First and only (currently) interchangeable lens camera.......which to go with?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Hdale85, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    So I've got some vacations coming up, and I have 2 kids age 7 and 8. I like to do a lot of landscape shots, night sky shots, etc etc, as well as shoot my 2 kids for holidays and action stuff they are doing. I'd also like to be able to shoot some video with the camera if possible. So my question is, since I'm only going to have one camera at this point would I be better off sticking to DSLR or going mirrorless? It seems like dollar per dollar DSLR still seems to be better? Granted the frame is bigger and such, my point is though looking at the Oly EM5 M2 it's 1k bucks, the Nikon D7200 seems to be like a better camera in everything but size and technically costs less money? Is there a better way to do this with mirrorless and get what I want? Or should I just stick to DSLR for now? My budget is going to be 1900-2k total but I'd like to get a couple lenses as well with part of that so I'm figuring max 1k on the body.

    Another option I was thinking about is would I be better off getting a cheaper mirrorless that's really good at video, and then get another mirrorless that does good video? Would I be able to achieve something close to the performance of the D7200?

    My main concern is I don't get much opportunity to upgrade, and my wife will be starting school soon again so I'll have even less opportunity. So I want to make sure I get something that I'm going to be happy with for a few years because I'll likely be stuck with it.
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Do you have an opportunity to try either one out locally (borrow from a friend or at a store or even rent) ?

    The previous generation bodies still take great shots - the Pana G6 or original E-M5/E-P5 - particularly if you don't need 4k, better low-light, wifi or AF performance. I tend to invest in lenses and pick up used bodies - the lenses will always be current while the bodies are updated every year (and my wallet won't be able to keep up!). So you can definitely save some money on the body if you don't need the latest model - use the money saved to get good glass.

    I'd say the Nikon AF performance for shooting action is going to be marginally better than the latest gen M43 cameras. You may want to poke around the sports/kids threads on the forum to see what people are able to achieve with their cameras.

    On the other hand, the M43 size/weight advantage is not to be discounted - you can slip a M43 body into a coat/jacket pocket with a small lens - you're never going to be able to do that with a Nikon DSLR (I don't even think they have a pancake in their range apart from an old manual focus 45mm P and the 50mm E). As a result, you're more likely to carry and use the smaller/lighter camera rather than having to worry about a shoulder bag, pack or having a DSLR dangling from a shoulder strap. The smaller size also tends to make it far less intimidating if you're after casual/candid snaps - it becomes less of a performance.

    Another thing to ponder is the new range of premium compacts - I've seen great images coming out of the Sony RX100 & Panasonic LX100. Obviously there are trade-offs to be made compared to an interchangeable lens camera, but again, the size/weight/simplicity aspect shouldn't be discounted.

    Good luck with your quest. Hopefully we'll see you on the forum if you pick a M43 body :)
  3. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    Yeah, I don't mind complexity too much. I do get the portability aspect though. It seems the original M5's video performance isn't great though, and the G6 is on the bigger side.
  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    Two thoughts come to mind. First, you have mentioned what you like to shoot, but you have not addressed your needs with respect to the biggest difference between the two formats - size & weight. The D7200 is an amazing camera, and you are buying into the Nikon system FWIW to you. But, a D7200 is not a small body, and good glass is not going to be small as well, with the exception of a few f/1.8 primes. A full kit of a few lenses and a body and flash is going to be a full bag of gear. Great quality, yes, but with the cost being size and weight.

    Video also complicates the matter as Panasonic "gets" video a bit more than many of the other manufacturers (Sony being one possible exception), and if you are going to be doing some intense editing, you will probably appreciate their codecs.

    IQ from a current m4/3rd's body is going to be close to APS-C, with the difference showing up mostly in low light/high ISO situations. With a well exposed and well shot image, it is going to have to be a VERY large print for any difference to show up between the formats. The D7200 will be better with AF on fast moving subjects. m4/3rd's will give you accurate focus and and EVF (for better and for worse depending on how you value what it offers).

    I shoot mirrorless and DSLR's and tend to being the DSLR's for subjects that do better with their feature advantages over mirrorless (fast moving subjects like BIF or sports). But, if I am out and about or travelling, I much prefer to carry my mirrorless gear. I am carrying less weight, and that means I do not feel like a pack mule when I am travelling for fun and pleasure, especially with my wife and/or family/friends.

    I would suggest trying to further refine what you do and do not want in a camera, and what features you will or will not be willing to compromise on in your selection process.

    Good luck,

  5. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    I forgot to comment, I don't really have anyone I can borrow from. We don't have much for camera stores around here either.

    Well the main things I like about the EM5 M2 is the image stabilization seems to be very good, and the video quality (1080p 77mbps) is pretty acceptable for the smaller platform. I also like the fact that it's a weather sealed and made of magnesium.
  6. Tom_Chan

    Tom_Chan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 19, 2013
    Since you mentioned "weather sealed" I think you can narrow down your choice a lot: The Complete Micro 4/3 Lens List

    In particular, O12-50, P12-35, O12-40, O14-150 (the one with weather sealing), depending on the range you like and if electronic zoom is a thing for you (quite some video users like that).

    Edit: As zoom lenses are quite a bit slower than primes you might also want a fast prime to take care of your indoor shots.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
  7. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    The complexity angle is probably more about other family members being able to pick up the camera and run with it - stick it on Auto and they can't go too wrong with Live-View and framing. A DSLR viewfinder can sometimes be a little overwhelming.

    With the weather-sealing, just remember the lens needs to be sealed too - a lot of people have hung onto the kit 12-50 for this reason even though they've picked up optically superior primes or zooms (which often aren't sealed).

    If you haven't already had a look - Camera Size Comparison is useful for comparing camera sizes with different lenses.
  8. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    So with image stabilization, and video features being high priorities does that make the EM5 Mark II the best option? It seems like IS lenses are quite a bit more money.
  9. Tom_Chan

    Tom_Chan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 19, 2013
    That depends on what lenses are you talking about -- O12-40 and P12-35 are not that much different in terms of price.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    Its a shame you are not interested in the Mk I. The are selling new for under $400.00

  11. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Real Name:
    I think if I was going this route with the current offerings, I would grab the E-P5 + 17 + VF4 kit for 599 and add the P35-100/2.8 (seen used on the forum under $700) for a very nice combination at around 1300. Gives you room to add more lenses as you grow into the system.

    FWIW, I switched from Nikon DSLRs to m43 last summer and started with the E-M10 kit + O75-300 for around a 1000 bucks and have since added my favorite FF equivalent focal lengths with the O25 and O45 (both mint used, just over 200 each) and the 40-150 for under a 100 to put together a really nice kit to fit my needs. As I take more pictures, I will see where my equipment falls short of my requirements (and not the other way around) and add accordingly.
  12. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    Assuming mirrorless, because to be honest I don't really know a lot about Nikon DSLRs.
    Panasonic do video better than Olympus. If you want smallish and weather sealed, I'd suggest looking at the GX8. If you want to save a few bucks, the GX7 is a great camera (isn't weather sealed and doesn't shoot 4k video, but other than that).
    If I was going to pick a single fast lens to go with either, I'd pick the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8. It isn't cheap, but it will cover your wide angle landscapes, etc, and is fast enough for indoors, and it is weather sealed IIRC. For a two lens kit, I'd probably add the Panasonic 45-175mm zoom which is small and light and is a lot better than the price would lead you to expect.

    Just looking on Amazon (you can do your own searching around for the best deal :)), you can get a GX8 + 12-35mm lens for $1900 : Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 4K Wi-Fi Digital Camera Body (Black) with 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens + 64GB Card + Battery + Charger + Case + Flash + Tripod + Kit : Camera & Photo
    And the 45-175mm for $180 used Buying Choices: Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm/F4.0-5.6 Lens for Panasonic Lumix G-Series Digital Cameras

    That's pretty close to your 2k budget without looking too hard ;)
  13. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    I'm not a video guy - hopefully one of the other forum-members will chip in.

    Panasonic, in general seem to do video better than Oly. Most people would agree that the Panasonic GH range are the best for video - they lack image stabilisation but have better video codecs, selection of frame-rates and bells & whistles that a videographer would utilise. Also, a number of Panasonic lenses do feature stabilisation (including the kit).

    I find the Oly stabilisation really useful for street shooting, low-light, macro and adapted lens shooting (again, mostly macro). Also, if you wanted to shoot video with some old manual focus lenses then that is where the Oly in-body stabilisation would come into its own.

    The modern M43 camera (whether it be the current model or n-1) is a nice entry into a fairly rich ecosystem now - theres something to suit everyone.

    Another useful site for checking specs and comparing bodies/lenses -

    Four Thirds | Micro Four Thirds | Products(Camera Bodies)

    CameraStoreTV (I quite like the reviews; I know others find their style annoying) -

    Oly cameras (unfortunately they don't seem to have a E-M5 MKII review)
    Olympus - YouTube
    Pana cameras (theres a G7 review there somewhere but not in that playlist)
    Panasonic - YouTube
  14. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 18, 2015
    I'm not quite sure about the whole panasonic video thing for this purpose. Although they clearly have better codecs this is mostly important to advanced users who put in the effort of a proper storyboard and then do countless hours of editing. I would think, that for home video (Family shots as are talked about here) just having IBIS working in Video might actually be more beneficial than better codecs.

    FWIW I don't shoot a lot of video with my GX7. I just prefer the Pana Interface, but I think the Video advantage on panasonic camera's seems to be overstated for people who are not using them in a semi professional workflow.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Not an easy question to answer for anybody. For me the answer is m43, so I'll be a little biased.

    First things first: sensor IQ. Have a look yourself at the actual difference in noise and resolution with this tool:

    Olympus OM-D E-M10 Review

    There are two modes, daylight and artificial (low) light. Compare JPEG and/or RAW depending on what you intend to use. Also notice that the D7200 is a little bigger, that is what the the 16MP vs 24MP means in practice.

    For sensor format difference, I'll point you this thread for details: Sensor Size and the Importance of Aspect Ratio

    The APS-C is mostly wider, so a good part of the specs advantage is due do this difference. You have more apparent MP and noise performance because you have tow extra stripes on the sides, but the middle part is about the same. That is why the difference on corresponding parts of the image is IMO so small.
    If you are going to shoot a lot of landscapes or you prefer the 3:2 format then the advantage is there, but for many subjects is just going to get wasted with some extra background.

    About the EVF. Shooting without an EVF today to me seems like something from the past. Take the picture, go into review mode to check the exposure just feels wrong. Take a landscape for example: moving the camera angle a few degrees up or down will totally change the exposure. Or shooting against a bright light source. There are a lot of techniques to solve this problem, but the problem is still there. Then the EVF on the E-M5 mk2 and E-M1 is much bigger (1.48x vs 0.94x).

    Then size: body + lenses are smaller and lighter. Until you are at home it does not matter, as soon as you are out is just different. If you plan to wake up at 4 A.M. to take landscapes shots on a specific location with an heavy tripod then size difference is less relevant (but still there). But for causal/travel photography or hiking or cycling is different.

    Compact Camera Meter

    (I tried to pick roughly corresponding lenses).

    This means less lenses, lower quality lenses or more weight. To see how much lenses matter and how small the sensor difference are in good light see this article (talking about full frame, not APS-C).

    Full Frame vs Micro 4/3 Revisited with Pro Olympus Lens

    Where good DSLR are better is in sport/action shots. C-AF performance for moving subjects are better and S-AF too (except for the E-M1). Another problem is EVF blackout when shooting in fast burst mode (10 fps) following a moving subject.
    Honestly I'm not sure if the D7200 is an AF monster like the 7D or the D4, but I still suppose should be better for C-AF.
    Does this difference matter for you? Depends if you plan to shoot hockey, motorsports or birds in flight 90% of the time. Running children are a little borderline subjects: not so fast, but fast enough to start to see a difference or requiring more effort and technique on m43 then on a DSLR.
    All of this assuming the lenses used have similar performance.
    Just to be clear these are shot on m43 (E-M1):

    Best of 2015 (rally)

    As for anything is the photographer first that make the difference. Super gear helps.

    Today I'd consider the E-M1 or the E-M10 mk2 (first one has better PDAF AF and the price is dropping). E-M5 mk2 wins for the high-res mode.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  16. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apologies up front if I misunderstood the thread title...

    This will be your first ILC? What have you had experience with before? If you've never dealt with ILCs before, keep it simple. With a family in tow, are you certain that you'll be willing to carry a bunch of gear (DSLR kits get heavy and big real quick), swap lenses out in the field, brave elements requiring weather sealing, and put the pre/post-production effort in to make any superior video quality meaningful?

    Which ever way (DSLR versus MILC) you go, I'd suggest that you buy used if you can, picking up some cheap but decent kit zooms as well as an affordable fast prime (just watch the ones that have slow AF quirks if you're trying to keep up with your kids, e.g. the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 or the old Canon 50mm f/1.8). Once you get the hang of it, you might find areas where you need better performance, you can think about getting better gear in a more considered manner at that point. You won't have lost much having bought used gear in the first place, and the money you saved on the original purchase can be put towards the upgrade.
  17. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    I guess it's not really my first, I had a Panasonic GF5KK before but not for very long.

    You guys have convinced me, I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with M43, just need to figure out which one I suppose.
  18. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    Hmm the EM5 MK1 is under 400 bucks on BHP. That would save me some money, or leave more budget for lenses, video performance still seems ok at 30fps or 60 interlaced.

    I also saw on ebay a MK1 special edition bundle that comes with a lens the grip and bigger battery for like 600, been used only a couple times. Comes with an M.Zuiko Digital 17mm F1.8.
  19. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    Any m43 camera with a viewfinder is going to be way better than a DSLR as a camcorder replacement. The SLR design just isn't right for video, so you are reduced to using live view on the LCD.

    Yes, videographers are big into DSLRs, but as part of a whole camera rig with an external monitor. The choice of DSLRs for them is mainly to get the biggest sensor they can, and the choice of lenses.

    So no, the Nikon D7200 isn't a better camera in everything. The two DSLR advantages were lens choice and Continuous Autofocus. The m43 lens choice is now so big, you should be covered with almost anything you'd want to do. The CAF advantage was to do with Phase Detection AF. Any Mirrorless that also has Phase Detection AF can continuous autofocus as good as a DSLR, and the m43 cameras have taken Contrast AF to almost as good.

    Can you expand a little on what you mean by "night sky shots"? Are you taking about wide views of most of the sky, or something we'd more likely call astrophotography?
  20. Hdale85

    Hdale85 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    Probably more astrophotography.

    Right now I'm looking at the E-M5 mk2 and a 12-40mm f2.8 pro and maybe a prime. This leaves room in my budget for filters, a bag, extra batteries etc.