Need help picking a camera

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by jonah_husak, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Hi guys, new dude here. I'm looking to pick up a camera and some lenses for under 600$( preferably more around 450 to leave room for extra stuff) I'm defiantly fine buying used however I'm stuck between several cameras and types of camera (I suppose). So far ive been looking at the OM-D E-M5, the fujifilm xpro1, and several nikon DSLR'S (like the d300 or d7100). Im a backpacker so whatever camera i get needs to be rather durable and be able to take good nature shots ( animals and landscapes) However i also want to dabble in street photography a bit. If anyone can give me some hints towards what i should get please toss me a line.
    -thanks shanky
  2. From my own experience (with the D300 and D7100) and from reviews (the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Fuji Xpro1) they are all fine cameras. But for backpacking you need to consider weight and also size. There is a site designed to help you make size and weight comparisons. Here, I've set it up to compare the Nikon D7100 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5, The Olympus will also take smaller lenses, given the same maximum aperture and angle of view, than the other three cameras.
  3. Jonah, the choice is not just for the camera, but for the system that can give you the lenses and accessories within your budget and requirements. For most types of photography, getting good lenses is more important than the body.
    A second thing is handling - how does a camera feel in your hand, and how easy is it for you to operate? This is really a personal preference that none of us can tell for you; best thing is to visit a shop with ample different brands and models, and try it in your own hands. For example, as much as I'd like a smaller good camera, I find handling many of the sony mirrorless and m4/3rd cameras just too fiddly, and even a Nikon D7x00 feels a wee bit small - and as a result, not comfortable and not as fun to work with as the larger (Nikon) DSLR that I have - even if it is heavier than I'd like, it's the camera that works for me.
    Personally, I'd start checking the handling, and to see which brands has the right lenses for your requirements, and then work out a (far more specific) shortlist. That will make it easier for others to give advice, as well as address your (again more specific) questions - in the end that'll help you more.
    It depends a bit where you go backpacking, but durability isn't as large an issue as it may seem. In feel in quite some cases, the kitlens probably is less durable than the body. I wouldn't exclude the smaller models yet (i.e. Olympus Pen, Fuji X-E2, EOS700D etc.). But, highly humid/wet regions (S-E Asia comes to mind), the higher end bodies with better sealing might make a better choice, but always at the cost of size, weight and pennies. Given that your budget is very tight, you will have to make a compromise here, though.
  4. SCL


    Are you a day backpacker or, like I used to, do you backpack rural trails for 6-10 days at a crack? I ask because every ounce of weight truly becomes an issue on long treks. All cameras take good nature shots, it really depends on the photographer's skills and the time they devote to securing the shots they want. The ergonomics of the body with the lens(es) of your choice are also really important, as well as how you access and transport the camera. The other thing, which you didn't mention, is whether you plan to use a tripod. Especially in rugged terrain or areas of high winds, it is often difficult in low light situations to hand hold a camera steady enough to get sharp crisp photos, especially if you are carrying 30# of additional weight on your body. There are alternative solutions, but they may be dependent on your familiarity with the terrain (I often used a small collapsible table pod tethered to a tree, for instance).
  5. None of the cameras you mention, with lens, will come in anywhere near 450, let alone 600. So your budget is probably going to have to change. In your budget, there are small light cameras with 18-55 kit lens from Nikon and Canon, like some of the Rebels or the D3300/5300 and their variants. GOOD possibilities, imho.
    Only you can decide what will work for you, but I will tell you this. Although very small, the EM-5 and the Fuji are not all that horribly LIGHTweight, as they are built very ruggedly. My EM-5 only weighs a little bit less than the D90 it replaced. BUT... the lenses are often teeny tiny, and I can carry my EM-5 with the kit lens, tele kit lens, and even my 55mm Nikkor micro that I kept from the old rig (with an adapter) in the space that my D90 and one lens took up, basically. I will never, I think, use my big camera bag again.
    I also have an EPM-1 (backup) and will add that many of those PEN cameras with a small standard zoom would be an AWESOME hiking buddy.
    Any camera you list can take great photos. You need to hold them in your hands to decide what works best for you, though. For me, the Fuji was clunky, and the Olympus was not, so that's the way I went. ymmv.
  6. You might consider a Sony NEX 3n with 16-55 and 55-210 lenses. Very light weight, good picture quality and very near your budget, especially used. Just don't expect pro DSLR durability.
  7. All mirrorless will suffer under "sort-of-harsh" backpacking/trekking treatment. Among the bodies you listed, the most robust is the Nikon D300. Get a couple of prime lenses to go with it, according to your photo choices.
    I'd love to recommend the X Pro 1 but, owning two of those, I wouldn't take them on any prolonged trek.
  8. X-pro1 with lens(es) $450? - I d like one too. - I fear lenses are the hard part in the Fuji system to which I am new too. - You can buy the XC zooms with a body for 500 Euro right now or on their own for 800. - A set of 3 primes is 2400Euro new. The entire system became introduced 2 years ago, so there is no real used market for lenses.
    A set of 3 basic Nikon primes can be had for something like 900Euro new. and there is more or less usable heritage glass floating around. - Olympus seems in between to me, a lot of manufacturers should have contributed something affordable by now.
    I can't comment on Fuji's durability. - Based on my experience with Pentax I guess the lenses will break first. But I assume that about any zoom on the market, even the heavy professional grade 80-200mm f2.8s need repairs after 1 year as a rental, that might equal 4 or more years in an amateur's hand. Sophisticated precission mechanics inside a zoom paired with AF motor and OIS mechanism simply can't last forever, especially when the entire thing isn't allowed to weigh much.
    If you plan backpacking just do that wisely, get a rather solid cardboard or plastic construction to hold your camera with some padding while you roll down a hill instead of wearing it around your neck and it should be fine.

    Street photography can be done with Fujis. Their AF might be slower than the best MILCs' or good DSLRs' and you might also suffer a bit from the delay of combining an electronic finder with your reaction span, but they are still pretty fast compared to older stuff.
    So if you are able to find out that Fuji seems what you want and you have lenses in reach and are willing to buy a new kit when your 1st set breaks, I would recommend Fuji for the absence of weight that you'll appreciate. Elderly Nikons seem way heavier and should demand more fiddling with RAW files to get nice JPGs like straight out of Fuji. On the other hand they make the best AF (although maybe not for what we 'll end buying) and offer a versatile system with supporting 3rd parties too.
    Whatever you'll pick you'll end cursing your choice. - Keep in mind that you'll need spare batteries for Fuji. I'll get one for my 2 bodies, hoping I'll get away with that and knowing I'll be able to recharge at night. - A DSLR should drain way less energy, especially since you could dryswim the landscape shots with the camera still off, when you are on a long hike.
  9. thanks guys i decided on a d300 and im going to pick up some lenses from my aunt
  10. It's a very good camera, hope you enjoy it.

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