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Buying the Best DSLR or Mirrorless 2014 / 2015 – Some Great Resources

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DP Review

The most complete reviews I’ve found so far.

Round Up of Full Frame Cameras

Mirrorless Cameras for Enthusiasts

Side by Side Camera Compare

Cameratico.com

Meet Cameratico, a humanized camera recommendation engine. Cameratico translates real world experience into accurate and personalized camera recommendations (and compares prices, too!).

PC Magazine

The Best DSLR Cameras

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404170,00.asp

CNET

The Best Mid-Range DSLR Cameras

http://www.cnet.com/topics/cameras/best-digital-cameras/midrange-dslr/

Tom’s Guide

Best DSLRs

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-dslrs,review-2218.html

Best Mirrorless

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-mirrorless-cameras,review-2221.html

 

Nikon

All DSLR Cameras

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/dslr-cameras/index.page

Canon

All DSLR Cameras

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras

Sony

Mirrorless Cameras – Alpha NEX

http://store.sony.com/all-alpha-nex/cat-27-catid-All-Alpha-NEX-Cameras

 

Comparison Table

NameISO (auto)ISO (manual)Continuous AF in VideoSensor
Size
Mega-
pixels
Price (Jan 2015) w/ lensFPSPoints
of AF
Image
Processor
Nikon D75012,80051,200yesFull Frame - 35.9 mm x 24 mm24.3$2,3006.551EXPEED 4
Canon 7D Mark II16,00051,200 (expanded)yesAPS-C20.2$2,2001065Digic 6
Canon 70D12,80025,600 (equivalent)YesAPS-C20.2$1,300719Digic 5+
Sony Alpha NEX-7 (mirrorless)16,000Yes (per CNET review)APS-C24.3$1,1351025
Sony Alpha NEX-6Yes (per CNET review)APS-C$90099
Nikon 71006,40025,60023.5 mm x 15.6 mm24.1$9206
Nikon 6106,40025,600Full Frame - 35.9 mm x 24.0 mm24.3$1,9006
Sony Alpha 600025,600Yes with 179 point AF systemAPS-C24$70011179 points of phase detection with 25 points of contrast detectionBionz X
Sony a7 II (ILCE-7M2) (mirrorless)25,600yesFull frame24$1,70017 phase-detection points and 25 contrast-detection points (30% faster than a7)
Sony a7S (mirrorless)409,600 (yes, really)yesFull frame12.2$3,0005
Sony a7 (Alpha ILCE-7) (mirrorless)25,600yesFull frame24.3$1,6005
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 (SLR-like (bridge) )12,80012,80013.2 x 8.8 mm (1 inch type) - smaller than APS-C20$1,0001025Bionz X
Olympus E-M125,60025,600Touch screen for focus racking!Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)16$1,300 (no lens)10
Panasonic GH425,60025,600Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)16$1,700 (no lens)

Compare Sensor Sizes

From Wikipedia

 Note from Wikipedia: All APS-C variants are considerably smaller than 35 mm standard film which measures 36×24 mm. APS-C sensor sizes range from 20.7×13.8 mm to 28.7×19.1 mm.

 

Looking to balance the trade-offs between easy of travel, great video, great for low-light and price. For travel – a mirrorless camera seems to be the way to go. And in the mirrorless category, Sony seems to be dominating. The Sony a6000 is universally reviewed as an amazing value for it’s $700-$900 sticker price. It also comes with an on-board flash which some of the full-frame mirrorless do not. With an extra battery or two for around $25, and a f1.8 lens 35mm lens for about $450 – you’re still not spending that much. Or if you skip the kit lenses – the camera is only $550 (but it doesn’t seem worth it because the kit lens is a great value in the pacakage). So $1,150 to get the low light performance.

In terms of video – one defining issue is sound. With the a6000 you need to get a hot shoe adapter.

The tempting upgrades: The Sony a7. If you’re thinking of spending $1200 on the a6000, why not go to $1600 and get the a7? The pros: full-frame with better audio input and a higher resolution view finder. The cons: The a7 is slightly larger, has only half the fps – 5 versus 11 with the a6000, and no built-in flash. The a7 will undoubtedly take better low light photos (even with the kit lens), but better enough?

Or perhaps one of the other new alpha series: It’s hard to get a feel for all of Sony’s newest additions to its Alpha series by looking at their website. The easiest method may be to check out the side-by-side comparison on DPReview . They all seem to have XLR audio support via microphone jack adapters. And they are all full-frame mirrorless cameras. They are all slightly larger than the a6000.

The Sony a7S – $3k (with lens) can almost see in the dark with an ISO at over 400k.
The Sony a7R – $2k (no lens) is amazing for very high resolution photos.
The Sony a7 – $1,600 (with lens) has better autofocus than the 7R or 7S.
The Sony a7 II – $2k (with lens) it’s the upgrade to the a7.

Sony Lenses for the a6000

SEL35F18 – f1.8 35mm
$450 at Amazon