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Why go u43?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by yottavirus, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. yottavirus

    yottavirus Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    I'd be pretty confident that there's a thread with this similar title existing somewhere in this forum.

    I've wanted a :43: ever since I found out that my dad can get the panasonic ones for cheap, and I lusted after their chic looks, convenient size and low price.

    After some hits to my wallet from other things, I considered :43: again but from a different perspective. I felt nearly all of the bodies offered (ep1, ep2, epl2, gf2, g3) and the importance of the looks quickly died away. I think kai once said of a :43: body 'it feels like a remote control', and I agree with that. The size factor died as well; as they were all larger than pocketable, especially without a pancake lens on.

    Then the price hit me. Without a fat wallet, the bodies seem extremely similar to dslr prices. The G3 kit for ~520 landed in australia could buy a used d90 kit for not much more. The GF3 with 14/2.5 is about the same price but I've heard people say that it's of comparable quality with the 14-42. Obviously the flexibility and image quality of both the sensors and the lenses are poorer than a dslr. I really dislike the auto corrections and the fact that the lenses even require them at all.

    The only factor that would still make them attractive is the size WITH PANCAKE. I could thread a carry case onto my belt and wouldn't require a bag for times when I want to put away my dslr. Still, I could do the same with a point and shoot that would cost less and have similar quality in the situations where :43: would be used.

    Right now I have a D90, 35/1.8 and 85/1.4, and I really wanted to justify the purchase of a new toy or sidearm, but using an old point and shoot in social outings, I fail to see how micro four thirds could improve upon it.

    edit: also the pansonic website just killed off 90% of their standalone lenses, including the 20/1.7 I was looking at.
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    IMHO the big question here is: are you happy with your D90 kit, apart from its bulk and weight? If so, there doesn't seem to be a real reason to switch to µ4/3, because you seem to be happy with a P&S camera in situations where size and weight of your DSLR outfit is prohibitive.

    I switched to µ4/3 from a Nikon D300s outfit. I still need a bag, especially now when I'm using Minolta legacy lenses, and it's hardly lighter than my Nikon gear was. Eventually I sold my Nikon outfit as it didn't see any use after I got my GH2; mind you, I'm not an action photographer. For action photography a DSLR still has the edge, although the gap is closing apparently. The accuracy of AF/MF with the electronic viewfinders of the G1 and GH2 is a big bonus for me, I don't miss my DSLR gear at all.
  3. alphasierra

    alphasierra Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 13, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    When you talk about size with lenses, you're getting somewhere. I've discovered I can get my GF2 body with 9-18mm mounted, plus the 14-42mm and 20mm lenses, and a spare battery and SD card, all into an old (padded) camera case for a point-and-shoot film camera I had back when I was a kid. The case is 20x11x7cm - slightly smaller than the size of a house-brick.

    I took the whole mess on an overnight hike, sitting on my chest-strap, and could get the camera out and take a photo without needing anybody to stop. Combined with a gorillapod in the top of my pack, I had a pretty good system which cost me almost nothing in space and weight. Even today, I was wandering around the city with camera+9-18mm in my pocket, and my fiancee didn't realise I'd brought it until I pulled it saw something I liked.

    I hadn't owned a camera before getting the GF2. I'd looked at friends dSLRs, and thought about it, but just figured I didn't want to be stuck dragging one around. And if I don't want to carry it, I won't use it, so won't buy it. So that's what m43 is to me - something small enough that I'll carry it, but good enough that I want to use it.
  4. yottavirus

    yottavirus Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    A big bonus of owning a dslr is that people take you more seriously when you get a gig. It's one of the reasons that I want to keep it.
    I guess in my heart I'd love to have a :43: for the times where I'm shooting for for, because I seem to get my favorite photos that way (or maybe it's just the want of a new toy).
    The first camera I used in the photography hobby was a 5d with the crappy 70-300, but I was with a bunch of friends and it was one of the best days ever. I knew nothing and just shot what interested me.
    Another thing about size and price advantage is that it's a really blurry line. The GF3 is the smallest and lightest, but the GF2 is a bit bigger and has better controls. A bit more money and size gets the G3, which is even better. A bit more size gets the k-r which again is better. Then a bit bigger from there is the D90 which again is better.

    edit: oh another thing is the lack of used :43: stuff around these places. I prefer to buy used because I can sell it for little loss if I find that I don't like it.
  5. Yotsuba

    Yotsuba Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2010
  6. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011

    First post, no question, and a list of why m43 really isn't very good.
  7. To be honest, and not wanting to sound rude, if you can't see any difference in the capability of an old point and shoot from an entire inter-changable lens camera system, then there is probably not a lot we can do to convince you otherwise. If a larger camera helps people take you seriously then maybe it's best to stick with that.

    For what it's worth, my m4/3 gear has kept a cupboard full of expensive Canon DSLR equipment sitting idle for the best part of a year now.
    • Like Like x 3
  8. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    While the OP does show some real knowledge of the panasonic website, indicating some true interest, I kinda have to agree with you on this one!

    Even manages to get a swipe in at pentax, a brand that can never be left un-trolled!
  9. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    If you have a dSLR system the only thing you will gain by going with m43 is the camera and lenses are smaller and a little less inexpensive (maybe)

    That's it.
  10. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Troll? Really?

    Why just assume someone is a troll? Name calling doesn't help and the OP did stick around to respond to other folks. If nothing else, use this as an opportunity to reflect on the value of :43: and help others who might read the thread. There are good reasons that folks are using these cameras, I know why I do, let's hear why others chose them.
    This is a pretty friendly forum, let's not point fingers or call names. :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 3
  11. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Ok, I'll be nice :) 

    So what was the question?
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Sounds like you don't need m43s. As much as I love the system, if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work.

    Personally, I'm downsizing. m43 brought the quality of DSLRs to a much smaller package that is easier to carry around. 40D or 5D with a 30/1.4, 50/1.4, 85/1.8, and maybe 135L... that's massive. G3 with a 12/20/45? Travel++.

    And with the 12 and new oly 45, and likely the PL25, I am shifting my FF setup to m43 for work. I'm still not sure if this is the right move, but I won't know till I try. Worst case, I move back to crop (yeah, I was considering moving back to crop from FF anyway ;) 
    • Like Like x 1
  13. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet: a smaller camera is much less imposing around people. Heck, with a silver E-PL2 with a tan Aki-Asahi and the 20mm Panacake, most people wanted to know what I was shooting and how they could find out more.

    A point-and-shoot would work well for this, but that's a bit too far down the image quality slope for me. (Exception might be the Pentax Q, which adds a fun-factor to the mix which might be enough to sway things for me - but probably too pricey).

    Also figuring in is the size of comparable lenses for DSLR (i.e., comparable with crop). They're usually bigger too, which I don't like.

    We pay a bit of a premium for such as the above, but not too much, especially if you're willing to buy a year out from announcement and/or used.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. semma

    semma Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 9, 2010
    Well, I don't care what others think about my gear, people don't have to take me seriously because I own a Canon or Nikon, I have to feel good with my gear, and I feel much better with my G1 with the best kitlens in the world then with a much heavier Canon or Nikon with a 'not so good' kitlens..... :biggrin:

    It is all about what you think about your gear, and the results you get with our gear. And what gear you always have with you, I don't leave the house without my G1 and D-LUX5, my Canon with huge lenses always stayed at home, too heavy and bulky.

    But of course, that is just my opinion, and I don't care what others say or even think :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  15. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    IMHO, m43s strikes a unique balance of size and image quality. The "jack of all trades" solution.

    If you want the smallest size, can live with (or even, want/need) infinite DOF, take pictures in reasonably good light, and are only going to view on screen or small prints, a compact is definitely the way to go.

    If size is of no concern, but you want the best DOF control and print out large sizes for gallery display, then you need a FF DSLR.

    If you want a considerably smaller kit than the DSLR and significantly better image quality with DOF control than a compact and a wide selection of lenses, then m43 is the perfect solution.

    You can't complain about the size of the body+lens combo if you're using legacy lenses IMHO.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I don't have time to make a comprehensive list, but my MFT cameras have exceeded in many respects the DSLRs which I have owned (Canon 10D/20D/30D/5D, Nikon D700/D5000, Oly E-410/420, Pentax K5). Depending on the particular MFT camera chosen, advantages vs DSLRs may include: Size/portability (especially when considering lenses), information in viewfinder, size/brightness of viewfinder (compared to most APS-C DSLRs), coverage of viewfinder (compared to most DSLRs), articulated rear LCD (compared to most DSLRs), video performance (compared to most DSLRs), ability to lock AF in low light (compared to most DSLRs), frame coverage by AF zones (compared to most DSLRs), automatic metering tied to face detection, touch AF/shutter release, AF accuracy (no bothering with lens microadjustments, etc), compatibility with huge range of legacy lenses via adapter, etc.

    Additionally, my Pen is just plain better looking (to me) than any of the DSLRs out there :smile:.
    • Like Like x 3
  17. scotth

    scotth Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2011
    I own an oly e3 and a panasonic gf1.

    The e3 is waterproof, I like the viewfinder and the interface better, and I find it works better for me with long focal lengths and finer work.

    The panasonic is smaller, lighter, and much less conspicuous.

    For me there are advantages to each camera, and I pick the tool I think is best suited for what I will be shooting. If you do not see any advantage to a smaller camera, you probably do not really need one.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 22, 2010
    function versus fashion

    These blanket statements are both wrong; it's probably why folks think you are trolling. M4/3 has similar IQ to small DSLR's and FAR superior IQ to even the best compact. If you can always get the same results with a point-and-shoot as you can with M4/3, then you'd certainly be wasting your money with a DSLR.

    That leaves the question of impression and the fashion statement:

    I find that a big camera and lens make a different impression than a M4/3 system. More obtrusive and flamboyant, less subtle. An advantage at kids soccer games and other places where you can often get a better position than the point-and-shooters; a disadvantage in public places where you are regarded with suspicion.

    That leaves the fit with one's wardrobe - cameras can be fashion accessories as well ! :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  19. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    One thing that I point out when talking to people about :43: is that it is a relatively young system, which is still growing into own. It has been evolving, finding those areas where they best fit.

    The E-P3 and G3 are both examples of this in their own rights. The E-P3 finally gave Pen cameras auto focus speeds that couldn't be listed as a major drawback. The G3 shows that Panasonic has figured out that the G1/G2 really didn't take advantage of the size-savings that a smaller sensor and no mirror should allow, leaving their largest size body (which is still smaller than almost all DSLRs) for their highest capability bodies. In addition, the lens offering is filling in at a rather quick pace.

    I like the concept of the :43: system and see where it is going, so I've decided to buy into it now. However, I could also see waiting with one eye watching it, instead.* The changes have certainly outpaced DSLR's, narrowing the gap as it goes. But, when and whether it becomes the right choice for you depends on entirely too many factors to list here.

    * I've actually got one eye on the upcoming Nikon 2.6x crop factor mirrorless system, because I see potential in it. I'm certainly curious to see what each comes out with in the future.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Simply Don't want a big camera

    I will put in my 2 cents.

    I have been a camera lover for years and used to have a dark room as a kid in the 70's.

    But, it is only a hobby for me and when digital came out I bought a point and shoot and started having fun with photoshop instead. Since that time, I have been looking at DSLRs but I have refused to jump back into the game because of the convenience of carrying my small point and shoot.

    Of course the point and shoots have limitations under some conditions. I have been willing to live with these because I (being lazy) just don't want to carry a big DSLR kit around my neck.

    When m4/3 came out, it solved my problem. Now I can have a camera with long zooms or fast primes and I can fit a great selection of lenses into a tiny bag and go. Micro 4/3s is exactly what I have been looking for.

    That is my reasoning why m4/3 is a great option.
    • Like Like x 2
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