I recently had a chance to stretch some dormant photography muscles, during a trip to San Francisco. It was a quick, couple day jaunt and I traveled pretty light. In terms of camera equipment, I packed my Nikon D7000 along with a Nikon 24-70mm. For times requiring more subtlety, I decided on the Panasonic GF1 along with the 20mm pancake. I debated between taking the 24-70 or the 16-35, and actually settled on the wider lens. However, in the rush of the morning, I forgot which lens was on the camera and ran out the door. In retrospect, I think the 24-70 was the right choice.
The D7000 with 24-70 mounted is a monstrosity. Yes, a beautiful combination, in my opinion, but a monstrosity nonetheless. While it doesnâ€™t tire me out during a day of walking around the city, itâ€™s a bit unwieldy, showy, and doesnâ€™t work well inside cramped shops and restaurants. Thatâ€™s where the GF1 + 20mm came into the picture.
Itâ€™s compact enough to fit into an interior pocket of my light jacket. It creates a bulge with its lens protruding, but leaves my hands and neck free. Itâ€™s effortless to get out for a photo. Itâ€™s also far less conspicuous. Itâ€™s not so in-your-face like the 24-70mm. Furthermore, itâ€™s backed up by great image quality and is a pretty useful walk about focal length.
I havenâ€™t followed micro 4/3 news in a while, so when I found out the spiritual successor to my GF1 has arrived in the form of the GX1, I was stoked. I also discovered the wonderful Olympus 12mm f/2.0 and 45mm f/1.8 lenses, which have received glowing reviews. The combination of those two, plus the 20mm, should make for a high quality, small, carry around set. There were some situations where the 20mm alone was a bit constricting. The 12mm and 45mm should solve any inflexibility.
Then, big news came out of Nikon recently. The D800, long waited successor to the D700, was released with a whopping 36MP sensor. I purchased the 16-35mm and 24-70mm with the intention to eventually move to full-frame, but what I was hoping for in a D700 successor was something that focused a bit more on improving high-ISO performance, while moving the resolution bar ahead, slightly. Instead, we have a sensor that is 2.25X the resolution of the D7000 and, get this, 2.25X the size (area). While Iâ€™d be surprised if the D800 doesnâ€™t have better noise performance over the D7000, Iâ€™m not betting itâ€™ll be even a single stop better. Does this mean that I now need a D4 to get what I was looking for? A bit too rich and serious for my blood, I think.
At the same time, I canâ€™t deny the attraction of the D800e for landscape. I wonder if the 16-35 or 24-70 will be outmatched by the resolving power of a LPF-less 36MP sensor. Iâ€™m eagerly awaiting reviews on that one.