My Camera Bag Is Heavy. Should I Switch To Mirrorless?

It's been about two months since I started shooting with the Sony A7R. I'm fully converted now, my Nikon D7000 being put to good use as an in-studio video camera. Twice is as many weeks I was asked about the weight of the mirrorless Sony system and if I liked having a lighter pack on photo trips. News flash - weight is not why I switched. In fact, my camera bag has gotten heavier since switching to Sony.

The main reason is I now carry an extra lens. Here's the breakdown of my Nikon bag vs. my Sony bag:

Nikon D7000 Weight Sony A7R Weight
Camera Body 780g Camera Body 465g
Tokina 11-16mm f2/8 DX 560g Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 518g

Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 426g
Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-f/5.6 560g Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 840g
Extra battery 68g Extra battery x 3 234g
Nikon Total 1968g Sony Total 2483g

I needed two Sony lenses to cover the range of my Nikon 18-200mm. That plus extra batteries (the Nikon has way better battery life) cost me weight – 515 grams, a little over a full pound. Stuff like the tripod, the bag itself, the filters, the cable releases, etc. add more weight to the overall total... but that's a common denominator across the board. No reason to go weigh all that and add up. The delta is what's interesting.

Yes, I could have gotten a converter and used my Nikon lenses on the A7R body. But... that have defeated one of the main reasons I switched bodies in the first place. I was outgrowing my Nikon lenses. My Nikon lenses were good, not great. I'd reached a point in my photography where I was ready to invest in really, really good glass. As I was not heavily entrenched in Nikon lenses (as you can tell by what's above :-) so I decided to look at other camera bodies as well.

The mirrorless lineup was something I could not ignore. I looked at Fuji and Sony and decided I liked the Sony A7R. It matched what I needed for my type of photography. Coming from a Nikon D7000, I moved to a full frame camera, got WiFi, an articulating display, even in-camera apps. It's a very nice system. Ideally, I would have waited for the A7RII... but I got an amazingly sweet deal on the A7R I could not pass up. And hey... I can always get the A7RII in the future and have the A7R as my backup body.

If you are considering moving to Sony or another mirrorless system, don't switch just because of weight. Look at the situation holistically, especially the lens lineup if you're not using a converter.