Help choosing mirrorless camera and lens system

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Bokeh Enthusiast, Mar 27, 2016.

?

Mirrorless camera for low-light situations

  1. Fuji X-Pro2

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Sony a7 II

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Sony A6300

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Bokeh Enthusiast

    Bokeh Enthusiast TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hi All,

    I am a fairly novice photographer getting into higher end cameras. A pro-photographer friend recently took some of our photos with his Fuji X-Pro2 in JPEG mode with a 35mm prime lens and the photos were unbelievably sharp and bright given the indoor low-light conditions. I really like the X-pro2 but at the same price point I can get a full frame Sony A7II (which has IBIS as well).

    Factors that a couple of pro-photographer friends mentioned are which lens system I should be buying into - the Sony lens system or the Fuji lens system? A full-frame system or an APS-C system? Some have recommended a cheaper camera with a great lens (e.g. a Sony A6000 or A6300 with a good lens).

    Some of my criteria for purchasing:

    1. Good low-light performance - both indoors and outdoors at night.

    2. Minimal to no post-processing. Fuji is well-known for its high quality JPEGs straight out of the camera.

    3. An excellent lens system.

    4. Sharp images with vibrant color.

    I am going to rent the X-Pro2, the A7II, the A6300, and the A6000 to play around with. What rental lens do you recommend to test these cameras out?


     
  2. pixmedic

    pixmedic I am the Lord thy Mod Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    15,289
    Likes Received:
    7,367
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    fuji has an excellent lens linup.
    sony has less lenses i believe, but what they do have is very good.
    if you want the best low light performance, go with full frame.
    its hard to do a direct comparison between a DX and FX system.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    663
    Likes Received:
    253
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Your criteria, besides #1, are somewhat subjective, so I think renting lenses is a good idea.

    The best everyday lens for the a6300/a6000 is probably the Zeiss 24 1.8 or the Zeiss Touit 32. The best mid-level prime would either be the 50 1.8 or 35 1.8. The best zoom is probably the 16-70, though there is a bit of a quality control issue. If you get a good one, though, it's like a bag full of primes. The best bang for your buck zoom is probably the 18-105.

    For the a7II, I would definitely go with the Zeiss 55. For something wider, possibly the Zeiss Batis 25, and for something longer, probably the Sony 90 macro or Batis 85. For zooms, they have the 24-70 f4, but it also has some quality control issues. The early reports of the 24-70 2.8 look very promising, but it's not out yet. The kit lens (28-70) has a decent reputation as far as kit lenses go. If you need something wider, there's the 16-35, and if you need something longer there's the 70-200 f4. Both are good lenses.

    I don't know the Fuji lens line-up, so I'll let someone else cover those.

    I will say, though, that it sounds like you really want the Fuji, you're just concerned that you're overpaying. In my opinion, you can't really overpay for being in love with your camera. If you go with Sony just because it's cheaper, it's not so much cheaper that you'll be happy. On the other hand, if you go with Sony for improved video and autofocus capabilities (a6300) or the improved low light capabilities (a7II), then those are good reasons, and you probably will be happy. It's all about the perfect camera for you, not the perfect camera on paper.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    48,229
    Likes Received:
    18,870
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    1,Good low-light performance - both indoors and outdoors at night.

    2. Minimal to no post-processing. Fuji is well-known for its high quality JPEGs straight out of the camera.

    3. An excellent lens system.

    4. Sharp images with vibrant color.

    Sounds like you really ought to be considering a Nikon d-slr, like a D610.

    Sharp images with vibrant color and NO post-processing? Easily handled with a Nikon and the picture control system...make your own adjustments to the multiple Nikon presets. Boost sharpness a bit, add some saturation, set the tone curve to AUTO, use Matrix metering and the Dynamic Lighting system to handle wide-contrast scenarios.

    Not very long ago, Sony announced some new, "serious", 21st century lenses...making the A7 series now more appealing for serious uses, and for long-term lens investment. Expensive, yes, but built for the next decade.

    "Good low-light performance"? The smaller APS-C cameras have good low-light performance...the Nikon D610 moves to great low-light performance. If you're really wanting great low-light performance you'll want the largest sensor, from the best sensor-maker (SONY, hands down), and you'll want a couple of fast-aperture prime lenses for low-light work. When you need to move to $2400 to $3900 Zeiss prime lenses in order to get good results, you know you've chosen the wrong camera system.

    The deal is simple: FX is about 2.7 times larger in capture area than APS-C is. That size advantage is significant in multiple ways. FX Nikon has plenty of lenses that are not that expensive, but will make fantastic images on a sensor that is 2.7 times bigger than an APS-C sensor.

    Of course--as mentioned, the best camera for one person's uses might be not so good for another person's uses. Right now, the Sony-sensored FX cameras have a number of very-real advantages over cameras with 50% fewer megapixels, and smaller lens systems, and expensive, heavy, premium-priced lenses. OTOH, if you just want a SMALL camera that shoots good SOOC JPEG images, you could choose a number of cameras, and tweak their default settings. You need to commit to a camera and system that you really WANT to have. Stats on paper do not count if you leave the thing behind; sub-par images when you want highest-quality images is the flip side of that coin.
     
  5. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    5,555
    Likes Received:
    1,120
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Not sure why you are limiting yourself to mirrorless, DSLR can give you much better lens lineup for far less.
    If you still want mirrorless only then its simple get the Sony A7II
    FF vs APS-C when it comes to low light performance FF has the upper hand by 1-1.5 stops.
    Sony makes today amazing lenses, their 24-70mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8 are just as good as Nikon and Canon but they also are very expensive.
     
  6. Bokeh Enthusiast

    Bokeh Enthusiast TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks all. The reason I wanted a mirrorless camera is because of their compact size, which is especially important when traveling.
    When I compare the images for the Fuji Xpro with the Sony A7II on DPreview.com, I don't see much difference in the image quality. Not sure how the APS-C Fuji is matching (or even beating) the full frame Sony A7II. The Fuji looks likes its beating even the Nikon D610 in terms of sharpness and color unless my eyes are deceiving me.
    Image comparison: Digital Photography Review
     
  7. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    663
    Likes Received:
    253
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    When I opened the link, it was at ISO 200. In good light and with a low ISO, I think it's pretty hard to tell the difference between full frame and crop sensors.

    In this one, I put them at ISO 6400. I also put it on some letters, because it's easier for me personally to see differences that way, kinda like being at the eye doctor, right? ;) I also replaced the Canon with the Sony a6300 because that was one that you originally asked about.

    Image comparison: Digital Photography Review

    To me, it's much easier to read "RED" with the A7II. I also think the color looks better, which I didn't expect from Sony.

    Modern cameras are all pretty good. I don't have a ton of experience with this comparison tool, but the few times I've used it I've found that I can pretty much cherry pick some area at some setting that will make any comparable camera look good. I still think your original plan to rent the cameras is the best one.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Bokeh Enthusiast

    Bokeh Enthusiast TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Wow, I'm really surprised at the difference between the cameras in your link. I'm also very impressed by the A6300. I will definitely be testing these cameras out in the wild. I'm guessing I should be looking at high ISO performance for low-light conditions?
     
  9. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    663
    Likes Received:
    253
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yes, but only because you listed low light/high ISO performance as your #1 criteria.

    The biggest benefit of renting all these cameras is that you get to do a completely personalized review. You can take the cameras into real world situations that you will be in and see which performs best. You can remove any user bias by replacing it with your own (which is the only one that matters.)

    Basically, it doesn't matter which camera is the best in someone else's studio. What matters is which one you prefer and which works best for your purposes.

    So yes, I would test it indoors and outdoors at night, since that is important to you. I would test autofocus capabilities, if you need that, in low light and bright light. I'd compare jpegs, but keep in mind that you can use some different settings with those if you dislike the default. That's another feature you're unlikely to see in any reviews, because it's simply too in-depth for most reviewers to handle. Take the cameras into the most extreme situations you're likely to experience with them and see which ones you like best.

    Like Derrel said, Sony makes the best sensors. (Sony also makes Nikon's sensors....not sure if that was made clear in his post.) That means that Sony sensors perform best under studio conditions nearly all the time. That doesn't mean that Sony/Nikon cameras are always the best. There's a lot more that goes into the rendering of an image than just a sensor. So that's why it's such a good thing that you're planning to test them in depth yourself.
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,695
    Likes Received:
    491
    If I were starting from scratch I would probably get a mirrorless system. But I have a bunch of DSLR and 35mm lenses so, while it would convenient for me, it doesn't make financial sense. I'm no expert at which one you should choose but the larger the format the better so I would keep that in mind.
     
  11. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    5,555
    Likes Received:
    1,120
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you are worried about size then dont get the A7 because their good fast glass is huge just like Nikon and Canon.
    APS-C fast lenses isnt small either so maybe you should consider MFT system like Panasonic or Olympus, their fast lenses are much smaller then Fuji or Sony but the down side will be low light performance.
    As for Xpro-II vs A7
    APS-C vs FF, sorry but FF will always win simply because it brings double the amount of light then the APS-C sensor.
    If low light performance is important for you then FF is the way to go.
    This doesnt mean the X-ProII low light performance is bad, not at all its just not as good as a FF sensor.
     
  12. Watchful

    Watchful No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,130
    Likes Received:
    255
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    I would wait to see what Nikon has in the works that may be coming in September, unless you feel the urgent need to buy today, then if the Nikon proves to be better, you can always add it too.
    They are rumored to have a full frame to go with the new lens they patented in Nov last year.
     

Share This Page