Looking for thoughts

Started Nov 9, 2012 | Discussions
Swamp Duck
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Looking for thoughts
Nov 9, 2012

Let me start by saying this could be my ignorance since I haven't shot seriously for about three years or more, but I have started wondering at what point does the m4/3 format stop being appealing in terms of size and cost vs a DSLR?  I was under the assumption that the camera/format was intended for the above P&S, but below all out DSLR users.

I have shot with DSLR's (Canon) for many years, and recently switched over to the m4/3 Olympus in the past two years.  I got into the format because the picture quality was still very good, but most importantly it was a small setup that could be carried almost everywhere I went.  I could easily stuff the body and lenses into a small daypack and be out and about with the family without any fuss.  Also, if I dropped/lost/stolen the equipment I was out less than $400, as opposed to being out closer to twice that amount with DSLR equipment.

Reading the review of the Panasonic GH3 stirred up these questions.  The body plus lens is as big a small DSLR!  The article compares the size to one of the Sony's, and the pictures of it look to make it almost the same size as a Canon Ti series camera.  The price also makes you sit back and consider the merits even more.  For that price you can get a full blown DSLR with good lens.  So why would you settle for a smaller sensor size?

When responding, if you anyone does, this is simply my thoughts and constructive enlightning is welcome

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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JayBratcher
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 9, 2012

The GH3 is a special case - in fact, the GH series has always been special, in that video performance is given more priority than on most stills cameras.  With the GH3, you get a solid codec - arguably the best available on any hybrid camera, and definitely better than anything in the same price range. I would think it will compare favorably to the 5D Mk III for video...

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zkz5
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 9, 2012

Swamp Duck wrote:

Reading the review of the Panasonic GH3 stirred up these questions. The body plus lens is as big a small DSLR! The article compares the size to one of the Sony's, and the pictures of it look to make it almost the same size as a Canon Ti series camera. The price also makes you sit back and consider the merits even more. For that price you can get a full blown DSLR with good lens. So why would you settle for a smaller sensor size?

Sometimes I need a bigger body when I'm shooting an event or portraits with a flash or flash triggers in the hot shoe or using a large lens. Big flashes just don't handle well on smaller, tiny grip bodies like a PEN or GFx/GX1. Having larger bodies with fuller grips available means I can use the same lenses and other accessories on my "event camera" that I do on my walk around camera. I'd rather have one camera system than several.

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carlosvp
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 9, 2012

Swamp Duck wrote:

[...] I have started wondering at what point does the m4/3 format stop being appealing in terms of size and cost vs a DSLR? I was under the assumption that the camera/format was intended for the above P&S, but below all out DSLR users.

I don't think that's really accurate. micro-four-thirds isn't about being "below" DSLRs. It's about making a smaller interchangeable-lens camera/lens system than DSLRs can be (due to the no mirror/prism, and therefore reduced flange-back distance and therefore also smaller/lighter lenses).

In that space, there is room for everything from small-and-simple camera aimed at P&S upgraders, to the DSLR-like (OM-D EM-5), to the aimed-at-videographers GH3. As the higher-end lenses (like Panasonic's newer f/2.8 zooms) come out, I expect to see more high-end cameras announced, but that doesn't mean the smaller and less-expensive ones go away.

Reading the review of the Panasonic GH3 stirred up these questions. The body plus lens is as big a small DSLR!

So, the largest micro-four-thirds camera in existence is about as big as the small DSLRs -- sounds like the system is working just as it's supposed to :).

C.

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Swamp Duck
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to carlosvp, Nov 9, 2012

carlosvp wrote:

So, the largest micro-four-thirds camera in existence is about as big as the small DSLRs -- sounds like the system is working just as it's supposed to :).

C.

I guess where I was going with that statement was the fact that the m4/3's cameras were originally much smaller and over the past couple of years they have been increasing in size to rival DSLR's

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Pasmia
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 9, 2012

Swamp Duck wrote:

carlosvp wrote:

So, the largest micro-four-thirds camera in existence is about as big as the small DSLRs -- sounds like the system is working just as it's supposed to :).

C.

I guess where I was going with that statement was the fact that the m4/3's cameras were originally much smaller and over the past couple of years they have been increasing in size to rival DSLR's

The GH3 is the only one that has increased in size.  I suppose the G5 too, in comparison to the G3.  But the G1, G2, GH1, and GH2 were all similar to that of the G5 size, and the G5 simply reverted back more for ergonomics.

The E-M5 can be considered larger simply for it's built in EVF.  But when you compare it to the any Pens with an external EVF and there are no size increases.

So again, your view on M43 getting larger pertains to only one camera, the GH3.  As another poster mentioned, the GH line has always been rather 'special'.  The GH2 has subjectively been considered the best hybrid video/stills camera, rivaling that of cameras up to 2 or three times bigger in price and size.

Also worth mentioning, even if the GH3 is relatively the same size as consumer level DSLRs, a system camera also includes lenses.  Compare lenses like the Oly45 to any fast DSLR portrait lens.  More so, compare Panasonic's two 2.8 zoom lens to any other formats' 2.8 zooms.

IMO, I don't look at the GH line as a direct competitor to most mirrorless cameras.  The GH line is in a class of it's own not unlike the 5D series from canon.  The GH line is built with stills AND video as a priority, rather than having video added in as a just a neat feature or checklist item.

I'm not saying that the GH3 is a bad stills camera, but rather, if you have no interest in video, you could save yourself some cash by buying a camera that doesn't hold video as high of a priority as that of the GH line. If you're looking for compact stills camera with less emphasis on video, the G, GX, Pen, and OMD are better fitting.

Lastly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  In comparison to all entry level/consumer DSLRs, the GH3 is at least a league ahead when looking at it from the perspective of an amateur videographer.  What entry level DSLR, or any camera really, do you know of that offers the manual video capabilities, OEM and third party video accessories, weather sealing, native lens variety, legacy lens support, commercial video production support, a very reputable hacker community, as well as provide for a very capable stills camera?  With this in mind, the GH3 suddenly has a considerably larger amount of appeal than that of any entry level DSLR.

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tedolf
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Basically, Panasonic......
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 9, 2012

is lost.  After the GF-1 and Gh-2 things have pretty much been downhill.  Oly is muddled.  The E-pl1 was and still is a big commercial sucess.  Oly is stumbling with the PEN line after the E-pl2 but they aren't as lost as Panny is.

Tedolph

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tedolf
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Then get a...
In reply to zkz5, Nov 9, 2012

zkz5 wrote:

Swamp Duck wrote:

Reading the review of the Panasonic GH3 stirred up these questions. The body plus lens is as big a small DSLR! The article compares the size to one of the Sony's, and the pictures of it look to make it almost the same size as a Canon Ti series camera. The price also makes you sit back and consider the merits even more. For that price you can get a full blown DSLR with good lens. So why would you settle for a smaller sensor size?

Sometimes I need a bigger body when I'm shooting an event or portraits with a flash or flash triggers in the hot shoe or using a large lens. Big flashes just don't handle well on smaller, tiny grip bodies like a PEN or GFx/GX1. Having larger bodies with fuller grips available means I can use the same lenses and other accessories on my "event camera" that I do on my walk around camera. I'd rather have one camera system than several.

flash bracket if you need to use a big flash.  It is better than shoe mounting anyway.

No need to make the camera gigantic!

TEdolph

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tedolf
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There is no reason...
In reply to carlosvp, Nov 9, 2012

carlosvp wrote:

Swamp Duck wrote:

[...] I have started wondering at what point does the m4/3 format stop being appealing in terms of size and cost vs a DSLR? I was under the assumption that the camera/format was intended for the above P&S, but below all out DSLR users.

I don't think that's really accurate. micro-four-thirds isn't about being "below" DSLRs. It's about making a smaller interchangeable-lens camera/lens system than DSLRs can be (due to the no mirror/prism, and therefore reduced flange-back distance and therefore also smaller/lighter lenses).

In that space, there is room for everything from small-and-simple camera aimed at P&S upgraders, to the DSLR-like (OM-D EM-5), to the aimed-at-videographers GH3. As the higher-end lenses (like Panasonic's newer f/2.8 zooms) come out, I expect to see more high-end cameras announced, but that doesn't mean the smaller and less-expensive ones go away.

Reading the review of the Panasonic GH3 stirred up these questions. The body plus lens is as big a small DSLR!

So, the largest micro-four-thirds camera in existence is about as big as the small DSLRs -- sounds like the system is working just as it's supposed to :).

C.

for the GH3 to be as big as it is, except for maybe heat dissipation for video.  Look at the OM-d.  Panasonic is lost in the woods.

TEdolph

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s_grins
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 9, 2012

Swamp Duck wrote:

Let me start by saying this could be my ignorance since I haven't shot seriously for about three years or more, but I have started wondering at what point does the m4/3 format stop being appealing in terms of size and cost vs a DSLR? I was under the assumption that the camera/format was intended for the above P&S, but below all out DSLR users.

I have shot with DSLR's (Canon) for many years, and recently switched over to the m4/3 Olympus in the past two years. I got into the format because the picture quality was still very good, but most importantly it was a small setup that could be carried almost everywhere I went. I could easily stuff the body and lenses into a small daypack and be out and about with the family without any fuss. Also, if I dropped/lost/stolen the equipment I was out less than $400, as opposed to being out closer to twice that amount with DSLR equipment.

Reading the review of the Panasonic GH3 stirred up these questions. The body plus lens is as big a small DSLR! The article compares the size to one of the Sony's, and the pictures of it look to make it almost the same size as a Canon Ti series camera. The price also makes you sit back and consider the merits even more. For that price you can get a full blown DSLR with good lens. So why would you settle for a smaller sensor size?

When responding, if you anyone does, this is simply my thoughts and constructive enlightning is welcome

First and foremost, I prefer mirrorless EVF

Secondly, I care less about pocketability, small size, etc. I want ergonomics, handling, mindful menu system.

Conclusion: based on (1) and (2) I have found GH3 very compelling camera.

P.S.

I think that stirring the BS about size of GH3 is stupid: you do not like it? you do not buy it. You have your alternatives.

Another stupidity is a talking point about demise of Panasonic. You do not trust Pana? go for Oly. You have your alternatives.

You can go even beyond M43 - who cares?

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Swamp Duck
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to s_grins, Nov 9, 2012

s_grins wrote:

P.S.

I think that stirring the BS about size of GH3 is stupid: you do not like it? you do not buy it. You have your alternatives.

Another stupidity is a talking point about demise of Panasonic. You do not trust Pana? go for Oly. You have your alternatives.

You can go even beyond M43 - who cares?

-- hide signature --

I’m surprised how much Wikipedia contributes to the forum.
http://g1.img-dpreview.com/20AE148C45244CBE9FB1585EDA32B1C1.jpg

This wasn't the point of the topic.  I was simply asking a question.  I have no idea since I don't own a Panasonic camera, I was merely pointing to it as the reason I started thinking about this in the first place.  You started your response with a good answer and ended it like an asshat...thanks for the constructive enlightenment

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Adamant
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to carlosvp, Nov 9, 2012

So, the largest micro-four-thirds camera in existence is about as big as the small DSLRs -- sounds like the system is working just as it's supposed to :).

Bingo. The GH3 is also weather sealed, which neither Canon nor Nikon offer on their small DSLR bodies (although Pentax does).

But ultimately: if you don't like it, don't buy it. Geez. Does every single model a manufacturer offers have to fit the OP's vision of what M43 is all about? Panasonic also offers a rather nice (and cheap) G5 for people who want a DSLR form factor. It's quite petite.

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Swamp Duck
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Adamant, Nov 9, 2012

Adamant wrote:

So, the largest micro-four-thirds camera in existence is about as big as the small DSLRs -- sounds like the system is working just as it's supposed to :).

Bingo. The GH3 is also weather sealed, which neither Canon nor Nikon offer on their small DSLR bodies (although Pentax does).

But ultimately: if you don't like it, don't buy it. Geez. Does every single model a manufacturer offers have to fit the OP's vision of what M43 is all about? Panasonic also offers a rather nice (and cheap) G5 for people who want a DSLR form factor. It's quite petite.

Again, I was simply asking a question and thoughts....it feels like anyone that simply wants to have a discussion here on this "DISCUSSION" forum gets blasted.

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s_grins
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 9, 2012

Swamp Duck wrote:

s_grins wrote:

P.S.

I think that stirring the BS about size of GH3 is stupid: you do not like it? you do not buy it. You have your alternatives.

Another stupidity is a talking point about demise of Panasonic. You do not trust Pana? go for Oly. You have your alternatives.

You can go even beyond M43 - who cares?

-- hide signature --

I’m surprised how much Wikipedia contributes to the forum.
http://g1.img-dpreview.com/20AE148C45244CBE9FB1585EDA32B1C1.jpg

This wasn't the point of the topic. I was simply asking a question. I have no idea since I don't own a Panasonic camera, I was merely pointing to it as the reason I started thinking about this in the first place. You started your response with a good answer and ended it like an asshat...thanks for the constructive enlightenment

At least you got a good answer at the beginning.

-- hide signature --

I’m surprised how much Wikipedia contributes to the forum.
http://g1.img-dpreview.com/20AE148C45244CBE9FB1585EDA32B1C1.jpg

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micksh6
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 10, 2012

Swamp Duck wrote:

s_grins wrote:

P.S.

I think that stirring the BS about size of GH3 is stupid: you do not like it? you do not buy it. You have your alternatives.

Another stupidity is a talking point about demise of Panasonic. You do not trust Pana? go for Oly. You have your alternatives.

You can go even beyond M43 - who cares?

-- hide signature --

I’m surprised how much Wikipedia contributes to the forum.
http://g1.img-dpreview.com/20AE148C45244CBE9FB1585EDA32B1C1.jpg

This wasn't the point of the topic. I was simply asking a question. I have no idea since I don't own a Panasonic camera, I was merely pointing to it as the reason I started thinking about this in the first place. You started your response with a good answer and ended it like an asshat...thanks for the constructive enlightenment

I also think that GH3 is way too big. But, for me even GH2 was already too big, even though I have larger than average hands.

Some Panasonic users will defend GH3 size even if they don't like it. It's because if you want to get the best m4/3 sensor from Panasonic you have no choice other than to buy the Hulk's camera. There is no alternative in Panasonic world.
Olympus, on the other hand, offers the same (supposedly Sony) sensor in all its products this year.

It's funny to think that for the price of GH3 ($1300) you can buy two E-PL5 cameras, and each of them will give comparable still photo image quality.
Plus, with each of E-PL5 you get IBIS, faster still frame rate, faster flash sync, focus peaking for stills, Olympus imaging engine, AutoWB that works well, etc.

Anyway, it's too early to talk about GH3. The camera doesn't exist yet. It was delayed and it isn't shipping anywhere. Given Panasonic history of delayed product availability chances are that most people won't see GH3 until January when Olympus is rumored to announce its next semi-pro camera.

Just a thought.

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zkz5
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Re: Then get a...
In reply to tedolf, Nov 10, 2012

tedolf wrote:

flash bracket if you need to use a big flash. It is better than shoe mounting anyway.

No need to make the camera gigantic!

Sounds like something to look in to. Cheap too, apparently. I've never thought of using one of those. Any personal recommendations (for a GF1/GX1/E-P3 sized body)?

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DLBlack
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 10, 2012

The MFT system is expanding, which is a good thing.  The upcoming GH3 is pushing the upper end of the size boundary.

The original  MFT cameras were small with small/slow lenses.  These cameras operate more like p&s cameras with many direct control buttons/dials.  Cameras can be made smaller without the direct control buttons and dials.

My E-M5 is basically the same size as my wife's E-PL2.  It might even be a little smaller since an EVF lives on my wife's E-PL2.  There are smaller MFT cameras that are being released like the new E-PM?.  So the small size option is there.

I am looking forward to seeing how the GH-3 peforms in the hands of actual users.  There are many things I like about the GH-3 when looking at the specs.  I like the slightly larger size since it gives one several direct controls and mostly likely better handling.  I really want a second MFT camera and the GH-3 will give me things that the smaller  E-M5 don't.  Still by the time I can afford a second camera body Olympus should have one or two new cameras out.

Anyhow, a expanded range of cameras is a good thing.

Dave

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tedolf
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Re: Then get a...
In reply to zkz5, Nov 11, 2012

zkz5 wrote:

tedolf wrote:

flash bracket if you need to use a big flash. It is better than shoe mounting anyway.

No need to make the camera gigantic!

Sounds like something to look in to. Cheap too, apparently. I've never thought of using one of those. Any personal recommendations (for a GF1/GX1/E-P3 sized body)?

Yeah- a small cheap one!

Tedolph

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Sergey Borachev
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to Swamp Duck, Nov 11, 2012

My thoughts:

The GH3 is big, and that is good for people who want a camera with good ergonomics and proper size buttons and dials in locations not cramping us. It means M43 is maturing and now has a range of sizes in their cameras to suit different needs, and also different special features for those who need them, e.g. weather proofing and really advanced video features, which are not both if at all available in APS-C DSLRs. M43 is no longer just about being smaller in size at the expense of features and IQ, like a sub standard system. It is increasingly becoming an alternative or an addition to DSLRS, and direct replacement for the DSLR. The trend is clear with the latest high-end M43 products such as the OMD, the GH3 and the high quality lenses, such as the Olympus 75mm, 60mm macro, or the Pansonic 12-35mm and 35-100mm

So, having one M43 model that is as big as DSLRs is not a problem, but more freedom of choice. If you need something smaller, and still have reasonable handling, get the G5, or the OMD with the optional grip. What Panasonic deserve some criticism for, is not giving G5 the same sensor as the GH3, so that it is a better alternative for those who do not want DSLR size or need and want to pay for the advanced video features. The G5 is not the ideal alterantive however, as it has a sensor that is essentially the same in IQ as the 2-year-old GH2. (Check the DXOMark scores). Now, that is disappointing, especially when Olympus gives the E-PL5 and E-PM2 the same sensor (and AF) as in the OMD E-M5.

If anyone is troubled by the bigger size, there are besides the G5, also the E-M5 and E-PL5. What Olympus, and also Panasonic, deserve some criticism for is that there is no compact camera with everything built in, like a GX1 or E-PL5 type of camera with EVF and flash built-in. Like a NEX-6.  Having to go to the bigger and heavier E-M5 or GH3 (and paying for weather proofing or advanced video as well), or having to get a G5 (which is still fairly bulky and lacking the latest sensor IQ), is disappointing for people who want a small convenient and versatile camera and expect to find it in what is supposed to be the most developed mirrorless system.

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Swamp Duck
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Re: Looking for thoughts
In reply to micksh6, Nov 13, 2012

And this is precisely what I was thinking.  At what price/size does it become less advantageous
to stay with m4/3?  For $1300(SRP of GH3), that was what I was pondering, not stirring the pot or complaining...just trying to have a discussion, on a discussion forum no less.

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