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Old Jul 1, 2010, 12:03 PM   #1
NWD
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Default Micro Four Thirds or DSLR....Some Advice Please People

Hey All,
I am looking to replace my bog standard canon ixus point and shoot that I bought about 6 years ago. I am looking to upgrade from a PAS to something that will take better quality pictures. The problem I am having is whether to by a DSLR or a Micro Four Thirds.
Having spent a few weeks reading this forum and camera reviews, I realise that it is important to know what I will be taking pictures of. In the main it will include portrait style pictures both inside and out of my family. I really like the clear portrait image with blurry background. I go on walks in the countryside with my dog in areas where the views go on for miles. Conversely enjoy walking around cities at night time, and the thought of getting some great pictures of iconic London images lit up appeals. Lastly, I am going on safari in a few months, so I want something to cater for this. All in all, a bit of a mixed bag.
I am not (yet anyway) an avid photographer...I will be taking pictures periodically rather than on a daily basis. I would class myself as a relative beginner though I am willing to learn. I have been going back and forth on what camera to get. My favourite camera at the moment is the Panasonic G2. I fully appreciate the fact its not a DSLR, and the images arenít right up there with the DSLRs...but I truly question whether someone at my level will truly tell the difference.
On the DSLR front I am impressed with the Canon 550d, Sony 390, Pentax KX and Nikon D90. My issue is that the Canon is expensive (though I could just about afford it with the standard lens to begin with) and that the D90 is going to be replaced shortly. I have handled all these cameras, but I keep going back to the G2.
I appreciate many contributors are DSLR enthusiasts....but would I not get away with the G2 for what I want? I realise the lens choice is limited (and rather expensive) but looking at the size of it and the amount of time I will actually be taking pics, will it not still give me some great shots that will be a massive improvement on my PAS? Or is it truly worth that extra to go DSLR......
I am conscious that this question has probably been asked a hundred times before on this forum, but the advice I am looking for has probably disappeared in other threads so I am posting this! I am sure however there are many people in my position, teetering on the edge of full DSLR or Micro Four Thirds (or the like...) so please can I have some ideas (and ideally someone to tell me what the G2 is like in low light conditions as this is the one issue that is holding me back!)
Thanks in advance....
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 12:42 PM   #2
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NWD-

Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased that you dropped by.

The m4/3 format is now very well established and is even expanding and growing. Cameras like the Olympus EPL-1 (at $599 list price) offer very viable alternatives for users just like yourself.

Yes, you would see a very measurable improvement in image quality.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 1:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWD View Post
... I really like the clear portrait image with blurry background. ...
That effect is called a shallow depth of field, and, all other things being equal, rely on a large aperture and a large image sensor. A dSLR would do that better than a m4/3 and the dSLR lenses that are capable of doing it are more plentiful and less expensive than lenses for m4/3 cameras.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWD View Post
... I go on walks in the countryside with my dog in areas where the views go on for miles. ...


A m4/3 camera and lens(es) would be smaller and lighter than a dSLR and equivalent lens(es), and so would be easier to carry around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWD View Post
... Conversely enjoy walking around cities at night time, and the thought of getting some great pictures of iconic London images lit up appeals. ...


dSLRs have more and cheaper lenses for doing that, and produce better images with less image noise than m4/3 cameras and lenses would.

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Originally Posted by NWD View Post
... Lastly, I am going on safari in a few months, so I want something to cater for this. ...


dSLRs have better autofocus systems for shooting wildlife, than m4/3 cameras do.

The advantage of both types of cameras is that they can be customized to do almost anything, but dSLRs (and their predecessors, film SLRs) have been doing this a lot longer, and are inherently better prepared for it, than m4/3 cameras.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 3:19 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your reply.

I have been looking at a 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens which if I am correct would be good for portraits and low light pictures....on the down side the cost of this is over £250 compared with equivalent lenses for canon / nikon dslr(s).

Can you tell me whether low light photography would be of a decent standard on the G2? I understand however there will be a difference from samsung NX10 which has the APS-C Samsung CMOS sensor similar to that found on the DSLR?
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 3:54 PM   #5
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NWD

I have both a canon dslr and m4/3 system. And the m4/3 actually can cover 90% of my daily shooting. The only place that it really falls behind my T1i is when I shoot action. It is just not as fast in the AF department as the Canon. As I travel allot, m4/3 makes for a better travel tool.

But the lenses for the G2 is not really that limited. You can use all the olympus lenses. Both m4/3 and 4/3 lenses with the adapter. And with the G2 it resolved the issues with the sigma 4/3 lenses. So it will work with them also.

The 20mm 1.7 pancake is a fantastic lens. I use it on my olympus epl-1 and it is very sharp wide open. And makes for a excellent low light lens. Actually the quality of the 20mm is up there with the ef 28mm 1.8 from canon. Are are around the same price. They are both in the 40mm 35mm range. And I have compare the 20mm vs the canon 28mm. And it is actually sharper at 1.7 then the canon at 1.8. Also the prices for the panny 45-200mm is about 280 dollars, and it is a excellent general purpose zoom. Fast in focusing and very sharp. Prices for m4/3 lenses are coming down.

NX10 is a good photographer camera also, but it is really limited in lenses. I actually prefer the set up of the samsung nx10 over the sony nex5. Only 2 lenses currently like the sony nex5. with m4/3 you have allot more choices.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 4:00 PM   #6
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Here is a link where I shot my epl-1 with the 20mm and canon t1i with the 28mm at the grand arch in La Defence

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tr...ris-night.html
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 4:06 PM   #7
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Shoturtle,

Thanks for your post...that has really helped me out alot. I have just found a package the Panasonic DMC-G2 with 14-42mm and 20mm / F1.7 lens for £740 or about $1100 which actually seems quite a good deal as buying the pancake lens alone would cost £290 / $430. So that is encouraging...

I am interested in getting the G2 as I then have the option, as you say, of using the Olympus lenses. Forgive my ignorance, will the lens adaptor allow any 4/3 lens to be used?

Lastly...do you have any problem using the camera in low light?

Many Thanks.....

Nigel
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 4:10 PM   #8
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Wow,

Great shots...particularly on the epl-1. Once again, forgive me as I am new to all this, but I take it the you took that photo on using a tripod? The light trails look stunning....
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 4:17 PM   #9
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Here are some day time shots taken with a canon t1i and some taken with my epl-1.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/wi...ml#post1113757

Also remember the panny G2 uses the same size sensor as the olympus dslr. So they are pretty close to dslr in image quality.

With the G2 you can use all the 4/3 unlike the gf-1, g1 and gh1. As the G2 meets the m4/3 consortium reg better. So with the 4/3 adapter you can use all the 4/3 lenses from olympus and sigma on the G2.

Well the olympus is a better low light sensor then the panny. I have shot at 2000iso with the epl-1 and have been please with the results. From the reviews, the panny is a bit noise above 1250iso.

The post of the grand arch was taken hand held at 1/20 shutter speed at 1.7. the others were taken with a tripod. The inbody IS of the olympus allowed me to hand hold for such a slow shutter speed.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 5:03 PM   #10
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NWD-

So you can easily see that the Panasonic 20mm F 1.7 on the Olympus EPL-1 does very well indeed, and the image quality is also much better. A m4/3 camera does not focus fast enough for action shots, but for everything else it can handle all the other DSLR duties.

The Panasonic G-1, like the Samsung NX-10 are not as able to use high ISO setting like the Olympus EPL-1, instead the G-1 and NX-10 top out at about ISO 1000.

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