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Mirrorless 4/3 4/3rds camera vs. DSLR for 2021

Dao

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Ive been using a Nikon D5100 w/ a zoom & stnd lens kit , bought at Costco back in 2011.
I don't know all the nuances w/ fstops, etc... I put it in auto mode or sports mode when shooting my son playing lacrosse.

I was on a trip where someone showed me his mirrorless, a panasonic, iirc.
i think this is what i want to get next. I don't know much about mirrorless, except I want it rugged enough to survive ADV'ing in my tank bag, with plenty of zoom for taking pics of, say eagles flying in out of canyons, capture more color and depth with mountain regions, and night pics that shows the stars when we're camping in remote areas. Am i asking too much, ie, a unicorn ?

Anyone know what mirrorless i should look at in the $500-$800 range, or should i be bumping it up to $1000-1200? I don't mind going with another brand as I've already had Nikon, and i like some features of it, but im not sure if nikon is the one in a mirrorless.

thx
 
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I'd bump up to your second range and plan on what you'll spend on glass for it. I have a Sony which is a pretty good competitor in the mirrorless range and have been pretty happy with it. It packs small and based on what I've seen from others, it takes fantastic photos. I'm still working on getting pretty good photos out of it but that's not the fault with the camera. I got mine used for just under your lower price range and it was already an older model when I got it, but as already stated, it's a better camera than I am a photographer.
 
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twtex85

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Very few offerings of mirrorless cameras in the $500-$800 range. If you go to the $1000-$1200 range you have several options for bodies with lenses. Sony, Canon, Nikon and Fuji. Just something for you to think about instead of going mirrorless you could just opt to spend the money on a new zoom lens and tripod for your current camera or consider buying a second hand full frame SLR and a zoom lens. Both options would allow you to do what you want to do. A full frame SLR will give you better low light performance than what the 5100 has since the sensor is bigger. The big advantage to mirrorless cameras is that the bodies are smaller. Check out KEH camera if you are interested in looking at used gear. They guarantee what they sale and you can pick up some bargains especially if you are looking at used SLR's.
Good luck with you search
 

Jeff S

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I'm firmly in the Oly mirrorless camp and there are plenty of options (for bodies) there below $1000. One trick is buying one generation old.

A good tank-bag, single lens setup might be

Camera: E-PL9 (one gen old) for $500
Lens: 14-150mm zoom for $600

Neither of those are very fancy, but they'll be all you need in a tankbag setup. If you wanna save a little more dough, get an older, used camera body from KEH.
 

Tracker

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my 2 cents. focus on glass. camera body's don't matter as much, and don't make the photographer. Understanding what makes art, lighting and composition then glass and body's a distant third. People make great art with smartphones. Glass and bodies let you play better in the extremes, and when you print that 80x60 wall poster and need the extra pixels.
 
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Sold all my DSLR stuff. I just wasn't shooting as much as I use too. I replaced it with a Sony RX10 3rd gen. and a Sony RX1 2nd. gen. Both are full frame.
I took the RX10 last night for the fireworks show at the lake. It did ok. Of course my Pixel phone did ok too. I would have to work for some action shots but overall, they both do what I need them to do. We took a Vacay in Dec. to Missouri and Vegas in April. Again, both cameras did what I needed them too.

That said, I kinda miss my Panasonic Lumix digital PnS. If you go mirrorless, give Panasonic a look. They were one of the pioneers in mirrorless cameras
 

DFW_Warrior

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If you are happy with the kit lenses that came with the 5100 then you will be happy with the lenses that come with the m4/3'rds cameras. If you want really good glass, then you will have to pay quite a bit more to get it in that format over buying in a more traditional Nikon/Canon dslr format.
 
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my 2 cents. focus on glass. camera body's don't matter as much, and don't make the photographer. Understanding what makes art, lighting and composition then glass and body's a distant third. People make great art with smartphones. Glass and bodies let you play better in the extremes, and when you print that 80x60 wall poster and need the extra pixels.
Precisely. Photo-graphy = drawing with light.

My son likes to take pics of his car and other things, and I've been indoctrinating him into doing the thinking before clicking the shutter - focusing on Lighting & Composition, instead of spending umpteen hours post-processing on mediocre shots. The camera is just a tool. The photographer's noodles are what take the picture. In the old days, students were taught to go out with a manual 35mm SLR and a 50mm lens. Great photographs - and much enjoyment - can be gotten with such simple tools. Most cellphones these days are far more powerful in comparison.

I still have my Pentax K7, and I routinely take pics with the same K-mount prime lenses I used 30+yrs ago. These days though, it is mostly a studio camera. I don't bother lugging the big gun with me on trips, preferring my cellphone because it is always there on my hip. I thought about replacing the now decade old DSLR, but for studio photography, I shoot exclusively in manual mode and rarely use any of the fancy features, so... what exactly would I gain by replacing it with the latest & greatest?

If I really must spend money on gear, it would be on glass. Or maybe some lighting equipment.
 

Dao

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Thx guys for all the good feedback on this .
SOme of you got me thinking out the box now.

here's what i want out of my camera to do on my next big adv ride...

i took this view on my samsung A71 5g cellphone w/ 4 lenses built in.
20210316-170629.jpg


vs. this pic my buddy took w/ his 4/3rd....
i-J5s-FPrw-X2.jpg


i want my pics , at the very least, to look like his.... w/ hope i can do better w/ more clarity on mountain range towards the horizon, (not washed out....
and it's got to be rugged enough to survive getting thrown around going up/down stuff like this...

edit:
also, can i use my d5100 18-55 and 55-300 lens on a mirrorless body? i see the diameters are different, but perhaps a plate adapter can mate the two ?
 
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Tracker

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Post processing on both images? How and what? Can you post original image info, EG size, pixels? Just wondering where the actual differences came into play. Are you shooting at the highest res your smartphone will shoot at?
 

Dao

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no post processing, at least not w/ my phone pic, which was shot at 4624 x 2604, 12mp (max. size)
 

DFW_Warrior

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Get Lightroom and run your cell phone photos through that and yours will looks pretty darn similar to his.
 
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I am still honestly amazed at how great some of the phones can be. I am on the Pixel 4A and it takes amazing pics for a phone. I agree with Bill, a lil' post processing will do wonders. I think the pics look pretty similar as is but I was never one to have a discerning eye. A big reason I went with the 2 cameras I did were both have a full frame sensor. Considering the size of the Sony RX100, that is pretty impressive.

Someone here bought my Lumix (can't remember who maybe they will chime in) but I have about 10 16x20 and 20X24 canvas prints from our Israel trip and they came out pretty nice and that was with the Lumix that didn't have a full frame sensor.
 
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There are many ways to "see it." Photo Graphis or light writing. Or photo graphos or of light I write. Or drawing with light. Any way you look at it ,it"s all about the light. The camera is just a light tight box used to capture the light.
My 2 cents worth.
TG
 
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