1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Beginner/digital newbie looking for help

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Nixon, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. Nixon

    Nixon New to Mu-43

    7
    Jul 10, 2014
    I hope that this is the right place for this thread.

    I got into photography back in high school, and due to my non-existent access to a dark room, I never really progressed with it.

    Now that I'm older and can afford to spend a decent amount to get back into the hobby ($800 max). I have no dedicated camera stores anywhere near me and have had to rely on box stores to get my hands on some cameras, and unfortunately I've only gotten to use a Nikon D5200 and a Sony Alpha A6000 and obviously neither are a micro system.

    I am not looking to become a pro shooter. I just want to capture my dogs, mostly outside but some inside as well, and get quality vacation pictures. If I get a good shot I'd like to be able to get a decent sized print, but not looking for giant posters or anything crazy like that. I'm also looking to just get started so the kit lens to learn on is fine by me.

    Problems I've had with the smaller DSLRs were mainly that I injured my right hand and holding that weight for an extended period, even balanced with my left hand, gives me major concerns. And with the A6000 I've seen major concerns with lens availability, thus turning to this system. It seems like quite a solid compromise for someone who is just starting out, looking for a good, diverse ecosystem to grow in to.

    With all that said, I'm looking for a couple of suggestions on options. I've been looking at the Olympus E-M10 as that's right at the top of the budget, and the E-M5 refurbished for about $650. EVF is a must for me, but beyond that, I don't really know what I need to accomplish my goals.

    Quick edit -- It looks like I can get either refurbished within a 20 dollar difference.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hopefully it makes sense, and if it's in the wrong area please let me know and move it. I also tried searching but the closest thread was a few months old that I found.
     
  2. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    Either the E-M5 or the E-M10 seems like it would be a good choice for you. There are a couple of differences, and you'll have to decide which ones are important to you. The E-M10 has a built-in flash, while the E-M5 comes with a separate flash that you plug in to the accessory port on the top when you want flash. The E-M10 has built in WiFi. The E-M5 does not. The E-M5 is weather sealed, while the E-M10 is not. The E-M5 has 5-axis image stabilization, and the E-M10 has only 3-axis image stabilization. The E-M10 is smaller than the E-M5.

    Edited: Forgot another difference: The processor in the E-M10 is a generation newer than the one in the E-M5. I have absolutely no idea how much difference this makes.

    If you go for used equipment, you could fit another lens into your budget. Used E-M5 bodies have been selling for about $500. I'm not sure exactly what the kit lens (Oly 14-42) has been going for lately, but my guess would be that you could easily get one for less than $100. The Oly 40-150 lens, which is considered quite good for the price, has been selling for around $100. However, neither of these lenses is great in low light. On the OMD cameras, you can crank the ISO (which I cannot stop myself from wanting to call "film speed") up pretty high and still get decent results, but if you think a lot of your shooting might be inside or in low light conditions, you might want a lens with a larger aperture.

    If you want to go really small and lightweight, you could get an E-PM2 and put an EVF on it. The E-PM2s are pretty cheap these days, so there would be plenty of room in your budget for an EVF. To me, the downside of the E-PM2 would be that you don't get as many buttons and dials, so when you want to change settings you have to work from the menu display on the LCD.

    I have an E-M5 (upgraded from an E-PL3) and I'm very happy with it. The image stabilization was the deciding factor for me.
     
  3. Nixon

    Nixon New to Mu-43

    7
    Jul 10, 2014
    Thanks for the reply -- Most shots will probably be outside while they're running around playing. Is one better at keeping up with the action versus the other? Beyond that we do a lot of trips to Disney/Universal so day/night shots will play into it, but not as much as outside, daylight shooting. Night/low light will eventually play into it, but I figure I can snag a better lens for that down the road. I don't know how these match up size wise to the A6000, but that felt comfortable to me in my hands. I wouldn't want to go any smaller as the weight is my main issue.

    I appreciate the info immensely.
     
  4. Evan614

    Evan614 Mu-43 Regular

    109
    May 6, 2014
    BuckeyeState
    olympus has a refurb section online
    this thread will help you: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=66109

    My thoughts are pick the body that has the functionality you are looking for. I suggest going to a website (like B&H) that does side by side comparisons of features to see what each differences are.
    I personally got the PM2 because the price (at the time $200 w/ lens) which has the same chip as the other cameras. I just miss out on the manual knobs and a few functions that were not vital to me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    If you're looking to freeze the action, that's more an issue with the lens than the body. I know there have been a few threads posted recently asking about the best lenses for taking action shots of small children -- that info probably applies to action shots of dogs, too.

    Both the E-M5 and the E-M10 have a "focus tracking" feature that's supposed to help the focus keep up with a moving subject. Unfortunately, nobody seems to think it works very well. I think it might have been improved for the E-M1, but if I'm correct, the E-M10 doesn't have the improved version. Don't let this discourage you, though -- check out the "for the dog lovers" image thread, and see lots of great dog shots. I'm sure people will be glad to give you tips on getting good shots of your pups, too.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    If you want better tracking (dogs running around outside) you're honestly best off with a DSLR. The smallest of the bunch is not particularly heavy or huge, overall, and you will need to use both hands to balance and hold the camera properly. The Canon SL1 with kit lens is really a very small, light package and will very likely outperform any MFT camera you can get for 800 bucks when it comes to tracking movement.
     
  7. Nixon

    Nixon New to Mu-43

    7
    Jul 10, 2014
    Excellent. This is very helpful. I think I definitely got caught up in the spec's marketing from the A6000 ("fastest auto focus, etc). Freezing action will definitely be a want down the line, but doesn't have to be an immediate need. I will definitely check out the lens threads though and see where that gets me. My main issue is not being able to get one in my hands pre-purchase like I could the A6000 to make sure it's not too small.
     
  8. Nixon

    Nixon New to Mu-43

    7
    Jul 10, 2014
    How much is the weight difference though? The size of the D5200 wasn't my problem (though I feel like I'd take a smaller camera with me more frequently), it was the weight. I broke a few fingers in my right hand and they never healed properly, so gripping a heavier object means less time to hold it, if that makes sense.
     
  9. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The SL1 with kit lens weighs about 600 grams, the A6000 with kit lens is 460. Really not a big difference. The E-M10 and Oly 12-50 would weigh in at around 600 or a hair less; note that almost every other Sony lens will make it about as heavy as the others.

    Part of it is also technique and grip comfort - I find the cameras with larger grips more comfortable to hold than the tiny ones as long as they're light enough. And adjust technique to hold the weight with your left hand and only operate the camera with your right. One handed shooting is not a particulary good idea in most cases.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Nixon

    Nixon New to Mu-43

    7
    Jul 10, 2014
    And a DSLR like D5200 or the SL1 would be better than the A6000 even? I just feel like I would take it out less the bigger it is, though it'll probably stay at home for awhile.
     
  11. Nixon

    Nixon New to Mu-43

    7
    Jul 10, 2014
    Well, with the deals on the E-M10 I couldn't pass it up. Got the camera with kit lens, 32MB sandisk extreme pro and grip for 750 shipped. Worst case I send it back, but I feel like it should be sufficient for someone who hasn't done any serious shooting since film days. Plus, the GF -really- didn't want me carrying around a DSLR. If I ever need what they bring to the table I'll cross that bridge then.

    Thanks again to all the help and I look forward to participating in the forums!