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To upgrade or not to upgrade that is the question?


JAH
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This is a continuance from Damo's editing page. As we were discussing should we be upgrading to mirrorless when you have a camera such as a D4s.  My D4s is a hangover from my sports days.  I have taken all round the world and not once has let me down.  But its big and as Im getting older its heavy. And now if I do surfing photos I have a 400mm 2.8 hangin off it and its...heavier!  I like the reviews on the Z9 but its still a big camera compared to say the Sony A series of cameras.  I also have a Nikon D850 which I take travelling now as its smaller and in this day an age not as conspicuous.

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I have the same setup. Minus the 400 2.8. But I do have the Nikon f/2.8 "Trinity," so I totally get the weight thing. I also bought a D850 due to the D4s being such a "Wow!" camera. My wife and I take Bus Trips and Group Tours, and everyone ogled my D4s and would say, "That's a NICE Camera! It's so huge! It must take awesome photos!!" It was at the end of one of these trips that my Wife and I were walking in Las Vegas, around the Strat Tower, I had my D4s, 24-70 f/2.8 hanging by my side and were walking down a dark road. I thought to myself, "This is really stupid. I have $8000+ of gear out in the open, on a dark side street, I'm such an idiot." So I bought a D850 due to it being "smaller."

I actually held a new Z9 about 3 weeks ago. A camera shop in Kentucky had one and the owner let me try it out. It's nothing like a D4s or a D850. There are no buttons on the left side, everything is on the right, which at first felt "unbalanced." It feels reminiscent of a Pro-body, but more like a piece of electronic equipment now than a camera. Hard to describe but "Plasticy" comes to mind. I guess it's the way of things now, gone are the days of a SLR and DSLR. It is a tad lighter than a D4s, but not as light as a D850, it's somewhere in between. If you want lightweight, you are looking at a Z6II or Z7. But going that low is going to feel like shooting with a toy; I get it.

Looking in the viewfinder you have way more information than you used to. It's distracting. Also if you pan a lot and shoot action and sports, (like surfing,) the digital display WILL take getting used to. Remember, you are looking at a little "TV" inside the viewfinder and I found it distracting panning and then stopping and having the viewfinder's scan lines "catch up." It was like a half second delay. Using the Diopter and really fine-tuning your viewfinder is something that you will want to concentrate on if you get a Z9. I'm thinking with a Z9, you rely more on the advanced focusing systems making the decisions for you, and not so much as the single point stuff.

But you know what I found out the most after handling the Z9...i was sad that I didn't want one. It's such a let down, practically the whole world regards Mirrorless Pro Bodies like it's the Second Coming of Christ. I really wanted to leave the camera store with me lusting after one, and that didn't happen.

One thing to keep in mind, and I don't care what you are told, is if you switch over to Mirrorless, you will want to purchase all new glass to go with it. Sure, current lenses will work with the adapter and are sometimes sharper as the focusing system is modern, but to get all of the features of a Mirrorless Pro Body, you are going to want S Lenses. But I'm in the minority, though I'm seeing this opinion more-and-more from Photographers who have switched. It seems they end up within 6 months buying all new lenses. :D  So add that to the cost.

In the end, I'm in the same situation, and I'm not sure what to tell you. Personally, I've thought about getting a D6 next. One thing I can recommend is maybe you should invest in a solid Monopod and like a RRS BH-40 to help with the weight of the 400 2.8.

Nikon is also rumored to release a Z8 this spring, what's holding things up now is due to the ongoing chip-shortage and parts shortages.

 

 

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Yes agree we what you have said.  I have a strong monopod that I have used for years, its not the monopod its carry everything down the the side of a cliff/hill.  I doubt I will change to mirrorless any time soon as the D850 it still a pretty good travel camera.

 

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