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Help needed - choosing a Mirrorless Camera

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by BillN, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    I am really having problems choosing a new Mirror-less camera

    As most of you know I shoot Nikon DSLR's with long lenses - birds, dragonflies and bugs - tripod, Gimbal and all that .. back breaking work, (sometimes)
    I also have a Nikon 1 which I use mainly with the FT-1 and Nikon 300mm's to get near 10MP on dragonfly images

    I now only occasionally use my M8

    I hardly take any landscape or wide-ish shots and my wife reckons I never take an images of people these days, (although I do use my Nikon 105mm f2.8 VR quite a lot)

    I need a small camera to carry around with me

    M4/3 - I still have an EP-1 and G1 which always impressed me - plus native lenses and adaptors

    So what do I want? - I have looked at the Sony A6000, Sony A7, Sony A7r …. and the new Sony A7ii, (with in body IS)
    Also the OMD EM5 and M10

    I want this mainly for "normal" photography, but would also like to stick it on the end of my 300mm f2.8 and 600mm f4 etc… when the need arises

    The new sony A7ii seems ideal but I would have to buy a couple of adaptors and lose AF on my Nikon lens - also the range of sony lens for the A7's is really really poor .. and the 500mm f4 costs £10k
    But the A7 is now being really discounted

    The OMD EM5 is attractive - lens line up better and I can get a 300mm, (great with the x 2 crop), for under £1k when they release it which would be great for birding - plus they have far more "native" lens in their line up

    but I suppose I really want to take some descent normal shots, (to keep my wife happy - she is fed up of birds and Dragonflies)

    I keep leaning towards the FX Sony ….. but lens …….. then I go to the A6000 and think that I'll just use it for normal shots with the two kit lens that come "bundled", .. then I feel the EM5 would be better because it has IS in the body, I have a few native Oly/Pana M4/3 lens and there are lots more possibilities with other lens

    Then I think I'll wait for the A7ii -

    Now Xmas is here and I'll have to wait until January to get one delivered ……. and we are off to S Africa mid Jan for 5 weeks …….. I suppose I'll just take my EP-1 plus Pana 20mm f1.7 and my wife will have to put up with "holiday snaps" and iPhone images

    I'm sure you will all have the solution(s) for me!!!!!


    (Mirrorless FX must be the future but unless Sony improve the lens line up I reckon Nikon will drop a mirror less FX F mount body in in the next 12 months and overtake them because of the lens line up ….. Nikon 24MP and 36MP sensors do come from Sony) …….. but dare they do this with a "F mount"
     
  2. alex66

    alex66 SC Rookie

    12
    Jul 29, 2012
    Have you thought of the Panasonic GX7? Its a very nice camera (my main) it can be had for very good prices at the moment and you can use your m43 lenses on it. I discounted the Sony A7 series to either very expensive lenses for what I want, it felt wrong to get a 50mm I need I would have used it along with my m43 stuff, the A6000 does look like a nice compact body though. I am not a tele shooter really 24-100 being my thing, so my use will be very different, I am pondering a Samsung NX for the 3;2 ratio . There is supposedly a new EM5 due with some rumoured interesting things it may be worth waiting for?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Thanks Alex, really helpful ……. just to confuse matters I have just bought a Sigma DP3M …… but again that's 75mm, specialised and slow

    I also think that the Sony A7's could easily replace Leica RF's as it is easy to use Leica and Voigtlander glass with them …… and when the A7ii gets in body stabilisation …. the performance as very low shutters speed should be impressive
     
  4. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Bill,

    You need a small camera to carry around with you.

    Do you want to carry extra lenses with you and change them?

    If not, have you considered the Panasonic LX100? In my view, it is very much in "spirit of Leica" -- a small, nimble, fast, highly portable image-capturing machine that delivers files with very acceptable image quality.

    It offers full manual control, f/1.7 at full wide, and excellent manual focus. Nominally, it delivers 24-75 mm (e) focal range, but there are those who argue that at 16:9, it gets as wide as 21mm and with all digital zoom options enabled, you get 300mm (e), which is useful in a pinch.

    I suggest you check out these threads:

    https://www.photographerslounge.org/showthread.php?t=32238

    https://www.photographerslounge.org/showthread.php?t=32152

    https://www.photographerslounge.org/showthread.php?t=32868

    https://www.photographerslounge.org/showthread.php?t=32892

    Warning: since I own this camera, I can hardly be considered "objective.":biggrin:

    Cheers, Jock
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Yeah, Bill... I'm a bit confused. You say you want a small camera to carry around with you. And yet you're talking about Sony's A7 line which, while offering small bodies, requires big full-frame glass. You're also talk about still using interchangeable lenses, which doesn't make for the smallest and lightest kit (although still much better in this respect than full frame).

    Jock's suggestion of an LX100 makes a lot of sense to me. But if you insist on interchangeable lenses, I'd stick with micro four-thirds because of the lens selection, the fact that you already have some glass for the system and Olympus's excellent reputation for image quality. An E-M5 would be fine and so would an E-M1.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    +1 to everything Steve just said.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    I've never been a big fan of m4/3 but I do use it exclusively for long telephoto shots with the 100-300mm lens.
    In the New Year Panasonic are launching a new fixed f4 300mm prime which might be just the thing for my Ground-to-air shots and your Dragonflys and Birds.
    That would leave you with a small m4/3 body and lens at other times.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Thanks All

    The A7 and E-M5 are small bodies, there are plenty of small lens that can be used with them from the native M4/3 lens, (i.e. the Panasonic "pancake" 20mm f1.7) to the small Voigtlander manual lenses or manual Leica and Voigtlander for full frame - walk around easy

    when I am birding or get back to base - it is easy with a tripod and Gimbal set up it stick the A7 on the end of a long lens

    Two different subjects, modes of shooting……. simple and having the ability to use one small body, with many types of subjects and lens is a bonus, particularly when it is FX ……. that's why the Nikon 1 is good - I can use it as a carry around with a Nikon 1 lens or stick it on my tripod with a 600mm f4 … but the small sensor limits and apparently, the V3 18MP sensor is not better than the one in the V1

    Clearly I am not going to walk around a tourist site with a 600mm lens on a tripod plus Wimberley gimbal and camo-ed up ……… but I am going to walk around a tourist site with an A7 and a Leica Summarit 35mm or VC manual lens or even a Zeiss AF

    The Sony A7 body does not require big full frame glass …… many of the MF lens particularly at 35mm and less are very small, very compact and very good ……. I have a few ……. I just need the VM - E adaptor

    both the new A7ii and OMD E5 have IS in the body

    My decision I think would be, A7, A7ii or OMD E5

    as i mentioned in my first post I saw that a new 300mm M43 prime was being released, that is attractive as is the 70 300mm CX lens for the Nikon 1
     
  9. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    get the OMD
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    That's was my first decision and then I got seduced by the Sony FX ……… but the OMD is an attractive price and I don't think I would regret it as I have all the stuff from the M43 and lens for Leica
     
  11. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Exactly. Good luck whatever your final choice is.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    M43 is going to get you more affordable reach for sure but you'll give up a couple of stops of high ISO performance and exposure range. It's all a compromise. But M43 is not going to be a step back with regards to AF and subject tracking compared to your Nikons, so even if you do get the reach I suspect that the Nikons will still be around for the tele work. The only M43 that comes close to the Nikons for AF is the GH4 AFAIK.

    So if "normal" shooting is the first priority and tele is "would be nice to have as well", I'd go with the Sony.
     
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  13. mattia

    mattia SC Regular

    98
    Dec 20, 2013
    The oM-D is the better all round camera with the better lens lineup (AF).

    I love my A7r with the native primes and a very occasional venture with manual glass (CV 35/1.2 II which will probably get sold if the Zeiss 35/1.4 native FE mount is as good as I hope it will be and about the same size/weight). That's said, since you seem to prefer telephoto anyway for other stuff, the MFT is the better option.
     
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  14. JKLso

    JKLso SC Regular

    45
    Nov 24, 2014
    near Kelso WA USA
    jim
    I went with Samsung nx300 myself with no regrets. A couple native lenses for compact & easy shooting (I really like the 30mm f/2 lens) plus my Pentax primes with focus zoom and peaking. It's a bit larger than my Q but 20Mpx APS.c sensor which is my preferred sensor size. The Olys will serve you well, Fujis too.. but don't dismiss Samsung.
     
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  15. EyesUnclouded

    EyesUnclouded SC Rookie

    16
    Oct 17, 2014
    Bill, if the bulk of your shooting would be telephoto, I think the safest choice right now is m43. There is a nice lineup of native telephoto zooms and a couple of fast tele primes coming in the next months. Also consider the wealth of old manual telephotos (200-300mm range) that you can get for very little money these days.

    Most people I know shooting birds and similar stuff with full frame cameras, actually crop a lot; since it's less affortable, both financially and practically, to carry around very long telephotos. If you have 36mp that's an option too; 24mp, not so much.

    For telephoto work, I believe full frame is not so much of an advantage, except if you shoot in really dark conditions or usually shoot fast moving targets (where you'll have to up the ISO significantly to make up for subject motion).
     
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  16. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    Just bought a used EM10 .. from a guy off the photo forum ….. with the kit EZ lens ……. good for what i need in January ….. but the Sony A7/A7ii is on my list

    BUT after using the DP3M, will all it's major drawbacks which are many, I want the other two!!!!