Three cameras ranging from fashion accessory to ergonomic workhorse
With its leatherette finish available in black, white or brown, the retro-chic E-PL9 certainly looks the part, though its ‘metal’ top and base plates are in fact satin plastic. This is one of the most compact interchangeable-lens cameras you can buy, helped largely by the tiny bundled lens that manages to give a comparable zoom range to the Canon and Nikon optics while being a fraction of their length. The E-PL9’s compactness hasn’t compromised its usability though. The three-inch rear touchscreen tilts up and down, making it easier to capture shots from different angles, and it can also flip down through 180 degrees to face forward when you want to snap a self-portrait.
Although the Nikon D5600 is small by DSLR camera standards, it’s still easily the largest camera here due to the internal mechanics required for its optical viewfinder. But the payoff is the most comfortable body design of the three, with a deep-sculpted grip well suited to larger hands. The utilitarian textured black plastic aesthetic gives a professional camera feel, but don’t expect the magnesium internal construction and weather sealing of Nikon’s high-end DSLR cameras. The bundled 18-55mm lens is larger than those from Canon
The Nikon D5600 has a deep-sculpted body grip suited to larger hands
and Olympus, but its clever retractable design does at least make it the smallest DSLR lens of its type.
The EOS M50 falls neatly between the other two cameras in size. It’s large enough to sit comfortably in the hand, but can still fit in a jacket pocket. The glossy, unashamedly plastic casing helps keep combined camera and lens weight down to a comfortable 520g, though overall build quality doesn’t feel as solid as the Olympus or Nikon. The M50 is the only camera here to sport an electronic viewfinder, and it works well, giving a realistic preview with accurate colour and contrast. Canon’s menu system can also display a novice-friendly guided mode, where you get handy explanations to clarify more technical shooting options.