Mirrorless camera purchase assistance

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Darmok N Jalad, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
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    Tanagra
    #1
    Hopefully I don't start a firestorm here, but I am looking for some feedback on a potential mirrorless camera purchase. I can search all day long, but all that does is make the choice harder.

    As a quick background, my first large sensor camera was the Sony Alpha a5000. I loved a lot about that camera, but the lack of a viewfinder made it harder to use outdoors--though I still had pretty good results. I ended up selling it and getting a traditional DSLR, the Nikon D5300. I used both cameras for 1 year each, and what I found was that I was much happier with the results of the a5000. The D5300 was also a little too big for me, so I sold it and am now cameraless (I just have my iPhone). I think one of the biggest selling points for me on mirrorless is size. It just makes for easier outings with the kids.

    My dilemma now, of course, is what to get. My current contenders are the Sony Alpha A6000, or a micro four thirds option, namely the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 or the Olympus OM-D EM10 Mark II (what is up with Oly's naming?). I pretty much know what I'm getting the the A6000, as I'll get the optical viewfinder I was needing. Still, I was wondering if the MFT option would be even better. I have large-ish hands, so there is some appeal to the bigger grip. I also like the extra control knobs on the 2 MFT cameras, so with all things considered, it seems like the Lumix would be the way to go regarding ergonomics. Price is certainly a limiting factor. It's not necessarily that I can't afford something more, but I just have a hard time talking myself into spending more than around $500.

    As for what I shoot, landscapes, outdoor macro (flowers, bugs, etc), my kids. Low-light performance would be nice, but it's not the highest of requirements.

    I'm hoping to get some feedback from those who have used any of the above. Even brand advice would be helpful. Like I said, I think I know what I'm getting with Sony, so Panasonic and Olympus feedback would be great. If there's another option I'm missing, let me know!

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    I wouldn't buy ANYTHING right now (as in, "today" or the next month or two).
    There's just "too much happening", too many new products being introduced.

    I would sit back and wait at least 2-3 months.
    By then, Canon's EOS R will be out, and Panasonic's new full-frame mirrorless ought to be out as well.

    I'd wait until they're ALL out and the reviews start coming in.

    I'd plan on purchasing in December/January/February.
     
  3. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #3
    I'm actually not in a huge rush, but since what I'm looking at are already older camera models, I'm guessing they have already bottomed out on price (retailers keep offering sales on them). It was hoping by doing so, I could get a really good idea about reliability. Even still, some brand opinions or first hand experience would be nice. :)
     
  4. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #4
    I bought the Oly EM10 Mk ii but I couldn't get on with the confusing menu system. I then switched to a Panansonic DMC-G5, upgraded it to a G6 because I liked it so much, and now I have the G80 (G85 in USA), which I absolutely love using.
    I even splashed out on an Olympus 12-100mm f/4 lens which is a superb one lens fits all solution (large and heavy though), and works well the camera's inbuilt stabilization. Couple that with a 20mm 1.7 prime, plus a 45-175 zoom for wildlife and I'm fairly lightweight for kit. The camera also has focus peaking so vintage manual lenses are not a problem to use, especially with the IBIS as mentioned above.
    The G80 does have a hot shoe for flash, which the G7 does not - I have found that to be very useful for indoor product shots. I also feel that ISO 3200 is OK in low light, but wouldn't want to use any higher in most circumstances.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  5. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #5
    Yes, it does. This was the sort of thing I’m looking for. Reliability has been good?
     
  6. kenoh, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018

    kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #6
    So I went Canon crop, Canon Full, Sony Full with a Sony crop on the side, to Olympus M43 back to Sony to Fuji with Leica Full frame in parallel.

    I have been a bit daft buying too many camera systems looking for the holy grail when I already had it - the one in my bag already....

    I think today there is very little between cameras of comparable position being it entry, intermediate, enthusiast or pro gear. At each category, they are all as good as each other unless you go get the obvious stand out candidate. Like a Nikon D850 for example or an A7RIII.

    If I were in your shoes, I would consider these:

    1. First generation A7, full frame mirrorless now almost at the price you want to cap out at. Full frame but if you start buying the lenses, then they are not smaller than the lenses you have had in the past so you wont really make a size saving.
    2. Olympus OM-D EM5 MKII or EM10 MKIII M43, bit noisy in the shadows but plenty good. EM5 MKii with a 12-40 Pro lens is all you need 90% of time and is weather sealed. However, it is a bit small for me I found so you might find it small too. Oh yeah, the sensor died in mine after 2 weeks.
    3. Fuji XT-20 with the 18-55 lens. I think this is a great setup. I am considering this as my carry all kit. Only thing is the X-Trans image files are a pig to process nicely. Lightroom happily mangles the detail so care is needed in post.
    4. Sony A6000 is long in the tooth, I think the 6300 is a better value proposition as low light is better handled


    If it were me, I would consider the Fuji or the Sony A7 but that is probably just because that’s the route I took too.

    All very very capable machines but like said earlier, hold on for the winter promotions... they will go on sale...

    Remember I am an idiot, I know nothing, feel free to ignore me or message me directly for honest feedback like....

    Olympus, would I go there again? No because I tend to underexpose images and pushing them adds too much noise too quickly. Sony, do I regret moving to Fuji from Sony? Yes and no. Yes, the Fuji can’t touch the sony for detail and resolution in flat out image quality but as the Fuji is crop sensor, then the lenses are smaller, the image quality is plenty good enough when I am not being a pixel snob, and I live in Scotland so the Fuji weather sealing is an absolute god send. Also when I say Sony is better image quality, we are talking like a Ferrari is faster than BMW M5 - yes it is but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the M5.

    I hope some of this rambling makes sense...
     
  7. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    Feb 4, 2012
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    Kent, UK
    #7
    Reliability no problem, bearing in mind that I bought the G80 'new' (shop demo with only a few actuations).
    Actually the G5 and G6 gave me no problems and they were 2nd hand of unknown previous history, and of course I am still using a G1 from 2008 that was converted to infrared.
    To be honest though, most modern digital cameras are reliable if treated well.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  8. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #8
    Yeah, I don’t want to bounce around a lot, which is why I’m kicking myself for leaving Sony entirely. The problem today is that everyone wants you to upgrade, and there’s enough moving parts and variables in this industry to leave you really confused and/or wanting something else!
     
  9. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #9
    Totally. Sony are buggers for that. They release a new model every year or so. I fell into that trap too. Honestly, the best thing I did was use an old camera. I was lucky enough to get a Leica M9. 2009 technology but still punches above its weight. That proved to me it ain’t the camera holding me back. It’s me that’s crap not the specs of my light catcher. I love that camera.

    Olympus and Fuji are longer release cycles. I think Olympus are due a new EM5 soon as it has been a while since the last new release from them. Also Fuji, the XT-2 is a couple years old now so plenty of life between new models and Fuji are fantastic for firmware updates that add new features and film simulations.

    Just watch auto focus when mixing and matching Olympus and Panasonic bodies and lenses. In theory they are compatible but they don’t always work quite as well when paired to each other.

    I think the hardest thing here is that there isn’t really a wrong answer. It may come down to the important thing - which one makes you want to pick it up and go shoot the most?

    Good luck!
     
  10. stillcrazyman macrumors 68020

    stillcrazyman

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    #10
    I’ve been shooting exclusively with an Olympus EM5 MkII since April. I love the image quality and the light weight compared with my old Sony a77.
    I paired it with the 12-40 f2.8 Pro lens and a 40-150 Pro .
    For my use, I am well pleased with this kit.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #11

    This is why you shouldn’t listen to me. This is way better than anything I got out of it. However, as my sensor died, maybe the two weeks when I thought it was working.... maybe it wasn’t....
     
  12. 0970373, Sep 2, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018

    0970373 Suspended

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #12
    We've had quite a few threads about this but I think this one (the one that convinced @stillcrazyman to get his Oly OMD EM5II) is a pretty good one. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/thinking-of-going-for-a-m43-system.2113781/

    I upgraded to from the EM5 Mark I to the EM1 Mark II earlier this year and I love it. The grip is outstanding as is the build and image quality. Weather sealed cameras and lenses are a big feature for me. I think you need to assess which features/attributes are most important to you and go from there. Because unless you're shooting professionally, they're all plenty good. And actually, the top of the line of each system is plenty good for professional standards.

    There was another thread that I can't find now and the OP had the similar questions, more specific I think. It went on for quite a while as they couldn't decide. My best suggestion after making that list of attributes was to go to a local store and hold these cameras and see which one feels right in your hand. Buy from someplace w/ a return policy in case you change your mind for a different system.
     
  13. tizeye macrumors 6502

    tizeye

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    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #13
    Glad to hear not in a hurry. Wife has the A6000 with the pancake and tele kit. Nice little camera with nothing wrong with it other than being 3 generations old. Sony continues to market it and it is a huge seller despite it's age. I use it occasionally. Would suggest programing one of the custom buttons for manual focus override so one button when something in foreground that thins want to focus on. You may want to hold off as sales during holidays. Also, another model will be introduced which should have a ripple effect on pricing, potentially dropping the 6300/6500 down. https://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr4...nnounced-along-the-new-high-end-aps-c-camera/

    My son uses Panasonic/Olympus 4/3 cameras. He continually switches around and has accumulated several lens which are less expensive compared to Sony. Not certain what he has now as indicated just got something new model and sold an earlier model. Photos he takes with it are phenomenal, and as a dad, happy to see his photographic interest and development. Bought his first house Friday and I am flying there tomorrow to help paint and other stuff. Will get an idea what he recommends and post later.
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #14
    I would also wait for the rumored a7000, if anything it should drop the prices on the other models.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #15
    I'm happy with my OMD EM5, I'm not using it to its full potential any more but its. nice camera and it does everything I throw at it.
     
  16. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #16
    I’ve been looking into the G85 more since you mentioned it. It certainly looks like a nice upgrade from the G7 by offering IBIS. There’s something about that series that appeals to me. It looks to have some of the best ergonomics and also has all the buttons and dials one could hope for. It’s higher than I would like to pay, but it might be worth holding out for and see how it goes for sales.

    Another plus right now is if I get a Panasonic, B&H extends the warranty to 3 years for free.
     
  17. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #17
    One thing I forgot to mention, the G85 is weather sealed, as is the Oly 12-100mm.
    If you prefer a 2 lens solution, the Panasonic 12-35 2.8 and 35-100 2.8 are the very best buys ;)

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     
  18. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #18
    Consider lenses as well.

    Given the in-body stabilization of the E-m10, that allows for easier use of adapted lenses, which are often quite good.

    Since you do outdoor macro, consider the Oly 60mm macro on either body; it's a terrific lens and works as a short telephoto as well. I even get lots of outdoor landscapes with it, using stitching. And I believe the E-m10 does focus bracketing, with that lens, which can be very handy for flowers, insects, etc etc.
     
  19. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    #19
    +1 for the Oly 60mm, a fantastic lens ;)

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
    --- Post Merged, Sep 3, 2018 ---
     
  20. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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  21. willentrekin macrumors regular

    willentrekin

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    #21
    I use an a6000 with its 18200 lens almost exclusively, and have done for probably three or four years now. It's served me well, and I've always gotten great shots.

    I've been considering an upgrade either to something that can do 4K or to the A7iii, but will most likely stick with Sony. Their menu systems are ass but their results and form factors have been, for my purposes, perfect. Then again, my purposes are usually Flickr or (now) Instagram -- I'm not a pro or anything.
     
  22. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #22
    Thanks all for your feedback. It's what I've been looking for. Right now I'm leaning heavily toward bending the budget and going with the Lumix G85, though feel free to make your case for something similar that would be just as good! It just appears to have the ergonomics I'm looking for, and I think the 12-60 lens it ships with appears to be well received, which is a plus since I'm starting from zero.

    I might make a move the next time I see a good discount/sale. As much as I'd like to wait until holiday sales, all the kid's birthdays are coming up before Black Friday and we may have a family trip in the works. I guess we'll see how disciplined I can be. :)
     
  23. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #23
    Well, no purchase yet, but I may have shifted my decision to the DMC-GX85. As much as I like the G85, the body size is actually really close to the D5300 it will be replacing. I was really hoping to reduce kit size, as that was something I really liked about the Sony a5000 I had before. I had no comfort issues with the a5000, and the GX85 has very similar dimensions. It still has the dual stabilization (body+lens), dual mode dials, and an EVF. It seems like a very highly reviewed camera, and it’s also a little cheaper. B&H has a combo deal right now that includes a 45-150 lens, too.

    Like so many things these days, it’s decision fatigue—hard to make your pick, and regret/doubt comes shortly after. I guess that’s one thing Apple has going for it—a relatively simple product stack to reduce headaches. o_O
     
  24. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

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    #24
    Truth is none of these options are a bad decision. Nobody is making bad cameras these days.
     
  25. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #25
    That’s what I gather as well. Reviewers have to find something to criticize, then users typically come back and say it isn’t really that bad.
     

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