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camera systems compared


  • modern cameras are now primarily electronic commodities designed to last 3-5 years, so when buying a new camera, bear this in mind.
  • most modern cameras with reasonable size sensors will take great photos if you know how to use it.
    • forget megapixel counts, image quality is proportional to the sensor size (if using similar technology) and optical lens quality
    • the 2x crop sensor of the Micro Four Thirds system is the smallest sensor size one should consider to get high image quality AND ability to gain shallow depth of field (DOF) to blur the background, and the E-M5 has shown that sensor technology is now so good that most people do not need larger sensors, and larger sensors mean larger cameras, larger lenses and larger tripods and bags, not to mention cost - you really need to consider if large size is really worth it to you.
  • the new mirrorless cameras, have a feature set which makes them a better camera for most people than dSLRs as they are smaller, and thus you are more likely to have it with you, they are quieter as there is no noisy mirror, they have smaller lenses (particularly the Micro Four Thirds cameras), are much easier to use than dSLRs and yet provide comparable image quality to dSLRs. Of course, not having a mirror, none have an optical viewfinder and this can be an issue in fast burst as the EVF blacks out between shots.
  • buying into a full frame dSLR system instead of a mirrorless system may be reasonable if you want specific lenses not available otherwise, or you really need that extra shallow depth of field (DOF) or very large print quality.
    • buying into it just because one day, several years into the future, you might want to upgrade your camera and still keep your lenses is also a potentially reasonable option BUT be aware that, unlike the manual focus days, current AF lenses, particularly those with IS, are becoming more rapidly redundant as manufacturers are consistently introducing new versions with more effective IS, faster AF, HD video capabilities, and worse, there will come a time soon that Canon and Nikon introduce mirrorless full frame cameras which will make much of their current lens system somewhat redundant as new lenses with fast, accurate linear stepping AF motors will be needed.
feature Point and Shoot MFT Mirrorless Entry dSLR Mid dSLR Pro dSLR or full frame
cost $200-$500 $500-$1300 $500-$1300 $1000-$2200 $3000-$10,000
max. good print size 14“ x 10” 30“ x 20” 30“ x 20” 30“ x 20” 36“ x 24” if full frame
size pocketable jacket pocketable medium medium-large large
ease of use easy mod. easy average mod. difficult complex
kit lens zoom# 3-24x 3-10x 3-10x 3-10x 3x
viewfinder usually none EVF or optional EVF add-on pentamirror (poor viewing) pentaprism pentaprism
macro ease of use easy but limited easy moderate moderate complex
handheld self-portraits easy if swivel or flip up/down screen difficult difficult v. difficult
flip out LCD some most some some none
touch LCD for AF some most none some none
weatherproof some E-M5ii, E-M1ii, GH5 no some most but not Canon 5D MII
background blur minimal good good+ good+ very good if full frame
low light poor good good+ good+ very good if full frame
burst rate variable

Sony NEX system

  • currently there are no really compelling affordable lenses in the Sony NEX system and the lenses are bigger and heavier than the Micro Four Thirds lenses and always will be due to the larger sensor size they have to cover.
  • Sony E mount full frame systems are the same size and weight as full frame dSLR kits but the Sony lenses tend to be more expensive.

Fuji X system

  • there are only a few AF lens available
  • the main reason to buy this expensive mirrorless camera is for its unique hybrid viewfinder and high image quality sensor so it really is for a niche market at present rather than as a general purpose camera
  • remote TTL flash is often problematic
photo/systems_compared.txt · Last modified: 2018/05/22 19:15 by gary1

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