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  1. #1
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    Mirrorless or DLSR Camera For My Wife?

    First, neither my wife or I know anything about cameras. She loves taking photos, especially outdoors when we are hiking. Scenery and especially birds are her favourites. Her point and shoot with a 10X zoom isn't cutting it for her and I would like to get her a decent camera so she can it explore photography as a hobby. She is not very tech minded. I have tried to read up on cameras but I'm a single-minded bike nerd and quickly realized that I was overwhelmed. Mirrorless sounds good as it is more compact and I don't think she will have a large lens collection. Perhaps 2 lenses?
    Price wise $500-750 CDN.

    MTBR has helped me out in a lot of non bike stuff in the past, so thanks in advance.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  2. #2
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    Sony Alpha A6000, that's my vote for what you want. It's cheap compared to new DSLR's with similar qualities, good build and smaller in size. It's mirrorless, so has less moving parts and to me, more durable. Mine fits great in my riding backpack too! I believe they're around $600 new.

    Then we get into lenses, that's where the money is. The kit lens that comes with the A6000 (16-35mm power zoom w/ image stabilizer built in) is decent at best. I'm looking at a few lenses that are "budget" quality lenses w/ good glass and sharpness starting at about $400 each new.

    You could get a used DSLR camera body and lenses, but make sure you're buying gear in good condition. There's nothing worse than a bad spot in every photo you take due to a scratch or smudge in the lens that won't come out. Mirrorless are newer, so I haven't seen many deals for used gear, but also haven't looked too much either.

    Best of luck!

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Procter's Avatar
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    Hey Travis,

    No personal experience with these, but there are several threads on reddit regarding horrible warranty experiences with the Sony cams.

  4. #4
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    Is Sony the Ellsworth of the camera world?
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  5. #5
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    Sony arguably has the best performance on a whole range of cameras from point-and-shoot to mirrorless cameras in terms of resolution, dynamic range, low light, etc. Don't know about warranty issues, but they lag behind in user interface and intuitive experience compared to say Canon or Nikon. In my opinion, the more advanced the camera, the more unhappy a casual user will typically be - as it's easier to do things wrong with an advanced camera, and post processing becomes more necessary to take advantage of what the sensor has to offer. For that price and level of engagement, I'd go for a nicer super zoom point and shoot, rather than worrying about DSLRs or other interchangeable lens systems.

    I've read good things about the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS50K, Sony HX90V and Canon SX710 HS in that price range. I haven't used any of these though, so no first-hand experience.

  6. #6
    saddlemeat
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    I would buy a used or refurbed Sony a5xxx or a6xxx. The 16-50 kit zoom (used $225) is great to start, I love the 16/2.8, (used $185) with in-camera distortion elimination, it is my favorite lens on my a5000. The 55-210 (used $189) is a little slow, has OSS, and delivers clean sharp images. I would not hesitate to buy used gear from a reputable dealer such as the two below, you get great bang for the buck!

    The https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/searc...281+4291215468

    Sony Used Items Used Mirrorless Cameras | Buy, Compare & Review | Adorama

    I sell a lot of fine art prints made with the above gear, it can deliver superb images for it's modest cost. By all means get a removable lens system, it's a great investment in versatility. I would also start learning Photoshop, a bit of a learning curve but very rewarding.
    I ride with the best people.




  7. #7
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    I will vote for the Sony system...

    Hi mate, you won't go wrong with any of the main camera brands these days.

    Where you can go wrong is with size, DSLRs are great cameras but not so great if you don't carry them with you because of the size.

    The Sony Mirror-less range with the ASPC size sensor with give you the same quality as an APSC DSLR in a much smaller package.

    My NEX 6 is my go to camera, the new 6000 and 6300 are better again, but I don't need to up grade. The kit lens is fine for day today stuff, and the 55/210 is cheap but can give good results for birds and some sports.

    Here are a few images from my Sony.

    Mirrorless or DLSR Camera For My Wife?-dsc03023.jpg

    Mirrorless or DLSR Camera For My Wife?-dsc08165.jpg

    Mirrorless or DLSR Camera For My Wife?-dsc02751.jpg

    If you are starting out the Auto everything works great on the Sony's. My youngest son did a helicopter flight up to mount Cook in New Zealand and landed on a the Fox Glacier. I set the camera to full auto and the shots came out perfectly exposed in very tricky light.

    The Sony cameras are a great starting point, and plenty of room to upgrade later.

    Hope that helps.

  8. #8
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    Mirrorless are good because of size and weight. Would be great for MTB. However, their downfall is lenses. There are not that many, especially telephoto. For birds, your wife is going to want some long lenses. And I mean you can't get too long of a lens, I think 300mm at a minimum. Unfortunately, they're also expensive. Bird photography isn't cheap to get something good, unfortunately. I use Nikon, and for Nikon I'd say a D3300 and 70-300mm VR is the minimum I'd recommend. If you can get a better body, cool, same with lenses. The Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 is good too and relatively cheap, I shoot with that now.

  9. #9
    saddlemeat
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    I ride with the best people.




  10. #10
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    Hard to go wrong these days, technology is so good and competition is making things so cheap.

    Very easy to get lost in analysis paralysis when reading reviews and comparing specs. Lots of specs that are quoted are irrelevant to most users, and some that are loudly trumpeted (like pixel count) are already overdone and being crammed into the sensors.

    A modern base level DSLR is good enough for 95% of photographers out there, including most pro's.

    Because you're both "new" to this, and don't yet know what you want or exactly which direction this might go, I'd encourage you to start small -- buy a body and a kit lens from a reputable place that offers a reputable warranty. Don't go crazy -- just get the basic body, a lens, a memory card, and maybe a spare battery. you can add a tripod, intervalometer, filters, carrying case, etc... as you go.

    Chances are good the first camera won't last long because you/she will learn it's limitations and want for more. If you knew, now, what it's limitations would be, you could just skip this step. But you gotta use it a bunch to get there, so buy small, shoot lots, make lots of mistakes (<-fastest way to learn), and then in a ~year or so replace it with what you've learned you need.

  11. #11
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    You didn't mention what camera your wife already has other than "point and shoot' so it's hard to know what constitutes an upgrade.

    I'm not going to recommend a DSLR. No question about it these will take the best images under the widest variety of conditions but ultimately the results will depend on the lenses. She may quickly find the kit lens too restrictive and want other lenses. And that's where the true cost of a DSLR lies. On the other hand, a quality DSLR lens can last decades. I have several from the early '80s that I still use.

    Mirrorless: generally smaller but the camera/lens system may not be significantly smaller than those used on a DSLR. There are, however, great lenses at reasonable prices in this category. If you go with the micro four-thirds category you can even mix lenses and cameras from different manufacturers.

    I would like to suggest a different camera setup. Rather than an interchangeable lens system (ILC) as used by both mirrorless and DSLR, consider the so-called "bridge" cameras. The Panasonic Lumix FZ-1000 and Sony RX10 (version I) both are very good cameras in this category.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.

  12. #12
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    I have been reading and it seems to me that a bridge camera will suit her best.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  13. #13
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    Sony RX 100 V if you don't want to spend extra money on lenses! (also IV was good!).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bross_48 View Post
    Sony Alpha A6000, that's my vote for what you want. It's cheap compared to new DSLR's with similar qualities, good build and smaller in size. It's mirrorless, so has less moving parts and to me, more durable. Mine fits great in my riding backpack too! I believe they're around $600 new.

    Then we get into lenses, that's where the money is. The kit lens that comes with the A6000 (16-35mm power zoom w/ image stabilizer built in) is decent at best. I'm looking at a few lenses that are "budget" quality lenses w/ good glass and sharpness starting at about $400 each new.

    You could get a used DSLR camera body and lenses, but make sure you're buying gear in good condition. There's nothing worse than a bad spot in every photo you take due to a scratch or smudge in the lens that won't come out. Mirrorless are newer, so I haven't seen many deals for used gear, but also haven't looked too much either.

    Best of luck!
    Plus 1 ...that would be a great choice! I had the NEX 5 for ~ 5 yrs, took great pics and zero issues with it. I upgraded to the a6300 in March. Love it. Some samples...
    https://goo.gl/photos/Ud3NhJMCPwrPK6oL7
    https://goo.gl/photos/5dFesusrvC4hipex6
    https://goo.gl/photos/L9F4TbFEU3zQec9o7
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

    RSD Bikes "The Mayor"
    Rocky Mountain Sherpa Overland

  15. #15
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    If you don't want to worry about lenses and other stuff then get a bridge or superzoom. A caveat though is they can be a bit big or bulky and they're not upgradeable. With mirrorless you have the option of picking your own lens depending on the condition or what you need w/c makes them a bit future-proof.

  16. #16
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    For birds fast focusing speed with long lenses is really helpful... as a general rule most DSLR's are faster focusing than mirrorless cameras. Lens choice is also much better for DSLR's. I love my Sony A77! But it is unquestionably big and heavy!

    The Sony A6300 has the most advanced focusing system in a mirrorless... that I am aware of. It isn't tiny but it isn't DSLR big and bulky either. The down fall of mirrorless cameras seem to be the lack of quality fast lenses... especially ones that are affordable. You can use DSLR lenses on the A6300 with an adapter but you are really giving up the size advantage of a mirrorless at that point. You end up with a lot of lens and a small camera body to try to stabilize it with.

    The Sony RX-100 V is a great camera with a great fast 24-70 equivalent F1.8-2.8 lens. 24-70 is a excellent range for most photography... but it is not going to be good for birds. You need a long 300mm+ lens for birds like mentioned above.

    In my opinion your best bet is the Sony A6300. If you can drop the "birds" requirement then the RX-100 V will be a considerably smaller package with results very similar to the A6300.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SierraOutsider View Post
    For that price and level of engagement, I'd go for a nicer super zoom point and shoot, rather than worrying about DSLRs or other interchangeable lens systems.

    I've read good things about the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS50K, Sony HX90V and Canon SX710 HS in that price range. I haven't used any of these though, so no first-hand experience.
    I know nothing about cameras, I use my phone. Heading to Nepal and want something better than my phone. I also want it be be small enough I can fit it in my jersey pocket for normal riding. Costco has the Lumix ZS50 30x for $300. thoughts? Thanks!

  18. #18
    saddlemeat
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    ^Go for it, you will get some great pictures. My wife has used these for years with excellent results. Any of the Lumix with the Leica lenses produce excellent pics.
    I ride with the best people.




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