I'm debating: Micro Four Thirds or Nikon 1 system? Locked

Started Jun 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
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jquagga
Contributing MemberPosts: 595
Re: I'm debating: Micro Four Thirds or Nikon 1 system?
In reply to David Banner, Jun 30, 2013

David Banner wrote:

Hi, I have a Nikon D300 and several lenses but they're used mostly for portraits around the house and special events like pony competitions, dance show, etc. For travel, vacation, and walking around I find them too big/heavy to take with me. So I've been making do with a cheap Canon compact and my old LX3 (I love the B&W of the LX3).

My "main" camera is the D5100 and several lenses.  I have a m43 rangerfinder class camera for the same reasons as you list.

I'm debating about buying a more capable yet smaller and lighter system. If I sell my Nikon 18-200 I can pay for part of the new system.

I'd like to get a camera such as the GX1 and a 50mm equivalent prime such as the 20mm f1.7 and a super zoom like the 14-140. I think these two lenses would cover my travel needs and allow me to travel light.

I'm not familiar with 4/3 models but here is what I see:

Panasonic GX1 - I definitely want a very small camera, I don't need a viewfinder

Indeed.  Probably the best "bargin" at the time as it is a little long in the tooth.  An E-PM2 would have a bit better performance but costs a bit more.

Panasonic 20 1.7 - This is $400. Why so expensive? Any better alternatives?

m43 lenses do seem a bit more compared with their Nikon counterparts.  I have this lens; it's probably the sharpest lens I own.  It's not as "snap to" fast as the newest lenses but it is sharp, fast and tiny.  It's usually the lens mounted on the front of my E-PM2.  It actually often comes with me when I have the DSLR out as it and the camera take up the SB-700's spot.  With the E-PM2, the stabilization is in camera so my stabilized f/1.7 40mm equivalent isn't something I can get on the Nikon.  If you want the fast normal pancake, this is it.

On the other hand if you're willing to give up a stop and save some money the Sigma 19mm is well liked.

Panasonic 14-140 - Walkaround zoom is $680.

I think you have to ask - do you REALLY need the superzoom?  This lens is fairly large by m43 standards.  Do you shoot that often at 300 when on vacation?  I mean the kit lens could be had much cheaper.  Indeed, even the "pancake zoom" of the 14-42 X is half the price.  If you want the superzoom then I understand.  I bought my system with an emphasis on portability so I don't have any big lenses for the platform.  I presently have the 14-42 and the 20.  If I want zoom I'll add the 45-150 or the Sigma 60mm which are both smaller and cheaper.

All together this adds up to be about $1200. I'm comparing this with something similar from the Nikon 1 system which is a lot cheaper. for the same price I can have a 10-30 kit lens and the FT1 adapter which would allow me to use my Nikon cameras. I don't know if this is possible with 4/3. So I'm leaning a bit towards the Nikon 1 but I'm still researching it and I'd love to get some feedback from the 4/3 crowd.

You can get a Nikon-m43 adapter.  Most are geared towards D-type lenses (although there are adapters you can get which adjust the aperture ring).  However, most of these are essentially full-manual operations.  You're manually metering, focusing, etc.  Novoflex does make a Nikon - m43's adapter that has electronics and will let you use Aperture priority but it costs as much at the FT1.

Again, the question I'd ask is how often do you plan on putting the DX/FX lenses on a m43/CX system? I know in this forum there is a pretty big following of folks who use legacy lenses on their m43 systems.  It can be done cheaply if you're using an older lens and doing everything manually   If you want metering and aperture priority mode, that has a good bit of cost on either platform   Personally, if I'm going to pull out my Nikon 55-200, I'm just going to put it on my Nikon.  The reason I bought the m43 system was for size.  If I've already given up on size so I can have the "big" lens, then I figure I'll just put the lens on the camera it was designed for and not have any headaches or costs associated with adapters.

That's not to say that others don't do that all the time.  For me, I just didn't think it made sense.

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