I picked up a cheap X-M1, mainly because I also got a good deal on an X-mount Samyang 8mm fisheye and the X-M1 was the cheapest way to use it.
The X-M/A1/2 are decent cameras - build quality isn't fantastic, but they're lightweight and won't fall to pieces. The arguments over X-trans vs. Bayer, megapixels, and ISO cheating, don't stop them producing good looking images.
To me the only real weakness of the X-M1 is the focus system. AF is sluggish and tracks poorly (even compared with other contemporary CDAF systems), and there's no touch screen for quick selection of focus points.
Manual focus aids are also quite disappointing. The white-highlight only focus peaking can be hard to see, and the magnified view is low quality. That's not an issue with something like the 8mm fisheye, but it can make it hard to accurately focus with long/fast adapted lenses.
I understand the X-A2's AF is improved, but focusing still seems a comparative weakness - one that's glossed over a bit here.
Sitting Duck Photos: For stills the 50mm field of view is usually a bore fest. But this lens is more for video shooters. Eventually, Panasonic will go all in on video and make stills only available from a 4k photo mode. Meh to 50mm.
I'd have thought that its lack of stabilisation would make it a less than perfect option for video shooters?
SteveY80: I'm surprised they haven't included stabilisation, like they did with the 42.5mm 1.7.
I'm not saying that OIS is essential on a fast standard prime, but it would have done more to set it apart from the 20mm 1.7 or Olympus 25mm. It might have made it a little bigger, but anyone who cares that much about a few extra mm/grams would probably go for the pancake lens option anyway.
Maybe they'll implement IBIS in their larger bodies, but I can't see Panasonic fitting it into the successors to the tiny GM1 and GM5.
I use a GM1 because I want something decent that'll fit in a jacket pocket. I wouldn't want to switch to something the size of a GX7, let alone a DSLR shaped model. I already have a larger (in sensor and body size) camera to use when bulk isn't an issue.
There's also the issue of video - correct me if I'm wrong, but I understood that only OIS worked when recording?
I'm surprised they haven't included stabilisation, like they did with the 42.5mm 1.7.
nathantw: I find it interesting that in the old days of film if we had a camera that had an infrared dot on the focus scale all we needed to do was buy a $15 (I'm exaggerating) roll of infrared film and a filter. Then there was Nikon's digital camera, the Coolpix 950 (I think), that did IR really well. Now you can get digital IR from Fuji for $1700. Man, inflation is a b*tch.
I converted my old Nikon myself. There are step-by-step guides online for converting some cameras.
It's a bit nerve wracking the first time you open up the camera, even with one that's 'expendable', but it really wasn't that hard.
I have the older version of the 30mm - the same optically, but with a rubber grip on the focus ring rather than smooth metal. It's a really good lens for street photography, where I'm generally using narrower apertures and zone focusing or AF.
I've always found its manual focus quite poor though: the focus ring (on two different lenses that I tried) is a bit stiff and sticky, especially when you first start turning it. It definitely makes fine adjustment to the focus tricky; I end up turning to too far, then having to turn it back to nail the focus point.
If they've made manual focus on the new one smoother then it may well be superior to the earlier version even with metal rather than a rubber grip.
vesa1tahti: The D7200 simply is brilliant compared to this Sony. Lower high ISO noise, better IQ all in all. We may wait a few years in order to see an other APS-C beating the Nikon.
I consider the EVF a big advantage for manual focus macro shooting - that's one of the main reasons why I bought a Sony rather than a Nikon. Obviously plenty of people take great macro shots with an OVF, but it really increases my number of keepers to have focus peaking and magnification in the viewfinder.
iAPX: Compared to the Nikon D610 & D750, that seems to share a similar sensor, the Sony STL-A77 II seems to be incredibly noisy, with at least 2EV difference when putting it on ISO 1600 and D610 or D750 at ISO 6400!
Those are cameras with full frame sensors, you'd expect at least a stop or so better noise performance from them, even without taking into account the SLT mirror.
Eurotrax: No Sirui ball heads!? Such great quality ball heads, they had the K-40X in the previous test.
That struck me too. Sirui make some excellent ball heads for a very reasonable price.
I'm a bit surprised that there's no EVF built in considering the price. Yes, I did notice the LCD screen attachment, but fitting/removing that bulky thing to switch between screen and viewfinder looks a lot less practical.
SteveY80: I can't really see why I'd buy one of these considering the excellent Sigma and Tamron macro lenses in the same price range. The older 90mm Tamron is actually a bit cheaper and lighter, with the advantage of automatic aperture, and also AF if it's needed (e.g. if using it as a dual purpose macro/portrait lens).
In my opinion, only having manual aperture is a significant disadvantage for macro, where you'll usually be stopped down to a narrow aperture. That's why I stopped using a manual lens on extension tubes and got a native macro lens.
An EVF helps, but the reduction in light can significantly increase noise, especially if the subject isn't well lit to begin with.
I've used a manual lens on extension tubed with my Sony A77II and it can make it harder to accurately focus than when using a native macro lens at f/2.8. For example, the extra noise in the focus magnified image makes it harder to see when the texture/detail in the subject becomes sharp.
I can't really see why I'd buy one of these considering the excellent Sigma and Tamron macro lenses in the same price range. The older 90mm Tamron is actually a bit cheaper and lighter, with the advantage of automatic aperture, and also AF if it's needed (e.g. if using it as a dual purpose macro/portrait lens).
brn: The article claims it's fully interactive. Given that description, I'm anticipating you can actually operate some features of the virtual camera. That doesn't appear to be the case. It just seems that each virtual button will simply launch a video.
Also, according to the video segment that I was allowed to see "The AF/MF button is the button you would use to backfocus". That doesn't seem like a good way to lead off when talking about AF/MF. I hope he gets a lot more in depth, but I suspect he merely shows you how to backfocus and not much more.
I'm a bit disappointed that DPReview would promote this via an "article". Let Gary buy an ad.
Regarding the description of the AF/MF button as "the button you would use to backfocus" - that's just the kind of thing that annoyed me about his A77II tutorial videos.
My impression is that manual focus is something he rarely uses, so features like AF/MF toggle, or DMF override of AF, are things that he considers barely worth mentioning. The same is true about certain flash settings and other features that aren't to his taste. In some cases it's clear he hasn't even read the manual to find out what they do.
Fong's good at describing the way he sets up and uses his camera, but to me that's not what a good tutorial should do. It should explaining how the all the features work, not dismiss some as pointless, and tell people to ignore/reconfigure them because he doesn't see their value.
That's the difference between Fong's videos and Gary Friedman's superior Sony ebooks; Friedman accurately explains every feature and setting, not just the ones that he thinks are worth using.
ddtwenty: No Image Stabilizer?
What year is this? 1970?
Petroglyph, I'm talking about the A77II (A-mount SLT), rather than the A7II (FE-mount MILC).
The A7II does allow you to manually enter a focal length for lenses, so would provide stabilisation with this 135mm (although for some reason only 3-axis stabilisation, rather than the 5-axis version that works with native lenses).
Now that Sony are including this feature in some of their cameras, it'd be nice if it was added to the A77II with a firmware update, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
I hope these are better than his video tutorials for the A77II.
I paid to view when I first bought my A77II, hoping that they'd help me get to grips with its unusual features. Unfortunately I wasn't very impressed, as certain features were ignored, and some information was simply wrong.
To be fair to Fong, when it comes to features he actually uses himself he's quite comprehensive and helpful. The problem is that he focuses on his personal preferences, as if they're inherently the right way to do things, and can be misleading when talking about anything else.
For example, he told viewers to only use AF-A and ignore the A77II's DMF option, dismissing it as unimportant without explaining what it does. Later on he seemed to have it confused with the AF Range Limiter, thinking that that, not DMF, was an aid for manual focusing. Some of the information he gave about certain flash modes was wrong as well.
I expected something a bit more complete and accurate when paying for a tutorial.
Unfortunately the stabilisation in Sony A-mount cameras won't work because there's no way to tell the camera the lens' focal length. It's a shame that Sony don't let it be set manually, even on recent A-mount cameras like the A77II.
I suppose it would be possible to glue on an AF confirm chip, like the ones on eBay that people use with lens adapters. I'm not sure I'd want to try that with a relatively expensive new lens though, no matter how much I'd like to have stabilisation.
email@example.com: Magnets and digital cameras?Nope.
Unless you're still using 3.5" floppy disks, I think the days when you needed to worry about putting weak little magnets near your electronics are long gone.
Not that I'll be buying this when I have perfectly convenient pockets to store my lens caps...
bawbaw: These will be useless on digital RF with the deep rear element design, even the modern voigt wideangles are really bad on the M9/240. I was pretty sad when I saw the voigt 21mm on my M9, that having been my goto lens on film.
For about the same price there is better and more sensible L39/M mount wides ,used zeiss zm 21mm for one.
Like the Petzval before. It's cheaper to buy an original used and leave the disappointments to the cool kids that have made the lomography guys snake oil well grow deeper and deeper. Keeping in mind pre lomography these were about £30 on ebay if that.
I tried use a vintage L39 lens of similar design on a Nikon 1.
Despite the adapter ring adding some depth, the large rear element prevented it from fully screwing in. With the fixed internal filter protecting the sensor there's very little space inside for a lens like that to fit.
Fortunately that old lens cost me about $20, not $650...
Michel J: Why an E-mount when we can have a real DSLR with A-mount for the same price?
I doubt that this camera, with contrast detect autofocus, matches the focus speed of an SLT/DSLR...
Paul1974: The physical dimensions of the lens are clearly smaller, so that seems like a good thing to me. Not everybody wants ultimate image quality. Some people value the ease of use of a small camera.
Surely if size is a priority to someone they'd buy one of the genuinely small mirrorless cameras, not a "DSLR" style body that just happens to have a smaller than usual kit zoom?