New Toys On My Wishlist

Yes yes, Yule of 2015 is just barely over and I'm already writing up my wishlist for next year :D But I didn't have a budget for these kind of present this year, so I want to start planning and dreaming (and saving up) in advance.

What I want: a new camera.

More specifically, I want:
- a good quality mirrorless camera body, since I'd love to leave the bulkiness behind. I've handled a relative's mirrorless a bit and it just feels like a power-up point-n-shoot in pocket-size.
- a bright prime lense, preferably f1.8, 35mm.

I've been wondering about mirrorless cameras even when I was looking for my first (and only) DSLR, Back then I saw Sony NEX cameras, than were so wonderfully slim but still had interchangeable lenses. However, the price won me over to a traditional beginner-lever DSLR, my Canon D1000.

Now I'm feeling my old camera body has fallen behind in quality enough to upgrade it. Since I don't own any pricey extra lenses for my Canon (I've only bought the cheap 50mm f1.8 prime for it, and I've found out how it does not compare well to other bright primes), I'm pretty much still free to jump ship to another brand. So I need to take into account not only the price/quality of the body, but also the available lenses. Which has given me a headache, since after reading just a few lines of detailed description of lense specifications, riddled with abbreviations of all kinds and letters I didn't know that even belonged together...

I first started this research after noticing that Canon had released a mirrorless of their own (which they didn't have back when I first noticed NEX). Their current model Canon M3 has gotten praising reviews and first I thought I could stay within the Canon family. It has a good core inside, the screen tilts up and down (yey, selfies!) and the controls are pretty much what I'm used to with my old DSLR. However, then I read that their range of native lenses for the mirrorless EF-M mount is very limited. I could get an adapter and use EF/EF-S lenses (like I could on my DSLR) but that adapter could knock me back hundreds of dollars! The only prime for EF-M is apparently 22mm F2, which isn't that much slower than f1.8 and around 220€ it isn't that pricey either. However the prime doesn't really convince me after this review of it :( I almost always use manual focus and barrel distortion is something I really, really hate.

I'm somehow much more into Sony's 35mm f1.8 lense that has gotten reviews like this one. The colour distortion is a downer, but apparently unavoidable in a lense that I'm looking for (it would have been the same for Canon 22mm f2). However the amount of vingette and the lack of distortion is exactly what I would have wanted. I could get this one for about 300€.

Now the Sony lense would need a Sony body. Sony has ditched the NEX brand and nowadays their mirrorless cameras are Alphas, currently A5100 and A6000. The A6000 is the mid-level product, similar to Canon M3. However, comparing the two Sonys, I find that the extras in 6000 are things that I can look over or don't really need in my own style of photographing. Although the 11fps speed of A6000 is a lot more that 6fps of the A5100. But since my old D1000 has a speed of 3fps, either one would still be a huge improvement! Still, I find myself more upset that A6000's screen doesn't tilt up 180 (only 90), like A5100. Since if I need tilting, I would need it for selfies and for that 90 just doesn't cut it. The price difference between the two is about 100€, so I could get either one. (Also the A5100 comes in white, but I'm not sure I'm willing to cough up an extra 150€ just for the colour... Although I might be XD )

Although I'm already starting to like the idea of a (white) Sony mirrorless, I also looked into other brands, but none of them really captivated me like these ones. Nikon would have been nice, but their primes are also pricey/non-existant. Olympus and such have a smaller sensor.

At the cheapest, a Sony A5100 + SEL35F18 would cost me around 700€, which is actually ok for an upgrade camera. If I got the body with a kit lense, it'd be 560€ + 375€ for the prime. (This is actually for the white one, I couldn't get the black with kit any cheaper.)

The Canon M3 would be about 420€ without the kit lense and 470€ with it. Plus the expenses for the prime, if I decide to take it. I could also just wait for Canon to release a more suitable EF-M mounted prime. I'm sure they will eventually, when the M-series evolves and becomes more popular. Won't they?

Being optimistic I might just rely on that Canon or third-party manufacturers will make the range of EF-M lenses more varied. Then the cost of lenses would be in my price range and I'd have plenty to choose from. Sony's lenses are more pricey by comparison and there might not be that many third-party options, unless one counts adapters. Long term commitment or short term satisfaction...? I dunno... I just want to see myself holding a slim white camera :D


  1. That's a nice wish list, short but very useful haha
    I don't know much about mirrorless cameras, I might have to look into that. A white camera sounds rather nice too X)

    Hope you get the camera of your dreams :D!

    1. I'm sure I will eventually. I have the whole year to save up and watch for great deals.

      Mirrorless cameras have taken leaps in the 5 years or so from when they were first released. Some are still glorified point'n'shoots, but the ones I'm looking at have as large sensors as most DSLRs (at least in the beginner-intermediate range) and reviews have especially mentioned how autofocus is now the same or better than in mirrored cameras. Still, if you need a pro camera or already have one, then a mirrorless is a downgrade. But as I use my camera for shooting still targets (no need for autofocus anyway) or at best portraits, then a mirrorless is just fine for me. But I think within the next 5 years the mirrorless cameras will become more and more prominent as they will begin to catch up to their older brothers in regards to photo quality. And especially after the lense-makers will start to fully commit to making products for these cameras specifically. As I understand it, a lense can be made smaller or more compact with a mirrorless without loosing quality, but many brands are still missing the most popular lenses.


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