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I have been researching a lot for finding an easy-to-carry, lightweight camera for landscape which also works in low-light conditions, long exposures and night photography. Please note, I am a photo-enthusiast and photography is not my profession.

I can compromise in image quality to certain extent and don't want high level noise introduced in high ISO(1600-6400 and above). The last thing I want is to carry around 10 kgs of camera and lenses around, because I plan to use the same camera setup for usual day shooting.

I have handled Canon 7D and a few Canon L lenses and do not like the combined weight of the camera and lens alone, as I am sure over time I will become tired of carrying the weight around. Thus, Nikon d7100, Canon 7D and other DSLRs while great, are not for me. For this reason also, I am not keen on A77 which is large and heavy(I think).

I am only considering mirrorless cameras and lenses at this point. The Sony A7r and Sony A7 are too restrictive in terms of body-price alone. While the Olympus OMD EM-1 has massive issues at ISOs ~ 1200-1600 and is not suitable for low-light and night photography(although everywhere else it is a very very good alternative to DSLR). It also has issues with long exposure.

I am curious about Sony A6000 but haven't seen many reviews online. Thus, Sony A6000 interests me but I do not know how it compares with Canons and Nikons(7D and 7100 respectively).

I want to invest in a camera which serves me well for next 2-3 years, also considering native and interchangeable lens.

Are there any mirrorless alternatives to APS-C DSLRs like Nikon D7100/Canon 7D considering IQ and ISO performance in low-light/long exposure?

The factors under consideration:

  1. Weight of camera and lenses
  2. Low Light and High ISO performance
  3. Night Photography Image Quality(IQ)
  4. Long Exposure
  5. Lens variety (current and future)
  6. Ergonomics and Ease of use
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closed as off-topic by mattdm, MikeW, John Cavan May 8 '14 at 1:16

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product or service recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – mattdm, MikeW, John Cavan
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Instead of putting the question on hold, I will prefer some answers and responses :/ – bla May 8 '14 at 1:18
@mattdm: There are tags - equipment-recommendation, camera-recommendation. Why is this question off-topic? I have a specific problem and have fully described it here, in lucid detail. – bla May 8 '14 at 1:32
Read the wiki on the tags. For example: This tag should not be used for shopping questions. The reason is that the answer become useless in a short window and so that doesn't add to the long term value of the site. There are camera hardware sites with nice feature searches, that is their purpose. – John Cavan May 8 '14 at 2:27
@JohnCavan - Can you guide me where to post this "shopping" question? Which site/forum I should go to? – bla May 8 '14 at 2:36
Hmm... Well aces, DP Review would be a place to start. As an aside, multiple accounts is a bit frowned upon, you might want to settle on one of them. – John Cavan May 8 '14 at 2:40

I don't want to have a compromise in image quality and don't want high level noise introduced in high ISO(1600-6400 and above). The last thing I want is to carry around 10 kgs of camera and lenses around, because I plan to use the same camera setup for usual day shooting.

The laws of physics are against what you want. To capture enough light to create low noise photos in low light you need bigger lenses and larger sensors.

In low light to capture more photons you need a larger entrance pupil which requires a larger diameter for the front of the lens. Larger diameter lenses mean they contain more materials and also need more corrective elements which mean more weight and higher prices.

On the other end of the camera, a larger sensor can capture more photons than a smaller one when both are attached to a lens projecting an image circle for each respective sensor size with the same field of view. Larger sensors require larger light boxes (thus larger cameras) and longer focal length lenses to provide the same field of view as smaller sensors provide with shorter focal lengths.

Imagine that the light you capture to create a photo is rain: If you are under a torrential downpour (bright light) you can catch a cup of water very quickly with a small cup. If you are in a light drizzle (low light) you need a very large bucket to catch the same amount of water in the same amount of time.

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I understand there has to be a compromise in IQ if I am not considering full frame cameras. But I am willing to consider mirroless w/ APS-C sensors with decent performance(on par like Nikon D7100, which uses cropped sensor too) – bla May 8 '14 at 0:25
The Olympus E-M1 is on par with the D7100, and it's not even APS. – BBking May 8 '14 at 0:50
Sony makes a mirrorless camera with a full frame sensor, but you only gain the full advantage in low light if you are willing to put the same large lenses on it that you would put on a DSLR. The same is true when comparing smaller form factor cameras with APS-C size sensors to DSLRs with APS-C sized sensors. And what is the point of going for a super lightweight camera if you are going to hang a full size/weight lens on it? – Michael Clark May 8 '14 at 3:56

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