Lighter has always been better with technology, particularly when you carry the item around. But is it truly always better to be lighter?
Last year I wrote an article on why I prefer heavier cameras for photography. Now, I primarily use a Sony a7 III which I would consider to be very light indeed. The thing is, I don't feel as connected to it when shooting as I was with the Fujifilm GFX 100 for example. I described it in the following way and I still believe it encapsulates how I feel about camera weight perfectly:
Even if I shoot an incredible image with my mobile phone, I don't enjoy the experience. I don't feel I'm plying a skill or engaged with the moment, but with the medium format Fuji and a lens that weighs 1 kg/2.2 lbs on its own, I did. I had that camera in my hands for days on end as I walked miles and miles around Tokyo, taking several thousand images. The tactile experience gave me a similar sensation to what I have felt when shooting on different film bodies: you're involved and everything is markedly more satisfying.
In this video, Cody Wanner takes this thought in a different direction and from a different perspective: video. Now, I know from the title of his video many are going to immediately shout that you can use IBIS, lens stabilization, or a gimbal. Yes, you're right and he knows that. But if you watch the video you'll see that when he uses a 20 pound dumbbell under his mirrorless camera and no stabilization, the video has a "look." Honestly, the look is reminiscent of many music videos I see with some obvious movement of the camera — that is, not perfectly stabilized — but void of those micro-movements that make handheld footage look so very awful.
What do you think? I went into the video a little skeptical but came out with a slightly different view. Yes, you can simulate that subtle movement in post if you used a gimbal when shooting, but an easier and more authentic approach would be achievable with heavier kit, whether as standard or as part of a rig.