Rx1 shooter here. Definitely a fan of the modern Sony mirrorless.
OP already has my thoughts on this as an a6000 user. happy to field questions about this fine piece of equipment.
alternatives in sub-$1k are the fuji’s or maybe a ricoh gr.
If having interchangeable lenses isn’t an issue any of the Fuji X100’s are nice. I had the X100T and wish I could have justified keeping it when I got back into DSLR’s.
I’ve been an avid Fuji fan since the X Pro 1, and now use an X Pro 2. The “pro” models are out of your states price range, but the whole X line is excellent.
I have an X100T which I absolutely love for stills. I’ve been shooting a bit of video on it recently, which I haven’t been entirely happy with, but it’s a lovely camera to have for walking around while travelling.
gonna need a fast lens for those guys!
I would highly recommend the Ricoh GR- great sensor and minimal design. No zoom but forces me to shoot in unique ways.
an interchangeable lens camera will give you more flexibility, but any modern ILC will probably wind up costing you way more than ~$600 in the long run.
if you wanted a long zoom and a fast lens at an affordable price (I assume that would be good for dachshund races), getting a first-gen sony rx10 or a used rx10ii is probably what I would recommend. you’d have to work with the focusing system a bit to find what works, but it would give you nice image quality, great video quality, and 200mm-equivalent f/2.8 on the long end of the lens.
honestly though, I don’t think there’s a “bad” camera on the market now. each manufacturer has their strength and weaknesses, but they are all making very good products.
Really like my Fuji xe-2 - the controls are set up more like an film slr with the shutter speed on the top as a dial and the apature set by a ring on the lens. With adapters it blends really well with old manual focus Nikon lenses, and it has focus peaking so these old lenses become much more viable. Also has a really lovely clear viewfinder. I got it a while ago so I’m sure there are newer cameras in that range now.
Another happy Fuji owner here. We got a X-T20 with a couple of lenses among which I can totally recommend the 35mm Fujinon, great lens for the price.
All the new photos here Elizabeth Busani | Flickr were shot with that camera and usually with that lens.
Another big fan of the Fuji X-series here.
I’ve got an X-T1 (will probably get the X-T3 when it arrives), plus a handful of the f1.4 prime lenses. It’s the closest thing to a digital Nikon FE-2 that I’ve ever used.
For me, the Fuji’s offer the classic 24-35-50-90 setup that I had on my (beloved) FE-2, in a compactish form factor with a control system that’s still engraved in my memory. I don’t own the 24mm equivalent yet though, but buying any interchangeable lens camera is often about where you want to go in the future, as @karst says, it will cost lots in the long run, and the sunk costs make changing systems painful.
Most modern cameras offer outstanding picture quality and great autofocus. I would choose a system based on interface, feel, lens selection and video shooting capability (if that’s important to you).
Lens selection might be hard for you to fathom, if you’ve never used an ILC / DSLR before, I suspect my preferences are more related to what I’m used than anything else (28mm sucks though).
Feel is an interesting one, and it’s why it’s important to put your hands on a camera before purchasing.
Back in ye old days when I bought my first digital SLR the choice was between a Nikon D100 or a Canon 10D, already owning Nikon cameras and lenses the D100 was the obvious choice (also Canon sucks, ya bo!). So I went to the shop to try one out, held it in my hand, and tried to rotate the front command dial with my forefinger and nearly dropped the camera. Bought the Canon 10D instead, the D100 for all my wants just wasn’t compatible with my hand.
You also need to look though the viewfinder and make sure nothing is poking you in the wrong place, that the grip fits your hand. If you wear glasses it’s really important that you try one in person, there are plenty of cameras where you won’t be able to see the entire frame with your glasses on (shakes fist at X-Pro 2).
i like micro 4/3 for the prime lens selection. i have an olympus em10 and a 12mm, 17mm, 25mm and 75mm set of primes. the cameras and lenses are compact and there is a wide selection. couldn’t be happier.
Another Fuji fan here! I had the xe-1 for years, but ended up selling it and trading one of my lenses for a X100s for compactness and portability (and that sweet hybrid range finder!)
You can probably find a used x100s well within your budget, and it’s a totally brilliant (and timeless!) camera IMO. It’s just so refreshing to have physical dials dedicated to each function, especially if you’re interested in shooting full manual (recently traveled to Iceland and ended up shooting full manual the entire time - it was really fun to build muscle memory around the whole process, since I don’t normally take that many photos in my daily life.)
i think if you drop ~$900 off the bat on body & The Right Lens you won’t end up getting another until GAS sets in
Yet another Fuji person…
I have an XT-10 that I bought a couple of years ago (the newer version of that is the XT-20) and I love it. Best camera I’ve had. The body is small enough and has dials/hardware controls for most things (aperture, shutter, exposure compensation, etc.) and everything else is accessible super quickly (ISO, focus type. film simulation, etc.). It’s designed so that any dial can be put in automatic mode and in that case the camera manages it automatically. The electronic viewfinder is excellent (100% coverage, zoom, various display modes, super fast so in practice similar to an optical one).
I only have the 35mm f2 lens and it’s perfect for me (52mm equivalent full frame). I considered getting one of the Fuji cameras with non removable lenses (like the X100 series) because I’m typically ok with just one focal length but they have a 23mm (35mm equivalent full frame) and that’s a bit too wide for me. That could be perfect for someone else though so it’s worth checking them in person if possible.
Also, I used to shoot in RAW with my Canon camera before and at first I was doing that with the Fuji too but their film simulations are great and I shoot in JPG now…
I use mine a lot to take pictures of a now 1.5 years old kid and the autofocus of the XT-10 + 35mm f2 is really good for that in my experience. And it also works great for concert photos…
so immediately then…
most mirrorless cameras in the lower to mid tier share the same sensor, at least in the sony and fuji worlds. usually video features are gated by price a bit, but that’s a whole other matter.
the tiers tend to be more about physical controls, fit & finish, and viewfinder quality.
more money will get you a better lens or more lenses, and that will make a big impact. strongly suggest focusing on your lens needs first.
Definitely this. The better sensors in the more expensive cameras are often overkill for most anyway.
Also this. Plus don’t discount the RX10 suggestion too. That type of camera is called a “bridge” camera, and a second hand one might be a good way to feel out what you like / dislike before dropping £€$¥ on a system camera.
I had (well, technically still have) a Sony RX100 between my Canon DSLR and my Fuji and while the 1 inch sensors in these things are great (especially for small and very portable cameras), you won’t get the same results in terms of depth of field/bokeh as with a bigger sensor, if that’s important to you. Beyond that, these sensors and the processors that go with it now deal really well with high ISO and they can be enough to get very usable results in most situations.
And as mentioned previously the interface is super important (just like for a musical instrument) so finding a camera that has all you need exposed directly and that feel good in your hands/in front of your face is one of the most important things.
The manual knobs are the biggest factor for me. I’ve never shot video on my Fuji, and don’t plan to, but I’ve heard video is one of their biggest weaknesses (at least on the earlier models, I believe they’ve made progress with newer models). I’ve heard great things about the Sony mirorrless cameras, as far as features and image quality I don’t think you’ll go wrong either way, it’s more about the form factor and lens system you want to buy into.
Canon plans to announce a new full frame mirrorless camera in September. Given my investment in Canon lenses, I’m a bit excited about this, although, the mirror is nowhere near the bulkiest/heaviest thing in my camera bag.