Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?




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    Default Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Hi guys, this is a follow up from this 2018 post: https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...tem?highlight=
    Bottom line, at the time I decided to just buy short, wide lenses for my Nikon DSLR system and I am quite happy with that.

    However, I still want a smallish system for travel, hiking and weekend trips' type photography, where I don't want the schleb of the big DSLR system, so looking at a compact mirrorless camera again. I also want to use the mirrorless camera for videos while for instance in the game park while I use my DSLR for stills.

    I want to buy for about R15k. The other criteria is it must be compact, without an extending viewfinder, so I want it to look similar to and use it like I use my cellphone camera, but better quality photo and video and the ability to zoom in and still take quality photos, so must have at least 4k video.

    Would you guys with knowledge please tell me what the defining criteria is between the listed possibilities? Obviously sensor size and type but I do not know what is better, or if it is the lenses that outperform and are therefore more expensive, or is the one brand just better then the other? I am not a brand snob at all so really just looking for the best optical and image quality at the most affordable price. Good local back-up will also be nice.

    I have initially looked at the Sony A6400 with the basic 16-50mm lens, they go for about $1000 and one sees then locally on specials for around R15k or thereabouts. If I google around there are quite a few cheaper systems though, like listed below. Would these suffice for my purposes?

    https://www.adorama.com/isoa6400k.html

    But then I see one can get a Panasonic Lumix GX85 with 12-32mm & 45-150mmm lenses for about $600? https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ess_micro.html
    GX9 for around $800: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ess_micro.html

    Canon, obviously very well represented locally, the M200 with short lens for $550? https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...s_digital.html (about R10k locally and R11500 with also the rather slow 55mm-200mm lens)
    M6 markII with short lens for about $1100: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...6_mark_ii.html (about R15k locally, so not bad considering $/R exchange now!)

    Olympus, I know AndyT is a big fan, nice offering here (or is it too basic?): Pen E-PL10 body for $550 with 14-42mm lens for #224 so around $775 basic: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...o.html/reviews

    Fuji? Look to start around R18k and up locally.

    I see there is APS-C and then micro four thirds, is that such a big deal? What am I missing? Sensor quality? Video quality?

    Please provide me with your input. Thanks!
    Last edited by walkabout; 2021/12/06 at 12:09 AM.
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Fujifilm all the way when it comes to APS-C, no competition.

    The XS-10 or the XT-30 Mk1 should be in your budget.

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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Hi Skylark, why Fuji??

    Also, rightly or wrongly, I do not want the piece on top - this part (don't know if this will load correctly, otherwise below).


    I want it fairly small to put in a backpack side pocket etc. I know when one adds a long lens it will become bulky anyway, but I want the starter package to be as small as possible.

    This XE4 Fuji will work though. https://www.outdoorphoto.co.za/digit...-wr-lens-black

    Is there a marked difference between the different makes?
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by walkabout View Post
    Hi Skylark, why Fuji??

    Also, rightly or wrongly, I do not want the piece on top - this part (don't know if this will load correctly, otherwise below).


    I want it fairly small to put in a backpack side pocket etc. I know when one adds a long lens it will become bulky anyway, but I want the starter package to be as small as possible.

    This XE4 Fuji will work though. https://www.outdoorphoto.co.za/digit...-wr-lens-black

    Is there a marked difference between the different makes?
    Image quality, usability, cheap lenses.

    Even with that "piece on top" they are tiny. Best to go hold one at a shop.

    I'd suggest getting one 2hnd, you'll get all you need for R15k.

    There is probably not a huge difference between the makes but Fujifilm lenses are phenomenal and even more so considering how affordable they are.

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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Walkabout, just a question: have you ever tried using a long lens by looking on a screen instead of through a viewfinder?
    I have tried making videos with my DSLR and 500mm lens (which must be done from the screen instead of through the viewfinder) and I find it virtually impossible to frame my subject, or even find it.
    Last edited by Peter Connan; 2021/12/06 at 02:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    Walkabout, just a question: have you ever tried using a long lens by looking on a screen instead of through a viewfinder?
    I have tried making videos with my DSLR and 500mm lens (which must be done from the screen instead of through the viewfinder) and I find it virtually impossible to frame my subject, or even find it.
    Hi Peter, no I haven't. I also have the Nikon D500 and have not even taken a photo with the screen using a short lens, let alone when using with my 200-500mm lens.

    But this application and how I intend using it will be different. Also, I do not mind if it has a viewfinder and I am sure then I will use it on occasion, but I don't want it to stick out on top, mostly from a size perspective. From youtube videos it appears the Canon M6 MII is quite a small camera though, but now I read their lenses are scares and next year they are going with a "R" mount, so am a bit confused.

    Skylark probably has a point that I should go and check out the cameras in a shop to judge the actual physical size for myself.
    Last edited by walkabout; 2021/12/06 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Corrected Canon model
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylark View Post
    Image quality, usability, cheap lenses.

    Even with that "piece on top" they are tiny. Best to go hold one at a shop.

    I'd suggest getting one 2hnd, you'll get all you need for R15k.

    There is probably not a huge difference between the makes but Fujifilm lenses are phenomenal and even more so considering how affordable they are.
    Thanks, appreciate the further feedback.

    I think I will go and have a look in the shop again, good suggestion. I remember last time I was surprised at how small the entry models actually were.
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    For me the biggest question is this: do you plan to run two 'duplicate' systems, one big and one small.
    I did that for a while, and abandoned the idea because honestly if you compare like for like, newer lenses are not that much smaller. I also found that when using these systems too infrequently, I would rather have one system with the same ergonomics for muscle memory sake. It always took me a little while to adapt.

    I ran Canon DSLR's, and a FujiXT2 for a while, but apart from the above reasons, realising that I would need two copies of popular lens types just made the whole thing pointless.
    WHen Canon came to the party with excellent mirrorless cameras, full frame mind you, I decided to sell all the FUJI gear, and get one system that includes a smaller body for travel.

    If I were to try and run two separate systems again, I would not go MILC for the compact system, rather I would buy a compact zoom without interchangeable lens and use that for hiking etc. THen I would just have to accept the inherent compromises of that choice.

    Just my 2c

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    Last edited by IanK; 2021/12/06 at 04:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Thanks IanK. Yes it will be 2 systems, the reason being that even with Nikon (my dslr system) the mirrorless cameras have their own lenses.

    Appreciate the valid points made though, it all helps to form the decision.

    I know Peter Connan in the quoted thread of 2018 mentioned some okes using the Sony RX100R for my explained usage, which of course is always at the back of my head (or a Canon "G7" type camera etc.)
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    My GF bought a Nikon Z6 and a 24-200 F4-6.3 and she is as happy s can be with it.
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by walkabout View Post
    Also, rightly or wrongly, I do not want the piece on top - this part (don't know if this will load correctly, otherwise below).

    I want it fairly small to put in a backpack side pocket etc. I know when one adds a long lens it will become bulky anyway, but I want the starter package to be as small as possible.

    This XE4 Fuji will work though. https://www.outdoorphoto.co.za/digit...-wr-lens-black
    I have one of the lesser X-series cameras. Probably obsolete by now but without a viewfinder, so the pentaprism bulge is not there. It is barely taller than the lens mount. Looks like the rangefinder cameras of old.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    See review here: https://m.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-m1

    Fuji makes a beautiful pancake wide-angle which protrudes only around 20mm in front of the lens mount.
    Last edited by JJJ; 2021/12/07 at 08:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJJ View Post
    I have one of the lesser X-series cameras. Probably obsolete by now but without a viewfinder, so the pentaprism bulge is not there. Looks like the rangefinder cameras of old.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20211206_193006_01.jpg 
Views:	29 
Size:	305.7 KB 
ID:	638991

    See review here: https://m.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-m1

    Fuji makes a beautiful pancake wide-angle which protrudes only around 20mm in front of the lens mount.
    The 18mm F2 lens is tiny.

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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Okay...I am going to exonerate myself by saying we are all just photography lovers who like to discuss cameras and lenses, shoot the breeze and are therefore free to change our minds as a discussion goes on...

    Enter Skylark.

    I now officially despise you. In fact JJJ you too!

    As suggested I went to have a look at the physical sizes of the mirrorless cameras as they all look the same size on photos (a bit like my Garmin dashcam which I thought was the size of a happy snappy camera but turns out to be matchbox size...). I had it narrowed down to the Canon M6 MII, Sony A6400 and some or other (spit) Fuji. I really wanted to like the Canon and Sony. In fact I do like the Sony. Canon got struck off the list because of the current shortage of a variety of lenses (not a big deal as it will have limited application) but especially the changing lens mount. Walked into a local camera store, lovely lady assistant, they happen to have the Sony A6400 with 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens on special for R16k. Perfect. Basically done deal. Although the American youtube bloggers say that lens is not great quality.

    I then asked to see the (spit) Fuji choices as well. They had the XT 30, which was way too big and exactly what I did not want for my application. Happy times.

    However, they also have the X-S10. Same physical size as the Sony A6400 with around a 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens, although with the stand-up viewfinder, but the whole camera is actually quite small so no big deal; so much of a muchness. Sony still winning.

    With this the shop owner walks past, looks at the Fuji and remarks "that's my camera". I ask him how it compares with the Sony - he makes an unintelligible sound and walks away like a disdained Frenchman, nose in the air, not interested in further discussion. Lady assistant quietly tells me "he only believes in Fuji", in case I was uncertain.

    So that's how it started.

    Anyway he eventually comes down to my level and we start comparing the Sony with the Fuji; basically, cheaper lenses but same (according to him "better") quality, better modes (not a big deal for me) but the big one, it has in-body stabilisation. The shop camera had a 70-300mm lens on it. He took a photo of a sign across the road at 300mm, first holding it stable & through the viewfinder and then where he deliberately shook the camera when he took the shot. One could not tell the difference between the 2 shots, even if you zoom in on the sign in-camera. As this will be mostly a travel camera for me this feature will be very useful. So I was sort of impressed.

    But then the clincher - he walks away and says AND it comes with THIS lens, which is their 18-55mm f2.8-F4, presently all on special for R20k. I have looked at the B&H website and the similar configuration at the present exchange rate sells at $1400 (R22k) there. One can get the same deal with quite a few nice extras thrown in at Adorama but then I have to wait until May 2022 when family is coming out from the US.

    So, Fuji X-S10 it will be then. Camera or December holiday....?? I have always said all this eating out on holidays is way overrated in any case.
    Last edited by walkabout; 2021/12/08 at 02:34 PM.
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    You scored, the XS-10 is an amazing camera, especially for video and the 18-55mm F2.8-4 is a stunning lens. That combo will get you many hours of joy.

    The cincher for me with Fujifilm is the high quality and affordability of the lenses. Even the most basic cheap all plastic kit lenses are near razor sharp, something which I never found with any other brand of camera in the past.

    Something to try is it's very easy to adapt old vintage manual focus lenses to Fujifilm bodies, there's a real charm to old fast prime lenses and they work great for taking people pics, the random flares and softness lend something you can't find in modern lenses.

    If you are looking for more lenses Cameraworld.co.za is a great place to look for 2hnd lenses with a warranty, free shipping on all their lenses.

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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by walkabout View Post
    Okay...I am going to exonerate myself by saying we are all just photography lovers who like to discuss cameras and lenses, shoot the breeze and are therefore free to change our minds as a discussion goes on...

    Enter Skylark.

    I now officially despise you. In fact JJJ you too!

    As suggested I went to have a look at the physical sizes of the mirrorless cameras as they all look the same size on photos (a bit like my Garmin dashcam which I thought was the size of a happy snappy camera but turns out to be matchbox size...). I had it narrowed down to the Canon M6 MII, Sony A6400 and some or other (spit) Fuji. I really wanted to like the Canon and Sony. In fact I do like the Sony. Canon got struck off the list because of the current shortage of a variety of lenses (not a big deal as it will have limited application) but especially the changing lens mount. Walked into a local camera store, lovely lady assistant, they happen to have the Sony A6400 with 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens on special for R16k. Perfect. Basically done deal. Although the American youtube bloggers say that lens is not great quality.

    I then asked to see the (spit) Fuji choices as well. They had the XT 30, which was way too big and exactly what I did want for my application. Happy times.

    However, they also have the X-S10. Same physical size as the Sony A6400 with around a 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens, although with the stand-up viewfinder, but the whole camera is actually quite small so no big deal; so much of a muchness. Sony still winning.

    With this the shop owner walks past, looks at the Fuji and remarks "that's my camera". I ask him how it compares with the Sony - he makes an unintelligible sound and walks away like a disdained Frenchman, nose in the air, not interested in further discussion. Lady assistant quietly tells me "he only believes in Fuji", in case I was uncertain.

    So that's how it started.

    Anyway he eventually comes down to my level and we start comparing the Sony with the Fuji; basically, cheaper lenses but same (according to him "better") quality, better modes (not a big deal for me) but the big one, it has in-body stabilisation. The shop camera had a 70-300mm lens on it. He took a photo of a sign across the road at 300mm, first holding it stable & through the viewfinder and then where he deliberately shook the camera when he took the shot. One could not tell the difference between the 2 shots, even if you zoom in on the sign in-camera. As this will be mostly a travel camera for me this feature will be very useful. So I was sort of impressed.

    But then the clincher - he walks away and says AND it comes with THIS lens, which is their 18-55mm f2.8-F4, presently all on special for R20k. I have looked at the B&H website and the similar configuration at the present exchange rate sells at $1400 (R22k) there. One can get the same deal with quite a few nice extras thrown in at Adorama but then I have to wait until May 2022 when family is coming out from the US.

    So, Fuji X-S10 it will be then. Camera or December holiday....?? I have always said all this eating out on holidays is way overrated in any case.

    Thanks for this, most entertaining BUT, not many camera shops in Durban, could you give me a hint, please?

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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Walkabout it may be time to go all in. Sell the Nikon stuff , and buy the fuji 2.8 Zoom, 70-200 equivalent. It is magical.
    D

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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by IanK View Post
    Walkabout it may be time to go all in. Sell the Nikon stuff , and buy the fuji 2.8 Zoom, 70-200 equivalent. It is magical.
    D
    Don't you start Ian, you'll be on the same list as Skylark!
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylark View Post
    You scored, the XS-10 is an amazing camera, especially for video and the 18-55mm F2.8-4 is a stunning lens. That combo will get you many hours of joy.

    The cincher for me with Fujifilm is the high quality and affordability of the lenses. Even the most basic cheap all plastic kit lenses are near razor sharp, something which I never found with any other brand of camera in the past.

    Something to try is it's very easy to adapt old vintage manual focus lenses to Fujifilm bodies, there's a real charm to old fast prime lenses and they work great for taking people pics, the random flares and softness lend something you can't find in modern lenses.

    If you are looking for more lenses Cameraworld.co.za is a great place to look for 2hnd lenses with a warranty, free shipping on all their lenses.
    I have not bought yet but will, it is just when - $$$...

    Thanks for the tip about Cameraworld. But you really are not helping.
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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Quote Originally Posted by walkabout View Post
    I have not bought yet but will, it is just when - $$$...

    Thanks for the tip about Cameraworld. But you really are not helping.
    Fujifilm has a December cashback promotion running currently?

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    Default Re: Which Mirrorless camera & lens(es) - compact, sleek & good quality?

    Thanks for this, most entertaining BUT, not many camera shops in Durban, could you give me a hint, please?
    Photo Freedom in Broadway, next to the pharmacy. I was just being facetious, the owner is actually a very nice guy, we had a good chat once we got into the "camera talk".

    Btw, apparently there is just 1 Sony A6400 combo left at that price. I think prices are going to go up a lot when they start buying at the current exchange rate - normally when I compare with US prices we are about 20% or more more expensive, not the other way round.
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