A 2nd camera ...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Speedliner, May 28, 2016.

  1. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Real Name:
    my 14yr old daughter has elected a photography course in her summer camp. I'm all for it of course, but she needs a DSLR and a basic kit and I don't want to give up my e-m1 for a month. So I want to buy a 2nd camera.

    What to get then? An obvious choice would be a 2nd MFT body. Then she could take a few of my lenses and flash. A 2nd body would be useful.

    It's also an opportunity to try another format. D7100s and k-50s for instance are selling for very reasonable prices. Would be fun to try a DSLR AF system and the d7100 IQ would be an interesting experiment.

    What do you think...e-m5, e-m10, another e-m1...new format. No format bashing, just discussion.
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  2. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    I would think sticking with the same format would make sense IMO to save money on duplicate lenses. If exploring a new format is of interest, then that is another story.

    The E-M5 would be great for a photography class. It has manual settings and it can be purchased at decent prices given its age in the market.
  3. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Veteran

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    I own the D7100 and still use it for certain things. The image quality is outstanding, noise is well controlled, easy to remove and not unpleasant to look at. The buffer sucks, but the continuous auto focus is better than my (admittedly 3 year old) M43. The issue is that the 24mpx sensor is only at its best with good glass - although the 35mm f1.8g is reasonably priced and sharp as anything.

    If the class asks for a DSLR, is she going to be self-concious going in with a M43? You don't want to put her off before she's started.

    That all said, any M43 with a viewfinder is going to be ideal for her, especially as you can share glass and decent lenses are more reasonably priced on this system.
  4. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Real Name:
    A used E-M10 would be an excellent choice and keep your costs down. The ability to evaluate exposure without chimping is a huge advantage compared to DSLR bodies. The downside is that your daughter will start 'borrowing' your lenses if she gets hooked on photography. If you get her an Olympus camera, make sure you set it up for her and get her comfortable with the configuration before going to camp. It's awful to try and learn your camera features and the basics of photography at the same time.
    If you can find out what the instructor uses, it may be worthwhile to buy an older used model of that camera so her questions can be answered on the spot by someone reasonably familiar with that brand and model of camera.
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  5. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Used E-M5 + 12-50. Cheap, very capable, good to learn on, weather-resistant.
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  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    This has been hashed and re-hashed here in the context of a single photographer. I think the consensus is that a second identical body is desirable if the two are to be used together with different focal length lenses for things like event or nature photography. Where they are not to be used together, recommendations diverge and range from sticking to the same family of cameras to "anything goes."

    In your case it would seem like sticking to the M43 genre, maybe even the Olympus brand would be wise. If she blossoms as a photographer she will then have your whole kit to hijack (err ... let's say "explore"). Many years ago I gave my son a Nikkormat while I was shooting Nikon Fs. It worked out pretty well and I think he's now arguably a better photographer than I am.

    If this second camera is also to be a toy for you, they you're back to "anything goes."

    Regardless, you're not getting married here. If the object of your desire doesn't work out, just sell and buy something else. Buying and selling used equipment, done with some patience, can be inexpensive, free, or even profitable.
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  7. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    I'm always cost conscious so a used EM10 or EM5 would be my first choices. With all the exterior controls, a Panasonic G2 is another low budget option. A G5, also inexpensive, is a step up in the sensor but not as nice in the hand.

  8. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 10, 2016
    Real Name:
    Rob Campbell
    is it for you or your daughter?

    m43 can be a bit technical to pull a great shot. why not get her what the class is asking for and get a d7100 or d5300 and a kit lens? buy it at best buy with a solid return policy or rent one from lensrentals.

    if she shows an interest, get the em10 or em5 and share the experience.

    edit: depending on the teacher, if your daughter has questions, the teach may be better able to answer on a camera that is more familiar to them.
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  9. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    I'd opt for something even a little older. A Nikon D50 or D300 used are not much and kit zooms or a 35/50 prime are not expensive either. The D300 is going to give you a great C-AF experience. I still use it for sports to this day. Very quick and reliable. Then, if the DSLR bug hits you, you can get a better body and still have done decent lenses.

    Just another option.
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  10. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 25, 2014
    Real Name:
    Interesting question, interesting answers so far. I actually kept my Nikon system around when I went to try out :mu43: - and while the latter has actually done what the Nikon DSLR hadn't, i.e. bring back my passion for photography, I tried the old D90 again after hanging out with the E-PM1 and the E-M10 for a while and found it to actually be a very nice camera to shoot ... In fact, I'd still find it easy to recommend that camera even in today's market (I still use it as a backup or second camera, and it's as reliable as anything). That said, the D5300 and of course the D7100 blow it out of the water in terms of IQ, and the D7100 is superior in every respect.

    After reading the thread, I'm no longer sure about my first hunch - which would have been to get her a used E-M10 or E-M5 and a decent new lens for little money (in my book, that means one of the following: Panasonic 25mm f/1.7, Sigma 30mm f/2.8, Panasonic 12-32mm, Panasonic 14-42mm II). You would get a small, capable kit with gorgeous IQ (albeit not sealed). The two small Panasonic zooms punch way above their weight and probably fit the desription of a "basic" kit lens better, but I'd really add one of the primes - I think they both represent fantastic value, and they're only the tip of the iceberg. And you'd be able to directly support and grow her interest in photography from a technical and a system standpoint.

    Yet - the Nikon proposal, especially with a camera as capable as the D7100, is really fascinating. With a D300(s) or D90, you won't gain a lot (if anything) in terms of IQ over :mu43:, even though the D300(s) is a powerful workhorse camera, whereas a D7000 would mean a step up, but a D7100 is a fantastic camera with great IQ. I personally also have nothing against the more playful, yet very usable D5*00 cameras - my current APS-C body being a D5500... But I'd avoid the kit lenses, which would make the whole acquistion a little more complicated and more expensive. Of course, that's just my opinion.

    As a system, Nikon offers a lot - albeit with some major gaps in the (prime) lens lineup for APS-C - you'd have to get the bigger and more expensive FF lenses. Anyhow, that doesn't matter a lot anymore since Sigma got their game together - the 18-35mm f/1.8 may be huge, but it's worth every ounce and penny ... Which brings me to a key point: Just be aware that any DSLR outfit will be (often a lot) bulkier and heavier than a comparable :mu43: outfit - so lugging a more extensive kit around isn't much fun. The current small zooms (the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm) are both positively tiny and very light. But they feel like it, too, and I'm no fan of the kit zooms in terms of build and IQ - I'd take the Olympus 14-42mm IIR (their cheapest offering) over the last couple of generation of 18-55mm lenses any day. And the Panasonic 14-42mm II is even better (though the plastic mount on that one's frankly a bit rubbish). All in all, I think that the basic(!) offerings for :mu43: beat the ones from Nikon. But there's always the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 C lens ... And the really good Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX makes a fantastic first prime - well worth its price.

    So, what to recommend? Either a cheap solution that won't swallow up your funds - i.e. a used body and a cheap-ish (kit) lens; I'd say that :mu43: has actually one over the Nikon offerings in that respect (at least if you don't go back a couple of generations for a pro or enthusiast body like the D300s or D90), and you can share a system. Or you could put in a little more money and research and put together a more capable and dedicated kit - in this case, I'd say the Nikon route starts to look very interesting indeed, especially with a body like the D7100 at the core.

  11. dancebert

    dancebert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2014
    Hua Hin, Thailand
    I wouldn't treat the course hardware requirements as a suggestion. It will be easier on both student and teacher if you stick to the teacher's plan.

    I wouldn't burden a beginner with the Oly menu system. Simply playing with it could put any beginner off photography.

    Instead I'd find a used entry level Canon/Nikon. If her photo interest grows, there is no way of knowing in what direction, so treat the first camera as a placeholder. If it doesn't grow, used DSLR gear is easier to sell than m43.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
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  12. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    I suspect your first thoughts may still be valid and you may have answered your own question:-

    "I actually kept my Nikon system around when I went to try out :mu43: - and while the latter has actually done what the Nikon DSLR hadn't, i.e. bring back my passion for photography"

    My EM5 did the same for me and if she is enjoying using the camera she is much more likely to explore what the camera will and will not do. Once she finds the camera limits her somehow (could take some time!) then that might be the time to discus with her other systems and what they could do that m43 cannot.

    The other question is size. My daughter has small hands and struggles to hold Canikons and would choose something smaller every time.
  13. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    You cound do worse than one of the Panasonic G series models. I bought my daughter a G3, which suits her for the moment, and she loves having a viewfinder which her previous cheap P&S didn't have. Plus it looks like a small DSLR. And by keeping the camera the same format as mine doesn't just mean the ability to swap lenses, it also gives the opportunity for me to upgrade and upgrade hers with my old one :)

    Also, I would assume that the course doesn't actually require a DSLR as such, just a "DSLR style" camera, i.e. some thing with manual controls, etc. If so, I'd be surprised if she was the only mirrorless user - I've heard that Sony make a reasonably popular range of mirrorless cameras also ;)
  14. Alex Aina

    Alex Aina Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2016
    In a summer camp a cheap camera with basic zoom kit seems better: the risk of a theft is real IMO. Your daughter is quite young and teenagers aren't so careful...
    The fact she'll allways have to carry it in her bag imply a small and light kit, and a weatherproof one would be better.
    If she become fan of photography she'll often use it later, so here again a small one feel better.
    For all what I said I'll advise a cheap little ยต4/3 camera (2 wheels for speed and diaph would be a good thing) with a 12-50mm zoom (or even smaller) and/or a prime (to learn playing with DOF).
    Later you could share your lenses or get it back if she finally doesn't go on more...
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  15. Alex Aina

    Alex Aina Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2016
    And don't forget a 2d battery!!! :biggrin:
  16. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:
    E1 and 14-54. Bomb proof and dirt cheap.
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  17. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    It's a basic photography course - the Oly menu system doesn't even need to be touched, to be honest. I think getting a body with multiple control dials is preferable, however. Direct and simple access to your basic shooting parameters - aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensatie - and access to modes (AF and drive) will provide 99% of what you need in any situations. I don't see how a MFT camera is any more complicated than a DSLR from a purely functional perspective, and the viewfinder experience on the E-M5/E-M10 will be nicer than a crop DSLR. Handling will be nicer than a crop DSLR with poor dial layout.

    Also remember that to get the full benefit of a DSLR AF system you'll want something nicer than a kit lens.

    I would also ask your daughter; the camera that appeals is much more likely to get used than a camera that does not.
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  18. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    These kinds of comments have always bothered me. I have shot Canon, Fuji, Olympus and have a friend who is always asking me how to do stuff with her Sony Nex so I have gotten pretty intimate with Sony also. All the menu systems are equally complex and just get more so as new features are added. None of them are any more complex then the others. It just a matter of what you are familiar with. When fist switching systems they all seem complicated, after some use it all becomes second nature. Truth be told, I've had the hardest time with Sony, but in all fairness I don't use it that often.
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  19. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    It's a summer camp for teenagers, are we overthinking a bit? Pretty much any entry DSLR or Mirrorless will be sufficient in my opinion. Have you shared your passion for photography with her previously? If so, she might have a preference of her own. Doesn't hurt to ask.
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  20. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Given the choice between a DSLR and a mirrorless for a beginning photographer, knowing what I know now, I would most certainly not pick the DSLR. A mirrorless camera shows you in real-time the effects of exposure. There's no faster learning tool. With my DSLR you need to learn complicated metering solutions (i.e. selecting spot metering, AE-L, pick focus point, backbutton AF, recompose, etc...) whereas with M4/3 you just spin the exposure dials until it looks right in the EVF, use the touchscreen to pick your focus point, and shoot.

    Remember that photography classes are about making images, not becoming a camera technician.

    If it's an intro photography class there is no way that fast continuous autofocus is ever going to be an issue, which is the only advantage that a mid-range DSLR has over mirrorless. By contrast, the ease of Live View with mirrorless will make all the difference in usability. And if you are on any kind of budget, mirrorless cameras have far more direct controls than DSLRs in the under $1000 segment (unless you get a Pentax).
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