Lenses: The Most Important Part of a Camera System.

Some friends have been asking me why I didn’t go with the Sony A6300 camera. The A6300 and it’s predecessor the A6000 are no doubt the best deals in compact mirrorless cameras right now. For the price, no other compact mirrorless camera offers the level of image quality, speed and autofocus prowess of the little Sonys. However, I do have some reservations about their ergonomics but nothing that would be a deal breaker for me.

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The deal breaker with the Sony A6000 series is the lenses. Sony has very few APS-C format lenses and most of them are not of very good quality. They are putting most of their efforts on their full-frame lenses. Now you can actually use those lenses on the A6000 series, but they completely defeat the purpose of having a small camera. Sony’s EF mount lenses are huge, heavy and expensive, even more so than the Nikkor lenses that I am moving away from. So if you are going to be using huge FF lenses, why have a small camera in the first place? It actually becomes ergonomically difficult to use a tiny camera with such big lenses.

Also, keep in mind that the investment you make in lenses will be with you for many years, possibly for life, whereas camera upgrades come out every year or so. This means that having a wide selection of quality lenses is more important than the cameras. Also, the price, size and weight of the lenses will have a far bigger impact on the portability and usability of your kit then the camera itself. The Sony A7 series for example are really small for full-frame cameras, but the overall system is still huge because of the lenses.

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The Micro-Four-Thirds system has far more lenses than any other mirrorless camera system. You have both Panasonic and Olympus making a wide array of lenses as well as several third parties. Panasonic has both regular lenses and high-quality, fast Leica designed and branded lenses. Olympus has a regular line, a premium line and a line of pro f/2.8 zooms. They are also apparently working on a new line of f/1.2 primes. The MFT lenses tend to be much smaller and lighter than their FF equivalents. They also tend to provide a better price/quality ratio because they contain less glass. This is the main reason one can create a complete MFT kit that weighs less than 5lbs including the carrying bag and costs a fraction of the equivalent FF kit. It is also the main reason I selected the MFT system over both the Sony and the excellent Fujifilm systems.

Size matters, especially when it comes to lenses!

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