• One thing traditional DSLRs have over the shiny toney newfangled Mirrorless paragons of wonderfulness: they can be cheeper. The forthcoming OM-D that's currently polarizing the happy opinionators on the web is going to list for $999, remember, and hey, a grand is still a grand, even when you subtract a dollar from it to make it look like less.
Compare to this deal: a refurbished Nikon D5000 for a (relatively) paltry $329.95. There's no shame in the Nikon's overachieving sensor and unostentatious form-factor; fierce competition has honed the entire class of entry-level DSLRs to high levels of competency, and the D5000 is no exception. For less than two more bills, pair it with Nikon's nifty little 35mm ƒ/1.8 prime, newly designed-for-digital just a couple of years ago, and you have a little ninja picturetaker that will run neck-and-neck in the image-quality race with the stylin' mirrorless beauties. Upgrade with a higher-level Nikon zoom in the future.
There's no shame in saving a pile of money that tall, sez I.
• Or, for a good deal at a higher price and peformance level, remember that the outgoing Canon 5D Mark II—recently replaced by the gleaming "blueprinted" Mark III (blueprinting, in an automobile engine, is when you take everything apart and put it all back together again the same way but better)—is on closeout for $2,199. Buy a Canon lens with it for further savings with Canon's current rebates. Sure, it doesn't have all the latest tweaks of the Mark III, but the Mark III is preordering for $3,499. And there's a line. I don't know about you, but with $1,300 in my pocket, my level of tolerance for less than up-to-the-minute performance goes up.
• Finally, here's something that's been outside of radio contact at TOP for a while, and that I'm just catching up on, as I'll tell you about in a little while: remember the über-Sigma, the SD1, with the best-ever Foveon sensor in it? The onlinecameragang (that must be a German term) shrugged and turned away in disappointment when it was released with an asking price of $73,000*. But Sigma has since lowered the price way, way down. The camera is now called the Sigma SD1 Merrill, in honor of the late genius Dick Merrill, father of the Foveon sensor. And they're selling it for a much more reasonable $2,299, a price reduction of $66,701 [see *. Plus, I can't do arithmetic.]
And how about this: Sigma knows that its followers are a tightly-knit band of passionate devotees, and it didn't want any of its early adopters and stalwart defenders to get a bad taste in their mouths from having their recently-bought, full-price SD1's so quickly devalued. So Sigma's refunding the difference, in lens credits, to those who paid more for the SD1 early on. Take that, nearly everybody else including Apple! That's a company devoted to its fans.
More on the SD1 sensor in a little while.
*I don't remember how much it was at its debut, so what I'm implying with this made-up number is "a lot." Oh, all right—"too much."
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Robin P: "According to Luminous-Landscape, 'When launched the [Sigma SD1] list price was USD $9,700. This quickly slipped to a street price of $6,899.'"