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Need Advice: Switching from DSLR (APSC) to Micro Four Thirds

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by aarm23, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. aarm23

    aarm23 New to Mu-43

    Oct 3, 2014

    I'm looking to change my photography gear towards a smaller, more subtle setup.

    My current setup is Canon 550D with Grip, Canon 15-85, Canon 50mm (1.8) and Sigma 30mm (1.4). Also use a 430exII with off-camera trigger.

    My main priority is photos but I also use it for video aswell.

    In regards to what I photograph, a lot of the time its sports (Running, Rollerblading, BMX), I also use it for a lot of family photos (parties and my 8 month old neice). Having the option of an external flash is a must for me as I have never been impressed by any on-camera flash.

    Not set a budget for myself just yet but I will be selling my old gear to partially fund my next purchase.

    I have been looking at the following cameras;

    - Panasonic GX7
    - Fuji X-E1
    - Olympus OM-D E-M10
    - Sony A600 (I know that its not Micro Four Thirds but I just wanted to include it)

    I'm currently leaning towards the GX7 as it seems to suit my needs/desires the most (articulated evf and screen will help in taking photos of a crawling baby; 1080p @ 60fps in MP4 format; option for external flash with 1/320 sync)

    So really, I think I'm just looking for confirmation on the GX7 will suit my needs for it. The others don't seem to come close to it with maybe the A6000 being the closest due to focus points, 11fps shutter, but its also on 1/160 external flash sync.

    I appreciate any advice I get as this forum will get a lot of questions like this all the time.
  2. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    My short suggestions:

    Don't shed your DSLR for action photos.

    The XE1 is a dog slow focuser. That one is right out for your use case.

    The GX7 is a fast focuser on still subjects. It's OK on moving subjects, but you may be frustrated compared to your DSLR

    The 6000 is a fast focuser for moving subjects, and closer to a DSLR, but the AF lenses are very limited, or very expensive. (The GH4 or the OMD EM1 might get closer to the a6000)

    The EM10 is similar to the GX7

    The GX7 is a pocket rocket and very capable. The lens choices are great. You will need time to setup the GX7 the way you want it. It has a LOT of options and can be overwhelming. Did I mention the lenses?

    I think a DSLR with 1-2 choice lenses for action + GX7 as a good allrounder with complementary lenses to your DSLR might be your best choice. If you need both action and lightweight, and can't afford both cameras, then I don't know what to advise you, except that you are in for a world of painful flip-flopping. Buy and keep both -- it's actually cheaper than churning your gear in the long run.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. JohnN

    JohnN Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    I have the M10 + a 5D3, since using the M10 the Canons not come out of the bag - but and this is a biggie the AF is awful compared, the best results I've had are but using single shot (I know sounds insane!) and the touchscreen - that will get reasonable results, but nothing compared to the SLR on moving targets - for still however its great and I love the size.

    Sadly I cannot comment on the other systems, but can offer up this link (here) which will give you an idea of the sizes.

    BTW one thing you will love is the placement of the focus points - they're pretty much all of the view, not clustered toward the centre as with the DSLRs
  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    What WT21 said.
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium

    welcome to this forum.. there are many friendly and knowledgable people here

    what would be useful to me in answering your questions would be to see examples of what you are trying to achieve with your current kit

    Like all forums too many people express opinions based on their own needs not that of the poster.

    We all have different expectations from our photography... most deficiencies for most people are NOT camera related

    • Like Like x 2
  6. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    If you're dead-set on a m4/3 camera to replace your Canon, go with a GX7. To be honest, an A6000 with a Sigma 60mm would be a perfect substitute for your gear. Even an NEX-6, though it's fiddly to use by comparison.
  7. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    As others have said, if you're leaning on the camera's continuous autofocus performance to shoot these events, you're going to be disappointed with a mirrorless camera.
  8. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I think the OP did a great job in telling us what he wanted (smaller, less obtrusive kit) and what he shoots (sports/family/baby) and what features he thinks will be helpful (articulated screen/evf for low angle shots). Way better than most folks asking for recommendations.

    Just saying...
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I recently tested the AF-C performance of tracking cars at a local (link to my thread), and was pleasantly surprised at how well the G6 did. The GX7 should do just as well, though the EVF is much smaller in comparison to the G6. The E-M10 does not perform nearly as well as the G6/GX7 does in situations like this. The lenses I used were the Panasonic 35-100 and 100-300.

    I think you'll be able to get perfectly fine photos shooting events like running/BMX events with a GX7, it may just require a different shooting technique compared to what you're used to with your DSLR.
  10. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I'd recommend either the GH4 or EM1.

    Even then, I don't think you'll find comparable performance in tracking AF in a mirrorless camera yet.
  11. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That sounds like a good option, but keeping the Canon as well for the times when action requires it or until an alternative proves itself to be sufficient where the DSLR stays in the bag.
  12. imahawki

    imahawki Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2014
    As another data point, I recently unloaded an entire Canon kit centered around a 7D and picked up an OM-D E-M10 and couldn't be happier. I don't shoot a lot of fast action so that is a consideration but for what I do shoot, I love it.
  13. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    I'm wondering how the OP feels about the continous autofocus on the canon 550D. My experience with the 600D wasn't particularly great with continous autofocus. If so, you might not be that dissappointed with the mirrorless CAF
  14. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Why not look at an E-M1? Yes it's more expensive than the bodies you mentioned, but it will allow you to sell your Canon, since the E-M1 has phase detection AF pixels as well as contrast detection AF pixels. It does a great job at tracking subjects. You can find lightly used bodies all long for about $1k.
  15. aarm23

    aarm23 New to Mu-43

    Oct 3, 2014
    Thank you all for your responses, they have given more of an insight into Micro Four Thirds in general.

    Generally when I'm taking photos of action sports, I set a focus point before the actual trick/grind/air and use the camera's fps burst to catch the image. Might not be the best way but its worked so far so CAF isn't necessary. Also, its marathons/10k/5ks that I photograph so the runners are not fast enough to cause me any bother.

    Someone asked to see a few of my photos to see my style, unfortuneatly I can't share that with you right now as all my images are stored on my EHD which I'm away from just now and all I have is crappy compressed versions on Facebook and I wouldn't share those.

    Again, just want to thank you all for the advice and I will take it into consideration for when/if I decide to go for a new body.
  16. crossen

    crossen Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2014
    I have looked at all your "interesting" photos on flicker and every is excellent, truly an exceptional group.
    I think you could do most of these with almost any good camera, provided only that you enjoy using it. I have found through experience that the more I enjoy using a camera, the more pleasing (to me) photos it produces. I am now using an EM 10, which I enjoy a lot. No doubt other cameras could produce better pictures, but not in my hands.
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    thank you for the kind comments

    I may have been a little harsh on the OP.. but I do get a little tired of the what camera/what lens, what will give me better low light/IQ, should I change system type questions without a frame of reference e.g. these are the photos I am unhappy with now or these are the photos I want to take

    I understand that there is a level of professional work that requires certain standards... but this forum from my perspective, is made up by and large by people who are taking their first steps into photography or treat it as a hobby.

    I think you are right that the camera you are comfortable with is the one that will make you take photos.

    Its also true that cameras don't take photos.. thats the photographers job... of course things like auto focus, fast lenses and super high ISO are useful tools... but they are just that... tools... if you don't understand that sometimes in a dimly lit restaurant/living room with running kids with flat lighting that no matter how high an ISO or how fast your lens is unless you understand the whole process you are doomed to failure.

    I am lucky.. in my house on any day I can pick uo Leica, canon 5D, or OMD and a whole other bunch of cameras to shoot....its OMD almost every time... havent fired the Canon in at least 2 years.. and I pick up the partners leica just for fun... it has a defineable quality.. but it doesn't make me a better photographer


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