Friday Fun: Choose a Mirrorless Camera

January 31, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | 55 Comments | |
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We've got four of the latest flagship compact system cameras in the office at the moment.

Which one would you choose to buy, and why? Let us know in the Comments section.

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#1 Eric Ouellet

- Not the Olympus -> Bad movie
- Not the Fuji -> No Flash
- Not the Sony -> No Flash
- Probably the Panasonic

X-T1 sounds very promising. I think the future will definitively be sensor with phase sensor. But lenses price seems to take tendency to cost a lots (and just a few are available for the moment).

I would wait for something good and fast with fast lenses (35mm equiv. ~100-300 ~f2.8) with good video and an incorporated flash at a good price :-).

3:11 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#2 rolli

The A7 takes the price!

3:12 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#3 Anders

I would choose the X-T1 - best IQ (besides A7r).

Already have a D800 and the A7r will be as hard to get non-blurred images with unless you are very careful.

But otherwise there is no doubt that the A7r is king of IQ.

3:16 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#4 Vesa Vauhkonen

Fujifilm, absolutely. APS-C. Sony: bad IQ. No alternatives.

3:17 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#5 JD Clark

I purchased the Panasonic GX7 new with the 14x42mm
kit lens for $800. Then got the Panasonic 45x150mm
for $180. I am getting great photos. I think that
this camera + lenses would be great for 80% to 90% of photographers at half the price of the others. It
is quick and accurate and will do more much than I

3:25 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#6 Ajendus

If someone was giving them away to me, I'd probably go wih the A7R but since I already have m43 gear, if I was buying, I'd go with the EM1 or GX7.

3:30 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#7 Markus

Choosing a camera is about trade-offs and bias, admit it. Although I prefer a camera with a flash albeit tiny, flash is far less important than it was in film days, so I would not penalize for an external flash. The full frame Sony is tempting until you look at how expensive and few the bulky lenses are. Expense and size do play their parts. What's the rationale. If you are not looking for small, with no price advantage, why go mirrorless at all? All four of these cameras have viewfinders, yay! I hate being outside in the sunshine without a viewfinder. Hmm. The game is small. Small-enough comes Tuesday. Exit the Fuji until Tuesday. The Sony in the Olympus is an excellent sensor. The Panasonic sensor is a tad less marvy, though far superior to last year's. It really comes down to lenses. Wouldn't it be nice if one [small] bag of lenses could walk out the door with either of two cameras? Today, I would go for the Panasonic if I was starting anew, and then spring for the EM-1 later. On the smaller camera, I would start with the M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 prime as well. What a great combination!

3:47 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#8 Dave

Sony for sure. Best IQ.

3:47 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#9 Richard

I guess I would choose none. They all require interchangeable lens, rather than a fixed and prime lens, which increases the challenge to be creative and reduces the reliance on multiple, distracting options.

3:53 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#10 LlocQ

Fuji FTW !! Great sensor size, pretty good lens choices, amazing IQ..

Used to have a M4/3 camera (E-M5)...sold it...

3:55 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#11 yip

The Fuji X-T1. It looks great, handles best with the dedicated knobs for aperture, shutter speed and ISO, best built quality, weather proof, and the biggest viewfinder.

4:02 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#12 Warren Lyons

Picked up a floor sample Sony Alpha 3000 missing only the strap and box for $180.00. Works perfectly with no smudges on sensor or scratches on lens. Try topping that for "Bang for the Buck"

4:04 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#13 earl

As a Panny user with various glass...
GX7- redundant to have two tilty screens, should have had the fully articulated screen or fixed monitor.
AR7- poor lens selection and FF just more than I'd ever need.
Omd- very nice but high price, poor menu.
XT-1 and Omd could have had popup flash for quick fill.
XT-1- My choice for looks, size, value and especially jpegs and glass.

4:06 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#14 Mumbly

I would choose the GX7, because I've always wanted a camera that doesn't look like a conventional (D)SLR but offers the same possibilities in terms of system accessories (lenses, flash units, etc.) and functionality. The GX7 is the perfect camera to me, as its autofocus is performant enough for my needs, its EVF is tiltable (I really like some low shooting angles), it has an exposure preview function and a wireless flash feature. I hope I'll be able to buy this really cool camera very soon (hopefully this year) and am looking forward to make some awesome pictures with it — along with the adequate lenses I plan to acquire succeedingly (Olympus 9-18mm, Olympus 40-150/f2.8 and some macro lens)...

4:12 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#15 ct529

XT1 without a doubt.

4:21 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#16 Alex

I'd be torn between the A7r and the X-T1. The head says the Sony, the heart says the Fuji. I just have a sneaking suspicion I'd enjoy shooting the Fuji more. (I own a Fuji X100s and a Sony RX100, and the RX100 just doesn't make me want to take pictures for some reason.)

4:23 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#17 Grey

If people pick anything other than the A7 / A7R then they are insane

4:33 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#18 Alfredo

A weeks ago I had say Oly... but now Fuji... no dubt

4:50 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#19 Patou

1st Fuji - great build and performance from DX sized sensor in very compact body. Backed up by brilliant lenses and customer supporting company.
2nd Olympus - very close to Fuji in all respects, except possibly in overall picture quality, where 4/3 sensor probably loses out to larger DX sensor
3rd Sony - great concept currently let down by lack of compatible lenses and apparent scatter gun approach to marketing strategy.
4th Panasonic - don't currently know enough about this camera, but based upon other products from Panasonic can't match innovation and quality of other 4/3rd sensor cameras made by Olympus.
If I was starting from scratch would consider either 1 or 2 above, as an alternative to my D7100, although I would miss the fast auto focusing and ovf.

4:58 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#20 Kurnia

Sony A7/A7R, never look on other brand, reason is quite simple, I was and still using Minolta SR-1S and own an SLT with several lenses and all full frame capable so I only need an adapter for E-mount.

5:16 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#21 Nickspur

I've got the Sony A7 and I wouldn't have any of the others. I've been through m4/3 but I would need to start again with lenses. I have Fujifilm X-E1 and X-E2 and I would not get the X-T1 primarily because the ISO selector is in the wrong place and has a lock on it and this would drive me mad. Besides I don't like the look of it and it has the same guts as the X-e2. If the X-E2 comes down in price I might trade in my X-E1 for another X-E2 which for me is the perfect camera but the Sony A7 is wonderful for my manual lenses.

5:52 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#22 John Franco

Fuji by far. Great IQ, great lenses and fantastic, intuitive ergonomics.

6:06 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#23 Chris

I would buy the Fuji.

It looks really nice, like my Contax RTSIII.
The lenses are excellent.
I like fuji colour (having owned the S5 Pro, X100 and XF-1).

That's my criteria in a nutshell.

6:10 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#24 jason

a7r. low noise and legacy glass support killer features for me.

6:14 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#25 Chris

I prefer the Fuji XT1, cannot resist the temptation, so I have made pre-order already. I have the X Pro1 already, IQ is incredible, I have the D600 too, hard to find big IQ between the D600 & X Pro1.

6:22 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#26 Floyd Summerhayes

I think they are all superb cameras in there own right, we are fortunate to live at a time where there are few poor cameras. I think I would choose the Olympus because of the range of lenses and features makes it the most rounded and versatile system.

6:44 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#27 mjw

A7 all the way! can't beat full-frame.

7:30 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#28 Andreas Manessinger

Well, I have the E-M1 :)

8:39 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#29 Edwaste

All of them are excellent. Since I already have Zuiko lenses and I like the reliability of Olympus cameras, I'll take the OMD EM1. The EM5's IQ has never disappointed me. I'm sure the EM1's improved ergonomics and rugged build would be a welcome upgrade.

8:51 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#30 Andreas Manessinger

Fact is I had the E-M5 and before that the Nikon D300 and the E-P2. While the D300 already was "good enough", the E-P2 was not. The E-M5 in turn was at least on par with the D300 or slightly better, but feature-wise and in terms of size/weight it was a big improvement. The E-M1 does not add much image quality, but the EVF is incredibly good, ergonomics are better and ... well, you just have to hold it :)

When I made the decision for MFT, Fuji had all sorts of problems, for instance with AF, and the lens lineup was meager and expensive. Today I'd probably consider the Fuji, though I guess because of size/weight of the lenses I'd still decide for the E-M1. And don't forget: the E-M1 is the pinnacle of an entirely mature line of cameras. There is nothing that I miss, and what is there is flawless. It's the most perfect camera that I've ever seen.

9:02 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#31 Jess Demant

I bought GX7 for a while ago and are just so happy with it, so my choice is clear ......

9:10 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#32 Arnold Miller

I have an EM-5 that gets fine results with an old Pany 14-45 (best of the kit lenses), but I lust for the higher ISO capability of the a7r as well as the fantastic sensor performance. Almost all my keeper shots have been between 28 and 80mm, so the new Sony 24-70 should fit the bill nicely for the landscapes I shoot. I will keep my Oly equipment for its versatility, but the a7r will help me take things to the next level.

10:02 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#33 Vivian

Fuji XT 1

10:03 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#34 Steve

XT1 or EM1 cos Sony FF lens choice. Probably EM1 cos of Oly/Pany lens choice.

2:34 am - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#35 a guy

Fuji X-T1 for me. Love the controls, best EVF, design, IQ and good lenses.

But they're all nice cameras.

4:41 am - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#36 indysteve

5:00 am - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#37 alpcns

Fuji, without a doubt. A GX-7 as a light carry around camera with some nice primes.

7:43 am - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#38 zenon . zen . billings

have the GX7 since oct. 2013. like small size especially when used with 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens. this lens is unbelievable for its versatility and sharpness. possibly the most under recognized lens out there, makes an powerful combination with the GX7 body and its not expensive compared to other top quality lenses.

8:06 am - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#39 Jim

I have GH3 and E-M1 so this is easy, for still shots: Olympus E-M1. Best lens option, best stabiliser and best look (to me at least). I like Sony body but down side is all good lens are big and heavy. I will never buy a Fuji because it's never giving me the right feeling, even though the image quality is good.

11:46 am - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#40 MY

I have the E-M1, but just preordered the Fuji.

4:09 pm - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#41 wyoming

the panasonic, because is the smallest

5:19 pm - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#42 Ribo Raicevic

The best choice is the Panasonic GX7!

5:39 pm - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#43 BM

For the size advantage (sorry Sony), IQ, great viewfinder and choice of lens, Olympus E-M1

7:31 pm - Saturday, February 1, 2014

#44 sony user

I want the fuji cause it's gonna be camera of year '14 by miles unless A8 comes w/ibis.

3:56 am - Sunday, February 2, 2014

#45 ML Photo

Fuji XT1.
Hands down the best choice for serious photographer.
Sony would be the second distant choice but it doesn't come close when it boils down to ergonomics, vibrancy of the sensor, lens selection and ... duh... price.
Everything else shouldn't even be on the contender list.

3:05 pm - Sunday, February 2, 2014

#46 KK

The E-M1 for me. I've been to a few different sites and used various comparometers, and honestly, if you're shooting at ISO 1600 or lower, there's very little difference between these cameras except for DOF. They all take great pictures.

7:06 pm - Sunday, February 2, 2014

#47 DSLR Cameras Review

All of them are great! It is up for the users which mirrorless camera they prefer. I love the The Nikon 1 AW1 though. I am always in the water and I want to shoot while snorkeling, rafting, skiing, or just splashing about in the water. So, this is great for my water activity.

6:03 am - Monday, February 3, 2014

#48 Paul

Fortunately I held them all in my hands last days...

For me it would be definetely the E-M1 for some reasons.
* Amount of lenses you can choose from
* more accessory
* good In-body SR
* dust and splash proof
* external control-layout and
* high degree of customization
* fast AF

All of them have good sensors, are built sturdily and have at least good EVFs if not class leading ones. But the differences are off delivering pure image quality. I always look for lenses which suit me best in capturing portraits like (FF equivalents) 35, 50, 85, 135mm and maybe some zooms like 24-70 and a long zoom for some seldom needs. All of them I can get from the mFT-system: 17/1.8, 25/1.4 (soon also as 25/1.8 available), 45/1.8, 75/1.8, 12-40/2.8 and 75-300 or 40-150. They maybe don't match exactly the equivalent focal lengths but nearly do so and they are all of good quality. The only teardown is the 4:3 ratio. I like it a lot but you can't let them print everywhere in the size you want. 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1 is much more common (unfortunately).

Why I do not even think of the others:
* AF
* handling (working with wheels and buttons on that camera is really no joy)
* lens selection (at least these days)

* lens selection
* AF
* price

* not that good EVF
* bad implemented IBIS
* tiny bit too small for serious work (gripwise)

So far!

8:27 am - Monday, February 3, 2014

#49 Mark Hillyer

The Fuji without a moments hesitation. I already use XPro1's as part of my wedding kit. Not having a flash is a small setback, but is mitigated by the camera's low light performance. Besides, I normally use off the camera flash if i need it anyway, so fire it from a radio trigger on the hotshoe. The XPro is a brilliant piece of kit, If the new one is as good and weatherproof, it's the winner for me hands down.

9:52 am - Monday, February 3, 2014

#50 Jaime

From the time I got my Sony A7 with the kit 28-70 there is nothing else for me. I am the happiest man in the world. I do travel and architectural photography for demanding clients, and have the usual arsenal of Nikons D800 and D600 and Canon 5DIII. Those are fine but gathering dust in my closet. Those cameras are clumsy compared, and have designs that belong to another era. The lightness and ergonomics of the A7 are fantastic. I feel more productive with the far easier handling of it. The shots are unbelievably sharp. The colors are right on, indoors and out (Fuji skies come out cyan, not the perfect color of Sony). The proof of the pudding is that my clients are happy with the shots and keep me traveling with new assignments. I am definitely getting the A7r when the right lenses for it appear.

10:42 am - Monday, February 3, 2014

#51 Craig Arnold

Just went through this, and actually bought the A7R.

It has a small selection of lenses, but they are absolute crackers. Just need a good compact wide angle and I'm done.

The Fuji and Olympus would have given me equivalent quality to my (now traded-in 5DMkII), but the Sony & Zeiss combo is a huge step up.

It's an adjustment after many years of Canon ownership, but the prints are astonishing.

11:04 am - Monday, February 3, 2014

#52 Anaxagoras

It baffles me why Sony, Olympus and Fuji have put a pentaprism housing atop their cameras when there is no pentaprism.

Surely the whole point of mirror-less cameras is to get rid of the mirror and pentaprism to make them less bulky than dSLRs?

So if these are the only cameras on offer in this Friday Fun, I guess it would have to be the Panasonic.

1:34 pm - Monday, February 3, 2014

#53 radissimo


great value for FF camera with fantastic dynamic range and ISO + I can use heaps of old legacy lenses without problems!
Lovin' it

1:48 pm - Monday, February 3, 2014

#54 Androo

Either the Olympus or the Fuji. Olympus for 5-axis stabiliser and great choice of really compact lenses, Fuji for IQ and greater depth of field options. Difficult one to call.
The Panasonic looks a bit cheap and toy-like alongside the others (unfair I know), and the Sony is just too much for my needs and requires a tripod to get the best out of it.

2:27 pm - Monday, February 3, 2014

#55 Liam O'Donohue

The Sony is too small and light relative to its lenses, has too small a battery and a poor selection of lenses at present. The Panasonic is not weather and dust sealed. The Fuji looks good, but only has one weather sealed lens at present. The Olympus is the most complete camera and sysyem right now of the four.

11:56 pm - Tuesday, February 11, 2014