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The Beginner’ s Guide to Choosing a Mirrorless Camera

Have you ever traveled to the shopping mall looking for a product, only to be met simply by dozens of similar options to choose among? Lowest-price vs best-value, long-lasting compared to quick-acting, eco-friendly vs cost-effective: we have been drowning in possibilities that in years past didn’t exist. Perhaps nowhere will be the epidemic of choice more prevalent than in the particular digital camera world today. Since I started reviewing mirrorless cameras a couple of years back with my partner Mathieu Gasquet, I’ve been surprised by just the number of models exist for each brand. For example, in the six years since mirrorless cameras first began to appear on the marketplace, a total of thirty-six Micro 4 Thirds system cameras and 19 Sony E-mount cameras have been launched, an astonishing number if you think about that new film cameras will be released only every two or three many years.

Mirrorless Cameras

But why is excessive choice an issue? We all know that too small choice breeds unhappiness because our own needs aren’ t being fulfilled, but in truth, too much can bring about equally disastrous effects.

Impulse purchasing is common, as individuals presented with too many options often choose to make a quick decision than an educated one. At the other extreme, we now have complete decision avoidance. Both answers are damaging to camera brands since the former buyer likely won’t settle for his or her purchase, and the latter won’t invest in a new product at all. The paradox is that we are wired to desire this excessive choice, regardless of the unwanted effects it has on our ability to manoeuvre via life and make good choices.

Choosing the right mirrorless camera

We often receive email messages from people of varying ability levels asking which mirrorless digital camera is the best for them. This isn’t a simple question to answer as simply no two photographers? needs are as well. People have different photography goals, various budgets, and different interests, and what may work for one person might not work for another person. For this reason, I have devised four imaginary case studies that represent the most typical types of people who contacts us with all the question “which mirrorless should I purchase?

Take note : This list was up-to-date in February of 2017 and might not include the most recent camera versions on the market.

Case A: Lewis – Beginner

Larry is a smartphone professional photographer who is becoming serious about photography, plus wants a new camera that will help your pet take professional-looking images.
Budget: $500

For Larry, everything about their new mirrorless camera will be a step-up from his smartphone. He will need to come to grips with the basics associated with shutter speed, aperture, ISO, publicity compensation, and lens selection whilst learning how to use composition and lighting to his advantage. He requires a camera that is straightforward to use however gives him the possibility to “get messy? and experiment.

Luckily for Larry, each mirrorless camera brand has a series of compatible entry-level models that allow you to adjust the fundamental settings without being bombarded with all the control keys, dials and functions an advanced consumer would expect.

Within the same vein, entry-level models more often than not lack certain high-end features available on flagship models, both to cut expenses and keep the camera as simple as is possible. For instance, you will rarely find a good EVF (electronic viewfinder) or popular shoe on an entry-level camera. Various other aspects like burst speed, higher ISO values and AF functionality may lag behind the market regular, but not to the extend that it might bother a beginner.

Interestingly, there is usually little difference between the image quality of contemporary low-end and high-end models of the same brand name.

Recommended design:

  1. Sony a5000 with 16-50mm kit lens

The Sony a5000 may be the perfect example of a technologically-advanced mirrorless in a very affordable package. Out of most of entry-level mirrorless cameras, it functions the sensor with the most megapixels (20MP APS-C) and works well for low-light capturing up to 3200 ISO. For periodic movie shooters, there is the option to report Full HD video in AVCHD structure (50i and 25p). You also obtain WiFi/NFC connectivity, a 180? point screen for challenging angles plus selfies, and that wonderfully sturdy little design that typifies the Sony Nex and Alpha series.

He may also like:

  1. Fujifilm X-A3 with 16-50mm kit lens
  2. Panasonic Lumix GF85 with 12-32mm package lens

Case W: Shelly – Advanced Amateur

Shelly offers owned an entry-level DSLR plus kit lens for a couple of years. This wounderful woman has become very good at taking pictures of her family and flowers/insects within her garden, and would like to get her photography to a new degree. After reading about the benefits of mirrorless camera, including compactness and decreased weight, she has become curious about changing systems.
Spending budget: $1000

Shelly may be the kind of photographer who has reached the crossroads in her photography: the girl knows all the basics, has developed any in specific genres, but provides yet to settle on a system. Given that she hasn’t yet invested in a number of lenses, she doesn’t feel economically bound to the system she owns.

Since Shelly’s main reason regarding switching would be for the compact plus lightweight characteristic of mirrorless digital cameras, it is important that the model she selects fulfil these two requirements. Similarly, additionally it is essential that her new digital camera possess features that allow the girl to grow as a photographer, including the viewfinder to aid with composition, the hot shoe for extra accessories like an external flash, and of course, image high quality on par with or any better than that produced by her DSLR.

If a victim of the dreaded Gary the gadget guy. A. S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), she will also be keen on having as much features as possible, including a tilt/touch screen, WiFi, function buttons, plus serious movie recording.

Recommended model:

  1. Panasonic Lumix GX8 with 12-32mm package lens

The GX8 is the second Tiny Four Thirds rangefinder-style camera in order to feature a built-in, tiltable EVF. Each well-built and designed, it includes a 20. 3 MP Micro 4 Thirds sensor, a tilting contact LCD, Wifi and NFC online connectivity, fast autofocus, and professional video clip features such as 4K video with up to 30 fps. Being a Tiny Four Thirds camera, it also includes a very wide range of high-quality compact lens at its disposition.

She may also like:

  1. Fujifilm X-E2 with 18-55mm kit lens
  2. Sony a6300 with 16-50mm kit zoom lens
  3. Olympus OM-D E-M10 II along with 14-42mm kit lens

Case C: Phil – Professional for a second fixed body

Phil is really a professional photographer who is satisfied with their DSLR. He is looking to add an expert compact camera to his package for informal shooting.
Budget: $1500

Phil has been a professional photographer for more than 30 years, and is more than happy with the program he has chosen. He has all the lens and equipment he needs to protect weddings, portrait sessions, and sports activities events, but has decided to buy a smaller and lighter compact digital camera to take with him to casual events and on holiday. Since he or she isn’t particularly interested in carrying close to lots of lenses and extra gear in the down time, (he does enough of the while on assignment) the new generation associated with high-end fixed-lens compact cameras possess caught his eye.

For Phil, it is important that their new camera be discreet, provide good image quality, perform well within low-light, and deliver fast autofocus.

Recommended design:

  1. Fujifilm X100F

The Fujifilm X100F is the fourth generation X100 digital camera from Fujfilm, and one of the most dearest models in the entire X collection. It features a 24. 3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor, X-Processor Pro and a fixed 23mm f/2 (35mm equivalent) lens. A special function is its advanced hybrid viewfinder with 100% OVF coverage plus real-time parallax correction, as well as a hd EVF. Of all the high-end compacts in the marketplace, it is the one that most resembles a good analog film camera due to its classic exterior and external dials. The subdued appearance, along with its nearly inaudible leaf shutter, make it probably the most discreet compact cameras around nowadays.

He may also like:

  1. Sony RX100 V

Situation D: Pat – Professional attempting to switch to mirrorless

Pat is a professional wedding ceremony photographer who owns two high-end Digital slrs and a series of professional primes plus zooms. She is beginning to experience back again pain due to the weight of the girl gear, and would like to switch to an inferior and lighter professional system.
Budget: $3000/irrelevant

It came as a surprise when Pat’s doctor told her that will she should stop carrying about heavy gear for her work. An effective wedding photographer for 15 many years, she is now faced with the life-changing decision of either switching to some lighter system or changing vocations.

Pat knows that for your switch to be feasible, she requires a well-rounded system that not only provides the kind of image quality and overall performance she is used to on her DSLR, but additionally covers the same focal lengths. Suitable flash units, battery grips, filter systems, and professional support are all factors that interest her as well.

Given that she is trading within her old gear for a brand new system, her budget is quite versatile.

Recommended design:

  1. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Indicate II

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Tag II is one of the smallest, lightest and many complete mirrorless cameras on the market. Getting part of the Micro Four Thirds series, the camera has a wide range of expert lenses at its disposition through M. Zuiko, Lumix and third-parties, all of which can be stabilized thanks to Olympus? proprietary 5-axis stabilization. It has higher image quality, excellent autofocus both in AF-S and AF-C, a large high resolution EVF, and great ergonomics. Expert support exists for E-M1 Tag II users in most of European countries and the USA.

The girl may also like:

  1. Panasonic Lumix GH5
  2. Fujifilm X-T2
  3. Sony A7S II

Purchasing a new camera is never simple, but I hope that these four situation studies have proven useful in helping you make your mind up. To find out more about mirrorless cameras, all of us invite you to explore the variety of informative reviews on Digital photography Life, and visit our site, MirrorLessons , where my partner Mathieu and am review and compare mirrorless digital cameras out in the field.


About the author: When she’s not studying languages or succumb to weird and wild ethnic food items, Heather Broster is a self-employed tumblr. She is the co-founder of MirrorLessons, a blog dedicated to reviewing the most recent mirrorless cameras in real-world circumstances. Drop the girl a line on Twitter !

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