Helping a friend decide on a mirrorless

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Desert_B, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Desert_B

    Desert_B Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jul 8, 2013
    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    A friend has asked for help deciding on a camera. I am steering her toward mirrorless because I see no reason for her (photo novice) to lug around a DSLR. Why buy a Canon Rebel (which I own and love, btw) when you can get a nice mirrorless and some awesome, relatively inexpensive lenses?

    She has a baby on the way. Her criteria:
    • Budget of around $600.
    • Pocketability not super important.
    • Prefers to have a viewfinder.
    • Prefers to be able to do video.

    I recently bought a G5 + Oly 45/1.8 and have been very happy with the price, performance, etc., and I will recommend the G5 to her, but I don't want to miss other good options if there are any. Being new to mirrorless, it seems to me that there aren't that many that include EVF and aren't in the $1,000 range. (The G5 is now down to $400 + $50 gift card from Adorama.)

    I'm assuming my friend will want a good portrait lens as well, given that she has a baby on the way.

    Feedback welcome! Again, I am new to mirrorless, so it's hard for me to feel like I'm giving my friend a complete set of recommendations. TIA.
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Based on your friend's needs I would think the G5 would be a good option. As far as a "portrait lens", while the O45 is by nearly all accounts a fantastic lens, I would go with a wider focal length with a new baby. Assuming she's going to want to be within arm's reach of the child for the first year or so, the longer working distance that a 45mm lens (90mm full-frame equivalent) requires might be an issue. I bet she'll find the 14-42 kit lens quite useful -- if she needs something faster, then I'd look at the O17 or P20.
     
  3. Desert_B

    Desert_B Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jul 8, 2013
    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    Yes, great point about the oly 45. I am loving it, but like you said, it is a pretty long lens and can be awkward or impossible in everyday close quarters types of situations.
     
  4. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    The G5 is probably the best deal out there in MFT that will give her an EVF. Especially if you can get one of the bundles that includes the 45-150 lens.

    Otherwise there are some good deals on the GX1 and the E-P3 or E-PL3, and she could add a viewfinder. But the sensors on those aren't as good as on the G5.

    For portrait lenses the Olympus 45 is great, but the Sigma 30 is also a good option. Not as fast but it is probably just as sharp and half the price. I've also heard good things about the Sigma 60mm, but haven't used it myself.

    Given her budget and needs, I'd recommend a G5 with the addition of the 45-150 and one of the Sigma lenses. She could probably put off the 45-150 until the baby is more mobile, when it would be nice for more candid outdoor shots. In that case I would go with the Sigma 60mm since it could be used as a short telephoto.

    Sigma 60mm f/2.8 DN Lens for Micro Four Thirds Cameras, Black 350963
     
  5. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    I didn't think of it that way. In that case the Sigma 60mm I mentioned might be too long, and the Sigma 30mm would be a better choice.

    At $200 it is a great value.
     
  6. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    The Pana Leica 25mm f1.4 would be on top of my list.
     
  7. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    Definitely, but if she is limited to a budget of $600 that would blow the whole thing. :)

    That's why I was thinking that getting the G5 kit from Adorama for $400, then using the $50 gift card to get the Sigma 30mm would be the most cost effective. $550 total out of pocket. Then pick up a cheap tripod and a small camera bag and a better strap. The Panasonic straps are painful...

    For a 2 lens kit you can't beat these Lowepro Edit 130 bags on ebay:
    Lowepro Edit 130 Digital Video Photo Accessory Soft Case Bag | eBay

    Or for a bit more room the Edit 140:
    Amazon.com: Lowepro Edit 140 Camcorder Bag (Black): Camera & Photo
     
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    What about a refurbished E-PM1 with a VF-3 :confused:
     
  9. MingTyhMaa

    MingTyhMaa Mu-43 Regular

    80
    Jul 20, 2012
    Lafayette, CA
    Ming-Tyh Maa
    Make sure she investigates if she has family/friends well invested in a particular system as it may benefit her to do the same as it may open things up to her borrowing equipment.

    If not, then G5 is awesome. Make sure she knows the G5 has a silent mode which is great for sleeping babies. Make sure she buys a second battery, esp if she wants baby videos. I would just start with the kit lens, and then later after she gets a feel for it, she can try to solve her low light indoor needs.
     
  10. griswoldo

    griswoldo Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Sep 27, 2011
    I'll chime in and say that the G5 kit with a Sigma 30mm sounds like a great option. I know others have suggested older Olympus bodies, but from what I understand those aren't nearly as accomplished when it comes to video. Just a thought....
     
  11. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Although I personally prefer Olympus bodies and have never really "connected" with the various Panasonics I've used, given the requirements ($600 budget and a VF), I really don't feel that Olympus has anything to offer that can compete with the G5. Add a couple hundred dollars and you can consider a used/refurb OM-D, but it's almost as if this particular RFP was written with the idea of excluding Olympus in mind. The best Olympus offering that fits this spec is probably the E-PM2 + VF-3 (or maybe VF-2).
     
  12. salvatore64

    salvatore64 Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jul 17, 2013
    My wife had just given birth 6 days ago. I used the OMD and the panny14. That Combe worked out great . I u sweatband the OMD is way out of budget. I would suggest the EPL-5 plus. Panny 14. It's still a little over budget but if your friend is only going to be purchasing one camera she should buy the latest sensor. Also what I found as far as the delivery room and room you will be staying you will want a wide lense so 14 worked out great. It fit in my pocket and lighting was never a problem in the hospital so the 2.5 was perfect. Another option wich I also have been using with great results is my old epm-1 with the Pl 25 . If u get the epm refurbed your in or close to budget . Maybe just use the kit for the delivery room shots were she will want something wide. Just my 2 cents hope I helped.
     
  13. Desert_B

    Desert_B Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jul 8, 2013
    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    EPL-5 looks terrific. But it has no viewfinder, correct?

    (Is it possible to function without a VF? With my G5 in the sunlight, the LCD seems almost unusable.)
     
  14. lefty

    lefty Mu-43 Regular

    30mm is still too long for babies , sigma 19mm is better if that's her budget but I would stay with a kit zoom if she is a just starting out
     
  15. slappy

    slappy Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Jan 14, 2013
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Why go for mirror less with viewfinder and interchangeable lens for someone you say is photo novice?

    Wouldn't a modern compact camera be better value?

    I like the modes on my old point and shoot, where you can do panoramas, high quality videos, set it for close ups, snow, beach, mountains, evenings, flowers etc?
     
  16. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    You might want to have her look at the Fuji X20.. Seems like a nice camera with VF and integrated the zoom is 28 - 112... it has the x-trans sensor.. It is $599 at amazon...
     
  17. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    At $600 or less, if you want interchangeable lenses, and a viewfinder, last generation mFT is your only choice. G5 is a great option.
     
  18. Desert_B

    Desert_B Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jul 8, 2013
    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    Perhaps. I got the impression she wanted to learn more about photography, especially since she was looking at a Canon Rebel (package from Sam's Club).

    Can a "modern compact camera" produce baby portraits with a wow factor? I confess to not knowing a whole lot about this.... I went from a Canon point & shoot (very entry level) to a Rebel in 2009. The G5, which I've had for a few weeks, is my first foray into capable cameras that aren't DSLRs.
     
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    For having the capability of interchangeable lenses, the G5 is arguably the best choice for her for a compact, high-quality, moderately -priced camera. Awesome image quality, great EVF, great articulating LCD screen, and yes, this camera can create baby portraits with a huge "WOW factor", providing the person in whose hands the camera resides, does his/her job.

    Get the G5 with kit zoom lens and awesome images are well within reach! In addition to that, there is a wonderful range of exceptionally good lenses to choose from to expand the imaging capability.

    This is a compact, high image quality, no-brainer solution.
     
  20. MingTyhMaa

    MingTyhMaa Mu-43 Regular

    80
    Jul 20, 2012
    Lafayette, CA
    Ming-Tyh Maa
    Modern enthusiast compacts can produce fantastic images, many have full manual controls, and can shoot in raw.
    You do lose some shallow depth of field with the smaller sensor though.
    90% of it will be her motivation, and 10% the camera.