Tried and failed: dSLR down to mirrorless/interchangeable lens suggestion?

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akcorcoran
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Tried and failed: dSLR down to mirrorless/interchangeable lens suggestion?
4 months ago

OK, so I'll admit defeat. I'm an avid family photographer/mom who knows to do my research before buying. I spent MONTHS and many post agonizing over where to go from a P&S for better quality photos.  I used all the guidance here to upgrade to a dSLR because I wanted better quality photos - really it's just family photos and vacations. I take A LOT of photos - I'm the official photographer for everyone I know, but it's just for fun, not my profession.

I went with a Nikon D5100, and I have loved the quality of the photos… when I use it. Which is hardly ever.

I've brought it out really for birthday parties or holidays when we do not travel. I have only taken it on vacation when we drove (which isn't really that often.) I don't even slug it to school for some events b/c it's just too much with everything else going on. Reality is… I don't take it on vacation, amusement parks, holidays, even the park (!) or to most the places I go with my family b/c it's just too big/heavy/much.

I have the kit lens and then an 18x100 (which was quite tricky to find and is my standard lens) and a 55x200. A hotshoe flash. All sorts of accessories.  I've taken classes and improved the quality of my photography and most enjoy the depth that comes alive in the dSLR shots.

And yet, 90% of the time, I still take my Sony P&S with a 20x zoom (especially for the HD video) and my iPhone.

Not good.

So, I'm thinking I'll sell all the Nikon equipment and go to a mirrorless that's smaller, lighter, easier to travel with. I still need the interchangeable lens option b/c I need that zoom capability (just not all the time.)

I am most often shooting the kids but they're tweens, not toddlers, so it's not as impossible as it used to be. For everyday situations, just about anything would be fine. The tricky ones - and what pushed me to a dSLR originally - are: performances in theaters (dancers) with theater light (stage is bright, audience dark, can't use a flash, ideally sound is silent) and soccer games.

(But to be honest with myself, I didn't/couldn't afford/didn't know how to use the equipment I needed to get those with a dSLR - my lenses weren't really the right ones anyway, were they?)

I'd like to avoid having a video camera and a real camera and having to make Sophie's choice about which to use so excellent HD video is important. (Again, had video with my Nikon D5100 but the autofocus wasn't great - kept choosing another spot!)

I was leaning towards the Sony NEX 6 but there is much discussion on here about the NEX line being in a weird place?  I did try out the 5 when I was originally buying (and actually got some great shots of my daughter performing!) but didn't like that there was no viewfinder and a few other limitations.  It seems like those have come back into play in the 6 (and I don't really need the 7?)  I'd probably get the (gulp - expensive) zoom lens and that's all I'd need then.

While I can't say I love the complications of Sony software, I am used to it b/c of my P&S.

But there have been others that come onto the scene so I'm looking to see if anyone has another suggestion I should check out before I make the … what's the opposite of a leap?

Thanks!

Nikon D5100
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