Selling my DSLR collection........changing to m 4/3....what would you get?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by DL Photo, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. DL Photo

    DL Photo Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2012
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    I currently have over $4,000 of DSLR equipment: Canon 7D, 17-55, 70-200L, 100-400L etc. etc.

    I am tired of carrying the big camera and lenses around with me. Also tired of standing out in the crowd and looking like a pro photographer......when this is only a hobby for me. I tend to take this camera with me less and less now. I was shooting a fair amount of my kids sport, so that package worked well, but I hardly take it to their events anymore.

    I shoot everything from street photography to landscapes to pets to limit on what I shoot.

    So, I am looking for equipment that will be smaller than DSLR, fun to use and give good results. I don't expect the same AF or IQ as my current package offers, but I still want good quality pictures (yes I do pixel peep once in a while.....just like we all do). I do have a decent understanding of photography and lighting and shoot in manual most of time. Control is important to me.

    I had an E-PL5 for a little while with kit lens and the 20 1.7. Took on vacation with me and enjoyed the results. Sold it but don't think I gave it enough of a chance. Currently also have a G16 point and shoot that I picked up a few weeks ago that I may hang onto. Will be nice for the wife and kids to use.

    With all that being said, what would you recommend as far as a camera and lenses in the m 4/3 range? I don't want to spend all $4,000 as I don't see the need as a hobbyist....but I don't want to skimp either.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. amanda

    amanda Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 24, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'd start with the E-M1 and the 12-40 F2.8 and build on from there. I have also added the 7.5 Samyang fisheye and a 40-150mm but by far I love the 12-40 pro lens as the AF is super quick and it's sharp.

    I have done the same as you are considering and really enjoy my little camera. I've taken it out in the rain and haven't a worry with it - the camera operability, size and flexibility has me using it in different ways than I used my 5D3 or 70D when I had them.

    As we all know - the best camera is the one you actually take out and USE..

    I'm still managing to get good shots of my Italian Greyhound at speed too with the E-M1. That was my main concern.

    Twiggy running around! by mmanda withers, on Flickr
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  3. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Qld Australia
    When I sold my 7d and lenses the camera still had to have that DSLR experience - zoom lenses by hand, viewfinder, etc
    If a viewfinder incorporated in the body is a must for you then you will be looking at:

    Oly EM5
    Oly EM1
    Panny GX7
    Panny GH3

    If you want in body stabilisation then drop off the GH3. Into video in a big way then add it back.

    Are you happy to use lenses with changing apertures? Lots to choose from.
    Want a constant apertures - Oly 12-40, P 12-35, P 35-100 (Oly 40-150 f2.8 coming some time this year) - all amazing lenses.
    You don't show primes in you old gear but they are now small, light and fast - choose those equivalent to the lenses you had before but now decide on focus lengths that you 'really did use' and those lenses that were mostly left at home buy accordingly.
  4. marcr1230

    marcr1230 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2013
    Agree - start with the E-M1 and 12-40 and add lenses as needed

    I have this lens on 90% of the time - it's great and not
    like a pro DSLR lens in size or weight

    There are so many really good M43 primes it's had to decide

    Choose based on your needs and style
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    If I were starting into micro 4/3 today, and trading a full fledged DSLR outfit with the lenses you have ranging from 27mm wide to 600mm long, here's what I'd get:

    I'd start with either a very lightly used OM-D E-M5, or a new OM-D E-M10 body as my main body. I honestly don't think you need the E-M1, and it costs double what the bodies I recommended would cost you. I'd get the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 zoom as my main lens - It seems that everyone who replied so far agrees on that lens as the main one for you. To replicate your current Canon kit, I'd get the Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 zoom, and the Panasonic 100-300mm zoom. That outfit basically replicates what you currently have, with the assumption that what you have now was chosen by virtue of it meeting your needs well. It's slightly over $3000 worth of gear, if bought carefully. That being said, there are lots of opportunities for savings:

    First of all, do you really need the high speed telephotos, and the long range telephotos? Within the Canon system, they are some serious gear, both in terms of cost, and in terms of size and bulk. If you don't need pro-level fast glass and range all the way out to your 400mm L zoom, you could replace the 35-100mm zoom and the 100-300mm lenses (together, a bit over $1600 worth for those 2 long lenses) with a single Panasonic 45-175mm zoom, that would cost you more like $300 instead of $1600, and save you about a pound and a half of weight in your bag. But you give up significant range, and about 1 to 2 f-stops across the telephoto range. How often do you shoot with your 100-400 L lens, beyond 250mm? Because that's mainly what you're giving up.

    So let's say you're willing to sacrifice the long telephoto lens, and some speed with the intermediate telephoto lens. You're now looking at a very useful under $2000 system. But there are still some gaps - but they are gaps your existing Canon system also has (unless you just didn't mention all of your present gear). In particular, what you're missing is a good macro solution, and some really fast glass to blur backgrounds. What I use for Macro is a legacy manual lens - for example, a 55mm Micro-Nikkor. With mount adapter, those or comparable from other lens brands can be found for under $100. For blurring backgrounds, either the Panasonic 25mm f1.4 , or the Olympus 45mm f1.8 will do the trick nicely - if you need that capability.

    You also might want to consider a really pocketable solution, similar to the E-PL5 you used to have (or the Olympus E-PM2 or the Panasonic GM1), with a short pancake prime. I personally am partial to the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 or the 20mm f1.7 Again, this is up to you if you need the really small capability as an addition to your main system.
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  6. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Your story mirrors mine

    Hi! Your story mirrors mine, right down to the 7D, 17-55 etc, and also your comments on weight and looking too pro and attracting attention.

    I made the same decision about three months ago, and bought my new µ4/3 kit about 8 weeks ago.

    For me, and I suspect for many others, including many who are not aware of it, a micro four thirds camera and lens system is absolutely optimal. It is a joy to carry around outdoors, a joy to handle, a joy to shoot with, and a joy to produce output with the files. It is interesting to see a number of pro photographers moving to CSCs. Not to save money. Not to settle for second-rate photos, either. But because these systems are now capable of delivering genuine high quality and high performance.

    In my case I bought the Panasonic GX7. Part of my choice was my personal feeling that the mini-dslr-look µ4/3 bodies (G6, GH3, E-M5, E-M1) still look like basically the same cameras as a full size dslr, from the public perception side of things. The public might not even notice the size difference, being visually only ten to twenty per cent. I also bought the chrome body not just based on my liking for its looks, but also that it further distinguishes its look from the pro look, in public.

    For lenses, I went for a few nice primes through the 'standard' focal lengths (IMHO that means roughly equiv 24 to 135mm), and filled the ultra wide and ultra long needs with a zoom each. This meant that, most of the time, I have a nice prime lens on the camera, very easy and light handling, and no public presence at all. Oh, and I also got the Metz 24 flash unit as it is small, light and tilts up.

    I have just come back from my first real test of the new kit, three weeks on holiday in South East Asia. Everything worked really well. At times I did notice the need to change lenses more often than with the old 17-55, and sometimes looked in envy at my wife with her G3+superzoom, but OTOH I do remember in the 'old days' I often left the 17-55 on too much and missed opportunities for wide and long shots, due to laziness. So I developed a 'quick change' method where I leave the lenses in the bag with no caps. It also worked well.
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    You'll be surprised at how great the quality is, especially if you're coming from APS-C!

    I switched from a 5D Mark II + Ls to the E-M5 and loving it!

    It depends on what you shoot and how much money you want to spend, but get an OM-D (either the E-M5 or the E-M1, depending on your preferences), the 12-40 and I'd say give the O75 a shot if you like fast medium telephoto's a beautiful chunk of glass. That'll get you shooting and you can figure out the rest as you go! :D 
  8. tomas

    tomas Mu-43 Regular

    Depends on whether you prefer primes or zooms. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

    I'd recommend the P12-35 or the OL12-40 and the P35-100 for the not-to-be-skipped zooms. I would not get a kit zoom; the three mentioned earlier are so much better.

    In the primes I'd go for the OL17 f1.8, the OL25 1.8, the OL 45, and the OL 75. The OL 60 is an excellent macro. The OL12 at f2.0 doesn't do much more than the two zooms mentioned above do.

    You can't go wrong with the OMD5, or the OMD 1 or the OMD 10 bodies

    I personally shoot zooms mostly so I've added the P 7-14, the P45-175 and the P100-300 to my system
  9. You and me both! Same reason why I sold mine a while back.

    Are you looking to get equivalents to your system? It is certainly doable for well under $4000.

    Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 lists $1200 (cheaper now)
    Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8 lists for $1400 (cheaper now, I am assuming by 70-200L you mean 70-200 f/2.8L rather than 70-200 f/4L)
    Panasonic 100-300 lists for $500
    Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 is $1000

    As for the body, I don't think there is a micro 4/3rds body in the line-up that is a must avoid.. they are all good in their own way. They come in all sorts of sizes and layouts which is a good thing... something for everyone. Most are pretty similar in IQ with newer sensor being better as always. Some smaller cameras like the E-PM2 or GM1 might be too small for some. I'm going to assume you'll want a built-in EVF since you are used to shooting with a DSLR.

    From Olympus, there are bargains to be had from used/newish E-M5 and the new E-M10. I'm going to agree with dougjgreen with the E-M1 maybe more than what is needed. Panasonic G6 can be had fairly inexpensively and the GX7 up there with the latest and greatest. I personally would go with an E-M10 and 12-35mm f/2.8. Then go from there.
  10. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Only $4000? lol proof that M43 isn't that inexpensive in comparison.

    12-40 is junk, I've seen too many broken ones to ever buy that lens.

    GH3 has THE BEST ergonomics, especially coming from a DSLR, and you're not gonna miss not having the in-body images stabilization since Canon only puts it in the lenses anyway. Plus they're cheap; used ones can be had for around $700.

    The wifi isn't as reliable as on the EM1, but you can send the jpegs to your phone/ipad/whatever while you shoot, which requires a separate menu function to do with the EM1.

    Honestly, the primes for this system are awesome. You're not really going to get any shallow depth of field, but with what you said you're shooting, that shouldn't bother you too much.

    If you want really good AF, EM1 is the way to go. AF is fast on all the cameras but EM1 has PDAF AND CDAF, so it's better at tracking objects moving towards/away from you.
  11. beameup

    beameup Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 23, 2013
    I bought the E-M1 and sold my E-620. I have several 4/3 lenses which work extremely well on the E-M1.
    Unless you are making murals, this camera body and any of Olympus' ED lenses will yield very good results.

    E-M1 w BCL Sm.

    With the $40 Body Cap Lens on, I can pocket the camera in my vest pocket.
  12. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I think we really need something to counterbalance the thanks tag on some of these posts.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. DL Photo

    DL Photo Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2012
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Wow, did not expect this many responses in such a short amount of time.

    I like what you've all said regarding the EM1 but not sure I can justify spending that much more on the camera. I can only assume that with good glass both the EM1 and the EM-10 will take very similar pictures. I do like that the EM -10 is a little more compact. Not too worried about weather sealing. Never used my DSLR kit in bad weather anyway.

    I am a fan of good lenses. Will more than likely get a couple of primes. I like the idea of the 12-40pro but wondering how large that lens will be on the camera. Any comparisons of that lens to the 14-42 kit lens size?
  14. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Are you sure about that? ;)

    Heck, I'm getting decent shallow DOF out of everything from the 12-50 kit:

    <iframe src="" height="768" width="1024" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    to the venerable O75:

    <iframe src="" height="768" width="1024" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    And the humble, but awesome O45:

    <iframe src="" height="728" width="1024" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

    • Like Like x 2
  15. Try playing around with the interactive comparison tool at The 12-40 is quite a bit bigger, and a lot heavier. Compared to the 12-40, the 12-35 is almost as big but a chunk lighter, despite having addition OIS (probably because it lacks the close focusing elements that the 12-40 has for macro).
  16. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    DL here is my take :) 
    the E-M1 can actually do better than your 7D :)  so the latest M4/3 are awesome
    I dumped all my canon and shoot nikon FF now along with E-M1 and E-M5

    here is my thoughts and not saying what to get just how my brain thinks of glass :) 

    camera I might want the
    E-M10 seems like a killer little setup built in flash for handy times but you can get a nicer flash on it if you want ?
    the 12-40 pro at this point awesome lens my buddy Ulysses has one he is a pro tog also with a ton of pro gear on top and I have the panny12-35 and along with all the others on here who have either of these lens options they are great BUT !!! you want to quit humping a big kit don't worry about those fewsaying they are crap they are not the 12-40 had a couple break !like two that I ever heard of and that is NILL in real world out of how many and no issues I can tell you tons of pros who had major issues with the 24-70 L !! and many other lens having issues

    a lens I like and another pro buddy has one on a EM5 as his main travel rig
    panny 14-140mm/f3.5-5.6 so nice travel all around lens 28-280 equiv covers quite a range and has decent enough speed for the park or zoo or whatever nice one lens now swapping does a ton

    I love the classic 35 and 85 look so a prime 17 and 45 would be killer my FF kit for pro work is a 35 and 85 again classic but only comes out at work time for home I use a E-M1 with 12-35 panny even use that at work also :) 
    but I have primes the 45 1.8 would allow some more portrait isolation wide open if I did not have FF I would buy a panny 17 and 45 to fill that gap

    flash I really love my little FL-600 flash for around the house I even use it at weddings inside the getting ready room etc.. if its a smaller room awesome flash about $300 but a must have if you love photography and have a OLY that can take the flash !!!

    I am not a huge classic 50 range guy ? I do have the panny leica 25 1.4 but I would have gotten the OLY if it was around since I don't use that range enough the 1.4 to 1.8 not a huge difference and what I have seen the OLY is also nice and would rather put the money into other glass

    back to the pro kinda zooms the f/2.8 fixed I have the panny since I have had it a while my most used lens love the thing !!! I do find I don't need the faster primes for indoor with kids during the day but at night I use flash to fill in or throw a prime on but again great lens enough that my 24-70 2.8L went away same with nikon 24-70 2.8 these lens are that good ! I could kiss my pro gear away I might pick this over both a 17 and 45 prime since it pretty much covers both ends and is 2.8 still pretty quick ? but would want primes at some point again just me thinking :) 

    for longer stuff ? again that one stop kit lens from panny would be nice I do have a longer cheaper panny for stuff when I use it but I love the OLY 75 1.8 about the best lens I have ever owned out of all my FF pro gear its that good but honestly its very limiting
    again I would choose that all around panny and then when the OLY 40-150f/2.8 comes out decide how much I use that longer range of lens and sell off a cheaper kit lens in that range I might have bought to fill in kinda thinking ahead this lens is a rumor at this point

    I do like the new pancake zooms 14-42 I think also !! would ba a killer jacket pocket setup ? so that is also a cool thing to have :) 
    so reality time :) 
    I might get one longer zoom lens ? panny or OLY or something OLY makes one that is something like 75-300 or something ? I don't know those lens so listen to others here who have them then go here and look at the pics taken decide if it will work ? but wow what a range :)  again I don't know these or use that range really ?

    if someone gave me $2000 budget
    I would say E-M10 about $700 the panny 12-40 $800(on sale now great price) a top speed card and extra battery or two :)  FL-600 flash $300 for me a flash is a must have
    long end lens like the oly 45-150 are like $200 though or panny in that price range? again I don't know these lens ranges but seems like you can't go wrong at that
    touch over with tax and extra batters maybe but really close :) 

    if I had a bit more money say $3000 budget I would dump the cheap longer range and just get the panny 35-100 f2/8 now and then sell it get the OLY rumor lens if when it comes out

    again the E-M1 IMHO will beat your old 7D I would think the E-M10 is going to beat it maybe they are that good if not beat it match it or be so close who cares you can't tell is more like it ? well DXO says in bit depth and dynamic range it will beat the 7D it fact I use it along side my D600 and my older E-M5 along side my old canon gear it was equal in all but ISO to the 5D series cameras MKII and MKIII and beat the old 5D over all but the MKII and MKIII have it beat in ISO but not in bit depth or dynamic range I never feel like I can't stretch the file if I need but reason I got out of Canon was two fold my buddy is a nikon guy I can borrow if I want and the Nikons are beating Canon in range and color depth these days and I am talking 5D series here :)  I gave up 1 Series for the 5 series because I liked lighter gear
  17. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    :thiagree: :laugh1:

    Now, back to the topic, you really can't go wrong with any of the m4/3 camera bodies with the latest generation sensor, including the GX7, GH3, the 3 OM-Ds, E-P5, etc. It's just a matter of finding the style and ergonomics you feel most comfortable with.

    As someone else has suggested, I would also start with the E-M1 and 12-40/2.8. This gives you to flexibility of not only selecting from the non-stabilized Olympus lenses, but also allows you to add 4/3 to your selection because of the PDAF ability. However, if you don't care about the 4/3 lenses, either the E-M5 or E-M10 will do...

    As for lenses, if you only want constant zoom, then there are only the 12-40 and the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 to choose from at the moment. I find the 35-100 to be a little soft at the longer end, so I prefer the 75/1.8 over it, but you lose the versatility. These days, I am actually pairing my E-M1 with the 12-40 and 4/3 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD most of the time. The 50-200 is quite heavy at nearly 1 kg, but it gives you greater reach than the 70-200 on an APS-C camera... Coupled with the 1.4x teleconverter, it replaces both my 35-100 and 100-300, so the total weight of my camera bag is more or less the same... When the 40-150/2.8 comes out, my combo would probably change...

    If you want to go light, then you can pick from the long list of nice fast primes, including the 17/1.8, 20/1.7, 25/1.4, 45/1.8, 75/1.8 (which is a must-have IMHO), and the 60/2.8 Macro, which is not as fast but a really fine macro lens...
  18. BeyondTheLines

    BeyondTheLines Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2012
    If you decide on one of the OMD's, you can save up to $200 on Olympus lenses (including the 12-40 2.8) until March 1. If you're already considering the EM10 it might be worth jumping on.

    Here's the link to the Olympus site that lists the promotions but I believe B&H, Adorama and Amazon are running the same deals and they are a site sponsors. Here are the affiliate links
  19. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Matter of taste. I think we've seen, what, 3 or 4 reported broken mounts and a lot of uninformed moaning about its construction from forum posters with no expertise in camera lens design, statements from Olympus that indicate a very, very, very low failure rate. What I'll say is that the lens is beautifully sharp, very compact for what you're getting, and easily one of the best standard f/2.8 zooms for any camera system, anywhere. I will also add that the 12-35 is also excellent, and the only reason I don't still own it is that it was stolen. That said, I'm happy with the 12-40, as are many others.

    I'm an 'Olympus Bodies, Mixed Lenses' shooter, and for reference I had a full Canon setup (5DII, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200/2.8 IS L, 100-400L, 35L, 135L and a few more lenses). Bought the E-M5, noticed the 5DII wasn't coming out often enough to warrant ownership, pared down the system to a 5DII, 35L and 135L, and sold off everything when Sony released the A7R (an E-M1 sized package with an utterly stunning sensor, but an inferior all-round package to the E-M1 in almost every other way, from AF to speed of operation to customizability).

    If you find video important, I'd consider the GH3. If stills are the primary consideration, the E-M1 is a tough act to beat, with great ergonomics, fantastic controls, snappy AF, and the option at least to use high quality 43 glass (the telephotos in particular) with at least decent AF performance, should you have a hankering for it.

    Lens for lens, stuff I've actually used:
    - Panasonic's 12-35 is slightly better than my 24-105L was
    - Oly's 12-40 is a bit bigger and a bit better than the 12-35
    - Panasonic 7-14 has a tendency to flare on the Olympus bodies (bloody annoying) but is a sharper, wider lens than my 17-40L was
    - Panasonic 100-300 has a stunning range for a package that small, and sharpens up very nicely. Not quite 100-400 sharp, but I never found the 100-400 to be super fantastic in anything but good light; mine was merely good, not great when contrast dropped. In good light it was fantastic.
    - Oly 45/1.8 is almost a no-brainer if you like having a short telephoto prime. Sharp, tiny, bit cheaply made but sturdy. I find the rendering a bit 'dull', however; accurate, but not exciting.

    The two primes in the system I'm still tempted to get are the 75/1.8 (widely regarded as one of the sharpest primes available in any system) and the 25/1.4 (or O25/1.8, but waiting on reviews for that one). Remember that when you read about them, and folks refer to something like the PL25/1.4 as 'big', they're still talking about a 200 gram lens. Everything with a native mount in this system is tiny if you're used to a 7D with L glass! And the image quality is really, really very good indeed.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Zobeid Zuma

    Zobeid Zuma Mu-43 Regular

    May 13, 2013
    Am I the only poor dumb fool still using the 12-50mm kit lens with my E-M5? I get that it's slow and its IQ is perhaps not the most stellar that the world has ever seen, and it's sort of goofy looking. However... It is a nice zoom range for a daylight walkabout lens, it has the macro mode, it's weather sealed, and (most importantly!) it doesn't cost $1000.

    If I were a professional photographer and was out shooting and shooting every day and putting bread on the table, then I'm sure I could make a business case for the E-M1 and the pro lens. Those are the guys the E-M1 was aimed at. However, I am an amateur, and I am cheap, and if I were starting today I'd probably go for the E-M10. (I'm not in the habit of shooting in the rain -- although I did get into a situation where the weather sealed E-M5 came in handy, so I guess I shouldn't knock it.)
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