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Old Feb 7, 2010, 4:02 PM   #1
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Default Entry level Dslr vs. M4/3, and "where's my 600d?"

Those who suggested to wait for the February announcements were correct! In looking for essentialy a G11 with a 4/3 sensor I see the Canon 600d in the rumor mill, and the Olympus E-PL1 in the late stages of development.

Without getting into the specifics of cameras that don't exist just yet, what are the pros and cons of the entry-level dslrs vs. the m4/3 (including the Canon approach to an EVIL)? Of particular interest is ease of quality picture taking by an amatuer. This really isn't meant to compare specific cameras, but to compare the two approaches.

I trust that either approach will provide a camera that will allow full manual control along with the warnings that suggest I'm badly off-base with my aperature and shutter settings.

Both have a large sensor - 3.5cm2 vs. 2.5 cm2. I suspect that while differences in performance exist between the two, someone coming up from a 0.28cm2 sensor wont tell much of a difference.

What say you?
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 4:39 PM   #2
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Using the LCD display for composing a shot can be tough outdoors, so look for an eyepiece.

Radically new systems (EVIL, m4/3 or not) are more likely to be expensive for a while (to pay off the R&D and tooling costs), and the selection of lenses is likely to be sparse for quite some time. Make sure you can get what you want for what you can afford before you commit to a system.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 4:44 PM   #3
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iowa_jim-

At this point in the game we only have the cameras that are already in the marketplace on which to judge. The whole thing began with the Panasonic G-1 and then has just exploded from there.

Both the DSLR camp and the m4/3 camp will take great pains to explain that these are two wholly different market niches. The y do not overlap. The G-1 tops out at about ISO 800 in terms of ISO capability. That is contrary to what you see on entry level DSLR's like the Pentax Kx where ISO 6400 is always possible, but not the best performer.

Bottom line in my opinion, the m4/3 cameras and the m4/3 look alikes are speciality cameras, that can command and maintain a high price level. This year might see an end to that price dominance ability. In contrast, the entry level DSLR cameras have continued to tumble lower in price. Two month ago a Pentax Kx with the kit lens was selling at nearly $600, today it is at the $500 level. And do take note that those prices are even lower than the m4/3 and its brethren. In the long haul, DSLR's might offer more bang for the buck because they know the stakes in the camera choice poker game has made for a tougher, more demanding market.

There will be many changes in the camera market niches this year. I really think it is a good time to sit back and wait for the changes, and there will be many, to take place. We have lots of cameras now introduced and to be introduced that only have paper specs. I may be a bit cautious, but I want to wait for the first round of professional reviews that will better calibrate if the specs do actually equate to in the field performance.

I would venture the guess that we will see more camera introductions this year, than in any recent years. Why you might ask? Because the camera manufacturers are having to fight it out for a profile camera buyer that have seen financial erosion affect their purchasing power and leverage. That forces more new models.

Yep, I could be way off in my camera predictions. But I have not been very wrong thus far in my 2009 and 2010 predictions. Just wait, and we may even see a few total surprises, that we had not even guesed about.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Feb 7, 2010, 6:41 PM   #4
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My take on this. I have a dslr, but will be getting a M4/3, most likely the epl-1. Each system has it's pro and cons.

The dslr is larger, and take up more room, not ideal for heavy travelers. With the m4/3 you do not have as good low light ability as a APS-C dslr above 800 iso. So it comes down to what your needs are.

If you want small and compact with near dslr performance. The M4/3 will be the ticket. But if you are looking for 0 compromise in imagine quality and abilities the dslr will be the best bet.

The upcoming EPL-1 has put the high end bridge camera on notice. As it is very similarly price. About 100-150 dollars difference in price. So the price gap between the two system in not what it was last year. And as you pointed out, the larger sensor will let it perform better the and point and shoot.

Either a DSLR or a M4/3 seem like they will give you what you are looking for.

I do not think there is one end all be all camera. I have a dslr, but I still use a point and shoot. The M4/3 will most likely replace my point and shoot in my family.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 8:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
Either a DSLR or a M4/3 seem like they will give you what you are looking for.
That's pretty much what I was after - apparently no specific shortcomings to the 4/3 system besides perhaps the graduated effects for low light sensitivity related to the sensor size difference.

When I compare the T1i to the E-PL1 I see a strong advantage to the E-PL1:
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 8:55 PM   #6
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On the size it is a big advantage over my T1i. The wife will get allot of uses form the epl-1.

The T1i is a way faster AF system. I went to the store and check out the ep-2 which has the same system of the epl-1. And the T1i clearly has the advantage in that department also. There are even more advantage to the T1i, as it is a very high end "entry level" dslr. But against the XSi or XS or the D3000. The m4/3 are very close.

So it comes down to personal needs. My needs will be a t1i augmented by an EPL-1 in april.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 8:55 PM   #7
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Argh- I must have hit a wrong button.

E-PL1 advantage-
Cheaper by $180
Smaller

500d-
it's a Canon!

I will be excited to see what the 600d brings to the table, and what it does to the price of the 500d and E-PL1.

So before Bob Marley tweaked this into a hit tune, his original assertion of "no mirror no cry" was accurate?
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 8:59 PM   #8
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The 550/600D will be slated to be the XSi/XS replacements, it will most likely not affect the T1i to much. It will have a lower iso, and only 720 hd. But uses pretty much the same sensor but revamped according to rumors. It will employ a swivel screen, most likely less res and not 3 inch. similar to the d5000 set up. But we will know very soon if it is true.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 11:49 PM   #9
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I had been thinking of the T1i as a 720p video recorder since it's 1080p capabilities are limited to 20 fps - not very useful at that resolution. In that regard the T1i is a match for the E-PL1 or the 600d.

The smaller sensor size in the EVILs vs dslr shouldn't affect me so much given how apealing the S90 or G11 is for low-light capability. For a relatively small increase in price from the G11 to the PL1 or even the T1i I can get a large increase in performance as long as I can give up the need to shirt-pocket the camera. And if I go big, I might as well consider going to the full dslr.

Part of the appeal for Oly or Canon's EVIL cameras is the assumption that they provide live-view more like a digicam, given their need/ ability to digitize the viewfinder feed in realtime. Any thoughts about that?

On the topic of the T1i, how long does it take to re-charge the battery? The reviews cover how long the battery lasts, at least to a reliable method for comparison between models, but I've not seen a statistic for re-charging.

And thanks for all the help! Everyone on the board has been patient, like a 'Saint', with my questions.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 11:59 PM   #10
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I sure they will get a firmware update sooner or later to get it to 24fps on the T1i.

But back to the the question at hand. It takes about 1-2 hours to recharge the batteries I have. I keep 3 of them. 2 in a grip.

With the EVF on the Oly, it is really good and it is real time just like the live view on the lcd. So far form the panny and oly m4/3. Oly has the best EVF hands down. If you are shooting with a dslr, you will use the VF allot more then live view. I only use it when shooting on a tripod. It is way easier to shoot with the VF on an dslr, as it is really awkward to hand hold with live view.

The EPL-1 from the video clips form 4/3 rumor webpage. Is narrower then the EP-2. And not much bigger then the G11.
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