Thinking of switching to mirrorless

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rayjay86, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've been shooting with a D5000, Nikon 35mm f/1.8, sigma 10-20mm, nikon 70-300 VR.

    I love my setup but after this recent trip to Asia and North America I've finally realized that my foray into photography is something I enjoy but I'm not super serious about it. I've come to embrace having something that is small and I can carry around but offers more control than a point and shoot. I've really gotten on to the new mirrorless systems that are out there and have been looking at the NEX-6, the Olympus E-PL5 and the GX1.

    Questions are:

    1. With a mirrorless system can I use my Nikon lenses (they are all cpu lenses) if I buy a mount with these? I know with the NEX I can buy an adapter off amazon (Fotodiox?) but I'm wondering how effective that is. I might be selling my old kit to get money for the change though so maybe moot.

    2. Opinions on the above cameras (or any other suggestions) would be great

    3. My intent here is not to start a war between DSLR and mirror less/MFT but just get opinions. As I mentioned, I like the fact that these new compact cameras are showing very impressive photo quality, have lots of control features and are small enough to fit in my jacket pocket, which is why I'm considering the switch.

    Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #2
    I get where you're coming from. Myself, I've been researching mirroless systems more as an alternative for travel and street photography (less conspicuous). I'm a Canon user myself, but from everything I've read both Nikon and Canon have some serious trade offs (Nikon 1 series= lower pixel count, mediocre low light and Canon= lousy AF and mediocre handling), but both offer adapters for their larger lenses. As a result I'm seriously considering just having a separate kit all together. Here's a few I've been seriously considering.

    1. Fuji X-PRO 1 or X-E1 (same sensor, Pro has optical view finder): Pro's= Solid image quality, handling, lenses, they look awesome! Con's: Third party RAW support is not so great, AF is a little slow, less lenses available (but from all accounts it's still quality glass!), not weather sealed (not a huge deal, but it doesn't hurt.)

    2. Olympus OMD-EM5 or EPL5 (same sensor): Pro's= Crazy fast AF and overall response, OMD is weather sealed, great image quality, big lens selection, very compact, in body anti-shake saves on lens cost Con's= The smaller Micro four thirds sensor makes it harder to create a shallower depth of field making you spend more on wider aperture lenses to achieve a nice creamy bokeh.

    3. Sony NEX6: Pro's= Compact, easy to use, solid image quality, nice screen, large APS-C sensor, good low light Con's= Small lens selection (but Sony is pushing the NEX line pretty hard so expect plenty more in the near future), no weather sealing.

    Right now I'm leaning heavy towards to Fuji camp. Mainly because all of them have comparible image quality, so handling and looks become my main concern. I love the look of the old range finders and how they worked. Hope this helps!
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #3
    Thats awesome thanks so much for the input. A friend of mine has the E-PL5 and he raves about it so I might give it a try or at least play around with his camera before taking the plunge.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #4
    Some thoughts on Fuji

    Just an aside that might help a little. My wife and I have just returned from SE Asia with a couple of 1000 photos. I use a Canon 550d with medium standard lenses and all the commotion I need to carry and make the system work. My wife has a Fuji X100 Black.....
    I have to say, the Fuji has driven home again that it is a wonderfully controllable street shooting camera and the composition and quality of photo trounces my Canon every time.....whether it is me or my wife using it!

    I am seriously now gonna look at the X1 Pro.....Fuji in my opinion is in a rich vein of quality and form. Also there is an expansion to the lens range due in 2013 as well...
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    Nikon V2. With it you can reuse all your Nikon lenses. The best mirror less will not have the same level of AF and metering in better DSLRs. Use a V2 as your second body...not the only body.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #6
    Well thats the thing, sadly I'm looking to get rid of my DSLR body. For the moment, being a student I can't afford to keep both. I find that because of the bulk I don't take my camera out nearly as much as I'd originally planned when I bought all the stuff. When I'm older and have more money I may go back and pick up a dslr body as a second but for the moment i want something small that is more than just a simple point and shoot.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    so get rid of the body and keep the lenses for use with mirrorless via an adapter.

    Using a Nikon or Canon camera you will have the best chance of support from software from Adobe and other software tools. Also you will have the largest choice of hardware accessories such as lenses.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    #8
    Can I use them with an olympus though? I know there exists an adapter for the NEX system of cameras but not sure how well it holds up. It's $37 on Amazon
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

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    #9
    Typically each camera brand has their own mount system of opening sizes, contact pins and protocol between body and lenses. You can get 3rd party lenses from Tamron, Sigma, and others made specifically for Nikon and Canon bodies.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2007
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    Maui, Hawaii
    #10
    I dumped all my Nikon gear (D90 and 5 lenses) for a Fuji X-Pro1 and it has worked out great for me. While pleased with the PQ of the Nikon gear, I just got tired of lugging around all the bulk. I find I shoot more now and more often, now that I have a more compact system. The transition from shooting with a dslr to the Fuji took a little to get used to, but now that I know the Fuji better, all is good. I have no regrets making the change.
     
  11. macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #11
    My vote is for the NEX series, the APS-C sensor is the same as Nikon D600.
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #12
    Yup, that's the same list I would have made and you nail all the pros and cons in my opinion. Personally, I would also lean towards the Fuji because I very much like the camera concept and user interface. The Olympus also feels great in my hands, but I don't like the concept behind the NEX. That's just a matter of personal taste, though. It's a good sign that you can list three very good, but very different cameras. I'm still eyeing a used X100, but unfortunately, here in Fukuoka, there are no good used camera stores that have one.

    @OP
    Forget about your current Nikon lenses, sell them with your body. None of them are that great anyway, my suggestion is to sell them and buy native lenses. I'd sell the Sigma separately from the body, though.
     
  13. macrumors demi-god

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #13
    I have a Nex-7 and have been very happy with it. Lens selection isn't great but is improving. I currently have the kit 18-55 and 55-210 zooms. Next will be either the 50 1.8 or the macro. Also considering the sigma 30.

    Image quality is excellent. Size is wonderful. While I can't put it in a pocket it is compact and lightweight. Battery life is more than adequate for my needs, most shots I've taken in a single session is about 300.

    This was an upgrade from a Canon s5. I didn't have any existing lenses to worry about so the decision was a clean slate. I also considered some of the micro 4/3 cameras, mainly the Lumix models. The APS-C sensor was a major factor in my decision.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    NZed

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    Canada, Eh?
  15. macrumors 6502

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    Aug 29, 2011
    #15
    Yup! The 1 series. Very fast, compact, and good quality in good light. Low light is not so great. Lots of controls, but many are buried in the menus. Haven't tried or read much on the V2 yet. It's still pretty new.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    NZed

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    Canada, Eh?
    #16
  17. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
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    Fukuoka, Japan
    #17
    Yes, but the sensor is so small that it immediately rules out the system for me.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #18
    Fair enough. This is a great option if you want a mirrorless as a backup to your DSLR, but purchasing a mirroless body to use full sized lenses completely negates the point of a mirrorless body. Which is portability. Plus, having such a tiny body on a full sized lens would make it far too difficult to handle. IMO, the OP is better off starting from scratch. Too many better and more mature options out there compared to Nikon's 1 series or even Canon's EOSM.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

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    #19
    The sad thing is that Canon (just like Nikon) does not want the EOS-M to compete with its dslrs at this point. (Canon has stated that they have no intentions of releasing a pro-grade EOS-M body at this point.) Nikon has excluded that possibility from the start by picking a tiny sensor as a starting point.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #20
    I agree. While the EOSM does have great IQ, (same as the T4i) the AF is excruciatingly slow. At least compared to a DSLR. I've never understood why companies are so afraid of a new product category cannibalizing other products that they manufacture. As long as you make both, what's the big deal? It may cut into your profits at first, but at least you'll make it up on volume and keep your company relevant in the long run.
     
  21. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #21
    If the goal is a smaller, more portable system than what is the point of the lens adaptor? Then you would have 60 or 70% of your gear unchanged, only swapping a dSLR body out for a slightly smaller mirrorlless body. What do you save, an inch of width?

    If you want "smaller" then you have to buy a smaller system. No way around it.
     
  22. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #22
    Yes the NEX has about the same size sensor as the Nikon DX bodies have but notice also the lenses are the same size and the NEX body is close to SLR size. OK yes it is smaller but only by small amount. It is not a hugh step donw in size.

    It LOOKS smaller in the ads because they show it with a tiny wide angle lens.

    If you like "smaller" then go for a high-end compact camera like this
    http://us.leica-camera.com/photography/compact_cameras/d-lux_6/
    Or the less expensive Panasonic version
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
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    #23
    Agreed, Apple is the posterboy of »disruption« and it's telling that (at least to my taste) all the of the innovation happens elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, Canon and Nikon make very capable dslrs, but the improvements are very small. Even entry-level dslrs pack quite a punch, they offer speeds that were unthinkable some years ago. E. g. my D7000 manages 6 fps, that's something only pro bodies could match not too long ago. And I have never needed 6 fps, even if it were 3, I'd be ok with that ;) My point is that dslrs have become so good that in many cases, they are not the limiting factor and most discussions (fps, ultra-high ISO noise, AF performance) are academic.

    Also, I don't even offering serious mirrorless cameras would necessarily cut into their profits: does Apple make less or more money by offering the iPad mini alongside the regular iPad? A »serious« mirrorless costs roughly the same that a prosumer dslr body costs, ~$1000, and I reckon the margins are at least similar.

    Lastly, I think the last frontier is software: imagine you could install apps on them? E. g. you could install apps for special applications and consumers would not be at the mercy of the camera maker's engineers when it came to the structure of menus. Of course, these apps should work on all dslrs of a maker and not just specific models.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    #24
    I use the crap out of my Nex-7 over my Nikon D800.

    I'm running the following lens combo with my Nex-7

    Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f/1.2 II with a Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Lenses to Sony NEX Cameras.

    Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6
     
  25. macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #25
    I jumped onto the NEX platform a couple of years ago and I've been quite happy. The lens selection has been growing and I believe there are some nice choices available now. The lenses are not as small as the user community would wish for, but they are definitely smaller and lighter than the traditional DSLR lenses. Also, Sony is aware of the need for smaller lenses, and the most recent ones (35 f1.8, 10-18 f4, 16-50) are actually nice and compact. As far as the body size compared to the DSLR goes, you can judge for yourself: http://camerasize.com/compare/#375,154
     

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