After the drop heard round the world happened and I got the nerve to purchase new gear, I decided to make the giant leap to change my whole system to micro four-thirds.
At the time, that decision was based on one important factor — money. Now, after almost four years of shooting mirrorless, that decision is backed with the size and quality of the gear.
Let’s just cut to the truth. I wasn’t financially prepared for the drop. I had no money saved up for any sort of emergency. Not a single cent.
Now that alone could and probably should be another article but we are going to ignore it for now. My budget was $2000. That $2000 came from the insurance company in place of my dropped camera body.
I knew I was not going to be able to replace my Nikon D610 (B&H | Amazon) with another D610. Let alone anything from the Nikon lineup at the time, unless I wanted to go old or used. Nikon’s prices were and are just too high for me.
That’s when I started to really look into the mirrorless systems. I had previously tested out the Lumix Gx8 a couple of months prior, for about four days.
A local camera store was running a contest. They were letting you take the Gx8 and three lenses home. Use the gear and then enter one of the images that you took during that time into this contest. If you won you got the gear for free.
I thought at the time, “sure why not, I need some backup gear.” Clearly, I didn’t win the contest but I knew from that experience and with talking with fellow author, Levi Sim, a former Lumix ambassador, that the Gx8 was in my price range.
I started to do some more digging into their line up and realized I could purchase the Gx8 and a lens. Maybe even more than one. I ended up purchasing the Gx8, 15mm f/1.7, 25mm f/1.7, 42.5mm f/1.7 and the 30mm f/2.8 — all of which cost me less than $2000 so I was able to put the rest into savings.
The Nikon AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G (B&H | Amazon) was $596.95! My 30mm f/2.8 lens, which has an equivalent field of view, cost just $397.99. If I would have bought the same lineup of lenses from Nikon, my total for them alone would have been upwards of $3000. I saved a huge chunk of money and got faster prime lenses.
I have been shooting with that same gear for almost four years now and I have no intention of going back. Not only do I think the price point is amazing but the fact that all of my lenses are prime is incredible.
That said, I don’t think a prime lens is always necessary — you don’t need a prime lens in your kit. I didn’t own a prime lens before my Lumix purchase. However, I think of prime lenses like this. No one really needs to drive a Tesla. A Ford, Chevy or Nissan car can get you to that same location just as safely. You just might not feel as cool or have to stop as frequently as if you were driving the Tesla. :)
You get my point, right? Having prime lenses gives you just a little bit more edge when it comes to your photography. It allows you to be able to push that envelope a bit more.
My final reason and the biggest reason for being a mirrorless lover is the weight. I consider myself to be somewhat of a fit person. I exercise weekly, I eat healthy and am constantly chasing kids around all day. One of those tiny humans is carried around in a car seat a lot of the time. So I feel like I can handle carrying a bunch of camera gear around.
The first day that I took my little K&F Concepts Small DSLR Camera Backpack stuffed full with my new gear to set I was shocked at how light my bag was. My biggest lens is 2.31-by-2.5 inches and weighs only 6.35 ounces. OUNCES! My Gx8 body is 0.84 pounds.
Nikon doesn’t even make gear that lightweight. My back and arms have never been more grateful.
If you are wanting gear that is lightweight, extremely affordable and incredibly powerful you should look into going mirrorless. Everyone else is! :)