Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: HSakols on March 06, 2013, 03:33:33 PM

Title: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: HSakols on March 06, 2013, 03:33:33 PM
I have lumix LX3, but want something that might focus faster and has a bit more reach.  I've seen some good deals on the Panasonic GX1.  How is the compact 14-42 lens that comes with this? I could see someday getting a 20 1.7 prime, but don't want to heavily invest in lenses.  Another option would be to go with a Sony NEX (one of the cheaper ones) that I could use with my old nikon primes.  Again is it even worth considering a mirrorless system if you plan on using a kit zoom.  Or should I just look at another compact that shoots raw - eg Nikon P7700?
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: petermfiore on March 06, 2013, 03:55:09 PM
I have and use a GX1. With the 20mm f1.7 it is a wonderful walk around camera. Very fast to focus. Great for street.
I also have an early version of the 14-42 compact and it has it's issues. Very well documented on most review sights.
You will save yourself a lot of grief by staying with 20mm prime.



Peter
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: scooby70 on March 06, 2013, 04:12:42 PM
Another option would be to go with a Sony NEX (one of the cheaper ones) that I could use with my old nikon primes. 

You do know that you can use your Nikon primes with a GX1? It's x2 crop of course, the Nex being x1.5, but I quite happily use legacy lenses on my G1.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: Ken Bennett on March 06, 2013, 05:27:43 PM
There are some nice deals on the GX1 and it's a fine camera, but for me it requires the optional EVF for proper use. That makes it less of a bargain IMHO. The G5 is available for under $500 at Amazon, and often for ~$400 in used/like new condition from Amazon Warehouse Deals. We just bought one of these to upgrade my wife's original G1.

The G5 has a terrific built in EVF, a rotating LCD screen, good image quality up to ISO 3200, and it handles well for such a small camera. The 14-42 lens is mediocre in my experience -- the 20mm/1.7 is outstanding, as is the Olympus 45/1.8. We also have the Panasonic 12-35/2.8, but at $1200 that gets way beyond "bargain" in my mind. But wow, it's a nice lens.

For me, the beauty of m4/3 is in the compact prime lenses.


(EDIT: Aaaack, changed first line to read "GX1".)
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on March 07, 2013, 04:13:52 AM
These days, if all you are looking for is a simple set up, I do not see the advantage of micro 4/3. You can get more sensor quality in small set ups as well, with the current crop of APSC compact cameras: Fuji X, Canon EOS M, the new Nikon A, Sigma DP series...

It really depends on what you want to do, and how critical you want your image quality to be (the part that depends on the equipment, the rest is up to you, of course). I have used micro 4/3 in the past (including the wonderful GF1 plus 20mm lens), but something like the EOS M plus 22mm lens is really not that much larger, and the sensor quality and ease of use is for me much better.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: scooby70 on March 07, 2013, 07:53:27 AM
Perhaps the biggest problems with the Eos M system are the number of compact lenses available and the reportedly poor focus performance. Either of those factors could be killers as MFT and other APS-C CSC systems have cutting edge sensors, a much better choice of compact lenses, and much better camera performance.

Personally, as a 5D and older MFT model owner I'm leaning more towards the Nex system as the lens choice while not being the best isn't bad and the camera body has ISO 100 which some others don't have and that matters to me as I like to use fast primes even in good light. Without ISO 100 the chance of shooting with wide apertures in good light without ND's reduces, especially as these cameras are normally limited to a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 sec. Personally I don't like messing on with ND's when shooting casually.

There's always the often overlooked Samsung APS-C system to consider.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on March 08, 2013, 12:27:45 AM
Perhaps the biggest problems with the Eos M system are the number of compact lenses available and the reportedly poor focus performance. Either of those factors could be killers as MFT and other APS-C CSC systems have cutting edge sensors, a much better choice of compact lenses, and much better camera performance.

I have no doubts that more lenses will be released, together with a more "advanced" camera, Canon themselves have said so. Right now, the two native lenses are very high quality: the 18-55 zoom is very good and metal built, and the 22mm f/2 prime lens is terrific. And of course, you can mount all the EF and EFS lenses. As for the poor focus performance, I find it is not poor at all; performance is actually very good, can be slower than some cameras at times, but it is very accurate.

And in the last couple of months the price of the kits has gone down some, making it an attractive proposition.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: HSakols on March 08, 2013, 10:30:13 AM
The NEX 6 sure looks good but is close to $900.  I also see that there is a NEX 3N that will soon be available for under $500.   So what would be the big difference other than auto focus speed.  I could see backpacking with this set-up and possibly using my old Nikon 70-210 AFD as my telephoto. 
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: PhotoEcosse on March 08, 2013, 02:27:41 PM
There will always be differences of opinion amongst users of the various marques - which is fair enough and perfectly understandable.

But I think I am correct in saying that the OM-D is the only mirror-less M4/3 camera that has been widely used by professionals (e,g Damian McGillicuddy who was using it throughout Image on Focussing this week) as a serious alternative to a dSLR. I think that must say something.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: fike on March 08, 2013, 03:24:29 PM
The broad lens selection is one of the primary strengths of MFT. If you aren't interested in using a variety of different lenses, then MFT isn't for you, so I would go with a fixed lens APS-C cam from Sony or Fuji.  They will be smaller and have comparable (and sometimes better) quality.

Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on March 08, 2013, 04:04:55 PM
Hi,

Sony doesn't have a fixed lens APS-C. They have the RX 100 which is 1" and the RX 1 at full frame. There is a convenient spot betwee 1 and 100, that could be APS-C.

The RX-100 is quite nice. My sample has soft corners in the long end, short focal lengths are good.

Best regards
Erik
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: fike on March 08, 2013, 04:47:38 PM
Hi,

Sony doesn't have a fixed lens APS-C. They have the RX 100 which is 1" and the RX 1 at full frame. There is a convenient spot betwee 1 and 100, that could be APS-C.

The RX-100 is quite nice. My sample has soft corners in the long end, short focal lengths are good.

Best regards
Erik

Yes, I see. I thought the RX100 was APS-C. It isn't, of course.  It still remains a good pocketable alternative to a larger interchangeable lens camera.  On the Sony side, a NEX3 of some sort would also be a good choice. ...and finally don't get me started on that RX1.  That worthless piece of awesomeness is really tormenting me.  Talk about a one-hit wonder!!!  I just can't quite get out of my head the amazing full frame quality in that small and durable package.  I can't believe I am saying this, but...if it were $1,800 instead of $2,800 I might actually buy it.

Back to the OP question, if you don't want to swap lenses, don't pay for an interchangeable system.  The market is finally providing us good choices in compacts that use a larger sensor.  The Fuji X10 sensor is smaller than the RX100, but is similarly full featured and high quality.  You might also look at the smaller Olympus Pens like the E-PL5 with an upgraded zoom (I know I told you not to look at MFT, but I still like it). The choices are really good in this area.  Enjoy the shopping.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: Dan Wells on March 09, 2013, 11:19:35 PM
While expensive, the Fuji system is well worth considering due to phenomenal lenses. The NEX system is handicapped (as, I believe, is EOS-M, but I've never used that) by a lack of decent glass (Sony has one or two good primes, led by the Zeiss), Micro 4/3 has a lot of lousy lenses, but a selection of very nice ones mixed in (the good ones aren't cheap, and most of them aren't tiny either). All the Fujinon lenses are excellent, and they're a well chosen range too (well, once they get the 55-200 out). The Fujinons aren't cheap, either, but they're actually less expensive than top-grade Micro 4/3 lenses or the Sony Zeiss. The disadvantage is that you don't have the option of a cheaper lens for a little-used focal length. It's a great $600+ lens or nothing...
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: RawheaD on March 10, 2013, 12:50:03 AM
With the risk of sounding too fanboyish (I seriously am not…NEX6 is my first Sony camera, ever), I think it just foolish to choose anything but Sony NEX for a mirrorless at this point.  Let's look at what we have:

1. You have Sigma, Tamron, Kenko, and Samyang already producing lenses for them, with Cosina and Zeiss already on board for future releases
2. You have very interesting and novel products like SpeedBooster and Fotodiox RhinoCam
3. Shortest flange focal distance of any mirror less  system allowing adapting of pretty much any lens in the world, including friggin lenses for micro-4/3.
4. All but a guarantee that a FF sensor is coming to the same mount (exhibit A: VG900)
5. One of the best sensor systems out there
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: kbolin on March 10, 2013, 04:32:28 AM
If you consider Olympus OM-D E-M5 you might want to read the attached article.

http://ruleofthirdsphotography.com/my-lovehate-relationship-with-the-olympus-om-d-e-m5/

http://ruleofthirdsphotography.com/olympus-om-d-e-m5-update/

Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: Dan Wells on March 12, 2013, 01:33:54 AM
Two things to be careful with with the Sony system - one is the lenses. Tamron, Kenko and Samyang are not lensmakers that inspire confidence (not that they haven't made a good lens from time to time), Sigma is hit or miss (their best are excellent, their worst dreadful), and Sony themselves have concentrated on cheap lenses for NEX - their G lenses for the Alphas (and broadcast/cinema lenses) show that they are fully capable of making excellent lenses, but the NEX lens line is mostly aimed at low prices or very wide zoom ranges, rather than top quality. The new Zeiss lenses will almost certainly be excellent, but they will be released simultaneously for NEX and Fuji mounts, so they are a wash between those two systems.

The second Sony caution is the controls - some people love them, others hate them...

I agree that the FF NEX will be VERY interesting to watch - if the RX1 lens is any indication, they can collaborate with Zeiss on a truly superb mirrorless lens, and they make the best FF sensors around! I could easily see them coming out with a line of Sony G and Zeiss branded FF lenses (primes and short-range zooms) and a camera with similar controls to the RX1 that fit right in between Fuji and Leica, and gave both of them fits. I could also see them screwing either of those aspects up - either a camera that was highly dependent on a touchscreen, or poor quality lenses. High resolution FF lenses are really tricky - the D800 is at its best only with Zeiss lenses and a few of Nikon's top primes (it's merely good, rather than great, with anything less than a superb lens).

Title: Which Mirrorless? lens size and kit size effect format size choice
Post by: BJL on March 12, 2013, 09:50:34 AM
... if all you are looking for is a simple set up, I do not see the advantage of micro 4/3 ... something like the EOS M plus 22mm lens is really not that much larger, and the sensor quality and ease of use is for me much better.
If you are truly curious about the advantage of a smaller format system like m43 for a simple interchangeable lens system setup, consider that most people buying such a system, apparently including the OP, do not want to restrict themselves to a single wide angle prime lens like that Canon 22mm. A far more common "simple setup" starts with a standard zoom like the m4/3 14-42 mentioned by the OP or the 18-55 for the EOS M, with the next most common lens being a telephoto zoom. Then the longer focal lengths needed with a larger format mean that size can quickly becomes a major factor in kit size, and the size advantage of a smaller format becomes significant, and the m4/3 system can offer a more compact kit than any of the current larger format offerings.

By the way, many of the IQ advantages of a larger format rely on comparisons at equally high ISO speed, requiring equal minimum f-stops to get equal shutter speeds, and thus lenses with entrance pupil size that scales with linear format size, so lenses tend to grow in diameter as well as length, and the mass of glass required grows roughly as the cube of linear format size.


I will leave aside "ease of use" comparisons when it comes to things like AF performance or options to use a ("peep-hole") EVF or a tiltable rear-screen or a built-in flash, because you were only commenting on ease of use for yourself, not in general.


P. S. With the lenses now announced or available for the Fujifilm X system, the original good selection of primes being joined by a few well chosen zoom lenses (18-44/2.8-4, 55-200/3.5-4.8, 10-24/4) that system has the potential to be my favorite of the larger format non-SLR systems. I like the idea of pushing the zooms up in speed a bit beyond f/5.6, to establish a clearer size/performance distinction from m4/3. And like m4/3, it has a macro lens, which is a big draw for me.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: HSakols on March 12, 2013, 10:01:47 AM
I'm leaning toward a Olympus EPL5 with the standard zoom.  Also I'm intrigued by the new art primes that Sigma is coming out with that are actually affordable. Keep in mind for my serious landscape stuff, I will use my nikon d800. 
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: gerafotografija on March 14, 2013, 12:35:20 AM
I've used the 19mm f/2.8 from Sigma on my OM-D and found it to be an excellent and inexpensive lens. It was the first one I bought after the kit zoom. Since the EPL5 uses the same sensor as the EM5, I am going to guess you would get equivalently good performance with it.

In case it helps, here are links to some photos I posted using the Sigma lens on the m4/3 body when I first got it. One thing that I wasn't expecting was the good close-up performance (even though it's not really a macro lens).

http://gerafotografija.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/closeup-nature-photos-with-the-sigma-19mm2-8/

http://gerafotografija.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/some-pictures-from-walking-around-town-with-a-new-lens-this-weekend/

Although I saved up and got the Summilux 25mm f/1.4 instead of the Sigma 30mm, I was definitely considering it after such a good experience with my first Sigma lens.

One thing I found really useful was using the Oly 12-50 kit zoom for a couple months, then sorting through my favorite photos and figuring out what focal lengths I was using the most. In my case, I initially tended to use the extremes (24mm and 100mm FF equivalent) the most since I was getting a lot of either portraits or group people pictures with family and friends. Later, when I started going for street shots, I starting using the 20-30 range more (40-50mm equivalent).

If you already have a D800, you are all set for lanscapes and nature photos. However, you may find yourself liking putting the lightweight 75-300 zoom in your bag for wildlife, and stitching together panoramas with relatively tiny primes like the 45mm f/1.8 or 60mm f/2.8 in your pocket.

Keep in mind that you're probably going to stick to lower ISO than with the d800, and won't have as much extra resolution for cropping in post. I love the Oly output at 200-400 ISO, and can work with it in color up to around 800 before the noise starts to be a problem (double that for monochrome).

One last thing. Both the 12-50 zoom and the 60mm 2.8 macro have the same level of weathersealing as the magnesium alloy body on the OMD. If I remember correctly, the EPL5 isn't drip and dust proof like the higher emd model.

Hope this helps. There are a lot of good choices out there right now, and more coming. So, if you're not sure exactly what you need, wait a bit, and you're almost sure to find something you want being developed by the photo industry.

Have fun!
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: scooby70 on March 14, 2013, 10:59:58 AM
But I think I am correct in saying that the OM-D is the only mirror-less M4/3 camera that has been widely used by professionals (e,g Damian McGillicuddy who was using it throughout Image on Focussing this week) as a serious alternative to a dSLR. I think that must say something.

The OMD was the first MFT camera to use a leading edge sensor, a sensor that arguably outperforms some of the APS-C alternatives. As more cameras with similar or better chips come along such as the GH3 I'm sure that more pro's will consider using them.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: scooby70 on March 14, 2013, 11:08:53 AM
I have no doubts that more lenses will be released, together with a more "advanced" camera, Canon themselves have said so. Right now, the two native lenses are very high quality: the 18-55 zoom is very good and metal built, and the 22mm f/2 prime lens is terrific. And of course, you can mount all the EF and EFS lenses. As for the poor focus performance, I find it is not poor at all; performance is actually very good, can be slower than some cameras at times, but it is very accurate.

The focus performance has been widely criticised but as I've not tried one myself I can't say if it'd be adequate for me... but the existing camera wouldn't be as I've tried shooting with a no VF camera and didn't like it so it's VF equipped cameras only for me.

I'm not to sure that I'd be interested in using a CSC with Canon EF-S or EF lenses. In fact I know I wouldn't be.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: John Camp on March 14, 2013, 10:11:46 PM
I have a Nikon D800 and a D3, and also a large hybrid Panasonic/Olympus (lenses only for the Oly) system. The *only* reason for buying a mirrorless system IMHO is compactness, both in body and lenses. And it doesn't take much of an upward size change to make a serious difference in weight and compactness. For example, I have both the new Panasonic GH3 and the older GH2, and while, when you look at the specs, the GH3 seems only insignificantly larger, is IS larger and that small increase in size has taken it from "compact" into DSLR territory. It still uses the small lenses, but it's somewhat lost its grip on compactness. The fact is, for almost all *critical* applications, the Nikon system is better. There are good reasons for size and weight: you get more technology, you get better ergonomics, etc.

BUT: I use the Panasonic for almost all informal and street people-shooting, and also when I travel for non-photogaphic reasons. My best travel kit is a GX1 and two zooms, the Panny 12-35 f2.8 and the 35-100 f2.8. These are big lenses *for the system,* but they cover the equivalent of 24-70 and 70-200, and, compared to other f2.8 zoom lenses for larger sensors, are very compact.

I think people obsess too much about sensors. Most mirrorless cameras are made to be hand-held, and if you're going to hand-hold a camera, the quality of the photo will depend much more on your hand-holding ability than in the differences between sensor sizes. And if you're NOT going to hand hold it -- if you're going to use a tripod -- then why are you looking for mirrorless at all? You can get better cameras with better resolution and better lens systems by going to a DSLR, and since you're carrying a tripod around, what difference will a few ounces in camera- and lens-size make? And, the lower end DSLRs won't cost much more, if any more at all.

I chose the Panny system over the NEX simply because compactness was the most important consideration, and since a camera has to have lenses, I wanted compact lenses, too. Generally speaking, the NEX system doesn't have them -- the lenses are the same size as the lenses for a Nikon APS-C. If you're basically a prime shooter, your mileage may vary. (But I don't know why people with less-that-maximal-quality cameras are prime shooters, either. The difference between a prime and a high-quality zoom is almost non-existent. If I used a 35mm Zeiss prime against my 35-70 zoom @ 35mm, I suspect the Zeiss might come off better in technical studies...unless the good frame for your shot was, say 50mm. Then, you shoot with your 35 and crop; with the zoom, you crop with the lens and use the whole sensor. And so on...)

M4/3 IMHO beats the other systems mostly on system size and flexibility -- the choice of lenses. NEX falters on lens size and lens availability, although the quality is excellent if the lens is good. The other contenders don't have the system size for the time being, or the lens-included compactness. Again, for serious photographers, I think compactness, and the advantages that confers, is the only reason for going to mirrorless.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: RichDesmond on March 23, 2013, 11:02:45 PM
...I think people obsess too much about sensors... Most mirrorless cameras are made to be hand-held, and if you're going to hand-hold a camera, the quality of the photo will depend much more on your hand-holding ability than in the differences between sensor sizes.
M4/3 IMHO beats the other systems mostly on system size and flexibility -- the choice of lenses. NEX falters on lens size and lens availability, although the quality is excellent if the lens is good. The other contenders don't have the system size for the time being, or the lens-included compactness. Again, for serious photographers, I think compactness, and the advantages that confers, is the only reason for going to mirrorless.

Good points. I've got an m4/3 system (GF1, G3 and some lenses), and IMO it's a good set of compromises. (And all systems are a set of compromises)
It's an old cliche, but a very true one, that the best camera is the one you have with you. The m4/3 stuff is with me in a lot of everyday places and times that the DSLR equipment wouldn't be.

And besides great photos rarely have much to do with sensor size, lens MTF, or much of the other technical stuff we all like to get our panties in a twist about. :)
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: Eric Brody on March 24, 2013, 01:54:04 PM
I have an Olympus OM-D and love it. It's no D800E though and that's what I use if image quality trumps weight, eg short hikes, primary photo trips. I get a lot of use out of the OM-D, it has the first electronic finder I have found acceptable. I use mostly primes with the OM-D, the 45 f/1.8 and 20 f/1.7 are pretty good. I recently spent a pleasant afternoon comparing a friend's Fuji X E-1 to the OMD with raw files and primes on the OMD vs the excellent zoom and the 35 f/1.4 on the Fuji. Upon coming home and looking at the files, (it's a bit of a challenge with the Fuji because of the raw converter issue (see Lloyd Chambers blog)), I concluded that while the X E-1 is excellent, the OM-D files are so close that I decided not to switch at this time. The Fuji feels really nice, solid and professional. The OM-D focuses faster and has in body stabilization, a wonderful feature. Only the 14-55 zoom on the Fuji is stabilized. If I did not have the investment in the OM-D, I'd really consider the Fuji.

My major complaint about the MFT system is that the high quality primes such as the Olympus 75 f/1.8 and the Olympus 12 f/2 are so expensive, and to add insult do not include a lens shade! I just paid less for my Nikon 85mm f/1.8 than either of the Olympus lenses. The Fuji system is "younger" so does not have the lens variety that the MFT systems have... yet, and both can use legacy Nikon, Canon, and Leica lenses with adapters and manual focus. But the Fuji with lenses from the new 12 to the 60 macro with the 14-55 zoom as well is certainly a functional system. For basic image quality in a camera to come pretty close to a "real" DSLR, these are the only two cameras I'd even consider at this time. Neither fits in a pocket, that's what point and shoots are for, but both are highly functional camera systems capable of impressive quality regardless of their size. Indeed, my friend with the Fuji was using an 8x10 only a few years ago, skipped medium format, went to a high quality DSLR (D3X then D800E) and now even on photo trips, takes just the Fuji! And... he produces exquisite high quality prints.
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: Eric Brody on March 24, 2013, 04:54:41 PM
I forgot to mention the Sigma DP Merrill's but there's an entire thread here on these excellent cameras, with which I have zero experience. Also Lloyd Chambers blog has a lot of info on them as well. FWIW he just seems to love them and feels they compare favorably to the upcoming Leica M240 at a fraction of the price.

These are good times for photographers. We have many excellent choices these days at many price points, sizes, and levels of technology, and the glass is better than ever. Thom Hogan talks about "last camera" syndrome. I said my Arca Swiss 4x5 was my last camera, after I said my Hasselblad was my last camera, after I said my Nikon F2 was my last camera. At some point some camera will be my last, I'm not getting any younger.

Eric
Title: Re: Which Mirrorless?
Post by: mgear on March 24, 2013, 05:03:47 PM
Personally, instead of the GX1, I'd get the G3. It's basically a GX1 but with the viewfinder already attached. The Image quality is pretty much the same and the only major difference that you won't notice from looking at it while turned off is that the UI is different. That's about it that I know of.

I recently sold my G3 and all of my legacy lenses to try the NEX system. The 5n focuses pretty quick with the 1.02 update and has manual controls for video and all that jazz. The only gripe that I have is that the EVF is pretty pricey (Saving now!).