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

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
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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OP brownf New Member • Posts: 11
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)

While I was doing more research, I wrote a detailed list of differences between the X-A7 and the X-T200, which look nearly identical, but there are quite a lot of minor differences:

Where the X-T200 is better than the X-A7

+ USB 3.1 625 MB/s vs USB 2.0 60 MB/s
+ larger, sturdier grip
+ faster burst speed (8fps vs 6fps)
+ stronger flash (guide number at ISO 100+200: 5+7 vs 4+5.7)
+ electronic viewfinder
+ 1080p instead of 720p for High Speed Movies
+ includes clarity filter
+ movie trimming built-in
+ 3.5mm instead of 2.5mm mic input

Where the X-A7 is better than the X-T200:
- 50g lighter (370 vs 320)
- 1/2" smaller in depth and height [X-T200 = 4.8 in.(W) x 3.3 in. (H) x 2.2 in. (D) while X-A7 = 4.7 in.(W) x 2.7 in. (H) x 1.6 in. (D)]
- Longer economy battery life (450 vs 440)
- Longer FHD recording battery life, with 60m vs 70m in the first mode; 95m vs 110m in the second mode

I'm leaning slightly more towards the X-T200 because of the grip & slightly better specifications in a few places.

A few other random choices, none of which have really convinced me for quality-per-$: the Panasonic GX9 and the Canon EOS M6 Mark II.

However, one I'm considering now is the FZ1000 II: no need to switch lenses (that's big), an overall brighter lens though smaller sensor, seemingly worse AF with fewer points and back to contrast, more complex to use, much longer tele than financially possible in APS-C, an unfortunate 4K crop, much longer battery life, sturdier grip position, much larger body (though no 2nd lens!).

Advent1sam
Advent1sam Veteran Member • Posts: 9,089
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
3

brownf wrote:

While I was doing more research, I wrote a detailed list of differences between the X-A7 and the X-T200, which look nearly identical, but there are quite a lot of minor differences:

Where the X-T200 is better than the X-A7

+ USB 3.1 625 MB/s vs USB 2.0 60 MB/s
+ larger, sturdier grip
+ faster burst speed (8fps vs 6fps)
+ stronger flash (guide number at ISO 100+200: 5+7 vs 4+5.7)
+ electronic viewfinder
+ 1080p instead of 720p for High Speed Movies
+ includes clarity filter
+ movie trimming built-in
+ 3.5mm instead of 2.5mm mic input

Where the X-A7 is better than the X-T200:
- 50g lighter (370 vs 320)
- 1/2" smaller in depth and height [X-T200 = 4.8 in.(W) x 3.3 in. (H) x 2.2 in. (D) while X-A7 = 4.7 in.(W) x 2.7 in. (H) x 1.6 in. (D)]
- Longer economy battery life (450 vs 440)
- Longer FHD recording battery life, with 60m vs 70m in the first mode; 95m vs 110m in the second mode

I'm leaning slightly more towards the X-T200 because of the grip & slightly better specifications in a few places.

A few other random choices, none of which have really convinced me for quality-per-$: the Panasonic GX9 and the Canon EOS M6 Mark II.

However, one I'm considering now is the FZ1000 II: no need to switch lenses (that's big), an overall brighter lens though smaller sensor, seemingly worse AF with fewer points and back to contrast, more complex to use, much longer tele than financially possible in APS-C, an unfortunate 4K crop, much longer battery life, sturdier grip position, much larger body (though no 2nd lens!).

x-t200 is my current favourite camera, its not super sophisticated, but the image quality is top notch. I compared it against my x-t3 and have now dumped the x-t3, the x-t200 is better;

image quality, incl detail, noise

eye/face detection, nearly as good as my a6600, also now sold, much better than a7r3

great evf and lcd, very sharp

its Achilles heal is the raw buffer for sport is only 18frames, in jpg its much more

4k video is limited to 15mins but no crop and minimal distortion

any questions let me know I have or have had most Fuji lens

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

Advent1sam wrote:

x-t200 is my current favourite camera, its not super sophisticated, but the image quality is top notch. I compared it against my x-t3 and have now dumped the x-t3, the x-t200 is better;

image quality, incl detail, noise

eye/face detection, nearly as good as my a6600, also now sold, much better than a7r3

great evf and lcd, very sharp

its Achilles heal is the raw buffer for sport is only 18frames, in jpg its much more

4k video is limited to 15mins but no crop and minimal distortion

any questions let me know I have or have had most Fuji lens

Thank you so much for this insight; this is greatly appreciated. That's definitely an interesting switch.

I'm very glad to hear about your positive experiences, especially on autofocusing and its UI.

Did you have any regrets losing the weather sealing on the X-T3? As I double-check if there are any benefits of moving up the Fuji line, only weather sealing is making me question the X-T200 (however vague the actual weather sealing is). Though, the X-T3 isn't cheap and, yes, you lose the bigger screen & simpler UI.

Ah, true: perhaps we're lucky here that we don't have a big need for fast continuous speeds; I think he could get by with just 3 fps.

The two lenses (the 14-45 / 50-230mm linked in the first post) seem like the best ones in our budget. I'm considering a faster prime (B&H has some nice F/2 24mm equivalent X-mount lenses for....what seems too good a price, ~$300, which I'm also looking at down the line).

The 4K video is absolutely stunning; I downloaded a the full-quality file from a review and the quality is obscene. I think every other manufacturer has completely dropped the ball by not mandating uncropped 4K across the entire APS-C lineup, as Fuji as done.

Cato1040
Cato1040 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,843
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
1

brownf wrote:

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.

Sony A6100 + 16-50mm + 55-210mm @ $898.00USD

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

And you'd already be familiar with Sony

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)

APS-C. Not that fast, but neither are the lenses you suggested. If you want faster, there are plenty of f/1.8 and f/1.4 primes in the system. There are also f/2.8 and f/4 zooms.

  • Useful zoom (interchangeable lenses; ~100mm equiv. lenses that don't cost an arm & leg)

24-315mm equivalent

  • Family shots (reliably fast eye & face autofocus; smooth video)

The A6100 has one of the best AF systems out there

  • 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)

It has a 24mm equivalent and has 4K without crop.

  • 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)

One of the better grips in the market IMO, reliable auto mode, fantastic AF, and is super customizable.

  • Noticeably better than his Galaxy S8 and perhaps future phones (APS-C)

With the right technique, definitely.

The main other option I'd recommend is the RX100 series. They're 1" sensor compacts, but if you're mainly looking at the budget zoom lenses for APS-C, they may not be significantly better than a 1" compact with a faster zoom lens. APS-C bodies will mainly shine with better lenses.

 Cato1040's gear list:Cato1040's gear list
Olympus Stylus Tough TG-850 iHS Fujifilm X100T Panasonic LX10 Sony a6000 Sony a7 III +18 more
Advent1sam
Advent1sam Veteran Member • Posts: 9,089
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
1

brownf wrote:

Advent1sam wrote:

x-t200 is my current favourite camera, its not super sophisticated, but the image quality is top notch. I compared it against my x-t3 and have now dumped the x-t3, the x-t200 is better;

image quality, incl detail, noise

eye/face detection, nearly as good as my a6600, also now sold, much better than a7r3

great evf and lcd, very sharp

its Achilles heal is the raw buffer for sport is only 18frames, in jpg its much more

4k video is limited to 15mins but no crop and minimal distortion

any questions let me know I have or have had most Fuji lens

Thank you so much for this insight; this is greatly appreciated. That's definitely an interesting switch.

I'm very glad to hear about your positive experiences, especially on autofocusing and its UI.

Did you have any regrets losing the weather sealing on the X-T3? As I double-check if there are any benefits of moving up the Fuji line, only weather sealing is making me question the X-T200 (however vague the actual weather sealing is). Though, the X-T3 isn't cheap and, yes, you lose the bigger screen & simpler UI.

Ah, true: perhaps we're lucky here that we don't have a big need for fast continuous speeds; I think he could get by with just 3 fps.

The two lenses (the 14-45 / 50-230mm linked in the first post) seem like the best ones in our budget. I'm considering a faster prime (B&H has some nice F/2 24mm equivalent X-mount lenses for....what seems too good a price, ~$300, which I'm also looking at down the line).

The 4K video is absolutely stunning; I downloaded a the full-quality file from a review and the quality is obscene. I think every other manufacturer has completely dropped the ball by not mandating uncropped 4K across the entire APS-C lineup, as Fuji as done.

Every camera I have bought since I can remember have been weather sealed, but, do you know what, I barely take them out in the rain, and even if I do, I keep them covered lol. Therefore I do not think it will be a huge problem, besides, many of the lenses are not weather sealed. If you do want some protection get a half case, I have ordered this and will let you know how it goes but it wont offer loads of protection just the base where ingress to the battery compartment and the sd slot can be an issue for unprotected cameras. I have the advantage of a weather sealed zoom in the 16-80 which is useful as you can use it with an unsealed body and a cover like this

https://www.amazon.co.uk/OP-TECH-Rainsleeve-Small-Clear/dp/B00SF8X1Q4/ref=sr_1_26?dchild=1&qid=1589966104&sr=8-26&srs=18973786031

But I suggest you just put your camera in and out of a small bag, ie don't just strap it round your neck, this way it keeps the dust off it and keeps it weather protected most of the time! I never leave my cameras around my neck ever, it wouldn't matter if it had the best weather sealing ever, I just don't want the dust on it, which gets onto the lens and sensor inevitability

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lowepro-Toploader-Zoom-Camera-Case/dp/B00KM838NQ/ref=pd_lpo_421_img_1/262-0692657-4744866?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00KM7XT2C&pd_rd_r=a79cd90e-2954-4151-8c4b-da13c88a161e&pd_rd_w=TLofw&pd_rd_wg=1MJof&pf_rd_p=7b8e3b03-1439-4489-abd4-4a138cf4eca6&pf_rd_r=RRQ7TFC8VRGMHR4ZR4QN&refRID=RRQ7TFC8VRGMHR4ZR4QN&th=1

Yes, the 4k video is very impressive, I have been experimenting with it, you might need an nd filter outdoor as the shutter speeds will get high and make the video look choppy, I have a 2 stop nd for the 15-45 which is very useful and gets me by at f5.6-8

Advent1sam
Advent1sam Veteran Member • Posts: 9,089
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
1

Cato1040 wrote:

brownf wrote:

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.

Sony A6100 + 16-50mm + 55-210mm @ $898.00USD

a6100 has a very poor evf

16-50/55-210 are basically very mediocre lenses and I mean mediocre

the rolling shutter of the video, which is cropped at 30p, can be very bad

the lcd is very small

the lcd of the x-a7/x-t200 is from another universe as are the jpgs out of camera!

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

And you'd already be familiar with Sony

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)

APS-C. Not that fast, but neither are the lenses you suggested. If you want faster, there are plenty of f/1.8 and f/1.4 primes in the system. There are also f/2.8 and f/4 zooms.

  • Useful zoom (interchangeable lenses; ~100mm equiv. lenses that don't cost an arm & leg)

24-315mm equivalent

  • Family shots (reliably fast eye & face autofocus; smooth video)

The A6100 has one of the best AF systems out there

  • 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)

It has a 24mm equivalent and has 4K without crop.

  • 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)

One of the better grips in the market IMO, reliable auto mode, fantastic AF, and is super customizable.

  • Noticeably better than his Galaxy S8 and perhaps future phones (APS-C)

With the right technique, definitely.

The main other option I'd recommend is the RX100 series. They're 1" sensor compacts, but if you're mainly looking at the budget zoom lenses for APS-C, they may not be significantly better than a 1" compact with a faster zoom lens. APS-C bodies will mainly shine with better lenses.

Cato1040
Cato1040 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,843
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
2

There are pros and cons to both the Sony and Fujifilm kit. From what I've read about the OP's wants, the A6100 seems to be the better fit. What you said may be either subjectively or objectively true, but most of it wasn't mentioned as priorities by the OP. That's why I recommended the A6100 kit in the first place. That being said it is possible the OP will read what you wrote and realize their importance so we'll see.

 Cato1040's gear list:Cato1040's gear list
Olympus Stylus Tough TG-850 iHS Fujifilm X100T Panasonic LX10 Sony a6000 Sony a7 III +18 more
effer Regular Member • Posts: 147
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
2

Fujis are lovely, but it is tough to beat Sony when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck for family use. Especially if you're in USA.

I would go for:

Sony A6100
Sony 18-135mm
Sigma 16mm F1.4

A6100 was on sale for less than $500 with EDU discount or through greentoe. The sale is currently over, but I still suggest to try greentoe, and you should be able to pick it up for less than current advertised price of $600.

Sony 18-135mm unfortunately is not offered as a kit with A6100, but you can pick it up on ebay for about $350-$450.

Sigma 16mm F1.4 was on sale 5 days ago for $320. It also sometimes goes for $340 bundled with some other stuff (like extra batteries, SD cards etc).

With a bit of patience you can put together this kit for about $1200.

Sony's AF tracking is still quite a bit better than Fuji's.
EVF is not very good, but you don't consider it important anyways.
One thing that would bug me a lot on A6100 is the lack of "Auto ISO min SS" setting. I believe A6100 doesn't have it. To me it is very important, but I don't know if it is to you.

I would stay away from Sony 16-50mm + 55-210mm.
18-135mm is better choice in my opinion. It is fairly small, sharp and very versatile. Fuji counterpart costs more and not as good.

Sigma 16mm is awesome for indoors, low light, landscapes and environmental portraits. Again Fuji counterpart costs a lot more.

With A6100 + 18-135mm + 16mm 1.4  you can cover a lot.

Lastly, check out Canon mirrorless. It's been a while since I looked at their budget offerings, so don't know exactly what to recommend. Canon runs sales fairly often, and you can get a nice kit if you find body that suits your needs. They have Sigma lenses and some good budget Canon glass. AF tracking is not as good as Sony's.

Cato1040
Cato1040 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,843
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
1

effer wrote:

Fujis are lovely, but it is tough to beat Sony when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck for family use. Especially if you're in USA.

I would go for:

Sony A6100
Sony 18-135mm
Sigma 16mm F1.4

This would be a pretty good kit too that lets you go from 24mm to about 200mm.

A6100 was on sale for less than $500 with EDU discount or through greentoe. The sale is currently over, but I still suggest to try greentoe, and you should be able to pick it up for less than current advertised price of $600.

Sony 18-135mm unfortunately is not offered as a kit with A6100, but you can pick it up on ebay for about $350-$450.

You could also potentially try to bargain in certain camera shops to make a kit like that. Won't be as cheap as buying used though.

Sigma 16mm F1.4 was on sale 5 days ago for $320. It also sometimes goes for $340 bundled with some other stuff (like extra batteries, SD cards etc).

With a bit of patience you can put together this kit for about $1200.

It does cost more than the kit I presented and has a more limited reach, but could have enough reach and should offer better image quality potential.

Sony's AF tracking is still quite a bit better than Fuji's.
EVF is not very good, but you don't consider it important anyways.
One thing that would bug me a lot on A6100 is the lack of "Auto ISO min SS" setting. I believe A6100 doesn't have it. To me it is very important, but I don't know if it is to you.

This is pretty annoying and hopefully something they'll fix with a firmware update.

I would stay away from Sony 16-50mm + 55-210mm.
18-135mm is better choice in my opinion. It is fairly small, sharp and very versatile. Fuji counterpart costs more and not as good.

I mainly suggested the 16-50mm + 55-210mm combo because it actually fits in their budget and offers a lot of zoom. Also, for many beginners, the image quality from the lens may not be as big a factor. I know many people who use the 16-50mm kit lens and are happy with it and appreciate the size.

Sigma 16mm is awesome for indoors, low light, landscapes and environmental portraits. Again Fuji counterpart costs a lot more.

It can be frustrating for users that Fujifilm does not share its autofocusing system information with third-party manufacturers.

With A6100 + 18-135mm + 16mm 1.4 you can cover a lot.

Lastly, check out Canon mirrorless. It's been a while since I looked at their budget offerings, so don't know exactly what to recommend. Canon runs sales fairly often, and you can get a nice kit if you find body that suits your needs. They have Sigma lenses and some good budget Canon glass. AF tracking is not as good as Sony's.

They do offer good prices on beginner kits, but don't offer as as Sony or Fujifilm much if you decide to upgrade lenses later.

 Cato1040's gear list:Cato1040's gear list
Olympus Stylus Tough TG-850 iHS Fujifilm X100T Panasonic LX10 Sony a6000 Sony a7 III +18 more
effer Regular Member • Posts: 147
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
1

Cato1040 wrote:

effer wrote:

Fujis are lovely, but it is tough to beat Sony when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck for family use. Especially if you're in USA.

I would go for:

Sony A6100
Sony 18-135mm
Sigma 16mm F1.4

This would be a pretty good kit too that lets you go from 24mm to about 200mm.

A6100 was on sale for less than $500 with EDU discount or through greentoe. The sale is currently over, but I still suggest to try greentoe, and you should be able to pick it up for less than current advertised price of $600.

Sony 18-135mm unfortunately is not offered as a kit with A6100, but you can pick it up on ebay for about $350-$450.

You could also potentially try to bargain in certain camera shops to make a kit like that. Won't be as cheap as buying used though.

Sigma 16mm F1.4 was on sale 5 days ago for $320. It also sometimes goes for $340 bundled with some other stuff (like extra batteries, SD cards etc).

With a bit of patience you can put together this kit for about $1200.

It does cost more than the kit I presented and has a more limited reach, but could have enough reach and should offer better image quality potential.

Sony's AF tracking is still quite a bit better than Fuji's.
EVF is not very good, but you don't consider it important anyways.
One thing that would bug me a lot on A6100 is the lack of "Auto ISO min SS" setting. I believe A6100 doesn't have it. To me it is very important, but I don't know if it is to you.

This is pretty annoying and hopefully something they'll fix with a firmware update.

This a big maybe. Sony intentionally handicapped A6100 camera. "Auto ISO min SS" is just one of the handicaps. I wouldn't count on firmware update to fix it. It's not that they couldn't offer it from the start. They just didn't want to.

I would stay away from Sony 16-50mm + 55-210mm.
18-135mm is better choice in my opinion. It is fairly small, sharp and very versatile. Fuji counterpart costs more and not as good.

I mainly suggested the 16-50mm + 55-210mm combo because it actually fits in their budget and offers a lot of zoom. Also, for many beginners, the image quality from the lens may not be as big a factor. I know many people who use the 16-50mm kit lens and are happy with it and appreciate the size.

I agree. Different folks have different needs/wants and IQ tolerance. I just think that average Joe would be more happy with 18-135mm vs 16-50mm + 55-210mm combo.

Sigma 16mm is awesome for indoors, low light, landscapes and environmental portraits. Again Fuji counterpart costs a lot more.

It can be frustrating for users that Fujifilm does not share its autofocusing system information with third-party manufacturers.

I think that at least one fast prime (like Sigma 16mm F1.4) will take family photography to a next level. This would be substantially better than smartphone or kit lenses. If going with Fuji I would suggest to budget for Viltrox 23mm F1.4 or at least F2 prime from Fuji, but then you will have not much left for a zoom.

Night photography walking in towns & cities won't be better just because of APS-C sensor. It needs to be paired with a fast lens.

With A6100 + 18-135mm + 16mm 1.4 you can cover a lot.

Lastly, check out Canon mirrorless. It's been a while since I looked at their budget offerings, so don't know exactly what to recommend. Canon runs sales fairly often, and you can get a nice kit if you find body that suits your needs. They have Sigma lenses and some good budget Canon glass. AF tracking is not as good as Sony's.

They do offer good prices on beginner kits, but don't offer as as Sony or Fujifilm much if you decide to upgrade lenses later.

This really depends on the upgrade path. In some ways I would be more happy with lens selection for Canon. Canon M has the same excellent Sigma trio. Canon has a lot less expensive UWA option (11-22mm) and better, less expensive street lens (22mm). For longer reach one can always use an adapter and existing EF glass with native performance. If Canon would offer a body with AF comparable to A6100, I would recommend it to all the beginners.

robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 7,448
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
1

It's always tough to buy for another. His phone has been working up to now, and I guess the only real deficit is the focal length (not sure what 4x to 8x zoom means in 35mm equiv though).

And looking at all the specs etc being discussed it seems a bit of drift from "easy-to-use" especially when comparing to a smartphone.

Seems any of those would work.

I'd throw another in as an alternative to the Fuji, the Olympus Pen E-PL8. Just because they're a steal right now, $279US plus a decent 14-42mm kit lens at Adorama. I've got one I converted to IR, and if you throw on a 14mm or 20mm F1.7 Panny lens (so 28mm or 40mm equiv) you've got a camera you can drop in a coat pocket. And pretty easy to use. I bring it up because otherwise I too would have thought of a Sony RX type solution, especially for someone else who may want something not too big, but I also agree some of even the older ILCs out there might be better buys.

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rich_cx139 Senior Member • Posts: 1,090
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
1

Maybe also have a look at the Nikon z50 twin lens kit ??

Advent1sam
Advent1sam Veteran Member • Posts: 9,089
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)

rich_cx139 wrote:

Maybe also have a look at the Nikon z50 twin lens kit ??

Only 20mp?

What cheap compact prime would you get for a z50?

15-45 is 22mm wide!

rich_cx139 Senior Member • Posts: 1,090
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
1

Advent1sam wrote:

rich_cx139 wrote:

Maybe also have a look at the Nikon z50 twin lens kit ??

Only 20mp?

I find 16-24 is fine for most situations ( I dont pront larger than A3 ).  If the OP needs high MPx then I would be suggesting going to FF - say A7Riii/iv  ( or A7Rii ?? )  and high performance lenses to utilise that sensor - way over budget.

What cheap compact prime would you get for a z50?

I wouldn't since the only apsc body I have is a d500.

But you hit a nail on the head - Nikon is p••s aweful in providing decent dx primes. For the z50 or most nikon apsc - only the afs 35g dx 1.8 + FTZ which is very good btw

15-45 is 22mm wide!

good point - if the OP wants that

I just threw the z50 in because I think it is at least worth looking at - a very decent travel camera and better kit lenses than most and sensibly prced and a 5 year warranty in the us

FWIW, I think that if I wanted to buy into a good MILC apsc system - as opposed to just a body and a couple of lenses then I would be looking at Fujifilm as well. I have done the NEX thing but no decent range of apsc lenses ( at least when I had a NEX 6 ).

For a fully populated compact system its only Fuji vs m43 I think - but I now use Nikon 1 most of the time to further reduce outfit size - especially with the native CX70-300. NOT recommended unless you are happy fighting the obvious linitations of 1 inch sensors. For most other situations I use Z6/D500

ken_in_nh Contributing Member • Posts: 900
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
1

effer wrote:

This really depends on the upgrade path. In some ways I would be more happy with lens selection for Canon. Canon M has the same excellent Sigma trio. Canon has a lot less expensive UWA option (11-22mm) and better, less expensive street lens (22mm). For longer reach one can always use an adapter and existing EF glass with native performance. If Canon would offer a body with AF comparable to A6100, I would recommend it to all the beginners.

You should read the reviews for the M6 mkii.  Autofocus is every bit as good as Sony, probably better.  Good selection of lenses if you include Sigma's primes.

It's also a great handling camera with an easy to use menu system and quick set menus. Note that no one complements Sony for its ease of settings.

effer Regular Member • Posts: 147
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
2

ken_in_nh wrote:

effer wrote:

This really depends on the upgrade path. In some ways I would be more happy with lens selection for Canon. Canon M has the same excellent Sigma trio. Canon has a lot less expensive UWA option (11-22mm) and better, less expensive street lens (22mm). For longer reach one can always use an adapter and existing EF glass with native performance. If Canon would offer a body with AF comparable to A6100, I would recommend it to all the beginners.

You should read the reviews for the M6 mkii.

I have researched M6 mkii a bit actually. I would not call it a budget APS-C body.

Autofocus is every bit as good as Sony, probably better.

That's not correct. If you just use AF-S or even AF-C, then sure AF is fast and comparable across many systems in last several years. If you go a bit further and compare eye and face AF, then Canon is OK, but not that great. Fuji is close to Sony, but still Sony usually has an edge. Go even further and compare AF tracking, and you find that Canon is behind and even Fuji still not at Sony's level even with their latest X-T4 powerhouse.

Good selection of lenses if you include Sigma's primes.

Many people will find what they want for M-mount. Others will find it lacking. It is always better to think ahead about what lenses one wants right away and the ones for the future (even in couple of years).

It's also a great handling camera with an easy to use menu system and quick set menus. Note that no one complements Sony for its ease of settings.

Many reviewers bash Sony menu system and for a good reason. There are tons of options there and they are not always easy to find and not organized very logically. Some bash it because touchscreen cannot be used to navigate through the menu. I personally don't see any benefit in touchscreen navigation unless the system is better designed for use with small touchscreen.

On the other hand if you use Sony camera for a longer period of time, it is easy to set it up with custom buttons, FN-menu and My-menu, so you don't ever have to deal with the main menu system. Sony cameras are very customizable. If you take some time to set it up initially, it becomes very easy to use.

ken_in_nh Contributing Member • Posts: 900
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)

effer wrote:

ken_in_nh wrote:

effer wrote:

This really depends on the upgrade path. In some ways I would be more happy with lens selection for Canon. Canon M has the same excellent Sigma trio. Canon has a lot less expensive UWA option (11-22mm) and better, less expensive street lens (22mm). For longer reach one can always use an adapter and existing EF glass with native performance. If Canon would offer a body with AF comparable to A6100, I would recommend it to all the beginners.

You should read the reviews for the M6 mkii.

I have researched M6 mkii a bit actually. I would not call it a budget APS-C body.

Autofocus is every bit as good as Sony, probably better.

That's not correct. If you just use AF-S or even AF-C, then sure AF is fast and comparable across many systems in last several years. If you go a bit further and compare eye and face AF, then Canon is OK, but not that great. Fuji is close to Sony, but still Sony usually has an edge. Go even further and compare AF tracking, and you find that Canon is behind and even Fuji still not at Sony's level even with their latest X-T4 powerhouse.

Good selection of lenses if you include Sigma's primes.

Many people will find what they want for M-mount. Others will find it lacking. It is always better to think ahead about what lenses one wants right away and the ones for the future (even in couple of years).

It's also a great handling camera with an easy to use menu system and quick set menus. Note that no one complements Sony for its ease of settings.

Many reviewers bash Sony menu system and for a good reason. There are tons of options there and they are not always easy to find and not organized very logically. Some bash it because touchscreen cannot be used to navigate through the menu. I personally don't see any benefit in touchscreen navigation unless the system is better designed for use with small touchscreen.

On the other hand if you use Sony camera for a longer period of time, it is easy to set it up with custom buttons, FN-menu and My-menu, so you don't ever have to deal with the main menu system. Sony cameras are very customizable. If you take some time to set it up initially, it becomes very easy to use.

Point by point rebuttal, eh?

You sure don't like, or accept, differing opinions.  I'll not waste other folks time by rebutting your misleading rebuttal.  I tend to view these forums as a place to exchange information, not as a debating place.

Cato1040
Cato1040 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,843
Re: Easy-to-use APS-C travel and family camera at ~$500 to $1000 (Fuji X-A7?)
3

ken_in_nh wrote:

effer wrote:

ken_in_nh wrote:

effer wrote:

This really depends on the upgrade path. In some ways I would be more happy with lens selection for Canon. Canon M has the same excellent Sigma trio. Canon has a lot less expensive UWA option (11-22mm) and better, less expensive street lens (22mm). For longer reach one can always use an adapter and existing EF glass with native performance. If Canon would offer a body with AF comparable to A6100, I would recommend it to all the beginners.

You should read the reviews for the M6 mkii.

I have researched M6 mkii a bit actually. I would not call it a budget APS-C body.

Autofocus is every bit as good as Sony, probably better.

That's not correct. If you just use AF-S or even AF-C, then sure AF is fast and comparable across many systems in last several years. If you go a bit further and compare eye and face AF, then Canon is OK, but not that great. Fuji is close to Sony, but still Sony usually has an edge. Go even further and compare AF tracking, and you find that Canon is behind and even Fuji still not at Sony's level even with their latest X-T4 powerhouse.

Good selection of lenses if you include Sigma's primes.

Many people will find what they want for M-mount. Others will find it lacking. It is always better to think ahead about what lenses one wants right away and the ones for the future (even in couple of years).

It's also a great handling camera with an easy to use menu system and quick set menus. Note that no one complements Sony for its ease of settings.

Many reviewers bash Sony menu system and for a good reason. There are tons of options there and they are not always easy to find and not organized very logically. Some bash it because touchscreen cannot be used to navigate through the menu. I personally don't see any benefit in touchscreen navigation unless the system is better designed for use with small touchscreen.

On the other hand if you use Sony camera for a longer period of time, it is easy to set it up with custom buttons, FN-menu and My-menu, so you don't ever have to deal with the main menu system. Sony cameras are very customizable. If you take some time to set it up initially, it becomes very easy to use.

Point by point rebuttal, eh?

You sure don't like, or accept, differing opinions. I'll not waste other folks time by rebutting your misleading rebuttal. I tend to view these forums as a place to exchange information, not as a debating place.

Or maybe effer is just offering different opinions and exchanging information...

There is validity behind what they said.

  • It's pretty widely said that Sony has the best AF system right now whereas you said "Autofocus is every bit as good as Sony, probably better."
  • "good selection of lenses" is subjective anyway so I won't address that
  • You said "Note that no one complements Sony for its ease of settings" when there are people like effer and I that would say Sony's customizability can make it easier to use than many others once you take the time to set it up.

You say "You sure don't like, or accept, differing opinions" but when you state your opinions as facts, then that's different.

Also, you were writing a rebuttal to effer saying "If Canon would offer a body with AF comparable to A6100, I would recommend it to all the beginners." so I don't think it's unreasonable for someone to rebut your rebuttal.

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

Thank you all for these excellent points. A lot that I hadn't considered.

My apologies for the long delay in replying: after some time, I followed up to ask my father, as you all were right: it's a personal purchase and better to "get it right" than surprise him with something that doesn't quite fit (you can always return, but sometimes it's nice to get exactly what they'd want).

It's fitting to update you all where we ended up, after weeks of back & forth and reading reviews together. Feel no pressure to reply.

  • He's been using my trusty NEX-3 for some time now first to familiarize how digital cameras work today and what are the limitations / improvements he'll look for in his camera (he used film photography many decades ago, but he loves the simplicity--though not the quality--of his smartphone). The initial requirements are mostly the same, but you all brought up many points I hadn't considered: comfort in juggling lenses? interest in a system for later lenses? megapixels for cropping?
  • A good note on 1" with a fast zoom lens vs APS-C kit lenses, i.e. APS-C alone won't deliver all the goods. Though, to be sure, lighting is probably most important: no pixel peeing here. Most photos are just displayed digitally on phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops here.
  • Good notes on the Sony a6100: it does fit many boxes and I missed it from a bit of sticker shock. The lack of a fully-usable touchscreen is likely the biggest, and persistent, obstacle, though try as I might to convince him to try dials, haha. But the strong AF is a big win: I imagine he'll quickly find flaws with the contrast-only NEX-3, as I remember wishing, "Focus. Yes. No. Not there. All right, let's try again. OK, let's just take a different picture."
  • Thank you for the notes & product suggestions on the weather-sealing: and, valid, lens-dependent!
  • He's already quite eager for a "Auto ISO min SS" setting on the NEX-3. The auto-ISO is, believe it or not, will only ratchet up to ISO 1600. And, right, nothing to speak of a minimum shutter speed.
  • The Nikon Z50, Canon M6 Mark III, and Olympus line-up are other options, too. I did like the weather-sealing, but a little disappointed in the lens lineup. Though, it's hard to imagine how much he'll like wanting to buy more lenses later. And, well, Olympus' financial troubles are a little sad to hear: our first-ever digital camera was an Olympus! Nikon & Canon will need the budget to stretch, though.

The biggest twist: he is a big of Google Photos for backups (a bit of a digital archivist) so he's gotten interested in the auto-upload feature of image.canon that we stumbled on. Apparently, no budget cameras support that yet from Canon, so that's a little difficult. He's waiting to see if it trickles down or if the other manufacturers will come out with similar simple backup solutions  (i.e., auto-backup without a smartphone connection, ex. you leave it charging in the hotel room overnight to upload that day's photos).

Whew. A lot to think about, but at least now he's out taking photos and seeing where he's most comfortable.

A long update, but I wanted to catch (hopefully) everything you all pointed out. I'll update this post once there's a purchase decision.

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