Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 1, 2011, 10:39 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 7
Default Which micro four thirds for a DSLR beginner?

Hi,

I just wonder if any of you experts and enthusiasts would be so kind to offer some advice on what camera to buy

I'm your typical DSLR beginner, having been the point & shoot photographer for a long time. I've always been interested in more serious DSLR photography however I'm not to experienced with DSLR cameras. I know my way around DSLRs and have basic manual photography skills for the most common lighting conditions, but I'm still quite slow and inexperienced.

Now I'm going backpacking abroad for a couple of months and I want to use this trip for learning more about DSLR photography, while still being able to to quick point and shoot if it's really necessary. Due to the form factor I'm looking for a suitable micro four thirds camera, preferrably with a built-in flash for occasional P&S, Good output in low-light conditions is a plus. I do a lot of photo editing on my computer, so picture quality is what I value most though.

I've been looking at the GF1, the GF2, NEX-5 and E-PL2.

What would you think would be suitable for me? I'm really grateful for any advice I can get.

Have a good one

Kim
kimmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 1, 2011, 2:08 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Kim-

There is not much difference in the Olympus EPL1 and the EPL2. You might want to save some money and look at the EPL1 as well. The advantage of the Olympus cameras over the Panasonic m4/3 camera ia in the JPEG engine. In the Epl Camera the exposure is usually dad on with wonderful, natural color. I own both the GF1 and the EPl1, and I tend to use the EPL1 more.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2011, 2:22 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 7
Default

Thank's for the advice Sarah, I'll look into the E-PL1 as well, judging by price comparison it sure is nicer to my current backpacking wallet

But as a whole, would this kind of camera be to advanced to start learning DSLR with? I've thought about getting a standard entry level DSLR, but the micro 4/3 sizes are really compelling with regards to travelling as light as possible.
kimmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2011, 2:32 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

They are all good mirroless camera, not a dslr. As getting rid of the mirror box allows them to have a much more compact design. They have most of the features of a dslr, with the exception of action shooting. They all use dslr sensors. So image quality are equal. All the camera mention are good for a pns shooter to upgrade to, with a ton of what a point and shooter users are uses to with scene mode. Plus they have a mid level system to let the you get more control of the photo without going to the manual modes. And of course full manual modes.

The NEX 5 is not m4/3 but aps-c. So it will have a larger sensor, making it a better low light camera then m4/3. It will shoot well at 3200iso and can be pushed into 6400 if needed, above that it is junky photos. The sensor that the nex 5 uses is a excellent sensor. The user interface is all gui driven, and will need you to drill down to change setting, it is not as quick to navigate. The con's of the nex currently is the 2 kit lens are soft compared to dslr, but are good coming form a point and shoot. But they currently only have 1 long zoom 18-200 at 800 that is a good HD lens. It can now use sony dslr lenses with an adapter, but it adds allot of size. And you can no add a evf if you decide you want to shoot with the camera closer to your eye for framing. And it is more stable to shoot the camera close when using long lenses. The flash of the nex is not that great as you can not add a external flash to the camera. As it does not have a hotshoe. And the provided one needs to be attached and detach, and it is not that powerful.

The Panny GF are both very close in performance, with minor upgrades for the GF2, a bit better HD system, and better 4/3 dslr compatibility. And it can use all olympus m4/3 lenses currently on the market. What it is weak at is the out of camera jpegs. It does not have a really good jpeg engine. And they both only shoot well upto 800iso, 2 full stop less then the sony and a little more the 1.3 stops less then the olympus. So it is not as good of a low light option.

The olympus is a decent low light camera, shooting well upto 2000iso, but not matching the sony in this department. It can use all m4/3 and 4/3 lenses currently on the market, but it does add size but not as much as the nex with sony dslr lenses. It does have the best out of camera jpeg on the market, as that is what oly leads the market in with their jpeg engine. Also unlike the panasonic system, it uses IBIS vs the lens base system that sony and panny uses. So no matter what lens you mount to it. It will have stabilization. Some of the panasonic or sony lenses does not have lens IS like the fantastic 20 1.7 or the new 14 2.5, and the sony 16 2.8. But it is weak in the HD department, as it only shoots 720p vs 1080p.

The epl-2 has a lighter body and lens setup over the epl-1. And has some nice add to it. The ability to uses a cable shutter release, a slight faster top shutter speed of 1/4000 over 1/2000. So in bright sunny days, it helps out if you want to shoot wider apertures. And the big upgrade it the new kit lens, it AF faster then the old kit lens form the epl-1 and it slightly sharper and lighter. And a better lcd. If it worth the extra that is something you need to decide.

Any of the camera are a good step up if you want to expand your photography, so depending on what you want to do more of, will determine which is a better option.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.

Last edited by shoturtle; Apr 1, 2011 at 3:29 PM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2011, 2:37 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

PS I shoot mostly dslr, and I love the mirrorless for traveling. Spent 1 month in SE Asia, shooting only with my epl-1. So yes it is a system that can support the growing skills of a photograph. If you do not shoot allot of action.

All shot with the epl-1during my month holiday in SE asia.
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tr...hong-kong.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tr...g-vietnam.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tr...ai-action.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tr...i-vietnam.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/tr...-thailand.html
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2011, 3:24 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 7
Default

Many thank's for your comments on this, much appreciated exactly the kind of information I need! And that's some really nice pictures with the E-LP1, I will also be passing HK and the travel down to the border and all along the Vietnamese coastline. Nice to see what to expect from a E-PL sensor shooting same scenery as I will

Feeling like it's down to Sony or Olympus right now. I don't think it'll be a lot of action shooting, mostly nature, people and architecture. If the NEX-5 aps-c is better and up to 3200 then maybe a flash won't needed as much as I first thought. Do you think the high ISO can make up for the lack of built in flash, or is that asking a bit to much from an APS-C?

I like what you're writing on the Olympus though. I will be shooting a lot of jpeg then maybe E-PL2 seems like the best allround option, with add on efv and many lenses to choose from, stabilization and so on. Maybe it can stay with me longer as I progress.
kimmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2011, 3:42 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

I rather shoot at 800iso with a flash then at 3200iso. With the IBIS with say the panasonic 20 1.7 vs the sony with the 16 2.8, if you do not need the higher shutter speed of 6400iso for movement, but want to avoid camera shake. at 1600 vs sony's 3200. The olympus IBIS will give it a lead actually. You gain 1 stop with just the lens. So that make 1600 at 1.7 equal to 3200 at 2.8. Then you add the 4 stops of performance for low light. And that tips the scale to the oly. As you can see straight up without IS, they are dead even at 1600 vs 3200.

What the sony does better is HD, and it will have great dynamic range and more dof control. The olympus will have better jpegs, greater reach with a smaller package, and better lens options. That one point will impact image quality more then the sensor of the sony. As the m4/3 lenses are currently way better.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2011, 3:49 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

I forgot to cover the budget aspect.

With either the olympus or panny vs the sony. Cost will be much less currently. As the pansonic 45-200 or the oly 40-150 are sub 300 dollars zoom. with 90-400mm with the panny and 80-300mm of reach with the olympus. The sony the only option currently on the market is the 18-200 with 28-300mm of reach at 800 dollars. Oly and panny has ranges like that covered with the 800 panny 14-140 at 28-280 or the 500 olympus 14-150 giving 28-300mm of reach. So if you want to add a zoom lens for your travel. The m4/3 is the less expensive option. And all of the lenses are good consumer level zooms.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2011, 4:44 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 7
Default

Thanks for straightening out the ISO aspects. I've looked at the external flash for sony and it's not to much of a problem to use an external I guess, but built in would be nicer. The IBIS also seems like an advantage for the oly. Bring the zoom lens cost into the calculation and I'm really leaning towards Oly.

HD is not really important to me at this time, but playing with dof is something I really like when shooting. With the right practice and lens (standard 14-42?) would I be able to produce similar dof settings on an Olympus as on the Sony? If so I think my I've made my decision
kimmers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2011, 4:48 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

Well the sony can not use a large external flash for their dslr, just that little one that comes with the kit. So it really does not count as an external flash as it is not really powerful like all the built in flashes of the the oly or panny or the built in dslr flashes. External flash is a power flash that puts down light that reach more then 30ft really.

The olympus can use all the olympus dslr flash. And you can use them wirelessly with full ttl control, where you can tell the flash wireless to EV up or down. Only mirrorless that has the feature are the elp1, epl2 and panasonic gh2. It really lets you get creative with flash photography.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.

Last edited by shoturtle; Apr 2, 2011 at 1:29 AM.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:50 AM.