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02/25/2012 10:36:47 AM · #1
I am very tempted to downsize to micro-four thirds or the Sony NEX-7. Actually, I just upsized by ordering a D800E. But other than specialized photo excursions, I am pretty sure I'd be unhappy taking that along on family trips (where I do a lot of my landscapes involving travel, unfortunately). I have a LX5, but it's really not enough camera.

To make a long story short, I've been eyeing the NEX-7, and the Micro 4/3 cameras. Anyone here make a "switch" from an SLR "down", or is it always a second camera. And in either case, have you found it "to be enough"? (And which one?)

02/25/2012 11:01:41 AM · #2
Are you set on Digital?
02/25/2012 11:13:26 AM · #3
I will be downsizing shortly and will be ordering the Fuji X Pro1 when its available, probably just buy two lenses to begin with, the 35mm and the 60mm, i tend to be using a prime lens more and more recently and to be able to head off to town with a much lighter package is a very attractive proposition. I will keep a crop sensor SLR for set up shots etc.
02/25/2012 11:17:58 AM · #4
For landscape, I actually think micro 4/3 has some merit. The IQ is getting better all the time, and the smaller sensor means that expansive DoF is easier to achieve. The question is, will the micro 4/3 image quality be good enough for you personally?
I know that for myself, I'm looking at the supposed specs of the upcoming next-generation 5D, and again thinking that it's not the direction that I need or want to go. So I may again be playing a waiting game, or I may choose to pick up a 5DII body, which would be a really nice upgrade for me, and relatively inexpensive. I simply cannot see making the trade to micro 4/3 as a main system... although I could see a large-sensor compact as a "fun" camera. What I really want is a body that will put me in medium format territory with regard to landscape image quality. I won't settle for less.
02/25/2012 11:56:39 AM · #5
I also of late have been thinking of this type of downsizing. Will watch this with interest.
02/25/2012 12:19:08 PM · #6
While not planning to sell my Canon 7D, I find it rather heavy to carry everywhere, even with just one lens, and often find I don't have the lens I need with me when I find an interesting shot. So I really feel mirrorless is the way to go for daily use.

After much research I had come to the conclusion that the Panasonic G3 was the mirrorless camera best suited to my needs. Finding a shop in South Africa that stocks Panasonic is extremely difficult, but I found one shop that had it. When I had finally decided to commit to the camera, I discovered that they only had the demo model in stock, and they wouldn't give any kind of discount on what I regarded as a used camera, so I didn't buy it, but asked to be informed when they got new stock. A couple of days later I thought I had made a mistake in waiting but by then even the demo model had been sold. Now I've been told they should have them first or second week of March.

In the meanwhile many shops that don't stock Panasonic have told me I'll have problems with service. One suggested that Nikon was the only way to go, but that small sensor really puts me off. I now see that Canon has registered a lens for mirrorless so there is a camera coming - but when? I really want to make a decision one way or another and stop wasting time on research, so I'll be interested to see what others have to say here.
02/25/2012 12:33:56 PM · #7
I have an Olympus E-520 and am getting the Oly EM-5 (OM-D). I'm thinking possibly that might be upsizing for me rather than downsizing :)

I'm switching because I wanted a smaller camera that would allow me to use the lenses I already have. Plus I was looking for a smaller body. And - it looks like I'll finally be getting better ISO results. I am looking forward to getting this camera.
02/25/2012 12:45:39 PM · #8
I have S95 (I don't know how quality compares with micro four thirds) but I am not happy with the quality as compared with the 550D for longer exposures. Although I have been looking forward to the 5D MKIII announcement next week I might use it for getting MKII at a lower price (I hope the price will go down after MKIII is out).
02/25/2012 02:21:44 PM · #9
Just bought Pany GX1 with 14mm f2.5 lens last month…It feels good in my hand but not easy for me to frame via lcd as I’m used to do it using optical view finder and after some shooting experience I feel the need of view finder more and more also think it would be good to have anti shake in camera body…uummm need more time to learn and practice!

Here are some jpeg shot direct from camera, only cropped and resized using lightroom 2, ooops… its raw file can’t be opened in lightroom 2, atm I have to use Silkypix Developer Studio 3.1 SE which is bundled with the purchase.

Hi contrast
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Morning
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Mid day
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Night shot
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Indoor
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Flash
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Art filter
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I’m not up to the capacity of judging IQ but so far I’m quite satisfied, wish you all the best.
02/25/2012 02:37:23 PM · #10
I bought an Olympus PEN-EPL1 last summer. It's handy if you don't want to carry your gear, but I certainly am not about to ditch the rest of the gear and keep the PEN as my only camera.
02/25/2012 03:05:46 PM · #11
Originally posted by galatia_n:

Just bought Pany GX1 with 14mm f2.5 lens last month…It feels good in my hand but not easy for me to frame via lcd as I’m used to do it using optical view finder and after some shooting experience I feel the need of view finder more and more ...


That's why I'm interested in the Panasonic G3 - built in viewfinder and flash. It's a bit bigger than the GX1, but it looks just like a mini-DSLR.
02/25/2012 04:02:40 PM · #12
I won a couple of PEN E-PL1s in a photo contest. Otherwise, I never would have given it a thought. I sold one of the cameras and bought a flash and a better zoom. I am totally sold on the M4/3 concept. I sold all my Canon gear and now I have and E-PL2 and an E-P3. I've also got a bag full of lenses, Olympus, Lumix and Leica, all native M4/3.

I ravel a lot in my work and carrying around the PEN gear is so much better than lugging the Canon 5DII and lenses around the world.

The E-P3 is an outstanding camera. I've also pre-ordered the new OM-D. It looks very promising.

I was concerned about the smaller sensor, and yes if you are looking at 100% magnification on the computer screen you will see some difference in the IQ between the PENs and the FF Canon. That's to be expected. However, I've printed very large prints from both and the PEN holds up remarkably well. And for web viewing there is no difference in IQ. With the final product of prints or viewing on the web there is no practical perceptible difference in the IQ on the PENs and the larger sensor camera.

You do have the deal with the DOF issue. A lot more is in focus on the smaller sensors as a previous poster mentioned. The have been some really high quality primes introduced recently, the Leica 25mm 1.4, the Olympus 12mm 2.0 and the Olympus 4mm 1.8. These are fast enough to get the shallow DOF you may miss from FF sensors. All are getting tremendous reviews. I have the Leica 25mm 1.4 and can attest to its IQ.

I follow a couple of web sites that deal largely with m4/3 and mirrorless cameras,

43 Rumors and MU-43

Here are a few of my m4/3 images on DPC

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02/25/2012 04:16:39 PM · #13
Originally posted by Neil:

I am very tempted to downsize to micro-four thirds or the Sony NEX-7. Actually, I just upsized by ordering a D800E. But other than specialized photo excursions, I am pretty sure I'd be unhappy taking that along on family trips (where I do a lot of my landscapes involving travel, unfortunately). I have a LX5, but it's really not enough camera.

To make a long story short, I've been eyeing the NEX-7, and the Micro 4/3 cameras. Anyone here make a "switch" from an SLR "down", or is it always a second camera. And in either case, have you found it "to be enough"? (And which one?)


I have been shooting with the Oly E-p3 for several months now and had been using the (now antique) E-500 dslr. i'm not finding it much different in "carry-ability". I still want to have a couple lenses, so i need to carry a bag. and since i'm carrying a bag i keep extra batteries, chargers, maybe another lens (just in case), etc. So the camera body size ends up not being that much of a factor after all.

I really like the PEN. It's a fun camera and may keep it, but after owning it for only a few months i feel like i want to go and get a larger/pro dslr, make the switch to possibly a full-frame system. (To tell you the truth, i take more pictures with my iphone than any other camera and for most purposes it suits me well.) If i want to make gallery prints i don't know that i'd use the Pen. I still have to try it and see.

Are you keeping the D7000? do you like it?
02/25/2012 04:32:46 PM · #14
Originally posted by briantammy:

Originally posted by Neil:

I am very tempted to downsize to micro-four thirds or the Sony NEX-7. Actually, I just upsized by ordering a D800E. But other than specialized photo excursions, I am pretty sure I'd be unhappy taking that along on family trips (where I do a lot of my landscapes involving travel, unfortunately). I have a LX5, but it's really not enough camera.

To make a long story short, I've been eyeing the NEX-7, and the Micro 4/3 cameras. Anyone here make a "switch" from an SLR "down", or is it always a second camera. And in either case, have you found it "to be enough"? (And which one?)


I have been shooting with the Oly E-p3 for several months now and had been using the (now antique) E-500 dslr. i'm not finding it much different in "carry-ability". I still want to have a couple lenses, so i need to carry a bag. and since i'm carrying a bag i keep extra batteries, chargers, maybe another lens (just in case), etc. So the camera body size ends up not being that much of a factor after all.

I really like the PEN. It's a fun camera and may keep it, but after owning it for only a few months i feel like i want to go and get a larger/pro dslr, make the switch to possibly a full-frame system. (To tell you the truth, i take more pictures with my iphone than any other camera and for most purposes it suits me well.) If i want to make gallery prints i don't know that i'd use the Pen. I still have to try it and see.

Are you keeping the D7000? do you like it?


I like it, but I didn't find the D7000 much of a step up from the D90 (I still have that too). But my favorite carry is the Tamrac Velocity 6, fits camera and lens, and one extra lens plus filters. Anything bigger than that feels like I'm lugging stuff around (I use the Velocity 7 too, which is a bit bigger, I can carry the 7000, the 18-200, a 10-20, and a 10.5 fish. but even that's a lot to lug around with you EVERYWHERE while on vacation. But the alternative is leaving it in the room.

Also, I bought a 70-200 f2.8, and a 24-70 f2.8, and I have to use an even bigger bag to carry those anywhere. And as I move to a FF camera, I'll need to use the 28-300 as my kit lens, get a new fisheye and new wide angle. And all the lenses are big and heavy.

What's interesting to me about the micro 4/3 is that not only is the camera body smaller, the lenses are too. If I could get a good fisheye, excellent wide angle, and a 18-200 (27-300) equivalent, and it fit in my Velocity 6 or even smaller bag, I'd be pretty happy. Especially if the IQ were good enough to make 16x24 prints (my typical landscape print to canvas).

Of course, three things that are very important to me: IS/VR, quick/accurate autofocus, and low light performance. ISO 1600 has to be very usable for 10x15 prints, and 3200 for 8x12. And I think I need a viewfinder.
02/26/2012 01:29:54 PM · #15
A question to users of Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3: Do you use the touch screen for shooting, and if so, how happy are you with the results? I consider touch screen shooting one of the big attractions of the Panasonic G3 as I find I often miss shots because I'm not quick enough picking the correct focus point. I did get to try out the camera briefly in the shop, but in poor light and initially with ISO settings to slow to avoid camera shake, so it was difficult to tell how well the camera was doing.
02/26/2012 08:39:02 PM · #16
Originally posted by Neil:



Of course, three things that are very important to me: IS/VR, quick/accurate autofocus, and low light performance. ISO 1600 has to be very usable for 10x15 prints, and 3200 for 8x12. And I think I need a viewfinder.


Low light performance is the Achilles heal of the m4/3 format. I do not recommend anything over ISO 640 in the current crop of m4/3 cameras. That might change with the new Olympus OM-D line. Early test say the low light performance is greatly improved. The cameras start shipping in April, so we'll know soon enough. I have seen some samples and it does look promising.

Here's an article with some sample images.

Keep in mind, FF sensors will always perform better than m4/3 sensors. High ISO is where that becomes most noticeable. At ISO 400 and below is where the difference is negligible IMHO.

That's trade off for a light weight, compact, versatile system.
02/26/2012 08:40:40 PM · #17
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

A question to users of Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3: Do you use the touch screen for shooting, and if so, how happy are you with the results? I consider touch screen shooting one of the big attractions of the Panasonic G3 as I find I often miss shots because I'm not quick enough picking the correct focus point. I did get to try out the camera briefly in the shop, but in poor light and initially with ISO settings to slow to avoid camera shake, so it was difficult to tell how well the camera was doing.


I've used on the E-P3. It works just fine. Haven't tried it in low light, though. You do need to turn it off when carrying the camera around your neck or it will fire shots if it bounces against your body.
02/27/2012 05:20:34 AM · #18
Originally posted by Neil:

What's interesting to me about the micro 4/3 is that not only is the camera body smaller, the lenses are too. If I could get a good fisheye, excellent wide angle, and a 18-200 (27-300) equivalent, and it fit in my Velocity 6 or even smaller bag, I'd be pretty happy. Especially if the IQ were good enough to make 16x24 prints (my typical landscape print to canvas).

Of course, three things that are very important to me: IS/VR, quick/accurate autofocus, and low light performance. ISO 1600 has to be very usable for 10x15 prints, and 3200 for 8x12. And I think I need a viewfinder.


Fisheye: Samyang 8mm in m43 mount $299 B&H manual focus only. Panasonic also makes a FE with AF but more than double the price.
Wide angles zooms: Panny 7-14mm F4, very sharp high quality lens but big and heavy (for m43) and expensive. Oly 9-18 f4-5.6 small and light weight with excellent image quality.
Wide angle primes: Oly 12mm f2 (excellent write ups but more for street shooting).
Wide ranging zoom: not available yet but you could get a P45-175mm (90-350 EFL) with a standard zoom like P14-45 (very high quality kit lens ~$300 or an Oly 40-150mm with standard zoom. The native m43 lenses are not only small but light weight and easy to carry and pack.

If IS is that important to you then I wouldn't get any other m43 camera but the new OMD with 5 axis in-body image stabilization. As far as I know, no other system has 5 axis and all your lenses become stabilized. You can read about it HERE - with test. Pitch, Yaw, and Roll are added to stabiliztion in addition to the up-down and side-to-side motions.

Auto Focus: Olympus is touting the OMD as having the fastest and most acccurate AF (contrast detect) of any camera system. However, this is for single shot only and if you're looking for continuous AF tracking this is a weakness of the m43 system right now. The OMD has a burst rate of 9fps in single shot AF with only the first shot of the series having been auto focused. In continuous AF its fps is 4.2. OMD shutter is very quiet.

Low light: As has already been pointed out, not a strong point of the m43 system, but fast lenses negate this somewhat and there are a slew of them. In addition to the 12/2, 20/1.7, 25/1.4, 45/1.8 Oly is coming out with a 75mm f1.8 (150mm equiv) and Panny is coming out with fast zooms (12-35mm and 35mm-100mm) probably f2.8. One big advantage of fast native m43 lenses is that they are sharp wide open and you can use them at max aperture without IQ degradation. You want even faster than f1.4 say you? Voigtlander (Cosina) makes two lenses with native m43 mount and max aperture of f0.95! DOF very narrow, bokeh beautiful, all-metal, heavy, but well built lenses. They are manual focus only and of high quality but expensive and you lose EXIF. CV 25mm is about $1,000 and the new, not out yet, 17mm around $1,300. F0.95 will give you DOF of f2 in FF but the low light capabilities! (Word of caution: hard to get your hands on these. They are always back-ordered and wait times long.) Lots of other third party support too. Sigma, Zeiss (although so far only cine lenses), and others. Consider legacy lenses for use with a mirrorless camera with adapter. Fast lenses can be had very cheap from Ebay or KEH and adapters are $20.

OMD is weather sealed and of high build quality. The only lens weather sealed is the new 12-50mm kit zoom but reports so far are of poor image quality. This lens is slow and probably more for video shooting with its power zoom. Five bladed diaphragm probably yields busy bokeh.

Other negatives of m43: Dynamic range. Too many blown clouds, even with HDR, although I probably did not bracket enough. OMD is supposed to be better (but NEX better still with APS-C sized sensor). SEE HERE.
I hate the ergonomics of my G2 and I don't have big hands. But again, OMD supposed to be much better.

You may not like an EVF compared with an OVF and you should weigh the pros and cons. Although the Olympus EVF in the OMD is of high quality, this is where Sony NEX have a better one. OLED screen with considerably better resolution and colors, plus, the NEX-7 has focus peaking for manual focusing. Olympus and Panasonic use enlarged images in the VF and while effective this is slower and more clunky. It is possible that Olympus will add focus peaking later with a firmware update.

Olympus may have a new sensor manufacturer for the OMD according to rumors and I think Oly management has confirmed this but not 100% sure. No longer a Panasonic one but if you're also going to be shooting video Panasonic is king here. GH2 also very good camera and GH3 coming out in about a year. Mirrorless cameras will consume a lot more battery power. Just some things to consider.

Message edited by author 2012-02-27 06:03:12.
02/27/2012 01:04:09 PM · #19
I understand that the sensors in the Panasonic G3, GH2 and G1X are supposed to be better than in any other Panasonic or Olympus M43 camera other than the new OMD. However a salesman at a camera shop told me that the Panasonic processor isn't very good. I don't know whether this is true or whether he was trying to talk me out of M43 as they don't stock either make. He suggested Nikon, though for himself he said the only mirrorless he would consider is Fuji, which will be way outside my price range.

As M43 cameras are difficult to get hold of in South Africa, I have been asking around a lot and getting different opinions everywhere. I don't really know who to believe any more. Neither Sony nor Nikon feels right for me. And it's anyone's guess when Canon will finally announce theirs.
02/27/2012 01:12:15 PM · #20
Proof that we don't NEED big cameras. I'm waiting for the Fuji X Pro 1 as well.
02/27/2012 01:21:53 PM · #21
Neil I have to be honest with you. I think you should really consider what you are thinking of doing before making this your primary camera. Consider your studio work, consider your landscape work, and the work you do in theater.
02/27/2012 04:14:06 PM · #22
Originally posted by MattO:

Neil I have to be honest with you. I think you should really consider what you are thinking of doing before making this your primary camera. Consider your studio work, consider your landscape work, and the work you do in theater.


Definitely.

But, I can't pretend that having an LX3 on steroids wouldn't be really cool. A friend of mine was looking into the NEX series, and while they seem sorta cool, I wouldn't lean towards them. The lenses make an extremely compact camera not compact, and they are rather lacking in selection. The Oly/Panny versions improve this significantly with all their pancake lenses, but if I'm carrying a small camera I also want it to do decently in low light for random grabs. I've come to accept this is a pipe dream at current, and that to get low light shots you need a large, expensive body. I'm also not a big fan of the increased DoF. While it's great for landscape, it is horrible for most low light shots. So, I guess it largely depends if you're looking to use it as a slightly larger P&S with great quality or like a DSLR.
02/27/2012 04:52:09 PM · #23
Originally posted by bspurgeon:

Proof that we don't NEED big cameras. I'm waiting for the Fuji X Pro 1 as well.


omg, now I know that Ubique comes with the camera I'm getting one.
02/27/2012 05:29:50 PM · #24
So I've been reading the reviews, the lens reviews too, since as we know, a camera is no good without a good lens. Then I see that the M4/3 formats going to really start costing me like my SLR. And if I can't get rid of my SLR, and these are really outdoor cameras anyway, I'm starting to wonder if a fixed lens camera isn't a better choice.

The 7-18 sounds like a great lens, but doesn't take filters, and cost $899. The fisheye costs more than my Nikon Fisheye costs me. The cheap lenses are indeed cheap, but don't get rated very well.

The Fuji Pro 1 does sound great. Again, it will depend on lenses.

I'm even wondering if I just stay with the SLR, and then build a second lightweight "kit" with compacts. Add this to my LX-5:

//www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-FZ150K-Digital-Camera-Optical/dp/B005HQ50SO/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1330379289&sr=1-1

It doesn't have the best sensor, but a 25-600mm Leica zoom lens for $435 doesn't sound bad at all!

I've never seen one, but I'm guessing they're about the size of the G3.

Certainly not going to be for shooting portraits. But hey, if David Muench can shoot landscapes with these, maybe I should! (And should also be good for architecture, city shots, street candids.)

02/27/2012 07:34:22 PM · #25
I have an E-PL1 with the kit lens and a Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH. While excellent to carry everywhere, snap HD video etc I am still waiting to get the cash for the 5DM2... so I stopped here with the m3/4 line.

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If I were you ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/12253.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/user_id/12253.gif', '/') + 1) . ' NeilI'll go for a fixed lens camera.


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