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ILC or Bag of Compacts

Discussion in 'Philosophy of Photography' started by drd1135, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I think Philosophy of Photography is the right place for this. Consider two possible kits: an ILC mirrorless body with 3 lenses or 3 fixed lens compacts with large sensors (mu43 or APS-C) at similar focal lengths. I don't think this would work for longer telephoto types like bird watchers, but as a walk around kit it would be fast, the "NY Reload" alternative to zoom lenses. What do y'all think?
     
  2. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Provided the overall size of the compacts is no larger than the ILC+lenses combo, there're no particular features to the ILC that can't be found on the compacts, and I can get along with the compacts' possibly different interfaces without difficulty, I'd go for the compacts.
     
  3. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    All things being equal as far as weight goes.. I'm thinking one camera with 3 lenses so you can really bond with the system rather than three cameras that you have to remember the menus of, the button configuration, your customizations relative to each...
     
  4. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    I have no opinion on what would suit you, lol -- my sig shows my choices.

    However, I love the idea of a "bag of compacts". It gave me this vision of a different type of "street photographer". I see a disheveled guy with a battered brown paper bag full of cameras wandering around aimlessly and occasionally rummaging in the bag, pulling one out and taking a photo of something -- then wandering off talking to himself.

    I know, I know... I should get help, lol.
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'd rather change a camera than a lens, so that's what I tend to do. On my trip to Italy over the past month I had three fixed lens compacts (could have been two but I had a loaner along as well at the same focal length as one of mine) and two ILC's, but basically never changed any lenses. The fixed lens compacts covered my two most used focal lengths (RX1 at 35mm and the Nikon "A" and Sigma DP1M at 28mm - I'd ordinarily only have taken one of the 28mm cams). I had a Fuji XE1 with the 14mm wide angle on it and that's the only lens I brought for it, so it stayed on the camera full time - essentially another fixed lens camera. I also brought the OMD with three lenses, but I basically kept the 75mm on it about 99.9% of the time. I stuck the 9-18 on there for a handful of shots one afternoon and I brought the body cap lens, but all it did was serve as the body cap. So essentially the OMD was a fixed lens with a 150mm equivalent. So, leave aside the second 28mm fixed lens and the OMD I pretty much just used with one lens and I had four fixed lens cameras covering a range of focal lengths. That said, I rarely carry all of that while I shoot. I usually had one camera with me, period. A couple of times I went out with two and twice on long day trips I took along three - never more than that. And except for the one time I stuck the 9-18 on the OMD, I never changed a lens. That works for me, but everyone has their own tolerances and preferences...

    -Ray
     
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I like the idea of 3 compacts......much quicker than changing lenses, so long as you can keep the interfaces straight. The 3 Sigmas would work. I often go out with 2 ILCs each with a prime lens attached and use them in that fashion.
     
  7. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Philosophically, this is an interesting nugget to chew over.

    My first instincti is to say one camera, two or three lenses, but I am aware that I frequently slip in an "extra". Sometimes it is a film Leica (M2 or II) for the pleasure of use. Mostly my GR sits in a belt pouch and gets taken along regardless of what else I am carrying. When I go out for the day "with intent" and carefully think about what I am likely to encounter and photograph I tailor my choices accordingly. BUT I never take more than one fixed focal length compact, be it film or digital, and I can never remember a time when I have, other than as backup on a long trip.
     
  8. Covey22

    Covey22 SC Top Veteran

    658
    Feb 3, 2012
    Not sure that I'd go with the bag of compacts - we're assuming you bought the compacts regardless of commonality and the only compelling reason was the focal length they provide. That's different batteries, chargers and interfaces. The latter factor alone will be a good cause of lost shots due to "switchology" errors. :biggrin:

    A better compromise might be two ILCs from the same maker - pick your two favorite focal lengths and keep the third for a quick change. Same interface, same settings, you pick up one, you can manipulate it from muscle memory alone.
     
  9. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Ah, but...

    One of the reasons I got rid of my X100 was that it was too similar to my X-E1 and X10, and yet with quirks of its own that made it morelikely that I should screw up my settings in a hurry rather than less. Today I happily carry my GR alongside my X-E1 because the interfaces are so different that I do not make the small (turn indicator on the wrong side of the steering wheel-type) boo-boos. If I carry two, they have to be different enough for me not to be lulled into a false sense of competence. That said, I have happily carried two very different Leica Ms - M2 and M7 - without getting my gadget bag in a bundle, so...
     
  10. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Adding that I do like a backup body of some kind. When my dlsr lcd went I had nothing but my cellphone for over a month and while it taught me to be creative about getting a shot, you know.. quality etc.. I lost things too. Optimum I would want a camera with some lenses and then whatever my favored focal length was, a fixed lens compact. Two is not too many!
     
  11. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    That's an excellent point. I have many times been fooled by similar cameras that have just enough difference to mess me up.
     
  12. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    I'm in the three compacts camp - definitely

    Ray, out of interest what do you think your proportional use between the cameras was?
     
  13. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    In recent months my DSLR has stayed home, and I've been the bag of compacts person. You see them in my sig.
     
  14. jloden

    jloden SC Veteran

    266
    Jun 30, 2012
    Jay
    I've done it and it can work, but I will say I find that when I shoot multiple compacts I find I tend to stick to one camera most of the time. For example this weekend I was shooting the X-E1 with 35mm (and 55-200mm) alongside the X100S. I found that I shot mostly on the X-E1 and just sort of forgot the X100S was there until I wanted to go wider. Conversely, I could just as easily have gotten in the groove of shooting with the X100S' 35mm equivalent and forgotten I had the X-E1 in the bag unless I needed a telephoto :smile:

    That aside, I agree with comments about switching between cameras to be a little confusing, especially if they're similar bodies. The two Fujis in particular are really similar, but just different enough to throw me off at times.

    I could see carrying multiple compacts with different focal lengths, but I'd want them to be far enough apart focal ranges (e.g. a 28mm and 35mm probably would be a little too close for my tastes). Likewise, ideally they'd offer unique features to make it worth carrying separate cameras versus 2 ILC bodies and lenses. That could be a built-in flash unit, sensor differences, leaf shutter (for fast flash sync), viewfinder, tilt screen, ND filter, etc.
     
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Interesting points. I was thinking of the same brand like the the 3 Sigmas. A GR with a 25, 50 and 90 equivalent. No interface issues, although you may have to color them so you'd grab the right one.:smile:
     
  16. Maczero

    Maczero SC Regular

    30
    Mar 19, 2013
    Fife, Scotland
    Andrew
    I've occasionally been working with a Sigma DP1X and DP2 pair. Nice and small and in many ways easier than faffing around changing lenses (after all, why do pros have more than one body?). So, if I am cycling and anticipate a mix of street and landscape photography they work well. If you try (e.g.) bird photography as well then you need to change strategies, but for a lot of what I do it is a viable approach.

    Andrew

    P.S. I have the benefit of the same interface with this approach as well.
     
  17. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I like how different lenses look on different sensors, so my preference is multiple ILCs with multiple lenses. I hate the idea of never knowing how a camera would work with a different focal length.
     
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Interesting question. I just checked and it worked out about as I'd have guessed. Of the roughly 2500 shots I kept with at least the possibility of processing them (I only ended up processing a pretty small percentage of those, but I consider these worth keeping), the RX1 got more use than any of them (37%), but when you combine the two 28mm cams, they got the most, although not by all that much. The Nikon got about 31% and the Sigma about 10%, so a total of about 41%. So if I hadn't had the Sigma loaner along, the Nikon likely would have had the most, followed fairly closely by the RX1. The XE1 with the 14mm (13%) and the OMD (7%) lagged far far behind (but I'm glad I had them there for those times when nothing else would do)...

    -Ray