Mirrorless Recommendation ( Sony Vs Olympus? )

Started Mar 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mahmoud Mousef Senior Member • Posts: 2,604
Re: Mirrorless Recommendation ( Sony Vs Olympus? )

Louno wrote:

Hi Everyone,
Wow thanks for all the information, I didnt expect this much feedback, I have read all your comments but am still undecided, it seem there is no clear winner between the NEX-3N and E-PM2. Both are 500$, so there is no price advantage with either one.

Some of you suggested I go with the olympus in order to be able to add a flash unit but to me personally flash is not an issue... For food photos we have a continuous lighting setup already so we never use flash.

No love for Panasonic?

Regarding flash, earlier you said:

The main issue with the P300 is that when zoomed in more (to eliminate distortion and have smaller field of view) the aperture rises up and it requires more light or longer shutter speed.

So I thought flash would be helpful.

For other purposes I don't think i'd buy a flash unit anyways as I rarely use it in general, actually the only time I used the built-in flash with my Nikon P300 or previous cameras was for fill lighting ( backlight mode ) for bright sunny scenes where there was too much light behind the subject or casting very harsh shadows. So to me, in terms of flash, the NEX-3N has a small advantage as its built-in, so always available, if ever I want it, without adding bulk.

External flash and on-board flash = two radically different experiences with radically different results. External flash can give you a very natural light that the on-board flash could never match, so I bet you would be using it more. It's all about the light.

In terms of focusing speed, which one would be faster ? Right now this is one area of the Nikon P300 I don't like at all... For food photos, I know focus speed is not an issue has nothing is moving, but it would help when taking pictures of other things in general (for example I take way too many pictures of my cat, half of them are blurry cuz he cant stay still for long)

Not to beat a dead horse, but in my opinion you would do well with a low-light lens and/or a flash (!) to freeze action, preferably external. The other option is bumping up the ISO sensitivity of the camera you buy, which will allow faster shutter speeds while maintaining proper exposure. A larger-sensor cam will be better at the ISO stuff. But a compact camera that has an F1.4 lens like the DMC-LX7 very may well be your ideal camera, even though it has a small sensor. It also comes in a Leica flavour, for a lot more cost. It was reviewed below. It is excellent at macro and has a great lens and may give you the bokeh you require at close distances. Don't count a compact camera out either.


Concerning the kit lens, is any of the 2 camera's kit lens good enough for my purposes ? I want really sharp lens with shallow depth of field and nice bokeh.

To avoid total disappointment, I would try them in a store at the distances you normally shoot at and with similar light levels. If they are closer distances, you can get excellent blurring of backgrounds with a compact camera too.

Which of the 2 camera would be better suited for this ? I've read that the 16-50mm powerzoom kit lens from sony is surprisingly decent quality but there is very heavy distortion at 16mm... if shooting in jpeg mode this is automatically corrected by the camera ( apparently very well ) but what if I want to shoot RAW ?... I also dont get this distortion issue, isnt it normal to have distortion when shooting with lens at wide angle, not only normal but kind of somewhat desired effect? When I use my nikon at its lowest zoom ( 4.3mm ) I know that there is distortion due to the wide angle, so i use that when shooting landscapes or interiors and simply zoom in more when shooting people or food ( as you generally dont want distortion on those)... So is this the same with the sony kit lens or are we talking about an abnormal/problematic level of distortion? Anyways, I know I cant expect miracle from a kit lens but if one camera has a considerably better kit lens then to me that seems like a good advantage as I wont necessarily need to buy additional lens right away.

Best to try them out to avoid disappointment. Everyone is going to have their own standards for what is acceptable here. What is acceptable to you is what matters.

In terms of features, the sony lacks a tactile screen, how big of an issue is this ?

All this is personal taste and opinion. Read reviews or try one. Work out what you like.

These are lower-end mirrorless camera so they have less buttons/controls on the body, so I would assume having a touch screen a considerable advantage? On higher priced models this might not be so and the touch screen might even be disabled as it might be more a nuisance than help, but what about these models?

Concerning Image stabilization, well, i'm not sure what to think of it... with the sony kit lens the stabilisation is in the lens so its not an issue, but what if I buy a non-stabilized lens... olympus has it in-body which I find is an advantage, however the sony handles low light better and I can set the iso higher without noise, would this counteract the olympus in-body stabilization advantage ?

Depends what you are shooting and how much light you are getting. Again, this is an area where external flash or a low-light lens could solve everything and solve it well, and you won't have to wonder. It wouldn't surprise me if you eventually settled on a compact camera like the Panasonic DMC-LX7 (which has excellent image stabilisation, by the way); I think you are counting them out when in fact they could be your best (and probably cheapest) option for low-light lens and macro. The more I hear you speak, the more I think it can be a better contender.

Thanks all

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