Looking for a small, light, quality camera?
The success of the Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras shows that there is a demand for this type of camera – a small, light quality camera. Something smaller and lighter than a DSLR, but with better image quality and flexibility than a compact camera.
I’ve argued before that there is a proportion of this market segment for whom size and weight is a priority. It seems that Sony gets this: its recently announced NEX cameras demonstrate what can be done when size and weight are important design criteria.
But it’s not the weight of the size and weight of the camera that is important. It is the weight of the camera/lens/battery/memory card package that counts. Micro Four Thirds cameras have an inherent advantage here, since, for a given image quality, lenses for a m4/3 sensor can be made smaller and lighter than lenses for a APS-C image sensor.
This blog post collects together camera and lens sizes and weights. If camera size and weight is an important consideration for you, then these tables may be of some help. Note I make no attempt to compare the quality or ergonomics of any of these cameras, there are plenty of camera review sites that do that.
The following table gives the sizes of various mirrorless cameras, and their weights with various lenses. The pancake lens is the manufacturer’s wide angle prime lens. The zoom lens is the manufacture’s nearest equivalent to a 28-84mm (full frame) lens. The superzoom is the manufacture’s nearest equivalent to a 28-300mm (full frame) lens. All weights include batteries.
|Olympus E-P1||355g||426g||505g||645g||121 x 70 x 36 mm||230,000|
|Olympus E-P2||355g||426g||505g||645g||121 x 70 x 36 mm||230,000|
|Olympus E-PL1||334g||406g||484g||624g||115 x 72 x 42 mm||230,000|
|Panasonic GF1||315g||415g||480g||775g||119 x 71 x 36 mm||460,000|
|Sony NEX-3||297g||371g||511g||821g||117 × 62 × 33 mm||920,000|
|Sony NEX-5||287g||361g||501g||811g||111 × 59 × 38 mm||920,000|
|Samsung NX10||414g||499g||612g||831g||123 × 87× 40 mm||614,000|
The overall lightest camera/lens combination is the Sony NEX-5 with 16mm lens. This is thanks to the low weight of the Sony camera. With zoom lenses, the inherent size/weight advantage of micro4/3 comes into play: the Panasonic GF1 provides the lightest camera with standard zoom combination and the Olympus E-PL1 provides the lightest camera with superzoom combination. (Of course slightly lighter combinations could be obtained by mixing Panasonic and Olympus lenses and bodies.)
Note that Samsung does not seem to have got it. The NX10 is barely smaller or lighter than some of the smallest DSLRs (see next section).
For comparison, here are the sizes and weight of some of the smaller and lighter DSLRs:
|Canon EOS 1000D||502g||N/A||702g||1097g||126 x 98 x 65 mm||230,000|
|Nikon D60||522g||N/A||787g||1082g||126 x 94 x 64 mm||230,000|
|Olympus E-450||426g||521g||616g||N/A||130 x 91 x 53 mm||230,000|
And for further comparison, here are the weights and dimensions of some of the higher end compact cameras:
|Canon PowerShot G11 [28-140mm]||375g||112 x 76 x 48 mm||461,000|
|Canon PowerShot S90 [28-105mm]||195g||100 x 58 x 31 mm||461,000|
|Leica X1 [35mm]||306g||124 x 60 x 32 mm||230,000|
|Nikon Coolpix P6000 [28-112mm]||280g||107 x 66 x 42 mm||230,000|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 [24-60mm]||265g||109 x 60 x 27 mm||460,000|
For reference, here are the weights and sizes of the lenses available for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras:
|Olympus 9-18mm[18-36mm] f4.0-4.6||155g||57 x50 mm||52mm|
|Olympus 14-42mm[28-84mm] f3.5-5.6||150g||62 x 44 mm||40.5mm|
|Olympus 14-150mm[28-300mm] f4.0-5.6||290g||64 x 83 mm||58mm|
|Olympus 17mm[34mm] f2.8||71g||57 x 22 mm||37 mm|
|Panasonic 7-14mm[14-28mm] f4.0||300g||70 x 83 mm||–|
|Panasonic 14-42mm[28-84mm] f3.5-5.6||165g||61 x 64 mm||52 mm|
|Panasonic 14-45mm[28-84mm] f3.5-5.6||195g||60 x 60 mm||52 mm|
|Panasonic 14-140mm[28-280mm] f4.0-5.8||460g||70 x 84 mm||62 mm|
|Panasonic 20mm[40mm] f1.7||100g||63 x 26 mm||46 mm|
|Panasonic 45mm[90mm] f2.8||225g||63 x 63 mm||46 mm|
|Panasonic 45-200mm[90-400mm] f4.0-5.6||380g||70 x 100 mm||52 mm|
|Samsung 18-55mm[28-85mm] F3.5-5.6||198g||63 x 65 mm||58 mm|
|Samsung 30mm[46mm] f2||85g||62 x 22 mm||43 mm|
|Samsung 50-200mm[77-308mm] F4-5.6||417g||70 x 101 mm||52 mm|
|Sony 16mm[24mm] f2.8||74g||62 x 23 mm||49 mm|
|Sony 18-55[27-83mm] f2.5-5.6||214g||62 x 60 mm||49 mm|
|Sony 18-200[27-300mm] f3.5-6.3||524g||76 x 99 mm||67 mm|