National Geographic Likes Mirrorless


National Geographic posted an article listing the “Top 10 Compact Cameras for Travelers.” In it were seven mirrorless cameras and three compacts. Seems that NG has gone mirrorless and given up on DSLRs.

The mirrorless suggestions were the Canon EOS M3, Fujifilm X-T1, Olympus E-M5 Mark II, Panasonic GX8, Panasonic, GH4, Sony A6000, and Sony A7r Mark II. The compacts were the Fujifilm X100T, Olympus TG-3, and Sony RX10. Curiously missing from their lists were any DSLRs, even crop sensor ones, plus perfectly capable small compacts such as the Panasonic LX-100 and the pocketable Sony RX100. 

Likewise, some of the other choices seemed a bit random and curious, too. In terms of travel with ILC models, I would have thought the somewhat smaller X-T10 and E-M10 would have been more to the point, while the GH4 and A7r Mark II seem like they’re pushing the bar up into the world where some of the small DSLRs can compete. 

Still, there’s not a bad choice in the bunch, though I should note that we had one Olympus TG-3 unexpectedly fail on our recent Galapagos trip (all the Nikon AW1’s fared well, even the one that took a hard wave hit to lava rocks [front of lens dented and front element waterproofing failed, but no water got to camera]).

Personally, I’d be somewhat simpler in my “travel camera” recommendations: for mirrorless try the Olympus E-M10 Mark II and Sony A6000, while for compacts pick a Panasonic LX-100 or Sony RX100. Small is beautiful, and in each of these cases, highly competent. Some of NG’s recommendations start you building kits that rival small DSLRs once the lenses get piled on. If you’re looking to travel light, travel light. Moreover, the moment you start to think you need telephoto, things start falling apart for many of the systems (e.g. Fujifilm X and Sony A7): you’re back to big and heavy, and with few choices. A Nikon D7200 DSLR with the 300mm f/4E suddenly looks small and light ;~). 

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