Full-frame (35mm) cameras are heavier than their crop-sensor siblings. Their lenses are heavier too. But how much heavier? After hauling my Nikon D3200 (DX 1.5x crop sensor) as well as my Nikon D600 (FX full-frame sensor) up and down and around, I thought I'd just run the numbers and see if the FX system was as much heavier as it felt.
Executive summary: Kinda.
While the FX system is nearly twice as heavy as the DX, it is still only "nearly" twice as heavy: 80% heavier, to be more exact. And if you factor in the tripod (which is the same), you end up at only about 50% heavier.
|Camera||Nikon D3200||505 g||Nikon D600||850 g||168%|
|Wide||Sigma 10-20/4-5.6||470 g||Irix 15/2.4||581 g||124%|
|Normal||Nikon 18-55/3.5-5.6||195 g||Nikon 24-85/3.5-4.5||460 g||236%|
|Tele||Nikon 55-200/4-5.6||300 g||Nikon 70-300/4.5-5.6||745 g||248%|
|Total||1470 g||2636 g||179%|
|Tripod||Velbon Ultra Maxi L||920 g||Velbon Ultra Maxi L||920 g||100%|
|Total w/tripod||2390 g||3556 g||149%|
But I feel the extra weight. Certainly when you've been hauling it around for a full day - and absolutely when you compare it to the third alternative: just bringing your cellphone. The FX kit is 3.5 kg of photo nerdery that you have to haul around forever when you're on a trip.
The shots are nice, though.
Compared to the D3200, the D600 delivers just that bit of extra colors and dynamic range - and utterly outperforms the crop-sensor in low light and astrophotography. The cellphone isn't even a starter in this competition. Ultimately, carrying another 1.2 kg to get the very best image quality when I'd otherwise be carrying 2.4 kg is worth it for me.
But I feel the extra weight.