Sony RX10 vs. Oly EM5 + 14-150mm as travel camera

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by mintchoco, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. mintchoco

    mintchoco Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Will be going on a trip soon to Japan with two young kids so I am debating what to bring and whether it is worth acquiring an RX10.

    I already have EM5 and can bring 14-150mm and maybe one additional prime. I think we will be spending a lot of time indoors in museums, etc. Cost to me = $0.

    Or I'm considering getting an RX10 specifically for use on this trip and future trips. The RX10 has come down in price and I could avoid changing lenses. Cost = $800. I have the Oly 12-40mm PRO lens but don't want to bring it because it does not have enough reach.

    Thoughts? Alternatives?
  2. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    If you've already got the 14-150, I don't see a lot of advantage to the RX10, personally. You have a little bit better low-light performance on the long-end, but not by much.

    And for indoor shooting, you'll get a lot more use out of your P20 or PL25 mounted on the E-M5 than the f2.8 lens on the RX10. In terms of noise, you're effectively 3 stops ahead with the PL25.

    My usual travel kit is my GX7, 14-140, and 20/1.7, and 7.5mm/FE. It is ultimately versatile, and rarely fails me. I think you've already got everything you need.

    $800 feels like a lot of scratch for essentially zero benefit. For a travel camera, I'd much sooner be looking at the brand new Panasonic ZS100 / TZ100. Though it won't be available for your trip, it looks like a superb option for any future trip if you've got some money burning a hole in your pocket.

    If you do like the big superzoom form factor, though, I would again preferentially pick a Panasonic option, the FZ100. Not only will you save a few hundred $$$, but you have a lens that cannot be matched by any ILC offering for flexibility, since it goes all the way out to 400mm while still maintaining the image quality of the RX10. Plus you get better autofocus, and 4K Photo + Video modes.
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  3. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Indoors in museums and the like you are not likely to need telephoto. Comparing the wider ends of the 14-150 and the RX10, yes the RX10 is f2.8 and the 14-150 is f3.5-4, but the E_M5 has a larger sensor. When you factor in the difference in high iso performance, it gives the RX10 no advantage. It needs, say ISO 3200 and f2.8 to look like the E-M5 at ISO 6400 and f4. Outdoors in daylight, it won't matter that the long end of the 14-150 is 5.6. If you think an RX10 would be good enough, then it is very likely the 14-150 alone will be too. However, bringing along your P20 would not be a burden and then give you a serious advantage over the RX10. Especially indoors where staying at 20mm would not be difficult.

    There is not much to be gained in size, either:

    Compact Camera Meter

    And the RX10 weighs about 20% more than an E-m5 and 14-150 together.

    I'd take the E-M5, 14-150 and the P20 just in case if you want to travel light. Don't change lenses if you don't want to. I can't imagine this trip will be inexpensive, so save your $800 for food and fun.
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  4. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Another vote for the E-M5 with 14-150 and the Panny 20mm. Not even close.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    If you can wait a couple of months the 2 days old Panasonic ZS100 is an option: 25-250mm equiv. f2.8-5.9. Reasonably fast, should be below f4 up to 100mm, and very small. On paper I think is the best overall option for a compact travel camera if you want some reach.

    At base ISO the sensor should to be good, the 10x zoom should be reasonable. It has 4k "photo tricks", post-focus, etc. No real reviews around yet.

    On paper the Oly is better but with good light I do not think it would matter much. Indoor and other demanding situation the E-M5 should be better (ISO, AF, etc.).

    If you really plan to shoot a lot indoor I'd bring the PL25 or the P20, your favorite, not based on size: the E-M5 + 14-150 are not pocket size, so the weight difference wont matter much. Unless you plan to use the camera strap only and the lens would finish into the pants pockets. I know it may seem a small thing but having or not a good place to put a lens make a lot of difference in the size perception.
  6. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Sadly, the lens hits f4 by 50mm, and is at f5.1 by 100mm.

    You're buying it for range - and hopefully quality - not speed. All the same, I think it's still very useful, because I don't really consider f1.8 on a 1" sensor or f2.5 on an M4/3 sensor acceptable for low-light shooting. The extra stop going down to f1.8-1.7 really is invaluable...
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I just returned from a two week trip to Asia. I took the O12-40, O75, P14 and Nokton 25 with two EM-5 bodies. All fit into a Domke F-5XB.
    The P14 was for street shooting and the Nokton was meant for the night markets.
    I shot ~1500 each on the O12-40 and O75 and only about 300 each on the other two lenses. I never felt a real need for a longer lens on this trip and am glad I did not bring one.
    Having two bodies made a huge difference as I would have been too lazy to swap lenses in many situations.
  8. mintchoco

    mintchoco Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Alright, you've convinced me to stick to my usual travel kit of 14-150, 7.5FE, 17/1.8 with two bodies: EM5 and EPM2. I'll just need a slightly bigger backpack so I still have room for the baby's diapers.

    Would I be better off bringing the 25mm? (weight is an issue)

    Do I need my RX100? Normally this resides in my diaper bag, but I figure if I have the EM5+14-150 and EPM2+17/1.8 combo, I should be set.
  9. mintchoco

    mintchoco Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    I wish I have a 75! Olympus cancelled my order when they shut down the Canadian outlet.
  10. lomagnin

    lomagnin New to Mu-43

    Travelling in Japan, you should definitely consider weather proof camera & lenses, especially from June to September (raining season, then high humidity in August, then typhoons)...
  11. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    When my daughter was young, the diaper bag always doubled as the camera bag. I actually missed in some ways when I went back to the Domke. It was big and always well padded.
  12. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    So then you really COULD do the "dirty, stinky diaper" pose if shooting without a viewfinder!
  13. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    where are you going to in japan? Why do you think you'll be spending a lot of time indoor in museums? Maybe I'm not really into museums, but I felt a lot my time in japan was spent outside.
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