Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Street Shooters

By The Editors Published in Cameras
Fujifilm FinePix X100S
Fujifilm FinePix X100S
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3; Olympus OM-D E-M5

The Sony NEX-7 has a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with ISO sensitivity ranging from 100-16,000. It touts a "triple-dial control," dedicating one external dial for each exposure control—aperture, shutter speed and ISO. It also incorporates an electronic first-curtain shutter, cutting response time from 100 ms to 20 ms. The NEX-7 has the Sony E-mount, and with an accessory adapter, you can use the Sony A-mount lenses and get full-time phase-detect AF. Estimated Street Price: $1,198.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is a retro-looking MILC with a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor. It can shoot RAW stills and HD video. The ISO sensitivity ranges from 200-25,600. With dials for aperture and shutter speed control, it's similar to the DSLR feel, and with a touch-screen menu, it's intuitive for smartphone users, as well. The camera has Olympus' 5-axis stabilization system to minimize motion blur from handheld use. Because the stabilization system is built into the body, it works with any attached lens. Estimated Street Price: $999.

These are just a few examples of mirrorless street shooters. Some additional models to consider include the Fujifilm X-E1 ($1,399), Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 ($1,298) and Samsung NX300 ($749).


Closest to your workhorse DSLR in functionality is the compact DSLR. It has the same mirror trigger functionality, similar placement of controls and an intuitive feel in your hand. These compact DSLRs are typically marketed more toward entry-level and enthusiast shooters, but professionals will find value in their ability to shoot RAW files and for their ability to use the same lenses and accessories as your main DSLR.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

While the compact DSLR has more size and weight than the fixed-lens cameras, it also has the most versatility and speed. Shutter lag is nonexistent in these cameras, so you can capture the moment as it happens, and the phase-detect AF systems tend to be better in a broad range of lighting conditions. Additionally, frame rates get slightly quicker, adding speed for action shots.

If you're going to use a DSLR as a dedicated street shooter, but your main pro body is just too big and heavy, think about a mid-level or even an entry-level DSLR from the same manufacturer as your pro body. You'll be able to use any of your lenses and accessories, and many of the entry-level bodies are much smaller than the pro models.

Compact DSLR models to consider include the Canon EOS Rebel T5i ($749) or EOS Rebel SL1 ($649), Pentax K-30 ($680), Nikon 5200 ($796) and Sony SLT-A58 ($598).

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