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m43 (GX-1) vs NEX (NEX-6) for a DSLR companion...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by jgmankos, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. jgmankos

    jgmankos Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 9, 2012
    Slatington, PA
    So this is where I'm at in the current moment...

    I'm a long time DSLR shooter who appreciates the high image quality a DSLR offers. That in mind, I also realize it's not always practical, or desirable to carry a DSLR around all the time. So for the past month I've been mulling over which compact to get. I had narrowed it down to the Fuji X20, Pentax MX-1, and Olympus XZ-2. Then alas, the pixel peeper in me took over, and I realize that none of these cameras are going to give me the image quality I'm looking for. I'm a fan of available light shooting, fast lenses, and bokeh so great noise performance at higher ISO's is a plus. I realize that although these compacts all have fast lenses, that their small sensors won't give me the blur I'm looking for in people shots. Even though they would be much more portable, I just can't see myself being happy with one of these cameras for these reasons. I still need something compact,mind you not jeans-pocket compact but coat-pocket compact would be fine. Something I can put in a belt case and won't be too bulky for trips, or hiking, etc.

    So now I'm back to looking at larger sensor system cameras. Let me say that first, I'm no stranger to m43. I got on a little kick awhile ago about downsizing and sold all my SLR gear and for the better part of last year my kit consisted of a G3, an e-pm1, Gx1, 14-42, 20mm, and 100-300. However...as time went by I realized how much I missed my Pentax FA-50mm 1.4 and realized that nothing in m43 could match it....so I jumped back over to a DSLR with a K30 and some lenses (including my beloved FA 50 :)  )

    Also let me say that I considered others as well...Fuji's X system is out of the price range and their lens selection too limited at the current time (ditto on the latter for Samsungs NX series and Nikon's 1 series). The Pentax Q is a small sensor camera so while it's tiny and cute, I crossed that off because of the reasons above. I value versatility so a fixed lens camera like the Fuji X100 is out as well.

    So I had pretty much decided it was back to m43 and I thought I was all dead set to order a GX1 with a 14-42 PZ, and a LVF2 (gotta have a viewfinder) on Monday. I realized the 14-42 PZ has some knocks against it...but I looked at samples and was satisfied with what I'm seeing, and decided that the super compact form factor was worth the comprimises. Then something else happened...I got struck by some more analysis paralysis when in my reading on DPReview, I came across the Sony Nex 6 with it's built in viewfinder and it's 16-50mm collapsible zoom. This is a sweet looking little thing and considering the viewfinder is built in (and I kinda like the idea on the side vs. a centered vf on a traditional SLR) and it also has a comparible lens option in the 16-50mm pancake zoom. It's also a bit pricier and while the lens arsenal in E-mount is growing...I think the m43 lens selection is much more mature

    After reading a little about the Nex 6...I'm seeing some definite advantages over the GX-1. As I said, I like the built-in viewfinder vs. having to attach one and worry about carrying something else around. I also like the fact that it shoots 10 FPS - not sure how much I'd use that but speed can definitely come in handy sometimes. I think image quality up to ISO 1600 is a dead heat(maybe even up to 3200)...after that the larger sensored Nex I think shows a distinct advantage when you look at ISO 6400 samples. The articulating LCD is nice as well.

    In the GX-1's corner...I'm definitely familiar with the camera having owned it before. I loved it before and I could definitely love it again. Like I said, the M43 lens lineup is definitely full of more choices, and for the money Sony doesn't have the equivalent of the Panny 20mm 1.7. Yeah, theres' the recently released SEL 35mm 1.8...but it's $200 more than the Panny 20. Also, I'm a big fan of the Panasonic 100-300mm lens and I can't find anything in NEX mount that even comes close to it. For that matter...for $400 on the used market I can't find anything in K mount for my K-30 that can match the 100-300 for reach and sharpness without spending almost a grand on a Sigma 150-500 (or the occasional Bigma that pops up)...so the ability to add this lens back into the stable is a definite plus for the Panny. Also...the m43 lenses/accessories seem to be a tad bit cheaper than the Sony stuff and unless I'm missing something, they seem to have just a little bit more 3rd party support.

    For about the grand I have to spend at this moment in time, can build similar kits. I can get the Nex 6 w/16-50 PZ, and a Sigma 30mm. For the same money, I can get the Gx-1 w/14-42 PZ, LVF2, and Panny 20mm.

    After going through all that...in the end, I keep coming back to my main goal: I want a highly compact camera with DSLR image quality. Both of these meet the criteria. Both have their advantages and disadvantages over the other. I'm not kidding myself that I'm going to replace a DSLR because I tried before and found myself missing the advantages that offers.

    So...thoughts? Anyone care to nudge me one way or another?

    Oh, and if you made it this far...thanks for reading :) 
  2. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    A G3 is a GX1 w/evf built in and swivel lcd. I'd get that if I needed an evf. A G5 is a little bigger but better.
  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've gone through the same process a few times, so I feel your pain.

    It seems like you will need a fast prime to differentiate your mirrorless kit from what an X20 might give you, as the kit lenses won't perform all that differently in terms of available light shooting and background blur. Given that, with your $1000 budget, and desire for an integrated VF, it is tough.

    You could do a G5 + Panny 25/1.4 or 20/1.7, but that is probably larger than you prefer, though is does allow you to add the 100-300.

    If 35mm equivalent FL works for you maybe a used X100 for $650 or so? Best IQ option but least flexible.

    GX1 with external VF and 20/1.7 is interesting as well, as you can go sans VF for smallest size, and only add it when necessary. But I'm like you in not being especially fond of detachable VFs.

    My recommendation would be to give the X20 an try before you write it off. I have the X10 + DSLR at the moment, and it seems like a good pairing.
  4. calieng

    calieng Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 20, 2011
    On vacation in the Philippines right now with the Sony RX100 and the G5 with 14-42PZ, Rokinon fisheye, PL 25f1.4, and 45-175PZ.

    Very happy with the results but next trip I will only take the RX100 because it is all most people would need for vacation photos. Used sweep panorama a lot and video is also great. Wonderful little camera. That is what I would recommend for a small camera.

    Otherwise the OM-D is worth every penny if you are looking for interchangeable lens system. The G5 was taken on this trip because it was cheap if the camera got lost or stolen here and it has worked great but I sure miss the IBIS of the OM-D.

    I had the NEX-6 and it was a nice body but did not like the lenses and found the OM-D overall worked better and took better photos and video. Also have the GX1 but it is not that much smaller than the OM-D for it to see much use now and also with the RX100 will not use it much anymore. Also would not recommend it as it has an older sensor.

    My recommendations are OM-D for a good overall camera, RX100 for a compact, and the Fuji XE-1 for the old school photographer. IMHO.
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