Unless your place of residence is normally beneath the proverbial rock, you will have been aware of the impact mirrorless cameras have had on the world of photography.
Many love the small, lightweight body and lens combos, It is easier to hike, climb, walk, run, and in fact do most things with a camera that doesn’t need 4kg of camera & lens deadlifted onto your tripod.
I’ve used an Olympus EPL1, EPL3, and an IR modified EPM1 alongside my Nikons for the last few years. Bang for your buck, they are fantastic. Not so flash in low light (pun intended) but the high end Oly models are reportedly much improved in that regard.
Many of my shots from my “Dark Paths and Silver Light” project were taken while running along the river paths, with my IR modified EPM1 in a small backpack. Stopping to take photos was a good excuse to try and get my unfit breath back.
They balance beautifully on a Joby Gorillapod, especially when balanced precariously on rocks.
Olympus EPL1 and Joby Gorillapod – great combo for getting close and low
The lack of mirror allows a relatively short flange distance, making it easier to adapt lenses from other manufacturers. You can buy adapters for almost any lens. I picked up an adapter for around $20-30 on ebay, and the popular Minolta RokkorX 50/1.4 for around $100. Talk about a bargain basement combo that can produce very pleasing results.
Oympus EPL1 + Minolta RokkorX 50/1.4
I headed down the low end Olympus m4/3 track myself, as it suited my meagre budget. But there are so many options now. Sony ( full frame and APS) and Fujifilm are popular for their image quality, Olympus and Panasonic have perhaps the widest range of lenses available, and the smaller m4/3 sensor doesn’t give a lot away in image quality. Other players include Nikon, Canon, Leica, Samsung, and Sigma.
I have been happy with Olympus, but can’t really offer comparisons as I’ve not tried the others in the field. I’ve been eyeing off the Sigma Merrills for my next mirrorless landscape camera. They are an acquired taste from all reports, but the image quality is supposed to be outstanding.
For proper warts & all reviews of mirrorless cameras, I enjoy the reviews of Thom Hogan.
So if you’re sick of lugging around a large DSLR and not looked into mirrorless yet, I’d suggest jump in and have a go. It’s a lot of fun, which is ultimately what any hobby should be about.
EPL1 + m.zuiko 9-18/4-5.6 Dawn over Townsville
EPL1 + m.zuiko 9-18/4-5.6 Magnetic Island from Rowes Bay, Townsville
EPL1 + m.zuiko 9-18/4-5.6 – Wanaka National Toy and Transport Museum