Best MILC for Complete Photography Novice

Started Jan 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Chas2
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Re: Best MILC for Complete Photography Novice
In reply to Haplo859, Jan 23, 2013

Haplo859 wrote:

Hi all,

I'm sure you guys get this question all the time so I hope you don't mind pointing me in the right direction. I am looking to upgrade my camera, the primary use is for travel photography. I currently either just use my iPhone or Canon Powershot SD750.

There are a couple reasons I want to upgrade:

1. I want to be able to make medium size prints (maybe large prints as well?) without having to worry about noise or blurriness.

2. I'd like a camera that is able to perform adequately in more trying circumstances such as low light shots.

I primarily shoot landscapes, urban settings, and people. I don't need/care about shooting sports or toddlers.

I honestly don't know much of anything about photography but have been reading various blogs and websites such as this one in an attempt to educate myself. From what I've learned it sounds like a mirrorless system may be the best play for me. I am willing to deal with a somewhat larger camera to get better quality shots but I don' want to deal with the massive heft of a DSLR (nor do I really think I have anywhere the level of expertise to make use of a DSLR).

I looked at a bunch of 'Top-10', 'Best of 2012', etc style lists for mirrorless cameras and used those recommendations to narrow my search down. Price is definitely a factor and as I mentioned I don't really know what I'm doing so spending extra money for extra features doesn't really make sense for me. This is what my list of options looks like so far (I've also included the best price that I was able to find each camera at)

Sony Alpha NEX-C3 - $365

Sony Alpha NEX-F3 - $450

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 - $405

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 - $410

All of the above prices include the camera body and the default lens set for each respective camera. At these price points which would you recommend? I'm currently leaning towards the C3.

I guess the first thing I would say is that the middle two letters in MILC include the strong point of the cameras, regardless of brand, "interchangeable lens".  If you do not think you will be using the interchangeable part, and the expense that entails, you will be forgoing a major feature of these cameras.  Which leads me to a second thought, the interchangeable lenses.  Look at the available lenses for the Sony and Panasonics (which means that you should also look at Olympus since the micro four thirds (MFT) design standard is backed by both Olympus and Panasonic, as well a number of other companies, primarily lens makers).  Up to a point, it is the lens, and not the camera that is more important, and that is what makes the MFT system more attractive...Sony is just not yet there with the line up of lenses that are available for the MFT system.  Which goes back to my original point, if you are not interested in changing lenses, and diving deeper into photography, it is possible that a  MILC may not be the ideal camera for you.

If you can, you should handle the cameras, and understand their size and bulk.  Any of these cameras will be larger than your Canon, but certainly smaller and lighter than any DSLR.  Any of these cameras will be way more trouble to use than your iPhone, but the results can be a lot better...just don't expect miracles in low light without a fast (large maximum aperture lens) lens and some technique.

To me, cameras can be like driving a car...on paper, the cars may look feature for feature similar, but the way the car fits you, and the way it feels when it drives may be totally different.  To a large extent, cameras are the same way.  If nothing else, you should play with this website to see size differences....dpn't forget to add different lenses to it...

http://j.mp/XAjgjd

I am sure you will get many more pieces of advice...I can think of many others, but I do not want to overwhelm you...think of photography as a journey to be enjoyed along the way...take a quick class at community college, or even a place like REI to get some principles down.  It is not just about the hardware...

 Chas2's gear list:Chas2's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +17 more
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