I nearly bought a mirrorless camera
In the past, new gear has always gained my attention, I mean, why not? Who doesn’t love fancy new toys? Who doesn’t enjoy opening up a box containing the latest and greatest camera?
I was on the verge of buying a new mirrorless camera recently, the Nikon Z6 to be exact, to be used as my main landscape photo camera. The autofocus on the new generation Nikon Z cameras are not good enough yet for fast-motion tracking like birds in flight, so I would still use a DSLR camera for wildlife. But for landscapes, I was liking what the Z6 had to offer.
I currently use a Nikon D850 for all of my photography, its the best camera I have ever owned and it literally does everything well! But, its built like a tank, its heavy, big, the lenses are heavy and being a hiker, weight is an important factor to consider. I like the high resolution of the D850, but I find 24 megapixels to be more than enough for my needs, hence the reason for the Z6 over the higher resolution Z7.
The size and weight benefit of the Z6 over the D850 was the main driving force into getting this new camera. Below you can see the size difference…
The comparison in weight is quite significant. The Z6 with 24-70 f4 lens incl battery and 1x XQD card is 1181 grams. The D850 with 16-35 f4 VR incl battery and 1x XQD card is 1728 grams. Therefor the Z6 / 24-70 combo is 547 grams lighter.
But is that going to make such a big difference? Would I notice a weight saving of 500 odd grams if I am carrying 20kg’s already?
Don’t get me wrong, every gram does count when hiking or backpacking, but a 500 gram saving costing as much as a new Z6 is not worth it at all in my opinion. There are many other far more cheaper ways of saving weight than through camera gear. And besides, I would rather spend the money I was going to use on the new mirrorless camera on a trip instead. At the end of the day gear is not important (to a certain extent) - its the experiences that are! I would rather have newer images in my portfolio and have that heavier camera!
I tested out the Nikon Z6 before I made any decisions and I really liked it. I love the electronic viewfinder (EVF) and I did enjoy the smaller size and weight but those are the only real benefits I experienced.
One day, I will buy a mirrorless camera, perhaps in 3-5 years once my D850 doesn’t fulfil my needs or if a new camera really offers me something worth upgrading for, but until then, the D850 is one heck of a camera, the best I have ever owned and I will continue to use it, to hike with it and hopefully take some amazing images with it.
I’ve grown a lot as a photographer over the years, I went through the phases of always wanting new gear, and if I had just one word of advice for anyone reading this, rather spend the money on experiences with the camera you already own, rather than chasing new gear!
Until next time - MD