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    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    New Hampshire, USA

    2019 - What Was Used

    So, I am more doing this as tradition and general curiosity anymore. For years I would look look at what gear I was using and decide if something should be purged and, more importantly, what I wanted to add. Well, a full decade after buying my first DSLR and I pretty much am all set with my kit. The very few exceptions where I might want something in the future are more about what I might want to shoot someday (astro etc) vs what I am currently shooting.

    But, it is still fun and interesting to take a look back at my camera body and lens usage in 2019. This is done by creating a LR catalog on all my RAW image files, which I keep in their own folder by year. Then I sort by metadata.

    I did take and keep fewer pictures 2019. A rough estimated based on Shuttercount, but I took about 12,000 images and kept ~6,100. Out of those that I kept, the breakdown on camera body usage was:

    Camera Usage
    5DIV 83.7%
    M3 4.3%
    M6 II 2.1%
    G7X II 8.1%
    Fuji GFX 50R 1.7%

    As you can see, the M3 will be replaced by the M6 II. I am actually meeting with some friends in the market for a camera this weekend for drinks to talk cameras and will bring it along and offer the M3 to them. It is a good camera, but the AF is not fit for moving subjects. The M6 II, very different story. While I NEVER really enjoyed using the M or M3, I am so far enjoying very much the times where I've used the M6 II. It feels like a little camera. What interests me is that Canon has created the exact opposite situation from what they are known in the M system: they know have a great body but the lens lineup in the M system is lacking. That said, this will be my primary camera for when I want videos and I can see traveling with only it more often than I have in the past.

    I haven't talked about it much (at all?) but I did rent the Fuji GFX 50R for this years trip to Banff National Park. I have wanted to try "Medium Format" for awhile. More of a test for a future kit make up as I could see having an every day camera and then dedicated camera(s). In the Fuji ecosystem, this would be something like an XT-3 for everyday use/wildlife and then a MF for landscapes. But, what do they call it? A touch test? Well the GFX failed miserably. It is like I reached into the box excited to pull out a present on Christmas Day and instead found an old pair of socks. I disliked the GFX 50R instantaneously. Just the feel. Then the other ergonomics. Then, I would get it to work, run into an issue and have a massive problem adjusting. Then, a fully charged battery died in the middle of the day I was really trying to put it to the test (with Jonathan). Meh. All of that, and when you get down to it as I evaluated everything, the pixel size is almost identical to the 5DIV, the extra MP and "MF" size really come from the difference in aspect ratio. But, I like the 2x3 aspect ratio for landscapes of my 5DIV....Canon for me, thank you.

    In terms of my trends in usage between camera bodies (5D is either the III or the IV; M is either the M, M3, or M6 II) and you get:
    Camera 2019 2018 2017 2016
    5D 83.7% 91.0% 81.1% 96.4%
    M 6.4% 3.4% 8.1% 3.6%
    G7X II 8.1% 5.6% 10.8%
    Other 1.7%

    Here, I am going to take the time to sing the praises of the G7X II. It really is a great blend of IQ and pocketability and packability. And with a lens that goes from f/1.8 to f/2.8, when you play with sensor size vs ISO, converting everything to stops, you actually realize that it can hold its own with slower EFm lenses. From inside the Blue Grotto, a few dinner sunset images, and almost all my selfies, the G7X II is a great little camera.

    That said, wow do I love the 5D cameras.

    Ok, FF lenses:
    Lens 2019 2018 2017 2016
    EF 16-35 F4 IS L 8% 6% 10% 7%
    EF 24-70 II 55% 28% 36% 38%
    Sigma 50 Art 4% 6% 4% 2%
    EF 70-200 f/2.8 II 6% 8% 11% 9%
    EF 70-300L 0.8% 5% 8% 8%
    EF 85 f/1.4 IS 4.5%
    EF 100 mm L Macro not used 0.4% 3% 1%
    Sigma 150-600 Sport not used 3% 27% 31%
    EF 100-400L II 7% `10%
    EF 100-400L II w 1.4TC not used 13%
    EF 500 f/4 II IS 5.4% 3%
    EF 500 w 1.4TC 7% 6%
    EF 500 w 2xTC 1.4% 1%

    Lenses used for less than 10 pics or not used at all include the TSE 24, 40 pancake, and MPE 65.

    First, yep, this summer I caught the EF 85 f/1.4 IS on a refurbished discount. I had been comparing it to the Sigma 135 f/1.8 and opted for the Canon. No regrets, LOVE THIS LENS. I am using it more and more even for family functions. Take a bunch with the 24-70 or 70-200 so an event is well documented, then throw on the 85 to get some distinctive images.

    Second, I own a number of lenses that are seeing little use. To an extent, this is what happens when you enjoy photography as a hobby for 10 years and you add a lens or two every year. But, am I going to get rid of anything? TSE 24 did see use and I do like the images and what it does. I may never use it a ton, but I do like it. 40 pancake, there is just little reason to get rid of it and every once in a while do throw it on as a lens cap while traveling. MPE 65, nope. Distinctive. I want to use it on snow flakes and flowers. It stays... has been replaced in my travel kit by the 100-400 II, which was its main purpose. But I love it. Great walk around lens and I have recently found it fits in a certain travel kit where the 100-400 II does not. So it stays. Sigma 150-600S, really, it should go. I meant to sell it last year. But, it did produce 3 of my favorite images of the past decade, I'll probably check to see what I can get for it and may keep it just so I can whip it out in 20 years to show what a beast it was while a family member half my age shows me their hologram camera.

    Last, just a bit of a take on my usage; I shot less overall, but the same number of family events, and landscapes in 2019 with the difference being a drop in my use of telephoto lenses from years past. I set up on backyard birds zero times. I photographed loons twice, but only once seriously. Thus, the % of usage of the 24-70 II increased, but really, the number of pictures taken with it is about the same over the last 4 years. I just took and kept fewer overall pictures, mostly wildlife/birds in 2019.

    As odd as this sounds, as I've sold off things not being used in previous years, more recently, I am starting to view it all as sunk cost and may also end up keeping everything or just purging one or two items. It is all a balance and on the "sell unused gear side": I do like the idea of using what you have and, in years past, I've used the proceeds to fund new gear that I think I would use more. On the other side, EF prices are lower ever since the RF lenses came along, the lens most likely to be sold, the 150-600S is also seen its value drop with the release of the 60-600S and the fact is that I do not have anything pressing that I really want. So, I am a bit unmotivated to put in the effort needed to sell gear. We'll see.

    As for EF, are there things that tempt me? I am surprised by how tempted I am by the 1DX III. That thing just looks like a beautiful beast.

    The R ecosystem? The rumored R5 could be "my perfect" camera. Granted, 45 MP is a bit high, IMO. The only upgrades I would like with my 5DIV is a few more FPS and better AF spread. Playing with the M6 II, and I have confirmed what others have said, Eye-AF is pretty darn impressive. But, I've been paying attention to my "hit" rate with the 5DIV, and I really do not think I have much of a problem if shooting at f/2.8-f/4. So, in terms of "need" I do not need a new camera body and still very much enjoy the 5DIV.

    I could see a second camera if I do a "once in a lifetime" trip if it involves the need for a second FF camera or a camera with higher fps. Right now, the 5DIV is more than enough for what I have planned in 2020.

    So, I've used my annual "20xx: what was used" thread to "shoot to need" i.e. assess my kit and "needs", spend whatever budget I had, shoot for the rest of the year with that new kit, and then repeat the following year. Every year I've added something. Well, I do not need anything. So my money is staying in the bank. Boring, but true.
    Last edited by Kayaker72; 02-11-2020 at 12:16 AM.

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