Camera Suggestions for Beginner

Started Feb 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP kcinesser Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Camera Suggestions for Beginner

jalywol wrote:

kcinesser wrote:

Hey all. Got a few questions for ya.

A buddy of mine is thinking about getting his first camera and came to me with some advice about where to start. My first camera was a Nikon d3100, then recently bought an EM5, which to me is crazy good and I would suggest to just about anyone.

He's played around with the EM5 and says he's a big fan of the size/feel/look of the it compared to the d3100, so I was thinking he'd probably be interested in picking up m4/3. He was also impressed by the image quality, which is the most important aspect for him.

He, however is looking for something in the $500-600 range, which pretty much eliminates the EM5, and kind of limits him to entry level DSLRs or m4/3, which is why I've come here. Obviously the d3100 is outdated and I've never really used an entry level m4/3, so I'm not really sure at what standards the newer entry DSLRs are at, or any m4/3 that isn't an EM5.

Just glancing around at prices on Amazon, it looks like, for $500-600, he's limited to the Nikon 3200 (3300 for around $650) or the Canon T5 kits. For m4/3, I'm seeing the Oly EPL-5 or maybe a Panasonic GX1? I would suggest a m4/3, just because I enjoy the smaller more compact feel, but he's a image quality snob, and I've heard at that price range, DSLRs have an edge.

So I guess my question is: how do entry level m4/3 cameras compare to similarly priced DSRLs in performance? I'm also probably missing a few options, so suggestions would be appreciated. Like I said, I don't know a lot about entry level m4/3 cameras, so I may be underestimating them a bit. Which would you suggest?

Suggestions: If he can part with a little more $, the Olympus EM10 with kit lens might be a very good place to start, but it's 799. You do get a whole lot more camera for that in terms of features and adjustability of user options than you get on the basic DSLRs, for sure, and it is a form factor that is very similar to the EM5 that he likes.

You can also get a Panasonic G5 for about $450 including kit lens...last year's version of the G6 (uses same sensor), very good IQ and in the target price range, too.

The Oly EPM2 and EPL5 are also very good value, but smaller and do not have a built in viewfinder, so he may or may not be interested. There is a very good deal on the EPM2 around now, in a kit with TWO lenses (14-42mm and 40-150mm) for $399.

Lots of choices out there, and they are all very good at this point; it's just a matter of what your friend likes in terms of camera body style and how he plans to use the camera.


Thank you for the suggestions. If I were in his position, I'd probably stump up the extra money for the EM10 or GX7, but he seems hesitant to spent much, and $600 seems to be the ceiling.

He said he doesn't mind not having a viewfinder, which is why I thought the EPL5 would be perfect, I'm just apprehensive pushing him in that direction if getting DSLR will give "better" results for a similar price. How would they compare image/IQ-wise?

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