Choosing a beginner mirrorless camera in the time of COVID

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KJ_newphotog New Member • Posts: 9
Choosing a beginner mirrorless camera in the time of COVID

Hi all - Looking for some advice as I'm trying to make a move from iPhone to my first real camera, but there are so many options out there and not many opportunities to play with them in person before buying. I'll lay out some criteria that's important to me and a few of the cameras I've honed in on so far, but welcome any and all new ideas. I'm looking primarily at mirrorless interchangeable lenses.

Criteria for selection:

  • I'm looking for strong JPEGs coupled with overall good performance in a variety of lighting situations as I don't currently know how to use editing software. The very basic goal is to take higher-than-smartphone quality photos that can be printed without looking grainy and awful. I do understand that ultimately, just about any camera will be able to do this, and my own understanding of how to properly use it is what will make an image sing.
  • It has to be relatively light and small, as I imagine using it primarily be for travel once COVID is over, and for carrying around on the weekend to shoot scenes around town (I live in a city and am interested in architecture, parks, etc - not so much lots of portraits or close up people pics).
  • Looking at an all-in body + kit lens range of around $500-900. Obviously that's a big range and cheaper is better, but I'm open to spending toward the high end if there is a compelling reason to as a beginner.
  • The camera must be easy enough to use that I won't get too frustrated and confused as a novice (don't want to get overwhelmed and give up), but I also think it might be nice for it to be something I can grow into a little bit. My partner does photography as a side hustle and will be there to help me with the different settings and technical aspects, which I would like to learn over time.

Criteria I do not care about:

  • Video - only plan to use this for stills.
  • Screen that is selfie friendly - this seems to be a huge marketing line with beginner cameras, but it's just not important to me.

Contenders so far:

  • Fuji X-A7 or Canon EOS M200: These seem simplest to use and budget and travel-friendly, but maybe not the most exciting?
  • Canon EOS M50: Same comment as above. Plus partner rails against Canon image quality (but is supremely biased as a Nikon user)
  • Fuji X-T200 or a used E-X3 or X-T20: Fuji really speaks to me from a looks perspective (know this should matter) and seems like they have great quality JPEGs and lenses. Partner has warned me he thinks any traditional Fuji will be too confusing for a beginner, but I see the X-T200 listed as a great first option all the time so I'm torn.
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III: Feels like why choose this when I could instead have any number of APS-C options within my price range, but it seems like a good combo of ease of use, decent image quality, size, and price.

Have also looked at the Sony a6000 series and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 and Lumix DC-LX100 II among others, but none of those interest me very much. Also intrigued by a Fuji X100F but is expensive and maybe too niche?

Canon EOS M50 (EOS Kiss M) Fujifilm X100F Fujifilm X-T20 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Sony a6000
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