Travel camera

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
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tswhosonfirst
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Travel camera
3 months ago

Hello Everyone!

I need a little help selecting a camera. This would be my first real camera (besides a point and shoot), but I have used my dad's quite a bit so I have a good knowledge of how cameras and general exposure work. I have been doing a lot of research on cameras and was previously going to get a DSLR but I am going to be riding my bike across the United States this summer and also plan on doing some long backpacking trips (AT, PCT) in the future. So you can see why I would like to move away from a DSLR simply because of its size.

I am looking to get into photography to really test the waters and see what I like also to document my trips that I take. I love landscapes and nature, but also want to expand on the little night photography that I did with my dad's camera. So I am probably going to need a good amount of gear other than just the camera (but that can always be purchased in the future).

I have narrowed it down to a mirror-less camera because of the size, but I still want to be able to change lenses so I have a system that I can grow into. I am a college student so I don't have the money to go out and buy an A7R and a couple Zeiss lenses, but I still want a nice camera that will take great pictures. I am currently thinking either a NEX (6 or A6000) or an Olympus (EM5,EM10,E-PM2) but would entertain other suggestions. Here are reasons of why I would choose each.

NEX 6/A6000: They have the larger sensor, and the nice small kit lens. The 6 is pretty cheap (I could get it for around $650 on Amazon with the kit lens) for a nice camera, especially one with a viewfinder). The A6000 is supposed to be nicer in a few aspects like AF speed and resolution, but I'm not sure its worth $150. I do not currently have the money to expand my lens lineup much past the kit lens but in the future would like to and I am not too pleased with the selection, price, and physical size (for backpacking) of the NEX lenses.

OMD EM5/EM10: First, they look awesome! They also seem to have the nicest set of features and controls (double wheels and programmable buttons). I never thought I would want a touch screen, but it looks like they implement it well. I like that the EM5 is weather sealed, but that kit lens is pretty big, especially if I want to keep the camera handy on a backpacking trip. I always use the viewfinder on my dad's camera, So I would expect to do the same with these cameras, but I don't know how much I will like the evf. I tried the NEX 6 in store and liked it quite a bit so I would probably use it. The EM10 is cheaper, and has some nice new features including the night and time-lapse modes. I'm not sure how important the slight difference in IBS would be because most of my photography would probably include a tripod. The problem with these two is the price, I am trying to keep everything under $1,000 if I can, so I wouldn't be able to get much gear other than the cameras. But if they are that good then I could get it and slowly add gear.

The odd-ball out E-PM2: I hadn't thought about this until recently because I figured I wanted the really nice cameras with all the features (and I definitely do) but this may have a couple that are enough to make me choose the "lesser camera." The price is nice, $400 for the body, kit lens, and 40-150. I hear everyone saying that nice lenses are more important than nice body's (at least to a point), so with the savings I could possibly get a nice prime or two. It is smaller and lighter, which would be great for the bike trip and backpacking. And if I decide that I want a different camera then I could just sell the body and keep the lenses and possibly come out close to even (in fact I'm thinking of selling the body and kit lens to my sister for her study abroad trip next year and then upgrade the body (EM10) if I feel like I need to).

Sorry for the really long post, but as you can see I could use some suggestions. I have only been able to get my hands on the NEX 6, so I do not know how the other's feel in the hands. I may be able to try them out when I go home from college as there is a shop that carries them there, but I would like to get one here soon to figure it out before my trip which is a week after I get home. Also the body feel may not matter that much to me because it will spend a lot of its time on a tripod (could you recommend a good tripod for backpacking).

There is a ton more I could ask, but I will stop now. Thanks in advance!

ANSWER:
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Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Sony a6000 Sony Alpha 7R
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