Entry-Level Mirrorless Camera Roundup 2013

Entry-level mirrorless cameras provide a nice middle ground between fixed-lens point-and-shoots and lower-end DSLRs. It's an ever-growing category with options for photographers of varying skill level and intentions. The common factors in this class are the huge step up in image quality over most compacts and the friendly interfaces aimed at those stepping up from point-and-shoots.

The story of the entry-level mirrorless category is a tale of sensor sizes. Sony, Fujifilm and Samsung's mirrorless models use APS-C-sized sensors, the same larger-sized chips used in traditional DSLRs. Nikon's 1-series, on the other hand, use a 1"-type sensor that's considerably larger than that of an advanced point-and-shoot camera. Sitting roughly in between the two formats size-wise are the Four Thirds sensors used by Olympus and Panasonic's mirrorless cameras. Pentax's tiny Q7 is an outlier - it has a 1/1.7"-type sensor, as found in many advanced point-and-shoots. Accordingly, the camera itself is more point-and-shoot-like in size.

Large sensors present some benefits - they're able to gather more light and generally produce less-noisy high ISO images. Depending on the lens in front of it, larger sensors are also better able to produce the blurry background effect and a look that photographers moving up from point-and-shoots typically want. Here are the cameras we've identified as entry-level mirrorless models:

Beginners who are looking for better-than-smartphone image quality will definitely find it in this class, and may also like how lightweight and portable these cameras are as compared to a DSLR. They make great cameras for everyday, good light shooting and will generally take better low light images than a phone or point-and-shoot. 

The way we see it there are two kinds of users who will consider cameras in this class - those who are looking for a point-and-shoot experience with better image quality, and those who are looking for a step-up camera with which to learn the ins-and-outs of photography without going all the way up to a DSLR. 

 

Comments

Total comments: 81
aytackurtuba
By aytackurtuba (3 months ago)

I recommended Fujifilm X-A1 , it has very good image quality realy ...

1 upvote
Black Box
By Black Box (3 months ago)

Fuji should issue some kind of "Guide for dummies" on their naming convention. Their camera indices make absolutely no sense to anyone but their marketing department.

4 upvotes
skytripper
By skytripper (3 months ago)

Do you all think Fuji is likely to add wireless remote control to the X-M1's capabilities in the future? And if so, could they do it with a software upgrade? To me, this is one of the most interesting new features now appearing on some of the newest cameras.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
1 upvote
DIDEA
By DIDEA (4 months ago)

Wow, gutted. I'm looking for an entry level camera and what do I get? Two recommendations near EUR800. That's pretty much useless for me. Enry level should mean exactly that; very few people have the money to spend 800 on something to enter a hobby or niche. I guess the handful of words on the X-A1 is all I get to go on.

5 upvotes
dougjgreen1
By dougjgreen1 (4 months ago)

Actually, the Olympus E-PM2 will give you what you need, for half the price of the Fujifilm.

3 upvotes
coolcity
By coolcity (3 months ago)

Sorry, DIDEA, but you're wrong. "Entry level" doesn't mean a price that everybody can afford, but the cheapest price range for that class of product. For example, Ferrari's cheapest model might be their entry level model but it doesn't mean everybody can afford one.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
richshep
By richshep (3 months ago)

How silly. Just get what you can afford! Don't whinge about DPR's judgement. They don't set the prices and they don't force you to buy anything.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (3 months ago)

I followed the amazon links and it's only $600 with a kit lens.
that's what, about 430 euros?
order online.

0 upvotes
ghoops
By ghoops (3 months ago)

I agree Didea I was thinking exactly that when I saw your comment. Some of these "entry level" cameras (entry to what?) are more expensive than decent SLRs. Entry level implies something both affordable and fairly simple and with basic facilities.

0 upvotes
Light Waves
By Light Waves (3 months ago)

I have always been a "full-frame" user, from Nikon F, F2AS, F4, D3, D800. Then I got tired and bought an Oly PM2. Amazing little camera. I admit that I purchased the 12mmf2 and 45mmf1.8 as well as the FL600R flash. This combo does the job for 95% of my needs. I'd start with the kit zoom lens and see if it fulfills your own needs, but the sensor and jpg's that can come out of this little camera are very good. It's good enough for me. Maybe it will be good enough for you. Check it out.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
whitebird
By whitebird (4 months ago)

NEX-3N certainly under-appreciated in this group because of the poor user interface. But IQ per dollar spent is probably the best of the lot as prices come down. Just picked up a brand new 3N kit for 300USD. Most pleased for the money spent.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 31 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Tony0211
By Tony0211 (4 months ago)

For the price of these (except the Sony a3000) why would I pay $600 and up for a somewhat pro (?) camera that does not include a rangefinder? What am I missing?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

Out of those, X-A1 is very good. X-M1 is the same thing (plus extra headaches if you shoot RAW) for extra $200 or more FOR NO REASON. Different pattern of color filter on the sensor is absolutely not worth it, especially given that it kills details in greenery (make no mistake, in OOC JPEGs too, it is not just RAW problem) and causes color bleed in small colored details (it is simply suboptimal in mathematical sense).

Well, X-A1 is great if you shoot only with the stabilized kit zooms. If you add primes, then E-PM2 is better because it has IBIS (so all your lenses will be stabilized, even legacy ones), its lenses, both zooms and primes, are smaller, lighter and cheaper, and there is a much better selection. And its AF is faster too. Although I would compare E-PL5 (or rather E-PL6 if available) at the same price as X-A1, E-PM2 is in a cheaper class.

Others here are simply not worth a second look for various reasons.

0 upvotes
LarryLatchkey
By LarryLatchkey (4 months ago)

"The X-A1 offers most of the X-M1's benefits for a little less cash."
In Germany the kits are €500 vs €800. Still quite a difference I think.

2 upvotes
stanleyD22
By stanleyD22 (4 months ago)

yes it would be great to have comparison between A1 and M1 one to one..if it's worthy of that money

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (4 months ago)

The X-A1 test shots are now available.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

Of course it is not.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

In fact, X-M1 is worse than X-A1 if you shooting something other than black-and-white resolution charts.

1 upvote
vivanchenko
By vivanchenko (4 months ago)

M1 is not only slightly better in higher ISO than A1. It also reproduces colors differently. This is very noticeable side by side. M1 delivers the same IQ as the highest end. And it is also faster to focus than any of it. And so is A1. Both of the cameras have some advanced feature which most of the higher end doesn't.

Braking things up by levels is very confusing and misleading.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

In fact, X-M1 is worse than X-A1 if you shooting something other than black-and-white resolution charts. With this pattern, color bleeding after demosaicing to JPEG is inevitable.

0 upvotes
Motorcycleboy1991
By Motorcycleboy1991 (4 months ago)

So why the Fuji X-M1 over the X-A1? The category is, "entry level."

I talked to a Fuji rep at a recent camera show. I was tired of carrying around bigger, heavier equipment when I travel. I am really impressed with what Fuji is doing. When I asked why I should go for the X-M1 over the X-A1, he said, "At high ISO it is a little better." That lines up with what I have seen in your comparisons, and comparisons on other sites.

Is it worth $200 more (28.5% more, if I did the math right) for a little better high ISO; in an entry level category?

This is a serious question. I ditched my DSLR and went with the X-A1 and a few lenses for a travel kit. I wasn't trying to cheap out. I just didn't see the extra value in the X-M1. What did I miss?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

"Is it worth $200 more (28.5% more, if I did the math right) for a little better high ISO; in an entry level category?"

It is not REAL better high ISO, it is just higher level of noise filtering embedded into demosaicing process of this pattern because red and blue dots are on average further apart. For the same reasons, colors in small details tend to bleed into each other more than with Bayer pattern.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (4 months ago)

List is a bit all over the road in terms of price, but it seems to me that, seeing as the Fujifilm X-M1 lists over the Samsung NX300, the NX300 should have been included. It is quite comparable to the X-M1. Both are very similar in size. The Samsung may be slightly behind in IQ (Bayer versus X-Trans APS-C sensor), but the MX300 has an articulating OLED display (better), NFC and WI-FI (better in terms of function), 20MP vs. 16MP, and, no doubt, a better build and better ergonomics. Kit lenses are roughly comparable. I suppose the Samsung doesn't have the cachet in terms of brand, but it is an excellent value, particularly right now.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (4 months ago)

NX300 also has hybrid AF with phase detection, which the X-M1 does not have, although the difference is probably slight. The X-M1 does have two control wheels, but they are cramped, while the NX300 does have a iFn button on the lens.

I like the X-M1 - I've used it - but all in all I prefer the Samsung and am a bit confused about the calculus in making the list. But I won't lose any sleep over it; there are some excellent cameras on the list.

0 upvotes
b craw
By b craw (4 months ago)

Sorry, I just noticed the NX300 listed in the mid-range mirrorless. I suppose it does get confusing - I could make the case for the Fujifilm X-M1 being there as well (and sort of did) with the X-E2.

1 upvote
qianp2k
By qianp2k (5 months ago)

No Canon EOS-M? Is it an entry-level mirrorless camera?

I bought $399 EOS-M package with body, two M lenses - 22/2.0 STM pancake, 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit zoom, and 90EX flash that can also be used an ETTL master on Canon DSLRs.

And it delivers very nice IQ, not less than all above ML entries in the list.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55485085@N04/sets/72157636482584245/

6 upvotes
Lawrencew
By Lawrencew (5 months ago)

As far as DPR is concerned, the EOS M doesn't exist. Never reviewed, and not mentioned in any of their mirror less round ups. However it was launched in 2012, not 2013

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (4 months ago)

As mentioned elsewhere in the comment section, the EOS-M's current pricing strongly suggests it's out-of-production and being sold-off cheaply. We want these roundups to retain their relevance for a couple of months, at least, by which stage the remaining EOS-M stock is likely to have run out.

Despite never being offered one by Canon US, we borrowed one and to shoot a samples gallery. I thought I'd also written my impressions of using it, but I can't find a link to that, if I did.

It's not a camera we could currently recommend. The interface is very good, though so, if the lens design isn't contributing too much to the slow focus, the next generation could be really good.

2 upvotes
inas
By inas (4 months ago)

You should not make decisions based on suggestions as you say on your second line, but based on facts.
I just got an EOS M for $220 in a local shop, and it is the best deal NOW. In 2 months time, i do not know.
I think its the best not only for people who already own canon equipment, which is perfect for those, as you can use lenses and flashes, but for anyone who does not require fast focusing and might want to develop their photo skills further.
Video is also amazing, having mic in, though lacks headphone.
Oh, i forgot to mention, magic lantern is also available for it.... ;)
Cheers

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Regueira Photo and Film
By Regueira Photo and Film (3 months ago)

@inas, I am with you.
3 weeks ago I bought an M+2lenses+90EX to replace a 7D being used as 3rd videocamera on weddings.
Canon M is on sale aroud there, and can be found on different arrangments.
DPReview should have included it. May be adding @RButler forecastings on camera availability as well...
BTW, as today, Canon USA has the camera "in their production line". Pls check here http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_m_ef_m_22mm_stm_kit
Cheers

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Paul1974
By Paul1974 (5 months ago)

Sony Nex-3n actually has a USB/multi accessory port. This way, a wired remote control can be connected.

0 upvotes
DT200
By DT200 (5 months ago)

Way to go Fuji! You can find deals on the Nikon 1 too which make it attractive.
IMHO, the Sony A3000 was a dud.

0 upvotes
Robaire
By Robaire (4 months ago)

Seems that many are writing the Sony A3000 off without trying it. B&H sells the 18-55 alone for $298. You can buy the A3000 with this lens now for $350. It's like buying the body for $50! What's not to like or make it a dud? I've been using the A3000 for about a month, also own a NEX7. The A3000 images match the output from the NEX7, and the 18-55 has pretty decent quality as well. Uses the same battery, e-mount lenses work fine. It's true the LCD and EVF are a compromise, but still quite usable. Focus peaking works fine, no problem focusing with adapted manual focus lenses.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

A3000 is certainly a good value. Bad camera - but very good value. Total opposite of, say, Olympus E-M1, which is a good camera but bad value.
Some people seek value, utility, some people seek pleasurable experience. That is why there is something for everybody.

0 upvotes
Robaire
By Robaire (4 months ago)

"bad" camera, "bad" sensor:

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Sony-A3000-review-Entry-level-body-high-performance-sensor

0 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (5 months ago)

You can get an Olympus e-pl3 with kit lens for 249€ in Europe. A current model the E-PM2 with kit lens for 420€. A fuji x-m1 the most cheap you can get with a kit lens is 799€. I don't see how these cameras are comparable. The fuji just doesn't belong into this group. For that money you can get a canon 60d and a nikon d7000. Cameras certainly not belonging to entry class.

4 upvotes
88SAL
By 88SAL (5 months ago)

Entry does not have to mean really cheap. The Fuji XM is expensive but it is the Fuji entry option after the enthusiast XPro and intermediate XE models.. Price is an issue in this category, but it might not be the 'forced to buy the cheapest' issue given that the user level of the camera is the other facet to the article.

1 upvote
goblin
By goblin (5 months ago)

Well, they should have listed the entry model for the Leica M then ?

7 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

"The Fuji XM is expensive but it is the Fuji entry option after the enthusiast XPro and intermediate XE models.."

Their entry option is X-A1, not X-M1. X-M1 is the same as X-A1 with broken color filter which allowed them to save money by not including antialiasing (low-pass) filter - for the price of color bleeding and low color detail as the consequence (although better black-and-white detail which only matters for test chart). And the cheap trick eliminated only vertical and horizontal Muaré, but diagonal is still there. I would think such compromises for the missing LP filter should put value of X-M1 at $50 or so BELOW X-A1, but they want $200 more?!? Ridiculous. Only heavy marketing of "X-Trans" brand to those who do not understand how demosaicing works can explain it.

1 upvote
edu T
By edu T (5 months ago)

A 1"-type sensor is NOT, as mentioned, "slightly larger in size than that of an advanced point-and-shoot camera."
It has TWICE the area of a 2/3" sensor (fuji X20, XQ1) and 2.7x the area of the more common 1/1.7" (G16, LX7, XZ-2, etc.)

6 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (5 months ago)

So then but the rx100 has a 1 inch sensor. ...so it's not even slightly. It's just as large.

Womp womp

1 upvote
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (5 months ago)

But the fact remains that the difference between a 1" sensor and the sensors in most enthusiast compact cameras is of a greater magnitude than the difference between a FF sensor and an APSC sensor.

And no one has ever called the FF sensor "slightly larger" than an APSC sensor.

2 upvotes
BKK Street
By BKK Street (5 months ago)

Nice write up. Most of the tourists I see lugging around DSLR's would be better served with one of these. (Or an RX100 for most situations). And GM-1 and Fuji's are just gorgeous. Do miss the availability of a fully articulated LCD on all the models listed though.

5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

Why would they be better served?

People don't exactly "lug around" a consumer DSLR like a T5i, D5200 or K-50. Those cameras are small, lightweight, offer bright, clear viewfinders for easier framing/composition and have available tons of inexpensive large aperture primes and zooms. And for IQ, it doesn't get much better out of all the crop sensor cameras.

1 upvote
FrankS009
By FrankS009 (5 months ago)

Nope, people do "lug around" a consumer DSLR compared to this group. Consumer DSLRs have lost their reason for being - people don't have to do that anymore and coming from cell phones and entry compact cameras, they don't want to.

The IQ of consumer DSLRs is no better than the m4/3rds cameras like the GM1 and EPM2 and probably worse.

F.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (5 months ago)

Still, they keep buying dslrs, just check the best-selling list of all digital cameras at Amazon, a Rebel and the D3200 at top 1-2. Now try to find any of the DPR's choices or any ML, for that matter, among the top100. I saw 3, firstcwas the Pentax Q, very disounted. Of course, those peope are just ignorant folks fooled by the "bad guys".

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
BKK Street
By BKK Street (5 months ago)

To rhlpetrus: Love the photos on your Flickr page. Great!

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

marike6: "People don't exactly "lug around" a consumer DSLR like a T5i, D5200 or K-50."

Yes they do. After a several hours touring with one of these, they start to hurt neck and shoulders.

" Those cameras are small, lightweight,"

No they are not.

" offer bright, clear viewfinders "

Except for k-50, their viewfinders are just awful. Tiny, imprecise (not 100% coverage), and with consumer kit zooms, quite dim too (and the latter includes k-50). Except of course when you get sun in the frame by mistake - then they will hurt your retina.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Boissez
By Boissez (5 months ago)

Why did you pick the X-M1 over the E-PM2? They have the same score but the Olympus is at a much more beginner-friendly price point.

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (5 months ago)

Ditto GM1. Entry-level should be easy to enter. Including expensive cameras like X-M1 or GM1 is simply wrong.

Yes, they are better cameras. But they are simply too expensive to be even considered by the people stepping in into the inter-changeable lens camera realm.

The low-end CaNikons established the price point: $400 for the kit. Anything deviating from it too far high should have been disqualified from winning.

3 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

Why didn't the E-PL5 make the list? Four or five other brands got two models featured... I'm just curious really, no skin in the game. I've got a GF6 myself (though the choice was between it and the Oly, for the newer sensor). Nice roundup, dizzying array of good options really.

6 upvotes
Le Frog
By Le Frog (5 months ago)

My guess is that it did not make it because it is just a slightly bigger and thicker PM2 with a PASM dial and a tiltable screen. But what do you need the PASM dial for, if, as soon as you leave the P mode, you must anyway rely on the touchscreen to set the shooting parameters? So, you might just as well forgo it and save yourself a 100 (USD, EU, or BP).

1 upvote
NevilN
By NevilN (5 months ago)

The tiltable screen of the E-PL5 is quite special. It can be flipped all the way up for self-portraits. And the current E-PL5 sales prices are exactly the same or lower than the PM2 prices.

0 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (4 months ago)

Is the E-PL5 really that reliant on the touchscreen? Somehow I doubt it but it's been a while since I read the reviews... I can adjust anything on my GF6 without ever touching the screen, if I wanted to (the screen is just quicker for certain things), and Panasonic usually has a more full featured touch UI. Pressing up on the rear dial lets you change between shutter and aperture for example...

0 upvotes
charliewallace1
By charliewallace1 (4 months ago)

I have the E-PL5 and I never use the touch screen. The super control panel is very easy to use instead.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

"But what do you need the PASM dial for, if, as soon as you leave the P mode, you must anyway rely on the touchscreen to set the shooting parameters?"

Wrong, E-PL5 has rear dial/wheel too, so it is just as easy to use in S and A modes as consumer DSLRs like Canon Rebel and Nikon D3xxx/D5xxx series.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ploutakis
By ploutakis (5 months ago)

I have read some comments in the web about the huge distortions of theNEX 3N's 16-50 lens.They comment that the camera corrects the problem automatically when in jpeg mode.What about RAW.I dont use Photoshop ,so I wish I knew whether the Sony raw converter resolves the problem .

Thanks

Ploutakis

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

Digital corrections are commonplace in mirrorless cameras - in part because it's possible (since you couldn't preview the corrections through an optical viewfinder).

Any Raw converter that properly supports such a camera - be it NEX, Micro Four Thirds or Fujifilm - will apply the corrections.

7 upvotes
Oleg Vinokurov
By Oleg Vinokurov (5 months ago)

Oh, that's interesting point I didn't think about before. Corrected image in viewfinder is also important!

0 upvotes
Paul1974
By Paul1974 (5 months ago)

Yes, free Sony IDC software does allow you to apply these corrections when converting RAW tot Tiff or Jpeg (shading, distortion).

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

Sites which test RAW lens performance (including maximum CA and vignetting) without correcting for distortion first simply do it wrong. Correcting of distortion simply pushes the worst offending regions of image frame (corners) beyond image frame (for barrel distortion - which coincides with FLs having bad vignetting etc), so those awfully vignetting corners (usually with high CA too) simply never make it in the final image - for the price of slightly lower sharpness at the edges of the frame ("awful" 5% distortion can be corrected for the price of as low as 5% reduction in sharpness, which for sharpness is nothing).
And most sites like DxO which started testing lenses before the corrections became standard (often parts of new lens mount electronic protocols for mirrorless where lenses store their own distortion profiles) do it wrong, so don't waste your time checking mirrorless lenses at them.
Lateral CA is just 3 distortion profiles - separate for each color channel. Easy.

0 upvotes
vivanchenko
By vivanchenko (5 months ago)

Putting X-M1 in the same category as Sony NEX 3 is ridiculous. High end image quality in entry level cameras?

0 upvotes
Vinc T
By Vinc T (5 months ago)

This list is ridiculous. (The other five round-ups are fine IMHO.) This list just does' nt make much sense to me.

Take X-M1 for example. it is categorized in DPR's own review as an "Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR" here:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-m1/12
And now it has become an entry level mirrorless?

12 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (5 months ago)

Best list of the bunch. This one makes sense.

2 upvotes
mad marty
By mad marty (5 months ago)

Entry level cameras should be cheap and two of the winners are just damn expensive.
The Samsung NX1100 and the Nex-3n are real entry level cameras with under 300 Euro.
I would never recommend a camera which costs twice as much to a beginner. That's just no entry level.

18 upvotes
tjwaggoner
By tjwaggoner (5 months ago)

Agree with you here. Just because the fuji is entry-level in relation to the other fuji models, doesnt make it an entry level camera in relation to the mirroless market. Why not pick the cheapest leica ILC and say it was the best entry level camera?
Not saying the fuji isnt a fantastic camera (the truth here is that any modern camera is pretty great), just that this roundup would be more helpful if it were: "Whats the best mirrorless ILC for X amount of $$$" Rather than what youve done here.

13 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (5 months ago)

I think the categories entry-level, mid-level, enthusiast and professional mostly refer to the feature sets, ergonomics and build quality of the cameras, not their price. Of course, there is (or should be) a correlation between these things, but still - if the NEX-3N had cost $3000, that wouldn't have made it a pro-grade camera; it would still be an entry-level camera, albeit a very expensive one. Likewise, had the Nikon D4 cost only $300, it would still be a pro-grade camera, but an extremely inexpensive one.
But if you define the camera categories mainly based on the price point, then I certainly understand your reasoning.

1 upvote
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

I think what Revenant is saying makes sense, although they did pick a best in class + a value winner in some of the other roundups... (EM5 + G6, RX100 + S120) I guess the Nikon could be viewed as the value pick here, although it's probably not the strongest pick if action shots aren't the top priority.

A value pick in addition to the Fuji instead of singling out the GM1 for it's size might've made sense, it's size advantage is rather obvious anyway... Could've just left it as a honorable mention or whatever (along with the Nikon). I guess people just want more structure to these things.

I kinda like how the roundups took shape as is though, specially if it makes it easier to update them later (more rigid categories, price limits, etc would make it harder to recommend or highlight new and different models, i.e. something like the GM1).

1 upvote
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (5 months ago)

The buy-in for 2 of the top 3 "entry level" mirrorless cameras is high indeed:
X-M1, $700
GM1, $750

Not sure how the typical smartphone user or point-and-shooter will see value here and go all in.

1 upvote
rube39
By rube39 (5 months ago)

What about the Canon EOS M? It is small, easy to use, has two excellent kit lenses, a nice touch screen interface, a large sensor, and after the latest firmware update, it delivers decent enough AF speed.

6 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (5 months ago)

2012 camera, so as was mentioned in other articles, not in the running. HOwever, with the recent price crash, the M has become extremely attractive - especially with the cheap 22mm f2 lens that comes with it. M4/3 charges $400-500 for essentially the same lens. NEX doesn't even have a fast pancake.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

Given how cheap they're buying sold off, we have to assume they're at end-of-life, so it doesn't make sense to include the EOS-M in a roundup we want to still be valid in a couple of months.

The EOS-M isn't a camera we could recommend. But there's a lot to like that makes us think the next generation camera could be rather good.

6 upvotes
caver3d
By caver3d (5 months ago)

I have the EOS-M and I disagree with rube39. Even with the update , the AF is still not decent enough - it is sluggish. I agree that it does not belong on the list.

7 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (5 months ago)

@tkbslc
A 2012 (or older) camera is still in the running, if it's the current model. The E-PM2, for example, is a 2012 model, but it hasn't been replaced yet. Likewise with several cameras in the other categories, such as NEX-7 and E-M5.

2 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (5 months ago)

The EOS-M has horrible AF even with the update and I wouldn't recommend it for any beginner.

4 upvotes
Alastair Norcross
By Alastair Norcross (5 months ago)

Horrible AF? Really? The AF on mine works very well. I think it's an ideal camera for a beginner, or for an advanced photographer, who wants a small companion to A DSLR. The image quality is superb, and the camera lets you do what you want to do. It's not a sports camera, but very few are. I'd recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to take fast action shots. The M with the 22mm pancake is selling for about $300 right now. That combination is far better than mirrorless options selling for more than twice the price. In fact, it's better than any other camera + lens combination for under $800.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Oleg Vinokurov
By Oleg Vinokurov (5 months ago)

2Alastair Norcross
I guess depends on what you shoot, but after you compare focus speed and reliability with m43, eos m falls way behind. Current next cameras on the other hand are rather close to m43 level.

So really depends on what is good enough for you. Personally I really dislike sluggish devises even when I don't really need lighting fast response.

2 upvotes
Alastair Norcross
By Alastair Norcross (5 months ago)

I agree that the focus speed on the M isn't lightning fast, but it's perfectly fast enough for anything other than sports. I also have the 7D, so I know what lightning fast AF is. On the other hand, the M's AF is incredibly reliable. I'm actually enjoying shooting with the M more than with any other camera I've used. It really lets you concentrate on the photographic essentials. It's a perfect street camera and indoor camera. The results speak for themselves. I've seen many shots from NEX cameras, and they're pretty good, but not up to the M's. It's probably the lenses. The 22mm pancake is simply superb, and I'm comparing it with the 5 L lenses I own.

1 upvote
RLBur
By RLBur (5 months ago)

I purchased the M when the prices dropped and they came out with the new firmware update. I too have the 7D for sports and action shots. I also have the G1X which I enjoy immensely. I have absolutely no regrets purchasing the M. I recently received the 11-22 lens and find it is a jewel. Perhaps the M is of no interest to many, and I understand that, but I am extremely pleased with mine.

1 upvote
Maczon
By Maczon (4 months ago)

M has worse AF speed than my Panasonic G1 (release 2008) that was first mirroless model afterall. It tells quite much now slow AF it (EOS-M) has.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
carlos4400
By carlos4400 (2 months ago)

i think fuji xa1 is a very good choice.its noise performance is better than all other in its class and on par with some full frame cams. detail is a bit tricky but if you dial back sharpness and turn noise reduction to -2 then u have much better results. colorwise i think xm1 is a bit inferior to xa1 on its jpegs. i had both cameras and also a nex 5r at hand to compare them. at 6400 iso xa1 is much better than both the xm1 and the nex 5r.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 81