Top Compact System Cameras for Christmas
Whether you’re looking for a light complement to your full-frame workhorse or are curious about Wi-Fi connectivity, we’ve found some CSCs that are worth checking out right now
Compact System Cameras with their mirrorless optical viewfinders and interchangeable lenses have arrived at the professional party like an overweight.conference delegate blocking the way to the wine and eating all the peanuts. The market share of CSCs is bigger than that of both DSLRs and compacts now, and the little buggers are starting to convert the pros – PP writer Kevin Mullins uses his Fuji XPro-1 as a second body at weddings, ex-Guardian picture editor Eamonn McCabe has almost stopped using his bigger cameras after he got his CSC (also a Fuji), and the test results we see at our sister title, Photography Monthly, keep demonstrating the impressive image quality you can get with the CSCs at the high end of the scale. Here are some of the latest and most interesting arrivals
Nikon 1 V1
The V1’s CX format is slightly smaller than the APS-C sensor used by other manufacturers, but what it lacks in sensor size this baby sure makes up for in looks and 60fps speed. The electronic viewfinder jutting out from the top plate is an addition that the cheaper J1 doesn’t have, making it possible to choose between the 3 inch screen and the EVF viewfinder when composing an image. The V1 is compatible with all lenses from the F-series, using an adapter.
Panasonic Lumix G5
The G5 has some interesting upgrades from the G3, such as Eye Sensor AF which begins autofocusing when it senses that the camera is lifted to the eye. Autofocus points can also be controlled by tapping the LCD screen, and the new silent shutter mode could make this a great street photography companion. Bonus points for the redesigned, larger grip.
The latest in Sony’s NEX range, the NEX-6 sits between the top-of-the-range NEX-7 and the enthusiast-level NEX-5, but unless you need the full 24.3MP CMOS sensor, it’s seriously worth considering trading off the megapixel deficit for the new Wi-Fi capabilities and apps that come with the NEX-6. 16 megapixels is more than plenty for most uses after all.
Get your ‘baby congratulations’ cards out: There’s a new arrival in the Fuji CSC family. The Fuji X-E1 I smaller and cheaper than big brother X-Pro1, but it has the same 16.3 million pixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor as its older sibling, and although the X-E1 only has an electronic viewfinder, at least it’s one of the most advanced digital viewfinders currently on the market with 2.36 million dots.
£749 (body only)
Canon EOS M
We’ve probably all seen the picture that went viral of a tiny camera mounted to a giant, white L lens (or the other way around), and with access to over 70 lenses from the EOS range via the Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, there’s some great potential here. The EOS M has the same sensor as the EOS 650D, an 18MP APS-C hybrid CMOS, so the quality of the lenses won’t be wasted on a sensor unable to cope.
£770 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 STM IS lens
Olympus OM-D E-M5
One of editor Scorey's favourites, the OM-D has impressed us with its quick autofocus performance, 9fps continuous shooting and its handling of noise at high ISOs. With its 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor and electronic viewfinder, this camera seems to have the best of both worlds; advanced CSC technology and retro charm that takes us right back to the days of the OM.
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