DSLR & m43

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Mcarthur, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. Mcarthur

    Mcarthur New to Mu-43

    Jan 8, 2012
    I'm going to be traveling soon and don't want to take my DSLR kit - any of it. On the other hand, I want better quality than my P&S can do. M43 seems like the answer.
    I've been digital for years, so know cameras (yes, even pre-dig :smile:). My kit at the moment is Canon: 5dII, 1dII, 24mm TSE, 35 f2, 70-200f4 IS, 70-200f2.8 IS, 135 f2, 300f2.8 IS, 100-400. Good quality :redface:. Heeeeaaaavvvy.
    For money I do some sport images and portraits.
    For fun, I like landscapes and kid photos.
    I like some family video, but never use the 5dII, just the P&S. Would like a little better quality, but still will not need to be pro quality/requirements.

    My traveling will be in Asia, Africa and possibly Canada and Europe (I haven't left out much :smile:).

    I'll be keeping my DSLR kit (selling the old 70-200 soon). Size when traveling is more important than absolute image quality. I like the look of the Oly so far; I have a lumix P&S.

    If I could harness the collective power of the forum, what would be your recommendation for both camera AND lens(es)?

    Oh, and it's not easy to just go in locally and try lots of bodies/lenses, so save that response - if I can narrow down, I'd travel to somewhere to see/try the particular bodies & lenses before I buy anyway.
  2. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    I would look at lenses first and ask myself what situations do I want to cover. Long telephoto? Super wide angle? Low light indoors? Do I want to go with primes or zooms or a mix? Panasonic and/or Olympus have good and great choices for most situations. Some of the choices often cited here: PL 25/1.4, Oly 45/1.8 and 9-18, Panny 7-14, 14-45 and 100-300.

    With respect to camera bodies, some other questions. Do I want/need built-in EVF? Do I like/dislike touch screen technology? How much direct access to controls (buttons and dials vs. menus) do I need? Do I need a largish form factor or am I okay with something smaller? Articulating screen? Current popular choices: Oly E-PM1, E-PL3, E-P3; Panny GX1, GH2, G3.

    Just some food for thought.
  3. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 9, 2011
    Choice of lenses is very subjective. As an experienced user of DSLR, I guess you'd gauge for yourself.

    As for the body, I would recommend:

    1. G3 for it's relatively cheap price, clean iso pictures, EVF, touch screen & swivel screen. (GH3 is coming out soon? Something worth looking at.)

    2. any Olympus brand camera for it's in-body stabiliser and great jpeg colours straight from camera.

    For Panasonic bodies (not sure is it all models), there is this feature called Ex Tele Converter.
    You can increase the 'zoom' of your lenses up to 2x extra without a degrade in the picture quality unlike digital zoom. Hence, a 14-42 mm lens can potentially become 28-84.
    The catch here is that you will capture with a lower resolution i.e. instead of 14mp, you will get 3mp or 7mp (depending on how much more zoom you want to achieve).
    Normally I set it to 7mp where roughly 1.5x zoom is achieved.
    On my 45mm lens, it will become 67.5mm (or 135mm when equivalent to 35mm system).
    If you buy a 100-300mm lens, it will be incredible!
  4. zerotiu

    zerotiu Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 13, 2011
    If you've had all that stuffs, it's better if you get maybe EP3/GX1 :). Latest tech from both company. Both have external view finder option if you need one and have touchsreen feature (touch to focus, etc, super ultra mega hyper handy feature lol). Or panasonic GH3 if you want smaller DSLR-like body with built in view finder.

    You say for fun right? Then
    - panasonic 7-14mm/ olympus 9-18mm for landscape ,
    - olympus 45mm for portrait :D

    There will be a new Olympus body I believe that will be announced in January (maybe will be on market February?). If you don't want to wait, this is my suggestion :D
  5. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
    I'll take a stab at this. :biggrin:

    From reading your current equipment list, you obviously appreciate quality images. With that in mind, I would recommend the following:

    1) Olympus E-P3 with kit zoom (the zoom will come in handy for landscapes in good light and general grab shots);
    2) Olympus 12mm f/2 (you will want this for travel, great wide FOV and great optics);
    3) Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (great "normal" lens for low light and DOF control);
    4) Olympus 45mm f/1.8 (brilliant telephoto prime for portraits and more), plus

    5) external flash if you use one, light travel tripod, any other accessories that you might want to use.

    I also shoot Canon and am pretty fussy about image quality. Here I am only recommending things that I would buy myself (and have, with the exception of the Oly 12mm f/2, at least for the time being). I hope this helps. :smile:
  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Erm, Micro 4/3 camera or not, I'd still be taking the 5DII + at least one lens with me as well...
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I travel a lot, and here's what I take in the bottom half of a Tenba mini-messenger:
    Panasonic DMC-G3
    Panasonic 8/3.5 fisheye
    Leica D 14-50 f/2.8-3.5 (with adapter)
    Panasonic 20/1.7
    Panasonic-Leica 45/2.8 macro
    Panasonic 45-200/4-5.6

    Also, ipad, spare batteries, polarizers, memory cards, lens pen, wallet, passport, etc

    The question becomes, how much smaller and lighter do you want to go? I could certainly save some space by going with one of the super zooms, but don't want to take the aperture hit.

    As for body, the "new" 16 MP Panasonic sensor in the G3 and GX1 is significantly better in every way over the "old" 12 MP sensor used in all the other cameras, including the EP3, especially in, surprisingly, low light (which is where I seem to take a lot of travel pictures). Both have highly customizable JPG engines so you can likely reduce/eliminate PP on the road.

    My G3 is white, and I have never yet had an issue with drawing too much "unsavory" attention, although my former GF1 was probably more "stealthy". I find the EVF+tilt/swivel screen to be the ideal setup to cover all situations.
  8. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    I recently went down the same road and ended up with a Panasonic GF1. My thoughts so far:

    Love the form factor and "manualness" of the GF1. The Oly's are much more menu driven as opposed to knobs and buttons. As an old guy (54) who learned on fully manual camera, I like having the latter.

    Love the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 lens. If you like the 35 on your current bodies you'll like the 20.

    Hate the lack of an EVF. I'm going to try the LVF, not sure how it will be for manual focusing. Supposedly the new LVF for the GX1 is much better. Also have figured out that there would be value in an articulating LCD.

    The manual focusing bring us to...adapted lenses. When I started with :43: I didn't think much about them, figured I'd use mainly native glass. Turns out that the adapted stuff is a cheap way to get great quality and fill in some of the holes in the native lineup, and is a lot of fun to boot. Given that, I'm wondering if I shouldn't have gone with a Oly body for the IBIS.

    My original plan was the use the GF1 to figure out if I liked :43: well enough use as a travel camera, and if I did go to a GX1 and the 20mm, 14-42x and 42-175 zooms. I still think that's a good lens lineup for traveling, but I'm now leaning more towards the G3 for it's EVF and articulating LCD. Will probably also add an Oly body for the adapted lenses, although that would not be part of the kit when traveling.
  9. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
    An UWA is a must for me... 7-14 or 9-18.

    then add up a 20 or 25.

    then 45 at the long end.


    for travel, i leave my dslr's in the drybox.
  10. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    John M
    If you really want small how about an E-PM1, 14mm, 20mm, and 45mm 1.8. I have shot D-SLR for the past seven years am pleasantly surprised with the amount of control I have with that combo.

    On an extensive trip I'd personally add a 7.5mm and a 45-200 but feel confident that the "little three" would get most of the action.

    My selections are biased on budget. The 12mm f2, 25mm 1.4, and 100-300 might be better choices for you. Coincidentally, the cheaper choices are also a little smaller. < Bonus.

    Off the beat - I would also consider a 24-105. Just the 5D2 and that.
  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    If size is the biggest concern, the E-PM1 is the most compact and modular camera in the M43 camera line-up. I'd also consider the GX1 or G3 if you want a built-in EVF, but I'm personally partial to the Pen bodies due to better exposure metering and DSLR-like focus point selection. Here are some pictures if you want to get a better idea of sizing:

    My D700 next to my E-PM1:

    My M43 kit (recently got rid of my 45-200 for a 45 1.8):
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Something tells me the lens on the D700 is fancier than a 50/2.8 though!

  13. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    Lots of longer lenses in your original kit. And your widest is 24. Can we assume that you don't feel you're missing anything at the widest end?

    Personally, I think the sensor in the G3/GX1 and GH2 are far superior to anything Olympus currently produce. Not just in resolution but an extra stop of DR and maybe 1.5 stops better in the noise department. Based on that my suggestion (worth nothing of course) would be.

    FL36 flash
    45 1.8

    Unfortunately there's nothing stellar in the 70-200 mm zoom range, yet. And no primes over a 90mm (equiv). I sure do miss my 135 f 2.0 somedays. A constant aperture zoom is supposed to be coming, maybe even in my lifetime. Who knows when though.

    As an aside, if it were me, base on my personal preferences it would be GH2, GX1( with viewfinder), 7-14, 20mm, 45 macro, 4/3 14-54 II(with adaptor) and the 100-300. Plus I'd have a Metz 58af2 in the bag somewhere. A bigger kit than you're probably thinking but the 14-54II is as sharp as a 24-105 and the whole kit still comes in at less than 3kg.

  14. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    You'll get as many answers as there are m43 cameras. Here's mine:

    I, also, use Canon DSLRs and initially bought into m43 primarily for travel purposes. It's now my primary system, and the Canon only comes out for shooting sports & action, especially action in low light. The EVF and AF of my m43 bodies isn't quite good enough, yet, in low light. But it's close.

    I went with Panasonic gear because I hate pretty much everything about using an LCD screen to compose. In bright light they suck, and holding the camera a foot or two in front of you is the very antithesis of how to hold a camera steady. The VF2 option for Pens works, but it's expensive and doesn't lock to the camera. I've lost track of how many people complain about the thing falling off.

    I initially bought a G2, not long after the G3 came out, for a few reasons. As a discontinued model it was cheap. I liked the ergos much better than the G3. The grip is much better, and it has better physical controls. The G3 requires using the touch screen for too many things, which slows me down.

    I was happy enough with the G2 that I ended up picking up a GH2, which is now my primary camera. Many people seem to think the GH2 is too big, and I suppose if you're coming from a P&S I understand that. But coming from a 5D or 50D the GH2 seems tiny. Factor in the difference in lens sizes, and the size and weight of my GH2 kit is a dream compared to my Canon gear.

    The GH2 has, IMHO, the best IQ of any m43 camera*, the best ergos and controls, and the best AF and EVF (although the G3 may be just as good in those last two respects). It's handling and balance with larger lenses (like the 14-140) is much better than the smaller bodies.The multi-aspect sensor means that if you like to shoot 3:2 format, as I do, you don't give up a lot of pixels as you do when cropping the 4:3 sensor in other m43 cameras. I am, frankly, in love with the camera in a way I haven't been since I bought my first EOS 1v film camera, or the Canon F1N.

    As far as lenses, my favorite walk-around lens is the 14-140. It's amazingly sharp for a 10X zoom, focuses quickly and silently, and covers an incredibly useful range. If you don't want that much size and weight, the 14-45 is noticeably better than the 14-42 at the edges, but not much different in the center. The new 14-42 X is small, but there seem to be real issues with it's OIS performance at the long end.

    My favorite lens of all, though, is the 7-14. It's as good as any wide-angle zoom on any system. Extremely sharp, very contrasty, and capable of very dramatic images. The one drawback is that there's no way to use filters, but that's not really much of an issue for me.

    For indoor use, I've got the 20mm f/1.7, which is very sharp, and very small. AF is a bit slow, but it's not been a problem for me. You'll read complaints that the AF is noisy, but the truth is no one more than a foot or two from the camera will hear it.

    I also just purchased a used 25mm f/1.4, which I'm going to compare with the 20mm. It's faster, obviously, and focuses more quickly and quietly, but it's bigger and more expensive. I'll decide which one to keep. Probably the 25mm, as small size isn't that big a deal to me, although I might prefer the slightly wider field of view of the 20.

    If you want a long tele, the 100-300 is considered to be a fair bit sharper, especially at the long end, than the 45-200. It's also a lot bigger and more expensive. I've been pretty satisfied with my 45-200, but I don't really use it very much.

    If you want fast lenses, right now your only choice is primes. Panasonic has announced a 'fast' 12-35 and 35-100, but not defined what 'fast' means, nor given a release date.

    * The only exception to this MIGHT be OOC jpegs. Oly jpegs are much more saturated, which most people seem to prefer. In truth, though, I think the Panasonic jpegs are more realistic, and if you shoot raw (as I do), it doesn't really matter very much. Even if you shoot jpeg you can increase the saturation in camera if that's what floats your boat. The G3 seems to have more saturated jpegs, by default, than does the GH2.
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I originally had the G3 and GF2 before switching to an Olympus kit. It wasn't the colors that impressed me with Olympus, but the metering ability in contrasty conditions, AF precision and AWB especially on the newer E-PM1. I agree the G3, GH2 and GX1 have the better sensor, but it was Olympus image processing that won me over.
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    mock ups supposed to be at CES, and announced at the Tokyo photo show in February. Rumored aperture is constant f/2.8 or faster.
  17. Danny_Two

    Danny_Two Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    I went around the world with just my G1, 14-45 and the 20mm, I could of lived without the 20mm.
  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Would be even happier if they had a medium speed zoom, but with better reach. Could really use a 12-60 at f/4 or faster.

  19. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aint that the truth..lol

    I envy you Danny. I would love to take my G1 around the world. This Danny has not even enough buss money to get to Hoboken..lol. But actually I think I do today, It's just too cold to wanna go to Hoboken.

    Anyway Mcarthur, if I were you, I would get a new Panasonic GH2 Body and the M.Zuiko Digital 12-50mm lens.
    Yes i know people with scream the Panasonic cameras have no IBIS and the M.Zuiko Digital lenses are not OIS (meaning no In Body or Optical Image Stabilization), but if that matters to you then you can stick with the Panny 14-42mm Kit lens.
    I just figured traveling maybe you just take one lens only to keep it small and light like you want, and the 12-50mm would give you a 24-100mm equivalent like on your full frame canon.
    When I Shoot i never worry about shake until i get past the 100mm equivalent focal length, then I use a tripod. But anyway the GH3 will give you Beautiful Photos, and amazing videos and if you apply the Hack patch before you leave, it would be like taking your 5D with you to shoot video. Its also the camera with the highest pixel count currently available in ยต4/3 (you can debate with 50 others weather that matters or not, I'm just mentioning the fact).

    I figured and Pro Photographer like you wouldn't be too concerned about JPEG differences between Panny and OLY , that if you can adjust anything you want in Post, maybe lightroom or some such, and better yet you can take Raw shots all the time if you want. That is what I do.
    Ohh yea, And a small tripod. Ya never know.

    So yea : 1 Body, 1 Lens, 1 Tripod, 1 Travel Charger, 4 Memory Cards.
    That aught-ta do ya.
  20. sol95

    sol95 Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 29, 2011
    I'm totally unfamiliar with this feature. I've only recently received an E-PM1 as a freebie, which I've given to my wife. While heavier, I prefer my 5DII with L lenses...

    But this Ex Tele Converter sounds like it's just in-camera cropping. In other words, you can take a shot with an regular camera, then crop when post-processing to get the same result. If that's the case, I guess it may be convenient for some, but I'm at a loss as to see how truly useful it'd be as you can do the same thing when transferring pics to your computer...