The main reason I want a smaller system

As I’ve already mentioned, I got to the point where I rarely carry my Nikon D700 DSLR around because of its bulk and weight. I prefer carrying around my little Panasonic LX-5 instead even though the picture quality is not the same. Even when I do go on a planned photo outing I will usually take my D700 but with just one, maybe two lenses. I bought a complete pro-lens setup (14-24 f/2.8, 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-210 f/2.8), all superb lenses but very large and very heavy so most of the time they stay at home.

This is the main reason why I’m looking at downsizing to an APSC or M4/3 system. Here’s a quick comparison, between a Nikon D750 with the pro zoom trilogy and the equivalent system from Olympus’ M4/3 system, using current prices on the B&H website.

Nikon D750,   750g,  $2000 
14-24 f/2.8,  1000g, $1900
24-70 f/2.8,  1070g, $2400
70-210 f/2.8, 1540g, $2100
Total:        4.28Kg,$8400

Olympus EM-5, 410g,  $900   (Mark II)
7-14 f/2.8,   534g,  $1200  (14-28mm, more reach)
12-40 f/2.8,  382g,  $900   (24-80mm, more reach)
40-150 f/2.8, 880g,  $1400  (80-300mm, much more reach!!!)
Total:        2.2Kg, $4400 

If I use the Panasonic Lumix zooms, the difference is even bigger:
Olympus EM-5, 410g,  $900   (Mark II)
7-14 f/4.0,   300g,  $800   (more reach but slower @ f/4)
12-35 f/2.8,  305g,  $800   
35-100 f/2.8, 360g,  $900  
Total:        1.37Kg,$3400

So you can see that the Olympus system is about half the weight, size and price of the equivalent Nikon FF system. If I use the Panasonic Lumix zooms, which are still excellent, the difference is even bigger, at 30% the weight and 40% the cost of the Nikon’s.

The Olympus M.Zuiko wide angle zoom is about the same quality as the Nikon 14-24 (which was considered the best wide-angle zoom in the world). The Olympus tele zoom is actually superior to the Nikon. Add to this the fact that all 3 of the Olympus M.Zuiko zooms provide more reach and the Oly’s EM-5 II body provides the best image stabilization in the world and you have one really nifty little system. This is what enables one to carry a complete system in a very small bag. I think the following video summarizes it all very well:

The Fuji system is a little bit larger, heavier and costlier than the Olympus system, placing it at about 2/3rd that of the Nikon system instead of half. The Fuji doesn’t have in-body image stabilization but it provides top-notch image quality that rivals that of the full-frame systems.