Nikon D3100 as secondary camera is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by st3v4nt, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    I know most of people go to m4/3 as their 2nd system, but looks like I'm going the other way around. After 1 year own and use EPL-1 going everywhere with it, now I'm considering to own the second system. As much as I like the capability of EPL-1 sometimes I just miss the convenient of DSLR especially in fast AF part. Tough I try pre focusing technique, burst, and mainly using prime 20 and 45, still sometimes I get out of focus image due to the EPL-1 misfocus to background or the LCD trick me with it's low res display. The fact that EPL-1 mainly use push button for changing focus box operation not helping the problem at all.

    I do own E-1 as my signature already shown, and even tough the color tone and image quality still please me under bright sun, I must admit there's a lot of things that my E-1 already behind. The fact that 4/3 is a dead end system with little option in term of fast prime lens and currently Oly only offer its very expensive E-5 as DSLR altenatives drive me to thinking about owning second system outside 4/3 and m4/3.

    Nikon D3100 really tempt me as secondary system with it's mini DSLR body, it's a bit plasticky but it's cheaper choice compare to own E-5 or upgrading EPL-1 to EP-3 that still expensive. Heck even the discontinued E-620 some store still selling cost a lot more then D3100 ($500 for E-620 body only vs $500 for D3100+18-55 kit lens).

    Now since my experience with DSLR outside Olympus system a bit rusty nowadays. Try Nikon D300 and Canon 7D and 1000D a bit, but not fiddling with it. There are some consideration I would like to ask.

    1. Does D3100 AF really that good compare to EPL-1 for capturing fast to moderate moving object? How accurate is D3100 Nikon PDAF compare to m4/3? How about backfocus problem plaguing the DSLR? Any experience with that?

    2. One thing that I really depend on EPL-1 is its accurate metering and good quality of OOC JPEG...but I see most of DSLR sample rely on RAW (which most of the time being corrected via software) how good the JPEG of D3100 compare to EPL-1? Is this thing going to bother me? Because I hate to do color correcting for every picture I take before I can show it to someone else...

    3.Most of good Nikon fast prime lenses cost much more compare to m4/3, except a few of it like 35mm f1.8 DX, how good in term of quality between 35mm f1.8 DX to 20 mm f1.7 m4/3....and is there any lens alternative for excellent 45mm f1.8 m43 in DX lenses like 50mm perhaps?
     
  2. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    I have an E-PM1 and a D7000.

    1. There is a rather large difference in AF-C between my D7000/351.8 and E-PM1/20mm. I would assume that difference to be nearly equal with the D3100.

    Backfocus is apparent with my D7000 but I wouldn't assume the D3100 to show it. As long as you stick with the Nikon G lenses I think you should be fine.

    2. It's hard for me to comment here as I shoot RAW with the D7000. What I miss in metering I can usually compensate in post. I like the Nikon color.

    3. I think the 35mm 1.8 compares very well to the 20mm 1.7. The 50mm 1.8G and the 60mm G compare pretty closely to the 45mm 1.8. Both G lenses are pretty sharp wide open, quick AF - really quick with the 60mm, and background render is nice. I really like both G lenses.

    A D3100 with kit lens, 35 1.8, and 50/60mm G would be a great complimentary kit.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The D3100 is a good camera and uses a Nikon made 14mp sensor (it gets confused with a Sony chip). Focusing works good in continuous AF. The 35 1.8 DX and 50 1.8 G are excellent lenses and I've owned them both. The only thing that Nikon lacks is a small AFS wide angle prime, so there is no 14mm 2.5 equivalent.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Have you considered the new M43 bodies that have faster AF like the latest Olys, the Panny G3 and GH2? That way you won't have to buy another set of lenses.

    The D3100 is probably a fine camera, but be aware that the lower-end Nikons like the D3100 are not compatible with Nikon's entire lens lineup.
     
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  5. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    I'd base it on how much post you do, or plan to do. If you're traveling and shooting jpegs for fun, framing a few 8x10s and posting them online, I agree with the newer m4/3 comment. You'll never see the difference in sensors between the Nikon and the newer m4/3. Go to dpreview.com, look at the review for the Nikon you're considering. Then go to the "Compared to:" drop-down and add an E-PL2 to the choices to compare to the Nikon's jpegs. The E-PL2 jpegs are easily comparable.
     
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, I agree with John here. Given your stated problems:

    None of these problems are any kind of issue which relates to DSLR vs. Mirrorless. Switching to a DSLR system will not solve a single one of these issues. Switching to a new generation PEN over your E-PL1 will. The default focus box is much smaller, you have wheel control, and a screen which is at least twice the resolution (depending on which model you get) and 10% larger. Plus the AF speed is much faster as well. CDAF is more accurate and can't go out of alignment, and currently with native lenses on the new bodies it's also just as fast.

    By the way, how many focus points are you using?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you are going to get a new Nikon , get the 5100. It isn't much more than the 3100 but it is a much better camera. The obvious difference is the flip out LCD but it uses the same sensor as the D7000.
     
  8. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Yes I have, but due to the lack of m4/3 popularity in my country and probably high taxes, the price for D3100+lens kit still much more cheaper then m4/3+lens kit...it's $500 for D3100 vs $650 for EPM-1 (the cheapest camera in m4/3 camera), whiz I can go to US and bought it for $499. And if I do choose EPM-1 over DSLR I still get camera with push button and menu driven oriented to change settings.

    Don't forget the reason of my consideration for DSLR is because I love the ergonomic and AF of E-1 albeit it's size. If there's a viable alternatives in 4/3 class I would get it rather then choosing new system as I already have 14-54 and 40-150 4/3 lens.

    Yes I'm aware of incompatibilities of certain Nikkor lens without DX designation with D3100, it's not going to AF. But as long as it deliver good quality image without much color aberration and fringe, I,ll be fine. It's misfocus that I can't stand more then AF speed.

    But good advice thanks.
     
  9. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Well I tend not to 100% trusting dpreview.com result test. While I'm happy anytime I see EPL-1 (which I own) comparison result in dpreview, I see that they're not using comparable lens with other camera...they use ZD 50mm f:2 macro with EPL-1 against other camera that tested using kit lens?

    What I like to see is how good D3100 OOC JPEG with basic prime lens against EPL-1 OOC JPEG with basic prime lens. I always have 'a feeling' that other camera can't create OOC JPEG as nice as Olympus OOC JPEG. That's way they always give sample from converted RAW. While I know a potential of RAW, I rarely shoot in RAW since I always need to convert it first and tend to edit it to my like (the curse of photoshop avid user) before I show it to others.

    but Nice input thanks
     
  10. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Yes Ned but I still not too convince to upgrade to newer m4/3 due to their rather expensive price tag. Because then I will have two m4/3 body,...I think I will wait a little bit longer before I buy another new m4/3.

    I know CDAF is more accurate and I still can take a picture in low light condition with EPL-1. What concern me is moderate to fast moving object which m4/3 AF tend to mis detect and mis focus which I think PDAF still reign.

    What do you mean by focus point? Did you mean setting the focus box size?
     
  11. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If I have to pick up an entry level DSLR for just in case feeling or just to keep up a backup camera ,I would pick up Penax Kr. If money and size are not a constrain then I would pick up Pentax K5 .I like the size and handling of Pentax Kr and to remind u it shoots @ 6fps .Video will be slightly compromised but over all a far superior camera than nikon D3100 and almost the same price league.More over there are so many pentax lenses available at a good price .
    Cheers
    cheers
     
  12. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Pentax K5 is about double the price of the Nikon D3100 in the US.
     
  13. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Already seen the 5100 aside flip lcd I don't think the ergonomics is as good as D3100 or feature as much as D7000, and there's a price factor that I need to consider too.
     
  14. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Wish I can say about lot's pentax lenses available with a good price here in my country....I did see the colourfull Pentax flooding the local store with it's fancy body color but without right lenses what is it good for?
     
  15. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hi Mate
    Happy new year to start with ..
    Now I am from Australia , the cameras and lenses are almost 40% expensive than USA here . I normally buy my stuff from some good sellers in ebay or I just buy from B&H , adorama , or amazon . There are so many online stores from USA and they ship anything anywhere at quite reasonable prices. I never had any problems with any thing so far. Now here in Aus I can import things worth AUD 1000 without pay any GST or customs duty . I have no idea how does it work in Indonesia . Just find about ur import duties and taxes , if there is none then I would advise u to make full use of global sellers and get what ever u want . I would prefer Pentax Kr over Nikon D3100 any day any time .
    Cheers
    Bhupinder
     
  16. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    574
    Aug 16, 2010
    Australia
    At this stage of the game (late 2011/early 2012), any current DSLR is still vastly (as in - different league!) superior for capturing fast motion, even when compared to the latest and greatest :43: bodies. That is just the way it is.

    I would agree with the recommendation of going for the higher-end 5100 instead of the 3100, if you can afford it. DSLRs get much better as you step up from the entry-level models, so every step up that you can take will be well worth it in the long run. :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. For APS-C, 4/3 and m4/3 cameras, DPReview always uses each manufacturer's 50mm prime lens, not a kit zoom. For Olympus/Panasonic they use the 50/2, for Canon they use the 50/1.4, etc.
     
  18. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Mostly online shop refuse to sell electronic goods (including camera & lenses) to Indonesia. We can only import goods without tax and duties under US$ 50.
    Sometimes it's cheaper to go to Singapore or Hong Kong for vacation and bought the camera there and bring it home. As long as it is in personal quantities custom will let you pass without tax and duties.

    But thanks for the input
     
  19. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Wow never know that, perhaps I should check dpreview setup info again for other camera. But even so I still surprise by how superior Olympus lenses are.
    Thanks Mod.

    BTW which Nikon 50mm lenses comparable to superior ZD 50mm f2.0 Macro?
     
  20. It should be the same lens you see shown attached to the camera throughout the review, which for Nikon is usually the AF-S 50mm f1.4 G