m4/3 or nex for compact kit

Started May 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 9,445
Re: m4/3 or nex for compact kit

debo wrote:

I own a Pentax along with some very nice primes including the old limiteds. However I desire to have a single lens (maybe prime) light kit for travel etc (have a S95 but I am not happy with the low light pics).

Have been looking at

  • E-PL1 + 14mm prime (or add a P-K adapter and use my pentax primes)

  • NEX-3C + 16mm prime .... I understand that the NEX uses a APS-C and the sensor is much better for low light. But the E-PL has better JPEGs and is much cheaper (150 for body and 200ish for the prime vs 549 for the NEX)


  • how much am I compromising with the m4/3 sensor vs APSc in terms of dynamic range and high ISO?

  • how is the 14/2.5 compared to 16/2.8, optically (I know the latter is a little too wide for comfort)?

  • if I use my Pentax primes, which one will focus better?


If you want high ISO performance, the NEX does a much better job than the EPL1. You have to move to the newer-sensored M43 before you get very good higher ISO perfomance and DR. (Panasonic GX1, G3, GH2, Oly OM-D).

The 14/2.5 is an excellent little lens, and can be had for cheap. You can do a search for 14mm on this forum and get lots of threads about it with images; it really is a great value with very, very good IQ.

The NEXs have focus peaking, which is supposed to be excellent for helping find focus on manual lenses (I have never tried it and I don't know if the NEX-3C has it). The M43s have a manual focus magnification setup which makes it extremely easy to focus the lens. (I always had trouble with my old manual focus SLR back in the day, and I never have problems with manual focus on the M43s.....it's a nice system for legacy lens use).

The EPL1 has great looking JPGs for sure. However, it is pokey as heck if you are trying to autofocus in lower light, and has a very ergonomically unpleasant button pushing interface to adjust shutter speed/aperture and exposure compensation. It's definitely worth $150, but at that price, from your post, you may not be getting a camera that does what you want it to in terms of interface and difficult shooting situations. The OOC images will indeed look great, though....

A better choice would be one of the current generation 16MP M43s. This group focuses very fast, has better sensors with higher DR and very good high ISO performance. You would, I suspect, be much happier with one of those than the EPL1. However, they are more expensive, so you may have to think about what is important to you at this point....


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