Opinion on mirrorless cameras that are simple

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I am wanting to get a mirrorless camera that’s lightweight and easy to use. I’ve tried Sony and Panasonic-- I get so frustrated with all the menus and bazillion of options-- too much to get distracted with and not enjoying taking photos. I miss the simplicity of film cameras!

I’ll keep my Canon 7D Mark II for close-up, macro and Lens Baby lenses, but I want something that I can hike with. I’m using my iPhone 11 Pro all the time because it’s light and simple. But I’d like better quality and lens choices of course.

Is there such a thing as a simple camera nowadays?

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Have you tried a Fuji XT type? My husband has an XT-2, which he got because it had manual dials for SS, aperture, and ISO, rather like an old film camera. I see they are up to XT-4, now, although I can’t speak to the pros or cons. You could probably get a used XT-2 for not too much.

I have a Sony a73r and I love it. The menu system is a pain, but the camera has enough programmable buttons and dials to set it up so that you don’t have to go into the menus to change common things like ss, aperture, iso, multiple frames, focus type, etc.

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I vouch for Sony as well. The camera’s are sophist aced and give you a lot of options but there you’ll get great results with using the camera with the factory defaults.

Hey Jean! You know I’m biased but another vote for Fujifilm here. It’s by far the simplest to use with the dials on the outside and the menus are much easier to use than Sony which I know many find very un-intuitive. I would go with the XT-3 or XT-4 to have the best all around flexibility. Or if you really want that old school film feeling, try the X-Pro3, this will really make you slow down since you can’t easily review your images. I’ve been tempted to get this since it’s so off the wall different than everthing else. If you’re concerned about resolution you could try the GFX series which is medium format, but the lenses will be much heavier.

Thanks for your info David. I do primarily intimate landscape-type photography and I’m wanting a lighter setup that is easier to hike with.

I’m wondering if it’s worth more $$ to get the XT4 with image stabilization in-camera? I have an upcoming trip to Yosemite, I think I might rent a Fuji setup, but the 3 or 4? I have bought so many cameras that I don’t like that I need to spend a little to try before I buy :slight_smile:

The stabilization would be nice, but most of the time you’ll be working on a tripod…right? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I’m perfectly happy with the X-T3 and have no intention of upgrading. Personally I like how the screen tilts better on the 3 vs. the new screen on the 4 as well.

Take a look at one of the 1" sensor superzooms: light, image quality just fine for what most of us do with the photogaphs, no lenses to change, not very complicated menus. Some may scoff at any superzoom, but they’re worth considering, especially the Sony DSC-RX10 IV which has a reputation for excellent images. I use a Canon SX70 most of the time and the photographs are fine for web posting and prints up to 8x10.

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Right now is the time to get the Fuji X T3. The price has dropped considerably to less than a grand. I have it’s little brother the X-T30 which I love. I learned photography on an old Pentax K1000 and this camera operates similar. I love how Fuji fuses high end modern with classic controls.

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Good morning Jean. I am a Canon fan and have not tried any of the other cameras. Last year I bought the 6Dmkii. I know it was beat up in the ratings but to me it takes great photos. I wanted to break into full frame photography and not have anything too heavy so this was my choice. At least once a month I hike for a couple hours with my grandsons at the state park. The 6dmkii is light enough that it does not bog me down. Just my experience. I am sure the other cameras mentioned are fantastic.

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Hi Jean, Several years ago I was looking for a smaller camera for travel and biking. Fuji had been out for a few years and had an excellent reputation so i bought one. I tried it and was just never really comfortable with it. It was an excellent camera. It just did not work for me. So I tried a Sony. Again excellent camera with lots of users. Never worked for me.
I was so used to and comfortable with the Canon menus and set ups I bought a Canon M5 and a couple lenses. It is fine. Not the greatest camera. Not the greatest sensor. Not the greatest reviews but it was a camera I felt comfortable with. It was easy for me to use. Of course now there are much newer and better versions in this canon line of camera.
I see you already have a Canon. So you may want to just have a look at these small Canon M series camera. It was an easy move for me.

I carry two cameras, the Sony A6000 mainly for its creative features and Canon SX60 which is very easy to use both for landscapes, macro and everything in between. The lens extends from 20 to 1200 so it is the one I use the most. Generally good image quality as well. I also have my Canon 7D which I use when I know I looking for birds in flight and an infrared Canon but I’m using them less and only on special trips. The SX70 is the new updated model.

I have the Fuji XT-2 as my backup camera. I had a Fuji XE-1 before I drowned it. Both are really nice though I don’t know if I would call them simple. They are definitely more geared toward the film style of camera design.

When it comes down to it, pretty much all cameras have the same settings these days, but they have different ways of referring to those settings. This doesn’t make one camera more complex than the other, but if you are accustomed to Canon’s way of doing things, you’ll probably find Canon cameras the simplest to use. They are quite consistent across the board with regard to their menus and terminology.

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I had the Fujifilm XT20 and thought it was easy to use. Most things were right out on the camera and not buried in menus.

I got the Sony RX10 IV in December. I like the camera for its versatility. I don’t like that most things are buried in menus. I’m still trying to figure things out.

Hi Jean,

I know this question is old but if you’re still reading responses I’d like to offer my 2 cents.

I was a Minolta user in the film days because I found their cameras intuitive and they felt good in my hands. I also stuck with them when they transitioned to digital and to their sale to Sony. Although, my first digital was an Oly C5050 fixed zoom which I thought was and is a magnificent camera.

As I eluded to I now shoot Sony although I’ve not moved to the E mounts. I use an A99M2 full frame and A77M2 crop sensor.

Your question makes me think of a discussion topic I just started, I asked if anyone ever shoots without using the LCD just using the viewfinder?

My suggestion to you if you want simple without going back to film is after you do initial setup turn the LCD around! Don’t use it! The beauty of Sony A-mount cameras is that almost all settings are available by dials on the camera and those that require deep dive can be added to the Fn button or one of the custom buttons, of which the A99M2 has 2 and the A77M2 has 1, and there are 3 programmable memory spots that are also available on the top left hand dial. BTW, the Fn button is viewable through the viewfinder.

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Hi Jean,

I’ll throw in another vote for the Fuji X Series cameras. I also started with film around 2002, shooting with a 35mm slr, and medium format tlr. Around 2010 I bought my first dslr and have felt I was missing something ever since. I got back into film photography a couple years ago with the Intrepid 4x5 and finally felt I was really making photographs again, though I still use digital cameras most often for convenience. Like you, I wanted something smaller, lighter, and more intuituve than my Canon 5d mkIII. I recently bought the Fujifilm X-T3 and absolutely love it. I find it a pleasure to use and while the camera is highly customizable with very advanced features, it is also extremely simple and offers a nice user experience similar to the old 35mm slr cameras. Aside from composing through a digital viefinder, it doesn’t feel like the digital tech is getting in the way of the photographic experience like many other digital cameras out there. Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts on that.

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Thanks for your input! I just bought the XT3 last week. I rented the XT4 and loved it so I took advantage of the great kit price on the XT3. I got the retro-look one too. It reminds me of my old Nikon film camera from the 80s. I think I’m going to be happy with this camera. Can’t wait to get out and start shooting soon!

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@Patricia_Brundage
Hi, I know this post is old so I’m sorry for the retro message. SX60 and SX70? They sound like the old Polaroid cameras? So did Canon buy the names? I assume they’re digital? Sorry but I’m not familiar with these as Canon models. I know I can probably Google them but I prefer hearing about them from an actual user.

I had to go to light weight cameras because of physical reasons. So I purchased the Sony mirrorless camera and the all in one Canon SX60. I keep the Canon in the car at all times. It is in the lower priced level of Canon cameras. If I remember correctly the price was in the $400-500 range. It does not have interchangeable lenses but has an amazing range with the one on the camera. Does shoot RAW. Downsides: Body not metal so its longevity doesn’t compare with the higher priced models. Lots of features but not all that other more expensive models have. It’s a step above the point and shoots and a step below the DSLRs. Hope this helps.