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Old Mar 19, 2011, 7:54 PM   #1
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Default Micro 4/3 or NX?

I would like to buy a new camera system and upgrade from a Point and Shoot panasonic. I would like something with higher image quality, and more creative and manual control, even though I still need to learn to use it first, and I am not very creative, I would like the option to learn. I have ruled out standard DSLRs because of size, I would like something fairly small.

As a result, I have begun to look at the Micro 4/3 size and also the Samsung NX mirrorless camera. A viewfinder is highly desirable, so that rules out the NEX series, and I think the a55 would be just a bit to large when fitted with a good range lens.

I went to the store and played around with a G2 from Panasonic and also the NX10 from Samsung. Both of these cameras seem to be the general size I would like.

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of each system in regards to Image quality, lens selection and quality and range. Is the NX10 much better given that it has a larger sensor than the 4/3 size?

I would like a fast burst speed, but I will settle for the 3fps that these cameras seem to put out. I would also like a system that has a lenses that offer 360mm + (35mm equivilent) and a convinient superzoom lens covering all ranges would be icing on the cake, but I think that for me, the telephoto range is more important than the wideangle.

How do these cameras perform in low light? Does the autofocus have difficulty? Are they Phase Detect or Contrast Autofocus systems? Is it a significant drawback?

I would like to use this camera for general use, outdoor, indoor, nature, pets, vacations, and other everyday uses. Are these any good for action at all?

So given these criteria, which would you recommend that I should consider more closely, the Micro 4/3 system or the Samsung NX? Also, fell free to suggest cameras that I have not mentioned that you feel deserve a look!

Appreciate the help greatly!

Last edited by FatMe; Mar 19, 2011 at 11:50 PM.
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 8:07 AM   #2
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Generally speaking, the m4/3 cameras offer a lot more flexibility. Among the m4/3, the Olympus EPL1 offers the best low light capability and a rather good avenue to learning and using the camera, via their Guide System. EPL1's are now selling for around $400.

There is nothing wrong with the NX10, but you will be tied to using their lenses, at their prices, with precious few lens adapters available to you. Check your local Community College for Basic Photography courses. The courses are inexpensive and they will position you much better to get the most from your new camera. I teach digital cameras for our local Community College.

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Old Mar 20, 2011, 7:05 PM   #3
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Another vote for micro four-thirds. It's not that Samsung's NX is bad... it's just that it's out there all by itself. The NX cameras have their own mount that's currently not shared with anyone else and the current lens offerings are not extensive. And the image quality isn't quite as high as one might expect with an APS-C sensor - again, not that it's bad.

Micro four-thirds gives you a wide selection of cameras and lenses from Panasonic and Olympus - and even some additional lenses from third-party companies including Sigma. Plus, as Sarah said, you can get into micro four-thirds for not a lot of money in the scheme of things - $400 for the Olympus E-PL1.

As a former E-PL1 owner (I lost mine on vacation), I would point out that the rear LCD on the camera doesn't do well in bright sunlight, almost requiring the $250 Olympus electronic viewfinder (which is removable). On the upside, the viewfinder is excellent - the best electronic one I've seen.

For these reasons, I would recommend the Panasonic G2 for you - especially if you like it already. The built-in electronic viewfinder is very close to the Olympus one, meaning no problems with bright sunlight. Plus Panasonic's autofocus system is a bit faster than the Olympus one - although recent firmware updates have narrowed the gap.

As far as image quality is concerned, all of the micro four-thirds cameras are fairly close to each other. Olympus seems to be the best in terms of noise reduction at ISO 1600 and 3200 and its jpgs might be a bit nicer than Panasonic's. But, again, these are not big differences we're talking about. On the other hand, Panasonic's new GH2, if you can find one, may have the best image quality of any micro four-thirds camera.

I have a G1 and I'm very pleased with it's output - even jpgs. And, by the way, while you're learning to work the G2, you can trust Panasonic's Intelligent Auto feature. It really does work and it's quite remarkable.

One piece of advice, if you can afford it, buy the Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 pancake prime lens to go with your kit lens. You'll really appreciate it's sharpness and flexibility in low-light situations.
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 7:14 PM   #4
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The epl-1 is a good little camera and the lowest costing evil on the market, right around 410 dollars , and if you do not like the lcd on it. The VF2 is a very good option, and is a great evf. But you can also look at the new epl-2. It is pretty much the same, with a nicer lcd, and the new kit lens that let it focus faster. Making the olympus AF system a bit faster then panasonic now.

The G2 is a nice option as well, a bit larger camera the the pen's. The built in evf is not to bad. And it can use all the 4/3 dslr lenses with an adapter form olympus and sigma.

With panasonic you will really want to stick with panasonic lenses because the lenses has IS, while with olympus you can use the panasonic and olympus lenses as the body contain the IS. And on a longer zoom lenses, IS does help out. The olympus does preform better then the panny in noise at higher iso, except for the GH2. Which has the best sensor for a m4/3 system. But that is a hard camera to come by, and it is very expensive.

The NX is a good camera, they do have some really good lenses, any they have a good lens road map for the lenses growth. But it will not match m4/3 as olympus and panasonic have options.

Both nx and m4/3 will have 3rd party support of lenses in the further.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Mar 20, 2011 at 7:17 PM.
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 9:23 PM   #5
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One more vote for the micro fourthirds system over the NX. And, again, not because the NX is inferior-it's not. The micro fourthirds has been out longer and offers more choices in bodies, lenses, and accessories.

I use the Olympus E-PL1 and find that it does everything I want all in a small body that is easy to travel with. I too, use the optional VF-2 electronic viewfinder.

From a price to performance perspective, the Olympus E-PL1 is really hard to beat. Offering a great deal of performance and great image quality for less than 450 dollars. However, if you've used a Panasonic point and shoot, you may be better off with a Panasonic body because you'll be more familiar with the menu system.

Either way, both Panasonic and Olympus bodies have a much greater choice of lenses available to them and the list is growing since 3 more lens manufacturers have recently agreed to start building lenses for the format.


So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 11:34 PM   #6
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and yet another vote for micro 4/3's. panasonic and olympus are putting a lot into m4/3, where the nx10 is a nice little camera but samsung isn't really dedicating their efforts and they're carrying the line alone. that means m4/3 has more camera choices, more lens choices - and there are some really good choices. i love my gf1, and i think the epl1 is a really good camera. haven't spent as much time with the other m3/4's cameras, but seems like there's some good options.
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