How much weight are you willing to carry around with you
No camera, no pictures
Especially if you carry them around all day. And while newer mirrorless cameras can be made somewhat lighter, it is usually the lenses that dominate the weight. Do not forget that smaller numbers (it is only a light 200 gram lens) add up when you start carrying a few of them.
Everybody is different, some are both willing and fit enough to walk around with two cameras, extra batteries and a couple of extra lenses with them all day when on a trip. While some look at the camera bag, and start thinking, I'll take it next time.
And this is not only when you are going somewhere exotic, but what you are willing to have with you when you quickly go out for a walk as well.
Whenever you are considering if you want to buy, look at the weight first. Take your backpack and for every half a kilo add another water bottle to it to feel the additional weight. Considering that Cellphones are good enough for most of your needs, it is actually a very fair question to ask if the additional weight is worth it. Of course this is only true for Amateur photography, if you earn money with it, you do what you have to do.
I enjoy taking pictures of animals, and I ended up getting the Nikon 200-500 which is a great zoom. But it also weighs more than 2 kilos. If you have that lens on, what you can photograph is certainly limited, so I usually carry a second camera (maybe with a 35mm) just in case. No matter how you look at it, you will be lugging several kilos around with you. If this is a hike that takes a few hours you will probably regret your choice, I did that a lot of times.
So a lot of times I end up taking my Nikon 70-300 instead, which is around 750 grams, not the lightest, but much more compact and friendlier to carry than the larger zoom. Is it the same, no. Are there pictures that I wish I had the additional range from 300 to 500, very rarely.
On a casual day, I would usually take one camera with me and usually with a lighter lens.
On a more serious trip, I like carrying two bodies, one either with a macro or a long zoom the other a wider lens, usually a prime, or sometimes the Nikon 10-24. That is easily around 2-2.5 kilos of equipment hanging around my neck, and while I am too stubborn and keep on doing this, I do not recommend it to everyone.
I also have my challenge days, where I just choose one lens and say today we only use this one. These are usually for local/daily trips.
- Cellphones are good enough for most of your needs, I'm serious.
- Consider using APS-C systems. Both cameras and more importantly lenses are lighter.
- A universal zoom can replace a bag full of lenses if you want to remain flexible
- If you are more experienced, Prime lenses are lighter to carry.
- A car obviously changes the equation somewhat allowing you to carry more. Still consider what you are taking with you when you go out. I have been on trips where my big heavy zoom stayed in the car for the entire trip.
These pages are for Amateur Photographers and not really for seasoned photographers and professionals. I have no affiliation or commercial interest with any brand/make. I write from my own experience. I ended up using mainly Nikon, so I am more familiar with this brand than others. See price for notes on pricing as well as photography related links.