Need guidance.. From DSLR to m4/3rds.

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by RobertS, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    The time has come for me to consider switching from DSLR gear to MFT. I had promised myself that I might do this once the grandkids no longer played hockey---for which my DSLR was a must. I would like to tell you what I currently have, and would like your suggestions as to what gear I should acquire with which to replace it....but now with MFT gear. I just recently traded for a E-PL2 and 14-42II and 40-150mm lenses. I must say that I REALLY like the look and feel of the PEN. Yet, this might be the time to truly "buy in" to some better MFT gear as I sell off my Canon DSLR gear. My Canon gear is: T2i camera body and battery grip. Canon 70-200 f4 IS USM "L" lens(also have a quality 1.4X TC for this lens = 280mm), Canon 15-85mm USM lens, and Rokinon 8mm 3.5mm Fisheye lens. Realistically, I would put the value of this gear near $2000 on the used market. So I would have that much to spend PLUS the E-PL2 gear...if you thought I should replace that gear as well. As you can see, the focal lengths of my DSLR gear is mirrored closely by my newly acquired PEN gear. So basically I'd like your opinion on some minimal gear...but quality gear--in the approx. 24mm to 300mm focal range, and a camera with the look and feel of my E-PL2.
    I'd just like to know what comes to mind; I'll research any and all suggestions.
     
  2. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    941
    Nov 16, 2010
    Finland
    The body: OM-D E-M5 (1299$)

    The lenses: 12-50mm (comes with the body), 40-150mm (you already have)

    This leaves you with ~700-800$ to spend on the glass

    If you have to have a fisheye you might want to get the Rokinon/Samyang 7.5mm 3.5 (280$)

    Then you would have 500$ to spend on fast objective, because those zooms aren't very fast. If you want 35mm equivalent, go for Oly 17mm 1.8 (499$).
    For 50mm equivalent go for Panasonic Leica 25mm 1.4 (499$). If you like something even longer for example for portraits take the Olympus 45mm 1.8 (399$). If compact size is a major factor for you then you can't go wrong with the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 (350$), it is the best compromise between size, price, image quality and field of view that you can get!

    If you don't need the fisheye then you could even get both the 20mm 1.7 and the 45mm 1.8.

    In the end, only you know what focal lengths and f-stops you need but with those prime lenses I mentioned, you don't have to make compromise with image quality. If you like fast zooms there are the Panasonic 12-35 2.8 (1150$) and 35-100 2.8 (1500$) but I guess they are out of the budget.
     
  3. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    252
    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    Although I still have some Canon DSLR gear I recently sold all my 4/3 DSLR gear in favor of m4/3 (Pen and OM-D). All of the lenses that I used to love for the 4/3 mount now have native m4/3 equivalents and the native m4/3 lenses focus faster than the 4/3 lenses on a m4/3 adapter.

    I would love for Olympus to make a m4/3 version of the 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 lens, but I can live without it.

    The only reason I'm hanging onto a small amount of Canon DSLR gear is the availability of radio TTL flash triggers for Canon. There are times when optical triggering just doesn't work outdoors (when there is no line of sight). Likewise, although I can use my PocketWizards to trigger my Olympus flashes on Manual, there are times when TTL is quicker or more convenient than manual flash.

    If PocketWizard or Yongnuo made radio TTL triggers that work with the Olympus TTL flash system then I'd sell my Canon DSLR gear.
     
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    If you buy an E-M5 (the only OMD right now) with the 12-50 you'll have a great body and the "zooms" covers. The folks above spelled out the prime choices pretty well. I'll just plug the Lumix 14. It's cheap and many like it since it's so small. IQ is marginally better than the zooms.
     
  5. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    Seems to be 100% on your choice of the OM-D being the camera that I should get. I really like the E-PL2 that I currently have. So what other camera body option might be considered GOOD and also like the one I have? Maybe there isn't one? And also what MFT camera can handle action the best? Again, maybe none of them can......yet?
    Is my current Oly 40-150mm lens still one of the better tele lenses? I take a lot of animal pictures in zoos and reserves, and parks. What's better in the 200mm or longer lengths.
    You're being very helpful thus far. Thanks
     
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The E-PL5 has the same sensor as the E-M5, but no evf, no dedicated dials, and the IBIS is not as good. And no weather sealing. And is a bit cheaper. Image quality is identical.

    The only tele zoom that's vaguely in the ballpark of the Canon L is the 35-100 Panasonic, but that will blow your budget pretty wide. Te 12-50 is a good if slightly unexciting kit lens, but very good value for money.
     
  7. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    543
    Aug 18, 2010
    The only other body I would even consider if I were you would be the Panasonic G5 but it's more mini-DSLR style than mini rangefinder like the OMD. If you have a shop nearby where you can handle both that might be a good idea and you can see which you like better. I went with the OMD because it's so small and after toting Canon DSLRs around for over 8 years, small is what I was after.
     
  8. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    My feelings exactly. I too want to lose the bigger DSLR gear in favor of the MFT. But I want the same IQ out of the smaller gear, too. If I can't get that, I'll stick with the bigger stuff.
     
  9. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    477
    Aug 16, 2012
    You won't get the same IQ out of a smaller sensor. Full stop. What you will get is pro lenses that allow you to get better lenses (that compensate to some degree) for the smaller sensor and a a camera system that just rocks.... I am happier with the pictures I take with a G5/pro lenses than I was with a 5D2 and L lenses....
     
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The e-M5 is SLR styled, not 'rangefinder' styled. And image quality on the E-M5, E-PL5 and E-PM2 is equivalent and should be better than your 3 year old entry/mid-level Canon crop DSLR. The size difference in terms if sensor area is real but not that huge, and while I do see differences between my full frame 5dii and the E-M5, they're surprisingly close. In terms of IQ I don't see a place for crop DSLRs for my uses (no need for fast continuous AF)

    The OP has stated he likes his e-PL, so why not stick with that?
     
  11. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    I should stick with my newly acquired E-PL2. At least long enough to get to know it. And that won't have happened for a while. I was just concerned that "if" I were to ditch the DSLR gear in favor of going totally MFT, that might be the time to spend some bucks (from the sale of the DSLR gear) and get a top-notch MFT camera and lenses.
    But....I must admit....I have no objections with the few shots that I've managed to have time to take with my PEN.
    I continue to thank you for the feedback.
     
  12. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Not a bad plan. Invest in a few primes like the 45. Lenses never go bad.
     
  13. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    Was just offered a Oly 17mm 2.8 for $130. As a potential first prime lens, would that be a good choice? The price seems right.
     
  14. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Depending on how you define image quality (i.e if you leave out DOF considerations). An OMD will give very similar, and actually even better, image quality than a T2i. A T2i is nowhere near a 5D in IQ.

    The only thing the T2i gets you is fast and continuous (and sometimes in accurate) PDAF.
     
  15. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    I have always been under the impression that it was the quality of the lenses, well above and beyond that of the camera bodies, that determined Image Quality to the greater extent. Has this been a wrong assumption? Put a poor lens on a 5D = poor IQ. Put a "L" lens on a T2i = great IQ. I shoot with an "L" glass tele on my T2i. Great results, most of the time.
     
  16. Kilauea

    Kilauea Mu-43 Regular

    110
    Jun 9, 2012
    Canada
    Nicolas
    The most obvious choice is to go for an E-PL5 which will have bettter image quality, better low light performance in a similar body, but I would wait a bit before going for a body upgrade. The reason behind it is mostly the viewfinder. If you find you'd like a viewfinder, then your only Olympus option with a viewfinder permanently attached is the EM-5 which is an excellent choice, but quite a bit more expensive.

    For the time being, I'd look at at least one prime lens. The decision is really up to you, but you have some really great options:
    Olympus 12mm f2.0 (small prime with excellent image quality)
    Panasonic 14mm f2.5 (very small pancake with good image quality)
    Panasonic 20mm f1.7 (small pancake with very good image quality)
    Panasonic 25mm f1.4 (large prime with excellent image quality)
    Olympus 45mm f1.8 (small prime with excellent image quality)
    Olympus 75mm f1.8 (large prime with superb image quality)

    But mostly take some time to figure out what you wished you could do better, it could be to have a wider lens (Pana 7-14 or Oly 9-18) or more reach (Pana 100-300 or Oly 75-300) or just having a faster zoom (Pana 12-35 or 35-100 or Oly's rumored lens).

    Btw, I have not personally tried most of these lenses and base my judgement on my interpretation of what I read online in reviews and user comments.

    Edit: the Olympus 17mm f2.8 is generally viewed as one of the weaker lens for m43, but results from users sometimes tend to prove otherwise.
    IMHO, you are right regarding the idea that a good lens is more important than a good body for the most part. The advantage you have with the EM-5 is that the body produces better results at higher ISO, has a better stabilisation system, has control dials on the body, has a tropicalized body. That allows you to shoot in more conditions and get better results, but there are other options (such as the E-PM2 and E-PL5) which offer the same higher ISO capability which once more opens up more shooting conditions.
     
  17. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Not always, and it depends on what you mean by image quality.

    Many people mean clean output at high ISOs, and if you are trying to stop action indoors, high ISO is imporant. The high ISO of a T2i is not any cleaner (and may actually be worse) than the newest m43 like an OMD or EPL5 or GH3. The High ISO of the EPL2 is no better than the T2i, and might be a little weaker.

    If by IQ you mean sharpness, then that in part is determined by the lens, true, but also by how the lens works with the sensor, and also some sensor elements themselves. Many newer cameras are reducing the AA filter. This is allowing the sensors to resolve greater detail with the same lens, but introduces more possibilities for moire. The T2i is an older sensor design. The OMD/EPL5 likely could resolve better than the T2i, if you tested the same lens on it. Possibly. The T2i has 18MP, the OMD/EPL5 both have 16, so they are also close in that respect (the EPL2 has 12MP).

    Finally, and oddly enough, a lens could look better on a larger sensor with less MP. For instance, your 70-200 would look very different on a 12MP 5D classic sensor vs. the T2i. It would look better on the 5D for a variety of reasons.

    The m43 lenses have been specifically designed for m43 cameras, so it's pretty difficult to do an apples to oranges comparisons. My experience (having had a T2i w/the 18-135 lens) is that the T2i might produce nicer looking photos than any of the m43 with the 14-150 lens. This is down mainly to the lens. But if you put one of the better m43 primes on the newer pens, the image quality will look better than what you can get from the T2i.
     
  18. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    WT21,
    You seem pretty sure of yourself on all this. And I can not dispute any of your reasonings. I am encouraged by your comments that the newer and better PENs are equal to, or better than, my T2i. It's comments like this that make me want to revert back to my original thoughts of maybe selling all of my current DSLR gear and E-PL2 gear, and buy into the better m4/3rds gear, sooner rather than later. If I was unhappy with my DSLR gear's IQ performance, I'd do it today. But I just can't pitch the gear that has produced quality images (at least to me), quite this fast.
    At the same time, you make me think that, if I'm comparing my DSLR gear to my recently required PEN gear, my PEN gear is too inferior to hold up to the DSLR. While the more recent E-M5 could exceed my DSLR right now.
    Decisions, decisions.
     
  19. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    in quick order of sensor performance, it would be (top to bottom is least to best)
    1. Older pen sensors (EP1 to EPM1)
    2. second gen Panasonic sensors (GH2 to GX1)
    3. T2i
    4. Newer Pen sensors (EPM2, EPL5, OMD) and GH3

    (2 and 3 would be very, very close).

    Nikon's DSLR sensors are better than Canon's currently, and would be closer to the Pen sensors in crop (full frame, they'd beat the Pen sensors, as would the full frame Canons)

    Lens choice can impact this ranking. The better m43 primes are very good. I've not used the top-grade m43 zooms (like the Panny 35-100/2.8 or 12-35/2.8) so I can't comment on those. But primes like the O12/2, O17/1.8, O45/1.8, O75/1.8 and PL25 and PL45 are all very, very good and when paired with the newere sensors would be hard to beat. I also enjoy the Panasonic 100-300. I think it's on part with the similar zooms I could attached to my DSLRs.
     
  20. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    $130 is a good price for the 17 2.8. It's sharp in the center but a bit soft on the edges. For street work it should be fine. The 1.8 version is a better lens but it's a lot more expensive and this is probably a better "try-out" lens.