Mirrorless Roundup 2011

Intermediate cameras

The intermediate camera audience are, in a sense, the luckiest and most interesting sector of the market. As a result of being the part of the market with the largest sales potential, they benefit from fierce competition between manufacturers, so that they arguably get the most camera for their money.

These are the users who are buying a camera because they're interested in getting more involved in photography. Much more than at the Beginner or Enthusiast level, these buyers are also likely to be choosing between a Mirrorless and DSLR camera. And, because their purchase will help some of them get hooked on photography, it's also the one that gets them hooked on a system.

This potential for large sales volumes, combined with a willingness to buy additional lenses and accessories also makes it interesting for third-party manufacturers. Essentially it's the part of the market most likely to define which systems are successes and which end up as historical footnotes. The result for the customer is that manufacturers pack their cameras with as many of their best features as possible while still building to an attractive price. And it results in some extremely competent cameras that you can get some great results out of.

There are four cameras that sit fairly clearly in this class: the distinctly DSLR-like Panasonic G3 and the more compact-like Samsung NX200, Sony NEX-5N and Olympus E-PL3. They have varying specifications, with sensor resolutions from the Olympus' 12MP up to the Samsung's 20MP, and rear screens that range from fixed on the NX200 through to fully-articulating on the G3. But each offers a reasonable amount of direct control and almost universally excellent image quality.

Cameras compared:

Sony Alpha NEX-5N

79% + Gold Award

The NEX-5N is our pick as the standout camera in this class, mainly as a result of its excellent image sensor and small size. The 16MP sensor is sensational and, for those users not yet ready to try their hands at Raw processing, there are a range of automated modes (HDR, Sweep Panorama and the multi-shot Hand-held Twilight mode), and processing options (the excellent DRO, and filter effects) to get the image you're after.

It's nothing if not feature-packed, with 1080p video at up to 60fps, continuous shooting at up to 10fps, a customizable interface and tilting, touch-sensitive screen all wrapped up in a stylish, solidly-built magnesium alloy body. Experienced photographers will find they can easily access all their most-used settings while newcomers willing to step away from the automated modes will find there's a lot to enjoy about this camera. It's only really users intending to just point-and-shoot who won't get the most out of the 5N (for the same reasons we highlighted about the 3C).

The lack of lenses available for the system is something of a concern but, in addition to Sony's own list of planned lenses, Sigma has shown a prototype and Tamron has released a lens, so there should be a system to grow into. The 5N is reasonably fast to focus (at least to the standard of the DSLRs its competing with at this level, when using kit lenses) but, like almost all its peers, struggles with continuous AF when it tries to track focus on a moving subject.

It's key to distinguish between the latest NEX-5N and the visually near-identical NEX-5 it replaces - the 5N is a significantly improved camera and well worth the premium over any bargain-priced remainder NEX-5s you might encounter.

Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sample Gallery

Click here to read our full review of the Sony Alpha NEX-5N

Also worth considering:


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
75% + Silver Award

The Panasonic G3 is also a camera well-worth considering. It stands alone in this company by including a 1.4M dot equivalent electronic viewfinder, fully-articulated rear screen, and DSLR-like styling. Its image quality is very good, thanks to the latest-generation 16MP Four Thirds sensor - a considerable step forward from the older 12MP unit when the light falls. Buyers also considering a DSLR could, quite reasonably, decide that any slight disadvantage in low-light because of the camera's smaller-than-APS-C sensor is made up for by its significantly smaller size.

The G3 is built around the second generation of Panasonic's touch-screen interface, which includes the ability to customize the settings assigned to the on-screen Q.Menu. Better still, it's implemented in such a way that you can use it or choose not to, depending on your preference, meaning it adds to, rather than detracts from, the shooting experience.

If eye-level shooting is your thing (and it does tend to be more stable), the G3 is one of the cheapest ways to combine a Mirrorless camera with a viewfinder, and it doesn't add too much bulk when doing so.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Sample Gallery

Click here to read our full review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3


Samsung NX200
77% + Silver Award

The Samsung is, in many respects, the most photography-focused camera here: there are very few special modes to play with and no 'simplified' interface that you have to learn, but the NX200 offers some useful custumization options (including Samsung's unique iFn-button on most NX system lenses) and is a nicely worked-out camera with the buttons you'd expect in the places you'd expect them. The interface is both conventional and attractive (both things we appreciate), meaning you can just get on with taking pictures.

The 20MP sensor produces extremely high resolution images at low ISOs and, while noise reduction is fairly aggressive at higher sensitivities it's not too efficient. That said much better results can be achieved by processing high ISO imaged in a raw converter and apply custom noise reduction.

Although there's no commitment from third-party lens makers yet, Samsung has already done a good job of preparing a decent range of lenses for the NX system, including compact 'pancake' primes, a video-optimized 18-200mm superzoom, and excellent 60mm Macro F2.8 and 85mm F1.4 prime lenses, making the NX200 an interesting proposition.

Samsung NX200 Sample Gallery

Click here to read our full review of the Samsung NX200


Olympus PEN E-PL3
71% + Silver Award

The E-PL3's biggest problem isn't really any flaw of its own - it is just rather outshone by its siblings. The E-PL3 is good looking, well-priced and includes in-body image stabilization and a tilting LCD. However, it isn't as inexpensive as the E-PM1 and isn't a classy and pleasant to use as the E-P3, leaving it in something of a no-man's land. And, of itself, it's a nice little camera and all the nice things we said about the E-PM1's JPEGs and retractable kit lens are true here.

Many users will welcome the mode dial, tilting screen and additional buttons compared to the E-PM1. Against this competition, though, it's merely good, rather than compelling. However, the broad range of interesting and comparatively affordable lenses (under $400/£350) make it well-worth considering, especially if size is one of your primary considerations.

Olympus PEN E-PL3 Sample Gallery

Click here to read our full review of the Olympus PEN E-PL3


Click here for page 4 - Enthusiast Cameras

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Comments

Total comments: 429
123
leoparker
By leoparker (May 8, 2012)

I speak spanish, sorry my english...
You write: "GH2 is no longer quite as cutting-edge as they were at its launch"
Could you tell me which camera is better for video than the GH2, actually?
Regards...

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (May 23, 2012)

The GH2 looks to still be on top.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-5d-mark-iii/25
Although the specification on the box says 1080p, with regards resolution the 5D Mark III is a huge let down and the $600 Panasonic GH2 offers a far more detailed 'true 1080p' image (whilst maintaining a relatively large sensor for video and interchangeable lens mount). The 1080p mode is not really full HD at all in terms of the real amount of detail in the image - more like 720p.

The 5D Mark III is vulnerable since it is not a huge step from the 5D Mark II in terms of the overall image in video mode. Other cameras such as the $5000 Sony FS100, $800 Panasonic GH2 and $3000 Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera offer significantly more in the ways of features and image quality for low budget video production.

0 upvotes
f64Craft
By f64Craft (Apr 25, 2012)

DP can you list the lens mount please in the comparison.

1 upvote
swede76
By swede76 (Mar 23, 2012)

The "beginner" is a woman while the rest are men - sexist! :)

5 upvotes
mrlova
By mrlova (Apr 13, 2012)

hahaha....hmmm

1 upvote
Pete_Murrell
By Pete_Murrell (Mar 21, 2012)

I know it's not released yet so wouldn't feature in this comparo...but the new Olympus offering looks like an excelent choice for anyone venturing into this market. Am I wrong?

0 upvotes
Stanislaus B
By Stanislaus B (Mar 15, 2012)

I'm a Pro, using Nikon D3 and all fast glass, weighs a ton!
I also have a G1, a GH2 and a GX1, plus 10 4/3rd lenses, the 7-14 rivals my Nikon 14-24 F2.8. The GH2 with the 7-14 and the fold out LCD allows this camera to go where no Nikon can. I can get pro quality 11x14 prints from the Lumix. The quality does not match the Nikon, but I can always carry the GX1 and a few lenses all day (I'm 62).
I predict that the Nikon D6 (???) will be a Full Frame mirror less with a Retina Quality EVF.. the DSLR will be done, once a EVF of this quality is developed. The D6 will have the F mount, so you will not need to spend $25k on new lenses.

The Retina EVF and better 4/3rd sensors will be used by Lumix with more Leica glass available.

3 upvotes
john Clinch
By john Clinch (Jun 5, 2012)

I came to the same conclusion myself. Not sure on the exact model number....

0 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Mar 4, 2012)

Why is there a link to a "review" in the camera listing for the Pentax K-01 that leads here?

8 upvotes
mayogeezer
By mayogeezer (Feb 9, 2012)

Considering the outrageous cost of an EVF, it would have been better to group those with built-in EVFs and those without. Users generally fall into two groups, those that can't do without an EVF and those quite happy not to have one.

2 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Jan 12, 2012)

Another snubbing of Samsung.

No reason why the NX10/NX11 and NX100 wouldn't be listed here. They're certainly competitive at their price point, and my NX100 produces images that are easily a match for the 12MP m4/3 models.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
lajka
By lajka (Jan 17, 2012)

No reason why Ricoh GRX with m-module not listed, too. Wonder why?

1 upvote
strata83
By strata83 (Jan 19, 2012)

The cameras you mentioned are all discontinued, so no reason to list them here.

4 upvotes
billmfoto
By billmfoto (Feb 1, 2012)

The Sony NEX 7 is not discontinued, neither is the Nikon 1 series.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 2, 2012)

The GXR M-mount, Sony NEX-7 and Nikon 1s are all covered in this article

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 12, 2012)

My NX11 takes awesome pics ... It's the most underrated yet most deliverable camera I've ever owned!

0 upvotes
Anepo
By Anepo (Feb 14, 2012)

There is a Samsung listed there unless you can't read

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Jan 4, 2012)

I guess its alright going back and forth on mirror vs. mirror-less, size matters, da speed, weight, brand.
The way I picked my camera is the other way. I let the camera pick me. The advantage here is that I am old and I can tell the NEX guy is a bit high on testosterone, NX user is chasing new opportunities, Nikon is a think-it-through kind of guy. Canon I don't know (yet) but successfully putting their home-built sensor in S100 is a great step toward independence.
If you loosen up a bit when handling a camera in a store (and after you read all about it), the cam will show you its strengths and weaknesses. I could not AF NX200 at certain zooms, NEX-7 left me cold (studio pic of the Volkswagen is atrocious -- but that's just what I felt like looking at). I also know I am not ready for GH2.
So I walk down the square three weeks ago and there she was. I felt compelled to enter the store before I could see her. GF1 w/ 20mm kit. I would not buy a bag for it because, you know, girls notice.

4 upvotes
CannonO
By CannonO (Jan 4, 2012)

Sooo.... Sony seems to be best across the board from what I gather here and on other sites.

1 upvote
sensibill
By sensibill (Jan 12, 2012)

Not by a mile. Proprietary hot shoe, small lens selection with some bad eggs (like the 16mm) and IMO the weakest UI and control ergonomics of any MILC except for the NEX-7.

2 upvotes
Zader
By Zader (Mar 4, 2012)

I strongly disagree with you sensibill. The 16mm is more than usable, just not wide open. There are a total of 8 currently available AF lenses, with two more set to release within the next month. The NEX system is somewhere in the top when it comes to IQ, and the UI is very good. Control ergonomics (I assume you mean the physical body) is perfectly fine. So yes CannonO, Sony seems to be the best across the board.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Optical1
By Optical1 (Mar 6, 2012)

I strongly disagree with you Zader. Sony has some strong-suits but it is hardly better across the board. Although sony's IQ is at or near the top, their lens selection is middle of the pack at best. While they have 8 lenses now, micro four thirds has 24 distinct lenses. Outside of the NEX7, Sony's 3 and 5 series cameras have limited tactile controls, and a touch screen does not cut it if you are routinely adjusting settings. NEX does have some nice attributes: focus peaking, PDAF adapter for Alpha lenses, but it is hardly better across the board.

3 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Mar 7, 2012)

I strongly agree with someone and disagree with someone else. In a nutshell: the NEX has a great sensor and IQ that's heads and shoulders above the micro 4/3 cameras. You can strap on all the lenses you want but if the light path ends at a mediocre sensor who cares.

I was totally blown away by the nex and got rid of my beloved rebel (although not the 5d mk2). Ot was put to shame. It really is that good.

2 upvotes
SDPharm
By SDPharm (Mar 16, 2012)

> the NEX has a great sensor and IQ that's heads and shoulders above the micro 4/3 cameras.

On paper or in a well controlled environment, perhaps. I wonder if it's still true in real life, after processing and/or printing. Does anyone know?

0 upvotes
micdair
By micdair (Jun 26, 2012)

I'm afraid it really is, SDPharm. The sensor size simply matters. In low ISO settings even compacts can do pretty well. But in low light conditions 4/3s suffer a lot while NEX's sensor size makes the camera to be comparable with the DSLRs...

0 upvotes
ennemkay
By ennemkay (Aug 28, 2012)

lens selection is no longer a significant weakness of nex. who is going to buy all 24 m43 lenses? give us a break. :)

Comment edited 60 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
wjam baltesen
By wjam baltesen (Dec 30, 2011)

hello folks,

I'm considering of buying a Sony NEX 5N.
Is it worth buying a body (and not the kitzoom 18-55) and buying another zoomlens, only regarding quality? What zoomlenses are there anyway available at this moment for this Sony? (DP speaks about a Tamron) Are they significantly better than the kitzoom?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 30, 2011)

At present you only zoom options are the 18-55 kit lens (which is ok but not great), or superzoom lenses - with both Sony and Tamron offering 18-200s. These are bigger and, obviously, offer greater range but they're also a lot more expensive. Unless the price difference is huge, it's usually worth getting the kit lens.

1 upvote
Felixgutt
By Felixgutt (Feb 2, 2012)

The NEX 5N is on the same level as my EOS 5D Mk2 when it comes to low light performance. With the kit zoom lens it is a reasonably compact travel camera, but be aware that this lens is far away from having "L" quality. To me it does not have any meaning to bring a physically big zoom lens with a camera this size.
I love the tiltable screen.

1 upvote
probert500
By probert500 (Mar 7, 2012)

The kit zoom is fine, and short money when bought with the kit. It's not too large and it's light. I'd suggest starting there and moving on if you're really unhappy.

0 upvotes
ItsAllABadJoke
By ItsAllABadJoke (Dec 25, 2011)

I'm wondering why lens ratios were not posted for the mirrorless cameras. The reason I like the micro four-thirds is the 1:2 lens ratio. 1/2 the size, 1/2 the light needed, etc.

Who cares about the camera size, when the lens is what is usually filling up the camera bag?

Am I missing something here?

2 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Dec 26, 2011)

1/2 the light needed?

2 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Dec 27, 2011)

"itsallabadjoke"

1 upvote
Paulo Goulart
By Paulo Goulart (Jan 4, 2012)

You mean 2x the light needed? (comparing with FF cameras)

0 upvotes
Jan Vondrak
By Jan Vondrak (Jan 31, 2012)

4x the light needed, in fact.

1 upvote
Ann Chaikin
By Ann Chaikin (Dec 24, 2011)

And I agree it seems weird to put the GH2 in a separate category. Why is that?

0 upvotes
Ann Chaikin
By Ann Chaikin (Dec 24, 2011)

The percents and awards don't seem consistent. The Nex 5N and GH2 both got 79% but the Nex got gold and the GH2 got silver. What's with that?

0 upvotes
feijai
By feijai (Dec 30, 2011)

Perhaps because the Panasonic costs quite a bit more. With higher cost comes an expectation of higher quality. The GH2 costs a fair bit more but doesn't provide any additional quality (percentage) over the NEX-5N to justify it.

What makes the NEX-5N a nice camera is that it has profound low-light performance, and excellent HD, for $700 including lens.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Jan 12, 2012)

Spoken like a typical DPR Sony fan. The GH2 can be had for $895 with kit lens and $1199 with the killer 14-140mm. To match that reach on the 5N you'd have to go with the pricier, bulkier, lower quality $800 18-200mm, plus it looks ridiculous on a NEX.

5N body + 18-200mm cost: $1400.

The 5N can't touch the GH2's video capabilities, the m4/3 lens selection (in variety or quality), nor its controls, ergonomics & flexibility.

3 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (Jan 25, 2012)

Wow. Another reason to consider a state-side shopping spree..

The Gh2(H) costs approx 1900 USD in my small part of Europe.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Feb 15, 2012)

Photozone tested the 14-140 and Sony 18-200 OSS and the Panasonic lens certainly didn't score better, is only marginally smaller and weighs only slightly less.
What's more, there's also a Tamron 18-200 for the NEX, which costs $739, weighs the same or less than the Panasonic and is quite similar in size, while packing good quality optics and covering a larger image circle (APS-C).

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Zader
By Zader (Mar 4, 2012)

sensibill, you're just pouncing every chance you get. The GH2 exceeds in video capability, I agree. But not everyone wants a camera for video purposes. As evident in DPR's review of the 5N, it definitely does "touch" the GH2 in terms of what you have mentioned. Maybe YOU can enlighten us and justify why it received an equivalent score to the GH2?

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
jalywol
By jalywol (Dec 24, 2011)

I have to ask, as others have, why the GH2 was put in a separate category?

I went over to M43 cameras last year, from DSLRs (Nikon D200, then D90). I never took the DSLRs anywhere unless it was pre-planned becuase of their weight, and I wanted something with similar IQ that I could carry with me while walking or hiking or around town. For me, the M43 cameras were the solution.

That being said, I went through a couple of cameras with the original 12 MP sensor (EPL1, G2), but really found it lacking in a few ways. I hesitated buying the GH2 exactly because of its "specialist" label (Videographers dream, you know?).

I finally gave in and tried it (after also trying the G3 and not liking it). Wonder of wonders, the GH2 is GREAT. The quality of the still photos I get from it are wonderful. DR, shadow gradation, etc. are all excellent, and by lumping this with "specialist" cameras, you are doing a disservice to many still photographers who could potentially really benefit from it.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
9 upvotes
Ann Chaikin
By Ann Chaikin (Dec 25, 2011)

I agree 100% I have a GH2 and I use it 99% for stills. It is a great camera.

3 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Mar 7, 2012)

In terms of IQ the nex is the best I have ever shot short of full frame. And at high iso it is at least a match for my canon 5d mk2.

I returned a m4/3 (olympus) because of its very below par IQ.

It is that good.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
MiamiStephen
By MiamiStephen (Dec 24, 2011)

Please, unshackle your readers from having to cycle through all of the pages to get to page 5, and then cycle through all of them again to get to page one. This new format is the first "improvement" that fails completely. I'd rather read a review of a film camera.

2 upvotes
pwberndt
By pwberndt (Dec 24, 2011)

Amen!

1 upvote
Astro8
By Astro8 (Dec 24, 2011)

They want more hits. Don't you get it? :-)

1 upvote
Doug Kerr
By Doug Kerr (Dec 26, 2011)

Indeed.

Best regards,

Doug

0 upvotes
rrr_hhh
By rrr_hhh (Dec 29, 2011)

They want you to look at all the advertising coming along each pages. This is also the reason why all the footage you are reading in the NYT or any other newspaper are split over several pages.

We get to read their review for free, but there is no free lunches alas..

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 30, 2011)

As has been explained elsewhere - the articles section of the site is based on totally different code from the reviews section and we didn't foresee the need for the pull-down menu. We're looking into ways of offering it in articles.

0 upvotes
kdaphoto
By kdaphoto (May 26, 2012)

For all that complaining about advertising, it would be wise to remember that the advertising is why you get these great reviews and can read this information withou paying any money to do so. Publishing online is expensive. And these people deserve to make a living just like everyone else.

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Dec 24, 2011)

I think the review here completely misses the point about the Pentax Q.

On the one hand, the review says that the sensor is "hopelessly outclassed" while on the other hand the review concedes that the Q is the only camera in the class that is pocketable...

So, is'nt the pocketable nature of the Q the whole point? And given that the pocketability of the camera is a function of its small sensor, complaining about the sensor rather misses the point.

Surely, it is more appropriate to consider how the small sensor provides IQ in the real world, with the ability to provide prints of 10x8 in perfectly acceptable quality, in a uniquely small size?

If the Pentax Q had a larger sensor, it would be a completely different camera and not the tiny thing it is now.

0 upvotes
evshrug2
By evshrug2 (Dec 24, 2011)

Topstuff,
While I would love Pentax to have a winner on their hands, this product is not "it." You pointed out the pocket-ability factor, and the small sensor, but you missed the CRUCIAL third point made in the article: there are more pocketable cameras, with the same sized sensor, that are offered for prices that make this Pentax an outlier.

Interchangable lenses are sacrificed when one chooses, say, a canon S100 or Olympus XZY, BUT the most common focal range (and then some) are covered, and the "super tele" range outside of the compact camera's built-in lens range is ineffective on a Pentax Q type body ANYWAY.

Given all the choices in the market today, I can't see a single compelling feature to choose a Q, other than eccentric desire to be different or pentax love. I'll tell you what though: Take the k-5's features and apply them to a mirrorless system (please save IBIS and ergonomics!), I would buy it, even though I'm not shopping.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
1 upvote
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Dec 27, 2011)

Yes, it is unique but unless you want the fisheye lens it offers nothing more than a Canon S100/95 which is the same size.

Cheers

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 30, 2011)

Actually, the Olympus XZ-1 and Canon S100 use larger sensors than the Pentax.

3 upvotes
cameramansam
By cameramansam (Jan 31, 2012)

And the S100 lensmate adapter combined with the small, easily removed Vivitar 2.1x fisheye adapter is a more compact package for any super wide needs.

0 upvotes
JeffPhotalk
By JeffPhotalk (Dec 22, 2011)

Hi all expert I'm a newbie to this forum. I find it funny why do people can talking about sensor size ? Can anyone tell me why ?

0 upvotes
PatRM2
By PatRM2 (Dec 22, 2011)

Not a clue.

1 upvote
tfeltz
By tfeltz (Dec 22, 2011)

Sensor size has a major influence on image quality. Larger is generally better (cleaner image, less noise), but makes cameras and lenses larger and bulkier.

5 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Dec 22, 2011)

Larger sensors also allow a shallow depth of focus (at wider apertures i.e lower F-stop numbers) which gives that nice out of focus background effect that good portrait shots are all about.

1 upvote
Kerensky97
By Kerensky97 (Dec 22, 2011)

Comparing low light pictures from cameras with a large and small sensor points out most of the flaws. Even if megapixles are about the same the larger sensor has much less noise, crisp dark shadows.
Zoom 100% on an iPhone picture from a concert and on a APS-C DSLR at a concert and notice the splotchy purple marks on the camera-phone.

0 upvotes
nakeddork
By nakeddork (Dec 23, 2011)

A bigger sensor size means a bigger image plane, which means an smaller enlargement ratio. That's the main reason for larger format cameras.

Larger sensor do not mean a shallower depth of field. This is a common misconception. Depth of field has to do with the focal length of a lens in relationship to the distance of your subject. If you put a 50mm lens on the medium format camera and another on a SLR and shot them from the same distance they would produce the same dof. Of course, a 50mm lens on a medium format camera will give you roughly the same viewing angle as a 35mm lens on a 35mm SLR, which means the picture from 50mm SLR will look cropped compared to the one shot from the medium format camera.

The misconception occurs because people make the determination by the observations of bokeh according to viewing angle which isn't really accurate. It's like saying an 7 foot man can jump higher than a 5 foot man because he can dunk a basket ball...which isn't necessarily true.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ReddEye
By ReddEye (Dec 24, 2011)

Essentially it comes down to what we want to do with our pictures. There are many of us that still want to print them and at sizes larger than conventional post-card. All the problems of small sensors described above are disturbingly obvious, when images are printed. While still present in images that live only within the ether, they are less apparent on screens. The increasing use of camera phones and success of cheap point-and-shoot digital cams partly results from images increasingly being kept and distributed solely in their digital form.

Having used Canon DSLR's for some time, to make pictures that adorn walls of both mine and others houses, I wanted a smaller camera to carry on holiday and use in more intimate gatherings. Sensor size ultimately decided the final options, because I would still like to generate quality prints.

0 upvotes
ReddEye
By ReddEye (Dec 24, 2011)

Realised after posting above I was trying to make the point of convenience - I still use the DSLRs happily, but wanted something more convenient in other circumstances. The M4/3 systems offered greater sensor size than conventional point and shoot, so I opted for these rather than Canon's Powershot compacts. I have been using the system more than I anticipated, but don't think it'll replace my DSLR's yet.

0 upvotes
filipe brandao
By filipe brandao (Dec 22, 2011)

I really don't understand why dpreview is clinging on to a marketing catch word ("mirrorless") instead of promoting a more clear classification of cameras.
Classifying these cameras as "mirrorless" is the same as saying a pencil is a inkless pen. Its confusing and forsakes a hole history of photography in which most of the cameras didn't have mirrors in their system. One should ask why isn't leica m9 included in this group.
Cameras have always been classified by how they allow the photographer to view/focus on the subject and their format. Any effort in this direction would help to clear the marketing confusion in which we roam.

2 upvotes
Klipsen
By Klipsen (Dec 22, 2011)

The Leica M9 is a rangefinder camera, but there's no reason not to call it a mirrorless camera, if you want to.

0 upvotes
filipe brandao
By filipe brandao (Dec 22, 2011)

Yes there is. Like you said, it's a rangefinder camera, that is why it's called a digital rangefinder camera or DRF. It's classified according to the way the subject is previewed and focused. These cameras use ellectronic windows (be it screens or finders) to allow the user to view and focus the subject. The same happens with SLR's. It names the system used to allow the photographer to view and focus the subject through the lens.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
PatRM2
By PatRM2 (Dec 22, 2011)

After reading your comment, and going back a long way... to rollfilm in a folding camera, and all the way up til now, I noticed you didn't put forth a better option. I think that mirrorless basically wins by default...in other words..for a lack of something better. They all have interchangeable lenses, and aside from that we have to look at the finder/lack of finder, and when all is said and done, mirrorless pretty much sums it up. P.S. doesn't really matter. As I said in other comment, the finder is the issue for me.

0 upvotes
filipe brandao
By filipe brandao (Dec 22, 2011)

There is no lack of finder, there is a screen to do that job (as in a view camera) or a electronic viewfinder (as in an SLR).
If better suggestions is what it takes: Electronic Finder Cameras or Electronic View Cameras is better suited IMHO.

3 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (Dec 22, 2011)

We put this one to the community a while ago and resoundingly mirrorless was the term most people connected with. http://www.dpreview.com/polls

3 upvotes
tfeltz
By tfeltz (Dec 22, 2011)

Does anyone know exactly what the criteria are to be called a "mirrorless" camera, other than "any camera that doesn't have a mirror". While the name "mirrorless interchangable lens camera" was voted most popular in the poll, it ignores one of the most important criteria of such a camera: compact size. If size didn't matter, then SLR and rangefinder cameras already fill this need. Therefore I join filipe in questioning the term "mirrorless" and suggest Compact Interchangeble Lens camera as a more clear classification with an easy to pronounce acronym: CIL.

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Dec 22, 2011)

The mirror in a modern DSLR is one of few remaining mechanical elements carried over from film cameras that could be considered a weak link in a package that is mostly electronic which is potentially faster, more compact, rugged and reliable without the mirror. So it is not surprising that there is a large following of enthusiasts and manufacturers that see this part as a hiderence to the design and now we have the "mirrorless" revolution.

Can't wait for the next phase - the "mechanical-shutterless" camera.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Kerensky97
By Kerensky97 (Dec 22, 2011)

I agree that mirrorless is an odd way of grouping them but it's the best available. I prefer to think of them as a Rangefinder Format camera since form factor itself is their key feature but since they don't actually have the rangefinder it doesn't fit very well (and starts internet arguments).

0 upvotes
brianbxb
By brianbxb (Dec 23, 2011)

I think Mr Brandao is absolutely correct in his analysis. Talking about terminology is a pain for everyone but the DPREVIEW journalists are not disciplined in their use of English ( how many times in the article above does it say "Four Thirds" when it should say "Micro Four Thirds" ? I don't doubt they know the difference but they, or the proof readers are just too slapdash ) . Electronic View Cameras is my preferred terminology ( my dog is mirrorless ).

0 upvotes
nakeddork
By nakeddork (Dec 23, 2011)

I'm with the op on this one. "Mirrorless camera" is a pretty vauge term which discribes everything that is not a SLR.

What about compact electric viewfinder camera?

That would differientiate that class of camera from a digital range finder.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 23, 2011)

@brianbxb: "DPREVIEW journalists are not disciplined in their use of English ( how many times in the article above does it say "Four Thirds" when it should say "Micro Four Thirds" ?)" As far as I can tell, none. Care to give me an example? One point you may wish to bear in mind is that Micro Four Thirds describes the lens mount standard, not the sensor size (which is Four Thirds).

3 upvotes
filipe brandao
By filipe brandao (Dec 23, 2011)

Mr Richard, I have also voted in the pool and independently of what I have voted there I think pools are interesting to have an idea of what a group believes. Anything other than that is forcing conclusions. I could better explain what I'm saying with an image: if biologists had based their classification of bats on the opinion of a vast majority then most likely they would be birds and not mammals.
With this I'm not saying people are stupid, I'm just saying that people tend to make classifications on what is made obvious.
But dpreview is not just anyone, I have followed your reviews for over 6 years and you have always been to my understanding pretty analytical in your opinions. This "mirror-less" thing differs. Basing you classification in what people think is following your followers.

1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (Jan 8, 2012)

We should use DSLE, for Digital Single Lens Electronic, as opposed to reflex. Everyone would know, it compares (or should compare) to the commonly used DSLR acronym. New hybrid viewfinders allow the simple use of DSLH. Thus, everyone would know the difference; in a quick, usable, and classifiable manner. DSLR, DSLE, or DSLH. I think this would bode well, with history, and such as the SLR, TLR, Rangefinder etc..., and future developments.

I do concede, I favor my above recommended acronyms, just because I'd like to see the best, and combined overall qualities (portability, usage/speed, and IQ), that surpass our current, best DSLR. They "should" already. Things, such as the hybrid viewfinder, and improving, shot to shot, Raw speeds are getting us there (slowly). Perhaps the D4 team should work on making that, a mirror-less, DSLH. Not that it couldn't then be the size, of the GH2. If you see the point, there.

We can't say how these things are doing; until they're done right.

1 upvote
RogueSwan
By RogueSwan (Jan 13, 2012)

I reckon they should use CSC (compact system camera). I think one of the companies (Olympus?) likes to use that term rather than mirrorless.
Another I have seen is EVIL, Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens?

1 upvote
Optical1
By Optical1 (Mar 6, 2012)

This argument about the name mirrorless is senseless...

0 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Mar 7, 2012)

I prefer the French "sans mirror" myself.

0 upvotes
OleThorsen
By OleThorsen (Dec 22, 2011)

So basically Mr. Butler tells the family father who's a photography beginner: "We at dpreview firmly believe it's perfectly OK that your only solution to capture your playing children is to shout: Stand still children - father want to take a picture of you!", instead of learning to use Shutter Priority.

This sites IQ has gone downhill since Askey left the business.

1 upvote
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 22, 2011)

I'm confused. Where does the article say that?

(BTW, if you're going to make snarky comments about IQ, it's probably worth getting your apostrophes right.)

8 upvotes
OleThorsen
By OleThorsen (Dec 22, 2011)

dpreview consider an auto scene mode's ability to choose a fast enough shutter speed for moving subjects more important than the continuous AF capabilities, when you decide which cameras belong in the beginner category. That's obviously your choice, but nevertheless a very strange choice.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 22, 2011)

I'm confused again. Where does the article say that?

3 upvotes
Kerensky97
By Kerensky97 (Dec 22, 2011)

The irony is that most Photogs that are so boastful spend most of their time in Auto or Program and consider themselves experts because they have tried Aperture Priority.

1 upvote
Alberto Battelli
By Alberto Battelli (Dec 23, 2011)

I agree. This site has changed dramatically since Phil left. In small increments, to be sure, but the "sharp photographic edge" is gone.

0 upvotes
dmartin92
By dmartin92 (Dec 24, 2011)

One thing that hasn't changed is all the folks that complain and say, "this site has gone downhill". I remember quite clearly that it was like that when Phil was here too.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Dec 26, 2011)

Askey had a very different idea about photography gear than the people currently running this site, and a different idea about where the site would go. I doubt anyone could argue this. I much preferred Askey, but you might prefer the current status.
None of that affects the forum. You can still say what you like, within reason, so I say let DPR push whatever gear they like. They have the right to do so. And they still let us shout our disagreement. Can't beat a deal like that.

0 upvotes
Jan Vondrak
By Jan Vondrak (Jan 31, 2012)

And I'm even more confused. Where are OleThorsen's apostrophes incorrect? :-)

They are actually correct (unlike the majority of forum posts these days).

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Feb 15, 2012)

Reread his last sentence. Hint: something is missing.

0 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Mar 7, 2012)

I like aperture priority. Am I less than a man.

0 upvotes
robbo d
By robbo d (Dec 22, 2011)

Pentax Q........"hopelessly outclassed"....Isn't that just a bit harsh ?? Have a bit more of think about what you say and how you say it......

The DXO mark, puts it closer to the others than most imagined and real life users rate it very highly, when you think its a point and shoot size sensor, I would think its damn good........depends which way you WANT to look at it.

Yes it has the smallest sensor and there is nothing like it. I don't think I actually want DPreview to bother with a review as I am getting fed up with narrow minded people trashing it. However, they have at least started by saying its in a niche of its own, so for people who want something more portable than a NEX, its a serious photographic tool.

Its new thinking and for people so seemingly informed on new technology, its surprises me that people can't understand the concept. Technology is getting smaller and better. Its a start and hell of a good effort. But Hopelessly outclassed, get a life.........

2 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (Dec 22, 2011)

spot on robbo. The point of interchangable compact camera is that camera should be compact. For example GH2 i can not carry it in my pocket so it is as good as carrying a pentax k5. But pentax Q i can really carry in my pocket along with few of its lenses. I would say that bias of some of the reviewers at dpc stinks.

1 upvote
robbo d
By robbo d (Dec 22, 2011)

Thanks ZXAAR,
At least someone understands my thinkng. its mirorless - yes
its very small- yes, its truly pocketable - yes, theres nothing like it -yes,
its not meant to be compared to Nex and Oly......because otherwise Pentax would have made it with a bigger sensor and lenses you idiots.............its for people that dont want something hanging around their neck, yet capable of high enough quality shots while bearing in mind its still a small sensor and I am sure they know its utimately not going to compete in the pixel peeping stakes with the bigger boys.
It is its own camera with few peers other than perhaps high end and yes cheaper point and shoots.
I am seriously keen on paying the full dollars for it, therefore its marketed for people like me......not purely Nex owners.
People seem to have to compare things with others, NOT always necessary.

1 upvote
evshrug2
By evshrug2 (Dec 24, 2011)

Robbo,
I love bold ideas, and I love having lens choice, yet I can't shake the feeling that the Pentax Q, as it is now, offers anything over a compact camera like an Olympus XZY or Canon S. As someone who genuinely wants a compact camera with a high level of control over the look of images (and open to new ideas), can you please share the strengths of the Pentax Q over an enthusiast compact?

P.S. I notice that I haven't bothered/been interested in using a focal range over 100mm equiv. in the past 3 years or so.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
choochoo22
By choochoo22 (Dec 22, 2011)

OK Canon, now it’s your turn. What I expect Canon to bring to the table, as always, is excellent build quality and refinement of other people’s ideas. Fortunately other people have taken the risk, introduced many new ideas, and created a new market for compact system cameras. Here is my wish list for Canon (or Fuji, if they’re up to it):

The form factor, hump-less viewfinder, hot-shoe, and sensor of the NEX-7, it would be OK to drop a few megapix to achieve better noise or the ultrafast hybrid focusing and burst rate of the V1. It should have a smoothly integrated user interface and excellent jpeg engine. It should have Sony’s sophisticated processing modes (HDR, Sweep pan, DRO, etc.), 1080p/60 video with still capture. Olympus’ in-body image stabilization and good looks would be nice. At least one pocket able zoom lens and a range of appropriate quality lenses at affordable prices and, of course, adapters for Canon and other’s existing SLR lenses.

Did I miss anything?

1 upvote
fuxicek
By fuxicek (Dec 23, 2011)

Its too perfect to be true;)...but I agree, there is no point to make another different sensor size and new line of lenses..!... to the perfect mirrorles camera I would add wireless flash control, tilt screen, hybrid viewfinder as on Fujifilm X100, direct function buttons, quite shutter, af lamp, internal flash as by panasonic gx1(its possible to bend it backwards, so it can bounce off the ceiling:) and some more features like time-lapse shooting, the option to combine 2 or more images together, customizable self timer, distortion control, the sony´s focus peak control for manual focusing and battery life for 800 pictures at least! ....

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
evshrug2
By evshrug2 (Dec 24, 2011)

All those features sound quite nice, however Canon's track record is against IBIS. My main gripe against Canon is that the ergonomics and plastics quality of all their Rebel DSLRs so far have been enough to have me choose other brands.

0 upvotes
dsmcl77
By dsmcl77 (Dec 27, 2011)

Please Canon give me a "daddy's A1 like" camera that I can put in my jacket pocket with my 28, 35 or 50mm Ef lens. i don't care to fit it in my jean's pocket.
I need a "great" cam not a "small" cam...but lighter than my beloved stone heavy 7D.

0 upvotes
rrr_hhh
By rrr_hhh (Dec 29, 2011)

I'm both a Canon 5D user and a m4/3 user. It would be nice if Canon was delivering a new light mirrorless camera containing an APSC sensor. But I don't hold my breath, from what I've read at Canon Rumors, they are thinking to improvement of their bridge cameras : the Gs series or the Pro-S series.
In a few years from now, if they don't issue a true small interchangeable lenses camera, I may well switch entirely to Sony Nex-7 or something like that.

0 upvotes
CalBear
By CalBear (Dec 22, 2011)

Please help me select a mirrorless camera (or DSLR or high-end P&S).

I've assiduously read this article and the reviews on dp review and still am confused about the best choice for me.

I want to move up from an ancient P&S, a Minolta Dimage XG. It had an OV and was light but also had many problems.

Here are my parameters:
- My primary, although not exclusive, need is to take pictures while hiking trails like Mt. Whitney or Mt. Rainier. So I need to take both vista shots (wide angle) and close ups (zoom) if a bear or moose comes by.
- One lens is desirable on the trail because I tend to keep moving, especially if there is a guide.
- The camera must be very light because the trails can be steep.
- I need an OV because I wear distance glasses and the display screen is hard to see unless I remove my glasses.
- Pocked size and one-handed size is optimal.
- Fast AF and minimal lag is need for ocean or other action shots.
- Activity in cold environments is desired.

Thanks for your help.

1 upvote
Kenneth Margulies
By Kenneth Margulies (Dec 26, 2011)

Depending on what you wish to spend, the NEX line is very good, with NEX-7 at the top end. Sony also has one of the best panoramic modes--sweep shooting with in-camera auto-stitching. NEX also has 3D capability.

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Dec 27, 2011)

light light snapper?
under 200 USD, 30xZoom:
http://easttexasdesign.com/2011-02-17/my-kodak-easyshare-max-z990/

More zoom? = more money spend
http://www.dpreview.com/products/nikon/compacts/nikon_cpp500

GPS, "fake" manual zoom ring (also manual focus when using T/W zoom control) etc features
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydschx100v/

0 upvotes
rrr_hhh
By rrr_hhh (Dec 29, 2011)

Well, Nex is probably a great camera with its APSC sensor and small body, but the lenses are quite big.
A micro four thirds camera is better. I'd go for an E-Pl3 plus the optional VF : it comes with a small and light collapsible zoom. You could also change the collapsible Olympus zoom for the new Panasonic powerzoom which is the size of a pancakes and offer the equivalent of 28-84mm.

1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (Jan 8, 2012)

...it can't be done yet. Therefore, there are many ways to go, with compromises.

The closest is perhaps the GX1, and folding lens, but you'd give up fast lenses (unless you bought and carried a few), shot to shot Raw times, and no OV.

The X100 would be closest, if it had telephoto, but no.

However, both of theses options are too pricey, for what you get. You could go old school, with a old, pocket, XA (film) for landscapes, and group shots. Then maybe a pocket ultra-zoom, but it would need full sun, and/or within it's limited flash range, for passable high-quality results. Both with reasonable costs, and both light, and mostly pocket-able. Too bad, we must consider two cameras, to get the jobs done, now-a-days.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Feb 15, 2012)

None of the mirrorless system cameras will be pocketable with a longer range zoomlens. A NEX with (Tamron) 18-200 is called big, but hardly larger than a Panasonic or Olympus plus 14-140 (little over a cm difference in length).

0 upvotes
emircruz
By emircruz (Dec 22, 2011)

imho, what these current crop of mirrorless cams aren't for:

i-cant-live-without-an-ovf shooter: nope the evf doesnt feel the same
bokeh junkies: mostly because of the of the crop factor
action shooters: most of these do cdaf are very good with c-af

without the mirror, the main advantage really is the size. So if you want dslr quality (comparing to apsc and 43) in a smaller package this is for you. ie for m43: one camera and pocketful of primes.

0 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (Dec 22, 2011)

well you are also wrong.

Again you are one of those who completely forget that you can get all but full frame sensor in a mirroless. So you can have plenty of bokeh.

you are right about action photography but that off course will be solved in the next generation. Also with the nex it seems you are also wrong about wievfinder most reviewers agree about this. Ceartainly the next generation will be fully on par with a ovf.

Anyone with a bit of tech insight can see that this is the way the world is moving.

Saying that size is the only / main advantage is a pretty narrow way of thinking

jalob

1 upvote
CTaylorTX
By CTaylorTX (Dec 22, 2011)

I disagree with Point 1 - Having shot Nikon Ftn Photomic in the 70s, a string of 80s 35mm SLRs, and having used many of the D-SLRs from the original D-Rebel to the current Nikons and Pentaxes (I have not had the opportunity to use the Sony Alpha hybrid-mirror cameras), the current OVFs do not come close to rivaling those from the film-era.

I bought an Olympus E-P2 and its EVF because it gives acceptable control over manual focusing accuracy (I do digiscoping at focal lengths approaching 3000mm) and introduces total control over exposure and WB before I push the shutter button. The ability to see the results of the shot without having to take my eye from the EVF is a bonus.

I am looking forward to seeing the Sony 2.4m OLED EVF. We might only need one more generation of EVF development to reach the point where OVF cameras go to the same place that 35mm film resides.

0 upvotes
emircruz
By emircruz (Dec 23, 2011)

@jagge: not really. I agree you could still get lots of bokeh - just not like full frame - but this is mainly due to the sensor size. Hovewer, this argument has been existing since the conception of aps-c and 43, so its an issue exclusive to mirrorless cams.

Furthermore, technically you could fit a FF sensor on mirrorless cameras but Physics would require bigger lenses which would contradict to the fact that all of these cameras are being marketed for their small sizes. ie. Its rumored Fuji will releases a mirrorless camera with sensor bigger than FF.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for mirrorless cameras. They are indeed the future. I'm just saying that these are the reasons why others might opt out of the current offerings.

0 upvotes
emircruz
By emircruz (Dec 23, 2011)

@CTaylorTX: No argument here. I'm just saying, some guys still think EVFs will never cut it. Others would argue that it unecessarily consumes battery life.

I enjoy MF using the VF-2 for my 50/2. The auto-zoom feature when you change focus is really neat. Haven't tried the sony but I think the peaking feature is even more clever.

0 upvotes
PatRM2
By PatRM2 (Dec 22, 2011)

The message by By HDaRt (Dec 20, 2011 at 12:08:36 GMT) about the round up being an attempt at something or another....just want to say that the review by dpreview, and all their reviews are good. Been at this thing for decades and this is about the best site I have ever run into. If anyone feels that someone is making an attempt to steer something in one direction or another, that would be the camera companies. If there are cameras out there that you think are lame, lacking, or whatever, you can thank the marketing people at the corp. level and maybe you should direct your comments to them, in a civil tone. The whole idea of a forum is to share ideas, and for the most part, I think that is what we have here. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
P.S. One question. The picture of the fellow holding the camera up to his face like one would shoot, say, a Leica M2...is there a viewfinder on that thing?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
PatRM2
By PatRM2 (Dec 22, 2011)

Been at this since 1950. Once commenter said he didn't understand the small sensor interchangeable lens thing, something like that. I don't understand the commitment to a type of camera that does not have a viewfinder. I know that some or at least one of these has an electronic finder, but I don't really count that. Been through the folding camera with 620 film, the rangefinder with lenses (Leica, Nikon, Nicca), the twin lens and the single lens reflex, the view camera and all of these had a finder of one type or another that promoted a creative feel to the shooting. This is personal preference I am giving here. I think one thing that is lost from film camera experience to digital camera experience is the trial and error of old timers. You have to ask yourself if you want to commit to a SYSTEM! As for me, I would prefer two cameras. The Canon G series and a good SLR. Then you have about everything covered. A camera and lens for all situations.

1 upvote
ReddEye
By ReddEye (Dec 24, 2011)

Pat, How similar is this "debate" to gradual replacement of medium format systems by 35mm formats over 1950's and early 1960's?

0 upvotes
Teddy123
By Teddy123 (Dec 21, 2011)

We travel to South Africa each November and on to Kruger National Park to chase the critters with our cameras. My wife shoots a Nikon D90 and I recently purchased a Sony HXR-NX5U NXCAM Professional Camcorder.

Yes we get some fabulous shots but my camcorder, 5lbs after a day of shooting really gets big and heavy. After getting the video I want I pull out my old Panasonic Lumix TZ7 because I like to do stills as well and I’ve always been impressed with the quality of photos. On the last trip however I started playing with the video as well, (AVCHD lite) and was really impressed. No, it doesn’t do the job of the NX5U but when it’s rendered and put on a sixty inch screen it’s pretty impressive.

So after reading everything I could find here on dpreview.com I took the jump. I sold the NX5U! Purchased a Lumix GH2 with 14-140 mm and 100-300 mm lenses and put a thousand dollars that was left over from the sale of the NX5U and purchase of the GH2 in the bank.

1 upvote
jagge
By jagge (Dec 21, 2011)

Hey

Very interesteing would LOVE a few impressions in M43 group on how you compare the video of the GH2 to your NX5U :0)

That GH2 will be quite sweet for stills as well, should be more than equal to the D90 would love to hear about that as well.

Best wishes

Jakob

0 upvotes
Teddy123
By Teddy123 (Dec 22, 2011)

Jakob

If it arrives today I'll be trying it out on the family over Christmas.

As for the D90 with a Nikor, 18-200,AF, VR lense, great stills but for video a non starter. Too dificult just to turn off and on.

Ed

0 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (Dec 22, 2011)

absolutely. I am a Nikon shooter with a G2. I have been considering a gh2 for a while for both stills and video so i am very interested in your findings :-)

0 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (Dec 21, 2011)

Tfelz....

Your statements are embarresing. Yet another poster who lacks even basic knowledge but still wants to give and opinion to why mirroless are not equal to DSLR.

The really embarresing statement is about small lenses being slow. You make me smile, please show me the DSLR equivalents of the 20 mm 1.7 or the 45 mm oly 1.8 ? How do you define small ?

Jakob

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

Oh yeah, and let us not forget that the Voigtlander and Noktor/SLR Magic f/0.95 primes with M4/3 mounts are also rather slow, compared to the "fast" DSLR glass.

0 upvotes
tfeltz
By tfeltz (Dec 21, 2011)

OK jagge, so are you trying to say that mirrorless is equal to DSLR? You too are entitled to your opinion. I'm talking about lenses such als 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 17-55m 2.8, 70-200 2.8. I agree that the 45mm oly 1.8 is a positive exception, but that's 4/3 format, giving a 90mm 3.5 equivalent depth of field - nice but nothing to get excited about. And the 20mm 1.7 pancake lens is nice and small, but with such a wide angle, you won't get shallow depth of field. And what about sports photography, where you want a long focal length and also a large aperture?

Sure, the f/0.95 Noktor is a lovely lens, but is limited by the fact that is has manual focus and aperture priority mode only. I'd rather have a razor sharp 1.4 lens than a rather soft 0.95 lens at 2-3 times the price.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
jagge
By jagge (Dec 21, 2011)

I am saying that your statement is simply wrong, its not up for debate its simply wrong.

The great thing about a statement like yours is that when you mention they have slow, small lenses its clear to the world that you are wrong. There is no DSLR lense that small that even comes close to the speed of the 20 mm 1.7 and the 45mm 1.8.

Now you are right in one thing, m43 has different strengths but your broad statement of "lagging" behind is a joke. There are many parameters where m43 has the lead. Now its up to individuals what parameters weighs in the most and for that reason some go mirrorless and others go DSLR.

ALso you forget completely that the NEX line has a crop DSLR sensor. Now you will propably state that only fullframe is a real camera, and when the first full frame mirrorless comes along you will find another obscure argument to cling on to.

Have a look at what basically every reviewer writes about the Nex7, its quite interesting. It smokes all your loved DSLR on DXO

1 upvote
tfeltz
By tfeltz (Dec 22, 2011)

jagge, if you love mirrorless then go for it, I can't argue with that. I too am intrigued by mirrorless camera developments and they certainly have a strong appeal, but so far have not found one that can convince me to give up my Canon S90 (tiny package and surprisingly good IQ) and Canon 7D SLR (great quality, performance and versatility) combination.

You mention several times elsewhere that certain issues "will be solved in the next generation". I look forward to that, but until then I'm comfortable with my current opinion.

0 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (Jan 8, 2012)

@Jag and Fran about slow.

Sure, there's fast m43, and 43rd wise aperture options, but not on the zooms, and with full AF/AE. There are many other qualities, to a lens. The 20mm f1.7 focus is to slow(er); even though it does AF/AE. Plus, adapters are expensive, and your still lose functionality, speed, or both. No mirror-less has fast Raw to Raw speeds yet. There are several types of speeds, price, and value, is also factor.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (Dec 21, 2011)

I reckon this is a bad trend. Even the Nex7 being 24MP on APS-C is very noisy at low isos, and the lenses that are sold with these machines are very slow lenses- requiring high ISOs to be of any use. I dont see the point of more pixels and more noise, and since NO small sensor cameras are any good above 4MP due to noise, why create more of them? The Pentax Q should be illegal. THe huge number of these new and extremely expensive mirrorless machines offerred already for sale secondhand everywhere testifies to their gimmicky uselessness- you dont trade in a good camera or lens-you USE it

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

munro, pls tell us how you REALLY feel about them! :-))

"NO small sensor cameras are any good above 4MP due to noise."

Wow, that is almost a provocative statement. 4MP digital sensor cameras -- those are long gone bye-bye by now, correct? That means that none of today's "small sensor" cameras are any good because they are all too noisy? Of course, what is a "small sensor," anyhow? What size (in mm) did you have in mind?

0 upvotes
bionet
By bionet (Dec 21, 2011)

Nothing wrong with more resolution. The just 21 MP on my 5D2 look a bit dated by now..

0 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (Dec 21, 2011)

Yep ANOTHER poster who does not have a clue to what he is talking about. Now the difference is really not that great in size if you compare a M43 sensor to APS-c

So the statement could just as well be that no crop DSLR above 6 mp can control noise. Please....

2 upvotes
tfeltz
By tfeltz (Dec 21, 2011)

To those who believe that the performance gap between DSLR and Mirrorless cameras is closing: I think these are 2 separate market segments that don't necessarily compete:
- Mirrorless appeals to those who like to travel light. Unfortunately this means lenses with smallish apertures, and higher ISO settings.
- An EVF has many advantages, but a bright optical DSLR viewfinder has other advantages.
- DSLR is for those who don't like to compromise: like big and fast lenses that allow high speed action photography, shallow depth of field, and low (natural) light photography.
- Nikon got it right with its in-between sensor size. It's much better than the compact sensors, and enables considerably smaller bodies and optics than an APS sensor. Why compete head-on with APS when you can offer a significant size reduction and great quality with a CX sensor.
- I personally think that big lenses on small mirrorless bodies looks rather silly and lobsided, and defeats the purpose of a small camera.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

Nikon's 1-series with the app. 12.8 x 9.6mm CX sensor is an anomaly. For the money they are demanding for the J1 and V1 bodies, and for the pricey, proprietary lenses for them, one could get a real camera & lens -- mirrorless or otherwise.

Other than the Pentax Q with its mind-bendingly tiny 6.1 x 4.6mm sensor, all the other cameras featured in this review provide much larger sensors. And some of these cameras are barely larger than the Nikon 1 is.

Let us hope that Canon is not jumping into this mess and bring out a brand new camera category, maybe a "Nikon 1-series beater." We already have plenty here to choose from. Canon, pls stay away.

0 upvotes
TOOBAD2
By TOOBAD2 (Dec 21, 2011)

WHY NO MENTION OF FUJI X100 AND X10 ? AND WHAT HAPPENED TO LEICA X1? JUST WONDERING.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 21, 2011)

Two words - interchangeable lenses.

9 upvotes
Climber_651
By Climber_651 (Dec 21, 2011)

Sir - My instinct is to protest your placement of the Panasonic GH-2 in the "others" category as if it were somehow an odd man out. After some thought, I can understand your view point since the camera can do many things well and some things the other mirrorless cameras cannot do at all. So, it is a definitional "other" in a class of its own where I would give it a Gold rating.
I use the camera in Nuaticams brilliant underwater housing and have produced some good video and outstanding stills... if I do say so myself (smile).

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Dec 21, 2011)

The lumping of the Samsung NX200 into the "intermediate" category seems to highlight the arbitrary nature of the categorisation used. I'm curious what the E-P3 or the GX1 offer to "enthusiasts" that the NX200 doesn't, other than their smaller sensors.

1 upvote
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 21, 2011)

Plug-in EVFs, electronic levels, touchscreen control (including AF point selection), built-in flash, remote control compatibility, and higher degrees of control customization, for a start.

Then again, in the NX200's category you have the G3 that offers a built-in EVF and swivel screen, making it one of the highest-speced cameras of the lot. As we say, the categorization isn't precise, and crucially is based as much upon who the manufacturers themselves tell us they're targetting as anything else (they're always quite specific when new products are launched).

Don't get me wrong here - I've shot a fair bit with the NX200 and it's a fine little camera with a really interesting lens range. But it's not quite as fully-featured as the GX1 and E-P3.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Dec 22, 2011)

Fair point, and thanks for the reply. Samsung's decision to remove the EVF connector and remote control socket from the NX200 (both present on the NX100) is rather mystifying. Whether a built-in flash and a touch-screen are particularly "pro" features is debatable, particularly with Sony deliberately omitting the latter from their flagship model.

As a shooter for whom IQ and DOF control is paramount, I was just surprised to see the NX200 excluded from a category in which smaller-sensor cameras were included. If the categorisation is based more upon manufacturers' stated target markets, that's less surprising; Samsung's marketing has hardly been at the same standard as their engineering.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
brianbxb
By brianbxb (Dec 23, 2011)

The only meaningful grouping of interchangeable lens camera bodies and kit lenses, for a summary such as this, is by price range ( yes, the Ricoh is a one-off but you could just pick one combo ) and , whats more, it would still be meaningful if you added DSLRs and larger format cameras. Getting consistent "street" prices is no problem. Where you fix the ranges is subjective but if you organise your selections ranges to make 3 groups, this is what you would get ( based on Amazon ) :-

BUDGET ( low to high )

Pen E-PM1 / Nex c3 / DMC G3 / DMC GF3 / Pen E PL3

MIDDLING

Nikon J1 /Pentax Q / Nex 5N / Pen E P3 / DMC GX1

PRICEY

Nikon V1 / DMC GH2 / Ricoh GXR / NX 200 / Nex7

My personal preference would be a spreadsheet style feature list for each price band ( plus your rating ) rather than the regurgitated marketing spiel we have above.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 23, 2011)

No, this is what you get right now, based on Amazon prices with kit zooms:

Sub-£450: GF3, E-PM1, NEX-C3 £450-£550: J1, G3, E-PL3, NEX-5N, NX200 Over £550: GX1, GH2, Q, V1, E-P3, NEX-7

Look familiar in any way?

This highlights the problem with categorising by price alone; it's a snapshot in time which will vary across regions (we're a multinational site). What's right for you right now will almost certainly not be correct eslewhere.

All we've done is reflect the way way manufacturers design their product ranges, offering more features aimed at a more experienced audience as the price increases. We're not just randomly making up divisions for the sake of it.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (Dec 25, 2011)

I am dumbfounded at gx1 being considered higher than g3.
These are the differences according to the specs here on DPR:
-gx1 is missing the EVF
-gx1 is missing the swivel screen
-gx1 has reduced flash range.

Marketing material seems quite irrelevant in contrast to the facts. We are all smart enough to know this.

Basing on price doesn't make sense to me either. For starters, prices can change after release. Also, it depends on individuals budget. Give users the facts outside of price, and let the user decide whether or not they can afford it. We need to be able to separate the variables when we read articles.

Thanks for listening.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Dec 21, 2011)

There are so many different needs and expectations among camera buyers that I think these categories are overly simplistic. A millimeter here or a gram there might sell with the printed word, but at the Best Buy counter it won't matter. I have owned several of these, and at the top end there is no real difference between NEX, m4/3 or Nikon concerning size and weight. This assumes kit lenses, pancake or zoom. So it comes down to how a person intends to use the camera. A model can drop from the top of the list to the bottom, depending on that answer. "Beginner, Intermediate, Enthusiast and Specialty" just doesn't cut it. What kind of enthusiast - portraiture, sports, street, landscape? What does the beginner want to do - family indoors, outdoors, school sports, vacation? Not a single camera in the list does everything well, and some excel at a few.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

I just LOVED this review. Very intuitive. Thanks a whole bunch for spending all the time and effort, DP Review!!!

0 upvotes
miwo76
By miwo76 (Dec 21, 2011)

Why is it that every "new or beginner photographer" image is always a woman? I can't tell you how many of my buddies could easily take the place of the woman in your image under "beginner cameras". Be careful of your stereotypes...women have a much larger influence on the market than you think.

3 upvotes
jsis
By jsis (Dec 21, 2011)

new or beginner photographer image is better replaced by a balding old men way into his retirement, pretending that he knows everything about photography when he clearly isn't.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
TOOBAD2
By TOOBAD2 (Dec 21, 2011)

THAT'S RIGHT . JUST LOOK AT SOME OF THE AWARD WINNING PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. MANY ARE VERY TALENTED WOMEN AND MORE ARE ON THERE WAY UP. JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE A MAN DON'T THINK THAT MAKES YOU A PROFESSIONAL. THE LADY'S KNOW WHAT IT TAKES.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

Exactly right, and let's face it, we need to see more gay, lesbian, transgender, transsexual, bisexual, etc. images as well. Or is photography for straights only?

0 upvotes
bionet
By bionet (Dec 21, 2011)

I only read the first sentence, but: it's because women can't handle technology. Like men can't babysit and so on, you know?

1 upvote
migus
By migus (Dec 30, 2011)

"it's because women can't handle technology. Like men can't babysit and so on, you know?"

i'm sure you're joking..!? The new generations of girls can teach us lessons about computers, phones, software. Actually many chips inside these cameras are designed and tested by women, trend increasing. I'm male, aged 50.

Another observation: During my last vacation in Gran Canaria, the vast majority of dSLR owners were young women, outnumbering the SLR-males by ca. 2:1. My wife has also began to wonder about this trend reversal, at least in Europe.

0 upvotes
damienlee
By damienlee (Dec 21, 2011)

Which one would be most suitable for HDR photography? I know that the Sony NEXs disqualify themselves given the lack of a proper autoexposure bracket. How about the other makes?

1 upvote
onefamiliar
By onefamiliar (Dec 30, 2011)

Ummm, do it manually...

0 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (Dec 21, 2011)

I own Nikon and Panasonic cams but have tried shooting with Canons as well. One factor that I find more and more important is how innovative a company is. Really Olympus and Panasonic sticks out in this field, starting the mnirrorless wave and also working a lot with pro level video (panasonic). Now Sony have accelerated in a crazy way with the nex7 showing true inventive spirit and out of the box thinking. I wil for sure base my next purchase on the inventive spirit of the company.

Where does that leave Canon and Nikon, way behind. I am convinced that Nikon is so dropping the ball, they simply dont seem to be able of true leadership and inventive spririt. They produce great traditional DSLR, thats it and I dont think that will cut it in the future. When the tracking issue AF has been solved then they are gone. I think Nikon is currently pulling a "Kodak"....

3 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (Dec 21, 2011)

I own a "third party camera" (Pentax), but I disagree with your opinion regarding Nikon. They couhgt the train with their J1/V1 and their interpretation of CSC is IMHO the best. CSC as a segment standing between compact cameras and DSLRs should be truly something in between, also as regards the sensor size. Bigger than p&s, enabling decent image quality, but smaller than APS-C, enabling small size and small lenses. Canon is now the one who is behind the times.

0 upvotes
Atlasman
By Atlasman (Dec 21, 2011)

I still don't understand the logic of a small sensor interchangeable lens system. Subject isolation, an important value to any photographer—and especially the enthusiast—becomes problematic.

Just because Canon has not entered this growing segment doesn't mean it is behind the times. Bringing out a new mount means long term commitment—you'd better get it right the first time.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (Dec 22, 2011)

do you realize that you have all kinds of sensor sizes in this segment ? The NEX have a standard APS-c format sensor ??

Also your statement about subject isolation is not correct. I have used a 1.4 nikkor on a g2 for a while with great results. To difficult to manually focus though. Now we have a 45 mm 1.8 which everyone says is GREAT from olympus. I have seen great subject isolation with that one. With Nex its still a problem but lenses are coming

0 upvotes
brianbxb
By brianbxb (Dec 23, 2011)

I agree wholeheartedly. When Pana bring us things like the SD Card that improves the quality of our lives then I want to support them. Bravo too for Pana and Sony having the wit to team up with the great names in photography. Most of all, the creation of industry standards for cameras by Pana/Olym shames the Nikon/Canon dinosaurs who are too afraid to adopt a common lens mount. Don't they think the quality of their cameras will survive the competition ?

1 upvote
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (Dec 25, 2011)

It's all relative jagge. There are many shades of grey.

Subject isolation is generally lacking on m43 at wider focal lengths, but there is more than enough isolation at longer focal lengths.

I just got the 45mm 1.8 and it's fantastic. You wont believe how small and light it is.

0 upvotes
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (Dec 25, 2011)

We can calculate the level of dof control from the sensor size.

Nikon 1 250% of compacts
m43 150% of Nikon 1 (350% of compacts)
APS-C 150% of m43 (525% of compacts)
35mm 150% of APS-C (700% of compacts)

0 upvotes
migus
By migus (Dec 30, 2011)

While Pana/Oly have hit a sweetspot w/ their standardized (!) m43 format, the true surprises are coming from the APS-C fronts of Sony, and also Samsung. These are the true dSLR predators w/ an IQ to compete in the long run, and this without heroic efforts to squeeze the last bit out of a CX or m43 chip (little margins left here in 3-4 generations, though they'd still be great for deep DOF macros and quick AF).

Size: Despite their bigger APS-sized lenses, the overall size of a pancaked NEX or NX is comparable w/ most m43's. And again, bigger chips have not only tiny DOF and big bokeh to show, but also noise, DR and smoothness (have you seen the tonal gradations of a sunset sky shot with FF, APS, m43, CX and 1.7/2.3"..?

Too bad that the NEX and NX mounts are slightly different, with no standardization in sight between Sony and Samsung.

0 upvotes
TrapperJohn
By TrapperJohn (Dec 21, 2011)

Not bad, the mirrorless segment covers a lot of ground, especially for having been on the market for about five years. Those of you who are concerned about mirrorless replacing the dslr any time soon - not to worry, they don't have the depth of glass. But, the body specs and focus speed are pretty close, and the very small mirrorless cameras can do things DSLR's can't do, like not weigh you down, bulk you up, or draw attention to you. The big camera bag becomes a fanny pack, the brick sized body becomes a remote control. They are a terrific addition to a dslr setup, not really a replacement. They add capability.

My personal preference is the system with the most glass rather than the best body specs, if the gap in performance isn't that great, which it really isn't for typical enthusiast photography. I'd love NEX7 body specs with M43 glass selection and size. But, that's not here. Yet.

0 upvotes
dariusk
By dariusk (Dec 21, 2011)

12 megapixel ist absolutly satisfying in this segment. Just made a 70" print from my e-pl1-pic in lowlight iso 800. Great! Better iq in low light is much more worth than endless increase in megapixel on small sensors. And more than 12 megapixel doesnt mean better detail in 100 view at all. For me Olympus is still No1 though the sensor needs an update. Hoping Olympus won´t join the stupid megapixelwar in the next sensor! Peace and Merry Christmas!

1 upvote
GuptaD42
By GuptaD42 (Jan 10, 2012)

The 70" print - do you have the picture in your gallery here on DPR?

Love to see examples of great IQ from the E-PL1.

0 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 21, 2011)

OK, so if they use the same APS-C sensors that are in their DSLRs, why can't they also use the same lenses? If Canon released a mirrorless body that used my EF lenses, I'd probably buy one. Until then, I'm enjoying my S100 and plan to buy the G13. My EOS system remains as my pro-gear.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Dec 21, 2011)

They could but then it wouldn't really be any smaller than your DSLR. DSLR lenses have to be a certain distance from the sensor to focus correctly. If you made a camera with the same sensor and mount as a DSLR but made it small like the current mirrorless cameras, none of your existing lenses would be able to focus on medium to close subjects. Your focus range would be stuck at close to infinity or even past infinity.

1 upvote
Chillbert
By Chillbert (Dec 21, 2011)

The mirrorless cameras mostly use contrast-detect auto-focus, so while you can mechanically adapt your DSLR lenses to them, you have to focus them manually. With Sony's focus peaking technology, manual focus isn't bad, but it isn't the same as AF.

0 upvotes
BBViet
By BBViet (Dec 21, 2011)

NEX cameras can use A-mount lens with the right adapter.

1 upvote
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (Dec 21, 2011)

Using Sony A lenses on a Nex defeats the object of small mirror less cameras. The adapter is very expensive, cumbersome and the whole package handles much worse than using say an A55 or 65/77. You have no stabilisation as the A mount lenses do not have it and neither do the Nex bodies. I own several A mount lenses and Nex compatibility is the last reason I'd by a Nex.

I look at all the systems , Nex included, as completely separate systems and would go for the one that best mirrors the concept of a small, compact digital range-finder. For me that is the Olympus system and given it has IBIS you get that with whatever lens you put on it e.g. the nice Panasonic 20mm

3 upvotes
jsis
By jsis (Dec 21, 2011)

shorter flange distance, due to the lack of mirror, changes optical path to the sensor.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Dec 21, 2011)

@ Dave Oddie.... You'd be surprised at how useful the adapters are for using legacy lenses. And in the case of M4/3 and NEX, a adapter can give you AF with 4/3 or Alpha lenses.

You're right about small size being the primary object. But what about those times you might want to use a lens for a specific purpose.... and you already own the lens in another mount? Should you have to rebuy that lens in a new mount?

Your "most used" lenses should be as small as possible,.... but for those lenses you only use 2% of the time... exactly how important is size?

I've used my 70-300mm and my 50mm f/2 Macro 4/3 lenses on my EP1 for some very specific purposes and buying an adapter saved me the cost of buying $800 worth of M4/3 lenses.

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Dec 21, 2011)

While NEX-5N is great, it still suffers from the big-lens issue as NEX-C3 in the beginner section. Just like NEX-C3 was demoted in beginner section due to this issue, NEX-5N will also potentially loose out to NX200 for the same reasons and also because NX systems has a better lens lineup overall. So I think dpreview should re-assess this category once the review for NX200 is complete.

1 upvote
Chillbert
By Chillbert (Dec 21, 2011)

I opted for the NEX-5N because of its fabulous low-light capability. The kit lens is reasonably compact, and the overall system is compact in the sense you can very comfortably carry camera + 3 lenses in a small bag... but there are clear trade-offs. The Micro 4/3 system is significantly more compact overall; DSLRs are still the only way to get fast AF for fast action scenes, the Sony system sits somewhere in the middle with great low-light, medium size/weight, and lousy fast-action capability.

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Dec 21, 2011)

Right but NX200 seems to combine the IQ of NEX system with the compactness of m43 system. Based on the RAW samples on DPR NX200 seems to have an excellent sensor with a NEX-5N class low-light capability. And unlike NEX samsung has m43-like compact lenses as well. This is why I mentioned that NX200 might turn out to be the leader in DPR's "intermediate cameras" category once DPR has done the full NX200 review.

1 upvote
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (Dec 21, 2011)

This is a bit of a fallacy because those "compact" NX200 lenses are slow. An f3.5 lens on an NX200 is the same size as the blazing-fast 25mm f1.4 on a micro four thirds camera. The slow lens cancels out the advantages of the larger sensor. This is a factor that is often overlooked when people compare the NX200 and NEX-C3 with Micro Four Thirds cameras. Sure, they have larger (and therefore better) sensors, but M43 camers make up for it with faster glass.

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Dec 21, 2011)

Hmm I think you are confusing the lens lineups here. NX pancakes are 30mm f2, 16mm f2.4 and 20mm f2.8. None of them is an f3.5. The NX 30mm f2 is the same size as m43 20mm 1.7 and is equally good. m43 25mm 1.4 is great but is certainly not as compact as the samsung 30 or pana 20. The big lens issue is there only with NEX, not with NX.

By the way I am a m43 user myself so its not like I am trying to belittle m43 or NEX. In fact I prefer m43 over NEX due to better lens choices. Its just that at this point I think NX200 can provide the best IQ in a compact package out of all the other options.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 21, 2011)

Didn't you read? Nex already has 7 native lenses and a lens from Tamron. Sigma showed a protype of 30mm F2.8 las year.

Besides, in a recent interview Sony said they have revised 2012 lens line up and will be releasing more smaller native lenses. See the English translation of Japanese Digital Camera Magazine Sony Interview

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1037&thread=40112263

Add to the fact than 5N is more feature rich than NX200 (touch screen, focus peaking, better video, multi-shot modes, best external EVF, LAEA2 adapter with PDAF AF with A-mount lenses) . So DPR got it right.. 5N wins that category. Easy.

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Dec 21, 2011)

@ET2: I think you didn't read my post clearly. I didn't say that DPR got it wrong. If you read the comparison you will see that they have not had a chance to take a detailed enough look at NX200 so far. All I said was that once they do that, they should revisit this comparison as they MIGHT find the NX200 to be the better option. DPR is free to make whatever assessment they find appropriate.

In general it depends on one's needs and preferences. For my particular needs NEX doesn't have many useful lenses. The only interesting ones are the 24mm 1.8 and the 50mm 1.8. And the 24mm is very expensive. So I can't make use of the excellent NEX cameras. NX and m43, on the other hand have the lenses that I need - i.e. fast and compact lenses at a reasonable price. And they have it today so at this point they are the better options for me. If in future NEX catches up in lenses, I will look at NEX as well. I don't have anything against a particular brand. Whatever has the tools to meet my needs.

0 upvotes
goblin
By goblin (Dec 21, 2011)

Specialist cameras, the little Nikons ?!?
ROFL.
Honnestly, DPR, sometimes you really surpass yourselves.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Dec 21, 2011)

That was pretty funny. They should have created a category for small cameras with a real AF system, but there would have only been one brand in there so I guess they couldn't do that.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 21, 2011)

Essentially, we did. The last page isn't so much a category (since they all have different specialisms), it's a collection of the rest. That's why we haven't highlighted one of the products over the others - it wouldn't make sense.

2 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Dec 21, 2011)

Yeah, I guess that is one way to look at it. But the camera we are talking about is different in just about every way, except it's mirrorless. That is why I think these cameras should be listed by application (genre) probably rather than user experience, unless you want to have user experience sub-categories. Too unwieldy perhaps. But honestly, beginners who want to shoot school sports can't use a C3, and we know it. If they want to shoot street scenes, why not go right to an E-P3 or a Pany?

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

I like these categories that were picked by DP Review, they make perfect sense for the 99% of us. Some people just cannot be pleased, I guess.

0 upvotes
CanonLoyalty
By CanonLoyalty (Dec 21, 2011)

Great summary and well done as usual & I'm sure this article will tick off Nikon V1/J1's fanboys :).

Santa, give me Nex-7 for my Xmas gift please. Or else, I will have to wait until the price comes down to $500 or Canon makes me 1.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Dec 21, 2011)

Fanboys? Stop and consider your user name.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Dec 21, 2011)

A Canon Loyalist asking for a Sony-cam for X-mas? Wow, what has the world come down to now?

0 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (Dec 21, 2011)

Kuturgan really. Dont be a drama queen. This article is very balanced indeed. The only gribe i have with it is that the GH2 is put in a "special" section. I do see the point in this BUT, it could put some off such a cam and it is off course a very capable still cam.

Jakob

5 upvotes
Kuturgan
By Kuturgan (Dec 21, 2011)

I have an impression that this review in particular and Dreview in general have some kind of aversion when we talk about Samsung APS-C cameras. It looks like a discrimination with no reason.

0 upvotes
ray07
By ray07 (Dec 21, 2011)

I prefer Nex 7,I got 5d2,550D and Nex3.Nex 3 advantage for my travel use.I hope Sony making full frame Mirrorless camera in the future.

0 upvotes
simontramper
By simontramper (Dec 21, 2011)

So tell me why the nx200 is not listed next to the sony nex 7 and why it's listed in the intermediary section .You knock samsung all the time .

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 21, 2011)

NX200 is nowhere even close to Nex-7. It's competing against 5N in price and features but even there it loses (no external EVF, for example)

1 upvote
iudex
By iudex (Dec 21, 2011)

NX200 needs no EVF, because the NX20 will have it. This is the way Samsung does it (100/200 without EVF, 10/11/20 with EVF), just like Nikon and others. You choose whether you prefer compact size without EVF or better usage with EVF, but a bit bulkier.

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Dec 20, 2011)

My 8x10 Deardorff is mirrorless... they forgot to mention it.

I would love to have the NEX 7. Should I wait for the 8 or 9? Never had that problem with the ol' Deardorff. Hand holding a camera.... how novel!

6 upvotes
Klipsen
By Klipsen (Dec 22, 2011)

1. Is your Deardorff particularly compact?
2. What sensor size does it have?
3. Hand holding a camera was done before your grandfather was born, so how novel is it really?

You need to get out of the box.

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Dec 22, 2011)

I was joking... don't be so dense.

0 upvotes
onefamiliar
By onefamiliar (Dec 30, 2011)

Wow...I think most of the people here are pretty dense. Also, a dose of spell check every once in awhile would be a revelation!

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Feb 29, 2012)

Actually, handheld cameras are a novelty compared to ones on a fixed mount. Emulsions used to be too slow for anything else. So not hand holding was done before his grandfather's grandfather was born. But hey, I'm old fashioned: I still like to hold hands. ; D

0 upvotes
MonkRX
By MonkRX (Dec 20, 2011)

@ Manny - Mirrorless Cameras employ the same size sensors (of the same generation of technology), similar level processors. Technologically, they are the same.

The only gap DSLRs have over Mirrorless is Auto Focus technology (arguably more accurate on mirrorless, but slower), and exposure/metering (again, arguably better on Mirrorless, since the entire sensor does metering).

The latter is the only thing that could possibly effect image quality.

m4/3rds and APS-C DSLRs have no apparent technological advantage that couldn't be employed in a Mirrorless camera.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Dec 20, 2011)

Actually, for a single AF acquisition, most of these latest Mirrorless cameras are faster than many DSLRs. Certainly an entry level Micro Four Thirds camera will out-pace an entry level DSLR with kit lens by a noticeable degree.

It's only continuous focusing where they are still behind.

5 upvotes
martya
By martya (Dec 20, 2011)

I've been using both the A77 and the NEX-7 (yes I got one). They both create images that are sharper and in many ways better than my Canon 5D MK1 and my Nikon D90.

The NEX-7 blows me away.

Auto focus on both is at least as fast as my DSLR's.

Also used Oly ep1, Lumix GF1, and have Lumix G3. They are great in good light.

I can't imagine using a mirror again.

8 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Dec 21, 2011)

@martya
Not a exactly a big surprise that the images from recent 24MP sensor out perform those from a 4 year old 12MP APS-C sensor and a 7 year old 12mp FF sensor.

Mirror or no mirror really has nothing to do with that difference.

4 upvotes
jagge
By jagge (Dec 20, 2011)

Interesting comment Mannypr.... Like many others you just dont get it at all, and one has to wonder if you at all did read the article.

This is the take home message : Mirroless cams like the nex5n is every bit as good in IQ as any midrange DSLR, going up to prosumer DSLR. Nex 7 goes beoynd them in IQ. You are plain wrong if you asume that DSLR is always a step in front, now they are actually a step behind.

That is the facts, and the interesting part is that for a long time Nikon and Canon didnt get it either so you are excused. It seems Canon are slowly getting the message, Nikon not so much I think they will miss the train completely it seems they simply are not inovative enough as a company.

5 upvotes
Chillbert
By Chillbert (Dec 21, 2011)

The video quality is also very impressive, and the mirrorless design (continuous live view etc.) makes video very natural to use.

0 upvotes
hifimacianer
By hifimacianer (Dec 21, 2011)

Yes, the Mirrorless cams have a very goog IQ - sometimes even better than a entry level or midrange DSLR.

BUT: They still don't have the great pool of great lenses, and still cant compete in terms of direct control buttons! In addition they still dont have these great viewfinders like in DSLRs.
If you want a good viewfinder @ an mirrorless, you have to pick these ugly and bulky externals.

The first compact cam with an great viewfinder ist the Fuji X-100.
But thats no mirrorless.

For me its the overall handling of a cam, that is important. Not only the size. The mirrorless cams a great compacts with a really good IQ, but they still lack on a good handling. I often have to go into the menu, instead of control everything with deticated buttons. Thats why I love my DSLR.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Dec 21, 2011)

"Nikon not so much I think they will miss the train completely it seems they simply are not inovative enough as a company."

Let me disagree: the Nikon 1, while it has its share of problems (no 1080 60p, no high-resolution video a'la GH2 etc.), is a pleasant surprise (high-ISO IQ; PDAF; ability to take full-res shots while shooting videos unlike the GH2; completely (!) electronic shutter etc.)

0 upvotes
migus
By migus (Dec 21, 2011)

Factually neither of the 2 incumbents w/ a turf to defend have a compact body with big (MFT, APS or FF) sensor; nor any willingness to go there, before their lunch is 1/2 eaten. Sticking a new digital sensor every 2-4 yrs inside their 50-yrs. old designs was lucrative enough, given their branding power... The new kids on the block are starting to change the game, though...

While most of my glass and bodies are still Nikon, this company is technically behind and slowing down wrt. sensors, processors and digital bodies. They miss the basic R&D investments required to keep pace w/ Canon (itself slow and politized), and the new CSC 'kids'... Time for Sony, Samsung and the rest to prove themselves.

"It seems Canon are slowly getting the message, Nikon not so much I think they will miss the train completely it seems they simply are not inovative enough as a company."

0 upvotes
onefamiliar
By onefamiliar (Dec 30, 2011)

I swear, some people on this site write like they are lobbyists for camera companies marketing campaigns. To me, anyway, comparing mirror-less and dslr's is like comparing books to a kindle. If given a choice, I'd rather read a book, but I have and enjoy using my kindle as well (especially on long trips). They obviously have their merits, but in the end I prefer the "real thing", so to speak. It really depends on the situation. I don't think mirror-less will replace dslr's, too many people rely on that tactile sensation and interaction that a dslr affords. Also, to assume that EVF's will catch up to the complexity, resolution, and response time of (get this) a HUMAN EYE by the next generation, is completely absurd.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
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