Saturday, 10 December 2016

Can You Have Too Many Cameras

Several years ago my main camera was a Nikon D3200 with a Nikon 18-55mm lens. I was perfectly happy with this camera until my photographic requirements moved on.
Nikon D3200 18-55mm lens
I'd moved onto the Nikon D3200 from a simple point and shoot camera as well as moving more into digital photography. By this time I was uploading videos to YouTube and adding a few photos to Flickr! I was also giving much more thought to the photos that I was using in my blog posts. Any adjustments to images using image editing software was at an absolute minimum though. It wasn't too much different from having them developed except that now they came ready developed when they were downloaded from the camera and there was no waiting involved.
Dent Head Viaduct Nikon D3200 18-55mm lens
I'll blame the RSPB for a change in my requirements as we decided to join the Society and visit some of their reserves around the country. For general landscape photography my D3200 was fine and I'd no issues with the quality of the images I got from it. However, trying to photograph birds with a 55mm lens isn't going to work unless the birds are unusually close. I decided that a zoom lens was need and didn't give much thought to anything else other than needing a fairly high powered zoom lens.

I added a Sigma 50-500mm zoom lens.
Sigma 50-500mm zoom lens
It takes some good pictures if you can manage to hold the camera steady. The lens weighs in at a whopping 2.040kg or 4.5 lbs. I took it with me on any visits where I thought a 500mm lens would be useful.
RSPB Old Moor Nikon D3200  Sigma 50-500mm zoom lens
It wasn't something I carried about on the off chance of catching a suitable scenario. I looked around on the Internet and came across super zoom bridge cameras. One of these might be just what I was looking for. I was back to carrying around one camera that had a lens to suit all my requirements. The Panasonic FZ 1000 weighs in at 0.870kg (1.92 lbs) compared to 2.6kg (5.7 lbs) for the Nikon D3200 with its 50-500mm zoom lens attached.

My Panasonic FZ1000 and its zoom lens ranging from 25mm to 400mm, for me, covered all eventualities.
Panasonic Lumix FZ 1000 with 25-400mm zoom lens
Panasonic FZ 1000 - Harlow Carr July 2015
Panasonic FZ 1000 - Harlow Carr July 2015
I began to take more video and I began to look around to see if other cameras would be more suited to my needs.   I decided to upgrade if that's the correct term to a Panasonic GH4 mainly for its 4k and general video recording qualities. It doesn't get any rave reviews for its still image qualities but so far I've no complaints.
Panasonic GH4 with 14-140mm zoom lens
It came with a downside though. Unlike the FZ1000 the GH4 has an interchangeable lens and having discovered that the 14mm-140mm zoom didn't entirely meet my requirements I added a 100-300mm zoom lens to my kit. For comparison purposes my GH4 with 100-300mm zoom lens weighs in at 1.14kg or 2.5lbs not too bad for carrying around.
Panasonic GH4 with 100-300mm zoom lens
I had rather unwittingly returned to my old problem of which lens to use. I am now able to carry both GH4 lenses around with me but it's more a question of having the right one on the camera at the right time. If I'm walking around a nature reserve then more than likely I need to have my long zoom lens attached to the camera. I then might see a nice landscape view of the reserve which needs a wide angle lens and I have to stop and change over lenses.
Clumber Park Panasonic GH4 with 100-300mm zoom lens
Thorp Perrow Arboretum Panasonic GH4 with 14-140 mm zoom lens
Not too much hassle in summer but on a bitterly cold winter's day not ideal. I started to get around this problem by using my camera phone to take any landscape type shots. Camera phones can take pretty good images and I was happy with the results I was getting. I've now discovered that my Nikon D3200 with its 18-55mm lens will fit in my camera bag with my Panasonic GH4 and lenses. Perhaps I'll manage to carry them all around with me on some occasions but that mighty hefty 50-500mm lens will be staying at home.


  1. I got round the problem with a lowepro lens changing bag that fits round the hip or over the shoulder it's possible to change lenses without letting go of the camera the bag has two pockets I use it to photo weddings

    1. Sound like a good idea David. I might have to invest in a new camera bag.

  2. A new take on an old problem! Since getting my digital spy camera (Canon IXUS 70) I have been quite happy. I got a present of a Digital SLR but after struggling to adapt to it have fallen back on my now old reliable. I guess that's why my pictures are snaps and yours are photographs! Watch out though I could yet invest the time in return for the quality pay off.

    1. I still think of mine as snaps rather than photographs. I sometimes get lucky with the snap!


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