Canon Rebel SL1 vs. Fujifilm X-M1 - First serious camera

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Tigerman82
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Canon Rebel SL1 vs. Fujifilm X-M1 - First serious camera
10 months ago

My first and only digital camera has been Panasonic TZ5 P&S. It took okey pictures for social photography but its low light performance, macros and AF were abysmal. After my friend got an entry-level Canon DSLR with multiple lenses and showed me of its results including artistic portraits and macros, I decided I was ready for a serious camera. I am a student so I cannot afford a 1000$ kit but I can afford some quality. I'm not interested in using or getting more than 2-3 lenses, but I'm ready to invest in brand accessories. There are some criteria involved in my decision:

  • must have acceptable low light performance (as in I can take pictures indoors in fairly low light without flash with the result being good enough for at least Facebook)
  • must be able shoot movement at an acceptable level (again at least for Facebook)
  • must be compact (with a good grip, if possible) so that I can take it with me without looking like a hired photographer
  • must be fairly durable (I intend to use it as my only camera for many years so while I cannot afford weatherproof models, I don't want a delicate model that must be handled with silk gloves)
  • must have good OVF as, due to habit and eyesight, I wouldn't use EVF that much although I realize its benefits
  • shooting video would be great (an articulated screen that would flip to the side and swivel would be great but sadly I'd have to compromise the other criteria)
  • shooting macros and fisheyes (I realize this requires a separate lens) would be a nice bonus

Based on what I've read (although I must admit I'm a bit unsure of what is regarded as the best low light cameras that is compatible with my criteria) I have two models in mind. Canon SL1 seems to have the perfect marriage of DSLR performance in a compact housing. The model has got awards under its proverbial belt, a good albeit non-articulated screen and the possibility of getting those lighter and cheaper Canon lenses (40mm, 18-55mm IS STM, 55-250mm IS STM if needed). The downside is that while the performance and the fact that it's a full-blooded DSLR seen to make it a good choice, I've got the feeling that the low light performance is somehow worse than many mirrorless models (for example DPReviews conclusion charts show that even NEX-6 is way better in the low light department than the SL1).

My other choice is Fujifilm X-M1 which is about similarly priced in my country. I love gadgets and new technology and that's what these mirrorless models represent to me. The X-M1 is said to have amazing low light performance, top-notch EVF and an overall good quality what you'd expect from Fujifilm. The downside is that the lenses are crazy expensive. Moreover, I'm afraid that this sort of camera would just seem like a high-end P&S in the end. Finally, much has been said about AF and the mirrorless models and it seems like we need to go a few generations further for the mirrorless to capture movement as good as traditional DSLRs.

Finally, here's four example situations I'd use the camera in:

  1. shooting my friends indoors in a dimly-lit room (70% of the time)
  2. shooting artistic macros or macros of details on the objects
  3. shooting people set agains a city, a beach or a snowy view
  4. recording a video diary indoors

Please help a budding photographer!

Canon EOS 100D (EOS Rebel SL1) Fujifilm X-M1 Sony Alpha NEX-6
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