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Old Mar 15, 2012, 06:57 AM   #1
maflynn
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Back to square one - please provide some buying advice

Looks like as of today I have sold my Nikon V1. Its a nice little camera with a lot of potential but my usage patterns and its weaknesses intersected. That is I'm shooting primarily indoors with high ISO and the resultant output is disappointing. Perhaps if I didn't own a Canon G12, I wouldn't be complaining but the G12 was not much noisier then this expense camera.

Long story short, I'm back in the market for a camera that's better then a P&S but smaller then a DSLR.

So far on my short list
Sony NEX-7 - large sensor size, great noise control at high ISO. Lens selection is limited and only mediocre speeds at the moment. Somewhat slower AF lock (better then the NEX 5n though).

Olympus OM-D EM-5
Unreleased and so actual real world performance is a bit unknown. Early reports are very positive. Smaller sensor then the NEX-7, larger lens selection however. Camera body appears to be about the same size as the NEX-7 but the EVF and rear display are not as good as Sony's. Noise performance at high ISO is reported to be very good (though not as good as NEX-7).

Panasonic DMC-GX1. I don't know too much about this camera but the review from dpreview seems to indicate its a capable camera. One knock on this camera is its lack of built in EVF. I need to purchase it and then I lose the hot shoe.

So those are my options so far, I'm leaning towards the Olympus because of its faster AF lock and options, but Sony's NEX-7 is in the running.

Any other cameras that I should consider and any opinions on what I have listed.

Thanks
Mike
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 07:03 AM   #2
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Just to add two points here: I think handling is underrated a little in your post. All the NEX cameras I have tried were very badly balanced in my opinion and I hated the user interface. That's just me, though, but these points make the NEX series a no-starter for me, I wouldn't even consider them. On the other hand, the Olympus indeed looks very nice.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 07:07 AM   #3
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Oreo,
you raise a good point and when I was selecting a camera that was the Nikon V1, that was high on my list.

Once you add a lens, particularly a larger lens it really does throw the balance off on the NEX - at least on the 5N, the 7 wasn't out and available but I assume the same holds true.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 07:31 AM   #4
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If it's clean high ISO you're after then the Pentax K-01 would be an ideal choice - more so than any m43 camera.

It uses the same sensor as the Pentax K-5 DSLR, which is a class leader in APS-C.

I recently bought a K-5 - I'm amazed by it's dynamic range and low noise - pulling up shadow detail yields incredibly clean results. I'm extremely happy with the sensor upgrade.

The m43 system has matured a lot since it's introduction - there are some very nice pocketable and stylish cameras available.
The tradeoff is the smaller sensor, but would still be an improvement over the V1.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 09:26 AM   #5
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Thanks, I'll start looking at the pentax.

I've had the OMD reserved by my local camera company, but I'd be remiss if I didn't really do more due diligence. Which is why I started this thread
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 09:35 AM   #6
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I like Pentax cameras. The only potential problem with the K-01 is that it does not have a EVF.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 12:08 PM   #7
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^^^ Ouch that's a deal break for me. Even with the Panasonic, I'm not really considering it, because I'd have to spend $$$ for an EVF.

I know no camera is perfect and I need to match my needs with the strengths of a given camera. That said both the Olympus and to some extent the Sony is on my short list. The disadvantages of the sony (other then lack of supply) are lens choices and balance as previously noted. I'm not fully discounting it because of the superior IQ and noise handling.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 12:57 PM   #8
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Fuji X-Pro1?
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 02:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post

I know no camera is perfect and I need to match my needs with the strengths of a given camera.
Sorry to be blunt but....

If you want good high ISO buy a DSLR and you'll have it. Can't be bothered carrying a large camera then you'll be stuck with poor high ISO.

It's simple really if you're too lazy to use a proper camera then you can't expect top quality results.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 03:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Mad Kiwi View Post
Sorry to be blunt but....

If you want good high ISO buy a DSLR and you'll have it. Can't be bothered carrying a large camera then you'll be stuck with poor high ISO.

It's simple really if you're too lazy to use a proper camera then you can't expect top quality results.
You can be blunt and you can be insulting, I feel your post falls into the latter category. You are calling me lazy without really knowing any of the details or knowledge that I actually own a DSLR.

The Micro 4/3s and and sony NEX have rather good noise handling, it may not be as great as a DSLR but I didn't ask for DSLR quality.

Secondly, I am not being lazy, as I mentioned, I own a DSLR but I find that a smaller camera fits my needs better in a lot of the situations.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 05:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
Secondly, I am not being lazy, as I mentioned, I own a DSLR but I find that a smaller camera fits my needs better in a lot of the situations.
Have you looked into the Fuji X10? It's priced competitively with the other contenders.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
You can be blunt and you can be insulting, I feel your post falls into the latter category. You are calling me lazy without really knowing any of the details or knowledge that I actually own a DSLR.

The Micro 4/3s and and sony NEX have rather good noise handling, it may not be as great as a DSLR but I didn't ask for DSLR quality.

Secondly, I am not being lazy, as I mentioned, I own a DSLR but I find that a smaller camera fits my needs better in a lot of the situations.


I said I was being blunt, don't take it any other way. You were complaining about high iso and dissapointing image quality from the V1 I suggested the best solution. All the mid size cameras are more similar in image quality than different. To get better image quality you should just use your DSLR. Bigger sensor, larger lens = more photons = better image.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 07:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Mad Kiwi View Post
I said I was being blunt, don't take it any other way. You were complaining about high iso and dissapointing image quality from the V1 I suggested the best solution. All the mid size cameras are more similar in image quality than different. To get better image quality you should just use your DSLR. Bigger sensor, larger lens = more photons = better image.
The Mad Kiwi. I think you need to re-read the OP's posts, in this thread and throughout this sub-forum. He is looking for a mirrorless EVIL. He already has a DSLR, it is not DSLR's vs. the rest of the camera world. He is, however, thoughtfully exploring his best options in the compact, non-DSLR world. I think that we need to limited our posts to those that are responsive to the OP's question(s).

I will be blunt, DSLR'S have their place, but they are no longer the be-all and end-all. Surely, all reasonable and objective photographers understand why mirrorless EVIL's are increasing their marketshare.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 07:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by yetieater View Post
Have you looked into the Fuji X10? It's priced competitively with the other contenders.
Yes, I'm starting to review that one as well. Thanks

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mad Kiwi View Post
I said I was being blunt, don't take it any other way.
So you can say you're being blunt then call me lazy


Quote:
You were complaining about high iso and dissapointing image quality from the V1 I suggested the best solution.
Best solution in a smaller body. I realize that DSLRs will get the best performance but as I stated, no camera is perfect. I need one that balances all my needs. A need that is high on my list is size, I want a smaller camera to tote around when I don't feel like lugging my DSLR. The Nikon V1 was thought to be that, even after reading the reviews. Actual performance for how I shoot left me wanting something a bit better. The larger sensor of the M 4/3 and NEX offer a smaller camera but seemingly good noise performance. From what I started reviewing the Fuji X10 and the canon G1X may also be decent but I'm just restarting my search so I cannot be totally sure.


Quote:
you should just use your DSLR. Bigger sensor, larger lens = more photons = better image.
At times when I'm out with my family its more cumbersome to deal with a larger camera. In those cases I'd like something little more discreet.

Different needs require different solutions. I have a DSLR, it works great but at this point I want something smaller. I do not expect DSLR quality from a smaller sensor, I do expect better noise performance then Point and Shoots
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 07:45 PM   #15
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The Mad Kiwi. I think you need to re-read the OP's posts, in this thread and throughout this sub-forum. He is looking for a mirrorless EVIL. He already has a DSLR, it is not DSLR's vs. the rest of the camera world. He is, however, thoughtfully exploring his best options in the compact, non-DSLR world. I think that we need to limited our posts to those that are responsive to the OP's question(s).

I will be blunt, DSLR'S have their place, but they are no longer the be-all and end-all. Surely, all reasonable and objective photographers understand why mirrorless EVIL's are increasing their marketshare.
The OP started the thread as follows

Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
Looks like as of today I have sold my Nikon V1. Its a nice little camera with a lot of potential but my usage patterns and its weaknesses intersected. That is I'm shooting primarily indoors with high ISO and the resultant output is disappointing.
Mirrorless systems have their place but indoors and high ISO isn't one of them. The output of mirrorless systems in those conditions is likely to be disappointing in the least as the OP has found. Selling the V1 to buy another camera with essentially the same underlying weaknesses is just going to end in wasted money and more disappointment. I don't understand why the OP can't just carry a bigger camera if he's unhappy with the results of using a smaller one.

It's not DSLR vs. Mirrorless, it's about using the right tool for the job.
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Old Mar 15, 2012, 08:15 PM   #16
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The OP started the thread as follows



Mirrorless systems have their place but indoors and high ISO isn't one of them. The output of mirrorless systems in those conditions is likely to be disappointing in the least as the OP has found. Selling the V1 to buy another camera with essentially the same underlying weaknesses is just going to end in wasted money and more disappointment. I don't understand why the OP can't just carry a bigger camera if he's unhappy with the results of using a smaller one.

It's not DSLR vs. Mirrorless, it's about using the right tool for the job.
Yes, but all the options that he was considering were all mirrorless EVIL's. And, it is a replacement for his current Nikon V1. And, smaller and more compact cameras are different sticks in the quiver.

As a previous poster suggested, the X-Pro 1 would be an, albeit another quirky and interesting, option. However, as much as I like prime lenses, I could not live on a prime only lens diet. Too bad that it will be a year or so until the zooms appear.

I don't have anything else to add. I am squarely in the Oly Pen and soon OM-D camp for m4/3's and the Nikon or Pentax camp for DSLR's.

- David
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 12:09 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
Sony NEX-7 - large sensor size, great noise control at high ISO. Lens selection is limited and only mediocre speeds at the moment. Somewhat slower AF lock (better then the NEX 5n though).
If I'm not mistaken, you can get adapters that allow mounting of M-mount lenses onto the NEX-7's e-mount (Example) which opens you up to a whole world of m-mount lenses, arguably containing the best glass in the world (costly I'll admit, but there definitely seems to be no shortage of selection in terms of fast lenses at a variety of focal lengths)
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 12:42 PM   #18
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Mirrorless systems have their place but indoors and high ISO isn't one of them. The output of mirrorless systems in those conditions is likely to be disappointing in the least as the OP has found.
This is not correct: many mirrorless cameras have sensors that are the same size than dslrs (4/3, ~APS-C and full frame). In some cases (e. g. Pentax' K-mount EVIL cameras) will even use the same sensor as in their dslrs. So the deciding factor is not whether the camera is mirrorless or not, it's how large the sensor is.
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 01:55 PM   #19
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You are right in that it is ultimately about the sensor size (and pixel pitch), but I think it is fair to say that in general, mirrorless cameras do have smaller sensors (and by extension, inferior low-light performance) than DSLRs.

There is only one FF "mirrorless" that I know of, the Leica rangefinders, and there are very, very few DSLRs that have sensors smaller than APS-C.
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Old Mar 16, 2012, 02:23 PM   #20
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You are right in that it is ultimately about the sensor size (and pixel pitch), but I think it is fair to say that in general, mirrorless cameras do have smaller sensors (and by extension, inferior low-light performance) than DSLRs.
No one is arguing that point, DSLRs are a great tool, but not one that I'm looking for

To reiterate. I'm looking for opinions on cameras that have better noise performance the my Nikon V1. I'm not asking for DSLR advice, I'm looking for a smallish camera that I can take on the go for some nice family shots.

Expected output would be no larger then 8x10 and web (Facebook/smugmug)
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 07:23 PM   #21
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My two cents, I played with the nex 5n for an hour at BB today and I'm buying it as soon as I get a rewards zone coupon for cameras in the mail. Love it. The 7 should be sweet, I read the oled viewfinder is incredible.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 08:30 PM   #22
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My two cents, I played with the nex 5n for an hour at BB today and I'm buying it as soon as I get a rewards zone coupon for cameras in the mail. Love it. The 7 should be sweet, I read the oled viewfinder is incredible.
The 5N is indeed a great camera, but the slow AF Lock is what turned me off on that. I read somewhere that I think Sony updated the firmware to improve the AF Lock some how.

As for the EVF on the 7, yes, I've heard rave reviews about it. Over all the NEX 7 appears to be a fine camera. The NEX 7 and Oly OM-D EM-5 are on my short list. Since the Oly is not released yet and the 7 is in short supply, I have time to ponder

Good luck on your 5N
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 09:11 PM   #23
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I just received my Nex-7 and have been very happy with it. For me it was an upgrade from a Canon S5. I used some friends DSLRs and really preferred the size and feel of the mirrorless cameras. My choice was between the Nex-7 and Micro 4/3. The Nex-5 and 3 were too small for my hands but the 7's grip fits much better. The menu system is unusual but easy to navigate once you get used to it.

My only complaint so far is the lack of lenses in the sizes I want. I expect that to improve over the year. I need a longer telephoto for motorsports use.

I'm happy with the APS-C sensor. More than adequate for my needs.
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Old Mar 28, 2012, 11:29 PM   #24
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Old Apr 2, 2012, 09:51 AM   #25
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I have a GF-1, which I've enjoyed thoroughly. The only real shortcoming that has bothered me is the lack of a viewfinder. The new OM-D is intriguing, but I wish the hump for the viewfinder wasn't so obtrusive.

I think the micro 4/3 system has great lens selection and a number of good bodies to choose from. I'd love panasonic to bring out something in the GF/GX form factor with a built in finder tacked on.

The NEX system is a big disappointment as far as I'm concerned. I hate the user interface and the lens selection is sorely lacking. The specs look great on paper, but the actual system leaves a lot to be desired.

The Fuji X-Pro 1 looks really interesting. I love the idea of a kit consisting of three high quality primes. The hybrid viewfinder looks awesome too. It's too bad that it sounds like autofocus is still on the slow side.

I'm guessing that someone other than Leica will come out with a mirrorless system with a full frame sensor in the next year or two. I'll probably stick with micro 4/3 until then.
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