Digital Photography/Selection of good compact digital camera
QUESTION: Dear Vipin Sir,
I am a civil engineer and photography is my hobby. I have used Canon 500D, 7D, Nikon D90, 300s, 7000 and 7100. Recently, I bought Sony A77. I like Sony A77 too much. To my mind theses cameras of Canon and Nikon are nowhere as compared to Sony A77. In auto mode, the amount of flash is very optimum, colour tone is the best and natural, focus is very fast and very accurate. I have gone through some very good reviews regarding Nikon D7100, but, after using it for about 15 days, I found nothing special in this camera over Nikon D7000, rather, the autofocus of this camera is not very accurate. I have already used Nikon D90 and D7000, therefore, there might be no issue of proper handling the camera. Kindly provide your comments regarding my experience with Nikon D7100. My first question is that why Sony Cameras are not so popular as Canon and Nikon are.
My second question is that I want to purchase a very good compact camera. I want your views about Fujifilm x100S, XE1 and recently introduced XE2, olympus OMD EM1, OMD EM5, Sony NEX 6 and 7. After going through various reviews, I understand that Fujifilm cameras have better colour tone as well as overall picture quality, but, suffer from poor autofocus. Ofcourse, the company is claiming best auto focus speed for its newly introduced XE1. Olympus cameras have five axis image stabilisation, very fast and accurate autofocus, but, as per some reviews, Olympus is using old model sensors in their cameras. Sony is also introducing full frame compact cameras Alpha 7 and Alpha 7R. Will newly introduced Sony compact full frame cameras i.e. Alpha 7/7R definitely better than above fujifilm cameras with APS-C and Olympus with Micro Four Third sensors. Should I wait for Sony Alpha 7/7R. Kindly advise me to select the best compact camera.
You are amazingly informed in terms of the camera models, their features and performance. The best part is that you are not driven by brands, but by quality and performance.
To answer your first question, traditionally, Nikon & Canon have been the film SLR leaders, though Minolta (now acquired by Sony), Pentax etc. were also somewhat popular in the market. With the advent of Digital SLRs, the same perception was carried forward and people thought that traditional SLR companies would be better by default. It was only a few years back that Sony introduced the revolutionary SLT technology and the mirrorless NEX some time later. The initial models, though good, were nothing to write home about. The latest range of SLTs & NEX are ground breaking, but will take some time to be accepted. Perceptions change over a period of time, which will be the case with Sony, in an year or so.
To answer your second question, i have personally operated the A7 & A7r and they are mind boggling piece of technology. The diminutive dimensions, despite housing a full frame sensor, is a technological marvel. It would not be fair to compare the A7 & A7r to any of these models, as it outperforms the Nikon 5D Mark III & Nikon D800. Though the Fujifilm models are pretty good, they are not as amazing as the Olympus or the Sony. The lens range is lack luster in Fujifilm as well.
The Olympus OMD EM5 is the pick of the lot for me, which despite having a small sensor, reproduces exceptional details in a good looking body. The problem is that it is nowhere close to the A7 & A7r in terms of detailing, Dynamic Range etc., and with Sony charging hardly any premium over the OMD EM5, the Sony is a steal. If budget is a constraint, i would suggest the NEX6, which offers the best quality despite a reasonable price. If you are willing to spend the extra money, the A7 would offer studio quality in an amazingly small body, for a relative bargain of a price.
Please feel free to get in touch for any further questions.
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QUESTION: Firstly, I am really thankful to you for such a nice reply based on technical facts. Sir, I have gone through the reviews of Sony A7, A7R and Olympus OMD EM1. It is fact that A7 & A7R are full frame sensor cameras and OMD EM1 is with 4/3 sensor. Therefore, in terms detailing, dynamic range and low light capability, A7 & A7R are definitely better than OMD EM1. But as per reviews, the focus speed and accuracy of A7/A7R is somewhat slower than OMD EM1. Rather, as per reviews, the focus speed of OMD EM1 is amazingly fast.As I have already mentioned that as per reviews, Nikon D7100 is an excellent camera, but, for me, there in nothing excellent in this camera. In spite of 51 focus points, the focus accuracy is very bad. So, the reviews may also be biased as per brand name. I have not used A7/A7R and OMD EM1. Besides, the good detailing, dynamic range and low light capability, focus speed and accuracy is also very important. Ofcourse,focus speed may be slow but accuracy is must. As per advertisement by Sony, A7 have hybrid AF system consisting of phase detection as well as contrast detection, where as, A7R has only contrast detection AF. So, what are the actual facts for practical use and how much reliable are theses technologies for different shooting conditions.
In view of above, I again humbly request you to kindly advise to choose the best camera among A7, A7R and OMD EM1.
Thanks & regards.
I haven't tested the Sony A7 & A7r fully to compare the focus speeds of Sony & Olympus, though my initial perception of the A7 was that it is slower than the NEX6 even.
The Olympus OMD EM1 with the Zuiko 12-50 costs around Rs.1.20 lakh, as against the OMD EM5 which is priced at around Rs.65000. Agreed the screen & EVF resolution is higher, there is the 5 axis stabilization etc., but none enough to justify twice the price. In case you have to, the OMD EM5 would be a better choice, considering it is much smaller a body, which was your primary concern.
The OMD EM5 is definitely a better overall product than any other DSLR at that price point, not to mention the good looking compact body.
In conclusion, the OMD EM5 would be my choice if focus speed is the priority and you have to use the camera as an everyday shooting tool. The Image quality is only second to the Sony A7, whose AF speed though definitely slower, might still be bettered by a firmware upgrade in the future. As on date, the OMD EM5 is a steal at the given price, considering the obscenely price OMD EM1.
Hope i have been able to clear your doubts. Please do write in again if you need more clarity.
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QUESTION: Sir, thank you for very quick reply.Sir,as I have already mentioned that I have used Canon 500D, 7D, Nikon D90, 300s, 7000 and 7100. I am very crazy about the quality of photographs produced by a camera.I have not found any of above said camera perfect except Sony A77 which I found to meet my expectations to much extent. Sir, I want to know when you will test A7 or A7R in detail. I can spend money to get quality but I do not want to waste money for trying a camera and then selling at reduced cost if found not meeting to my expectations. I have already lost a considerable money for buying above mentioned cameras and selling them at reduced cost, as they were good for only specifications on paper.
So, I think that I shall take decision regarding selection of camera after you test A7 or A7R in detail and advise me accordingly.
I shall be highly obliged if you could help me regarding above matter.
I am glad to be able to help you in your decision making process. I will definitely let you know more about the A7 & A7r once i get to test it fully. Considering your need, the A7 seems like a better product overall, as it would give you unparalleled image quality in the smallest body available.