Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)

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brownf New Member • Posts: 11
Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)

My father is our family photographer, but he's always depended on his now-aging Samsung Galaxy S8. He wants to upgrade to a standalone camera that has a moderate zoom (4x to 8x) for mostly travel, is easy enough to use, and is substantially better in low light than current smartphones.

The price limit is soft at $1,000; cheaper is better, but this will probably be his last ever camera, so we're saving up.

Because I've owned a Sony NEX-3 and an RX100 II, so I've been tasked to finding the right camera.

Here are the kinds of photos he likes to create (his phone has been limiting). I've added in parentheses the features that seem to fit. Ideally, fewer total lenses is better.

  • Night photography walking in towns & cities (APS-C sensor, decently fast lenses)
  • Useful zoom (interchangeable lenses; ~100mm equiv. lenses that don't cost an arm & leg)
  • Family shots (reliably fast eye & face autofocus; smooth video)
  • Wide landscape shots & videos (a wide end at 24mm equiv. or wider; no 4K video crop—I know this removes so many otherwise great cameras, gosh)
  • Easy to use (comfortable grip; a reliable auto mode; great autofocus, especially one that can limit shutter speeds to avoid blurry photos; not-terrible menus)
  • Noticeably better than his Galaxy S8 and perhaps future phones (APS-C)

The best shot currently looks like the $499 Fujifilm X-A7 w/ 14-45mm lens + the $399 FUJIFILM XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II.

It really seemed to fit all the criteria; the EVF on the new X-T200 didn't seem worth it because he wears glasses.

The cons of the X-A7: 1) the autofocus struggles at night and 2) video exposure isn't  stable, causing a hard-to-unsee flickering as the exposure jumps up & down rapidly. This latter issue, unfortunately, reminds me of some low-quality webcams. I've had similar night autofocus troubles in my venerable 2010 Sony NEX-3, where it was definitely a difficult pain point.

But, the X-A7 hits the other features so well: the kit lens is a great 23mm equiv. when open wide, I've read lots of praise Fuji's easier menus, the fast enough lenses + APS-C should yield good night photos, mostly well-reviewed eye and face autofocus, uncropped 4K recording, a great lineup of quality-per-$ lenses, etc.

Is there anything better than this combo? I'm open to any recommendations DPreview has and I'd be willing to be convinced for up to a $1250 price.

Note: I've been tempted by 1" sensor cameras, but the quality-per-$ makes me question their value over a APS-C ILC camera.

Fujifilm X-T200
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