I had a lot of fun with an E-PL1. It's gone now, but I'm looking around - the Interchangeable Lens Compact market is growing and there more and more options everyday. Still not satisfied with things like autofocus and the EVF offerings across the board, but it's getting better with each new camera.
Technically my X100 is mirrorless , but I'm sure you mean with interchangeable lenses.
I chose the X100 for it's medium footprint, optical viewfinder, excellent lens and APS-C sensor. Turns out the lens/sensor combination for travel/street photographs is a very desirable combination. I don't mind the fixed focal length lens for what I do. That was a conscious choice that will appeal to few. But within it's limitations, it's a very nice package.
For my usage, the mirrorless market is still shaking out. So much of what I do is low light and quick. I really prefer an optical VF (or at least something effective that's not the rear LCD). My requirements may change in that area with time, re-education, technology and lack of alternative, but for now it's restrictive.
After using the X100, I'm really sold on the APS-C sized sensor. However so much of the mirrorless offering space seems to be be occupied by the P&S alternative crowd, that I don't see much of it left for the DSLR alternative enthusiasts.
I'm not putting down u4/3, I almost bought an Oly, but primarily because they were behind the shrinkage curve. I'm still looking. Small is good for me, just not this, now. Put me down as undecided, it's a political season and maybe the correct Super-PAC can sway me.
Looking forward to hearing others narratives on "Maybe you can tell us and why?".
Thank you very much for your answer to my question!
I am terrible sorry, because I couldn't add X100 (Fujifilm) in the poll, but the question was, as you said, about cameras with interchangeable lenses. X100 is a great camera. I read a lot of reviews about it, all very positive.
I created this poll to see what the others are using as mirrorless and to understand why.
I intend to buy this kind of camera and I want to be sure that I will choose the right model. My feelings are going to Nikon 1 or Olympus, but I want to see other opinions, too.
Fuji x100: outstanding image quality with APS-C sized sensor, combined with small size, wonderful, solid feeling, unique hybrid viewfinder, and great look for the nostalgic!
Sony nex-5n: outstanding image quality using same sensor as D7000, ability to use Nikkor and other lenses, very small size, flip out screen for waist-level photography. The power and lightness of this one makes it my new do anything favourite up to ISO 3200.
Panasonic GF-1: small size and great image quality, good all-rounder at low ISOs up to 400.
I had the Panasonic GF1 first and purchased the GF2 after I broke the rear LCD screen on the GF1. Repair was going to cost just as much as a new camera, so I purchased the GF2 since I had a significant investment in Panasonic lenses. I actually preferred the operation of the GF1 (especially since the GF2 did away with any remote release capability).
Why would I have purchased the Nikon 1 instead? Primarily the built-in EVF on the V1, Expeed processor, and the dedicated speedlight. I almost always have a flash mounted on the camera, and though the Panasonic GF2 has a built in flash (better than the built-in flash on the GF1), I still attach an external Panasonic flash that is a bit cumbersome. The Nikon's flash is more compact and capable, and it's Nikon's iTTL system which I love.
The only thing that would give me concern about the Nikon is an expected lower signal to noise ratio and less dynamic range from the smaller sensor. However, the test results posted on DXO Mark show that the performance of the Nikon 1 processor is remarkably close to the larger GF2 sensor - enough so that it's a draw.
I owned the Panasonic DMC-GF1 and the Olympus PEN E-P2 at the same time, but used the GF1 the most, including a three week trip to Eastern Europe. Both were usefully compact, despite the bulk of their Micro Four Thirds lenses, but I preferred the GF1's in-lens stabilization over the E-P2's one-size-fits-all body stabilization. IQ was about the same.
I dumped both for the Sony NEX-5N, which seemed to have better image quality overall and less noise with its larger sensor. I've got the Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 and Sony 18-200mm lenses for it, and am waiting on my NEX-7.
Right now I'm using the Nikon V1 more than the Sony, because I bought all the Nikon 1 lenses, plus the FT-1 adapter and have been playing with different optics. I expect that I'll like the NEX-7 even better when it arrives, because of the better EVF and higher resolution. But I'm reserving judgement until I actually have a camera to check out.
As far as mirrorless cameras in general go, none of them have proved to be the pocketable, go-anywhere cameras that my Nikon P7100 is, but they do make a compact portable kit that can be toted around painlessly in a small bag.
I know it's not one of your options, but I'm using the Fuji x10. It doesn't have interchangeable lenses, but that's fine with me. I looked at the ILC options and for my purposes they are either too big, too expensive, or both. For me the function is smaller, lighter and a complement to my Nikons.
I do wish that the x10 were a bit smaller, especially in the thickness dimension, but it's small enough if I sacrifice the lens hood.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Lumix GF1 with 14-45,45-200 & 20mm lens and EVF. I liked the classic style of the Lumix and already had an LX3 so the GF1 seemed a logical step. I felt that I wanted a travel camera outfit after one too many holidays lugging my Nikon gear about. Now I use my Nikons for specific jobs, notably wildlife, macro and architectural and the M4/3 outfit for everyday stuff and street photography.
I am using the Olympus E-P3 and have a olympus OM-D on order. I shoot a Nikon D700 in DSLR.
I read everything and I mean everything. When it came down to it I enjoyed the way the E-P3 felt in my hands. It feels solid and I took to the retro styling immediately. I was really interested in the X100 or the Leica X1 but felt in the end I needed inter-changeable lenses.I think when the OM-D comes in it will immediately pull me away. I needed something for a trip in a few weeks though and could not wait and did not feel like taking the larger DSLR. i was looking for a camera to go everywhere with me and will enjoy having a smaller body nearby. Many of the lenses are coming into quality also. I looked seriously at the V1, the focus is amazing, but I tend to be a bokeh freak and wanted more DOF than i thought the V1 could provide with its smaller sensor. All of these have shortcomings, but in the end I just enjoyed the updated E-P3 more. The OM-D should be even more enjoyable....mini DSLR esq.
One more thing. Although I am sure it is overblown, the issues with Sticky Apertures on the x100 made me a little gun shy. If m trip was another month or so from now i would just have waited for the O-D.
The SAB problem might be overblown, but when it happens to you it becomes significant. It's also not very reassuring when the repair does come (and mine so far seems to be excellent) that there is no acknowledgment of what kind of problem occurred, no warranty extension and reports of it happening a second time.
My X100 is now working amazingly well after the SAB repair and I'm now on firmware v1.13 which also has improved several aspects of the camera. I use mine daily as I'm now on an extended trip.
I compensate for the fixed 35mm fov lens by making quick panorama exposures when necessary to build out the view. The one below is from yesterday.
The following is an ISO1600 sample - single frame. When I started using this camera I imposed a ISO1600 limit on AutoISO, but quickly found that another two stops cleaned up just fine in LR3.
As you can see from this full-frame example, the X100 exposure bias that utilizes the f/2 full aperture choice is entire acceptable.
No I didn't know about the SAB problem, I'm not sure it had started to surface enough to be characterized as a "problem". I had a devil of a time trying to buy a X100 and finally after three failed attempts at three other vendors, managed to find one at Samy's in LA. I ended up getting the last one of their shipment and they overnighted it to me so I could take it on a practice trip before an important personal trip to Italy. However, the overnight process failed the first time and I received it via FedEx hours before leaving town on the "practice trip".
The first 1500 images were fantastic. Then I began to notice some erratic behavior when I was trying to "expose to the right". I just couldn't pin down the problem, all the Exif data was appropriate, pre-exposure histogram was appropriate but the resultant exposure couldn't be reliably controlled and when it "failed" the images was way overexposed. Since so much of my photography was in low-light and the camera has a bias toward f/2 exposures, it took me a while to tumble that it was a mechanical problem. The erratic behavior and f/2 bias just played in the right direction to make me believe that it wasn't anything systematic. Finally after the erratic behavior became permanent, it was easy to detect in a simple exposure progression.
The hard failure came at about 2200-2600 exposures; right at the tail end of my Italy trip. With use of some judicious exposure fiddling I was able to constrain many of my remaining images to f/2. I did have a LX3 as a backup and that proved adequate for getting us home.
Sounds like you take a lot of trips...good for you...enjoy life!!!
I was extremely interested in an x100 after seeing it at my dealer a few weeks ago. Almost bought it on the spot. I have been looking for a smaller travel system which my E-P3 and upcoming Om-D will provide. I just happen to wait and started researching and found out about the issue. Seems like it happened to you right where most people get hit with it. I know it's a great camera and hopefully that is the last you have seen of that issue.
I purchased the VF-2 to go with the Pen, so I have a viewfinder if need be. And although we always use them on the DSLR of course, i have found myself not using it to much yet, but I have not done much work in bright sun lately.
Anyway...seems like the X100 is now serving you well. All in all this smaller camera stuff is a bit fun...
Well, no, I do not have a Nikon SP, but I do have several Minolta Hi-Matic cameras in the complete "Number" Series plus a few in the "Letter" series, a few Yashica Lynx models, a Konica or two, and, of course, several venerable argus C3 models and variants, plus a Kodak Retina IIIc, and a few others. Then when we go up in format size, there is the Koni-Omega Rapid-M, and when I finally get to 4 by 5, there are the SINAR F and F1, and also my "Joe Rosenthal camera," a Folmer-Graflex Anniversary Edition Speed Graphic. Oh, do I get to count the 16mm sub-miniature cameras also; the Minolta 16 and 16 II and the Kiev 30 and 303 pocket cameras?
Ralph Latte Land, Washington
Nikon F and F2; Nikkormat/Nikomat FT, FTb, FTn, FT2 Some Pre-AI, AI'ed, and AI lenses from 24mmm to 300mm And The 1960s Nikon Project