Advice needed: Should I sell my m4/3rds for Canon? (Temporarily)

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by vincechu, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    *sorry this is pretty long* :tongue:

    As some of you may know I'm considering selling my Panasonic G1, 20mm and 14-140mm. And I have listed everything for sale once before, but deciding to keep it all once before. So basically I want to ask for other peoples opinions before I do something I may regret.

    In September, I'll be going to Shanghai and Hong Kong for a rare family holiday (haven't been on one with my family for 5years now). The reason I want to sell everything is to move over to Canon temporarily for a 550d and 15-85mm and Sigma 30mm 1.4 . The reasoning being that Canon is "better" for lowlight.

    I don't know if anyone here has been to Hong Kong and visited the Peak at night time, but the last time I went the view was really beautiful and literally took my breath away and secondly I just love Hong Kong as a place (I have so many memories and friends there) so I want to photograph it as best I can, I'll be graduating next summer and will be busy finding work etc, so who knows when I'll be able to visit Hong Kong again.

    However I have to admit, I'd defonately be selling the Canon gear and move back to micro four thirds because I'm in love with the system, its been completely ideal for my style of photography so far, and from the rumors I'm hearing, there will be a number of exciting developments for photokina.
    I have to honestly say, that this community here is also a big part of why I want to stick with micro four thirds, no other forum for photography has come close to the level of friendliness and delightful community spirit we have here.

    I guess I wouldn't be having the idea of moving to Canon if it wasn't for the holiday and needing a bit more headroom at higher ISO's for just this once.

    Recently I've been thinking: "Perhaps I'm letting 'pixel peeping' and high iso noise comparisons get the most of me?" and "Maybe what I should be buying is a good tripod instead?" (however there will be times I won't be able to use a tripod).

    *Thanks in advance for any advice and thanks for reading my long post*

    Update 31/08/10
    Hi everyone, I've very reluctantly come to the decision that I'm going to sell my Panasonic gear after all and move over to Canon for my trip touring parts China and then Hong Kong. I know I'll lose a bit of money coming back to micro four thirds after my trip, but I think it'll ultimately worth it in the end. I guess a new factor which influenced my decision since I asked for advice is the sale of one of my guitars which has given me more money to invest in this move.

    I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the great advice I've received. The main consensus was to keep my gear and to make the most of 1) PP, 2) tripods 2) good technique. Although I am changing my equipment for the trip, there's no doubt that the great advice in this thread will still help me improve as a photographer - a big thank you to you all :smile:
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  2. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Vince, I can't really give you any advice on this but I am very touched by what you wrote about the community and feel the same way.

    I'm sure you're going to get some helpful replies over the next day or so regarding the necessity or not of going for that Canon over your G1. I suppose there are other aspects to think about too, besides low light. I don't know how easy it will be to sell the Canon, etc., and what the upcoming Photokina will bring to the table for micro four thirds. But I do know one thing, no matter what your decision - you are always going to be welcomed with open arms here.
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  3. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks BBW :) I have considered the resale value of whatever I buy, but from what I've researched Canon and Nikon gear tend to keep their value well, and I picked the 550d because its a relatively new model.

    Your absolutely right that there's more than low light performance to consider, and I'm actually more than satisfied with what the G1 gives me, but I've never really used it it low light much, I guess I'm afraid it'll let me down

    Thanks BBW, that means a lot to me :) I'm sure that even if i get the canon gear I'll definately be selling after my holiday and coming back to m4/3rds. Although now I think about it, it will seem like a waste of money moving over in the first place as I'll never get the new price back, the equipment is always going to depreciate.

    I think I'll look at the Olympus m4/3rds cameras, I've had a look around a few review sites just now and the Pen's are meant to be better than the G1 in lowlight.
  4. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    Im not sure if the 550d is the best choice for low light. It might be worth looking at the reviews of various cameras. I have heard some of the Pentax's were quite good ad you might find some of the older Canons better for the purpose. Have you thought of a second hand body and lens? If you don't need to print large then even some of the old 6mp ones were not to bad. It may also be worth looking at one with in body IS and a fast prime or the Sigma 18-50 f2.8, either the Pentax K100d or the Minolta 5d and that lens could be got for silly cheep money.
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  5. antithetic

    antithetic Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    City of Angels
    Technically I think the Canon will be much better but I just wonder if it'll be worth the hassle in the end.

    I think I had great results capturing photos under low-light with the humble 17mm f2.8. I can only think of better results with the Panny 20mm.


    EXIF: Shutter priority AE, 0.3 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200

    It was taken near midnight after a summer thunderstorm quickly moved through. I used a wood stick about a foot long to help stabilize the camera. I don't know if these conditions are as harsh as it will be in HK though.
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  6. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it :thumbup: I just googled the Pentax K-X and have found that it actually seems better than the 550d in lowlight - it resolves a lot more detail... and it's cheaper so thats great news :) Lens wise u're right abt fast primes, I heard the Sigma 30 1.4 is good as well as the 18-50 u recommended and I just did a quick search, the price seems good on those too :) On that note the Pentax seems to have have edged ahead of Canon if i do decide to sell and switch.

    Many thanks again. :smile:
  7. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Can I ask which camera you were using? from what I've seen the EPL1 seems to be the best micro four thirds camera for lowlight, and the in body stabilisation is a big boost too. I've just thought that getting the EPL1 would be a good option, that way I'd avoid the hassle switching between systems and selling gear and the UK has a £75 rebate scheme on it, which takes nearly 25% of its price.

    Edit: Btw this is a really nice photo, the composition is simple but works really well, you've done a good job capturing the atmosphere too I'm really suprised you manged to keep the ISO down to 200 - good job balancing the camera :thumbup: I guess this helped remind me of the importance of keeping a camera still, by supporting it, and using a slightly longer shutter speed in lowlight - I'll be sure to take note of this :wink:

    Thanks for your advice, i really appreciate it :smile: you've given me some good food for thought - perhaps I should think about improving my technique and maybe using a tripod to get around shooting in lowlight - it would certainly be cheaper :wink:
  8. antithetic

    antithetic Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    City of Angels
    I'm using the E-PL1. I set it to save in RAW and do minor adjustments in Lightroom 3.
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  9. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks again - although you probably didn't know it you've just reminded me about using RAW and its benefits (more detail, more headroom for PP), perhaps I should review my technique and how I set myself up before I buy anything - I have to admit I've got lazy and started shooting Jpeg recently.

    By the way I don't know if you've noticed i've edited my above reply to you - you've also reminded me about supporting the camera and using longer shutter speeds.

    Thanks so much, I kind of feel like I've just had my eyes opened from being blinded by looking at new camera gear and pixel peeping. At the moment it seems I'll re-evaulate and work on my photography technique to see how I can develop my low light shooting, and push my G1 to it's limit before buying new kit.
  10. antithetic

    antithetic Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 7, 2010
    City of Angels
    Thanks for the kind comments. :smile:

    I'm still quite in the beginner stage and it's a struggle to try to capture something that doesn't just look like a snapshot. I've been trying to practice all of the great advice I've read here. Glad I was able to help you out!
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  11. mav

    mav Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 2, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Real Name:
    The canon will be better, but depends on how lit up Hong Kong will be, I'm currently in Seoul and have been to Tokyo, these cities never sleep with their light, a lot of the time its like day time during the night.

    Maybe I can do a comparison for you, I have a 400D and a GF1. Both with high apertures.

    Also another option, is the G2 significantly better in low light? I hear its ISO noise has improved. Perhaps getting a newer m43 body could be the trick?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    With portability and travel on mind… How about just a monopod? I think you can make do with m4/3 with the added support of a monopod. I think you can stay in the 100 to 400 iso range. Just try not to expose for too long since that's where you get quite a lot of noise, at least on my GF1.

    I use this one for video stability and occasional long exposure Monopod Camera Stand + Case Professional Aluminium NEW on eBay (end time 22-Aug-10 07:48:46 BST)

    Also the GH1 is getting cheaper by the day, and it has better ISO. I hear that G2 is pretty much on the same level as GF1 with ISO :)
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  13. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Why don't you consider renting a camera? Saves you the hassle of buying and selling. Renting a Nikon D3s eliminates all concerns about low-light pictures :cool:.

    You might also consider buying a GH1 which seems to be better low-noise-wise and is not too different from your G1. And I would always bring the camera I know and love, the G1 in your case. You might want to include the optional viewfinder with an Olympus Pen E-P2 or E-PL1, depending on how you use the G1 now.

    Your reactions to the other posts seem to indicate that you are fairly inexperienced. IMHO you should be wary to take a camera you don't know well to an important event :eek:. Every new camera takes me months to get really acquinted with its behaviour, and I have a history of 30 years in amateur photography with several systems used.

    You say you are afraid that the G1 will let you down in low-light. So I suggest to shoot like hell with the G1 in low-light, in raw and jpg, and see what comes out. Then you know what it can do and what it can't. From my own experience: the G1 is OK up to ISO 400 and useable up to ISO 800 provided you don't underexpose. ISO 1600 can be useable depending on the subject and your sensitivity to noise, but I avoid it.

    Another tip: if you're in doubt about shooting raw or jpg, shoot both. The G1 can be set to raw+jpg. I never shoot jpg, for me shooting raw is sort of an insurance. Once I have learnt a new trick I can go back to old pictures and improve them again and again.
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  14. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Vince, wait until you're there and then you may find one of those snazzy colourful Pentax K-x.
    Anyway that'd be what I would do ... if I wanted another DSLR.


    Hey you could sell it for loads of dosh back in Blighty : can't easily buy 'em here ... not in the colours anyway.

    Tripods have been mentioned.
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  15. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    I would never do that. Either I'd change the system completely or I'd buy an additional camera in order to take photographs I cannot take with the gear I have. I would not sell everything, buy a camera, go for holiday, sell everything and buy the gear I had before. And I would never buy the Canon 550D in the hope that it is better in low light. DxOMark, which IMHO can be trusted, shows, that the Canon 550D is less than one stop better than the Panasonic G1 regarding to ISO (comparison between 55D and G1)! However, in your case I don't think that you need a different system anyway.

    It would be much cheaper and, since your current camera feels just perfect to you, better to buy a good monopod like the Manfrotto M-Y 776YB with a Micro Ball Head 492, which is very light and easy to carry. Once you have learned how to work with a monopod (How To Use A Monopod & Multi-Purpose Tripod), you can take photographs in low light and low ISOs and your photographs will be sharper and cleaner than the ones you'd take with the Canon 550D with high ISOs

    I don't think that you gain enough for the money the change would cost. And it's a bad idea anyway to choose a camera, which you've bought only recently and which you don't know well, for important tasks like your family holiday. You might miss some photographs, because you cannot operate your camera blindly or don't know what your camera can do and what not. There might be a technical problem like a decentered lens which you might see only afterwards.

    I am fascinated by technology, too, and tend to do pixel peeping. However, it's only the bad pictures, where one sees the noise and feels disturbed by it. And there are programs like Lightroom 3, which do a great job in noise reduction.

    You cannot carry a tripod with you all the time, but you can use a light and sturdy monopod whenever and wherever you like. There is nearly always something which you can lean a monopod against, which can replace a tripod completely after some training, and even if you don't have something to lean against, you will hold shutter speeds which are long enough for reasonable ISOs.
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  16. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

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  17. julienrl

    julienrl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ottawa, Ontario
    forgetting the pixel peeping and all, if this is already 100% set in stone, selling and re-buying mu43 will come to you as a loss. I would just keep the mu43, borrow to buy the canon, resell and then pay the interest on the 200ish you lost until you can pay it off rather than loosing yet another 200-300$ selling and re-buying the mu43 set.
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  18. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Real Name:
    I think since the OP would use it for travel, that one is going to be a no-no - I wouldn't want to pack a $175 monopod, and good luck getting a spiked pole on a plane!
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  19. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    :biggrin:Good points!
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  20. daimos

    daimos Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 23, 2010
    Real Name:
    how about a temporary swap with a friend who has dslr ?
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