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Moving to SLT for faster action?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by battleaxe, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I have read a few of the threads here about the SLT, but nothing fully about making the move to a SLT camera from m4/3 or for wildlife shooting. I really like my G2, and GF3, but the AF performance when it come to wildlife and BIF is a bit lacking. I never really tried one of the longer zoom(like 45-200mm) with the G2 so maybe I haven't had the full experience, but I have used MF with light success. However, for what I have read the PDAF, which the SLT uses would be better when the action starts to get fast.

    That said, part of the reason I am thinking SLT is because models like the A37 and A55 are suppose to be still pretty small even when compared to other APS-C DSLR. However, part of my concern is moving from the G2 to say an A55, the slight increase in bulk may become an issue, specially when hiking and shooting wildlife(mostly handheld). Or is there not much of a difference in real world usage?

    So, would it be wise to move from a G2(GF3 will be a keeper) to an SLT camera for wildlife, if size and weight could be a partial concern? Thanks
     
  2. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I think it would be wise to keep at least one of the m4/3 cameras and get a used SLT camera to see if you like this setup. If you ended up not liking it, you could sell it back in the market and at least suffer a smaller loss. If wildlife is what you want to shoot, the SLT could get bulky as I believe you would need a telephoto zoom lens that reaches at least 300mm...
     
  3. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Well I was shooting wildlife with an old MF, so a 300mm lens may not be that much of an issue size wise as it wouldn't be that much bigger/heavier than what I use to shoot with. What would your suggestion be if I would like to shoot wildlife?

    If I went SLT I was planning to keep the GF3 as the size is perfect with the 14mm.
     
  4. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Since I am not an SLT user, I cannot give you any suggestion on what lens to use for wildlife shooting with one. I use the Panasonic 100-300 or the Olympus Zuiko 50-200 SWD plus EC-14 on my E-M5 for wildlife shots, but as you are fully aware, this is only good for pretty still wildlife. Very difficult to catch birds in flight with this setup.
     
  5. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    There's no real savings to be had for wildlife shooting with an SLT over SLR. The (largely theoretical) size advantages are negated by the fact you need big, heavy glass for optimal wildlife shooting with an APS-C sized sensor.
     
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I love my A65, but it is a big camera and the lenses are bigger still. It is a full time live view camera, which I appreciate and was one factor in getting an SLT over an SLR. And it has SLR-type PDAF focusing, which was a big factor in getting it over another mirrorless body.
     
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  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Try one out! Why not? m43 is not ideal for action/movement shots, though it can be done.

    Lensrentals offers rentals on SLT and lenses. There are other rental places, too.

    Sony, though, doesn't have a super-great selection of lenses, and SLT cams are PDAF, so if you go 3rd party (like Tamron or Sigma) then you will likely need micro-adjust on the AF mechanism, and the cheaper/smaller bodies don't come with MA. Also, as others have noted, you lose the size advantage. So, it's just a prioritization for you -- better action grab (especially in video) or size. And I don't think you gain anything in lenses in a move to SLT.

    Also drop by the DPR SLT forum and ask those folks which lenses they use for BIF, etc. I'm not a BIF shooter, but I have to think that's a tricky shot no matter what camera you are using.
     
  8. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    My advice : hire something to try on your m4/3rds body : 300mm autofocus at least, then you will KNOW if your current body will do the job.
    If that's a failure then look at DSLR long lenses since the body size is not going to be an issue if you're going APS-C : the lens is big enough, and lens quality/price is the real question. What I'm saying : Sony, Nikon, Canon, Pentax ... all much the same for the job, the LENS is the important bit there.
     
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I'd also consider a small DSLR. Sony's C-AF isn't all that great in my experience, and their telephoto lens selection is somewhat restrictive compared to Canon or Nikon.

    That said, the G2 isn't exactly state-of-the-art when it comes to autofocus, even for m4/3, so you may find a G5 or E-M5 in combination with a good lens meets your needs.
     
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I don't think there's much question that higher-end DSLRs and SLTs have significantly better C-AF than m43 cameras. But reaching conclusions about m43 AF based on the pretty antique G2 and GF3 isn't fair to m43. The OM-D AF is much, much better than the G2, and the GH3 appears to be significantly quicker than the OM-D.

    And low-end DSLRs (a Rebel, say), aren't in the same league as something like a 7D. I'm not a Sony owner, so I can't compare performance of the AF in various models of those cameras, but I suspect the low-end bodies aren't nearly as good as the more expensive ones.

    How an OM-D or GH3 compares to something like a 60D or 7D is still unknown. I suspect, though, if C-AF performance is critical to you, you'd be happier with a mid-range or higher DSLR or SLT than m43.
     
  11. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Note on PDAF, to get the truly fast AF they are capable of, you are not only going to need big, but expensive lenses. The Costco near me had 7Ds for Christmas, and I found the AF to be APPALLINGLY slow - from near to far took easily twice as long as my G3. Of course, I couldn't really test the AFC on a fast moving object, but I doubt it would have been much better than m43, despite the advantage of PDAF knowing which way the object is moving.

    I x2 the recommendation to try out a GH2 or newer m43 cam. I really IS night and day over the older models.
     
  12. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Well my conclusion is more about the PDAF of the SLT/DSLR vs the CDAF of m4/3 and NEX camera. I know how fast a m4/3 camera can be, I have played with the OMD in store. And everything I have read, for faster moving birds, and animals PDAF is better for tracking, without the need for really pre-focusing.

    I was thinking SLT, because I prefer an EVF over an OVF for various reason, and the fact that it can accept older AF Minolta lenses, some of which are suppose to good for the price.

    dhaz, and others what small/compact DSLR would you suggest, if you are saying the Sony isn't the optimal choice? Thanks
     
  13. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I've not used the 7D, but have shot XTi, XSi, T1i, T2i and 5D classic. The AF has been plenty fast enough on all of them, but the AF points are meager. I also shot the D700 (Nikon) and found the AF to perform much better, but I'm sticking with Canon for my DSLR needs.

    The issue for me in action is that both CDAF and PDAF have their issues. For CDAF, tracking is terrible, and also more prone to grab the background for focus. With PDAF, you can have micro adjust issues and also, though it's better than CDAF in tracking, I still get plenty of "almost but not quite in focus" shots with my Canons (vs. not at all in focus, which is more prevalent with my m43). I used mainly USM lenses, which are not all L glass. The 85/1.8 is USM, but not L, and focuses very quickly and silently, and cost me <$300. The micro-motor lenses might be more in line with what you are describing (which would include the kit lens, the old 35/2, the 50/1.8 and the 55-250 -- all very common consumer lenses).
     
  14. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    My a77's are definitely quicker for continuous focus than any m4/3 camera. For single shot there's not enough in it to make a difference when compared to a EM5 and 70-300. I also used a mix of lenses. Sony, Tamron and Sigma. The Sony lenses were a bit faster to focus but I never needed to micro adjust any of the third party lenses. There is also an advantage in mirror blackout times compared to the consumer Canikons.

    As long as you're prepared for the significant changes in size and weight (mostly in the lenses) then there's no reason not to get a SLT system. The difference in size and weight (and cost) between a 100-300 Panny lens and a 80-400 Sony or 150-500 Sigma is significant however and should be considered seriously before the switch.

    Also, apart from the FF a99, none of the current alpha sensors are really better than the EM5/GH3 sensor. The a65/75 sensors have more pixels and a bit more dynamic range, but the increased noise at mid and high ISOs tends to negate these advantages. The EM5 sensor is a stop better for noise. Of course there are advantages the other way. The a77 has a native ISO50 and a 1/8000 shutter plus it has an electronic first curtain shutter for extremely fast response. And the viewfinder in the a77 is much, much better than even the EM5. It's the best EVF available.

    Having owned an a77 and 80-400, I'd still be tempted to see what the supposedly improved CAF on the GH3 could do with a 100-300.

    Gordon
     
  15. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    If you're looking at similarly priced DSLRs, try and find a D5100 and a T4i or similar in stores. I say this because consumer pentaprism viewfinders are catastrophically god awful terrible in my opinion, especially because live-view is a desperation measure. I don't know how people put up with them, and I have to think that the people who are advocates of OVF are talking about bigger cameras. A 60D is fine, for example. The EVFs, Sony in particular, are fairly large and comfy. The LCD version is nice and the OLED is even nicer. Unlike flash I would not say the A65/A77 viewfinder is MUCH better than the EM5; it's a bit better on all fronts but only size is really noticeable in regular use.

    My point is, though, that when I went out and said, "gee a regular DSLR could be useful to have", I tried the basic options and they sucked ergonomically. An SLT feels like an m4/3 camera that's been put on a steroids course, which is a much more comfortable arrangement for me, and very possibly for you if you're an EVF/live-view fan.
     
  16. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Would the A33 work for my needs? I noticed it is going for under $300, and with a long zoom lens it could be a good low priced combo.

    As for noise at high ISO, that isn't too key for me as my current setup are acceptable for the most part. Sony colors in some of the shots are not fully to my liking, but I am sure RAW and PP work could easily fix that. Thanks.

    I am a fan on both EVF and OVF, so both are fine with me, but I prefer EVF as I can see all the info, specially when framing.
     
  17. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    IMO, the a33 is a REALLY small body -- really cramped. The OMD has been accused of being cramped, too, but I have tried both, and the OMD is better laid out than the a33. The newer SLTs actually increased a bit in size and are more comfortable.
     
  18. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Well I never found my G2 to be cramped or too small, thought it was a good size.

    I've been reading a lot of users of cameras like the FZ200 are saying that a DSLR with a lens like the Sony 80-400mm, or Panasonic 100-300mm wouldn't be as good because the aperture is going to be at f5.6 or so at the long lend.. While the FZ200 on the other hand will be at f2.8 at the long end. I would have thought the larger sensor advantage and PDAF, would negate the slower lens. Is that really the case, or is that incorrect?

    Example here. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50547489
     
  19. I don't understand how an SLT gets enough light to the AF Sensor for it to be as effective as a full mirrored DSLR.
     
  20. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Normal DSLRs don't use theatre mirror for AF. there's a small centre section that is semi silvered for the af. it's actually kindle similar to the SLT except the majority of the light gets bounced up to the pentaprism or pentamirror where as in an SLT the majority travels straighten the sensor.

    in a DSLRs if you carefully raise the mirror by hand you can see the articulated centre mirror and translucent section of the main mirror.

    Gordon
     
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