Nikon DSLR -> Mirrorless

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
El Matadurr
El Matadurr Veteran Member • Posts: 5,018
Re: Nikon DSLR -> Mirrorless

mgn2 wrote:

I own: Fujifilm X100, Nikon D40, Nikon D5100, Nikkor 18-55mm VR, Nikkor 35mm 1.8, Nikkor 55-200mm VR

I shoot a mix of subjects - indoor, moving children, portraits, landscape/travel, low-light/night, street, and almost no sports/action/wildlife.

I want to try mirror-less with the main intention of being able to have a high-end setup (only limited by my photography skills) that packs a punch in the smallest package possible and focuses reasonably fast, particularly on moving children and people.

A few more things:

I never shoot RAW, only JPEGS. I don't like post-processing and know very little about it. Maybe in the future.

I typically carry the X100 with me or the SLR with one lens (max 2). No camera bags ever.

I almost never use the 55-200 on the SLR and most commonly use the 35mm 1.8. The 18-55 is ok I think as its slow, but I use it mainly if I want a wider view.

I like the fast response time and focusing on my D40 and D5100 (although they are entry level DSLRs) and sometimes get frustrated with OOF and blurry pictures with the X100, however the keepers from the X100 are on average far more beautiful to my eye than the keepers from the Nikon SLR+35mm.

I was going to buy a good wide angle lens for the D5100, which will cost me approx. $500 (Tokina 12-24mm new or Nikon 12-24mm used). The D5100 is within its return period and I paid $500 for it very recently. So potentially I could just spend the $1000 and stop there.

OR I can buy the NEX-6 or Fujifilm E-X1 with the kit lenses, sell off my Nikon gear (D40+35mm+18-55mm+55-200mm) for about $300 and start acquiring new lenses for the mirror-less system I chose. The intention would be to end up with 1 fast 'normal' prime, 1 wide angle zoom/prime, 1 normal zoom/kit-lens and 1 longer zoom (55mm-200m or so). I would really like the camera with any of those 4 lenses attached to be significantly smaller than my D5100+lens, else I don't see the point of switching systems. The only exception would be with the long zoom, which I really can't avoid being bulky with either camera.

I am torn between the NEX-6 and Fujifilm E-X1 or waiting for the next best thing in mirror-less within the next few months that would address speed and AF issues that I am most concerned about losing vs. the D5100 and getting better bang for my buck.

Based on your (extremely specific) plethora of restrictions, the NEX-6 is currently the best camera you are looking for. The Fuji E-X1 uses contrast-detect autofocus only. Although fast in good light on stationary things, no CDAF is known to track movement well, especially in low-light. The NEX-6 has a hybrid PDAF/CDAF system that does work a bit better, but when the lights go down your d5100 will still focus a bit faster.

Based on the lenses you eventually want to acquire, they currently exist in e-mount:

  • Wide Angle Zoom: 10-18mm f/4 OSS-great reviews, no magenta cast on NEX-6
  • Normal Zoom: 16-50mm PowerZoom or 18-55mm. Both have obvious compromises, but perform alright for kit lenses (some people have exceptional copies of the 18-55mm that I've seen on here)
  • Fast Normal: 35mm f/1.8 OSS-I personally own this one, and it's great. Pretty much every review will tell you that too. Only issue of note is bokeh fringing at large apertures. It doesn't really distract me all that much, except in worst-case scenarios.
  • Long Zoom: 55-210mm OSS-good zoom, but generally thought of as "kit" in performance. Zackiedawg on here uses one with a teleconverter and gets some awesome birding photographs. 

To my knowledge, every one of these lenses is fully compatible with the NEX-6's hybrid AF.

One note that I can't comment on, DPReview has stated in their NEX-6 review that JPEGs from the camera are a little disappointing. I come from the school of thought that all JPEGs are disappointing from most any camera, period. You may want to try one out at a best buy or (preferably) camera shop where you can take it outside for a bit with your own card to see if its JPEGs suit your taste. There are multiple settings and creative styles for the JPEGs, too, so don't forget to give them a shot.

Finally, the only thing to wait for in NEX-land is the upcoming NEX-7n. Rumored to be announced in a couple months (obviously not available for some time after), it'll be more expensive than the NEX-6.

Hope this helps.

 El Matadurr's gear list:El Matadurr's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony a6500 Carl Zeiss Touit 1.8/32 +1 more
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