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My Decision Is Made...I'm Taking The Lumix GH3!
The decision of which camera to take trekking this summer has been made. The Panasonic Lumix GH3 has won out. Weight, size and carry-ability were the key determinants. I've decided on using a Holdfast wrist strap to attach the camera to my backpack. I also picked up the Holdfast accessory clip that screws into the tripod mount. The nice thing about this setup is that I can raise the camera to my eyes to shoot, without the need for another camera strap hanging around my neck or shoulders. If I want to release the camera from the strap, it's a simple release of a metal clamp. I have tried out this setup on our recent training hikes and it worked perfectly with the GH3. With the D800 it was a different story. My arm kept bumping and rubbing against the D800. At the end of a 6.5 mile hike, the weight of the D800 was becoming noticeable.
I have really struggled with this decision. I do love shooting with my Nikon gear, but when you're walking 9 miles a day, day in and day out, the extra weight is an issue. The GH3 with the 12-35mm f/2.8 Panasonic lens weighs 2 pounds. The D800 with the 28mm f/1.8 prime lens is a pound heavier. That one pound makes a big difference when it's hanging off your backpack. The other main issue for ease of carrying is camera dimensions. The D800 with the 28mm prime lens is about an inch deeper and half an inch wider than the GH3 with the 12-35mm zoom lens. The extra area of the D800 put it in the way when hanging from the Holdfast strap.
While I'm at it, I'd like to put a plug in for the Holdfast wrist strap system. When I'm out shooting, I tend to keep the camera in my right hand, so a wrist strap system makes a lot of sense for me. I wanted a leather strap for the comfort and metal fasteners for the durability. When I saw the Holdfast system I thought I'd found just the right wrist strap. So far I must say I'm quite pleased with the Holdfast wrist strap. The accessory clip mounts securely to the tripod mount and has shown no inclination to come loose. The metal fastener is a thing of beauty.
I do realize that I am making a bit of a tradeoff with image quality by going with the GH3. However, the image quality of the GH3 is excellent, especially at ISOs lower than 3200, which is where the vast majority of my shooting will be on this trip. I have done some recent side-by-side comparisons between my GH3 and the D800 to satisfy myself that I will be happy with the decision to take the GH3.
No, I'm not dumping all my Nikon gear, but I do think I'm headed down the path of making the GH3 my travel camera.
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