List of mirrorless cameras which are a great value!

Started Sep 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
007peter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,201
Panasonic GF2 + Sony NEX 3, C3, even F3

As a long time Canon DSLR SNOB, I used look down on over-priced mirrorless ( back when GF1 cost around $699, ditto for NEX ) and ridicule them. Why pay more for a camera that is only fractional smaller, less capable, and cannot AF track a moving toddler?

But today, I'm force to eat my own words. I even become a proud owner of both Micro43 and Sony NEX . What changes my mind are these:

  • PRICE of a used Olympus and Panasonic is stunningly cheap. In fact, a used canon point/shoot cost more than a GF2/GF3/EPL1

  • AF SPEED of Panasonic GF2/GF3 is excellent.

  • SIZE has drop considerably. I hated E-P1/E-P2, even E-PL2 look bloated to me. But today, E-PM1 is as small as any serious point/shoot

Most importantly, is the introduction of Sigma 30mm f/2.8 and Sigma 19mm f/2.8 for $199!

Sharp and Affordable lens is the most important part of any equation. Most of the lens in M43 and NEX are still over-priced when comparing against DSLR. These Sigma ( bought them both ) are outstandingly sharp, small, and focus fast & quietly for video shoot. Anyhow, my recommendation are

  • any sony NEX 3 series : ( nex-3, nex-c3, nex f3). 3 series is the underrated bargain as everyone seem to be buying the fancy 5 series that cost twice as much in the used market. NEX-3 series go as low as $200 - $400. I bought my NEX-C3 for just $200 on Craigslist

  • Panasonic GF2 ( ultra-fast AF, touchscreen for quick AF selection, reliable Face Detection, and HotShoes ). This is the bargain of the centuries. Body is around $150, or $200-$240 with lens. I bought my GF2 + 14-42 for just $240 on ebay. It's a poorman's GX1 , same dual wheel control, same layout, same stereo mic, and they even share the same battery

  • Panasonic GF3 ( smallest mirrorless with a buildin flash). Ultra Cute, Small, and Fashionable. My only regret is the lack of Hot Shoes that limits its appeal. Its more of a point/shoot replacement. You can easily find a new $ 300 GF3 + 14mm f/2.5 pancake which is a pair made in heaven. The body only is also around $150 - $180. Very Very Cheap

  • Olympus E-PL1 - $149 refurbish is hard to beat, but AF IS REALLY SLOW , and build quality is poor. I hated its tiny LCD. If you like Oly color, this is the cheapest price you can buy. But honestly, I would much rather have a GF3 for the same price.

These 4 camera and be bought anytime for cheap. Not so cheap but really good is Olympus E-PL2, Panasonic GH1, Panasonic G2. They're prices are rather expensive used.

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