My reaction to holding the Nikon 500 F/5.6 PF for the first time was basically the same one I had with the 300 F/4 PF. The lens seems impossibly small and light for what it is – a 500mm full-frame super telephoto no bigger than a 70-200mm F/2.8.
While the lens doesn’t offer anything remarkably new in terms of focal length or maximum aperture, it does offer a high magnification, professional-grade, full frame super telephoto lens with a reasonably bright aperture of F/5.6 in an impressively small form-factor. As someone who likes to hike out in the wilderness to find subjects, I was immediately intrigued and saw the potential in this lens.
The first reaction I had when handling the S1 and S1R for the first time at a local camera event earlier this year was “wow, these cameras are large and heavy”. The S1 and S1R are a hair smaller than my Nikon D850 dimensionally, but also over 200 grams heavier. The Panasonic S cameras are therefore considerably larger than most other full frame mirrorless cameras, and the system’s lenses are, in general, as heavy or heavier than comparable DSLR lenses. This didn’t stop me from wanting to try one.
Choosing what gear to bring with you to any new destination is a daunting process. If you are like me, you’ve spent your time pouring through forums trying to glean information about what types of camera gear to bring. In preparation for my trip to the forests and rainforests of Madagascar, I opted to bring a lot of gear to cover many bases (a lot of which, unsurprisingly, I did not use that much). In retrospect, I would have downsized my kit. For this trip, I had with me the following:
In the past year, the world has witnessed a steady stream of full-frame mirrorless camera releases. We’ve got a full suite of Sony Alpha full-frame mirrorless cameras (with more, including the A7R IV on the way), and newcomers including the Nikon Z, Canon R, and Panasonic S series. I can imagine someone interested in purchasing a serious camera for the first time would naturally gravitate towards these full frame models, if for no other reason than these cameras are getting the lions share of marketing attention. A bigger sensor must be better, right?