What camera do I buy? / general gear talk

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  • Great write up of a fantastic looking trip!

  • My priories

    relatively light and compact
    Feels like using a camera
    not a phone

    Consider a Nikon Coolpix A.
    It's a discontinued model that you can get for sub 400 used.

  • Or a GR II, around the same price.

  • I found that the Ricohs take great pics (particularly from the 5th model onwards), they give all the control (somewhere in the menus) you could ever want but they actually didn’t do the ‘feels like a camera’ bit. Which is weird because I frickin loved the 35mm GR1. Best camera ever.

    I think it’s a viewfinder thing.

  • Sony Nex (or Alpha for a slightly higher budget) is decent. Pretty small for something with an APS-C sensor. This is my Nex-5 sat on top of my phone for instance.

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  • The older Lumix / Pen cameras are still pretty great and can be had for peanuts these days.
    Paired with the 20mm 1.7 pancake lens they'll produce pretty great pictures.

  • I'm starting to get my head around what's on offer. Believe it or not, I didn't even know that CSC or mirrorless cameras were a thing, and i'm really surprised how much the market has developed since I last looked into digital cameras!

    I didn't realise how slim the CSC cameras are, and a lot of them are plenty slim and light enough for me.

    Option 1: CSC with pancake lens:

    • Sony (Alpha or Nex) -
    • Lumix (GX85, GM1) - Not so many of these available secondhand at a first look
    • Fujifilm (Xt20) - I can't make heads or tails of the Fujifilm range, why are there so many X cameras without much clear differentiation

    The one that really jumps out is the Sony Alpha a6000 , both because there is a big secondhand market and because it seems to have stood the test of time. Coupled with a pancake lens it would be good for lightweight, and then with potentially a bigger lens for less weight sensitive situations it gives me the flexibility to have something a bit more serious.

    I reckon if I hunt I can find one with a decent lens for sub £300. I saw one with three different lenses for £350 (I could've sold the telephoto to get down to below my budget.


    @Acliff - you suggested a GM1 or GX85, is this any better than the Sony offerings in your opinion? USB rechargable is good, but having multiple batteries is definitely a positive in my book

    @pdlouche - I think you might've nailed it. I had no idea you could get down to something so slim and light. the a6000 is under 400g which will definitely do for me. Do you think that an a6000 is far superior to a Nex5?

    @psee - not many available secondhand as far as I can see. Any links?

    There are also the compacts. but the more I think about it, the more I agree that this is too much of a sacrifice and doesn't give me a very versatile unit.

    Option 2: Compact

    • Nikon coolpix
    • Leica X1
    • X100

    Any of these definitely still worth considering?

    Thanks again

  • A6000 is way superior and would highly recommend it if budget goes that far.

  • The a6000 is a great camera, and fits your requirements perfectly. Only caveat is get a few spare batteries for trips. I use a a6300 which is a slightly better version of the 6000, with a few lenses for everything, although I lack the skills of a lot of people in this sub-thread, it's a camera I really enjoy using as it's so versatile. Where it's small it fits in a bar bag easily with a lens.

    For travel, the 16-50mm kit lens is pretty good size and weight wise, as it collapses in. It's got a lot of bad reviews, but it's actually a really good 'all around' lens that produces good images, especially if you use lightroom to fix the distortion of the lens.

    Otherwise the Sony lenses are very solid, the 1.8 30mm etc.

  • The Panasonics have a smaller sensor than the Sony cameras, but are smaller and have smaller lenses. You also have the Olympus micro 43 cameras as well to consider.

    The Sony will get you slightly better image quality (though the m43 cameras are excellent) but the overall camera kit that you would have would be bulkier once you add lenses and so on. Also the A6000 doesn't include image stabilisation, which I find invaluable for lower light and also for video, particularly with prime lenses.

    Probably worth considering what lenses you would want/need?

    Slim/small lenses for Sony:
    16mm f2.8 (24mm equivilent) - 67g
    20mm f2.8 (30mm equivilent) - 69g
    16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS lens - 116g

    So all pretty light.

    Slim/small lenses for Panasonic:
    12-32mm zoom lens - 70g
    14mm f2.5 (28mm equivilent) - 55g
    20mm f1.7 (40mm equivilent) - 87g
    Olympus 45mm f1.8 (90mm equiv) - 116g
    Panasonic 42.5mm f1.7 OIS - 130g

    Similar weight, but generally faster apertures and much smaller and lighter and bigger focal lengths and zooms. Lens image quality is generally fantastic across the board.

    I've got a Panasonic GM5. Taken it on walks/hikes with a 12-32mm lens, 20mm f1.7, 45mm f1.8 and 9-18mm wide angle zoom. Total weight sub 700g for the camera, 4 lenses and spare battery.

  • Also might want to have a look at a Panasonic LX100 or Leica D-LUX Typ 109
    M43 size sensor, manual controls, viewfinder, excellent 24-75mm f1.7-2.8 lens.

  • The GM5 is also really sexy! The main issue I can see, which is a bit of a stumbling block is that the secondhand stock of both the M43 or Lumix GM5 is really minimal.

    Just a quick glance at Gumtree, FB marketplace and ebay shows up almost nothing.

    Or am I missing something?

  • I don't think the GM1 and GM5 sold very well outside of Japan, and they were premium price. Plenty of Panasonic lenses about.
    I bought my GM5 on ebay about a year ago for around £200. I also bought a GM1 for fun, for around £200 including 12-32mm zoom lens.

  • Haven't tried a ton of lenses with the A6000 but the 28mm f2 has been a favourite of mine, doesn't seem to get a lot of love. Pretty small and light but surprisingly sharp.

  • I thiiiink I have an a6000 at home not doing anything, let me take a look this eve

    EDIT: it's not a 6000 because it doesn't have the rangefinder thing, only an lcd on the back. Can't remember the exact model but can take a look

  • And then there’s the new Sony A7C...

  • The A5100?

    I might part with my GM5 if you're interested @IdealStandard

  • it's a a5000, with a 16-60 lens. pm if you're interested

  • On the compact list I think the X1 still stands out because of the weight. However the lens is telescoping and the sensor is not easy to clean. If you really need to save the space/weight they are worthwhile but otherwise the a6000 has a lot going for it.

  • In case anyone’s interested, I went for an a6000 with a 20/f2.8 pancake lens.

    Managed to get the body and lens for £180 and the prime pancake lens for £140 so just about on budget. It feels more or less like a proper camera with a decent lens and it actually does fit in my pocket!

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  • Excellent. Camera twins now.

  • Nice. The Sony menus can be a bit naff, would recommend a video or article on where the hidden useful things are like zebras etc.

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What camera do I buy? / general gear talk

Posted by Avatar for Well_is_it @Well_is_it