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Author Topic: Ideas about putting together a lightweight digital system  (Read 4030 times)
slowframe
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2012, 10:35:49 AM »
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I'll go and read the discussions.  Thank you for the pointer. 


there have been some tests and discussion of screw and m-mount lenses on m4/3 and other mirrorless cameras - photozone, Reid Reviews, Dlloyd.com (the last two subscription), and by Michael.  the long and short of it is that new retrofocus designs work pretty well and older designs not so well because the cover glass on the sensor results in severe chromatic abberation and poor resolution outside the center of the image
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slowframe
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2012, 10:41:13 AM »
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I'm very happy to save money whenever possible.  It would be good to look at prints from different cameras, and I also would like to handle them and have a look at the menus/controls.  The ability to assign features to external controls, rather than have to swim through a menu, is the one feature that I do care about.  This thread has been very helpful for gathering some information and ideas about what to look at, and it'll will certainly help me move forward wisely.   



Slowframe,...before you go any further you need to look at a 20x16 inch landscape print from any m4/3 camera.    Expectations and what is acceptable are VERY subjective between photographers.   I use Sony NEX 3 camera to produce 20x16 inch prints and, to my eyes, they are visibly better than those from m4/3.   Some of the m4/3 cameras are very nice and seductive, but you like me, may think that there is no point in using a good camera when there are better ones for the same (or less) money.
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Tord S Eriksson
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2012, 02:54:08 AM »
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The wife and I are stalwart Pentax K-5 users, but we have found that other, non-Pentax, cameras can perform just as well (except as very high ISO), and, yet, weigh less:

The NEX-5N with a Zeiss 1.8/24 on, is my favourite just now, a complete camera system weighing in at about a pound (half a kilogram), and it does excellent panormas, even with the camera vertical - just now my outdoor favourite camera system! Add the two-ounce Sony E16 lens to the package, and you have a complete APS-C camera setup that weighs just a little more, with a quality that astounds me again, and again. With a cheap K Mount adapter we've tried some Pentax FA lenses, and a very old Pentax-M 400mm (and a 2X converter), with impressive results (often better results than when I've used the same lens on the K-5).

My wife has just the E18-200 zoom on her 5N, which is an truely amazing lens: Not the fastest out of the blocks, but sharp from one end to the other. It was designed for the pro NEX movie cameras, but works perfectly on any NEX, and she is very pleased with hers - seems the 5N and that lens together produces an amazing percentage of hits, focus almost always spot on, although, occasionally, the camera chooses a too low shutter speed for perfect results. A monopod is a perfect add-on!

But the NEX-5N isn't what I'd call rugged, and nor is it intended for abuse, like the OM-D hopefully is (if we can believe the advertising guys shots of one being soaked in rain). Nor is the NEX-5N very discreet, as its shutter is LOUD - far louder than the K-5, for instance!

And if you are a person that likes to use a viewfinder, it  is VERY hard to find (I searched the globe till I found one, but I haven't found a second for my wife). The excellent Zeiss 1.8/24 is sold out, for months to come, according to Steve Huff. Only problem I have with the Zeiss is that it doesn't come with anti-shake (nor does the E16), so you have to keep your shutter speed in mind! The Sony 18-55 kit lens is OK, but I seldom use mine (it is stowed away with a few other kit lenses, that I've managed to acquire through the years).

But there is now another, very rugged, guy on the block, weighing in at about a kilo, with a flash & three lenses, two of which by SLR Gear.com pronounced as among the better there are, for any size of camera (the third haven't been tested, yet).

It is small & quiet, and with an adapter you can use any Nikon lens you can imagine on it (with their auto-focus and anti-shake fully functional, in most cases - need to have their own focusing motor), and it has already proved popular with the long lens guys -  seen birds being photographed with 300-600mm zooms (that, in FX/FF terms, means 810-1620mm - to that you can add a converter, or two - the sky is the limit!), with excellent results, as long as you're VERY steady!

I gave one of these marvels to my wife, but she has since opted for the OM-D. So now I a very happy punter, indeed!

I'm talking about the magnesium-bodied, fairly heavy (half a serious DSLR in weight), supersmooth Nikon V1. This camera, with a screw-on Canon 250D close-up lens (you need a stepping ring, of course), is a complete camera system, covering everything (including decent macro) but the very wide (the 10/2.8 prime is very much a 'normal' lens and there isn't anything wider, yet).

Adding a TF1 adapter and you can use (almost - see above) any Nikon lens you can think of on the V1. The results can be amazing - I've just tried a few AF-S lenses (as I wrote, I'm a Pentax guy), and the old 80-200/4 that Ken Rockwell calls the sharpest tele zoom Nikon ever have made! The results have been more than OK, like this picture:

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slowframe
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2012, 10:08:11 AM »
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Great- thank you for the detailed information on the Sony NEX-5N and on the Nikon V1.  I'll do some more investigating.  And thank you for the photo, too.  I'm a little worried about the 10MP resolution of the V1.  10MP might be okay for shooting in native 3:2 (I assume it has a 3:2 sensor, if it's 4:3 it would yield 7 1/2 MPs).  I commonly shoot in 1:1, however, and a 10MP sensor will produce 6 2/3 MP images at 1:1.  That's probably getting too small.  If I don't get an APS-C format camera, I'm coming to think that M4/3 may be more attractive, since I also like 4:3 as an aspect ratio, and it would lose less in a crop to 1:1.  The newer 16mp M4/3 cameras would yield a fairly respectable (for enlargement) 12mp 1:1 image.




The wife and I are stalwart Pentax K-5 users, but we have found that other, non-Pentax, cameras can perform just as well (except as very high ISO), and, yet, weigh less:

The NEX-5N with a Zeiss 1.8/24 on, is my favourite just now, a complete camera system weighing in at about a pound (half a kilogram), and it does excellent panormas, even with the camera vertical - just now my outdoor favourite camera system! Add the two-ounce Sony E16 lens to the package, and you have a complete APS-C camera setup that weighs just a little more, with a quality that astounds me again, and again. With a cheap K Mount adapter we've tried some Pentax FA lenses, and a very old Pentax-M 400mm (and a 2X converter), with impressive results (often better results than when I've used the same lens on the K-5).

My wife has just the E18-200 zoom on her 5N, which is an truely amazing lens: Not the fastest out of the blocks, but sharp from one end to the other. It was designed for the pro NEX movie cameras, but works perfectly on any NEX, and she is very pleased with hers - seems the 5N and that lens together produces an amazing percentage of hits, focus almost always spot on, although, occasionally, the camera chooses a too low shutter speed for perfect results. A monopod is a perfect add-on!

But the NEX-5N isn't what I'd call rugged, and nor is it intended for abuse, like the OM-D hopefully is (if we can believe the advertising guys shots of one being soaked in rain). Nor is the NEX-5N very discreet, as its shutter is LOUD - far louder than the K-5, for instance!

And if you are a person that likes to use a viewfinder, it  is VERY hard to find (I searched the globe till I found one, but I haven't found a second for my wife). The excellent Zeiss 1.8/24 is sold out, for months to come, according to Steve Huff. Only problem I have with the Zeiss is that it doesn't come with anti-shake (nor does the E16), so you have to keep your shutter speed in mind! The Sony 18-55 kit lens is OK, but I seldom use mine (it is stowed away with a few other kit lenses, that I've managed to acquire through the years).

But there is now another, very rugged, guy on the block, weighing in at about a kilo, with a flash & three lenses, two of which by SLR Gear.com pronounced as among the better there are, for any size of camera (the third haven't been tested, yet).

It is small & quiet, and with an adapter you can use any Nikon lens you can imagine on it (with their auto-focus and anti-shake fully functional, in most cases - need to have their own focusing motor), and it has already proved popular with the long lens guys -  seen birds being photographed with 300-600mm zooms (that, in FX/FF terms, means 810-1620mm - to that you can add a converter, or two - the sky is the limit!), with excellent results, as long as you're VERY steady!

I gave one of these marvels to my wife, but she has since opted for the OM-D. So now I a very happy punter, indeed!

I'm talking about the magnesium-bodied, fairly heavy (half a serious DSLR in weight), supersmooth Nikon V1. This camera, with a screw-on Canon 250D close-up lens (you need a stepping ring, of course), is a complete camera system, covering everything (including decent macro) but the very wide (the 10/2.8 prime is very much a 'normal' lens and there isn't anything wider, yet).

Adding a TF1 adapter and you can use (almost - see above) any Nikon lens you can think of on the V1. The results can be amazing - I've just tried a few AF-S lenses (as I wrote, I'm a Pentax guy), and the old 80-200/4 that Ken Rockwell calls the sharpest tele zoom Nikon ever have made! The results have been more than OK, like this picture:


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BJL
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2012, 11:04:37 AM »
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Yes, the V1 has a disadvantage for your tastes in having a 10MP 3:2 sensor, 3872x2592, so 1:1 crop is 2592x2592, 6.7MP. Micro Four Thirds options like the G3, GX1 and OM-D E-M5 with their 4:3 format do look good for you.


P. S. it is strange to read gear choice discussions like this where Canon is scarcely mentioned: that never happened a few years ago, before Panasonic and Olympus introduced Micro Four Thirds and Sony introduced its EXMOR sensors with column parallel ADC.
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slowframe
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2012, 12:52:05 PM »
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An apology about an unclear bit of writing above- I had indeed meant to say that on a 10MP sensor with a native 3:2 aspect ratio, you would end up with 6 2/3MP, but if it's a 4:3 ratio sensor (which I now gather it is not), it would yield 7 1/2 MPs on a 1:1 crop.  It may have read as though a 4:3 crop from a 10MP 3:2 sensor would yield 7 1/2 MPs. A 10MP 3:2 cropped to 4:3 should yield 8 1/3 MPs.

On Canon, I've been surprised to see how little of real interest to me has turned up looking into building a lightweight camera system.  The Canon G1x doesn't really suit my needs, and it's the closest thing I could find.  I'm not so surprised to see Olympus's name cropping up.  They certainly have a good history with smaller cameras and high quality lenses.  Panasonic just doesn't seem like a camera company to me- I associate them with DVD players and other consumer electronics- but it sounds like they've done a bang up job with lenses and cameras.

Yes, the V1 has a disadvantage for your tastes in having a 10MP 3:2 sensor, 3872x2592, so 1:1 crop is 2592x2592, 6.7MP. Micro Four Thirds options like the G3, GX1 and OM-D E-M5 with their 4:3 format do look good for you.


P. S. it is strange to read gear choice discussions like this where Canon is scarcely mentioned: that never happened a few years ago, before Panasonic and Olympus introduced Micro Four Thirds and Sony introduced its EXMOR sensors with column parallel ADC.
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scooby70
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2012, 01:09:05 PM »
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Panasonic just doesn't seem like a camera company to me- I associate them with DVD players and other consumer electronics- but it sounds like they've done a bang up job with lenses and cameras.

Panasonic make some nice cameras, so nice in fact that for years Leica have been able to buy them and sell them on with a healthy price rise. These days cameras are moving ever more into the realms of the consumer electronic companies and perhaps a little further away every day from the traditional camera companies. In the near future Sony and Panasonic may be the Canon and Nikon of today Smiley
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MrIconoclast
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« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2013, 08:45:09 AM »
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This is an interesting topic to me and I thank all the people who have contributed their ideas.

I am a DX shooter, but have been getting frustrated by several things. The first is the weight and size of the system I have, the second is the weight and size of the system I want (bigger and heavier since I want to add a few good primes to my walk-about zoom lenses), and the last is a lack of choice in the DX lens system ( I do not want to have to go to FX lenses to build a DX system, more bulk and weight).

I do wonder about the comments on the various enlargment sizes.  It seems to me that if we don't know what lenses are used then discussing whether or not a  certain camera body or type will not matter much.  I am assuming that those expensive prime lenses made for the m4/3 systme will produce much higher quality images than the zoons for the same system.  But, will they produce higher quality images than the 18-105mm zoom I use in my DX system?   That is the kind of thing that concerns me.
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MrIconoclast
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« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2013, 09:22:44 AM »
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Slowframe,...before you go any further you need to look at a 20x16 inch landscape print from any m4/3 camera.    Expectations and what is acceptable are VERY subjective between photographers.   I use Sony NEX 3 camera to produce 20x16 inch prints and, to my eyes, they are visibly better than those from m4/3.   Some of the m4/3 cameras are very nice and seductive, but you like me, may think that there is no point in using a good camera when there are better ones for the same (or less) money.

Don't we also have to know what lenses are being used?  For example, if the NEX body is mated to a high quality prime lens and the m4/3 is mated to a cheaper consumer zoom, perhaps most of the quality difference is found there and not in the body.  On the other hand if the NEX and a consumer zoom can exceed the m4/3 with a quality prime lens, then that would be a significant plus for the NEX.  My 2 cents.
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