Responsive mirrorless camera for street or travel photography

by Enche Tjin on September 4, 2010

A couple year ago, photography community is delighted of new mirrorless camera system. First, Olympus and Panasonic introduces micro four thirds system. Then, Samsung and Sony follow by introducing mirrorless camera with APS-C sensor (bigger than micro four thirds sensor). The new system design allows manufacturers to produce smaller camera body.

This system become popular to photographers who like to travel light and yet still get advantage of its big sensor interchangeable lenses.

However, the drawback of the design is slow auto focus system and general performance. How are these cameras compare to digital SLR camera and to each other? Based on imaging resource test, I found out that..

Panasonic GH1: One of the most responsive mirrorless system cameras

Panasonic GH1: One of the most responsive mirrorless system camera

Panasonic GF1, G2, and GH1 is the most responsive cameras. Especially Panasonic GH1, full auto focus and shutter lag is very close to Canon T2i (500D) which is 0.3825 sec vs 0.252 sec.

Sony and Samsung mirrorless cameras  (NEX-5, NEX-3 and NX10) generally start-up faster than Panasonic cameras, and only slightly behind Panasonic cameras in term of auto focus speed.

On the other hand, even Olympus cameras are handsomely designed, E-P1, E-P2 and E-PL1 are lagging behind Panasonic, Sony and Samsung in term of responsiveness. It takes up about 1 second to auto focus and 2 second to start up.

Here are the complete stats: (in seconds). Continuous shooting speed in frame per second (fps)

Panasonic Olympus Sony Samsung
GF1 G2 GH1 E-PL1 E-P2 E-P1 NEX-5,3 NX10
Power on 1.4 1 1.8 2.2 2.3 2.5 1 1.1
Shutter lag+full AF 0.409 0.423 0.3285 0.918 0.9325 1.085 0.4425 0.406
Shutter lag prefocused 0.072 0.12 0.084 0.07 0.072 0.072 0.115 0.119
Shot to shot time 0.7 0.7 0.66 1.6 2 1.93 0.77 0.93
Cont. shooting speed 2.93 (13) 3.33 (9) 2.5 (12) 3.04 (15) 3.13 (14) 3.13 (13) 2.68 (38) 2.99 (13)

In continuous shooting speed, value in bracket is maximum number of continuous shots before camera need to clear up its buffer memory.

For comparison, here is Canon T21 (550D) a DSLR camera.

Power on time : 0.4
Shutter lag full AF: 0.252
Shutter lag prefocused: 0.096
Shot to shot time: 0.44
Continuous shooting 3.64 (10)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Harry Hilders September 6, 2010 at 11:35 am

Is it a good camera? I am looking for a new one. Can somebody give some comments?

Enche Tjin September 6, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Which camera that you like Harry?

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