Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

Started Sep 1, 2013 | Discussions
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rsenk19
rsenk19 Regular Member • Posts: 293
Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

Hello,

I would like to go for a good mirror less camera with a perfect lens for portrait photography. I now own Pentax K-30 with 18-135mm kit lens and an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera.  I am not very satisfied with the color tones the Pentax DSLR is delivering. So, now seriously thinking to add a reasonable price mirror less camera and a fast lens for portrait snaps.

Right now, following are in my list :

Olympus EPM-2 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Sony NEX 5N with E50mm f 1.8 OSS

Which one you would recommend ? Any other systems to consider?  JPEG color ( Especially Skin  tones etc) rendition is important for me.

Any advice would be greatly helpful.

Regards,

Senthil

 rsenk19's gear list:rsenk19's gear list
Pentax K-30 Fujifilm X-E1 Pentax K-5 IIs Fujifilm X-T10 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 +14 more
Anderton Contributing Member • Posts: 663
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

rsenk19 wrote:

Hello,

I would like to go for a good mirror less camera with a perfect lens for portrait photography. I now own Pentax K-30 with 18-135mm kit lens and an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera. I am not very satisfied with the color tones the Pentax DSLR is delivering. So, now seriously thinking to add a reasonable price mirror less camera and a fast lens for portrait snaps.

Right now, following are in my list :

Olympus EPM-2 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Sony NEX 5N with E50mm f 1.8 OSS

Which one you would recommend ? Any other systems to consider? JPEG color ( Especially Skin tones etc) rendition is important for me.

Any advice would be greatly helpful.

Regards,

Senthil

I would look for the following for portrait photography

- large sensor

- more autofocus points / cross-type points the better (to a point)

- access to either prime or zoom lens with relatively fast apertures with focal aranges around 50mm through to 110mm

- hotshoe for flash

Good luck,

Anderton

rsenk19
rsenk19 OP Regular Member • Posts: 293
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

Thanks for the feedback. I will consider yours.

 rsenk19's gear list:rsenk19's gear list
Pentax K-30 Fujifilm X-E1 Pentax K-5 IIs Fujifilm X-T10 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 +14 more
Ed B
Ed B Veteran Member • Posts: 7,716
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

Anderton wrote:

rsenk19 wrote:

Hello,

I would like to go for a good mirror less camera with a perfect lens for portrait photography. I now own Pentax K-30 with 18-135mm kit lens and an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera. I am not very satisfied with the color tones the Pentax DSLR is delivering. So, now seriously thinking to add a reasonable price mirror less camera and a fast lens for portrait snaps.

Right now, following are in my list :

Olympus EPM-2 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Sony NEX 5N with E50mm f 1.8 OSS

Which one you would recommend ? Any other systems to consider? JPEG color ( Especially Skin tones etc) rendition is important for me.

Any advice would be greatly helpful.

Regards,

Senthil

I would look for the following for portrait photography

- large sensor

- more autofocus points / cross-type points the better (to a point)

- access to either prime or zoom lens with relatively fast apertures with focal aranges around 50mm through to 110mm

- hotshoe for flash

Good luck,

Anderton

Well I have to disagree with you on one point.

I don't know any (and I mean any) good portrait photographers who shoot with multiple auto focus points.

Center focus point---focus and recompose or use manual focus.  It's been done that way for years.

thebustos Senior Member • Posts: 2,854
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

They both seem to have good JPEG output, but the sensor is larger in the NEX than the Olympus. If you were to go with Sony you might want to look at the 5R because it incorporates PDAF into it's sensor which I think was the first in the line to do so. That might also be in the new 5T as well. But i would compare reviews to see how they measure up to the 5N.

A couple of questions. Have you tried post processing with RAW to improve the colors with your current camera? Have you tried making any tweaks in-camera to improve your JPEGs?

-- hide signature --

Good luck and happy shooting!

 thebustos's gear list:thebustos's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM Sony DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +17 more
rsenk19
rsenk19 OP Regular Member • Posts: 293
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

No.. I have not yet. My experience is Olympus on-the-fly JPEG processing is pretty good.  May be as an alternative and cheap option, I can tweak some of the JPEG settings of my current camera or add a good quality lens to my present system.

Adding a quality lens cost the same price of Oly body with a fast prime. Getting confused...

Cheers,

 rsenk19's gear list:rsenk19's gear list
Pentax K-30 Fujifilm X-E1 Pentax K-5 IIs Fujifilm X-T10 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 +14 more
FrankieJ
FrankieJ Senior Member • Posts: 1,566
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

Just a suggestion, I believe switching to a calibrated RAW workflow with your existing camera gear would probably solve the problems you have with color because you will have the ability to control it to your satisfaction.
I use this to help ensure consistency and accuracy.  ColorChecker Passport

JPEG is like fast food, RAW is like home cooking - think about that.
Why blindly keep trying to find and buy the best fast food instead of getting in the kitchen and taking infinitely direct control over the end results yourself?

yardcoyote Senior Member • Posts: 6,412
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?
1

I was going to ask the same thing. I have a K30 and there are tons of tweaks and adjustments you can make inside the camera to change how color appears in jpegs. I'm actually pretty happy  with the results I'm getting with the factory settings,  but if that ever changes, the options are there.   And, while I know nothing about RAW, I'm sure there's a lot you can do there, too.

A good fast prime for your K30 , while not cheap, will cost a lot less than investing in a whole new system.

 yardcoyote's gear list:yardcoyote's gear list
Fujifilm X10 Fujifilm X100T Pentax K-5 IIs Fujifilm X-T10 Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM +8 more
rsenk19
rsenk19 OP Regular Member • Posts: 293
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

May be I have to find out "those" options to improve the color settings.  Which software is easy to use to process RAW files?  Any recommendation ?

PS: Expensive and  difficult to use software applications are not affordable.

 rsenk19's gear list:rsenk19's gear list
Pentax K-30 Fujifilm X-E1 Pentax K-5 IIs Fujifilm X-T10 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 +14 more
thebustos Senior Member • Posts: 2,854
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

Honestly, if you want the best results, you may be better off with processing the RAW files. It doesn't have to be that complicated. A good possible software option might be Adobe Lightroom. It's under should be under $200, maybe closer to $100 and should be fairly easy to use for basic adjustments.

One of the biggest problems with out of camera color is getting the white balance right. If you only use auto WB, then the camera is less likely to get it right, though some cameras will do better than others. Your problem could be just as easy as changing that. In fact, if that is the issue, you're likely to run into the same issue with most cameras. No matter how good a cameras auto WB is, it can still get it wrong in certain situations.

I would make sure this isn't the problem before getting a new system.
--
Good luck and happy shooting!

 thebustos's gear list:thebustos's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM Sony DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +17 more
Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,438
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?
2

Being interested in portraiture myself I looked through the results in the NEX portrait challenge. I can't say I was impressed, take a look yourself and see if you share my view.

Portrait snaps will often benefit from shallow DOF to isolate the model from the background. To get that, you will need a large sensor and a bright lens, but it will also necessitate fast and accurate focusing. I disagree with just using a centre focusing point and then recompose. In my experience, it is much better to have a single selectable focus point and then place it on the nearest eye to get focus on that.

I would recommend you use your DSLR and get yourself a prime between 50 and 85mm for your APS-C sensor (80  - 135mm equivalence). The faster focus of the DSLR will also help you to get you shot at the right moment.

Good luck, whatever you choose.

 Klaus dk's gear list:Klaus dk's gear list
Canon PowerShot S120 Canon EOS 500D Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II +9 more
Ed B
Ed B Veteran Member • Posts: 7,716
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

Klaus dk wrote:

I disagree with just using a centre focusing point and then recompose. In my experience, it is much better to have a single selectable focus point and then place it on the nearest eye to get focus on that.

Your method is fine.

Just never use multiple focus points, as one other poster suggested, for portraits.

The important thing is the single focus point.

The one thing I don't like about your method is that it causes you to move your focus point for each individual pose.

It actually doesn't give any better focus than the center point/recompose method but can be a little more time consuming and tedious.

Just the same, I suppose it's a matter of individual preference.

baxters Veteran Member • Posts: 5,029
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?

rsenk19 wrote:

Hello,

I would like to go for a good mirror less camera with a perfect lens for portrait photography. I now own Pentax K-30 with 18-135mm kit lens and an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera.
.
.......Right now, following are in my list :
Olympus EPM-2 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Try the Pentax 50mm f1.8, around $250? Or if you don't mind manual focus, an Pentax SMC 50mm for around $25-40. Shoot the K30 in RAW. Portraits deserve that anyway.

I do own the Zuiko 45mm, an excellent lens. Good portrait results with both the older EPM1 and the newer EM5, which has the same sensor as the EPM2. You won't be disappointed with the EPM2 and 45mm, but you ought to give the K30 a chance.

 baxters's gear list:baxters's gear list
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6
Anderton Contributing Member • Posts: 663
Why autofocus points help in portrait photography
2

Ed B wrote:

Anderton wrote:

rsenk19 wrote:

Hello,

I would like to go for a good mirror less camera with a perfect lens for portrait photography. I now own Pentax K-30 with 18-135mm kit lens and an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera. I am not very satisfied with the color tones the Pentax DSLR is delivering. So, now seriously thinking to add a reasonable price mirror less camera and a fast lens for portrait snaps.

Right now, following are in my list :

Olympus EPM-2 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Sony NEX 5N with E50mm f 1.8 OSS

Which one you would recommend ? Any other systems to consider? JPEG color ( Especially Skin tones etc) rendition is important for me.

Any advice would be greatly helpful.

Regards,

Senthil

I would look for the following for portrait photography

- large sensor

- more autofocus points / cross-type points the better (to a point)

- access to either prime or zoom lens with relatively fast apertures with focal aranges around 50mm through to 110mm

- hotshoe for flash

Good luck,

Anderton

Well I have to disagree with you on one point.

I don't know any (and I mean any) good portrait photographers who shoot with multiple auto focus points.

Center focus point---focus and recompose or use manual focus. It's been done that way for years.

If you had read Senthil's posts you would have understood that JPEG and overall speed is important. Focus and recomposing and manual focus provides none of these.

I think you need to educate yourself in modern camera features and depth of field. Centre focus can be accurate for older generation photographers who had only had access to a single point, slow narrow aperture lenses and are resistant to change.

By recomposing after focusing your accuracy drops especially with today's more common faster lenses and sharper depth of fields.

You can use manual focus lens in combination with the "focus peaking" software, however this has some drawbacks such as visibility of the focus points in different lighting conditions and for moving portrait photos i.e. working with non-professional subjects, kids, pets, etc where a fast autofocus and good lens combination will allow you to get the shot more often than not.

Modern day cameras give you more options than ever to get that portrait shot that you want.

Ed B
Ed B Veteran Member • Posts: 7,716
Re: Why autofocus points help in portrait photography

Anderton wrote:

Ed B wrote:

Anderton wrote:

rsenk19 wrote:

Hello,

I would like to go for a good mirror less camera with a perfect lens for portrait photography. I now own Pentax K-30 with 18-135mm kit lens and an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera. I am not very satisfied with the color tones the Pentax DSLR is delivering. So, now seriously thinking to add a reasonable price mirror less camera and a fast lens for portrait snaps.

Right now, following are in my list :

Olympus EPM-2 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Sony NEX 5N with E50mm f 1.8 OSS

Which one you would recommend ? Any other systems to consider? JPEG color ( Especially Skin tones etc) rendition is important for me.

Any advice would be greatly helpful.

Regards,

Senthil

I would look for the following for portrait photography

- large sensor

- more autofocus points / cross-type points the better (to a point)

- access to either prime or zoom lens with relatively fast apertures with focal aranges around 50mm through to 110mm

- hotshoe for flash

Good luck,

Anderton

Well I have to disagree with you on one point.

I don't know any (and I mean any) good portrait photographers who shoot with multiple auto focus points.

Center focus point---focus and recompose or use manual focus. It's been done that way for years.

I think you need to educate yourself in modern camera features and depth of field. Centre focus can be accurate for older generation photographers who had only had access to a single point, slow narrow aperture lenses and are resistant to change.

Interesting analysis.

By recomposing after focusing your accuracy drops especially with today's more common faster lenses and sharper depth of fields.

Please explain where this is coming from. If your subject isn't moving how would your accuracy decrease? How would depth of field be affected?

You can use manual focus lens in combination with the "focus peaking" software, however this has some drawbacks such as visibility of the focus points in different lighting conditions and for moving portrait photos i.e. working with non-professional subjects, kids, pets, etc where a fast autofocus and good lens combination will allow you to get the shot more often than not.

Moving portrait photos of kids, pet, etc. are not portraits; They're snapshots.

In other words, modern day cameras give you more options than ever to get that portrait shot that you want

Modern day cameras incorporate many features that help an amateur get results that are good enough. Nothing wrong with that. Just don't confuse easy or "good enough" with "best".

Anderton Contributing Member • Posts: 663
Re: Why autofocus points help in portrait photography
2

Well I have to disagree with you on one point.

I don't know any (and I mean any) good portrait photographers who shoot with multiple auto focus points.

Center focus point---focus and recompose or use manual focus. It's been done that way for years.

I think you need to educate yourself in modern camera features and depth of field. Centre focus can be accurate for older generation photographers who had only had access to a single point, slow narrow aperture lenses and are resistant to change.

Interesting analysis.

By recomposing after focusing your accuracy drops especially with today's more common faster lenses and sharper depth of fields.

Please explain where this is coming from. If your subject isn't moving how would your accuracy decrease? How would depth of field be affected?

You can use manual focus lens in combination with the "focus peaking" software, however this has some drawbacks such as visibility of the focus points in different lighting conditions and for moving portrait photos i.e. working with non-professional subjects, kids, pets, etc where a fast autofocus and good lens combination will allow you to get the shot more often than not.

Moving portrait photos of kids, pet, etc. are not portraits; They're snapshots.

In other words, modern day cameras give you more options than ever to get that portrait shot that you want

Modern day cameras incorporate many features that help an amateur get results that are good enough. Nothing wrong with that. Just don't confuse easy or "good enough" with "best".

Firstly, educate yourself on disadvantages relying on focus recompose using the "centre focus point", how it interacts with depth of field, and why autofocus can help achieve photographers "manual focus" cannot.

Secondly, reread the original poster's requirements for JPEG shooting and fast workflow.

At that point you may grasp that fact that their needs using today's modern camera features are more important than you "not knowing any good photographer who uses multiple autofocus points" and you may realise that you could do more to assist them in their enquiry instead of pretending to be pseudo-elitist with your next comment.

I am sure the original poster understands.

Ed B
Ed B Veteran Member • Posts: 7,716
Re: Why autofocus points help in portrait photography

Anderton wrote:

Well I have to disagree with you on one point.

I don't know any (and I mean any) good portrait photographers who shoot with multiple auto focus points.

Center focus point---focus and recompose or use manual focus. It's been done that way for years.

I think you need to educate yourself in modern camera features and depth of field. Centre focus can be accurate for older generation photographers who had only had access to a single point, slow narrow aperture lenses and are resistant to change.

Interesting analysis.

By recomposing after focusing your accuracy drops especially with today's more common faster lenses and sharper depth of fields.

Please explain where this is coming from. If your subject isn't moving how would your accuracy decrease? How would depth of field be affected?

You can use manual focus lens in combination with the "focus peaking" software, however this has some drawbacks such as visibility of the focus points in different lighting conditions and for moving portrait photos i.e. working with non-professional subjects, kids, pets, etc where a fast autofocus and good lens combination will allow you to get the shot more often than not.

Moving portrait photos of kids, pet, etc. are not portraits; They're snapshots.

In other words, modern day cameras give you more options than ever to get that portrait shot that you want

Modern day cameras incorporate many features that help an amateur get results that are good enough. Nothing wrong with that. Just don't confuse easy or "good enough" with "best".

Firstly, educate yourself on disadvantages relying on focus recompose using the "centre focus point", how it interacts with depth of field, and why autofocus can help achieve photographers "manual focus" cannot.

Secondly, reread the original poster's requirements for JPEG shooting and fast workflow.

At that point you may grasp that fact that their needs using today's modern camera features are more important than you "not knowing any good photographer who uses multiple autofocus points" and you may realise that you could do more to assist them in their enquiry instead of pretending to be pseudo-elitist with your next comment.

I am sure the original poster understands.

You're a prime example of why photographers seldom post to these forums but I'll bow to your expertise and your in-depth knowledge of photography.

Thanks for your insight and for setting me straight.

Cailean Gallimore Veteran Member • Posts: 6,082
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?
1

rsenk19 wrote:

Hello,

I would like to go for a good mirror less camera with a perfect lens for portrait photography. I now own Pentax K-30 with 18-135mm kit lens and an Olympus XZ-1 compact camera. I am not very satisfied with the color tones the Pentax DSLR is delivering. So, now seriously thinking to add a reasonable price mirror less camera and a fast lens for portrait snaps.

Right now, following are in my list :

Olympus EPM-2 with Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8

Sony NEX 5N with E50mm f 1.8 OSS

Which one you would recommend ? Any other systems to consider? JPEG color ( Especially Skin tones etc) rendition is important for me.

Any advice would be greatly helpful.

Regards,

Senthil

I think you could be getting better results out of the camera you already have. People in the Pentax forum here might be able to help you do that. I would try that before I bought a new camera and lenses.

Anderton Contributing Member • Posts: 663
Re: Why autofocus points help in portrait photography

Ed B wrote:

Anderton wrote:

Well I have to disagree with you on one point.

I don't know any (and I mean any) good portrait photographers who shoot with multiple auto focus points.

Center focus point---focus and recompose or use manual focus. It's been done that way for years.

I think you need to educate yourself in modern camera features and depth of field. Centre focus can be accurate for older generation photographers who had only had access to a single point, slow narrow aperture lenses and are resistant to change.

Interesting analysis.

By recomposing after focusing your accuracy drops especially with today's more common faster lenses and sharper depth of fields.

Please explain where this is coming from. If your subject isn't moving how would your accuracy decrease? How would depth of field be affected?

You can use manual focus lens in combination with the "focus peaking" software, however this has some drawbacks such as visibility of the focus points in different lighting conditions and for moving portrait photos i.e. working with non-professional subjects, kids, pets, etc where a fast autofocus and good lens combination will allow you to get the shot more often than not.

Moving portrait photos of kids, pet, etc. are not portraits; They're snapshots.

In other words, modern day cameras give you more options than ever to get that portrait shot that you want

Modern day cameras incorporate many features that help an amateur get results that are good enough. Nothing wrong with that. Just don't confuse easy or "good enough" with "best".

Firstly, educate yourself on disadvantages relying on focus recompose using the "centre focus point", how it interacts with depth of field, and why autofocus can help achieve photographers "manual focus" cannot.

Secondly, reread the original poster's requirements for JPEG shooting and fast workflow.

At that point you may grasp that fact that their needs using today's modern camera features are more important than you "not knowing any good photographer who uses multiple autofocus points" and you may realise that you could do more to assist them in their enquiry instead of pretending to be pseudo-elitist with your next comment.

I am sure the original poster understands.

You're a prime example of why photographers seldom post to these forums but I'll bow to your expertise and your in-depth knowledge of photography.

Thanks for your insight and for setting me straight.

Apology accepted

Klaus dk
Klaus dk Veteran Member • Posts: 3,438
Re: Which is the Best mirror less camera for portrait photography?
2

Ed B wrote:

Klaus dk wrote:

I disagree with just using a centre focusing point and then recompose. In my experience, it is much better to have a single selectable focus point and then place it on the nearest eye to get focus on that.

Your method is fine.

Just never use multiple focus points, as one other poster suggested, for portraits.

The important thing is the single focus point.

The one thing I don't like about your method is that it causes you to move your focus point for each individual pose.

It actually doesn't give any better focus than the center point/recompose method but can be a little more time consuming and tedious.

Just the same, I suppose it's a matter of individual preference.

I'm not so sure about the focus and recompose method giving good results. It very much depends on the lens being used and the DOF available. If the lens has as flat plane of focus and focus is taken from the center focus point, recomposing will mean that the plane of focus will move behind the point where you want to focus. It has been explained in great length in other threads on DPR, look it up yourself. If you have lots of DOF, it probably won't show, but with very shallow DOF, it could mean the difference between failure and success.

 Klaus dk's gear list:Klaus dk's gear list
Canon PowerShot S120 Canon EOS 500D Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II +9 more
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