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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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Which body for a mirror-less shooting platform for classic lenses?
Old 11-01-2012   #1
drewbarb
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Which body for a mirror-less shooting platform for classic lenses?

Alright- I'm looking for a new camera. I want a small interchangeable lens digital body I can use with my classic lenses, so I'm looking at mirrorless/CSC bodies. I think I've pretty much narrowed my choices down to either a Sony Nex 6 or the Fuji XE-1, and here's why: first, I want the largest sensor I can reasonably get, to minimize the crop factor with my old lenses. Until FF is an option, I think I'm looking at APS-C-ish cameras. I want to keep shooting as I always have- mostly manual and aperture priority, and of course manual focusing with old lenses; some kind of finder option besides the rear screen is a must, so a good EVF (integrated or add-on, though I lean to integrated for simplicity's sake) will be nice. I'd like a real ISO hotshoe, too, so I can use optical finders and remote flash. Raw shooting and at least decent high ISO are also very important, as will be easy access to ISO and WB- though I assume these can be easy with most bodies out there these days.

I gather this wish list is pretty common to a lot of you; so I ask you- what would you get and why? Are there other bodies I should be looking at? I'm willing to be sold on other options if there's good reason- even going with a smaller sensor if someone can make a really compelling argument (though I am dubious of this, since the excessive crop from so many of my nice lenses is not appealing). I'd love to hear your thoughts
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Old 11-01-2012   #2
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xe-1. seriously.
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Old 11-01-2012   #3
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I would seriously consider the aging Roicoh GXR as it has still the best cover performance with wide angle lenses - or the XE-1 which probably needs a bit more time to see how it performs.
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Old 11-01-2012   #4
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I had an NEX-5n briefly, and focus peaking made it a breeze to manually focus. I'm holding out for a full frame NEX before I take the plunge. Until then, I"m good with the X00 and my MP.
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Old 11-01-2012   #5
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I think there are a number of threads discussing this same question, in one form or other, already.

But if you want my two cents? X-E1
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Old 11-01-2012   #6
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I have not used the Fuji; I have no opinion of it.

I have not used the NEX-6, but I did get a chance to put a NEX-5n through its paces this weekend. The image quality is great, it's not up to the M9 or 5Dmkii (but its on par or better than a Canon 7D). The built in flash does a fine job for filling in shadows (at reasonable distances). The tilt LCD screen is insanely handy, to the point any future camera I get will have it. However (and this is a deal breaker for me), the controls are horrible; the menu is down right deplorable. It's difficult to see how any manufacturer can do worse! I hear the NEX-6, uses a different menu system (which can only be an improvement). The Fuji is supposed to be photographer friendly, in other words the ergonomics and menu structure is supposedly far superior to the NEX series.
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Old 11-01-2012   #7
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I am in the same quandry myself and had almost decided on a Nex when I found out how expensive the EVF was...so now I am back looking at the M8...
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Old 11-01-2012   #8
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This question has spawned thread after thread on every forum I can think of in recent months. Here's my summary:

- the Ricoh GXR fitted with A12 Camera Mount does the best job with the broadest range of RF lens designs.
- the Sony NEX 5n is the next contender.
- after those by a little ways are the NEX 7 and Micro-FouthThirds
- the Fuji XPro1 and XE1 are a little better and worse than the other NEX and mFT: the sensor should do a little better, but the raw files are harder to process properly.

I chose the GXR and find it a very good complement to the M9, which I acquired later.

I had a Panasonic G1 before that and found it was wonderful with adapted SLR lenses, and good with some RF lenses. For most wides though it was best to stick with mFT or FT SLR lenses.
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Old 11-01-2012   #9
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Another consideration should be how well a company is listening to their customers and how well it responds if there is a difficulty with the product.
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Old 11-01-2012   #10
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What are "classic lenses" to you - I don't want to assume you mean rangefinder or only rangefinder lenses.

If all are M mount or LTM adapted to M, the Ricoh GXR with Mount A12 is a compelling option, delivering the best edge to edge image quality regardless of which M/LTM lens you put up front. It also happens to be a superb camera from a construction and handling perspective.

Here are some comments I wrote on the GXR in a similar thread:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...86#post1976686

That thread has other ideas you ought to look at too.

If all are SLR lenses, probably the NEX-7 or NEX-6 or Fujifilm X-E1 or X-Pro 1 are better options. Myself I'd be tempted to go for max pixels and choose the 24MP NEX-7 in that case.

If shooting a mixture, probably I'd pick the NEX-6, because it offers a) focus peaking and b) is fully supported, today, by Lightroom and ACR. But as Fujiflm will get ACR / Lightroom support right with Adobe eventually, peaking is the real reason... I won't buy an electronic finder camera intended mostly for manual focus lenses unless it offers focus peaking. If I were using mostly AF lenses, then sure, the Fujifilm X cameras are of great interest to me.

PS: Ricoh's focus peaking I prefer over Sony's but I've not used peaking on any Sony other than the NEX-5N. Sony's viewfinder is far superior and this helps with focus in lower light situations.
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Old 11-01-2012   #11
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I pre-ordered the NEX6 to replace my NEX5. My intended use:
  • Lightweight travel alternative to my D700 and suite of f2.8 lenses
  • Complement to ZI (I travel with film and digi bodies)
  • Digital back for M (using the Hawk focusing helicoid that I already have) and F (using adapter that I already have) lenses
  • Focus peaking
  • Flip LCD - yes, I use this a lot
  • Video (on occasion)
  • Wi-fi capabilities (does the XE-1 have wi-fi functionality?
  • Slightly less expensive.
Anecdotally, people say that IQ from the XE-1 is better, but is that "real-world" difference? Fuji lens roadmap is better.

In any case, I don't think you could go wrong with either.
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Old 11-01-2012   #12
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Thanks for being patient with this question- I know the topic has been done to death. I know, too, that the two cameras I am most interested in right now are not really in the hands of anyone yet, so it's tough to compare their relative merits; but I was hoping for some of the sorts of insights I do see above, like the thoughts about 3rd party software support (Adobe...) and how the makers seem to be taking feedback. I got to handle both of these cameras last weekend at the Photoplus Expo in NYC, and they both feel like decent tools to work with- nice size and feel, etc. The Fuji control layout looked nicer, but the NEX6 felt pretty good in the hand, really.

I was about set on the Sony NEX 5n a while back, but the lack of standard shoe irked me, and the separate EVF was a drawback, too. But the NEX 6 answers both of those issues. But the points mentioned above and elsewhere in Fuji's favor are not lost on me either- nor is the fact that Fuji is clearly more dedicated to photography and photographers where Sony is dedicated to nice electronics and gadgets ... decisions decisions.

Finally, as for the "classic lenses" I'd like to use, I have an embarrassingly large and eclectic range of glass. Primarily I want to use Leica M and LTM mount lenses, and also NIkon F- though I also have a few other gems in a host of other mounts, from Exacta and M42 to Canon FD and Olympus. I don't intend to use all of these regularly, but I'm looking for a platform to use with as much flexibility as possible, and mirrorless/CSC cameras really should shine in this regard.

Anyway, I appreciate your contributions. Some good points to inform a decision have already been made above; I look forward to reading more.
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Old 11-01-2012   #13
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My choice was the Ricoh GXR. It's currently in the mail.

I chose it because of the absence of an anti-aliasing filter, which adds to sharpness. Also, it makes items that are in focus blink on the LCD or in the EVF so you can easily see where sharpness is while focusing.

For a few weeks only I was the owner of a Ricoh GRD v1 and loved it. I'm hoping to be able to get the Tri-X look from the GXR and my Summiluxes as well. My GXR will complement two Leica M bodies.

EDIT: The GXR has a swiveling EVF and I can use it like I used my Rolleiflexes, focusing from the top. Looking forward to that too.
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Old 11-01-2012   #14
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I like the focus peaking on my nex 5n a lot, but it's not perfect–if you want to be super critical you'll need to use the zoom. But for shooting on the fly I find it quite nice.

The external evf is clunky to get on and off, but it has the advantage that it tilts; this, like the tiltable screen, is really great. I find myself using the evf at a 45-60 degree angle most of the time, rather than straight on, or often using the camera at a lower angle, looking at the lcd.
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Old 11-01-2012   #15
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1. Ricoh GXR.
2. Sony Nex 6.
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Old 11-01-2012   #16
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Having had (still) the Nex-5N and now the Nex-6 - I can only say that they fit the bill very well for using my Leica M/LTM and Olympus Zuiko lenses. The Nex-6 however, has way way better handling (in the hand, viewfinder, menus, etc) than the 5N but that's just MO. Not sure yet whether the 6 is as good as the 5N with extreme wides
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Old 11-01-2012   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewbarb View Post
Thanks for being patient with this question- I know the topic has been done to death.
Primarily I want to use Leica M and LTM mount lenses, and also NIkon F- though I also have a few other gems in a host of other mounts, from Exacta and M42 to Canon FD and Olympus. I don't intend to use all of these regularly, but I'm looking for a platform to use with as much flexibility as possible, and mirrorless/CSC cameras really should shine in this regard.
It`s been a useful thread for me as I`ve been thinking along the same lines.
My priority though would be an alternative digital option for my Pentax K / M42 and Contax Yashica lenses although it`d would be interesting to have an M mount option too.
I already have a GRD so the GDR looks interesting.
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Old 11-01-2012   #18
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Wait, you have a NEX-6 already? I thought they would not ship until later this month?
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Old 11-01-2012   #19
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About two years ago, I got a Nex-3, intending it as a platform to shoot my M-Lenses. At the time there was no body-only option, so I had to get the Nex-3 + 16mm kit.

But even though manual focus using peaking is a breeze, I found I tended to use the 16mm AF lens more than the M-Lenses. Not only is the 16 a pretty decent lens IQ-wise, it fits the Nex as a glove when it comes to ease of use (AF accuracy and speed, AE).

Lesson learned? Even if you plan to mostly use a CSC with legacy glass, really do consider the whole lens line-up of the system, as you may over time need/want some of the automation provided.
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Old 11-02-2012   #20
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Came from the Minolta CLE with its 3 Leica-M Mount lenses (28+- 40 + 90mm).

Then played with a NEX-5 (not 5N!) and wasn't really satisfied - I missed a viewfinder that much. So got the NEX-7 and got bothered with a lot of things. The camera wasn't right for me.

Now I have the X-E1 with 18 + 35 Fuji lenses. I love the Fuji so far, but as the RAWs aren't 100% supported yet, hope for better support. I'm still waiting for my M adapter. But, seriously, I like those Fuji lenses so much and know that a lot of RF lenses have the corner smearing issue with it.
I think I'll keep the X-E1 as it gives me a lot of fun working with. If my RF lenses won't work the way I like, I may sell the RF stuff and concentrate on a single system.

I think the GXR gives the best performance with M lenses. NEX-6 will be great too, if you like the UI.

The Fuji is a class of its own. It works fine with some lenses. If you wanna know which, better wait a few month...
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Old 11-02-2012   #21
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A little story:
I was looking for a Voigtländer Heliar 15mm for my Ricoh GXR. On eBay I didnt find one with a price tag I like and so I started this night a call on the biggest German photo forum, dslr-forum.de .
In the first twenty minutes I received two offers. Both are used lenses with original papers from this summer. Both are from owners of Fuji X-E1. Both told me that the results with there new cameras were horrible because color smearing and no sharpness under f8...
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Old 11-05-2012   #22
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Well I am still undecided but there is a glimmer of hope that I may make a decision sometime...I must have an EVF

The NEX-5n is great and cheap but becomes very expensive with EVF
The NEX-7 is expensive and I don't need that many pixels
The Ricoh is obviously the enthusiasts camera and said to be the best in terms of absolute results and focussing ability but it is expensive and getting quite hefty with EVF (which is apparently not as good as Sony).

So I wait for the NEX-6 which seems like the appropriate compromise....in the meantime there is plenty of film in the fridge.
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Old 11-05-2012   #23
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If SLR lenses are important to you, I'd be looking at one of the newer FF options from either Canon or Nikon (or Sony, which is pricier, but has the EVF, which may suit you better for focusing with peaking etc).

They are not cheap camera, but they're not crazy money either. If your priority is M/LTM glass though, forget the DSLRs.
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Old 11-05-2012   #24
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Sorry, should have mentioned that my priorities are M/LTM lenses. Although I do have some R stuff it is simply too big so is likely to be sold in time.
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Old 05-03-2013   #25
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Mirrorless shooting platform for classic lenses?

Any updates to this thread from last fall?

In my case, I'm interested in practical shooting with lenses in these mounts:
- Contax/Yashica
- Olympus OM
- Nikon F mount

Looking for the most practical manual focus, and from reading here and elsewhere, it sound like focus-peaking on the Nex 5n is pretty good. I'm ready to work without EVF.
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