Thinking of swapping from MFT to full DSLR - Advice?

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
niekirk Regular Member • Posts: 221
Re: You'll never know until you try.....

jalywol wrote:

Pebbleheed wrote:

I'm still relatively new to photography. I bought a Panasonic GX1 a short while back and I'm pretty happy with it. I love the small size of it while enjoying using interchangeable lenses. However there are some points that are annoying me.

The main point with the GX1 is that lenses are expensive. I look at my friends with their Canon EOS 550D cameras as they pick up lenses for a fraction of what I pay for MFT lenses. They can in some cases get 2 or 3 lenses for just 1 of mine and to be honest I've not noticed a difference in quality that would justify the price difference.

Remember, quality lenses of any stripe are not cheap.  Cheap lenses ARE cheap, and yes, there are more of them available for DSLRs than M43s.

Secondly is the depth of field. To get decent bokeh type backgrounds on my shots I have to be close up to my subjects. I have to be low down on the aperture. The DSLR cameras appear to be able to beat this in every way without having to get as close and without having to go as low on the aperture.

If you need very shallow DOF, then sure, go for a DSLR....but you might want to go for a full frame DSLR, not just an APS-C sensored one.  Also, remember, inexpensive lenses generally do not have really wide maximum apertures, so you may lose some of that nice DOF you are looking for in that case.

I enjoy taking my GX1 out with the 14mm pancake lens on to get some street shots, but when it comes to other shots such as macro or portrait I'm feeling a little let down to be honest. I'm starting to wonder if it's time to trade the GX1 in and go for a 550D in it's place?

Not sure why you are feeling let down about macro work....what lens are you using?  Honestly M43 has some significant advantages for macro as here is one area that you DO want a deeper DOF to get more of the subject in focus.  Also, since macro work is still best done with manual focus, you might want to look into a legacy macro....It's what I use and it is excellent.  (You can get a high quality legacy macro from any one of a number of manufacturers for under $100.  I use a Nikon 55mm f3.5, and it is sharp as a tack and stands up extremely well in comparison to native M43 macro lenses). For portrait work,  the 45mm f 1.8 is one of the nicest lenses you can get for the money in any system.

Anyone else feel a little cheated on the MFT lens prices?

Not particularly.  It is what it is....good glass is always expensive.

I accept that the small size we enjoy has to have let downs in other areas, but I'm trying to make up my mind to see if I can live with a little bigger a camera to get more benefits of a full DSLR.

If you are not concerned about size of the camera and lenses, then you should most definitely go to a DSLR and give the system a try.  The only way to find out if it will work for you is to use it.  (I moved entirely to M43 from DSLRs about two years ago, and have no intention of moving back BTW.  I supposed if I was offered a full frame D800 and lenses  I would not refuse it, but I'd still take the M43 when I was going anywhere that required me to carry the kit....)

So, definitely go for the DSLR, and see if it works for you.  You will either be very happy with it, or realize that M43 has some advantages that merit your return to the format.  However, you won't know for sure until you try....


Good points, very well made.

I may have misunderstood, but the only lens the original poster mentioed is the 14mm.  That is, of course, a wide angle lens, which will not easily give shallow depth of field.

The answer may be a zoom telephoto, such as the Zuiko 40-150mm.  It's currently about £120 new, so no reason to feel cheated on the price.  It might be all you need for that focal length, and if you find you need something different, you won't have lost much when you sell it.  Or there's the Panasonic 45-200.  It's about twice the price, but gives a bit more reach, and is image-stabilised.  The equivalent Canon lens might be the 55-250, priced mid way between the two.

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