Mirrorless with the Highest IQ ?

Started Mar 2, 2013 | Questions thread
TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,488
Depends on the criteria

Looking past the very high end Leica M9 and M lenses, and their very high price... technically speaking, the Leica M is mirrorless, but that's like saying... technically speaking, Angelina Jolie is attractive. Accurate, but it doesn't convey the level of excellence or the fact that they're out of reach of most of us.

Theoretically, the Sony NEX7 or Fuji XPro1/XE1 bodies have the potential to deliver the highest possible IQ, with a slight nod to the Fuji sensor.

But, NEX doesn't have much native high grade glass right now, and Fuji's AF is a bit slow and glass selection is a bit limited, though all of the Fuji glass is very sharp.

Realistically, the Oly EM5 has a greater selection of high grade lenses, plus the same (albeit slightly smaller) sensor as the NEX7, plus the most effective image stabilization system available today.

True that one can use the larger Sony Alpha glass on the NEX and get improved IQ, but one can also use the ultra sharp Olympus ZD lenses on the EM5 and get stunning IQ. There are tradeoffs for both approaches: NEX uses a pellicle mirror setup to AF the Alpha glass which costs you between one half to one stop of light to the AF system, while the very high grade ZD lenses have sluggish AF on the EM5, in the 1-2 second range (though that will be fixed in the upcoming OMD-Pro).

In both cases, the mirrorless setup is no longer small, because the lenses are large.

So it all becomes a question of what you want - the best IQ, the smallest size, the greatest convenience? DSLR style shooting or rangefinder style? And what glass do you already own?

I use an EM5 with both ultra small and very sharp fast MZD prime lenses and larger but fast and ultra sharp ZD zoom lenses. It becomes a dual purpose system: very small and portable with fast primes when you want it, or larger and very capable with fast zooms when you want it.

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