This is the dilemma that has been haunting my head for the past 2-3 years. I’m not buying a new camera yet, but I have started planning the purchase. It will only happen once my personal issues have been resolved, hopefully by September.
But this dichotomy haunts me a lot. It feels like Nikon is aggressively moving towards a mirrorless world, making it difficult for DSLR investments to be further “milked”. Don’t get me wrong, I want a mirrorless camera, but the investment I’ve made in DSLR things is just too great for me to throw it all away. Especially since I will most likely get a Nikon film camera that I will be able to use my current lenses.
I want an upgrade on my camera, that’s why I want a new one. The idea is to move from my D610 to a D850. The D850 has a denser sensor (ie. higher resolution), the processor is quicker, the sensor is more sensitive – allowing higher ISO without introducing too much noise (great for night sky photography) – and a few other small things that are important, but not as high on my list. To buy a D850 TODAY (with EOFY sales), I would probably pay $3600.
If I were to migrate to a mirrorless camera (considering I would stay with Nikon) AND make the upgrade, the cost for a Z7 II would be $5000. That price does include an F to Z adaptor and a 24-70mm lens (good for trips). Now, that is just the initial investment, as other things would need to be considered as well.
The first thing is memory cards; the D850 uses the same SD-x type cards (SD, SDHC and SDXC) as the D610. The memory cards themselves have a huge price point difference: the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC 128GB with 200MB/s read speed costs approximately $35, while the SanDisk Extreme Pro CFexpress 128GB (with 1700 MB/s read speed), the Z7 accepts only CFexpress and not SDXC as far as I know, costs $180. The new memory cards cost more than 4 times the price of the SDXC (which I have plenty of). I would need at least 2 CFexpress cards of 128GB.
The next item is getting new lenses for the mirrorless camera. The Z7 II comes with a lens adaptor and a “general purpose” lens, but that doesn’t mean the problem is solved. The 24-70mm lens is a general purpose/holiday lens, not really a professional one. Using the adaptor is also a transition stop gap. Having an adaptor on the lens means that there is one more “failure point” in the set up, meaning that it is one more item to assemble (or forget to pack), disassemble and potentially break. That means that I would have to throw away all the investment I’ve made in lenses “away” to invest in the Z mount lenses. That transition would be done gradually, thanks to the adaptor, but still a costly investment.
My final thoughts are that going mirrorless is inevitable, the thing is WHEN I will adhere to it. Do I buy a new DLSR and migrate to the mirrorless five years later, or do I bite the bullet now and and make this huge investment?
Note: I took the image of the Nikon Z7 from the Nikon website. I hold no rights over it.