Planning For The Future

Recently, I unloaded a butt-load of camera gear. All DSLR stuff. Two camera bodies, five lenses, my spare kit for the most part. I figured that I wasn’t using this gear and it would be best to sell it off for top dollar while the used DSLR market was still hot.

I’ve kept my Nikon D850 and D810, along with 6 lenses, most of which are f/2.8 and my kit’s image quality is about as good as it can get for the time being. The camera gear selloff was more or less to build up my war chest for when the time comes to upgrade. I’m not there yet, but it’s obvious to me that at some point I’ll have to leave the DSLR’s behind and move on into the world of mirrorless cameras.

While I haven’t made a decision on exactly where I will be going, part of my thinking is that I want to add medium format to my kit. Fuji, Pentax, Hassleblad, Phase One, all make nice medium format systems, but by the time I make my move in a couple of years, everything that is on the market today will probably be outdated so I’ll just bide my time making due with the two high resolution DSLR’s I currently have.

I’ll miss my Nikon D750 and D500, both of which served me well over the years. The reason for getting rid of them was more or less related to image resolution. I just do not see me staying in the 20-24 megapixel range with future cameras. I like the high resolution bodies and medium format moves the image quality up a notch from full frame 35mm format images.

I know several photographers who have bought in to the Sony mirrorless system, and by today’s standards, the Sony ICL mirrorless bodies are probably the most popular at the moment. My thinking always takes me to the question of do I need to switch camera brands. In two years, I’ll have the answer. In the meantime, I need to start saving my pennies so I can afford it, which ever brand I choose. I know it won’t be cheap.

Still, looking at the current crop of mirrorless cameras, none of them are really producing an image quality that is better than the Nikon D850. The real difference is in the optical quality of the lenses. While my current F mount lenses are about as good at they can be for my DSLR’s, the newer mirrorless lenses from all major brands are beginning to move ahead of the older DSLR lenses in optical performance. That’s the real pivot point in my opinion. When I have a selection of native lenses available for mirrorless that allows me to do what I’m doing now, it will be time to start the process. It’s getting close to that point now, but it’s not there yet.

For this reason, I have some thought that it may be practical for me to stay with Nikon and use the FTZ adapter with my F mount lenses on a newer Nikon mirrorless camera until I have a better solution. Bridge the gap, so to speak. It would be far more expense for me to just dump everything I have and switch to Canon or Sony. At least with Nikon, I have a path forward that won’t drain my bank account overnight.

Resolution wise, I’ll want to stay in the 40+ megapixel range and crop sensor bodies will not be part of the equation moving forward.

Right now we have the Nikon 7Z II and Z9 at my disposal, though neither of which is actually available to buy at the moment as they are either on back order or haven’t even been released yet. In two years, I’ll probably be looking at the cameras that are added to the Nikon lineup or the upgrades to what is current. Notice, there is a gap in the Nikon nomenclature.  We have the Z7 and Z9, which implies that there is room for a Z8. While I don’t have a crystal ball, it’s obvious there’s a gap for some reason, and I’m thinking it will be something along the lines of a upgraded D850 with a high megapixel sensor only in mirrorless and probably shutterless format, in a body that is smaller than the Z9. I don’t need a brick for a camera, so I’m hopeful that Nikon will fill that gap with the camera I want to move to. If they don’t, I’ll fill the gap by switching brands. I’m not loyal to any one camera company beyond who has what I need to do the things I want. One of the big selling points of mirrorless is the reduction in weight and the removal of mechanical failure points. Mirrorless does that, partially, but the Z9 is probably leading the pack by removing the mechanical shutter and going to a full electronic shutter, and I foresee future mirrorless cameras following that path, so what we have out there now is most likely obsolete too.

Just a few thoughts. Things are changing and the future is becoming more clear by the day.