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m4/3 or compact camera?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Johnny1.33, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 4, 2011
    Is any compact camera as good as a m4/3? I asked about the s95 once but now open to any compact fixed lens camera or m4/3. I didn't get to order the g3 like I wanted (life happened) so my budget is less than the g3. I thought about a compact but wondered about a cheaper not as new m4/3 out there.

    Are there any compact cameras as good as as any m4/3 and the kit lens?
  2. semma

    semma Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2010
    Johnnie, I was reading all your posts you made.
    It seems you want a "near-dslr" cam, the G3 is out of budget, you considered the S95, you looked at a demo G2, ...... .
    I think you have to ask yourself forst what you wanna do with your camera.
    Set this first clear for yourself, then start to read, and when you have a few cams you like, ask your final question, and people here will be glad to help you.
    Like this it is not possible to answer to your questions, becaus it seems you don't know what way you want to go, in photography, what quality you want, want interchangeable lenses or not, pocketable or not, .....

    People are happy to give advice here, but first of all you have to know what direction you wanna go in photography
    • Like Like x 2
  3. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    What do you define as "good"?

    How are you going to consume the photos? Screen/web? Print, if so, what size?

    If you are going to take pictures of stationary/slow subjects in reasonable light, don't mind a lack of DOF control (or like infinite DOF in all pictures), and going to view on screen or print smaller than 8x10, you will be hard pressed to see the difference between a good compact (like the G12, Oly XZ1, Panny LX5, etc) and m43 or DSLR. In many real situations (ex macro), the small sensor and infinite DOF can be a real advantage by allowing a larger aperture and therefore faster shutter speed.
  4. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    maybe you could bring a memory card to a local camera store and shoot with a few different cameras. Frankly, most modern decent cameras are all good enough. Find one that you enjoy using and shoot it for a year. Then, you might find what is most important to you. Seriously, I just bought an E-P1 which is over 2 years old now (an eternity is the world pf new products and cameras) and I'm totally in love with it. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with all it's quirks. But if you don't try some cameras "in your hands" you may not even find the "right" camera for you.
  5. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 4, 2011
    I really just want good looking crisp image quality. I'm a pixel peeper. I can't help it. If the IQ looks great that's what I want. That is the most important thing to me. sorry to jump all over the place. I'm just trying to pin down really crisp images in something I can afford.
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Then you may as well save up and go wih big money FF and L glass, because otherwise (and even then really) you're always going to find something that isn't perfect and you'll always say it could be better, and upgrade to the next flavor of the day, and again and again, only to end up with the most expensive body and glass in the end. Be honest with yourself and simply skip all the in betweens and save a ton of money and time in the long run
  7. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 4, 2011
    So what do "normal" people do? Is it just a matter of living within ones means?
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Just how much can you afford? The best compact camera for image quality would be the new Olympus XZ-1, which has an f1.8 aperture Zuiko lens, the Trupic V image processor from the PEN series (E-P1 and E-P2 to be more precise), and the same hotshoe for external flash and accessory port for EVF and external mic as the PEN. The sensor is one of the large point-and-shoot sizes. However, for the price of one of those, you could buy one of the early model Micro Four-Thirds, new or used, for a lot less. I'm betting that you could buy an E-P1 for the cheapest, as the best bang for your buck. It will have SO much better image quality and performance than any compact, even with the kit lens. When you build up some more cashflow, then you can start upgrading your lenses with smaller incremental payments, which is something you can't do with a fixed-lens compact.
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Are you trying to say that a Full Frame Canon and Canon glass is the height of perfection, and the end-all to camera purchases? :confused:  I beg to differ....
  10. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think that was offered up as an example. The original post seems to value pixel peeping over everything else and then seems disappointed in what is available at regular prices.
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If Pixel Peeping is the issue, then a Medium Format camera will give him far more to peep at. ;) 
  12. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
  13. daimos

    daimos Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 23, 2010
    no built-in flash ? i'm disappointed. :biggrin:
  14. There's plenty of pixel peepers here...many of us still use the first generation m4/3 bodies and...don't cry ourselves to sleep at night over a lack of image quality.

    You need to now wahat you are looking for when it comes to pixel peeping as it can be very misleading. An old 6MP camera may look better at a pixel level than a brand new 18MP model. However, when you compare the two images at a large scale and at the same physical size the higher megapixel image should look better because it will reveal more fine details and be less, well, pixellated.
  15. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Many people who buy an interchangeable lens camera are often better off with an advanced P&S. When you buy an interchangeable lens camera you're not buying just a camera ... you are buying into a camera system. One of the most compelling reasons to purchase an interchangeable lens camera is the opportunity to outfit the camera with multiple lenses. If you're not planning to add more lenses, then you're spending a lot of money for a capability which you'll never use. The addition of lenses does not have to occur at the time of purchase, just be prepared to do so over time.

    As for a crisp image ... that is actually more complicated than one can imagine.

    1. What type of subjects do you plan to shoot? Getting a crisp shot at a night time high school football game requires a much more sophisticated camera and lens than a crisp photo of your car parked in the driveway at noon.

    2. What size print do you desire the crispness? A crisp 4x6 can be attained much more cheaply than a crisp 8x10 or 16x20. Generally, the larger the print expectations the more costly it will be to attain. A crisp handheld image on a sunny day is less expensive to attain than a crisp handheld image at night.

    3. Is camera size a factor?

    4. Photographic knowledge, skill and experience will go a long way to deliver crispness.

    Olympus 5050 - 5mp P&S w/ Fixed Lens

    Canon 20D - 8mp dSLR w/ 70-200L f/2.8

    Canon 5D - 12mp dSLR w/ 70-200L f/2.8

    Panasonic GF1 - 12mp µ4/3 w/ 20mm f/1.7

    Panasonic GF1 - 12mp µ4/3 w/ adapted Samyang 28-70 f/3.5

    Panasonic GF1 - 12mp µ4/3 w/ adapted Nikkor Micro 55mm f/3.5

    Canon 1DsMKII - 16mp dSLR w/ 300L f/4

    Nikon F2 - 35mm film/Tri-X @ ASA 1600 w/ 180mm f/2.8

    Hasselblad 500CM - 120mm film/Tri-X @ ASA 400 w/ 80mm Planar f/2.8
    (converted from color)

    Essentially, most/all camera genre are capable of delivering a crisp image. Many will tell you to handle the camera to see if its comfortable. IMO that is the last thing to consider when purchasing a camera. Most/all modern camera design take into consideration human hand ergonomics. Nearly every modern consumer oriented camera will be easy to use by ... (I dunno, guessing) ... 90%+ of the human population. Any slight differences between modern cameras most reasonably intelligent people can easily adapt to over a very short time. Slightly more important than "feel" is the menu system. Take some time to read up on and play with the menu system. Some menu systems seemed to be based upon no known rational logic.

    If you decide that an interchangeable lens camera is right for you then:

    1) Check to make sure the camera system has the lenses & accessories required for your photographic preference(s) (i.e. astro, sports, macro, et cetera);

    2) Check to make sure the camera has the features and capabilities required for your photographic preference(s) (low light, high FPS, et cetera);

    3) Check pricing and your check book (IQ does not improve commensurate with the price of hardware. The IQ of a $600 entry level dSLR does not double if you buy a $1200 mid-level dSLR. In fact, you will not see any significant difference in IQ, at an 8x10 and with an ISO of 400 or less, between a $600 entry level dSLR and a $5,000 flagship dSLR. Sorry to keep referencing dSLR's, but that is a mature market and easier for me to pull out examples which still apply to other formats.)

    4) Then, if all else being equal, go for feel as your swing vote.

    • Like Like x 3
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Normal people don't pixel peep. The vast vast majority of people will never output photos in a size or format large enough to tell the difference, and a good P&S, mirrorless, or entry level DSLR will be more than satisfactory for their imaging needs.

    no, but medium or large format is probably out of the question for most people, both from a price and availability standpoint, leaving FF DSLR as the "standard". Canon just makes it easy to designate their high end glass, AFAIK, Nikon does not have a unique identifier for their highest level glass like that.
  17. chris196

    chris196 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 17, 2011
    If price and IQ are the prime criteria, then get a $399 olympus e-pl1.
    Olympus - PEN 12.3-Megapixel Digital Camera - Black - E-PL1 & 14-42mm Lens Kit

    or get a refurbed one:
    I've purchased a couple of refurbed cameras and had no problems with them.

    if pocketable and price is paramount, then get a S90:

    While the S95 is newer it really just added HD video. IQ on S95 and S90 is essentially the same. If you want HD video, then pay the extra $100 for the S95.

    There are some really good cameras out there at really good prices.
    Like others said, you just need to determine what you want.
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    iono... if I wanted the top end DSLR I could afford, it would actually be the E-5 with Top-Pro Zuiko glass. ;)  And I'd have the entire SHG Zuiko collection without breaking the budget much over a 1Ds Mark IV and a handful of L glass. xD

    Don't get me wrong, I think the 1Ds Mark IV is a great camera body... but it can't use Four-Thirds glass (the Four-Thirds mount has a shorter flange distance than any other SLR or DSLR mount).
  19. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The short answer is that a P&S won't be good enough. Pixel peeping is, for better or worse, a pretty high standard for the sensor and optics. :43: is not even obviously good enough in this case.
  20. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I won't bother to make an answer to this comment, because I think Nic already said it best (quoted below):
    The disadvantages of a Micro Four-Thirds camera lie in various handling and performance speed blocks which are currently being ironed out. Micro Four-Thirds cameras are already leaders in modern imaging technology and aren't lacking in image quality.
    • Like Like x 1
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