Another camera choice decision

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plasmaj
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Another camera choice decision
4 months ago

Hi - like in many other threads - longtime lurker, first time questioner.

I am considering moving to an ILC, largely due to the fact we are expecting a child in a few months and would like to be able to take better family photos. I would also use it some for hiking (landscapes) and random other events (baseball games, etc)

I am mostly considering an E-M10 and an A6000. I am posting in this board since I am currently leaning toward micro 4/3 (though this shifts every few hours). In either case, I would get the basic portrait lens (45 mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8 respectively). The total combined package price is fairly similar.

Here is my list of pros for each one:

Olympus:
-IBIS
-Better OOC JPEGs ( this is important to me since I do not intend to use RAW often)
-Good lens choices
-Touch screen
-More accurate focus (I see a lot more focusing issues on the Sony board than here)

Sony:
-Continuous AF (more important when the baby grows)
-Better grip (much more comfortable in my hand)
-In camera panorama
-Somewhat better high ISO
-Shallower DOF with the portrait lens

Is there anything important I am missing?

I just bought an LX7 last year on a good deal so could theoretically get by with that for a time.

Or alternatively, I could just go with a PM2 right now to see how I like the system before diving in - and save several hundred dollars since the image quality seems similar to the E-M10.

Any thoughts/advice appreciated.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Sony a6000
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PC Wheeler
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

Micro-4/3 lens options are more abundant than for the A6000, which uses E-Mount. Sony churns out new bodies at a furious rate, but lags when it comes to lenses.

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Impulses
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

A GX7 would give you a better grip and in camera panos... More expensive but there's been some good sub $650 deals on the body-only option lately. I was debating NEX vs M43 last year and ultimately chose M43 in large part because of the lens selection, the fact that Sony is shifting focus to the larger full frame FE lenses kinda vindicated that decision... OTOH the A6000 didn't exist then and it shows they're still somewhat committed to the smaller E mount Alpha system (RIP NEX).

I'd probably still pick M43 today tho, in addition to the widerlens selection (and the fact that they're generally smaller) I really appreciate quick accurate AF which, in conjunction with a touchscreen, is really nice for certain shots; just tapping the screen and placing the AF spot where you want is really neat. The variety of M43 bodies available is also quite appealing even if I only own a small/cheap one right now... A system that scales from GM1 to E-M1 seems very versatile.

Better continuous AF tracking will eventually come to most mirrorless systems, I'd imagine. Manufacturers start experimenting with one model (e.g. A6000 for Sony, E-M1 for Oly, GH4 for Pana, X-T1 for Fuji) but that will invariably filter down. If I was buying today I'd probably be deciding between M43 and Fuji X instead, tho the Fuji system seems to be more expensive all around.

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Impulses
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to Impulses, 4 months ago

Sony did start experimenting with on sensor PDAF earlier than the rest btw, so it's not surprising they have a lower priced body with a good implementation at this point... Plus the A7 series kinda took away the spot of any very high end Alpha E mount or Axxxx models.

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Alexsfo
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to Impulses, 4 months ago

E-M10 + PL25 is a perfect baby combo.

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

The fellows at www.cameralabs.com have a few words of comparison to the EM10 in the Sony A6000 review.

In particular, single picture AF is faster on the EM10. You use that a lot more than continuous AF. Also, AF performs better on the EM10 as the light levels fall.

Just that would decide it for me.  But on top of that, there the better colors on the Olympus JPEGs.

Congratulations on the new baby. Take lots of pictures. They grow up so fast.

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zt0780
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Other factors: telephoto lens cost, external flash unit, flexibility
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

I think you'll probably want a telephoto lens eventually for baseball or when your child starts running around. A telephoto lens is also extremely useful in landscape photography for perspective compression.

The 40-150 Olympus lens is cheaper than the Sony 55-210 so that may be another factor to consider.
I have the e-pm2 and it is great for its price, but the handling is terrible compared to the e-m10's tilt screen, dual dials, and evf. If you got the e-pm2 though, you could save a lot of money and it could be spent on the 40-150 and even an external flash.

I think a flash would be extremely useful for taking pictures of your child. Being able to bounce the flash off the ceiling will help a lot with the indoor shots you'll be taking while your child is immobile but also when your child is running around indoors. If you do not use flash indoors, you will need a very high shutter speed to capture a sharp image since toddlers never sit still. This will require you to use an extremely high ISO setting. An external flash would also be useful to tame the harsh shadows in bright daylight when you are at the playground. Unfortunately, the lack of EVF may be a problem in bright daylight.

I think that having flexibility is more important than a better body because it would allow you to take photos that you otherwise would not be able to take.

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plasmaj
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to Impulses, 4 months ago

Thank you. I have also considered Fuji. The x-e1 seems like such an amazing deal right and the m-1 seems pretty good as well with the 55-230mm. I am very temped by the x-e1 but am concerned the slow AF may be an issue. Though since the baby wont be moving too quickly for a few years it may not be an issue. At that point maybe the x-t1 will be cheap enough that i can just upgrade bodies. The other issue i have with Fuji is how expensive the lenses are. I realize their quality warrants it, but i couldn't justify spending $1,000 for the 56mm which seems like their best portrait lens, but at least their 35mm is cheaper. Also, the bad video would be an issue for my needs even though i could theoretically lean on the lx7 for video.

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plasmaj
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Re: Other factors: telephoto lens cost, external flash unit, flexibility
In reply to zt0780, 4 months ago

Yes, the m4/3 telephoto options is another point in their favor. If i went pm2 the kit would include the 40-150mm which is probably all i need and probably on par with Sony's offering. Although if i wanted i could wait a few years and get a step up telephoto in m4/3 while sony doesn't have that choice (at least one that is not huge and expensive).
But if i did go sony i would get the 55-210 immediately since it is basically $150 with a new A6000 purchase

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plasmaj
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to OpticsEngineer, 4 months ago

Thank you. I had the same thought. Many reviews make a big issue of continuous AF and i can see why it is important in certain situations, but my feeling has been that one time AF quickness and accuracy is probably more important for me.

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plasmaj
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to Alexsfo, 4 months ago

Why do you think the 25mm over the 45mm? I guess babies don't have to worry as much about the distortion so more telephoto isn't as useful to get a flattering picture, plus i suppose it lets you get up closer to take the photo?

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jeffharris
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to Impulses, 4 months ago

Impulses wrote:

A GX7 would give you a better grip and in camera panos... More expensive but there's been some good sub $650 deals on the body-only option lately.

Absolutely. The GX7 + 20mm would be a good jumping off point. Then add either the 14-42mm II + 45-150mm combo ($400 +/-) or the 14-140mm II. For the sake of simplicity and fewer lens changes, the GX7 + 20mm + 14-140mm might be a better, simpler all-around kit. You get low light and moderate wide-angle with the 20mm and 10x zoom and decent telephoto capabilities with the 14-140mm II, all in a not-too-big package.

The GX7's silent mode is great for stealth shooting and I'd imagine great for grabbing pix of a snoozing squeezer. It also has excellent video!

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plasmaj
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to jeffharris, 4 months ago

I've thought about the GX7, but right now think I would prefer the Olympus. The better video would be big bonus. Also I prefer the GX7 style/ looks over the e-m10 ( just a personal preference).

I have used nothing but Panasonics the past 8 years and have been pretty satisfied, but always felt the OOC jpegs have been ok but not great. I am hoping I will like Olympus better, but maybe that is naive andi won't really be able to tell much of a difference.

I feel like Panasonic had the video I like, Fuji has the OOC jpegs i like and am hoping Olympus is a good middle ground between the two.

the other issues I have with the gx7 are
- IBIS is not supposed to be as good which is a factor if I use a non- stabilized Tele like the Olympus 40-150
- even with the recent price drop, it still seems expensive relative to Olympus, especially since Olympus has a discount on the 45mm when buying a new body

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Impulses
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

Thank you. I had the same thought. Many reviews make a big issue of continuous AF and i can see why it is important in certain situations, but my feeling has been that one time AF quickness and accuracy is probably more important for me.

It's basically the last aspect in which a typical DSLR can still do unequivocally better than a mirrorless camera, so that's probably why reviewers focus on it. Any improvements in that area (as with the A6000, E-M1, etc) open up mirrorless formats for even more usage cases and makes then even easier to recommend without reservation.

In general quick AND accurate AF is more important tho, I'd agree, and accurate is something CDAF on mirrorless already does better than any DSLR. It's much easier to get precise AF (particularly in low light with a lens wide open) with many mirrorless bodies.

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Impulses
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

FWIW, you'd obviously wanna opt for Panasonic's own excellent 45-150 if you went with a Panasonic body, since it has OIS. How much do you save on the 45mm btw, I think it's been going pretty cheap on EBay from Japanese imports due to the yen/dollar conversion. Olympus often discounts it down to $350, got mine for $300 cause of an extra Gearshop first timer discount but I think it's been that cheap on EBay.

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SunsetBk
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to Impulses, 4 months ago

Focusing speed and dof are key when photographing kids. Olympus lags in the continuous autofocus speed area. The single focus works beautifully on the newer bodies. If you want to rattle out shots and let the camera decide what to do Sony is better. If you want to pick a focus point such as the eyes Olympus does great. The touch screen can be amazing in that you can click on any point and it will focus and take a photo there.

The other part is dof. I really like the micro four thirds dof more because if you have a fast lens like the pl 25 1.4 you can shoot wide open have a higher ISO that's clean and therefore fast shutter speed. Yet the photos have enough dof for most of the face to be in focus. If you do choose micro then I recommend em10 + pl 25 + olympus 45. That's a killer portrait setup.

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Paulmorgan
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

The EM10 would be the better choice and if the grip is not to your liking you could always add one.

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jeffharris
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

plasmaj wrote:

I've thought about the GX7, but right now think I would prefer the Olympus. The better video would be big bonus. Also I prefer the GX7 style/ looks over the e-m10 ( just a personal preference).

The GX7 has much better ergonomics, handling and interface than the EM10. Not that the EM10 is a bad camera, but to me it's too small and fiddly. If you're used to the Panasonic ease of use, you'd be disappointed with the convoluted Olympus menu system. The GX7's streamlined body is great.

Ive shot a bit of video with my GX7 and it's very impressive! Better than my GH2.

I have used nothing but Panasonics the past 8 years and have been pretty satisfied, but always felt the OOC jpegs have been ok but not great. I am hoping I will like Olympus better, but maybe that is naive andi won't really be able to tell much of a difference.

I think the Panasonic JPEGs, especially in the latest generation cameras are vastly improved over earlier models. I've always found Oly JPEGs over saturated and unnatural and they seem to apply too much sharpening. Shooting RAW is better, but not something everyone wants to do.

the other issues I have with the gx7 are

- IBIS is not supposed to be as good which is a factor if I use a non- stabilized Tele like the Olympus 40-150

The GX7s IBIS is supposedly nearly on par with the EM5 in some situations. But it still doesn't trump good handling and technique, which is easily learned and works with ANY camera.

The Panasonic 45-150mm has OIS, which is optimized for the lens. OIS is more effective with longer lenses than IBIS.

- even with the recent price drop, it still seems expensive relative to Olympus, especially since Olympus has a discount on the 45mm when buying a new body

The GX7 really is underrated And the lower prices I've seen lately are great. The feature set is pretty comprehensive and it's extremely customizable, too.

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Lumixdude
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

You will find that there will be slow AF issues outside of the latests Sony A6000, and the equivalent from Olympus the EM1 which can get you to 11fps if you don't care about live tracking. In general situations though you should have no issues with that as you'll find the majority of your shots are from a single point of focus, so it's really irrelevant here. Micro Four Thirds cameras are blistering quick for spot focusing on a single point.

If you're still concerned about AF speed I wouldn't look at anything less than an EM1 or A6000.. If you get the EM1 with the 12-40 F/2.8 you wont need another camera...The issue with the A6000 however is the complete lack of telephoto lenses and the fact that there fastest zooms are rated at F/4.

In a few years as your kids grows up you might find a need to  buy the recently announced 40-150 f2.8 pro lens particularly if they start getting into sports... There are no equivalents for E mount systems. Sure you can mount an A mount lens, but at great expense to camera size and focusing speed.

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neil holmes
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Re: Another camera choice decision
In reply to plasmaj, 4 months ago

plasmaj wrote:

Hi - like in many other threads - longtime lurker, first time questioner.

I am considering moving to an ILC, largely due to the fact we are expecting a child in a few months and would like to be able to take better family photos. I would also use it some for hiking (landscapes) and random other events (baseball games, etc)

I am mostly considering an E-M10 and an A6000. I am posting in this board since I am currently leaning toward micro 4/3 (though this shifts every few hours). In either case, I would get the basic portrait lens (45 mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8 respectively). The total combined package price is fairly similar.

Here is my list of pros for each one:

Olympus:
-IBIS

A big plus for the E-M10, the Sony 50 1.8 is stabilized though (and I like Sony's OSS).

-Better OOC JPEGs ( this is important to me since I do not intend to use RAW often)

Subjective but your opinion is the only one that counts here.

-Good lens choices

Both systems have good lenses choices and missing links....depends on what you want.

-Touch screen

I find this great with the GX7

-More accurate focus (I see a lot more focusing issues on the Sony board than here)

Not sure about this, I think both work well though.

Sony:
-Continuous AF (more important when the baby grows)

Big plus for the Sony (at this price level anyway).

-Better grip (much more comfortable in my hand)

Subjective again but it is how it feels to YOU that counts.

-In camera panorama

Sony does this well (so does Panasonic by the way).

-Somewhat better high ISO

I think so...both are good enough though.

-Shallower DOF with the portrait lens

Yes but not that much...then again the 45 1.8 Oly is a bit longer in 35mm equivalent terms......90mm VS 75mm which will take up a bit of the difference in terms of shallow DOF.

Both are great lenses for the price.

Is there anything important I am missing?

Specs are similar......both are sort of upper entry level, guess it comes down to is the slightly better IQ and AF and larger sensor with higher pixel count of the Sony better for you than the missing features the Oly has (IBIS, touch screen, faster flash sync, horizon level in the Oly).

I just bought an LX7 last year on a good deal so could theoretically get by with that for a time.

Or alternatively, I could just go with a PM2 right now to see how I like the system before diving in - and save several hundred dollars since the image quality seems similar to the E-M10.

Any thoughts/advice appreciated.

What about video of the kids? Both have limitations but the A6000 looks like being very good ...indeed Philip Bloom just did a mini review and likes the HD better than the GH4 even (note he seems to love the GH4 and it is a better camera for video esp regards 4k.....this is just for HD).

Between those two, I would likely get the Sony A6000 .....I have a GX7 and an A7 and both are great so I would not get either......may get a A6000 next year though I am sure there will be plenty of other new toys to covet before then.

Whatever you get, all cameras are pretty good these days.

http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=oly_em10&products=sony_a6000&products=panasonic_dmcgx7&products=fujifilm_xt1&products=oly_em5&products=oly_em1&sortDir=ascending

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