Sanity check requested: Gear Choices


Hall of Famer
I'm trying to make sense of my camera set-up. Was wondering if anyone would care to comment.

Generally, I shoot for myself, and here are my common situations:
  • Kids activities (need fast and true AF and indoor, low-light)
  • Travel (not as much lately, but two weeks planned this year -- Yellowstone and Cape Cod)
  • Walk-around (for myself -- flowers, interesting things, still life. During the day in good light)
  • Family and Friends (events, candids, portraits, etc. -- mainly for memories).

I've never found an "all in one" for all this so here's what I'm thinking (some of this I have, some of this I don't):
Canon 5D
  • 50/1.8 -- for people shots, low light, in doors, portrait (busts and full body type)
  • 70-210 -- action and kids
  • 17-40 -- indoors group shots. I don't mind the big body if I'm not traveling

  • 14-150 -- no better travel kit, in terms of size/quality/zoom range trade-offs.
  • Oly 17mm -- coming in the mail now. I like the idea of this matched up to my VF1 for fixed-focus street/travel shooting. Maybe replace my 20/1.7, because for indoor shots, I often have my 50mm + 5D, and the 17m should better fit the VF1 and be just as sharp at f/5.6 or 8.0.
  • 50mm 2.0 macro -- macro work, and some walk-about pictures. Reasonable portrait
  • 25mm 1.4 -- just pre-ordered. I have to try this! I love the 50mm equivalent focal length. We'll see how this fits. Maybe it makes my 50/1.8 + 5D less needed!

16mm and 18-55 + FE attachment -- I have this for kids & family shooting (for the fast FPS, reasonable AF and good high ISO) but the NEX3 just doesn't do it for me. There's no connection to that camera for me -- not like my EP1 or 5D. Not sure why. So, I'm thinking maybe of selling it to get a Canon S95 for ultimately "walk-about/travel"

Maybe I'm just talking about loud, but any input is appreciated. What do you think of the idea of adding the S95 to this lot, and maybe letting the NEX go? Or what about the XZ-1 instead of the S95? (I like the brightness of the XZ-1 lens, but the size and built-in lens cap of the S95).


betwixt and between
Real Name
Do you really need three cameras? How about one with interchangeable lenses? Oh, but you don't want to get rid of your E-P1. Hmm. I'm sure you'll get more helpful feedback from others, soon.


Hall of Famer
Well, the IQ and richness of the 5D is unsurpassed, and the AF speed and surety (compared to the EP1) keeps me hanging onto the 5D.

The EP1 is a joy to use

But I am thinking I want a pocket "serious" compact...


betwixt and between
Real Name
I understand many have fallen in love with their E-P1s, I know. The S95 looks good to me, though I haven't met one in person. I'm assuming you've read the front page review here. Ray seems to think his is great and finds it truly pocketable. Perhaps you've already hit on the best approach - sell the NEX 3 and get yourself a pocketable camera.:wink: I know it helps to think out loud.


Ontario, Canada
Real Name
This can be tough. I will share my decisions and a fww thoughts, in the hope that they will leave you wildly confused instead of mildly bewildered :) .

I had a 5D, with 50/1.4, 85/1.8, 70-200L, 17-40L, Flash, etc. Loved it. Great camera. No faults and I agree with your comments on the richness etc.

At the same time, I had a GF1 and 14, 20, 14-45 lenses.

I eventually sold the 5D and associated stuff.

I simply was not using the 5D enough to justify keeping it. I also reached a point where I wanted to simplify and keep things very portable - because I wanted to explore my photography, and push myself in new directions. I have not regretted the decision. I miss having the 5D, and love it's images, but I can't say I miss using it because the GF1 received much more attention, and now gets used on working shoots too.

If I were in your shoes I would consider the following:
1. If you really need a good pocket camera, choose one and get it. if I were buying one today it would be the Olympus - I like the fast lens and it seems very much to be a photographers camera: some pros I respect are keen on it.
2. Wait for the next few months to pass: there are new models coming out in MFT and Nex land. See what happens. Then choose a system and invest into it, and ditch the 5D - the new cameras will match it in autofocus speed, and have more than enough quality.
3. Go and make photographs.
4. Then await the next batch of new gear and wonder what you are missing...

It's so easy to tell others what to do. :biggrin:


Hall of Famer
On the go and make photos idea -- that's a good idea, but as I'm behind a desk during the day, this is a nice break :)

On the 5D -- I have a beat up 5D worth about $800 + 50/1.8 ($100) and a 70-210 USM (about $150). So, I'm only into FF for about $1,000 (less than an X100!). The only difference is that I may get a 17-40, which I've had twice before and really miss. I like the Oly 9-18, but I need the low light ability of f/4.0 on FF (i.e. clean to ISO1600). So, that might put me into FF for $1600, just a few hundred more than a Nokton 25/.095, lol! I'm getting a 17-40 for my Cape Cod week anyway, then I'll decide whether to keep or resell after that.

So, the 5D is safe, but I think I do need to try an S95. The Oly is tempting, but I'd really like something I can literally put in a the same places as my old SD800.

Thanks for helping me think this out loud. This is really what I need! Other thoughts still welcome!


Of course more is better (I should be talking... I have multiple systems as well).


Personally, I wouldn't buy all of them together. Pick one, shoot with it, determine where its limits are or in what situations it doesn't fit, and then shop for something that compliments. if you buy it all together, you are bound to end up with 3 (or more) systems that are simply duplicate of each other.

This is exactly the progression and took naturally without knowing. If you must buy all, I would consider this:

5d: 24L, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 135L, 300 f/4L
E-PL2: Wide range of zooms.


Hall of Famer
I think I'm going to sell the NEX. I prefer the EP1, so if I replace the NEX with an S95, that gives me FF DSLR goodness, a nice mirrorless (I've also pre-ordered the Panny 25/1.4), and a pocket cam. That's a good spread. I'll need to sell the NEX to get an s95 + the 17-40 for my 5D.

Sorry on the X100 -- for me, I just can't justify the price for the fixed lens. I've got the Oly 17mm coming in the mail, and I'm going to shoot for a while with the EP1, 17mm and VF1. If I find I really like that type of shooting, then maybe I'll get the X100!


Hall of Famer
Brisbane, Australia
Real Name
If I had a full frame Canon the 17-40 would be one of the first lenses I would look for. If you don't need to go that wide the 24-105mm f4L IS is also a good choice but I think a bit more expensive than the 17-40. I've used one extensively on my 50D despite having the smaller APS-C sensor.

Country Parson

Top Veteran
North Carolina
Real Name
I'm with Don on the sanity issue. We are all a little off the beam about one thing or another. I told a photographer friend once that I was struggling with lens lust. He replied that there are all kinds of bad forms of lust in the world, but lens lust was not one of them. I agree. :th_salute:
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