Tempted to go back to DSLR, for cost reasons

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by cptobvious, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    I like my current setup (in sig) for size/weight reasons, but I'm thinking about getting a 2.8 standard zoom as a 1-lens setup for upcoming travels. There's the Panasonic 12-35 for $900 or the Olympus 12-40 for $1000. The problem is, the 'value shopper' in me says I can get a DSLR body (refurbished D5200 or D7000, or new Pentax K-5 IIs) plus a new Sigma 17-50mm for the same price, due to mid-year sales. I thought I'd swore off DSLRs forever, but when I can buy the equivalent lens for literally half the price (I used to own the Sigma and it was excellent), I have a hard time putting that much money down for the m4/3 lens.

    Any thoughts? I think I've forgotten how big/heavy a DSLR used to be (had a D5100/17-50 and 6D/24-105 but sold them). Thanks.
  2. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    You may also consider 12-32mm and 12-50mm. Sure 2.8 are ultimate in IQ, but those lesser counterparts are not that far behind.
  3. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    You can pick up the 12-40 for much cheaper if you are ok with a refurb. That 12-40 is going to be much sharper than a sigma 17-50, simply put the Oly lens is incredibly sharp, for the first time ever I've turned down sharpening on a camera from its defaults! It is also water and dust resistant.
  4. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    Thanks. The 12-32 looks interesting but the max aperture on the tele end looks to be too slow for a 1-lens solution. I'd like to be able to do portraits as well.

    I'll keep an eye out for the refurb 12-40. I got my refurb 75 during the winter sale for a great price.
  5. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Real Name:
    You could also check the F/S section on here, DPR, and FM. You should easily be able to find a Panny or Oly 12-35/40 for between $700-800. Three out of the 5 lenses I own I've bought used, and I haven't had a single issue with any of them. People typically treat their camera gear with care, because of how expensive it is. If the listing states the lens is in good or like new conditions, and the pictures of the lens don't show any marks, I say go for it.

    Here is a size comparison of the E-P5, D7000, and K5 IIS with equivalent lenses on them. You can see just how much larger the DSLR kit is compared to what you have. You mention you're going to use this for upcoming travels. Typically when traveling, weight/space is at a premium, and that is really where m43 excels.

    If you do decide to go back to a DSLR, I would recommend the K5 IIS with the Pentax 16-50. It's a great camera and lens, better than a D7000 and the Sigma lens IMO.
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Don't sell your m43 gear!!! If you are only talking about being thrifty (as opposed to, say, also being unhappy with m43 for some reason), then taking a big loss on selling your gear that you will only buy back later is NOT the road to go down. I've been down that road so many times. This is NOT a money saving avenue.

    Buy used or rent the DSLR + Sigma pair, and shoot with it on your travel. You'll get nice pics, but you'll want to sell the camera and lens afterward. Then you are only taking a loss on the resale of the DSLR + lens, rather than BOTH the m43 + DSLR.

    Also, make sure you really need that 2.8 lens. Are you really sure? It's easy to play mind games on yourself.

    Lastly, my ultimate travel kit is really lightweight -- my Sony RX100 shooting in RAW (jpgs don't quite cut it). If you are shooting for yourself, and not planning on blowing up really big, the RX100 is a travel dream, and the mark iii even better. The RX100 is a great complement to a system like m43.
  7. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Real Name:
    Aye, there's the rub!

    I've a friend with a FF Canon and some L lenses - no larger than my old Nikon kit - and I was amazed at the heft of the thing last time I was at his house. I've gotten so used to the E-M5 that the size of the E-M1 makes me blink :eek:.

    If size wasn't a factor I'd still be schlepping my Nikon gear - but size is a (the) factor for me and it only takes a few moments of holding a DSLR to remind me. I simply cannot return to DSLR bodies and lenses and count on carrying them through a day of shooting - they're too wearisome for me at my advanced...ummmm..."experience".

    If money is the over riding factor then the DSLR might be the way to go for you - lots of 'bang for the buck' and, as you note, you're already experienced with the Sigma lens.

    If, however, size is the over riding factor and you've no brief against the image quality of your current E-P5 then close your eyes, groan, and fork over the money for the m4/3 lens.

    Getting a new lens for your current system at least means that you'll only have to schlep one body, that you'll only have to learn one set of controls, and that all of your gear is interchangeable (especially batteries, chargers, and flash units).


  8. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    Thanks for the size comparisons. I've been considering a whole bunch of cameras, ranging from the compact (RX100, GM1, Ricoh GR) to DSLR. Looking over my Lightroom stats, it seems my most-used setup of all time was the D5100 and 17-50. I remember carrying it around (along with a Sigma 10-20) for 4 days in NYC and my shoulder was killing me at the end, but I got a lot of memorable shots.

    I'll likely keep the E-P5, but probably sell the 75 as I don't use it enough to justify keeping it, and use the funds towards another lens or camera. There are so many good choices it's mind-boggling, though.
  9. Smartimp

    Smartimp New to Mu-43

    Jun 26, 2014
    Don't do it.

    If you want lightweight travel photography you can't beat m4/3. Unless you want really compact but then you strart to compromise even further on Depth of fieid and low light capabilities.

    Fed up with lugging my DSLR stuff around A few years ago I bought a PL3 with a kit lens, the aim was to see how I got on then expand lenses 7-14 Pany then 100-300 Pany to complement the kit lens. Since my first trip with only the kit lens, I've never taken the DSLR's out for anything other than specific purposes such as the semi pro Wedding work that pays for my kit.... Franky, now I have the M1, even that is mainly because people expect to see a big camera of they are paying the photographer!
    I have had more good travel and documentary photos from the m/43 kit that started with the PL3 in the past 2-3 years than I ever had with the dslr's. I'm convinced it is because I'm happier taking more photos in more situations, particularly portraits where people are less intimideted by the smaller kit and and candids where it is more discrete. The kit lens is IMHO better than most budget kit lens bundled with dslrs. Its certainly much better than the horrible Nikon 18-200 on my d 90 that was my supposedly lightwieght walkabout kit before the Oly and a full set of lenses.

    Want wide the Oly 9-18 is a great value (and a lot less than the Pany 7-14) Want long the Pany and Oly 100-300 are incredible lenses for the money. I have the Pany for the exra light. Its not perfect but it focusees well and is very sharp in the centre I cant beleive how good it is for its size/weight and what it cost
    Althoughhaving said that I cant wait for the rumoured 2.8 pro version from Olympus..... Fortunately I've got a lot of Nikon DX that I no longer use at all and can sell to raise cash.. ...

    From your post rgarding the D5100 and 17-50 the 12-40 on you pen would be ideal for you. If money is tight buying new cameras really really is a mugs game. Exept in extreme conditions (which travel rarely is) one camera is unlikely to help you over the next. Save up and spend on good glass it will be visible on every shot you take and the difference will remain visible in your work for years.
    I'm pretty sure that 12-40 glass will still hold a fair chunk of its value. Whilst I'm not sure it will stay quite as strong as the Nikon 2.8' zooms I'm personally pretty sure it will keep 65% possibly even - 70% of its value long term. You can use it on your P5 for a few years, after which any new body including M5's and M1's will be almost worthless. You will be able to pick them up for penuts probably less than 25% of what they cost new. Then the M1 M5 become an option to pair with it and this is seriously good kit that will produce sharper images with the 12-40 than any dslr that does not have an equivalently priced zoom or a decent prime lens on it. .....- Which by the way is most of them because everyone else is too busy bying heavily depreciating new cameras that probably wont improve their pictures, instead of great glass that will depreciate slower and will instantly enable them to obtain better pictures from their current camera.....!

    just an opinion...!

    I wish you luck and great pictures whatever you decide to do.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    I have two systems - Nikons and an EP5. For travel the EP5 is great, for when I'm taking my Jeep its my Nikons. Both are great systems and either would keep me happy. My travel kit consists of a Pany 14 and the 40-150, with a little LR hard to tell them from "the good lens". However, my D7100 is the last camera I'd give up, it and the 12-24 + 300mm are music makers for me. But I'd keep the EP5 before the 7000 because its so close in performance and size does matter.
  11. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    John M
    How about a used PM2.
    17 on one, 45 on the other.

    Not as wide as you wanted but aperture speed is there.
    No lens changing. Still light in weight. And you can sell the PM2 when you're done for a light $ loss.

    Wider? Pocket the 14-42 or a used Rokinon 7.5?
  12. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Real Name:
    This was my compromise....cost of a EPM2 after selling off kit lenses was under $100. Even less than selling my old EP1 got me.

    Another idea. YOu can get a 4/3 14-54 or 12-60 for a song right now ($100/$350 give or take on ebay)...add a generic adapter for $45. They won't focus as fast though and would be top heavy on the EP5 (add a grip?)...but if you are going to lug a DSLR around you might as well just add one of these fine lenses. You could even get the EM1 for a more expensive compromise and these lenses focus fast on it and handle better due to the grip.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    You will get the most IQ-per-dollar with the budget DSLR cameras -- that's no secret, not news. If you bought µ4/3 to save money, you made a (small) mistake.

    Of course, that assumes you don't already have a camera that you will be selling at a loss.

    How about get a used PL5, put your 17mm on it and your 45mm on the P5? Undistorted prime lens quality, fast apertures, no change-over lens hassles, tiny cameras in hand....

    [edit: I see 2 posts above, I spent too long writing this! :tongue:]
  14. PMCC

    PMCC Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 18, 2013
    I don't understand the logic of the OP...
    A $1000 DSLR lens + lens combo is no cheaper than a $1000 m43 lens.

    Looks like the solution involving the least money is renting a 12-40.
  15. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Simple. OP has GAS and is trying to rationalize a new camera.
  16. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    Guilty as charged. I started looking at the 2.8 m4/3 zooms and then I saw that Crutchfield is selling the Sigma 17-50 for $420 and there were some deals on Nikon/Pentax bodies. I think I'm mostly over it this morning :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 3
  17. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Real Name:
    Bruce Foreman
    For lightweight, compact, and easily portable your E-P5 and 14-42 is a fairly decent combination. F3.5 on the wide end is close enough to f2.8 to be "workable" and the f5.6 max on the tele end can do nice portrait work if you know what you're doing. The trick is to learn to manage camera to subject distance AND subject to background distance so you get some degree of selective focus on head & shoulders work and half length shots.

    I'm a retired portrait/studio/general commercial professional and my favorite "runaround"/travel camera is a Panasonic Lumix GX7 with the older Lumix 14-45mm f3.5 - f5.6 "kit" lens (comparable to your E-P5 with "kit" lens except the GX7 has a built in EVF). I used to have an Olympus E-P3 with "kit" 14-42mm lens and found it to be a surprisingly good lens.

    But then I do know what I'm doing and rarely pay attention to folks labeling "kit" lenses as "not good". I don't do a bunch of "pixel peeping" either but I do order 11x14 and 16x20 display prints from some of what I shoot.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2013
    Oahu, gathering place of many cars
    Real Name:
    Peter Gunn
    I too have two systems and love shooting with both: EOS 6D and 5D MKII with fleet of glass and E-P3 and G1X 'n passel of primes. Neither system is cutting edge but IQ and performance suits me well. For trail, hiking or planned sessions I always grab the 6D and probably 75% of my images run through that camera. However the m43 gear is in my messenger bag 24/7 and accounts for most of my off the hip, "bite ya in da arse" and candid shots. The E-P3 with Lumix 14 2.5 is so small and light I can't tell when it's in my bag. I feel like it's the best of both worlds. But, yeah, M43 optics tend to be expensive compared to similar Canon lenses.
  19. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    If the 12-40 does not float your boat, then this was what I was going to recommend. Two small bodies, two primes. I suspect that if you look in more detail at your use of the Sigma with a Nikon body, that your shots were probably clustered at certain focal lengths (and for many folks they usually cluster at the top and bottom end of the zoom range).

    Good luck,

  20. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    Ciaran Reilly
    The 12-35 or 12-40 will outlast either the E-P5 or a mid-range DSLR. It's a much better investment, just my two cents worth.