Starting over - Looking for suggestions

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Strangefinder Senior Member • Posts: 1,186
L-mount fp+S Re: Starting over - Looking for suggestions

nayr wrote:

I'm thinking of getting into a full-frame mirrorless camera to (hopefully) solve some issues I run into with my current cameras. My most serious cameras right now are a Pentax K5 and Panasonic GM1. I have several P&S cameras too, but the purpose of the full-frame would be to complement/replace the other interchangeable lens cameras I have.

The Pentax camera has a great selection of external controls and it does well at low ISO. There are two sources of noise I don't like in that camera though. In quieter settings, the THWACK of the mirror seems super loud. Maybe I'm over-sensitive to it being at the camera. I can sort of mitigate that with the live view setting but that slows down shooting quite a bit. It still has to actuate the mirror to focus, so re-focusing is a bit noisy and takes a while. Focusing in general, but especially in low light, is a bit slow on that camera for some reason too. The other noise is from the sensor at Higher-ISO. I occasionally take pictures at indoor, evening events and I'd like to be able to do that without a flash when possible. The noise from the sensor is noticeable at 400 and starts to get objectionable (to me) at 1600. The lens I like to use opens up to f/2.8 but it's a little soft when opened all the way. I end up trying to find a balance between the ISO noise and the softness of the lens. Maybe a different/faster lens would help, but there must be better cameras/sensors now, right?

The little GM1 is a fun camera to use. People don't react to it quite the same way as they do to having a big DLSR pointed at them. It's quiet, so it doesn't seem so disruptive in quieter environments. It actually does a decent job in lower light. I only have the standard 12-32 f/3.5-5.6 lens on it, so a better/faster lens might be all I really need. The biggest problem I have with that one is the touchscreen control system. It's just not an easy or intuitive interface for me. The menus are all pictograph based so I have to remember what they all mean and/or refresh my memory if I'm looking for certain functions. It's nice and responsive too, so it's easy to touch the wrong thing since it's such a small camera. Adjusting aperture or shutter speed on the little dial is annoying too because the wheel surrounds the 4-way menu button array and it's too easy to jump into those menus unintentionally.

In either case it seems like I'd benefit from buying some new glass. Since it would be nice to mash up the external controls of the K5 and the mirrorless advantages of the GM1, that glass might as well be for a more serious full-frame mirrorless camera. Is there one that seems to have better low-light performance than others - fast, reliable focusing & low sensor noise?

L-mount sounds ideal since there are small cameras like the Sigma fp/fp L and aps-c Leica TL2 (as thin as the GM1, and not so expensive if you find a demo etc) as well as fully-instrumented and ergonomic SLR-like options of the S1 and S5.

Sigma is focussed upon miniature lenses to match the fp, too - the I-series especially, plus the new 470g 28-70mmF2.8 (and aps-c version 18-50mmF2.8, which is only 290g). Even the larger ART lenses have halved in weight/size in some cases.

Panasonic has some slightly chunkier, but also light and very agile Lumix S primes with linear motors, so they would make a quiet, small and swift set up on the Sigma fp (or fp L, which has phase-detect AF). The 50mmF1.8 is really great value.

I had a Lumix GM5 which I loved, and as a spiritual successor (since I now had an L-mount Panasonic) I decided to add a TL2 with small Sigma aps-c primes when I came across a deal (Leica and both lenses cost less than a Fuji X-Pro3 - though, I was pretty lucky with timing.)

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