The Best Mirrorless Camera For Blogging (& it's not the Olympus Pen)



A few months ago after yet another bout of DSLR related back ache I decided it was about to invest in something a little smaller and more lightweight. I needed something more transportable for travel and event photography that had the image quality of a DSLR, as well as film capabilities.

At the time I really could have done with a blog post like this, and specifically something that broke down what all the numbers meant and how that actually translated to blog photography, so after a good road test I thought I'd share with which camera I went for and why I am over the moon with the results.


When I was on the hunt for a new camera social media was flooded with the trendy new kid on the block; the Olympus Pen (specifically the tres chic EPL7). The Bloggers all seemed to love them and rightly so - capabilities such as interchangeable lenses and wireless connection made them a great little asset to any Blogger's tech stash. This camera was built for vlogging with it's flip down screen, ideal for high quality insta-snaps and a bunch of great gimicky features aswell. Yet my gut was telling me to do the sensible thing and have a look around first.

With my dad's help I discovered the Sony a5100. A mirrorless, compact camera capable of far more than it's small interior lets on (and also v. cute which always helps). After comparing the stats over on this very helpful wesbsite I decided it was the one for me.

Lenses

Lenses for mirrorless cameras tend to be more expensive than those for DSLRs as the technology itself is relatively new. Sony prices however are very reasonable compared to those of other brands and Sigma's cheaper range of E mount lenses are also compatible with Sony cameras.

Sony E Mount 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 - This lens that comes in the inital kit is a great all rounder. I find this works particularly well for vlogging as well as landscape, flat lay and everyday snap-&-shoot photoraphy. If you aren't looking to purchase any additional lenses then this one will easily cover most basic needs until the point you might decide to take the plunge. I particularly like that this one doesn't make a sound when focusing, which makes it a good filming/vlogging lens but most of all I have recently been loving using it for most of my Instagram shots as the images are so much sharper that way and they zip across so easily with the wifi settings in the camera.

Sony E Mount 50mm f/1.8 - I gave in and bought the fixed 50mm just before I went to Berlin as I wanted to get some outfit shots without lugging my DSLR and interchangeable lenses about the city all day long. This one cost me I think around £200 (I bought mine in Germany so I think that's roughly the currency translation) and was worth every penny. I no longer use my DSLR for outfit photography because this is just a bloody great lens - great depth of field which makes for those gorgeous crisp foregrounds and fuzzy backgrounds. Also fantastic for portrait as well as macro, food and outfit details. It is worth considering however that the lens is fixed at 50mm so you have to rely on digital zoom when using it, and a 50mm lens on a mirrorless camera really translates to roughly 70mm. To break this down, 50mm is roughly what we see with our eyes, 70mm is more zoomed in than this, which means you do need to stand a little further back.

Film

Whilst this is the camera I use for all my Youtube needs, something worth bearing in mind about any mirrorless camera is that they are prone to overheating and turning off (usually after a solid 15 minutes filming) as they are so compact. This is really annoying when you are filming for prolonged periods of time so I wouldn't recommend buying this solely for sit down videos. Having said that this shouldn't be an issue wit vlogging and it is the camera I use for my sit down videos because the quality is so good and it is really easy to adjust brightness and vividness.

Other Features Wort a Mention

  • The flip up screen on the a5100 is fantastic for vlogging, times when you don't have anyone about to take your pics and also even for awkward shots - I use it a lot when I'm trying to shoot from a lower angle. I prefer this flip screen to that of the Olympus Pen as this one allows you to connect the camera to a tripod and still see what you are filming.
  • There is no optical viewfinder on this model, though I believe the next one up in the range (the a6000) does have one. The LCD screen is brilliant though, apart from in direct sunshine when it can feel a bit like you don't know what you're shooting! 
  • An app is available to connect the camera to the smart phone so you can use your phone as a remote control and transfer multiple files to the phone at once. I haven't yet given this a go but I have seen a few people raving about it online. 
  • I have found that the a5100 Intelligent Auto setting is amazing for almost all types of shooting, and the amount of light this camera can take in is incredible - much better than my DSLR.

Examples

As the old saying goes the proof is in the pudding, which is why I have compiled some of the photos I have taken with my a5100 right here so you can see for yourselves what the results are. These images were shot by either myself or my boyfriend; both amateur photographers. I don't doubt that the camera is capable of far more in more experienced hands! (As with all photos on my blog, colours have been enhanced with Photoshop or Lightroom)

Fashion & Outfit


50 mm lens

50 mm lens

50 mm lens

Detail

50 mm lens

50 mm lens
50 mm lens
16-50 mm lens

16-50 mm lens

Portrait/Beauty

50 mm lens

50 mm lens

50 mm lens

50 mm lens

50 mm lens

50 mm lens

Food

50 mm lens

50mm lens

16-50 mm lens

16-50 mm lens

50 mm lens

50 mm lens

Travel/Lifestyle

50 mm lens

50 mm lens

50 mm lens

50 mm lens
50 mm lens
16-50 mm lens

50 mm lens


50 mm lens

50 mm lens

16-50 mm lens
I really hope this helps to easily break down the features of the Sony a5100 and why, to me, it is the best mirrorless camera for blogging.

Have you given the Sony mirrorless cameras a go? What are your favourite cameras/lenses for shooting Blog photography?

Ella x


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5 comments

  1. Thanks so much for writing this post it was SO helpful:-) Currently using my Canon DSLR and getting tired of lugging that big ol' thing around! Wanted something much smaller but was taken aback from the ridiculous price of the Olympus Pen :o I think you've converted me to go with a Sony camera now so thanks! xx

    www.thestyleidealist.com

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    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased this has been useful! Honestly you won't believe the power of this little thing, my poor DSLR hasn't had an outing in months! Thanks for the feedback :) xx

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  2. Beautiful, beautiful photos! I actually read up a bunch on the olympus pen this morning and was almost decided on buying it, but now I'm stuck - thank you so much for sharing!

    xx Alyssa
    VISIONS OF NYC // @alyszsa

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I do hope this has helped just to shed a bit of light on what else is on the market. I would definitely recommend giving the a5100 a go in a store to try it out! Xx

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  3. Hi, does it have a wifi? Can you transfer the photo from this camera to iphone?

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