Downsizing (but not downgrading!) to m43 from dSLR

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by MegletRamblesOn, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. MegletRamblesOn

    MegletRamblesOn Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Oct 13, 2015
    Seattle
    Hi All! I'm new to the micro 4/3 forum and technology, moving over from the world of Canon dSLR.

    I used to have a serious photography habit, even surviving a 365 (photo a day) Project at one point. But over the last couple of years, I've found myself shooting less and less because I just haven't wanted to pack around the weight of even my "light" kit. So this fall I finally determined that it was time to do whatever I needed to do in order to get back to more shooting, and it turns out that meant going to m43 for a (somewhat) lighter and more portable kit.

    After some debating between mirrorless and m43, and then between the various m43 options, I settled on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8. While it's not the smallest and lightest camera available, it is still considerably lighter than my previous Canon gear, but still meets my slightly unusual requirements of having a real viewfinder, rotating LCD, and enough resolution that it's not a downgrade from my dSLR. For the moment I've paired it with the simple Pannasonic 14-42mm G X Vario lens while I re-evaluate what kind of kit is truly necessary and after my first day of use I'm quite happy with my choice.

    The camera arrived so late on Friday night that I didn't have time to do more than pop in a battery and memory card, and then I headed out with some friends first thing Saturday morning. The light was awful and I certainly kept adjusting some dials I didn't mean to, but I still managed to come home with some fun "keepers" at the end of the day!

    Today I get to spend some time reading through the manual and figuring out all of the fun options.

    Lumix DMC-GX8, 23mm, f/11, 1/250, ISO 800, Aperture priority (normally I would have shot this in f/8 but as I mentioned, there was a bit of an issue going on with bumping some dials!)
    22070400489_b96246318b_c.
    Sidewalk Cafe
    by Meghan, on Flickr
     
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  2. Raptor7

    Raptor7 Mu-43 Regular

    86
    Dec 21, 2014
    Madrid, Spain
    Why you shoot it at ISO 800? Why not at 200?

    I also came from Canon DSLR, and I am very happy with my Olympus cameras one year after the move.

    Saludos!
     
  3. nzdigital

    nzdigital Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Oct 20, 2010
    New Zealand
    Wayne
    Hi and welcome to the wonderful world of micro four thirds!

    I've also recently made the move (away from Canon) to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk2 and couldn't be happier.

    There's lots of helpful people and information on the site, so dig in and enjoy :)

    Just a quick comment about shooting the image at f11 that you would have 'normally' shot at f8. Yes, I would have 'normally' shot a scene like that at f8 on my Canon gear as well - but no longer now that I'm using micro four thirds. Your depth of field is effectively doubled when you shoot with the GX8 - so f8 on the Canon lenses is really f4 on the GX8! Now that I'm shooting with the E-M5, I don't think I'll ever shoot higher than f5.6 again! That's probably been my biggest mind-shift switching from a DLSR to micro four thirds.

    GX8 looks like an amazing camera BTW. Great choice. :bravo-009:
     
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  4. MegletRamblesOn

    MegletRamblesOn Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Oct 13, 2015
    Seattle
    Thanks both for the welcome!

    OMG I think you just broke my brain. I calculated the difference in lenses going from 1.6x (Canon) to 2.0x (m43) compared to a 35mm to figure out my potential lenses, but I didn't even think about the effect it would have on aperture. :coco:

    I spent some time with the manual today and things make a little more sense, although the duplicated functions of the front and rear dials in Aperture mode (my most common setting) still bugs me. Hopefully as I dig further into the manual I'll find the information on fixing that. I'd really like to be able to set one of them for exposure compensation, as the standard dial for that is hard to reach and adjust because of my small hands.

    In the meantime, I had some more fun taking the camera out for a bit between rainstorms!
     
  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    You really don't need to shoot more than f/5.6 unless you need to kill the light! Love shooting with my m43 gear!
     
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  6. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    I made the move from Canon to m4/3 about 2 years ago and don't feel like I gave up anything. I'm a retired pro photographer and find that I'm enjoying photography again.

    If you can find these menu items: Set CONSTANT PREVUE to ON and EXPO METER to ON (you probably already have the meter ON). What this does is in stills Manual mode (dial on tep set to Manual) or in video Manual mode (dial on top set to movie camera icon and in Motion Picture Menu EXPOSURE MODE set to M) the EVF or LCD will show you a fair preview of what you're going to get.

    In either of these manual modes the image in the VF will lighten or darken with aperture, shutter, or ISO changes. This and the meter readout at the bottom of the finder image will let you work manual almost as fast and easy as Aperture Priority when you get a little used to it.

    Being able to "see" what you're going to get is like "money in the bank".

    The EVF on these Panasonics is getting better and better. The GH2 was pretty good, the one in the GH3 was problematic for some, The GH4 and G7 have a much improved EVF over the GH3, and the GX8 should have one that is both sharp and clean.

    The point is in the stills and video Manual mode, you can see the DOF in the viewfinder. So you don't have to constantly be doing "math" on it. The 2x crop factor gives you an easy way to relate your m4/3 focal length to full frame film field of view effect. Double your lens focal length to get the full frame effective relative focal length. The 42mm end of your "kit" lens will be the 35mm full frame film equivalent of 84mm - very moderate telephoto.

    If you get into doing video/motion picture that GX8 will be a "monster" performer either in UHD 4K or 1080p. I have the GX7 as a "knockaround" camera and love it.

    Enjoy yourself!
     
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  7. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    360
    Nov 11, 2014
    Stuttgart
    Johannes
    Welcome to µ43. It is a great world - and congrats to the GX8. It is a great camera - especially because it is weather sealed...

    I am still in both worlds - using Canon as well. But µ43 is the always with me camera system traveling mostly with my GM5, P15/1.7 and P45/2.8 macro.... perfect....

    Have fun!!
     
  8. MegletRamblesOn

    MegletRamblesOn Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Oct 13, 2015
    Seattle
    Oh this is handy! I admit I don't spend as much time as I "should" in Manual, but I live near a great spot for sunsets and long exposures so I do use it reasonably often, and I used to cheat with LiveView on the Canon 70D. Being able to see the changes in the viewfinder will be much easier! (Once my new quick-release plate gets here and I can hook the GX8 to my tripod, that is.)

    I've been noticing this the last couple of days, that's going to be quite a change. I might just "have" to reconsider those f/2.8 lenses after all so I can get a little more DoF. :wink:
     
  9. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    380
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    If what you mean is "a little more selective focus" you might look at a couple of "primes" like the Olympus 45mm f1.8 and the Olympus 25mm f1.8. Fairly inexpensive if you watch the "Buy/Sell" forum on this site every couple of days. Amazingly these two are also quite sharp wide open.

    DoF has come into erroneous use by being used to define the shallow or selective focus effect. Depth Of Field is a "label" for the "Zone Of Acceptable Sharpness", this zone often does not have clearly defined boundaries, which are dependent on individual perception and on how much the image is enlarged. That "zone" is dependent on aperture, lens focal length, and lens to focused subject distance. A "wide" lens using a smaller aperture and not too close to the focused subject will result in the deepest DOF (or deepest zone of acceptable sharpness) while a longer focal length (telephoto) lens using a larger aperture closer to the focused subject will result in the shallowest DOF.

    your "kit" lens can achieve not too shabby selective focus at the 42mm end, wide open (f5.6), working fairly close to your subject, and with a fair distance from the subject to background elements.

    Have fun with it...
     
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  10. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Welcome to the club, and you've already got a better camera than most of us. :p
    The crown of micro four thirds is it's amazing primes lineup. Get to it!
     
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  11. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    489
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    Welcome! I came back to µ4/3 after a year with a 6D. I do miss the high ISO performance from time to time, but in general, really pleased with my decision. I certainly take one of my cameras with me just about every time I leave the house, which was definitely NOT the case with the 6D + 24-105mm f/4L. If I find myself thinking about going back to FF, I usually just go checkout camerasize.com and that usually cures that urge for a while. :)

    Agreed. I can only really think of two primes in the lineup (Olympus 17/2.8 and Panasonic 14/2.5) that one *might* consider "not amazing", but they are still pretty good under certain conditions and given their price (and size) are completely worth it. All the other primes I've seen are amazing.

    That said, don't discount the zooms. The f/2.8 zooms from both Olympus and Panasonic are really good performers. And, if you compare prices to dSLR equivalents, are both cheaper and lighter.
     
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  12. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Yeah I am slightly biased towards the primes. But almost all the m4/3 zooms are quite good as well. In fact, the latest kit lenses (especially the Panny 14-42 II) are generally considered superior to the 18-55 kits you find on DSLRs. So in conclusion: EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!!
     
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  13. MegletRamblesOn

    MegletRamblesOn Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Oct 13, 2015
    Seattle
    LOL, thanks! I decided since anything was lighter than my 70D, I was going to get the best camera I wanted and not have to worry about being gear-limited since I've been playing with photography for a few years now. (Leica and Sony Full-Frame not included, because those prices were INSANE.)

    This is the conclusion I'm coming to!!

    It's so fun to be excited about photography again, and a lot of that is due to having a (relatively) tiny, light camera that I don't recoconsider packing around with me.