I went to local store to pickup my Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, and was surprised that all the cameras I wanted to checkout were in display and ready to operate. It felt like X’mas came early :-). Great job BestBuy.
One thing that most of the people do is buy a camera based on tech spec. and reviews, but for me the most important thing is how it feels in your hand. I chose the m4/3 system instead of Sony mirrorless, mainly because I liked the way Olympus felt when I handled it.
There is nothing much to test extensively in the store, except the handling and the image quality of the portrait photo in store light viewed in LCD screen. Here is the list of camera’s I checked out and my feedback, in the order of my preference in handling (followed by IQ ranking), based on few minutes of testing.
1. Nikon D500 , 17-55 f/2.8 ( IQ 2)
Now I understand why so many people has this as the best of 2016, this is one of those cameras which need to be used rather than read about to see how great it is. It’s right size, weight, balanced well, very snappy, and has quick auto focus. Also when paired with the the 17-55 f/2.8 lens produces great image.
2. Nikon D810 , 24-120 f/4 (IQ 3)
I already wrote extensively about it, handles quite well, nothing new, handling is great.
3. Panasonic GH4, Kit Zoom (IQ 8)
This was a surprise, but a don’t-let-the size-fool-you type of camera. It fits perfectly in my hand, it’s very light. Has quick focus, though I have to rank the IQ among the bottom. The rest of the cameras are the best, and this one was not paired with the right lens.
4. Fujifilm XT , Kit zoom- (IQ 7)
It feels like a Sony done right. With the proper size and weight for the camera-lens combo.
5. Olympus EM-5 Mk ii, Kit zoom, (IQ 9)
I knew the handling quite well, though the IQ is ranked at bottom it was very close to most of the peers for normal viewing.
6. Sony A7S II , Kit zoom (IQ 1)
This was a surprise. This was the camera I have to recommend for all non pro users, who shoots kids and family most of the time, and just like to attach one lens and forget it. Even with the kit lens it produced the best looking portrait for the normal light.
7. Sony A7R ii , Kit zoom (IQ 4)
This is kind of a disappointment, I expected a lot from this new Sony camera, not quite happy with the LCD display , EVF. With the worst balance of lens and body combo. This is even with the kit lens. There is nothing much to say about the IQ, but it produces a good IQ even with the kit lens
8.Sony A7R, Kit zoom (IQ 5)
It’s kind of like R ii, just a little sluggish.
9. Nikon D750, 24-120 f/4 (IQ 6)
This camera is also a disappointment for me, not for the IQ but for the handling. Though I was tempted to buy this instead of D810, for the built in in wi-fi and better low ISO. The D500 and D810 handles better.
10. Panasonic G8 , Kit zoom (IQ 10)
It’s a great compact good looking camera.
11. Canon camera’s…
I didn’t spend much time with them, but for whatever reason I’m not Canon person for their DSLR camera. I liked Canon support, their point shoot, had their camcorders, and buy their printers, but their DSLR camera is not my cup of tea.
I would highly recommend to try a camera at a store before buying it, there is more to camera than
everything you read in paper, (who am I kidding) the information you get from various sources.
If you are the person who likes to do mainly point and shoot for family members and pets and expect great image quality, then A7 S is the best out there.
I always put handling of the camera over image quality, so D500 would be my choice, the reason I didn’t by the D500 is mainly because lack of other Dx Zooms.