Buyers Guide: Finding the Right Mirrorless Camera for You

Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Products

Since the introduction of the Panasonic Lumix G1 as the first mirrorless interchangeable-lens digital camera that is not a rangefinder, most major manufacturers have hopped onto the bandwagon and created their own mirrorless systems. Even Canon and Nikon, who are still propagating the DSLR as the only viable tool for professionals, had to get their respective pieces of the cake. But in today’s jungle of mirrorless camera offerings, it’s easy to get lost. Here’s a guide to help you find the right mirrorless camera for you.

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First Impressions: Sony A5000

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A5000 first impressions (1 of 7)ISO 8001-200 sec at f - 2.8

Sony has done something quite interesting. Back when they first committed the SLTs, they started introducing DSLRs left and right and creating markets. With the fusion of the Alpha and NEX line to just be the Alpha line, it seems like they may be doing the same thing again. They have a number of DSLRs already, and we can’t really tell where their new A5000 belongs. It can be said that it is above the A3000, but not quite there with the NEX 5T or the 3N. In fact, we’re still scratching our heads on this one.

Despite us scratching our heads, the camera still seems like quite the contender.

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New 12mm f7.4 Diagonal Fisheye Lens for Sony NEX and Fuji X

Toda Seiko 12mm f7.4 Diagonal Fisheye Lens

Japanese optics manufacturer Toda Seiko has announced a new 12mm f7.4 diagonal fisheye lens for both the Fuji X-system as well as Sony’s NEX cameras. The lens has both a fixed aperture and fixed focus, with everything inbetween 20″ and infinity being approximately in focus. So while specs-wise this lens isn’t really special, what might make this lens interesting to some is the fact that it’s actually made in Japan–and not it China, Taiwan, Thailand or elsewhere.

Back in the good old days of film SLRs, the “Made in Japan” branding hat quite a significance in the photographic world; today, one rarely sees it printed onto products. Is that a reason to buy this lens, though? Probably not. While it does have multi-coated lenses, its specs really don’t make it very desirable, especially considering that there are alternatives such as the Samyang (Rokinon) 8mm f/2.8 fisheye lens.

Still, it’s always good to have choice. So if this lens speaks to you, it can be yours for JPY 25,000–about US-$ 245. Not quite a steal, but hey, it says “Made in Japan!”

Via Imaging Resource

Report: Sony has a Patent for a Small Form-Factor Full-Frame Compact E-Mount Camera

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (2 of 12)ISO 32001-120 sec at f - 2.8

This is not the camera you are looking for.

With all the Sony A7 and A7r talk, something else interesting has popped up. A Sony patent for the NEX-5 like camera body with a full frame sensor was spotted by Egami. No one is sure if this camera will be released, but it’s interesting to see what Sony is thinking. This is also the early days for this new part of the camera market. It’s going to be fun to watch what comes out.

Via SonyAlphaRumors

First Impressions: Zeiss Touit 50mm f2.8 Macro (Sony NEX)

Felix Esser The Phoblographer Zeiss Touit 50mm f2.8 Macro First Impressions

Earlier this year, Zeiss anounced that a Touit 50mm f2.8 Macro lens for APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras was in the making. Finally, at the Photo Plus Expo 2013 in New York, we had the chance to take a closer look at it. Unfortunately, the lens is still not 100% final, so we weren’t allowed to take any pictures with it yet. We were able to fondle it a bit, and we can already say that it looks and feels absolutely great. And if Zeiss is keeping the same level of quality as we’ve come to know from their other Touit offerings, the 50mm f2.8 is going to be one serious contender on the mirrorless lens market.

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Sony’s A7 and A7r Are Full Frame Mirrorless Cameras

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7 A7r RX10 Zeiss Lenses (11 of 31)

Yes, they’re real–we’re talking about Sony’s A7 and A7r mirrorless cameras with full frame sensors. We previously reported on rumors of the cameras existing, and we saw them in person earlier this month. They’re every bit as glorious and wonderful as your mind expects them to be. And in all honesty, they feel like the Olympus OMD EM1 with a full frame sensor.

Indeed, there are two models. The A7r is a high megapixel beast with an emphasis on resolution while the A7 is a 24MP camera with an emphasis on speed. And apart from some shooting differences and autofocusing performance specs the cameras are pretty much the same despite their totally different prices. The A7 will go for $1698 while the A7r will sell for $2298.

Specs and other images are after the jump. And if you’re looking for another set of lenses for the system, here’s your list.

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Could This Be One Of Sony’s New Full Frame NEX Cameras?


Editor’s Correction: This is a reader-made mock-up

We’ve been hearing rumors about this for a while and also reading into hints of it coming. Sony Alpha Rumors believes that the photo above is one of two full frame sensor NEX cameras that may be coming to us soon. The site is saying that the cameras will be called the A7 and A7r. They continue to state that, “Both have exactly the same design (with NEX-7 grip, EVF in the middle and RX1 size). The difference is in the sensor. The A7 has 24MP sensor, more fps and different AF speed. The A7r has a 36MP sensor and less fps (and I have been told a bit “different” AF).

Based on Sony’s naming conventions, this doesn’t sound right at all. When they released the RX1R, it was essentially the same camera as the RX1 but with no low pass filter. Perhaps, Sony is doing the whole Nikon D800/D800E approach?

We have yet to hear more about the full frame mirrorless lens patents; but with Photo Plus coming in just a couple of weeks, the rumors of the camera launching in October may be true.