Mirrorless updates - Going Light, final bits
It has been a while since I totally dedicated myself to traveling with just a mirrorless camera on a trip that I knew would have a great deal of photographic opportunity. For the upcoming Lost Coast trip, in an effort to go lighter and to do a more realistic evaluation I have chosen to fore-go the big Nikon/Zeiss gear and instead travel with a set of small cameras. The Fuji X100s, the Fuji XE-1 and my small fun&gun Nikon V1.
It will no doubt be interesting to see if this collection of cameras and lenses can provide me with the coverage and IQ that I typically require or even demand. There has been much written in the blogo-sphere about people making the switch from DSLRs to Mirrorless cameras. Well, I can say for a fact, as of right now, there is NO way I would make that a permanent switch -- It would require giving up way to much IQ for my purposes (The Nikon D800/Zeiss combo is simply incredible). Instead, I choose to view these cameras as tools. Each having a utility and a purpose along with pros and cons. Weight and bulk typically versus IQ and focus speed/accuracy.
I wanted to go light on this trip and yet I still want a range of focal lengths. I want something small, quick and relatively disposable (the Nikon V1) for my 'grab' camera and I want something with more meat, more flexibility, and yes, better IQ -- the X100s and the XE-1 paired with the 35 and 60. I have always preferred the concept of two cameras with different focal lengths paired together over switching out lenses in the field. Traveling in lightweight mode, it is simply not possible to carry two D800's, which is surely another great benefit to these small little cameras.
It will be a real life experiment with real life images and a real test to see how this all works out. From a bulk standpoint they are collectively almost the size of my D800 with Zeiss lens. From a risk standpoint, they are a fraction of the cost of that kit, which, having destroyed a few D3's on trips, is a relief.
I have also added a few other bits to the kit, just to try and sort out a few answers for myself. The RRS L plate for the X100s gives me a nice grip and a quality L plate all in one modular kit. I have also added the Gorrilla Pod Focus unit mated to a RRS UL ball head. New SanDisk memory cards and a manual cable release fill out the remaining parts.
On a bike note, the Fargo has not arrived, so it will be the Ti Mukluk configured as lightweight as I could set it up. My riding partners are going skinny and I am going Fat -- we will see how this all works out at the end.
Two days and counting so follow along, it is going to be a beautiful ride!!