Considering making the switch from DSLR to m43

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by HeatherWB, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. HeatherWB

    HeatherWB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Apr 1, 2013
    N. Central Florida
    Heather
    A few years ago, I bought an Oly EPL2. While I liked the images I got with it, I really missed the viewfinder. I sold it pretty quickly and went back to using my DSLRs, as I couldn't afford to have both systems at the same time. For the record, I've used both Pentax (currently) and Canon systems.

    Fast forward to this last summer where I picked up an Oly TG-4 to use when snorkeling while on my honeymoon. What attracted me to it was the ability to shoot RAW. I was quite impressed with the results I got shooting both on land and under water.

    I've really enjoyed using my Pentax system, but a K5 + Sigma 17-70 can get rather heavy to carry around. I bought a KS1 for the honeymoon and paired it with the 17-70, which was better, but still a bit bulky to carry around.

    After looking at the OMD bodies, I'm thinking that this is the way to go. Before I totally dump all of my Pentax gear, I've decided to rent a M5 + 12-50 for an upcoming Thanksgiving trip to see how I like it. Assuming that I do, i will be telling Pentax bye bye. The only thing I don't look forward to is actually selling the gear--a royal pain in the butt.

    A final thought...I can downsize my tripod too! :)
     
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  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Like many others here I downsized from an FF DSLR (Canon 5dii) to u43 and haven't regretted it at all. Image quality is pretty close unless you're printing very large but the size/weight advantage is significant. More importantly though, I've found that my enjoyment levels rose significantly with the switch. Small mirrorless bodies are just so much more functional and enjoyable to use than clunky DSLRs.
     
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  3. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    Fwiw, the 12-50 is not my favorite m43 lens, I do own a copy and can get nice images with it, but the hit rate is not as good as other options, be aware of this as you judge the results.
     
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  4. HeatherWB

    HeatherWB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Apr 1, 2013
    N. Central Florida
    Heather
    What other options would be better than the 12-50? Just wondering...
     
  5. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    If you're after the wide end, the tiny Panasonic 12-32mm performs really well and makes your kit much more portable; it you're looking for an everyday kit zoom, the question becomes more interesting: If it needs to be unexpensive, my vote would go to the Panasonic 14-42mm II - though I'd advise to get the metal mount version (mine is the plastic mount version - it wobbles); if you want top performance and don't mind the price, go for the Olympus 12-40mm - or for the Panasonic 12-35mm if reach isn't as important but size is. My personal choice was (and is) the Olympus 12-40mm - but I also own and like using the Panasonic 12-32mm.

    Finally, the Panasonic 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 gets mixed reviews, but my personal impression of it so far is that it's clearly the better lens than the 12-50mm while being smaller, though (at the moment) somewhat more expensive. It's not a bad compromise at all and more desirable (again, in my view) than the 12-50mm anyway.

    M.
     
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  6. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I jumped into M43 early-ish (2009) but continued to use my Pentax APS-C for stills because M43 sensors at the time were not sufficient for my needs. I saved my lenses though because I knew it would improve with time. My personal litmus test for returning was surpassing the 12 megapickle sensor in the Pentax K-x, a camera that punched far above its weight class.

    This spring I purchased two Lumix GX85s partially because M43 IQ (specifically exposure range and low light) have improved. Not quite as good as the K5, which has one of my favorite sensors of all time (the Sony 16 megapickle), but still plenty good for most situations. In Pentax speak, I'd rate current Lumix sensors close to the Sony 12 Megapickle in cameras like the K-x and a step below the K5.
     
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  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Have you tried any of the later Pentax models? I though the 20MP K-S2's image quality was nice, but not significantly better in any way than my GX7's (though the lack of an AA filter helped with pixel level sharpness when stopped down a bit). I wonder if the K5 is actually better than the later sensors, if not in resolution then in other ways.
     
  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I've got a K-3 as well. With 24 megapickls and without an AA filter, it is noticeably sharper than the K-5 and lets me be a little looser in my framing. But I think that the K-5 has it beat for low light performance. Both have very malleable RAW files (good exposure range) and in both of those areas they are ahead of my GX85. And the K-3 is just a faster and more responsive camera than the K-5 and has the best grip of any camera that I've ever used.

    Truth told, the GX85 is good enough for my motorcycle travel photography needs and I am considering abandoning Pentax APS-C and moving up to the full-frame K-1.
     
  9. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    Many good options were mentioned here. I am personally a big fan of the 14-150mm - it is small, great reach, sharp, light. Since I got it - I almost never use my 12-50 and rarely use my Oly 40-150R (I have it with macro extensions and use it a cheap macro lens at time). The main reason I keep my 12-50 is that it is a cheap weather sealed lens - and at some point I am sure I will find myself travelling somewhere where it is useful.
     
  10. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    877
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    The 14-150II is weathersealed as well. And can be had for around $320 when Oly has its refurb sales. I sold my 40-150R soon after I got it and it makes a very good all around lens.
     
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  11. HeatherWB

    HeatherWB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Apr 1, 2013
    N. Central Florida
    Heather
    A lot of food for thought here...thanks for the input!

    On the Pentax, they have some great cameras, that's for sure. My only issue is they can get rather heavy when you carry them around all day. That's why I'm wanting to downsize. I might would just sell the the larger of my two Pentax bodies, but then I can't get an L bracket for the smaller body. I find the L bracket invaluable when I'm using the tripod. There are L brackets available for the OMD bodies.

    As for the lenses, I've considered shelling out the $1299 for the new 12-100, but then, that's an awful lot for a lens + it's a bit heavier than I'd like. For the same price, I can pick up a M1/12-40 combo. As for what I would eventually end with, I would have to see what I could get for my Pentax gear. I'll definitely be taking a look at the 14-150 II, though. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  12. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
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  13. HeatherWB

    HeatherWB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Apr 1, 2013
    N. Central Florida
    Heather
    The Pentax gear sell-off has begun... :D

    I've been doing my homework and I'm leaning towards the following (at the moment), assuming my budget will allow for it...

    EM5ii body (used)

    P12-60 + O40-150 II or O14-150II
    O60/2.8 macro
    O25/1.8 or Sigma 30/2.8

    Eventually the big, bulky tripod and head will also go bye bye and be replaced with a smaller tripod/head.

    I'm looking forward to carrying around a much lighter weight camera bag. :)
     
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  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Sounds like a good plan.

    I would say that unless you are getting the 12-60 alongside a G85 kit for $100, that it probably is not worth the $300-500 you'd need to spend on it. However, the G85 + 12-60 might end up being cheaper than the E-M5 II with the accompanying lenses, so it can still be a very good deal in that context.

    Still, I would almost certainly get the 14-150 II instead of a 12-60 + 40-150 unless you were able to get a screaming deal on the pair. The optical quality of the M4/3 superzooms is right up there with any of the other kit zooms, so I wouldn't think twice about getting it as the more versatile and convenient option.

    I also would not get the Sigma 30/2.8. If you can't swing the price of the O25/1.8, the P25/1.7 is only $50 more than the Sigma, but is 1.5 stops faster, at least as sharp, a more useful indoor focal length, and not much larger.
     
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  15. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I'd be REALLY tempted to change one thing on you list above (assuming your 40-150 is not the f/2.8 Pro)
    "P12-60 + O40-150 II or O14-150II"
    Change that to: "P12-32 + O14-150II"
    The P12-60 / O40-150 / O14-150 are all about the same size and while the O14-150 is the heaviest we're not talking pounds, we're talking 70grams heavier than the P12-60. Why? The P12-32 is great and tiny, I mean really TINY. Pair that with the 14-150 II which is weather seal on the weather sealed E-M5 mkII and you're set.

    Comparing the O25 f/1.8 and Sigma 30 f/2.8? I'd probably opt for the f/1.8 just to have at least one fast prime to play with. But unless you shoot macro the Sigma 60 is one of the sharpest m4/3 and a true bargain.

    I have the Panasonic GX85, had the E-M5 mkII. the only reason I switched is a really like the rangefinder better for the way I use it. I have the P12-32 and and P14-140 vII.


    The 40-150 and 14-150 are the older versions but same size
    Untitled.
     
  16. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    877
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    I would also recommend the O14-150II over the P12-60 + O40-150 unless you strongly want the 12mm. Also, the O25/1.8 can be found used at just over $200 on eBay (silver ones sell for a discount over black ones). If you are not in a hurry, wait for the next Olympus refurb sale. The 60mm macro and the 14-150II were both every very attractively priced during the last sale.
     
  17. HeatherWB

    HeatherWB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Apr 1, 2013
    N. Central Florida
    Heather
    My only concern with having the 14-150 over 2 separate lenses covering that range is what I'd give up in image quality.

    Here is my current Pentax setup. Keep in mind that the Pentax has a 1.5x crop factor.

    K5 body
    Sigma 17-70 (main walkaround)
    DA 50-200 (I don't use this range that much, so why sink a lot of money into it?)
    F100/2.8 macro
    F35-70

    Regardless of whether I go with a 1 or 2-lens setup to cover 12/14-150, I really like the idea of picking up a P12-32, as it would make for a really small setup when I want to go really light. Of course, the fast 50 could work in the same capacity.
     
  18. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    877
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    In my opinion, the 14-150II has comparable IQ to the Olympus kit zooms. The Panasonic 14-42 and 12-32 are reported to have better IQ.

    The best replacements for your Sigma 17-70 are probably the P12-35 or the O12-40 which are both about twice as expensive as the superzoom. I'll throw out the possibility of getting a used E-M1 and the four-thirds 12-60/2.8-4 as an alternative to your current E-M5mkII+lens thought. You could probably swing the combo with an MMF-3 for around $1100.
     
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  19. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Most m4/3 are descent enough. If you were comparing the 12-40 / 40-150 f/2.8 Pro combo to the 14-150 II it would be a different conversation. Even the 12-50 does have it's good points. Name me a wide range zoom that's weather sealed and has a macro function that you can find for under $200 used? It's not a lens that typically recommend, almost all lens options involve a compromise, speed, size, cost, etc. I prefer P12-32 for a small jacket pocket zoom and my P14-140 + P7-14 with a few primes.
     
  20. HeatherWB

    HeatherWB Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Apr 1, 2013
    N. Central Florida
    Heather
    The idea of picking up a 4/3 12-60 and MMF3 is certainly an intriguing one. Never mind that the weight of both lens and adapter will be heavier than the Sigma 17-70 I'm currently using--haha! Still, combined with the weight of the body, it'll be in the neighborhood of 1/2 pound lighter than the K5/17-70. Just for reference, if I were to pick up the M5/P12-60, the weight would be about half of my equivalent Pentax setup. :eek:

    For me, photography is a hobby which means that it's supposed to be fun. Carrying around a crap ton of gear all day gets old and not fun after a while. I'm willing to give up some speed in my lenses to accomplish that. I think I'm an experienced enough photographer that I can work with that.

    Ultimately, what I wind up with will depend on how much I can get for the Pentax gear. I'm probably not going to have much, if any extra cash to add to that. I'm not worried though, as I can upgrade my gear as I get more money. :)
     
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