Or should I move to mirrorless ?
A few months ago I wrote a post about moving to Nikon from my current Pentax system. I have been contemplating that move because I was looking for some Pentax K mount extension tubes and found that it almost impossible to find any. This sounds like a fairly minor reason to move camera manufacturers and abandon years worth of lens acquisition etc, but that was really a trigger to make me think about the whole system I am buying into and where am I going with it.
Fast forward a couple of months and I’ve moved on and started thinking about a complete change to a mirror-less system.
What happened was I have a bit of money that my parents gave me for Christmas and I started thinking about buying a second hand Olympus E-PL1. I used to own one of these cameras but I traded it in when I bought my Pentax K5 and I’ve regretted it almost from the moment I walked out of the shop. Looking at the E-PL1 cameras on the uk eBay site I got a bit carried away with GAS and found there were also E-P3 systems available which are like the E-PL1 but with better controls. However, the olympus micro 4/3 pen series cameras don’t have a viewfinder, so I would need to factor in purchasing the viewfinder add on at sometime which all adds to the cost.
In the end I found myself looking seriously at what I would really like to buy if I moved over to mirror-less rather than using my Pentax and this got me doing some serious research. During this I discovered the Sony NEX system and that photographers as note worthy as Trey Ratcliff have switched from using full frame Nikon DSLR’s to this tiny APS-C sensor camera. To me this looks an attractive mirror-less option because it includes a viewfinder (evf) and has quite a good reputation for quality.
So – why do I need a camera ? What do I use it for ?
I like taking macro, landscape and family pictures. For all of these use cases the NEX system should be a good fit and also be considerably easier and lighter to carry round. The accessory range and lenses available, although not huge, is growing with third party lens manufacturers like Sigma and Tamron already producing lenses for the Sony E mount. I discovered there are already fully coupled extension tubes available and they are quite reasonably priced.
Which brings me to cost and I’m pretty impressed with the price of the lenses and bodies for the current crop of NEX cameras. A NEX 6 is about £550 with the standard 16 – 50mm lens and the 55 – 210mm is about £220. This would make a pretty good walk about kit and would weigh about as much as my Sigma 18 – 125mm K Mount lens! There are some nice wide angle prime lenses available and also mount convertors for other formats so I could use the Jupiter 8 50mm f/2.0 fitted to my Zorki 4k on a NEX camera!
Of course none of this makes sense it the camera is no good. So I did some searches for images taken with a NEX 6 and, along with the pictures on Trey Ratcliff’s G+ page, this is what I found. Pretty impressive.
So I think it’s time to think and to save.