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DSLR to M43 - your thoughts

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by mnhoj, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    For those of you that have transitioned completely, I was wondering if you could add a few thoughts about the things that you miss, things that you like, things that you didn't think you would like but did, etc.

    I recently picked up an E-PM1 kit and 45 1.8 and love it. I don't even want to look at my D7000. :)

    I'm on the fence on keeping a small kit of both. I want a full M43 kit but the zero budget means something has to go to make room for new goodies.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    It all depends on what kind of photos you shoot. I'm a commercial photographer specializing in product and fashion, and work both in-studio and on-location. There's really nothing a DSLR offers that a PEN can't deliver, and in many cases it does so better for my type of work. The small body form, variable-angle viewfinder, and fast operating LiveView are wonderful assets to making my day easier than swinging around a heavy DSLR, tied to the eye-level viewfinder. I can shoot from all kinds of angles, and my camera doesn't tire me out from a day's shooting (even with the same lenses as I've always used).

    Then for my more casual shooting or event coverage, the small body and easy packing of the camera (especially with legacy primes) also makes my world so much easier than before. I can now have a capable camera with me everywhere I go which is versatile, stylish, and fun to use.

    What do I miss from my DSLR? Superior tracking focus, which I hardly ever used anyways. ;) I actually like the VF-2 better than even a pro-grade DSLR OVF with a bright crystal pentaprism (like the E-3 or E-5), because of its better versatility... brighter view even with legacy lenses stopped down, true exposure, true color, true DOF in bright view, magnification for manual focus, easy-to-read camera information (I could never see the info at the bottom or sides of my DSLR viewfinder!), and the same equivalent viewing size. I also liked the controls of my E-3 better, but that's a model-specific thing - not DSLR vs. Mirrorless. I did like the weather sealing of my DSLR system (again a model-specific thing), but at least now I don't feel the need to carry my heavier weather-sealed lenses everywhere anymore. ;) I can travel more comfortably with lighter primes and not feel like I'm missing out on the weather sealing.
     
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  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    John, from my perspective (enthusiast photographer -- strictly amateur) :43: is the way to go unless shooting sports/fast action is one of your priorities. Trying to keep two separate systems, on a budget, is a challenge, and will probably limit the potential of both systems.
     
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  4. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    777
    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    Here's my take.

    What I miss in micro four thirds when compared to a DSLR:
    (i) My hands are big, so I miss the grip to some extent.
    (ii) The DR, that I think micro four-thirds is catching up on. This matters to me only when I shoot landscapes, which is kind of rare.

    What I like about micro four thirds:
    (i) Small and light. I have carried a 350D+50mm (which is kinda light in DSLR terms) a lot and yet I think the G1+20mm or the GF1+20mm combination is lighter by a lot.
    (ii) Ability to mount almost any lens out there with an adapter. Some of the old macro lenses are true gems and for my style of photography, this was a must.
    (iii) Very good native lenses. I thought I wouldn't buy many native lenses when I got into this system. It was supposed to be my macro only setup but after using the 20mm, I ended up buying the 14-45 and 45mm. All 3 are amazingly good lenses.
    (iv) Longer reach whenever needed without breaking the bank. This was not as big a factor for my decision, but yes it did play a minor role.
    (v) I like to shoot from unusual angles and the tilting lcd coupled with light weight G1 made it a no brainer for me.
    (vi) Ease of manual focusing with EVF. You get what you see in your EVF was indeed a big deal for me. My exposure and WB are more accurate than the guess work/chimping that I used to do with my Canon DSLR.

    I had my canon system for couple of years before I got the G1+20mm. And after a year, I looked back and saw that I had used the Canon DSLR only 3-4 times. So, it was clear to me what I liked, and I ended up selling most of my Canon stuff except for the body and 50mm. Won't sell them because I like that combination and have some memories associated with them.

    All in all, for most of us who are hobby photographers without specialized needs, the micro four thirds does an amazing job.
     
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  5. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    I moved from a 5D/40D to a G3/GF1. I dabble in events, but have kind of put myself on hold to do more studio stuff on my own.

    Controls are probably the first thing I miss. It just felt more comfortable w/ the giant canon wheel on the back than anything I've used so far. Obviously, it isn't a dealbreaker, but something I think could be improved (though, to be honest, this probably applies to nikon DSLRs for me too.. I just love the rear wheel, haha)

    Blackout is a bit annoying, but more so is timing. I find my shots to be lagging sometimes, and have had to anticipate some shots more. Interestingly enough, I have this problem mostly when shooting kids.

    I do sometimes miss the feel of a DSLR, but I recently looked up the weight for my G3/12/20/45 kit. It is less than the 5D body alone, haha. I do wish I had an extra stop of room on the high end as well at times.

    I also miss my 135L. That was a beautiful lens. But heavy. I would like to see something close to this in the m43 world.

    Oh, batteries... this is a bigger problem on the panasonic side, but I had one battery type between my 40D and 5D, soooo nice. I have 2 different batteries for my cameras now, and potentially 3 when the next generation of cameras come out.

    But what do I gain? Bodies seem to get cheap quickly. Sucks for my resale, but makes it damn tempting to just buy another g3. I could literally carry all 3 cameras for an event, lens mounted, and not waste time switching lenses. I understand it's a bit excessive, but I could do it. Going down to 2 cameras becomes even more realistic and not neck breaking, and it's how I generally shoot (20+45, tho ideally 20+35-100 since there's no ~70).

    Weight and size was a big factor of going m43 and I love it. The NEX system is tempting, but I need a standard hotshoe. And their native lens lineup is not what I want. On a similar note, I swear people are less intimidated by the GF1.

    Touch controls work far better than I thought it would. Though, it'd be almost perfect if panasonic stuck a capacitive screen on there. You don't have to use it, but I find it nice for certain things. Articulating screen is also awesome, though, I suspect everything will go this route.

    I wanted something small and light so I could more easily carry "dslr quality" around. I got the GF1. The IQ really impressed me, and figured I could go all in if the next sensor stepped it up. It did. So I bit the bullet. I don't really regret it yet, heh. Except for the whole oly fiasco... I seriously hope it doesn't hinder m43 in the long run. Because as it stands, it is my sweet spot system.
     
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  6. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    M43 all the way. It's expensive at first but it's something you will use far more due to small size. Unless you're a pro photog, I don't see much rationale to invest into both systems.
    From my observation so far, folks who tried m43 are usually sticking with it and abandon DSLR all together.
     
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  7. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    702
    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I think that the most attractive part is that you can have different size bodies for different occasions:

    For example, one can have a GH2 and E-PM1. They both can share lenses, but one can be used with longer lenses, and the other with pancakes for portability.

    Compared to DSLRs (AFAIK), no system has bodies that offer either portability and handling.
     
  8. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Depends...if you do a lot of continuous AF, then keep the DSLR...if not transition entirely to M43!
     
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  9. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    As someone who's only been shooting for about 2 1/2 years now, I went from Panny FS7--Panny LX5--Rebel TXi--EOS 7D-- GH2.

    Since I'm really familiar with the sort of universal Panny controls, it's nice to get back to them from the really pretty damned deep (for Canon) controls of the 7D.

    Thus far into it, I don't miss using (although I still have) the 7D, and I'm really happy with the massive amount of cheaper, really high quality legacy glass that out there, as well. However, as a landscape guy, that bigger sensor, although not absolutely critical, was pretty nice.

    The only negative I can think of are the little grommets on the GH2 that are there for a lens strap, which I never use. They're a bit too jinly-jangly for my taste, and I'd remove them in a hearbeat if I could.
     
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  10. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Actually you can! Just slide them off! :wink:
     
  11. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    Wait, I CAN?!?!?

    I've only had it for a short amount of time, and I didn't look that closely at that bit.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Is there any trick you know of to turn the black body into a silver one? ;-)

    Seriously, thanks. I HATE those little things and every camera I use is almost 100% of the time affixed to a tripod.
     
  12. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Glad to have helped with my technical knowledge! :biggrin:
     
  13. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Thanks for all the info Ned. Especially about the VF-2. I was wondering how it compared to my D7000s finder. It sounds like it may be a very good solution. I'm actually liking using the rear LCD at arms length much more than I thought.

    Thanks again.
     
  14. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Thanks. I share that perspective. :)

    Fast continuous AF is no longer a priority for me although I will miss the ability - if I do commit.

    I no longer can field a potent DX kit and see the possibilities of a very rounded although not extravagant M43 kit.
     
  15. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Thank you for all the excellent info.
     
  16. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Thanks Linh.
    Lenses like the 135L are what I like most. I briefly owned it and really liked it. My favorite was the Nikon 105DC - not as potent as the 135L but I like the focal angle a little better. I have the 85 1.8 now and find it a little lacking but that lack of feeling is being compensated for by the 45 1.8. :)

    A 70 2.0 would be amazing.
     
  17. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    Thank Art. It would seem that the platform is very capable and would satisfy my needs very well.
     
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I am a huge fan of 135mm f/2.8 lenses. :) My current favorite is the Zeiss Sonnar 135mm/2.8.

    For a 70mm f/2.0 I use either my Zuiko 50mm f/1.4 or Konica Hexanon 50mm f/1.4 along with the Olympus EC-14 1.4x teleconverter.
     
  19. blb

    blb Guest

    I don't have a lot of experience, but for ANY kind of action - football, soccer, fishing, cooking - I've found that my dslr lets me catch more of what I intend than did the m43 (or the 5n that I currently use).
     
  20. kanasgowatom

    kanasgowatom Mu-43 Regular

    73
    Nov 11, 2011
    Not missing DSLR

    When I finally found my place in photography, I realized, all the big,heavy, equipment, in my case, was for show. As corny as this sounds, with my PL3, I feel as if it is an extension of my creative nature, I think, because it is so small and intimate. Who needs the weight and bulk, I don't.
    I really enjoy photography again, just me and my PL3.
    For what it is worth, I am on my third Scotch of the weekend




    kanasgowatom
     
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