Looking For Lenses
There is something to be said for the hand feel of a good pro grade DSLR. Strong. Heavy. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and still pull off ten frames a second without breaking a sweat. Confidence is built into this equipment, the confidence to get the job done and done right. But with heft comes weight. Three pound bodies coupled to two pound lenses add up to five pounds of weight my arthritic right arm can no longer sling around with abandon.
Will Crockett and we other Hybrid Heroes over on DiscoverMirrorless.Com have been evangelizing the message to create digital e-products: “The future is hybrid photography.” In this regard, Will, passionate and knowledgable about his subject, is a visionary and, in my opinion, calling this one right. And so, I’ve made the change.
My DSLR days are now over, my photographic needs different, and I’m finding a different way of visualizing how to tell stories that live, move, and breathe. My future as a photographer will be one of shooting a lightweight mirrorless camera and creating digital e-products. Though there will be DSLR’s made for many years to come, I will no longer be one of their customers. In a way, it’s a revisit to my transition from film to digital rewound again, but this time video is simmering slowly into the mix. It’s a bit like getting a sip of that other kind of kool-aid and liking the taste; the call of the wild, the spirit of adventure, the challenge of creating compelling stories…
Last week I decided it was time to pull the trigger and improve my video capture system. For my documentary and reportage style event work there were several decent possible choices:
Canon has recently released their 5D Mark III, the worthy successor to the now historic 5D-II. More than any camera in history, the Canon 5D-II changed forever the way small format video is produced.
Nikon certainly upped their game with the extremely popular D800 & new D4, both of which include good video capability, and both of which come highly recommended by friends.
There is much debate about the Panasonic Lumix GH3. Will it be the DSLR Killer? The Panasonic GH2 was enormously popular for it’s astonishing video. The new GH3 ups the stakes again with still quality equal to the best DSLRs. Hallelujah! It’s about time.
Speaking for myself; my days of hauling around a 50lb. roller bag are over. The last couple of years my working needs have changed and so has my gear. I’ve dumped my Medium Format and my DSLR gear. I’ve even dumped my Leica, but kept the glass. The GH3 is the end of the road, the first camera that can do it all for me. It isn’t perfect, but then Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m still learning to use it.
Here’s a little story – call it a documentary start – four wild and crazy guys navigating the slippery slopes of marketing claims and dodging around the yet unseen corners of mirrorless madness looking for lenses.
– Chuck Jones
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