Time To Lose The Mirror


Size Characteristics Of APS-C Mirrorless Cameras

APS-C mirrorless cameras are even smaller than the full-frame ones and still deliver solid image quality. The big deal here is the crop factor: a given focal length used on an APS-C camera frames like one that’s 50 percent longer on a full-frame camera. For example, an 18mm lens on an APS-C camera frames like a 27mm lens on a full-frame camera.

Fujifilm offers a series of APS-C mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, all with 16-megapixel CMOS sensors. The X-T1 and X-E2 feature X-Trans II sensors, the X-Pro1 and X-M1 X-Trans sensors (all with a unique non-Bayer filter array that minimizes moiré and color aberrations, eliminating the need for a blurring AA filter), and the compact X-A1, a CMOS sensor with a Bayer array. The best choices for "digital rangefinder" work would be the X-T1 (if you like a "mini-DSLR" form factor) or the X-E2 (if you prefer a "flat" form factor). Both feature Fujifilm’s latest X-Trans CMOS II 16-megapixel APS-C image sensor, built-in high-definition eye-level electronic viewfinders and Fujifilm’s hybrid AF system. The X-T1 body ($1,299) measures 5.0×3.5×1.8 inches and weighs 13.7 ounces; the X-E2 ($999) measures 5.1×2.9×1.5 inches and weighs 10.6 ounces.

Fujifilm currently offers 11 X-mount lenses, from 10-24mm superwide zoom to 50-230 telephoto zoom, including fast primes from 14-60mm (equivalent to 21-90mm on a full-frame camera).

Samsung offers a number of NX-series mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras with 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensors: the DSLR-shaped NX30, NX20 and Galaxy NX, and the compact NX300, NX2000, NX1100 and NX 1000. All except the NX20 have built-in Wi-Fi for easy photo sharing. The best one for "digital rangefinder" type shooting is the NX30, with a built-in tilting 2359K-dot eye-level EVF and a 3.0-inch 1037K-dot swiveling touch screen AMOLED monitor (the NX20 is older technology, the Galaxy much larger, and the others don’t have built-in eye-level viewfinders). The NX30 ($999 with 18-55mm kit zoom) measures 5.0×3.8×1.6 inches and weighs 13.2 ounces.

Fourteen NX-mount lenses are currently available, from 10mm fish-eye and 12-24mm zoom to 50-200mm zoom. There’s also an adapter that mounts Pentax K-mount lenses, expanding the focal-length range at the long end.

Sony‘s APS-C mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras originally carried the NEX name, but recent models have switched to an "a" (Alpha) designation. Current models include the 24.3-megapixel a6000 and NEX-7, 20.1-megapixel a5000, and 16.1-megapixel NEX-6, NEX-5T and NEX-3N. The best one for "digital rangefinder" shooting is the a6000 ($599), which combines a 24.3-megapixel Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, eye-level 1440K-dot OLED EVF and tilting 3.0-inch 921K-dot LCD monitor in a 4.7×2.6×1.8-inch, 10.1-ounce body.

Sony offers 14 E-Mount lenses, from 10-18mm superwide zoom to 55-210mm tele zoom, plus ultrawide and fish-eye converters for the 16mm ƒ/2.8 wide-angle prime lens. The LA-EA3 and LA-EA4 adapters let you use Sony A-Mount DSLR lenses and legacy Konica Minolta Maxxum lenses on the NEX cameras, the latter providing phase-detection autofocusing. There are also many adapters available to mount a wide variety of lenses on NEX and a-series Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras.

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