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Author Topic: Downsizing  (Read 16070 times)
Hackman
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« on: July 24, 2013, 11:36:19 AM »
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Hi all

I wish I could have a small camera with small lenses(or even without separate lenses?) with optimal quality. ( I am probably not the only one)
First thing that comes to mind is leica, but after long consideration I feel the price is too high for what I would get out of it.
I kinda lost track of the latest developments in new camera's. (If you do not keep up for half a year your way behind it seems)

Any advice/experiences?


Thanks!
Mark
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 12:20:25 PM »
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many options, in fact there is a full forum on these, the compact systems camera forum.  I have a NEX7 when I want to go light, and can even put my Nikon Zeiss lenses on it. Lots of good things being mentioned of the Fuji Xpro1.
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BJL
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2013, 03:03:14 PM »
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I wish I could have a small camera with small lenses (or even without separate lenses?) with optimal quality. ...
Any advice/experiences?

Thanks!
Mark
I am sure you will get many enthusiastic recommendations for various good recent options from Olympus, Fujifilm, Sony, and Nikon in particular, but can you tell us more about your priorities, like what range of focal lengths you are most interested in and whether you have a preference for prime lenses vs zooms, macro lenses, portrait lenses, extreme telephoto reach, etc. ?

P. S. Alternatively: I recommend considering the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the 12-50mm ("24-100mm FOV equivalent") standard zoom lens, which I greatly enjoy as a lightweight walk-around kit, and there are numerous (mostly small and light) lenses to extent its capabilities, like the 40-150mm (80-300mm equivalent).
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 06:41:51 PM by BJL » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2013, 03:12:09 PM »
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Hi,

My choices are:

1) Pocketable camera: Sony RX100

2) Walkaround camera: Sony Alpha 77 + 16-80/3.5-4.5 zoom (possible combined with a 70-300/4.5-5.6)

I happen to use Sony, but alternatives are probably as good.

Best regards
Erik Kaffehr




Hi all

I wish I could have a small camera with small lenses(or even without separate lenses?) with optimal quality. ( I am probably not the only one)
First thing that comes to mind is leica, but after long consideration I feel the price is too high for what I would get out of it.
I kinda lost track of the latest developments in new camera's. (If you do not keep up for half a year your way behind it seems)

Any advice/experiences?


Thanks!
Mark
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David S
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 10:52:39 AM »
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How small and how much money do you want to spend?

What will the output be used for - web, smallish prints, larger prints?

Dave S

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Hackman
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2013, 12:53:25 PM »
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Thanks for the replies sofar!
I now have a canon body 30d, a 10-22mm wide angle , the 70-300 DO and the 24-70 mm 2:8 L lens.
I use this kit mostly on vacation when I like to do trekking and camping in the mountains in a dusty, sometimes cold and/or wet environments, but I also visit cities.
I use the full range of focal lenghts for landscapes , people and inside buildings like monasteries or local homes.
So high ISO is also welcome.

Output is for web and for A3+ prints on my epson r2400

The body is a 30d so that could do with an increase in mp I think although I realize that mp's aren't the holy grail.

Carrying all the stuff around in the mountains is sometimes a bit of a nuisance and I don't like to be such a tourist when I am a tourist. Smiley

The money to spend? Mmm. Like I said, leica I feel is too expensive for me, but I am prepared to pay for quality..

Aahh the choices we have to make..

Cheers!

« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 01:06:36 PM by Hackman » Logged

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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2013, 01:38:55 PM »
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My small light "scout" camera kit

Sony NEX 7
Sony 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS
Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS Alpha E-mount Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

All for under $3k, very light and small considering it's 24mp and I have 10-200 zoom range.
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stever
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2013, 09:05:51 AM »
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for your use, the compact teles available for the Oly OM-D (and many other lens choices) and weather sealing make it worth considering.  for the size you're printing, and coming from the 30D you should find the IQ satisfactory
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BJL
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2013, 10:52:39 AM »
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I now have a canon body 30d, a 10-22mm wide angle , the 70-300 DO and the 24-70 mm 2:8 L lens.
I use this kit mostly on vacation when I like to do trekking and camping in the mountains in a dusty, sometimes cold and/or wet environments, but I also visit cities.
I use the full range of focal lenghts for landscapes , people and inside buildings like monasteries or local homes.
So high ISO is also welcome.

Output is for web and for A3+ prints on my epson r2400
The latest generation of MFT sensors and lenses can probably handle those print sizes well, and of course "looks good on the web" is a piece of cake for any modern system camera.

Here are some options for a kit very roughly matching your current lenses but at lighter weight (in exchange for somewhat lesser low light performance, but still quite decent.) A star marks gear I have actually used and am happy with. Note that the Olympus lens options tend to be smaller, lighter and less bright (smaller maximum aperture sizes) than the Panasonic options. Part of the weight saving is that Olympus puts IS in its bodies, eliminating the bulk of IS in each lens. Panasonic's in-lens IS approach seems better for video, but you do not mention that as a priority.

A few recent Olympus MFT items are "dust and splash proof", like the E-M5 body and 12-50 lens, but if that is a priority, you need to check the details for each lens and body.

- Olympus OM-D E-M5(*) body, or wait for the Panasonic GX7 that is strongly rumored to come next month with built-in tilt-able EVF in a more compact "Leica-like" flat-top format, and on-sensor stabilization for the first time from Panasonic, so that it would work well also with Olympus MFT lenses. With the E-M5, I find up to ISO 800 very satisfactory, and up to ISO 3200 if there is not a wider-than-normal subject brightness range; probably better than the 30D at equally high ISO speed, due to the good sensor design progress made since that camera was released.

- Olympus 12-50/3.5-6.3, 211g (*) if you prefer the flexibility and weight-savings of a 4x zoom with near-macro abilities for a walk-around lens, or Panasonic 12-35/2.8, 305g, if you prefer more speed (and probably better IQ) and a closer match to your 24-70/2.8.

- Olympus 9-18/4-5.6, 155g or Panasonic 7-14/4, 300g for a wide-angle zoom.

-  Olympus 40-150/4-5.6, 190g(*) for a very light-weight "80-300mm equivalent" option or Panasonic 45-200/4.5.6, 380g, to roughly match the reach of your 70-300. (Or Panasonic 45-150/4-5.6, 380g; there are almost too many options for MFT lenses!)


P. S. I also enjoy the Olympus 75-300/4.8-6.7 II, 423g, for its combination of extreme telephoto reach ("600mm equivalent") with reasonably light weight, but most people probably do not have much desire to go that long.
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Hackman
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2013, 04:51:27 AM »
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Wow, thanks for the extensive advice! Really appreciate that.
The Oly seems to be a very interesting option to me. That would really be much more comfortable dragging it up the hill and walking around with it in my pocket in the cities. I think I'll wait for the Panasonic GX7 just to see how it is received by the critics.

So one more question: what is it that keeps you all from switching to this or a comparable system altogether and throwing out all the expensive and heavy stuff? Is it the IQ in the end?



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stever
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2013, 08:50:11 AM »
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- autofocus not fast or accurate enough for sports or wildlife action
- high ISO not as good as ff
- resolution not as good as ff, no long lenses comparable to Canon L glass - sharp prints limited to 13x19
- prefer 3:2 format
- concerns about Olympus service, and in the long term existence (beyond 3-5 year horizon)
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BJL
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2013, 04:41:45 PM »
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So one more question: what is it that keeps you all from switching to this or a comparable system altogether and throwing out all the expensive and heavy stuff? Is it the IQ in the end?
Siince your question seems to about the comparison between the new mirorless systems (Olympus/Panasonic Micro Four Thirds, Sony NEX, Nikon One, etc.) and your Canon EF-S gear, let me skip the usual "bigger sensors paired with bigger, heavier lenses are better in low light, and Canon L glass rules" stuff, and tell you what compromises I have to accept in exchange for a smaller, lighter system.

The main ones relate to autofocus, due to it being done on the sensor rather than with separate dedicated phase-detection autofocus sensors fed by the reflex mirror. With the E-M5, this is in general quite fast amd accurate with stationary subjects, but the sensor-based contast detection AF is not good at continuous tracking focus on moving subjects. Some mirrorless systems like Nikon One improve continuous AF by havng some phase-detect AF sensor in the main sensor, and these work well in good light, but their performance falls of in low light. So for moving subjects in low light, SLRs still have a distinct advantage.

A second issue with CD AF is that it focuses at the highest contrast part of each AF zone, whereas PD AF focuses more narrowly on the one point at each AF sensor. This means that CD AF can focus on something like the edge between the bright sky and a branch near the bird you are pointing at, instead of on the bird itself. I handle this with a mix of choosing the smallest AF zone size possible and some manual over-ride, but it is another reason why moving subjects are harder to deal with.

As to lens selection, judge for yourself if your needs are met, but note that when you use SLR lenses mounted with an adaptor, they do not AF well, if at all: my Olympus Four Thirds SLR lenses mounted via an adaptor are great for manual focusing on the E-M5, but very poor for AF usage.

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k bennett
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2013, 06:51:49 PM »
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I've been searching for a compact system camera to augment (not replace) my big DSLR kit for several years. Started with a Panasonic GF1 with a couple of primes back in 2010 -- a revelation! Excellent image quality in a camera the size of a medium p+s, even at ISO 400 and 800! That 20mm Panny lens is most excellent, too. I am sitting here at my desk looking at an outdoor portrait of my niece shot with that combo, then cropped vertically (so it's about half the original 12 megapixels) and printed to 16x20 inches on my Epson 3800. It's a lovely print and plenty sharp at her eyes. Did I mention that the Panny 20mm is terrific? Smiley

The GF1 high ISO quality wasn't good, sadly, so I added a Panasonic GH2. That was my primary small kit for a couple of years -- the two Panasonic cameras, and the 14, 20, and 45mm lenses (the Olympus 45/1.8 is also a very good lens.) The GH2 added a beautiful EVF - much better than the clip-on GF1 finder (ugh) - and excellent images to 1600, with very usable images at 3200.

Then I had a chance to handle the new Fuji X series cameras last month. One of my colleagues let me borrow his X Pro 1 for an afternoon, and another let me handle his for most of a week at a conference. I came home and purchased a pair of XE1 bodies and four lenses.

The Fujis are maddeningly quirky little cameras. Totally annoying and frustrating much of the time. But there is something about the images that is just wonderful, and makes me overlook whatever current quirk is driving me mad.

They are designed for slow, careful, deliberate work. At least, I hope they were designed that way, because that's the only way to use them. The autofocus is inclined to take its own sweet time, and the user interface -- which tries to emulate a mid-20th Century rangefinder, with manual aperture and shutter speed dials -- has enough little bugs and odd design choices to last a lifetime.

Now that I've talked you out of looking at them, let me add that the prime lenses are excellent, the zooms are very, very good, and the final image quality can be spectacular. By the end of the year they will have all the lenses you require in their lineup. My total kit weighs about the same as a single pro Canon body with an f/2.8 zoom, and man my shoulders and neck feel the difference. No, the Fujis won't ever replace my big Canon kit at work, but there I'm shooting things that the Fujis aren't designed to do (sports and other fast moving stuff.) They will almost certainly replace my own personal big Canon kit, and I won't miss it at all. For all the things that a traditional rangefinder camera kit can do, like travel and candids and landscape and portraiture, I am finding that the Fujis are a good choice. The more I use them, the faster and more responsive they become.

Good luck in your search. The other advice you have received about the Olympus OM-D is also good, that's a very nice little camera and the prime lenses are fantastic.
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2013, 06:57:21 PM »
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That 2
I am sitting here at my desk looking at an outdoor portrait of my niece shot with that combo, then cropped vertically (so it's about half the original 12 megapixels) and printed to 16x20 inches on my Epson 3800. It's a lovely print and plenty sharp at her eyes. Did I mention that the Panny 20mm is terrific? Smiley

This combo has been my everywhere camera for several years. Most happy with the Panny 20mm.

Peter
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OnyimBob
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2013, 09:43:26 AM »
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So one more question: what is it that keeps you all from switching to this or a comparable system altogether and throwing out all the expensive and heavy stuff? Is it the IQ in the end?
Who said we haven't? Smiley
My Pentax DSLR has stayed in it's case since I purchased a Sony NEX7 eighteen months ago. IQ of the Sony is superior. Ditto everything Wayne says.
Bob.
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NancyP
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2013, 03:23:41 PM »
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I split the difference. I decide on what I most want to photograph that day, and carry one lens on DSLR camera, other lens in pocket or belt pouch.
Personally, there's nothing like an SLR viewfinder for immediacy, clarity, and accuracy. Ergonomics are much better.
I find the LCDs of compacts to be hard to use for hand held shots, end up getting the shakes or going for approximate framing (frame first, then bring camera to face without moving too much). Strapping on a Hoodman helps. My small camera is the Sigma DP2M, I love the files, therefore I adapt to the camera and software.
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scooby70
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2013, 08:39:44 AM »
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So one more question: what is it that keeps you all from switching to this or a comparable system altogether and throwing out all the expensive and heavy stuff? Is it the IQ in the end?

I had a 20D (should give the same IQ as your 30D) for seven years before moving to a 5D. I hardly use the 5D since buying into Micro Four Thirds with a GF1 and now a G1.

As I had the 20D for so long I have a PC stuffed with images from it and I'm in a good position to judge MFT image quality against the 20D and 5D. IMVHO my first generation MFT kit produces images that at all but the highest ISO's can easily be lost amongst 20D and even 5D images and it's only when the ISO's reach the highest levels that the MFT camera falls behind the 5D (once images are processed to get the best out of them.) My own little tests mirror the results of the tests conducted here with no one being able to reliably or consistently pick MFT images from APS-C from FF...

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

I'd love to move fully to a smaller system but the killer for me is low light use as in low light my G1's EVF kicks out so much light even when adjusted for best effect that after taking only one or two shots I find that I'm suffering eye strain as it acts like a torch shining directly into my eye. I've only tried one other CSC, a Nex 6, and that displayed the same torch in the eye effect. Until that can be cured I simply can't use these cameras for low light or night time shooting.

Another worry when moving to a smaller system could be dynamic range but in real world shooting I've never found my G1 that lacking and in fact it's often easier to get a good exposure with my G1 than with my 5D due to the G1's in view histogram.

Looking at your lenses, forgive me for saying that they seem rather ho-hum and I'm pretty sure that a decent CSC coupled with a good lens will be able to match the image quality of your 30D + the lenses you have. In good light and at low to medium ISO's my G1 + a nice lens has no trouble producing images that can be lost amongst 20D and even 5D + good lens images and I'd expect a newer CSC to offer better image quality than my G1.
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Hackman
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2013, 12:22:00 PM »
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I Had to look up what 'ho hum' means (I'm from The Netherlands so not a native English speaker) , but I learned you mean these lenses are not exactly 'the bees knees' (I know that one)
I'll have to talk to Michael Reichmann about this, he convinced me to buy them based on his reviews  Smiley
I am quite pleased with them actually, especially the compactness of the DO lens with the long focal length, but there is always better stuff I suppose.

I must say I am getting more and more convinced here to seriously consider buying an MFT kit and see from there. Your remarks about the good IQ in combination with the good quality lenses that are available were reassuring.

I think I can sort of conclude that, for what I use my camera for, the things I might be bothered about are
-the Low light performance (but this will probably already outperform my current camera)
-Slow AF can of course be a major nuisance, I certainly have missed great shots as a result of poor AF. Continuous focus is less important for me in my experience.
-I can see the issues with the EVF compared to dslr and that ergonomics also count: it feels better to have a chunky piece of camera in your hands than a very light featherweight. But now I start contradicting myself with my wish for lightweight equipment...

The first two points should be a matter of little time before these can be crossed out.
Well, thank you all again!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 12:26:34 PM by Hackman » Logged

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stever
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2013, 01:46:55 PM »
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except for the DO (which is pretty terrible at longer focal lengths) your lenses are as good as the best zooms available for mirrorless (there few really good mirrorless zooms - and they cost as much as ff zooms)
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scooby70
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« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2013, 05:16:31 PM »
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except for the DO (which is pretty terrible at longer focal lengths) your lenses are as good as the best zooms available for mirrorless (there few really good mirrorless zooms - and they cost as much as ff zooms)

The best MFT zooms are very probably the latest f2.8's and they seem to be getting very good reviews and they're cheaper than the equiv FF zooms. eg. Canon 24-70mm f2.8 is over 1,100 on the site I just checked whilst the Panasonic 12-35mm is under 900.

MFT primes seem to be rather good too and MFT lenses are in some cases quite a bit sharper than their DSLR counterparts. I'm not sure what's available for Sony Nex of Fuji X series.

For me personally the image quality is there at low to middle ISO's once shots are processed to get the best out of them but I think that only the very latest CSC can compete with FF DSLR's once the ISO rises. Dynamic range seems to be increasing too with the latest MFT offerings having (if you believe the reviews) better DR than any Canon DSLR ever made to date.

All that still leaves the issue of having a torch shining in your eye when shooting in low light though plus tracking of moving subjects isn't as good as a DSLR yet but on the positve side there's none of the front / back focus issues that plague some DSLR and lens combinations.
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