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Old Dec 2, 2013, 5:20 PM   #1
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Default Time for a new system. Help required!!

I've decided it's time to get rid of my current equipment and start afresh.

Canon 5D2, 24-105L, 70-300 DO, 50 f1.4, Samyang 14mm, +flash.

Why?
  • Firstly I can't face the thought of carrying around heavy gear anymore, I'm going to SA for Xmas and the prospect of lugging the DSLR all that way was too horrible to contemplate.
  • Then secondly I find that my photography has stalled, I need a bit of a gear change to re-invigorate things.
  • Also I don't see any point in waiting on Canon, even if they bring out a new high-rez DSLR the lenses I have are close to their limits, they are not going to be good enough on a 40Mp body, I would need to sell the whole lot and start again anyway.
  • If I wait much longer the used value of my equipment is going to fall quickly, so if I'm getting out I should do it very soon.

Key camera features:
  1. Accurate CDAF. Although I have an innate dislike for EVF I have decided for reasons of AF accuracy that the replacement must be
  2. Mirrorless.
  3. High-def EVF, even though I don't like them much compared to OVF, but great CDAF seems to only go with EVF.
  4. Face-detect AF mode.
  5. AF speed should be tolerable. I donít really want to get into MF with adapters.
  6. Camera must be small and lightweight.
  7. High resolution.
  8. Rich files with lots of shadow detail.

Key lenses for me are:
  1. A FF 35mm f2.8 equivalent, sharp, medium fast, very good bokeh. Portraits and documentary. (50% weighting)
  2. A medium-fast mid-telephoto. Portraits. (30% weighting)
  3. A wide angle. Landscape. (20% weighting)

I have narrowed it down to 3 cameras:

1. Fujifilm X-E2.
  • a. Great value for money. (10/10)
  • b. Mid-size APS-C sensor. 16Mp. (7/10)
  • c. Very good lenses. (8/10)
  • d. Small and light - actually a bit too small. (8/10)
  • e. Good AF, accurate and fast with face detect. (8/10)
  • f. A full replacement set of lenses for what I have now will be small and light and very reasonably priced, with some cracking lenses available when I have a bit extra to spend. (8/10)
  • g. Great looks, mostly good handling. (8/10)
  • h. Reasonable EVF. High res, but low magnification, bit hard to see. (7/10)
  • i. Stunning JPG engine (10/10) difficult X-trans RAW issues (7/10)
  • j. With this camera I will be making small-medium prints, canvases, but probably lots of photo books because I love the OOC jpg files so much - PP will be easy to non-existent.
  • k. X-E2 + 18-55 (£1200) + 55-200 (£600) + 23 f1.4 (£850) + 60 f2.4 Macro (£350 with rebate)= £3,000 Plus coming soon 56 f1.2 (£1000 est when available)
2. Olympus OMD-EM1
  • a. Quite expensive camera body. Not fantastic value. (8/10)
  • b. Small but good 4/3 sensor. 16Mp. Loses ground to the Fuji here. (6/10)
  • c. Astoundingly good lenses available. Esp. the new Pro Zoom. Hugely versatile range. (10/10)
  • d. Bigger and heavier than the X-E2 but still a good size. (7/10)
  • e. Fantastic AF. (10/10)
  • f. A full replacement set of lenses but with more range and versatility is easy to choose: 12-40 f2.8 Pro, 75-300 MkII, 60 f2.8 Macro, 75 f1.8. Just fantastic lenses. Easily make up for the smaller sensor compared to most APS-C DSLR, and exceed them because of the hyper-accurate and fast CDAF. But not compared to the excellent Fuji lenses with CDAF. So overall IQ lags just a tiny bit.
  • g. Probably the best handling camera I've ever picked up too. But it feels almost a bit too much like a DSLR.
  • h. Simply wonderful EVF. High res, huge magnification. It's better than my 5D2 to look through. I don't like EVFs but this one is incredible. (10/10)
  • i. Very good jpg engine. (9/10) No RAW problems. (9/10)
  • j. With this camera I will be making small-medium prints, canvases, slightly more PP probably trying hard to squeeze out the last bit of IQ. Probably getting too distracted with all the amazing things the camera can do - wildlife, action, etc, etc.
  • k. OMD-EM1 + 12-40 f2.8 Pro (£1950) + 75-300 Mk II (£400) + 17 f1.8 (£380) + 75 f1.8 (£750) = £3,480 plus lots of other temptations, including a lovely Pro 50-150 f2.8 zoom next year.
3. Sony A7R
  • a. Not bad value, compared to a D800e, but a lot more expensive than the other two. (6/10)
  • b. Best sensor currently available on any camera. Oh the files!!! (10/10)
  • c. Only 2 lenses currently available without adapters! But the right ones and more will follow. 35 f2.8 Zeiss and 55 f1.8 Zeiss, will pretty much cover what I need, with a wide angle later - slow is fine for wide angle I have never seen the point of a 24mm f1.4 - I am always stopped down to 5.6 - 11 anyway on wide angle shots. Expensive though. In the meantime I can stitch the 35 for landscapes if I need wider.
  • d. Very compact for FF, slightly smaller in the hand than the OMD-EM1 and lighter. Bit bigger than the Fuji, but super small and light compared to FF DSLR.
  • e. Good AF, accurate, reasonably quick with face detect. (7/10)
  • f. The lack of lenses mean it's not going to be an all-round system. No fun with wildlife. No extraneous distractions like Macro. The only thing I will be able to do is concentrate on my portrait photography. This might be a very good thing. Now of course in theory I could just get 2-3 lenses for the other cameras, but the temptation to have a more rounded set will likely be too great.
  • g. Handling is fairly horrible. Buttons don't fall easily to hand. It's like some weird computer gadget that just happens to take pictures. But OMG the pictures!!
  • h. Reasonable EVF, high res, good magnification, but a bit fuzzy. Slightly better than the Fuji, not nearly as good as the OMD.
  • i. RAW all the way, supported by ACR & DXO for maximum goodness. (10/10)
  • j. With this camera I will be concentrating on my portrait photography, with a bit of landscape thrown in. It has the potential in the files to allow me to take my pictures to the next level. No distractions, no excuses. If my portraits are not good enough with this camera, it will simply be because my creative vision has failed me. Nothing can be blamed on the camera.
  • k. A7R (£1700) + 35mm f2.8 (£750) + 55 f.18 (£930) = £3,380 Plus landscape lens later.

I will be getting about £2200 trade-in for my Canon gear. So none of these options should break the bank in the short term. Immediate spend will be around £1,000 now. Though in the medium term I can imagine all 3 systems will need another £2,000 after that to go to around £5,000 total with lenses and flash, etc over the next 2-3 years. But that will be covered by a £100/month budget.


What camera should I buy, someone help me please? I'm really struggling with this.
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Old Dec 2, 2013, 5:59 PM   #2
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Personally,I wouldn't go with a 4/3 system because I still think the sensor is lagging behind APS-C,never mind FF.... and given the price of the EM1...

Not to confuse the issue- but not considering the X-Pro or the A7...?
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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Have you thought about sticking with Canon and just getting something small like the Canon SL1 (100D)?

If you want to travel light, you could get the Canon 18-135mm STM lens to go along with it.

Or a 28-75 f2.8 (24-70 f2.8) which could pull double duty on your Canon 5D MKII.

Or . . . maybe try out that Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 lens. The benefit would be that you could still pick out one or more of your existing lenses to go trekking with you too. That might satisfy all three of your lens wishes above.

And with the built-in flash, you won't always have to carry an external flash around with you as well. But when you do, just use your existing flash.

I've picked up the Canon SL1 in stores and played around with it and it looks like it could be a lot of fun.

Just a thought.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 1:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacticdesigns View Post
Have you thought about sticking with Canon and just getting something small like the Canon SL1 (100D)?

If you want to travel light, you could get the Canon 18-135mm STM lens to go along with it.

Or a 28-75 f2.8 (24-70 f2.8) which could pull double duty on your Canon 5D MKII.

Or . . . maybe try out that Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 lens. The benefit would be that you could still pick out one or more of your existing lenses to go trekking with you too. That might satisfy all three of your lens wishes above.

And with the built-in flash, you won't always have to carry an external flash around with you as well. But when you do, just use your existing flash.

I've picked up the Canon SL1 in stores and played around with it and it looks like it could be a lot of fun.

Just a thought.
It would certainly solve the size & weight problems, but unfortunately a pretty large step down in quality.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 1:51 PM   #5
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My vote is for the Oly. Yes, the body is pricy - but the lenses are wonderful, AF is probably tops of the group as is the viewfinder. My concern with Fuji is they're even more of a bit player so if someone were going to drop out, I would worry it would be them over Oly.

this thread is also interesting on another level - this year I decided to DOWNSIZE to a 5dIII because I was tired of lugging around a 1dIII. I really hope Oly continues on and will offer me my replacement in another 5 years
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 2:03 PM   #6
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The EM1 is an amazing camera. With the IS and the lenses I have no doubt that the IQ is the equal of my current gear.

The Fuji lenses are also very very good though and would be a great replacement for my Canon too, easily as good probably slightly better.

Thing is that the A7R would be a huge step UP.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 2:50 PM   #7
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If I had not gone Pentax before Fuji came out with the X-E2, I certainly would have put it at the top of my list to replace my Oly. I like my K-5 & K-30 but that X-E2... a world of difference. And, having had 3 of their super-zooms, I'm sure the IQ and color would be right where you'd need/want it. The EF-42 TTL flash is VERY affordable, unlike many of the other manufacturer's brands for their cameras. From what I've experienced with Fuji, the accessories are very affordable, if not downright cheap.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 6:02 PM   #8
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peripatetic... your post has put me in a "what if" scenario...
and I go X-E2...

Enough resolution, great sensor/processor, fast AF and burst mode and it looks good...
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 7:39 PM   #9
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I'd go with a smaller, lighter Canon, and keep the lenses you've got. You won't get anything nearly as good with any of the bodies you mentioned. (maybe sell the 70-300 DO, but the others you've got would be ok for what you want.

But based on what you've listed, I'd go with the Olympus. The Fuji is nice but the lenses aren't very good, and the same can be said for the Sony. The short flange focal distance and the large image sensors means the lenses have to bend light a lot, which results in lots of CA.
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Old Dec 3, 2013, 8:51 PM   #10
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Fujifilm X-E2 for me... Would not break the wallet either.
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