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Need advice on getting a DSLR to go side by side with my M 4/3

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Wolf, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Wolf

    Wolf Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2012
    So I would like some advice on this

    I've got an EPL 2 + GF2 atm with the kit lens, 14-150 lens, oly 45mm and panasonic 20mm
    But for action photography, telezoom and indoor shots i'm thinking about a Nikon D3100 or Canon 600d to add to my line up. (I think putting a 100-300, telezoom on these bodies won't balance well and a GH2 body costs more then a 600d with kit lens)

    Would a Nikon / Canon with kit lens take better indoor photos then a micro 4/3 with the oly 45mm or 20m ?

    Would you prefer the nikon d3100 or canon 600D ?
  2. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    Have you considered a G3 or an E-M5? As someone who has a bunch of Nikon gear and some m4/3 gear, I often wish I could steel myself and get rid of one or the other. Since I have a tele-zoom for Nikon and a tele-zoom for m4/3 there's alot of duplication. From my experience, I would say that indoors and at higher ISOs like 1600 or 3200, my D90 is a fair bit better than my E-PL1 or G2, which is one of the reasons I've got high hopes for the E-M5. I don't usually find myself trying to reach above 3200, so if the E-M5 can match or exceed my D90 performance that would be great.

    And of course if you decide to get a DSLR, you can't go wrong with Nikon. But naturally that would be my opinion.
  3. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Both are entry level offerings from Canon and Nikon and I had Canon 550D which is essential the same camera as 600D . Now I have no experience with Nikon but Canon 600D is the best bang for money .It uses the same sensor as 60D , 550D and 7D from Canon . Personally I love Canon's colours and use interface . So I would pick up Canon over Nikon but having said that both are almost equal and very good cameras.
    Now coming to second part of the ur question .
    If u pair Canon or Nikon with kit lens only then they won't offer u any significant advantage over ur EPL2+ 45 mm or 20 mm .
    I have EPL2 and when I use 25 mm 1.4 indoor -Its awesome .I love the speed and performance .
    If u wanna get the best out of DSLR sensor , U need to invest in fast primes and I had Canon 50 mm 1.8 and I was a very good lens for the money .
    Nikon also has similar lens line up as Canon .
    Two more suggestions -
    1) U can wait for Olympus OM D if it satisfies ur needs then there is no need for two systems
    2) If u wanna do action photography then why not to choose Canon 60D as its only USD 100 extra .
    3) If u don't need to spend more on ur action ur action photography kit -Then Pentax KX with 6FPS and one of the best ergonomics is an other option .I love pentax lenses as well .
  4. Wolf

    Wolf Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2012
    I do prefer Canon colours too and I think the 600D offers more bang for the buck then the D3100.
    The OM5 will be great, but I think high Iso will still be less then with the 600D (bigger sensor)
    And the main thing is, the 600D with kit lens is 600 euro. The om-5 will be over 1000 euro without kit lens...
    With the 400 euro difference i can buy the canon 50-250 zoom (or 70-300) and 50mm prime and still have money left

    But to compare
    Is a D600 with a 50mm 1.8 lens better then an epl2 with the oly 45mm (i'm mainly talking about indoor photos then, iso 800 & 1600)
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    wolf wrote

    Would a Nikon / Canon with kit lens take better indoor photos then a micro 4/3 with the oly 45mm or 20m ?

    probably not - certainly not significantly - what you gain on the ISO you lose on the slower kit lens.

    You will get better indoor photos by concentrating first on good observation of where the light actually is, metering it correctly and being aware of shutter speeds and the need to stabilise the camera effectively.... you will get much more out of this than from a few extra numbers in a spec sheet

    these are all indoors with an e-p1 and 20 and 45mm lenses

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    cousin and another cousins child by kevinparis, on Flickr

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    Good friends by kevinparis, on Flickr

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    Henri lights up by kevinparis, on Flickr

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    Something about Mary by kevinparis, on Flickr

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    too cute #2 by kevinparis, on Flickr


    • Like Like x 3
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Sorry, but I have to point out two things...
    1) the Lumix 100-300mm is not a big lens by any means, and balances very well on the E-PL2 and GF-2, especially the E-PL2. Why do you need a GH2 body?
    2) The Canon 600D or Nikon D3100 with kit lenses will not help your situation in any way. Now you've just got another body with a slow, useless, standard range lens, and you still need to purchase a telephoto. How is that remotely cheaper in any way?

    If the reach of the 100-300mm is what you need, then that lens is what you need. Bodies have nothing to do with this, when what you need is the telephoto capabilities of the lens.

    Nope, absolutely not. How could a soft f/3.5-5.6 kit lens compare with a fast f/1.8 or f/1.7 prime for low light?

    Once again you're trying to replace a lens with a body, and it simply doesn't work that way. That said though, you won't find much better low light lenses so you're looking in the wrong place with bodies and lenses. Try investing in a tripod and some lights if you're having trouble shooting low-light with those lenses. Maybe post some examples of difficult low-light situations you're experiencing, as I really doubt a new body or lens will help if you're having difficulties with your combination.

    Sure, you could add a half-stop faster Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux or a 1.5 stop faster Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 Nokton (or the new 17.5mm coming out), which will help but not enough to offset whatever other problems you're having. Same thing with the Canon or Nikon body, you could bump up the ISO a bit but that's also not going to make a huge difference and will definitely not off-set the advantages of the fast primes and IBIS in your Micro Four-Thirds system.

    There is no sustainable difference between these bodies. The only difference is in the system you want to build on top of it, which is what the body is for (an entry-gate into the system). Canon and Nikon lenses and accessories are of an equivalent selection. As a complement to another system however, Canon has the "comfort" edge because they are more standard in how they build things. Nikon on the other hand, likes to do things backwards from everybody else. Their lenses have to mount in the opposite direction, their focus rings have to turn the opposite direction... they have to say "Micro" instead of "Macro"... Okay, that last one really makes no difference but I thought I'd throw that in. :biggrin:
    Things like the direction of focus is a big thing though... it's not easy to just pick up one camera then move to another which focuses in an opposite direction! Although your Olympus body is cool because they always let you customize these functions (ie, you can make your Olympus behave like a Nikon if that's what you're used to), but you've already grown accustomed to the "standard" way so the Nikon would be the oddball not the Olympus. This is good for those adding an Olympus to a Nikon system, but not the other way around... Plus you've still got your Panasonic, and I don't know how customizable that one is.
    So if it were me and I really had to pick a Canon or Nikon system to shoot alongside another system, I would pick the Canon for the ease of swapping between systems.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Tough question, especially with the pricing! I guess one other thing to consider, given pricing, would be the Panasonic GX1. It should have very similar sensor performance as the OM-D.

    When I look at the DR and SNR measurements at DXO, the gap between the GX1 (and assume the OM-D) and DSLRs like the D3100 is pretty narrow in the 800-1600 ISO range. It is actually more significant at base ISO. I am not sure you are going to get a big gain indoors with a DSLR now.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Especially when you consider that the DSLR form has nothing to do with the capabilities of the sensor. What keeps DSLRs ahead is simply better technology. We all know how quickly that changes.... :rolleyes: 
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    For indoor available light photography I think either DSLR + kit lens will actually be step down from your m4/3s cams with faster glass like the 20/1.7.

    I do think the DSLRs provide an improvement with fast action/sports, but again not with the kit lens. I'd be looking at a used Canon 40D + 85/1.8 for indoor sports. That would set you back about $750 in the US. I don't think there is an equivalent Nikon on the used market that matches up price performance with the 40D, though I certainly could be wrong on that. The 55-250IS Canon lens is also quite a bargain for outdoor sports and just as a longer zoom. $150 used. Add a 50/1.8 and you'd be right around $1000 for a great kit, if not the latest and greatest technology.

    Funny thing is I am thinking of paring down my Canon kit to exactly that combination and selling off the rest to fund an E-M5 and glass.
  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Yup. 6 years ago when Olympus started using Panasonic sensors they were behind APS-C DSLRs on noise and DR. Today, they're using Panasonic sensors and, guess what? They're still behind APS-C DSLRs on noise and DR. If anything, they're more behind now, though the E-M5 might narrow the gap some.

    Things sure do change quickly!

  11. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I don't think the E-M5 will measure much better than the GX1, but like I said earlier in this thread, it looks like the gap between GX1 and APS-Cs at mid ISO is fairly narrow now. The bigger difference seems to be at base ISO. I am not saying that m4/3 is better, just that to the OP's original question, not sure the difference is enough for indoor shots to justify buying another system.
  12. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    The simple truth is that both systems are very good, and each camera and system has its strong points. Just like the arguing between owners of Pens and owners of Panasonics, each system has its supporters, and 95% of the time you won't be able to guess whether an image was made with a Canon or a Nikon (or a Pentax or a Sony). I'm a Canon shooter, but think that the basic Nikon kit lens is probably a bit better than the basic Canon kit lens. But not by enough that I'd make that the deciding factor.

    The biggest differences are the companies' different philosophies on control layouts and structures. I'd strongly urge you to visit a camera store and spend some time playing with each body, and letting the sales weeny explain how the different features work (if you can find one who isn't clueless). DON'T let the salesman steer you to one over the other, as his motivation may not be the same as yours.

    Pick the camera that feels better to you, and which has the control layout that makes the most sense to you.

    As I said earlier, I'm a Canon shooter, but if I were going to start all over with a new DSLR system, without an existing investment in Canon glass, I'd be very tempted to go Nikon. I'm not all that familiar with the entry-level bodies, but on the mid-range and higher bodies I think I prefer Nikon's approach to controls.
  13. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    The question, though, is does it matter? APS-C is still behind FF, and FF is still behind MF. Does that mean we should all be using FF cameras (or MF)? No? Why not?

    Because, for almost all uses, APS-C is "good enough." Good enough that it's not worth putting up with the size, weight and price differential to go full frame. So it's never really a question of what's "best," but whether a particular system is "good enough."

    I would argue that today's m43 cameras, especially those with 16 MP sensors, are more than "good enough" for almost any amateur use, and many professional uses.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I ended up getting a T2i + 18-135 for action shots of my kids. Mirrorless cameras currently aren't "point and shoot" simple for action. It requires a lot of deliberation and planning (pre-focus, or manual focus is the best). I wanted simple with the kids (and my wife also uses it). I did a series of about 40 test shots of my daughter on her bike, on both the T2i + 18-135 and the EPM1 + 14-150. The T2i missed about 10%, the EPM1 got about 25% (missing about 75% -- it's fast focus, but most of the time it focused on the background).

    The OM-D 3D AF will be interesting to see, as it's supposed to help reduce this issue of focusing on the background, but I am skeptical it can do what a DSLR with PDAF can do. We shall see soon!

    I purchased the T2i through the Canon refurb program (google for it). There is also a Canon loyalty program. If you have an old Canon that is broken (you can find people selling these on Fred Miranda or POTN for like $15 shipped), then you can send it in for 20% off the refurb price from Canon I was tempted to get a 5Dmii for only $1600, but I just don't want a body that big). I think my T2i cost me $400 and the 18-135 is a great, cheap all-around lens. I don't want to put too much $$$ into my DSLR, as their time is limited, IMO. Mirrorless is going to catch them, but it's a nice second system for certain use cases (p.s. the T2i ISO is very good up to 3200).
  15. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    FWIW, I found the GF2 + 100-300mm nearly unworkable as a combination. For FLs that long I prefer a VF and/or tripod for added stability. Without either, framing, tracking, and remaining stable are extremely difficult. You can do it, but expect your in-focus rate to drop considerable.

    The GH2 + 100-300mm, on the other hand, is better for outdoor sports. EVF blackout is an issue, as is FPS, but you can get some ok shots with it

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    AMA Motorcycle Racing at New Jersey Motorsports Park by john m flores, on Flickr

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    Ben Bostrom, Team Jordan Suzuki by john m flores, on Flickr

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    Run!!!! by john m flores, on Flickr

    These aren't anything special - just an idea of what's possible without any real practice. I believe OldRacer's got some excellent motorsports photos using M43. Hopefully he'll chime in.

    If cost is an issue, look used, esp for GH1 which is a bargain these days.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You do make a good point, John! A (good) viewfinder and some sort form of stability is important, and the GF-2 is lacking in that.

    But don't forget that Wolf (the OP) also says he has an E-PL2. That can be mounted with the very high-quality VF-2 viewfinder, and also has Image Stabilization for every lens (great for lower light, but moot for action). Of course a tripod can still be added as well.

    You might say the GH2 still has an edge (built-in viewfinder adds better stability than accessory, grip is larger, and AF a little faster), but not a $900 edge! The E-PL2 will do what he needs - the lens is still the necessary piece.
  17. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    IMO the GH series balances extremely well with larger lenses. I use my GH1 with legacy lenses all the time, and it's a great combo.
  18. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    When you compare the "low-light" performance you should try to compare like with like. As so many have pointed out, using a new APS-C body with a kit lens won't help much.
    Having said that, in my experience my D90 with a 35 f1.8 or 50 f1.8 lets me get better looking images in low-light at 1600 or 3200 compared to my g2 or e-pl1 with a 20mm f1.7 or 45mm f1.8 in the same light at the same ISO settings. I'm not trying to knock down either of these cameras. I like them both, but I'm not unaware of their limitations. The e-pl1 also doesn't focus as fast as my g2 and neither seems to focus as fast as my D90. Again, not a knock, but there are just some differences.

    But everyone who has a G3/GX1 says the sensor is much improved at higher ISOs, and the image samples I've seen on test sites do seem to be pretty close between older APS-C bodies like the D90 and newer m4/3 bodies at those ISOs.

    The thing is, while I do often find myself needing good 1600 or 3200 performance in low-light, I don't often find myself needing 6400+. Some people probably do, and I wouldn't mind clean 6400, but the samples I've seen from the E-M5 look pretty nice at 1600 and 3200, and that's usually about the top of what I find myself using. So you might want to wait for the E-M5, or grab a G3. That way you don't have two systems to feed.

    And as far as lenses go, it would be nice to have a native 70-200 f2.8 option for m4/3 for the people who would like to have it. Heck I might even buy one.
    (I haven't looked at the lens roadmaps from panasonic, olympus or sigma, so maybe something headed this way and I just don't know because I only keep up with some of the rumors/news.)
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    What we have confirmed (at least on the Olympus end) is an m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 (all-metal build), m.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro, Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8, and Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8.

    The m.Zuikos are confirmed to be coming by the end of the year. No idea on the Lumix X lenses...
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Wolf

    Wolf Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2012
    I think I will just stick with my current gear and add a 45-200 , since that lens gets great reviews :) 
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