There have always been basically two different types of camera equipment – professional and non-professional. The gaps between those two are closing so quickly these days there are cameras that not only blur the line but rub that line away. I would now reclassify cameras to fit different needs beyond professional or not. For me, I am looking for high quality, full frame and reasonably high megapixel stills cameras that also shoot full frame 4k video. There are about 20 other minor things that I also want but those are the few major ones that are make or break for me. Unfortunately, I’d also like light weight but they don’t tend to exist yet. Yet.
I’ve been a Nikon shooter my entire life. I started with the D200 as a professional and am now shooting with the D810. I love this camera and it’s still images are just about the best in any camera I’ve seen. Additionally, finally to I might add, the video quality is also really good. It’s still only 1080p which for the work I do isn’t good enough. If the replacement to the D810 which is rumoured to be coming out in 2017 ends up having excellent, 4K video and some other extras I’m waiting on (tilt screen, WiFi, GPS, in camera stabilisation) then I’ll stick with Nikon and buy it. If it doesn’t have those things then I’m jumping ship. For someone that’s made a living with this gear and spent a lot of money on this system that’s an enormous deal.
My Current Equipment
I’ve already said I’m a Nikon D810 shooter and honestly, this is a phenomenal camera. It wouldn’t kill to be a little smaller but in the end the lenses I shoot with they’d have to be lighter too for it to make any difference. Here’s a list of what gear makes it on just about every trip of mine:
- Nikon D810
- Rokinon (or Samyang, they’re exactly the same) 14mm 2.8 lens
- Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8 lens
- Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 lens
- Panasonic GH4 with 12-35mm 2.8 lens – I use this solely for video in 4k. If the Nikon D810 shot 4k video as well as this then I wouldn’t take this at all. HINT HINT NIKON.
- Peak Design Leash Strap – I also have the Peak Design Anchor Link system which connects to the Peak Design Bags I have and the strap. It’s very versatile and replaces my Black Rapid Strap which was great, but HUGE.
- Peak Design Everyday Backpack – Not perfect, but as close as I’ve found so far
- Manfrotto BeFree Video Tripod – This thing is fantastic! Lightweight, allows stills and video and packs up super small. The best tripod I’ve ever found and it’s cheap. It replaced my $1500 Really Right Stuff kit and I haven’t looked back.
- LOTS OF SD AND CF CARDS. LOTS OF THEM. I use SanDisk and buy the fastest cards available. One 128GB card generally allows me to shoot all day without needing to swap them out. I have one SD and one CF card at that size and then swap them each day.
- Sensor Gel Stick – this thing is a godsend! If you don’t have one, buy one right now.
- There are tons of other smaller things I take with me but you can find them all in the miscellaneous section.
My Ideal Camera Kit
I’ve shown you what I have currently and to be honest it’s as close to perfect as I’ve found. I can shoot some of the best still images on the planet with the D810 and high quality, 4k footage on the GH4 with some of the D810’s 1080p footage to supplement it when needed. Ultimately, I want the D810 replacement to come out with in body image stabilisation and GOOD quality full frame 4k and I’ll stay with Nikon. If it disappoints, which most people are suggesting is going to happen, then my next system will be one of three options.
- Sony A99ii
- Sony A Mount 16mm 2.8 lens OR the 16-35mm 2.8 lens
- Sony 24-70mm 2.8 lens
- Sony 70-200mm 2.8 lens
This would solve just about all my current issues and I would have only one camera to worry about. I would probably buy this right now but I’ve seen reviews where the video footage isn’t as crash hot as was anticipated so I’m waiting to see first.
- Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
- M.Zuiko 7-14mm 2.8 lens
- M.Zuiko 12-40mm 2.8 lens
- M.Zuiko 40-150mm 2.8 lens
If this was full frame I’d almost buy this right now and be done with it. It almost solves every issue I have in one camera but Olympus never make full frame cameras! That’s almost a deal breaker to me but I’m looking at testing one perhaps and will make my mind up soon.
- Wait for the replacement Sony A7rii
The A7rii is almost the camera I want it to be but has a few issues that keep me from moving over. Should the replacement come out this year and be the camera most think it will be then I’m probably sold and will move to this system. There is possibly a 4th option with the new Panasonic GH5 coming out. I love the look of that and it may be up to the quality of the Olympus. I’ll continue to keep an eye out on that!
Ultimately for me, I would love the Nikon D810 replacement to come out with higher megapixel, in camera stabilisation, great quality 4k full frame video and higher frame rate. If they manage to pull that off then the rest I’m ok without. If they can’t add all of those then I’m moving systems, and most likely to the Sony A99ii or Sony A7rii. To me they’re just about the best cameras on the planet right now.