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Old Oct 11, 2011, 8:25 PM   #1
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Default Mirrorless camera for travel

Torn between either the Pen Mini or the Nex C3. Both seem to get good reviews. I am looking at the best combo of portability and good IQ, so was thinking of getting the NEX with the 16mm pancake. That lens got mixed reviews, though.

My level is probably intermediate amateur. I have long weaned myself off full auto, but rarely venture into full manual, either. Mostly program or Aperture Priority.

I understand the APS-C sensor being better and theoretically providing better IQ.


Last edited by tbird2000; Oct 11, 2011 at 8:27 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old Oct 12, 2011, 7:22 PM   #2
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In my opinion it comes down to probably two items. Lens selection and sensor size. Depending on your needs, these may or may not matter.

Sensor size is going to control the amount of sensor noise and the amount of depth of field. The megapixel race has abated to some degree, and for any amount of pixels a larger sensor will provide more room for the pixels and thus reduce the level of noise. However, the down side to this is the larger the sensor, the larger the camera body to hold it. Potentially going with a sensor a bit smaller than APS-C but larger than the standard P&S or bridge camera might serve as a reasonable alternative.

The lens selection issue comes down to what is currently available, future offering and the potential of third party offerings.

The 4:3 line, has a reasonably mature sensor technology, good sensor resolution, has a wide assortment of lenses from various manufacturers - along with adapters to other lines of lenses. All of this coupled with the newer noise reduction utilities, bodes well for smaller bodies with good glass selection, and an overall smaller kit for traveling. The one drawback to smaller sensors is that it does affect your selection of lenses for wide angle - however there is always stitching.

How is that for not really answering your question with any specific camera make or models?

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Old Oct 12, 2011, 8:15 PM   #3
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You mentioned that you are looking for a mirrorless camera for travel as well as the fact that you thought you would like to have a 16mm prime lens.

What you haven't mentioned is what type of photography are you most interested in.

Also, are you likely to print your photographs and frame them for display or more likely to view them on the computer and e-mail them to friends. etc.

The reason I ask is if your like most of us, in that, when you travel, you want to take photos of landscapes, seascapes, Architecture, people, well everything you find interesting, you'll want the ability to have a fairly good focal range in a zoom lens. The m43 systems have been around for a few years now and there are a good variety of lens choices for the Pens.

As for the APC vs m43 sensor size and quality differential. Yes the 43 sensor is 1/2 frame while the APC sensor is larger 2/3 frame. But unless you regularly print night street scenes or very low light landscapes at 16" x 20", you're really not going to notice a huge difference in image quality. To make it easier to picture;

Here is a chart showing the various sensors used in todays digital cameras

If you're upgrading from a typical point and shoot, the improvement in quality is quite amazing.

An other point about image quality, The sensor size is not the only determin ing factor in image quality. Lenses play a major role in determining what results you get. At this point, there are simply more and better lens choices for the m43 system.

You probably can guess that I'm biased towards the M43 cameras. I own both the E-PL1 and the E-P2. I think they make the perfect travel camera. The images I get satisfy my needs when I'm traveling and I know I'm not going to shooting birds in flight or sports action shots.

The quality of the images I get, are easily printed out to 13" x 19"

Good luck in your hunt.


So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 5:31 PM   #4
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I think there are a few questions to consider that may help determine which system you go with.

1 - do you want a flash now or in the future

2- do you want a viewfinder now or in the future

3 - if you bought 2 lenses, what would you choose and which system best delivers those to you.

I have had the Sony NEX and 16mm and sold it. The 16mm was not a good enough general purpose lens for me, I think I may have kept the NEX if I had bought the 18 - 55mm kit instead.

I now have the Panasonic G3 - I would like to get the 20mm lens for it, as I feel that it would make a superb travel combo (it also gives me my EFV and Flash - which I consider essential for my style / interests).
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