Best MILC for Complete Photography Novice

Started Jan 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Kevdog
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Re: Best MILC for Complete Photography Novice
In reply to Haplo859, Jan 24, 2013

Haplo859 wrote:


Thanks for your response and thanks for linking me to that comparison. Very interesting, I didn't know that P&S were capable of achieving that level of quality. So it sounds like I have two distinct options:

1. Go with a premium P&S for $400+

2. Go with a MILC and be prepared to fork out more cash for lenses. Will I be set with one additional lens for ~300 or should I expect to need multiple additional lenses?

Do you have any specific recommendations for P&S cameras to consider?

I know you've got a tough choice.  I've been through 6 cameras over the last 2 years, so getting the choice right is hard.

1. If you get a premium P&S, then it might just do everything you need out of the box.  If you want an easier picture taking experience and less fuss, it might be the better choice.  It will also be smaller than a m4/3 or NEX system.

We bought the XZ-1 and it takes very good pictures.  I've recommended it to 2 other co-workers.  It fell down when taking video.  So if video is important to you, skip the XZ-1.  (I'm not yet sure on the XZ-2 video performance).

2. An E-PM2 will at least match the XZ-1/2 in low light performance and probably exceed it even with the kit lens.  If you buy the MILC, then you will have better pictures now and can then purchase better lenses if you want.  One nice thing is that if you stick with the same format (m4/3 or NEX) then you can upgrade the body, but keep the same lenses.  I've had an E-PL1, GF2, E-PM1 and now an E-M5 (my wife has the E-PM1 now) and I haven't changed lenses.  They are a long term investment.

You gain a lot of flexibilty, but with cost.  You can get a low light mid-range lens (Oly 17@1.8, Pany 20@1.7, Pany 25@1.4).  You can get a midrange zoom (Oly 40-150, Pany 40-150, Pany 45-200).  You can get a long zoom (Pany 100-300 or Oly 75-300).  You can get a portrait lens (Oly 45 or Oly 75) with fast aperture for shallow depth of field portraits.

We started out with the XZ-1 for $400 (when it was still fairly new).

Now we have:

E-PM1 ($225 used)

E-M5 ($1300 new)

Pany 25mm@1.4 ($550 new)

Pany 100-300 ($500 new)

Pany 14-45 ($250 used)

If you get caught with GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) it can become quite expensive!

So now I can take pictures like this with the Pany 25mm:



Or this with the Pany 100-300:



But I needed another $1000 for that flexibility.  You can get a low light for less (around $350) and a smaller zoom 45-200 for $200.  The 45-200 can still get great shots:



How serious are you going to get into photography?  Or do you just want it better than what you have?

One other thing you did mention, even some premium P&S cameras have shutter lag which means you can miss you shot.  I'd check reviews specifically for that.  Our XZ-1 was pretty snappy.  The Canon S90 was not known for being quick to take a picture (I'm not sure about the newer ones)

Our E-PM1 and E-M5 are near instant.  Very fast focusing and fast to take the picture.  You can also put it in high speed shutter mode and get 5fps on the E-PM1 and a blazing 9fps on the E-M5.

We mainly use the E-M5 and E-PM1 now.  My wife still keeps the XZ-1 as a "purse cam" when she doesn't want to take the E-PM1.  Our old Canon SD780 P&S is now our 5 year old son's camera.



Good luck on making your decision.  I hope you find the right one for you.  Try and handle some of the cameras to get a feel for what works for you.  The GF2 was a good camera, but it never "felt right" to me.

 Kevdog's gear list:Kevdog's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +4 more
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