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CSC : Digital Compact System Cameras - This new category of digital Compact System Cameras with interchangeable lenses was mislabeled for a time as "Mirrorless Cameras" by those forgetting about "Mirrorless" Rangefinder cameras.  Such confusion is easily understandable, since interchangeable rangefinder cameras were only recently introduced in 1932.  hmm.    CSC or Compact System Camera is probably the best category description to date, although I am fond of the old RFF desigation of  CEVIL  indicating Compact Electronic Viewfidner Interchangeable Lens.   This forum is here at RFF because via adapters these cameras offer an inexpensive way to use rangefinder lenses on digital cameras -- in addition of just about every 35mm SLR lens you can think of.  All  offer the photo enthusiast an incredible array of adopted lenses which was not possible before these new digital formats.   This group continues to grow in popularity and new camera models! 

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Looked at 'em all...can't pull the trigger
Old 06-08-2015   #1
kkdanamatt
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Looked at 'em all...can't pull the trigger

Yesterday, before the NYC RFF monthly meeting at Puck Fair, I spent some time at Adorama comparing some of the highly regarded CSC (formerly known as "mirrorless"): Sony's 6000, Fuji's XE-2, Olympus' OM-D M5, Lumix GM5, etc.

The only "must-have" for me is an eye-level viewfinder, so I eliminated all the other contenders.

Every camera I played with seemed to have at least one short-coming.
So, as much as I want to jump into a new system, I could not pull the trigger.

Do they all have that "annoying viewfinder lag", or noisy shutter, or slow autofocus, or small buffer, or lack of simple controls, or non-traditional menus?

I keep going back to my Nikon DSLR's and my Leica M film systems, which I use for every imaginable shooting situation.
I'd love to employ my Leica and Nikon glass on a mirrorless body, but nothing I've seen so far has made me reach for my plastic card.
Am I alone here?
Are there better mirrorless cameras that I've overlooked?
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Old 06-08-2015   #3
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It's the xe2 that pushed me over the edge and into the abyss.
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Old 06-08-2015   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkdanamatt View Post
...
I keep going back to my Nikon DSLR's and my Leica M film systems, which I use for every imaginable shooting situation.
...
Am I alone here?
...
No, you aren't. I'm checking compact cameras very often, to find one to be small, but on pair with my two old DSLRs for digital color and my film RF, scale gear for b/w film and keep same level of functionality ....
But where are none so far to be at the same level.

So, with realizing of it over and over, again and again, I'm using old dirt cheap Panasonic Lumix PS with Leica lens in it, which seems to have the signature in the images. At least.
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Old 06-08-2015   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkdanamatt View Post
Every camera I played with seemed to have at least one short-coming.
So, as much as I want to jump into a new system, I could not pull the trigger.

Do they all have that "annoying viewfinder lag", or noisy shutter, or slow autofocus, or small buffer, or lack of simple controls, or non-traditional menus?
Yeah, each one does have a shortcoming. Sonys are loud and feel like a computer. Fujis are the slowest. m43 is a different animal... you either like or you don't. I don't, though the E-M1 is a great camera. Unfortunately, with mirrorless, you have to accept the shortcoming that doesn't bother you the most. The shortcomings have made me turn to a DSLR and a M9 again (as we spoke about yesterday a little).
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Old 06-08-2015   #6
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i've been thinking about getting an old canon 5d along with their 24 and 40 pancake lenses...
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Old 06-08-2015   #7
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i've been thinking about getting an old canon 5d along with their 24 and 40 pancake lenses...
24 is EF-S, not for FF cameras.
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Old 06-08-2015   #8
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24 is EF-S, not for FF cameras.
damn...


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Old 06-08-2015   #9
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i've been thinking about getting an old canon 5d along with their 24 and 40 pancake lenses...
.

In compacts I use the GR V ,DP3M and DP2M but for the faster stuff I too have succumbed (again) to a dslr.
I picked up a mint 5D2 with less than 5k shots.
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Old 06-08-2015   #10
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I have tried the Xpro1, XE1, OMD EM5 but they just don't suit me - I like OVFs and the Xpro was close, but was not any good with zoom lenses IMO. I've ended up using a Nikon Df (took a while to bond / get used to the camera, but now I see it as the best compromise for me) using both AF and manual lenses. There are just too many compromises with CSCs for me although I do own and enjoy using an X100 (with the OVF).
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Old 06-08-2015   #11
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i shot the pride parade on saturday and was disappointed at my results...i had better when i shot my rangefinders...the fuji do some things well but i have to work too hard to get some images out of them.
it's the fuji lenses that keep me in the game.
maybe even a nikon d300 would do me better.
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Old 06-08-2015   #12
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You are definitely not all alone. I am seriously considering selling my Sony A7R gear because of a variety of nits that add up to a gestalt that makes taking photos non-enjoyable. And if that's going to be the case then what's the point? For digital, I'm sticking with my DSLR's.
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Old 06-08-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Yeah, each one does have a shortcoming. Sonys are loud and feel like a computer. Fujis are the slowest. m43 is a different animal... you either like or you don't. I don't, though the E-M1 is a great camera. Unfortunately, with mirrorless, you have to accept the shortcoming that doesn't bother you the most. The shortcomings have made me turn to a DSLR and a M9 again (as we spoke about yesterday a little).
Yes, I must agree with you. I'm a bit stubborn and old fashioned. During the past three years I've bought and subsequently sold these mirrorless cameras:
Leica M8, M9, M240, Sony NEX 3, Lumix GF-1, Fuji X100, XPro-1, and the Epson R-D1s.
It just took me longer to arrive at the same conclusion: Nikon DSLRs and Leica M film cameras are best for me.

By the way, your Nikon Df is quite a nice handful with that new 58/1.4 G lens.
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Old 06-08-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkdanamatt View Post
. . . . . . .
I keep going back to my Nikon DSLR's and my Leica M film systems, which I use for every imaginable shooting situation.
I'd love to employ my Leica and Nikon glass on a mirrorless body, but nothing I've seen so far has made me reach for my plastic card.
. . . . .

What is it that you are looking for?
I can't imagine that any digital camera is going to replace the functionailty that you already have.

My best guess is that maybe a Leica digital body is in your future. ..... OOPS, you typed the post just above while I was typing. Now I really can't imagine what you are looking for !!!
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Old 06-08-2015   #15
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Now I really can't imagine what you are looking for !!!
I would imagine it might have to do with size and weight.
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Old 06-08-2015   #16
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By the way, your Nikon Df is quite a nice handful with that new 58/1.4 G lens.
I haven't felt this good about a combo in a long time. Thanks for showing me some functions that I wasn't aware of (as I tend to figure out my way of working and never consider others).
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Old 06-08-2015   #17
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So, these cameras are good enough for some of the most accomplished and rigorous photographers living today, and yet......
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Old 06-08-2015   #18
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I like the idea of EVFs, but do not like the ones currently available. They are laggy in subdued lighting/indoors which I hate. Pan across a room with the latest Sony A7II and watch the image wobble (for example). Manual focussing is very slow, no matter the claims made by certain blogger$ (who also never mention the laggy display). For it to be effective you have to use the image magnification. But that is very distracting and takes away from the composition when one part is magnified, and then it goes back to unmagnified to see the whole scene, which may have then changed, so you need to go back to magnified etc etc.
The OVFs do not deal with any of that. So until the EVFs improve (I'm sure they will) it is either RF or DSLR for me.

(of course the magnifying focus issue does not exist if you use AF lenses, but the lag is still there)
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Old 06-08-2015   #19
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Funny thread this, as I now (barring some exceptions) have landed on Nikon DSLR (Df) and my last Leica film camera.

OT: Post#5 is the best. Pick what bothers you least and go from there.
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Old 06-08-2015   #20
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Old 06-08-2015   #21
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I suspect that AF and EVF speed will be the place where the upper end will see improvements over the next year.

I suspect that the DSLR market is full and the differences that the vast majority of consumers want to pay for are there.

Me, I thinking a Fuji X-M1 with a 18/2 and a CV Brightline on top will be my in my future. I know I will want something different for longer glass, but not sure what yet. My hope is that the FF DSLR market will begin it's price decrease as I have some older F glass.

I'm wondering from a power consumption perspective if a dedicated GPU would provide better EVF speed at less power than the main CPU.

B2 (;->
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Old 06-08-2015   #22
Jamie Pillers
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The Fuji X-T1 is better than the X-E2. More manual control (easier to set it up to emulate a manual film camera) and a much better viewfinder.
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Old 06-08-2015   #23
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Quote:
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So, these cameras are good enough for some of the most accomplished and rigorous photographers living today, and yet......
That's correct. We are also allowed to have an opinion about what is comfortable to use for our type of photography. Every single camera listed is capable of technically great photographic quality... but they each have shortcomings that may not fit the way each of us photographs. Additionally, each is different ergonomically. What is wrong with weighing your options and figuring out what works for you? I'm sure the "most accomplished and rigorous photographers living today" have done the same thing. If this did not matter, we'd all be using the same camera.
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Old 06-08-2015   #24
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So, these cameras are good enough for some of the most accomplished and rigorous photographers living today, and yet......
That's a snarky remark.

I'm 72 years old. When I was 20, I used to focus Leicas faster and more accurately than almost anybody else. Now, I miss the mark about half the time. So I can only use my Leica M film cameras with wide-angles and zone focusing outdoors.

I shoot low-light indoor billiard tournaments for an international print magazine and some online websites. I need a silent or almost silent camera with a fast zoom lens for that purpose.

What do the cameras chosen by the "most accomplished and rigorous photographers" have anything to do with my personal requirements?
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Old 06-08-2015   #25
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The Fuji X-T1 is better than the X-E2. More manual control (easier to set it up to emulate a manual film camera) and a much better viewfinder.
maybe i should look at the xt10 when it arrives...$899. locally
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Old 06-08-2015   #26
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That's correct. We are also allowed to have an opinion about what is comfortable to use for our type of photography. Every single camera listed is capable of technically great photographic quality... but they each have shortcomings that may not fit the way each of us photographs. Additionally, each is different ergonomically. What is wrong with weighing your options and figuring out what works for you? I'm sure the "most accomplished and rigorous photographers living today" have done the same thing. If this did not matter, we'd all be using the same camera.
well stated!


.
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Old 06-08-2015   #27
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I had no idea evfs are still lagging, it's been 5 years or whatever they've been working on them. It's a basic demand.
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Old 06-08-2015   #28
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I had no idea evfs are still lagging, it's been 5 years or whatever they've been working on them. It's a basic demand.
They are and I think it will continue.
People also demand small lightweight cameras which means wimpy batteries and less robust ... Slower hardware.
I've been leaning back to my 5D for many uses.
Having a reflex finder is pretty damn sweet compared to evfs for some uses.
For other uses the evf cameras are great!
It's nice having choices.
Given another choice, personally I would be happy to carry a slightly larger/heavier camera if it improved overall lag dramatically.
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Old 06-08-2015   #29
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RF: CL, M4-2, M-P typ 240 bodies. Can use all my current M-mount and LTM mount lenses as well as Nikon mount lenses with an adapter.

SLR: Olympus E-1, Nikon F, Nikon F6. The Nikon lenses can be used on the Olympus.

Electronic TTL: Olympus E-M1, E-PL7. If you have the viewfinders configured correctly (and yes, there are many options), the E-M1 and E-PL7 with VF-4 are virtually indistinguishable from an optical viewfinder in normal use. Nikon and Leica M lenses can be used on the bodies with adapters, but the Nikon SLR lenses perform better than the Leica RF lenses. The E-1 lenses fit these bodies with an adapter and work perfectly.

Compact: Leica X typ 113. Fitted with optical or electronic viewfinder depending upon need. No other options. Perfect. :-)

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Old 06-08-2015   #30
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24 is EF-S, not for FF cameras.
There is, however, the old (quite old by EOS standards) EF 24mm/f2.8 which is compact, though not pancake sized, and takes a decent photo with the old original 5D:


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Old 06-08-2015   #31
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So, these cameras are good enough for some of the most accomplished and rigorous photographers living today, and yet......
Good enough for the gods of photography or an ass like you has nothing to do with my enjoyment of gear that I buy for my own use.....
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Old 06-08-2015   #32
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That's a snarky remark.

I'm 72 years old. When I was 20, I used to focus Leicas faster and more accurately than almost anybody else. Now, I miss the mark about half the time. So I can only use my Leica M film cameras with wide-angles and zone focusing outdoors.

I shoot low-light indoor billiard tournaments for an international print magazine and some online websites. I need a silent or almost silent camera with a fast zoom lens for that purpose.

What do the cameras chosen by the "most accomplished and rigorous photographers" have anything to do with my personal requirements?

The MFT cameras I have are certainly not quiet.
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Old 06-08-2015   #33
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At least the OP can look at and handle several cameras. That option is closed to probably half of us. Unless you live in NY or 3 or 4 other major cities there is just nowhere to handle these cameras. You have to buy sight unseen based on reviews. I finally got a look at a OMD EM-5 after it has been out what, 3 years or so? Totally underwhelmed by the EFV, I guess that is what happens when you are used to a OM-1 viewfinder.
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Old 06-08-2015   #34
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Originally Posted by kkdanamatt View Post
That's a snarky remark.

I'm 72 years old. When I was 20, I used to focus Leicas faster and more accurately than almost anybody else. Now, I miss the mark about half the time. So I can only use my Leica M film cameras with wide-angles and zone focusing outdoors.

I shoot low-light indoor billiard tournaments for an international print magazine and some online websites. I need a silent or almost silent camera with a fast zoom lens for that purpose.

What do the cameras chosen by the "most accomplished and rigorous photographers" have anything to do with my personal requirements?
I had a chance to use the Sony RX10 for a few weeks and thought I would hate it. Quite the opposite, and I'm a diehard DSLR guy (and Leica digital M). It's not going to give you the ultra high ISO performance of a larger sensor (it's 1") and it's a fixed 2.8 24-200 equivalent zoom, so no adapting lenses to it. But it's relatively small and near silent. I didn't shoot a lot of low light indoor stuff with it though, so not sure how it will compare at that. In the same line of thought is the Panasonic FZ1000, though the lens is a stop slower at the long end, but reaches to 400mm equivalent. Otherwise, for silent operation and interchangeable lens options, particularly legacy glass, I'd consider the a7S. I borrowed one for a couple weeks and of the a7 series cameras, liked it the most, though it's equally bad in terms of menu diving, small buttons and dials, etc. Its saving grace IMO was the silent fully electronic shutter. Worked well in most situations. It just doesn't handle fast motion well because it scans the sensor in this mode at about 1/30 second rather than capturing all pixels at the same moment. But I never ran into this problem in 'normal' use. It will work fine with your Nikon lenses, for the most part. Will also be OK with many rangefinder lenses, but my finding was like the other a7 cameras - there are some lenses where there is significant image smearing at the edges. One other drawback of the a7S is price. It's high relative to everything you've looked at and is one of the few Sony cameras that has not come down in price at all since introduction.

Isn't there now a silent electronic shutter function for one or some of the Fuji models after a recent firmware update? Maybe the XT1?

Another consideration is maybe the Samsung NX1, but it's not all that compact. Its sibling, the NX500 won't fit your requirements due to a lack of viewfinder. While it's not silent, from my brief trials compared to a number of CSCs, it's probably one of the most responsive and nearest DSLR performance. If you needed dead silent operation, you could 'simply' shoot 4K video with it and do frame grabs at 8MP resolution (I guess you could do the same with any other 4K capable camera, such as the GH4 or FZ1000). I've seen some frame grabs and they looked very good. Super high ISO performance is OK, but it seems to maybe lag some of the top APS-C and FF cameras by about a stop. A problem here again is price. Body and the 50-150/2.8 will set you back about $3000.

If you can live with 1fps shooting and somewhat older EVF tech, there's also the Ricoh GXR with M mount module. You'll have to find it used, but so far it's the only non-Leica M solution I've found that is decent with pretty much all M glass. The M module also has a silent electronic shutter mode.
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Can't have it back
Old 06-08-2015   #35
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Can't have it back

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i've been thinking about getting an old canon 5d along with their 24 and 40 pancake lenses...
Joe
You can't have the 40 back just yet
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Old 06-08-2015   #36
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Joe
You can't have the 40 back just yet
apparently it won't work on the 5d!
no worries though...i hope you are enjoying it.

i might get an xe2 and hope the firmware upgrade makes it the camera for me...or the xt10, even if it is ugly.
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Old 06-08-2015   #37
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The Canon 40mm is a full frame EF lens, while the 24 is an EF-S lens for crop bodies.
Just in case it's of some use to someone, here's a quick size comparison of the new EF-S 24mm/f2.8 pancake lens on an APS-C camera (should be roughly the same size as the 40mm for full-frame) with the older full-frame EF 24mm/f2.8 lens on a Canon original 5D:


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Old 06-08-2015   #38
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The only "must-have" for me is an eye-level viewfinder, so I eliminated all the other contenders.

Every camera I played with seemed to have at least one short-coming.
So, as much as I want to jump into a new system, I could not pull the trigger.

Do they all have that "annoying viewfinder lag", or noisy shutter, or slow autofocus, or small buffer, or lack of simple controls, or non-traditional menus?

I keep going back to my Nikon DSLR's and my Leica M film systems, which I use for every imaginable shooting situation.
I also sympathize as I was in the same situation for a very long time. My previous forays into digital compacts (including systems) was very negative. Mostly I hated ones without viewfinders and found shutterlag unbearable.

Add to this that while I can afford a system, I really don't want to spend substantial money on a system that I'd end up hating. And most of them are still in price ranges (for a workable minimum kit) well above what I was willing to risk.

Anyway, two things recently pushed me to take the plunge: the size penalty of full-frame DSLRs was just getting too painful in context of lifestyle recently - meaning I just wasn't having fun taking Nikon kit except for things where it is needed - and finding one that was below my (vague internal) cost barrier.

I'd been aware for a while that the OM-D series had advanced to the point where I could probably live with it - particularly response time, it 'feels like a camera.' But prices (to the extent that I was following) also seemed high in case I hated it (I'd hated an early iteration of M4/3).

So what changed was that the EM-10 was introduced at an attractive price point, and with intro of EM-5mII, the original also fell in price. I settled on an EM-10 with kit lens for a bit over US$400. At that price point, losses if I get rid of it are okay.

Overall I'm very happy with it: pictures are good, it handles like a camera, and - key factor - small enough for me that it is a great take-with-me-whenever-I-want camera. It's fun and I take more pictures (whereas I just couldn't with Nikon fullframe kit).

Negatives of note are that the EVF - while acceptable - is far behind an optical viewfinder. I can live with the menus which others hate, although I'm not a fan. It's quiet enough for my purposes.

So my insights:
-EVFs do indeed lag in terms of where the rest of the technology is - but still manageable.
-You're quite right that they all have deficiencies or shortcomings. You can either wait until it gets 'good enough' or compromise - I waited for years but current OM-D is there for me.
-What's the main goal? For me it was size (at acceptable performance on other parameters).
-Price matters. I probably wouldn't have taken the plunge before a basic kit got below $500. The threshold is obviously personal and subjective. Now that I have it I admit I probably would have found OM-D line acceptable at, say, $700-$800, but I didn't know that then. ))
-I don't feel fully committed to m4/3 but confident enough that I'll get plenty of use out of the EM-10 to make it worthwhile. I will want a small, good fixed lens though.
-I am personally not at all ready to move fulltime to mirrorless and get rid of other kit. For me, I think that will take a few generations more - not in terms of image quality but other factors that have already been covered here. THis is subjective of course. BUT: I'm fine with that. My Fullframe kit is for other stuff, m4/3 for general and fun. But I must admit that the range of things for which the FF kit is essential - or trade-off for size not acceptable - is getting quite small. Realistically having both kits is not necessary (but that would hold for much of my herd of cameras, too).

-Side note on EM-5 vs EM-10: I'm glad I have the EM-10 as I find the wifi and a few other features useful - but probably would have been fine with the EM-5 as well. I don't think the difference between them is so enormous, although obviously some will want some features more than others - that's fine.
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Old 06-09-2015   #39
nongfuspring
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In my mind there's only one recommendation; the LX100

Good low light capabilities, zoom lens, leaf shutter. It's essentially a fixed lens M43 camera with an impressive 1.7-2.8 24-75mm equivalent lens. Good at low light, direct, sensible manual controls and an EVF.

IMO silent electronic shutters aren't up to scratch yet since they're only good on stationary subjects, so I think unless you're OK with some noise mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras perhaps aren't quite suited to your needs. EVF lag is overstated and as I have said in another thread a VF is used for framing with; not for panning around wildly camera to eye, EVFs also have distinct advantages over OVFs that are worth the (minor) tradeoff in my experience.

Whichever you end up choosing I'm afraid there will always be a learning curve with the menus. While it might seem illogical and annoying at first, you do get used to it, and much of the reason why every camera brand has at least a couple of different menu systems is that every line has a often dramatically different features. It only seems fair to try and meet it half way.
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Old 06-09-2015   #40
pvdhaar
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There's only one aspect where I find CSCs are still lagging miles behinds DSLRs, and that's the time it takes them to power-up. Even the most basic DSLR is instantly on and ready to take a shot, while my NEX-6 takes anything between 2 to 6 seconds to wake up.. Reason for me to sometimes just pick up an old SLR or DSLR if think I need fast response times.. Also reason for me to just wait it out before upgrading from the NEX-6 to FF, heck, I'm considering not to upgrade the CSC at all and replace the DSLR for a FF instead..

By the way, the start-up time of the NEX depends on a number of factors:
1. SD card size --> 2Gb or less is faster, bigger is slower to start-up..
2. Lens --> manual zoom is faster, power zoom is slower to start-up..
3. Cold-start, warm-start --> Cold start up is faster, power-up immediately after power-off takes forever...
But why in the world does this have to be?? I doubt that these are a fundamentally unsolvable byproduct of the CSC design..
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