I am (primarily) a landscape photographer and soon will be headed off to a landscape photographer’s paradise. If you missed it, I’m going to New Zealand very soon for some hard core hiking and photographing. So, as someone who has had the opportunity to shoot with his fair share of gear, I’ve been contemplating the question of what kind of camera kit to pack.
On the one hand, I’m going to want supreme excellence in terms of image quality. I don’t expect that I’ll ever again have the chance to shoot Milford Sound, Fraz Josef Glacier or Te Anau… and so having a great capture sensor and all the trimmings, along with capable glass, a sturdy tripod, etc…. are all musts.
But then again, size and weight are a major consideration. I want to travel very, very light and because I’m going to be hiking through some possibly rigorous conditions, I don’t want to be overburdened with excess poundage.
Because the South Island of New Zealand contains rain forests, I’m hearing that many of the places I’ll see will be wet. Rain is typically in the forecast. So, having something tough and weather resistant is critical.
Finally, there is the cost factor. Having an ultra-wide prime or zoom is a must for the landscape shooting ops but unfortunately the mirrorless wides are all very expensive ($700 and up) while it’s possible to spend half as much on such lenses for traditional DSLRs.
After much consideration, I’ve narrowed it down to:
- Pentax K5 DSLR – one of my all time favorites systems, on the lighter side for a DSLR, great (Sony 16mp) sensor and heroic weather sealing.
- Nikon D7000 – ah… the old standby, great image quality as it has the same Sony sensor as the Pentax, moderate weather sealing, some sweet glass, and is a lighter tow.
- Olympus E-M5 – small, light, sealed, good image quality (even if a hair worse than the two above), but expensive wide options.
- Sony NEX 6 – small, light, way cool. No sealing and expensive (and technically not even available yet, as of this writing) wide options. Threw this one in just for fun.
- Nikon D600 – the ultimate driving machine but a weighty beast.
Which would you take?