If you were starting from nothing, which system would you buy?

AmritR

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well, I’m still lusting after the Contax G2 :cloud-9-039:

https://www.kenrockwell.com/contax/g2.htm

Obviously Kennybabe thinks it’s the worlds best ever.

Every now and then I check eBay, but I have been able to control myself, for years, and years.

I did move from Nikon to M43 beginning of this year. Now if Nikon would have had a Z50 + z-mount 16-80, and a lens roadmap this time properly supporting aps-c, I might have bought into the z-mount. What a lovely camera.
I have no real interest any more in 35mm, except to occasionally be able to use old Nikkor AIS lenses I still have. But I’m not going to spend several grand to do so.

So I sold my digital Nikons, and went for Olympus EM5 III + grip, a Olympus 12-40 f2.8 and Panasonic 8-18 + two small Panasonic kit lenses for travel (screw off the grip et voila, small cam), and several new smaller & lighter bags.
Now with hindsight I’d go for again a Olympus EM5 III + grip + Panasonic 8-18, but now a Olympus 12-100 F4 instead of the 12-40, and for smallish and lightweight: a Olympus 12-45 F4 for those times you just want to toss your cam in a bag while going out for dinner, a walk, visiting mom, whatever. (the 12-45 lens wasn’t there yet at the time, and I think the 12-100 is to big and heavy to just toss it in a bag when you’re going out).

But, if I have at some point extra cash to spend mindlessly, Contax G2 + lens set & Nikon Coolscan.

Anyhow, clearly first world problems from a spoiled dutchman.
 

drd1135

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I'm pretty ecumenical about brand. I have Olympus, Fuji, and Sony. I find the Fuji ergonomics pretty nice and I don't use LR so I'm good there. Nice small primes. Sony's ergs are fine by me, although their button placement can be pretty random. Their menus can actually be as bad as people claim Olympus's are, but everything makes sense once your learn it. What I like about the A7's is their performance, especially AF. There are lots of FE lenses out there because of third party vendors, and I really like the ones I have. If a brand makes what you like, nothing else matters. Of course, mu43 has a lens selection that everyone except Nikon and Canon can only dream about, and even the latter fail when it comes to native lenses for their mirrorless offerings. So, probably Fuji X. It has the same kind of vibe as Pentax and Olympus and their performance is still improving. However, If I was buying my last "forever" camera it would be of oa the A7 models. I really shouldn't consider mu43 anymore because I'm not a fan of Panasonic cameras and I just don't believe Olympus is really going to develop anymore. For now, I have a collection of Pens than I will continue to use as well. I may pick up a refurb E-M5 mk ii during an outlet sale. That was one of my favorites.
 
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If I try to answer this thread’s title question, I think it helps me to step back and instead ask myself, “What was my best body/lens combo and why?” If I ask that then the answer is twofold. A Canon 6D with their 50/1.4 lens and an Olympus E-M10ii with their 17/1.8 lens. Both combos were on the small side of each brand and I had my most positive bond with both of them. So the commonality is the size and simplicity. So from a pure size perspective I then still side with Olympus - just the most out of such a small form factor. But from a simplicity perspective the 6D was pretty simple: no articulating screen, not a lot of bells and whistles, and just took great pictures. But then again the em10ii was simple too. I rarely slid down the screen for low shots, single card slot, did lots well but nothing fantastic.

So I personally was asking myself this thread’s question a year or so back and is why I ended up flipping back from Oly to Canon‘s new mirrorless full frame. The body size seemed to suit my need for smallish form factor and I was hopeful the lenses would follow suite. Except for any sort of quality glass it turned out being enormous! And....eventually landed me back here with Olympus. I do think they have the most well-rounded system. Their offerings run like a McDonald’s menu. Do you want a small (em10iii), medium (em5iii), large (em1iii), or super size (em1x) order of fries with that burger? And honestly any one of the lens lines will still produce at an above average level. Only when you need to crop the heck out of something or live in the world of low light would you be concerned...and the PRO line can save you there with the f/2.8 zoom and the f/1.2 primes.

I’m already becoming a huge fan of my new-to-me em5iii and 12-45/4 and I’m now very interested in the recently alluded 8-25/4. See? More than enough of a camera brand to keep me interested for a very long time!
 

AmritR

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Nikon Imaging Products Business (cameras) have dragged the othervice profitable Nikon corporation down by such amount that after last financial report they publicly told that even Nikon Cameras are not "safe". They must be able to turn profit to justify their existence.

Just before corona crisis sent the entire camera industry into a tailspin, Peta Pixel analyzed Nikons profit statement on their 11/2019 news. These were also the good times for Nikon.

"Now Nikon is admitting that it overestimated how much its new Z Series line of full-frame mirrorless cameras would brighten its prospects.

In its 2nd quarter results for fiscal year 2020, Nikon revised its financial forecasts for the year, dropping its predicted revenue from the imaging business from ¥260 billion to ¥235 billion (a drop of nearly 10%) and lowering the operating profit from ¥12 billion (~$110 million) in profit to a loss of ¥10 billion (~$92 million).

Nikon blames the forecast change on an “overestimation of market size/share” and the fact that the shift toward full-frame mirrorless cameras away from full-frame DSLRs “has not accelerated as expected.”

“Business environment has deteriorated further as market shrinkage accelerates and competition intensifies,” Nikon says. “Increased costs from Z-mount system lineup expansion also a burden.”
Well, the same management who have been squandering all those opportunities, are now playing innocent when talking to the Japan stock exchange.

Being an egineer with Nikon must be one of the worlds most frustrating jobs. At the time of the D3/D300 and D700 Nikon was truly on top of things, and even today you can see in their products that they have extraordinary capable engineers and designers.

it’s like Gorbatschow told Erich Honecker ‘if you are late, you’ll be punished by life’.

What Nikon needs is new management with the same capabilities and talent as their engineers, and reinvent Nikon as an imaging company.
 

BDR-529

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Well, the same management who have been squandering all those opportunities, are now playing innocent when talking to the Japan stock exchange.
What Nikon needs is new management with the same capabilities and talent as their engineers, and reinvent Nikon as an imaging company.
Well, untill that happens I would not count on the assumption that even Nikon as a camera brand is here to stay for ever. Or even 1-2 more years if ILC market downfall continues. Worrying fact is that ILC market was on slipperly slope long before even corona crisis wiped out markets and now there's a real risk of longer recession.

The very first thing that will fly out of the window in recession is investment in new ILC gear since the old ones will work just fine for a few years more and don't even lose value in the same sense as a car does. I mean car loses value by 1000s of euros or dollars even if it sits on the driveway unused but the value of an ILC like A7 IV dependents more on the condition or amount of wear than model year (which is only relevant for cars, not cameras to start with).

If I had to put my money on mirrorless mount system which is the most likely to stay alive even through an outright depression, I'd be forced to choose Sony E-mount.
 
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AmritR

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Well, untill that happens I would not count on the assumption that even Nikon as a camera brand is here to stay for ever. Or even 1-2 more years if ILC market downfall continues. Worrying fact is that ILC market was on slipperly slope long before even corona crisis wiped out markets and now there's a real risk of longer recession.

The very first thing that will fly out of the window in recession is investment in new ILC gear since the old ones will work just fine for a few years more and don't even lose value in the same sense as a car does. I mean car loses value by 1000s of euros or dollars even if it sits on the driveway unused but the value of an ILC like A7 IV dependents more on the condition or amount of wear than model year (which is only relevant for cars, not cameras to start with).

If I had to put my money on mirrorless mount system which is the most likely to stay alive even through an outright depression, I'd be forced to choose Sony E-mount.
Completely agree.

Accept that I’m not sure about Sony camera’s. I have the impression that Sony is for a Japanese company rather ruthless in eliminating products with low or negative ROI..
I would bet on Canon. And if Canon camera’s succumbs, I will blame it on their extraordinary poor design skills. That RP thing, what an ugly camera. They should definitely hire an Italian design company to do the designing.

Maybe there will be consolidation, Nikon and Fujifilm, Olympus to Panasonic etc. It’s Japan after all. At least, I hope so. You made the comment about a major lens mount failing. Hadn’t thought off that before.


........

And THIS is where the whole camera industry has been shooting themselves in the foot with a submachine gun. They are so hell bent on getting customers locked in via incompatible mounts and body-lens communication protocolls that the first major bankruptcy will be a total shocker for everyone who has 1000s invested in camera equipment. After that nobody will dare to investment a single euro or dollar on camera gear without interchangeability but it will be too late by then. (L-mount allicance and MFT being the only marginal exceptions)
 

Keeth101

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For weight, handling, in fact just about everything, I'm sticking to my Oly EM1ii.
I would not touch Panasonic, heard too much about their total lack of repairs/service after the guarantee has run out.
The rest of the bunch are too heavy, especially where longer lenses are required, and just do not appeal to me.
Such a shame it had to be Olympus who's in trouble, nobody would miss any of the others.

Ducks down and waits for the bullets :hiding:
 

BDR-529

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Maybe there will be consolidation, Nikon and Fujifilm, Olympus to Panasonic etc. It’s Japan after all. At least, I hope so. You made the comment about a major lens mount failing. Hadn’t thought off that before.
This discussion started in Olympus thread which is by accident the only camera manufacturer in the world who could fall without people "losing" the entire investment they have made in lenses and bodies. "Lose" in the sense that no more lenses or new bodies will be released for the system so after current bodies becomes obsolete or break down: That's all Folks (add Looney Tunes closing titles).

Only in MFT mount case there is still Panasonic (and Sigma) left. As long as Pana keeps manufacturing new MFT cameras, you can keep using your existing Olympus lenses where the bulk of money went anyway. New lenses for your mount would also be introduced even if Olympus manufacturing ends by two other companies which provides a safety net as well.

But every other ILC manufacturer has made 100% sure that their bodies and lenses are not interchangeable with any other mount system even when everyone is using the very same FF sensor in essentially identical mirrorless bodies. In car and smartphone industries manufacturers are able to find huge economies of scale benefits by standardization and using same "engines" and platforms even when end products are direct competitors in the same market. But not in camera market where total volume is 1/1000th or less.

Let's assume that the unthinkable happens and Canon or Nikon, which are fairly small companies globally, is forced to shut down the Camera unit which was generating losses even before corona crisis and yet demands huge investments for the mirrorless FF transition. Yes, existing gear would still work but there would be no future for it because it's impossible to use lenses with other bodies and vice versa.

Both Canon and Nikon are actually not even camera companies any more. Since cameras are generating only losses, they get all profits from professional optical systems and such and camera manufacturing isn't even the largest unit in terms of revenue anymore. So there's a real risk that at least one of them will have to throw in the towel no matter how long history and how large market share they have if the market just isn't there any more.
 
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alex66

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I would go for m43 again, I can get what I want at a price that I am happy to pay, all the cameras post G3 have good enough quality, in good light the first gen are good enough. If there was no m43 I would probably go with a DSLR to be honest or Fuji, but Fuji is somewhat fashionable and even used the stuff seems quite expensive for how good it is.
 

RS86

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I'd like to test Fuji, but being first a macro photographer that 1200 € 80mm macro lens is a no-go for me, when I got Olympus 60mm for 320 € and Olympus 30mm for 140 €. That is just ridiculous price. I also like to have cheap and small long-tele in my bag. And I just love Dxo Photolab (doesn't support Fuji sensors) and for example local adjustments, so Fuji simply cannot be an option.

Nikon might be interesting to try with their Z mount, but they don't have a longer macro lens yet and no idea of the price. I also think they might be in similar trouble as Olympus, so no. Another problem is that I have never paid over 600 € for a body, so they have no options for me currently, might not even in a couple of years. I also like to have small bodies and even Z6 is E-M1 II sized. Z50 doesn't have IBIS which I want.

Canon might be an option, but I'd have to see how they support their M-line in the future. They're the safest bet as far a companies go. But currently I would not buy M-mount, I'd need more assuranses they focus on it too. Otherwise same goes in their FF, bodies are E-M1 II sized.

I think I would go with M43 again. I am happy even with my current output and don't have the newest sensors. I'd definitely buy a bit fewer lenses, as now I know better what I need and what different focal lengths etc. can do. Although it's great to have different sized lenses for different occasions and moods on how much you want to carry. Sometimes it's just E-M10 II and one lens, other times two cameras and whole setup from 9mm-300mm, macro and some prime. And everything in between.
 

Saledolce

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I'm doing the excercise in a very practical way. I imagined to trade in everything I have, and invest every single euro I make, or even a hundreds more, in a new kit. I wasn't able to figure out something that gives me entirely what I need.

In particular, I think I completely ruled out all the APS-C options, because I would land very to close to where I am now. If I stay small sensor+zoom, the 12-100 is hard to beat. If I go small sensor + primes, I could probably improve what I have with Fuji, but my primes kit on m43 has a lot of upgrade room: I could finally put my hands on the Nocticron, on the legendary Leica 12 or just stay olympus and pick one or two pro primes and have the improvements without the pain of system change.

If I go FF, image quality would totally improve. But cost and size would force me to have a much more limited kit. I could probably afford an A7iii, a 24-105 f4 (awesome lens), a cheap Samyang prime and maybe a 70-300 variable aperture. Then growing from that point would be extremely expensive. I need to explore the Nikon Z system and see if it would offer me anything better, but I believe that the older mount by definition offers the more freedom in composing a new kit.
 

ac12

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While I would like the Nikon Z system.
If you are coming in fresh, as it the assumption in this thread, there may be issues with lenses.

If Nikon has the lenses you want, you are OK.

But if not, you would have to get older F mount lenses, then later get the native Z lens.
Example, there is no native Z macro, and nothing longer than 200mm FX.​
So you would have to get a F lens, and use the FTZ adpater to use the F lens on the Z6/7.​
Then later when Nikon comes out with a native macro or LONG lens switch to that lens.​
So you end up buying TWO lenses, rather than one.​
Example2. And like before, they just released the 70-200/2.8, but when is the smaller/lighter f/4 lens going to come out?​
So again, BIG bulky heavy f/2.8 lens.​
Granted, they NEED the f/2.8 lens for the pros.​
It will take years to flesh out the Z lens landscape.​
FYI, here is the list of all the Nikon Z lenses:
https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-p.../index.page#!/tag:lR8:Z Mount Digital Cameras
Since I am not a Canon guy, I have not researched the Canon R lens landscape recently.
But it is very likely similar to Nikon, where they have gaps in the landscape, and are fleshing out the landscape. And like Nikon will continue to do so for years.
 

WT21

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I went to bestbuy yesterday and played with the RP and the Z6. I can tell you the Z6 body rocks. Controls are just where you want them, the top plate readout, tons of function buttons, and IBIS, but it’s also practically speaking out of my budget, and then the current Nikon gear is not targeted at compact and affordable. Not a fit for me (and I’m not interested in those memory cards), but the body is great.

The RP experience is less exciting and probably suffered from comparison tI the Z6 which is maybe unfair. The Canon 24-105 kit + 35/1.8macro though is a smallish, lightish affordable(ish) set. I might wait till the R5+6 ship and see if any RPs go for cheap, or...

I might shop for a cheap used G9. Get a slight sensor upgrade, keep my lenses, and get a body and controls experience of the Z6.
 

WT21

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I'm doing the excercise in a very practical way. I imagined to trade in everything I have, and invest every single euro I make, or even a hundreds more, in a new kit. I wasn't able to figure out something that gives me entirely what I need.

In particular, I think I completely ruled out all the APS-C options, because I would land very to close to where I am now. If I stay small sensor+zoom, the 12-100 is hard to beat. If I go small sensor + primes, I could probably improve what I have with Fuji, but my primes kit on m43 has a lot of upgrade room: I could finally put my hands on the Nocticron, on the legendary Leica 12 or just stay olympus and pick one or two pro primes and have the improvements without the pain of system change.

If I go FF, image quality would totally improve. But cost and size would force me to have a much more limited kit. I could probably afford an A7iii, a 24-105 f4 (awesome lens), a cheap Samyang prime and maybe a 70-300 variable aperture. Then growing from that point would be extremely expensive. I need to explore the Nikon Z system and see if it would offer me anything better, but I believe that the older mount by definition offers the more freedom in composing a new kit.
I agree - I checked out the APSC offerings and held a z50 and various canon (as well as Fuji) and felt I’d get minimal improvement in OW for a major step back on the body (canon or Nikon) or a large increase in price and weight (Fuji). I don’t see the point.

I looked at the Z FF this past week. If I wasn’t looking for compact, and was OK with the money, I think it rocks.
 

Saledolce

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So you would have to get a F lens, and use the FTZ adpater to use the F lens on the Z6/7.
As I said above, I think this thread title is too theretical. No one here is starting from scratch, so I think we should take this is as an: if you sold everything you have, or part of what you have, to jump ship..... what ship could you jump too?

In this (more realistic) scenario, the idea to sell something you have in a current kit (and loose $$$), jump Nikon Z (spending $$$$) and buy stopgap items to be replaced later (more $$$ lost) dosn't make a lot of sense for me. If I accept this level of money-burning, I would simply add one or two dream (to me) m43 primes to my kit.

If we agree that going back to DSLR is not an option, APS-C options don't bring enough to the table, there are only 3 FF mirrorless systems to discussed. Sony is clearly the most mature, and lens options are abundant. The other two are worth exploring IMHO only if at least the basic core kit I need is already available as native.

To be able to think about jumping ship I would need:
- one body to start from
- an alternative to my 12-100 "do it all zoom" (I think in FF I would have to settle with a 24-105, much shorter)
- an alternative to my 40-150 f2.8 (in FF I think I would have to settle with 70-200 or with a variable aperture 70-300s)
- 35+50+85 primes (I could live with 50 only, but love to hand around with 35+85)

Later today I will try to run my analysis again thru this "lens".
 

Saledolce

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Later today I will try to run my analysis again thru this "lens".
Lets start with Sony FF.

With Sony I would be able to sort of rebuild my kit. I should swallow the cost, it's overall an expensive system, but having had a A7ii in the past I know what I could expect from IQ side. I was very impressed at the time.

They have an excellent 24-105 (had it and sold it in the past, awesome lens), they have a 70-300 that's is not variable aperture but seems to have a decent reputation. I had the Samyang 35 and would rebuy one with confidence, there is both a "cheap" 85mm f1.8 with a decent reputation and a Zeiss 55mm which is considered to be excellent. The A7 camera body is not that big, with 35/85 I would consider it nimble enough for travel, also with the 24-105 +35mm has a very similar size to my current em1+12-100 + one f1.8 prime.

It would be an overall "shorter" kit, fixed aperture only until 105mm, less pleasant to handle, les trustworthy in terms of weather sealing.
Sizewise the tradoff would be acceptable.
Costwise it would be about 1k more expensive than my current kit, but probably offering an overall better value protection over time: I have no clue how much my m43 stuff will be worth in few weeks.
 

ac12

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As I said above, I think this thread title is too theretical. No one here is starting from scratch, so I think we should take this is as an: if you sold everything you have, or part of what you have, to jump ship..... what ship could you jump too?

In this (more realistic) scenario, the idea to sell something you have in a current kit (and loose $$$), jump Nikon Z (spending $$$$) and buy stopgap items to be replaced later (more $$$ lost) dosn't make a lot of sense for me. If I accept this level of money-burning, I would simply add one or two dream (to me) m43 primes to my kit.

If we agree that going back to DSLR is not an option, APS-C options don't bring enough to the table, there are only 3 FF mirrorless systems to discussed. Sony is clearly the most mature, and lens options are abundant. The other two are worth exploring IMHO only if at least the basic core kit I need is already available as native.

To be able to think about jumping ship I would need:
- one body to start from
- an alternative to my 12-100 "do it all zoom" (I think in FF I would have to settle with a 24-105, much shorter)
- an alternative to my 40-150 f2.8 (in FF I think I would have to settle with 70-200 or with a variable aperture 70-300s)
- 35+50+85 primes (I could live with 50 only, but love to hand around with 35+85)

Later today I will try to run my analysis again thru this "lens".
My start kit would be:
  • Body
  • GP lens, 24-105/4. The 105 limit would keep the lens from getting too big/heavy.
    • Nikon Z does NOT currently have this lens. It is announced and on the roadmap. (updated)
    • Canon RF and Sony both have this lens.
    • For travel, I might consider a longer super zoom, in the 24-200 range.
      • Nikon Z has the 24-200, Canon RF the 24-240, Sony the 24-240. All variable aperture.
  • mid-long zoom 70-200/4, or 70-300 variable.
    • Notes:
      • The 70-200/2.8 does not qualify due to the larger size and heavier weight.
      • The longer 24-2xxx super zooms could cover this focal range. But at the cost of a bigger/heavier/slower GP lens.
    • Nikon Z lens landscape, has neither lens, which would call for a stopgap purchase.
    • Canon RF lens landscape, has neither lens, and would also call for a stopgap purchase.
    • Sony has the 70-300 variable, and the 70-200/4. (updated)
  • 35/1.8 (for indoor low light)
    • Nikon Z, Canon RF and Sony all have this lens.
This is pretty close to my core Olympus kits
  • EM1
  • Panasonic-Lumix 12-60 (for travel) or the 12-40/2.8 (at home)
  • Olympus 40-150R (for travel) or the 40-150/2.8 (at home)
  • 17/1.8
While I do like and use the 12-100, for me, its size and weight, make it more a specialized wide range zoom, than a GP lens.
 
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NajaSAKAii

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Honestly the Fuji-X system. But M43 is definitely next up.
My 1st mirrorless is my E-M10 Mark II, still have it, and I really enjoy the camera.
Then I picked up an X100F a bit ago and just got a X-T4.
Both are great systems.
 
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