Some good 2nd hand deals on the 1 series model.
vulcan558


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