Mirrorless or compact?

Started Jul 25, 2019 | Discussions
maflynn Senior Member • Posts: 2,134
Mirrorless or compact?

I'm not sure what forum would be the best, but since I'm investigating the G5X II, this place is as good as any.

So has anyone sold or packed away their larger mirrorless (or DSLR) in favor of a small compact camera?

Canon has a nice set of compact cameras that run the gamut, Panasonic has theirs as well, and of course we cannot forget the Sony and the RX100 line.

I'm rocking with a Oly M43 OMD EM5 and a 12-40 lens (f2.8). I also have a 40-150 f4 - 5.6 and it seems rather soft (so I never use it).  I can buy a better quality telephoto lens but that could run me upwards of 1,500 dollars.

With the advanced features, of these pocketable (or near pocketable) cameras, why should I use the OMD EM5?  I mean if I buy the G5X II,  I get a 24-120mm effective focal length with an aperture that tops out at f2.8.  So I get just as fast if not faster lens that has more reach in a form factor that is signitically smaller to carry around.

True the OMD should have more dynamic range due to the larger sensor, and I have more options, and control over how i configure the camera, but I'm not a pro, its mostly family stuff that I'm shooting.  For instance Disneyworld - a pocketable camera could be better in such a crowded and hot environment.  The 120mm reach of the G5 is a plus as I'll not have to worry about changing lenses on the fly

As an enthusiast, maybe not even a prosumer I'm thinking the G5 is a better camera, though I don't know if I could bring myself to sell my m43 gear.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Sony RX100
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Jay_B Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

I find myself considering the same thing since the announcement of the G5X II. I have an EOS M5 + 6 lenses, which has an even larger APS-C sensor. I find myself having less and less use for it currently, and don't take it on trips unless I think I'm going to focus more on photography vs. just enjoying and telling the story of my travels.

I have a Panasonic ZS100, but find that the still images don't satisfy me the way my Canons always have. It does shoot excellent 4K and has a great touchscreen, but only a tiny EVF and fixed LCD. Having said that, I have used the ZS100 on more trips lately and get very good overall results in spite of the limitations.

Two more points, 1) even though the sensor is a lot larger, I found my M5 limiting in low light situations recently. I found myself imagining how a compact with a fast lens + stabilization vs APS-C + fast Prime (no stabilization) might be easier to deal with, and 2) I find myself not wanting to change lenses, deal with accessories, etc, Hopefully, someone that has been through this may weigh in here...

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1gregory1
1gregory1 Regular Member • Posts: 307
Re: Mirrorless or compact?
4

If its only Disney World and family "stuff" , why are you looking at a $1000 camera for the trip? Get yourself a sx740 and save $600 for your hotel in Orlando . If you're just using it for family "stuff " and your vacation, do you really need greater dynamic range for Goofy and Mickey?

saaber1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,148
Re: Mirrorless or compact?
1

It depends on your standards/expectations for image quality and how important size is to you. I have tested g7xII, g9xII, and multiple 1/1.7", 1/2.3" cameras head to head with full frame dslr in real-world shooting scenarios (not test charts).

It totally depends on the scenario (and your expectations) whether you will see a difference -and how big of a difference- between DSLR/ILC vs. compact. F.e. if you are shooting travel or family in good light and at small apertures and you are viewing them on a laptop and sending to friends there may not be much difference at all. Now if your expectations for those travel photos are super detailed landscapes printed out on large paper, you will see a difference.

I guess it should be noted that experience/knowledge level plays a giant role also. F.e. if one only shoots in "auto" and doesn't take the time to learn the basics of photography there is no point really because that person would never come close to tapping into the potential of the camera (i.e. the camera is not the limiting factor at all really).

No question you will see a difference if you appreciate nice bokeh, want to get great shots in really difficult focusing scenarios, for really low light shooting (assuming the dslr/ILC is a larger sensor camera not micro 4/3 etc.) for artistic shooting, professional quality portraiture, or professional quality landscape shooting.

I use a combo of g7xII and sx730 for travel most of the time due to great quality and tiny size. In that scenario size/weight is a big factor for traveling light and I can still get great photos to remember the trip. If I were planning on getting really good landscape shots or was travelling mainly for photography reasons or if it is "travelling" from home by car where space/weight isn't a concern, I would take my full frame DSLR.

YWG Senior Member • Posts: 1,021
Re: Mirrorless or compact?
2

maflynn wrote:

So has anyone sold or packed away their larger mirrorless (or DSLR) in favor of a small compact camera?

Canon has a nice set of compact cameras that run the gamut, Panasonic has theirs as well, and of course we cannot forget the Sony and the RX100 line.

I'm rocking with a Oly M43 OMD EM5 and a 12-40 lens (f2.8). I also have a 40-150 f4 - 5.6 and it seems rather soft (so I never use it). I can buy a better quality telephoto lens but that could run me upwards of 1,500 dollars.

With the advanced features, of these pocketable (or near pocketable) cameras, why should I use the OMD EM5? I mean if I buy the G5X II, I get a 24-120mm effective focal length with an aperture that tops out at f2.8. So I get just as fast if not faster lens that has more reach in a form factor that is signitically smaller to carry around.

True the OMD should have more dynamic range due to the larger sensor, and I have more options, and control over how i configure the camera, but I'm not a pro, its mostly family stuff that I'm shooting. For instance Disneyworld - a pocketable camera could be better in such a crowded and hot environment. The 120mm reach of the G5 is a plus as I'll not have to worry about changing lenses on the fly

As an enthusiast, maybe not even a prosumer I'm thinking the G5 is a better camera, though I don't know if I could bring myself to sell my m43 gear.

Did you get your EM5 back? I read your other post where it was stolen.

I have a G5x mki and OMD camera. Day to day, out on work inspections, short trips, social outings I will use the G5x and cellphone. I have even used the hotshoe for family gathering group shots, retirement events and even in support of my OMD for events. The wide DOF and fast aperture keeps the ISO down and the leaf shutter is almost silent.

To get a the same coverage in m43 I would need to grab say a E-M10 with a Panasonic 12-60mm F3.5-5.6. That is a lot larger, heavier and slower in the apertures. For me, the 1" sensor looks good until ISO 1600 without noise reduction. The m43 looks good to ISO 3200 so equating the stops, you come out ahead with the G5x unless you went to the PL or Olympus 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 (Even heavier and more expensive). If 1" used some google nightsight or other flagship smartphone low light computational photography, I would think I would be low light set with a G5x camera.

I found 100mm to be a bit short at times. I took my mki out ripping around the habour on some inflatable boats. I grabbed several shots of other boats zipping by but had to crop down to 2 and 3 x equivalent. The photos start breaking down at 3x. I like to shoot low light though. Maybe a dual camera set up with a Olympus Stylus 1(s) or TZ200.

It isn't all roses with the G5x however. The compactness trades image quality. My 12-32mm, 14-54, 18-55 on APS-C Canon all show sharper than the 24-100 on my mki in all ranges stopped down or not. Looking at the mkii, it doesn't look any better. That used to bother me a lot. So much so that I sold off my G7x mki after a year and half of use and toted around a E-PM2 and 20mm F1.7. Way sharper but no EVF, crummy interface, no zoom and a bunch of other things. I then ran into more and more situations where it wasn't about the sheer technical firepower but rather capturing a moment important to me. Visiting a family member in the hospital, birth of son, out playing and adventures, a social gathering where I don't want to think about that camera hanging around my neck and neither do other people. I got back into the G7x mki and G5x mki and have been shooting those cameras for 4 years total.

I still have my OMD gear. I use it a lot less but I am not getting rid of it. I still need to reach out at 600-800mm or down to 16-20mm. I still need the confidence a photo will look good at ambient ISO 3200 with a F1.4 lens, and I still enjoy a bit larger layout for extended shooting. CAF is also something I enjoy with the EM1. Also, the mki is really sluggish in RAW. The mkii fixes that thankfully.

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DavidHH Regular Member • Posts: 217
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

I also had an Oly OMD E-M5  Mark II with 3 Lenses. and a Sony RX100 II. I just traded them in for a Canon G1X Mark III and so far I have no regrets.

My thinking was that I wanted a smaller "DSLR" Style Camera with small size and weight, but also High Quality Images with High Dynamic Range.

I went to the G1X because of the APS C Sensor which is quite a bit bigger than the G5X Mark II which has a 1" Sensor. Also I like the fixed OLED Viewfinder which has very good resolution.

I will keep the Forum updated on my experiences.

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DavidHH

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OP maflynn Senior Member • Posts: 2,134
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

Yes, thankfully A family member helped get it back.

But with release of the G5X II in thinking of getting that but it is pricey

OP maflynn Senior Member • Posts: 2,134
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

No not just disney but that was one example where a smaller camera could be considered a plus

I also enjoy street photography, landscapes as I hike and some macro photography. Shooting my kids and there activities are high in my list

saaber1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,148
Re: Mirrorless or compact?
4

maflynn wrote:

No not just disney but that was one example where a smaller camera could be considered a plus

I also enjoy street photography, landscapes as I hike and some macro photography. Shooting my kids and there activities are high in my list

A couple notes that may or may not help ha ha. Re macro, this is one area where the newer g series powershots excel. I pasted some macro photos from the g7xii below FYI. I have a hard time beating the g7xii macro photos with dslr even when using expensive macro lenses. But if one were using extension tubes etc and going for beautiful bokeh in the macro shot, then dslr would be better

Re hiking g7xii/g5xii size is excellent for hiking imo

re shooting active kids they r just ok imo in contrast to dslr the reason being dslr is a master at af and freezing motion vs with point and shoot it’s harder also reach of course can be limiting especially for sports vs dslr u can get a longer lens

re cost mentioned in another post yes g5xii is spendy if u don’t need evf u may want to consider a g7xii which can be found as a refurb from canon for $429-$479 on sale or a used one that can be $350 or so

.... from another thread.......

saaber1 wrote:

Here are some g7xII flower shots. Purple crocus is about the size of a dime in diameter. Pink flower is tiny heather.

Lacko Contributing Member • Posts: 691
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

YWG wrote:

It isn't all roses with the G5x however. The compactness trades image quality. My 12-32mm, 14-54, 18-55 on APS-C Canon all show sharper than the 24-100 on my mki in all ranges stopped down or not.

I was thinking about changing from Olympus OMD camera to smaller Canon G5 X (mark I - because of the EVF), but didn't expect that even 12-32 pancake could be sharper than G5 X lens.

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OP maflynn Senior Member • Posts: 2,134
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

Great write up of the G5X vs. the M43 gear and what works and what doesn't.

You've given me a lot to think about it.

If I could summarize, the G5X excels in many situation simply because of the sheer size and focal length. The IQ is good enough in many situations and its a great companion to a phone.

RLight Senior Member • Posts: 3,033
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

Jay_B wrote:

I find myself considering the same thing since the announcement of the G5X II. I have an EOS M5 + 6 lenses, which has an even larger APS-C sensor. I find myself having less and less use for it currently, and don't take it on trips unless I think I'm going to focus more on photography vs. just enjoying and telling the story of my travels.

I have a Panasonic ZS100, but find that the still images don't satisfy me the way my Canons always have. It does shoot excellent 4K and has a great touchscreen, but only a tiny EVF and fixed LCD. Having said that, I have used the ZS100 on more trips lately and get very good overall results in spite of the limitations.

Two more points, 1) even though the sensor is a lot larger, I found my M5 limiting in low light situations recently. I found myself imagining how a compact with a fast lens + stabilization vs APS-C + fast Prime (no stabilization) might be easier to deal with, and 2) I find myself not wanting to change lenses, deal with accessories, etc, Hopefully, someone that has been through this may weigh in here...

The M5 with the 22 is good, but, but the M50 with the 32/1.4 is soooo much better for low light. However comma, at 51mm equivalence, you gotta dip into MF glass like I have with the Samy 21/1.4 to get good low light on crop and something wider without grabbing an adapter.

Otherwise, it's R/RP with a RF 35/1.8 for good low light and a relatively smaller form factor (and Canon).

I've run the gamut and then some. The G1X III is a great single camera option. I suspect the G5X II will be too. And it's true, you focus more on pictures, less on glass with a G series P&S. 100% true. However, you are limited with not being able to swap glass. It's a double edged sword.

Right now I'm running G1X III for take everywhere, R + RF 28-70 f/2L for events / low light and the M6 + Samyang 21/1.4 for "fun".

I'm finding the M6 + Samyang 21/1.4 matches my R/RF 35 combo nicely, except, no AF.

I can only say the M is like a Powershot, with swappable lenses. And the G1X III produces excellent results if you have more delicate "taste buds" which you probably have coming from the M5.

The R, is only smaller / compact with the RF 35. Mount pretty much anything else, and the gains vanish.

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Dave Sparks Senior Member • Posts: 1,240
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

saaber1 wrote:

It depends on your standards/expectations for image quality and how important size is to you. I have tested g7xII, g9xII, and multiple 1/1.7", 1/2.3" cameras head to head with full frame dslr in real-world shooting scenarios (not test charts).

It totally depends on the scenario (and your expectations) whether you will see a difference -and how big of a difference- between DSLR/ILC vs. compact. F.e. if you are shooting travel or family in good light and at small apertures and you are viewing them on a laptop and sending to friends there may not be much difference at all. Now if your expectations for those travel photos are super detailed landscapes printed out on large paper, you will see a difference.

I guess it should be noted that experience/knowledge level plays a giant role also. F.e. if one only shoots in "auto" and doesn't take the time to learn the basics of photography there is no point really because that person would never come close to tapping into the potential of the camera (i.e. the camera is not the limiting factor at all really).

No question you will see a difference if you appreciate nice bokeh, want to get great shots in really difficult focusing scenarios, for really low light shooting (assuming the dslr/ILC is a larger sensor camera not micro 4/3 etc.) for artistic shooting, professional quality portraiture, or professional quality landscape shooting.

I use a combo of g7xII and sx730 for travel most of the time due to great quality and tiny size. In that scenario size/weight is a big factor for traveling light and I can still get great photos to remember the trip. If I were planning on getting really good landscape shots or was travelling mainly for photography reasons or if it is "travelling" from home by car where space/weight isn't a concern, I would take my full frame DSLR.

Agree completely. If I don't need my extra lenses for wildlife or something, I travel with my G7X Mk II in lieu of my DSLR. Works great and the lightweight gear for walking around can't be beat.

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khunpapa
khunpapa Senior Member • Posts: 2,664
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

maflynn wrote:

I'm rocking with a Oly M43 OMD EM5 and a 12-40 lens (f2.8). I also have a 40-150 f4 - 5.6 and it seems rather soft (so I never use it). I can buy a better quality telephoto lens but that could run me upwards of 1,500 dollars.

With the advanced features, of these pocketable (or near pocketable) cameras, why should I use the OMD EM5? I mean if I buy the G5X II, I get a 24-120mm effective focal length with an aperture that tops out at f2.8. So I get just as fast if not faster lens that has more reach in a form factor that is signitically smaller to carry around.

...

As an enthusiast, maybe not even a prosumer I'm thinking the G5 is a better camera, though I don't know if I could bring myself to sell my m43 gear.

Why choose?

I own E-M1, E-M5 and a farm of lens.

It's because of the bad Olympus company that sticks on 4/3 and 1/1.7 sensor. I now have G9x II for leisure photographing session ..

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Miss tilly
Miss tilly Senior Member • Posts: 1,583
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

I totally get your post. I think the G5x ll is the most exciting announcement in years. I am currently using my É-M10  and enjoy it. But for travel this camera looks great. I am looking forward to real world feedback.

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Gary

Miss tilly
Miss tilly Senior Member • Posts: 1,583
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

Very impressive.

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Regards,
Gary

dhaas Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Mirrorless or compact?

I"m going on 3 years now exclusively using compact cameras. I had  the first G7X (Mark I) and then got the Mark II a couple years ago.

After one trip where I hauled my Canon SL1 and several lenses, Canon EX flash, etc. I came home and sold all the SLR stuff in 1 and 1/2 weeks. I couldn't bear hauling it all when the G7X II did 99% of what I want to shoot these days.

I'll confess to owning an M100 with EF adapter for awhile thinking I needed "more". Using the kit 15-45mm lens (never wowed me) and the 22mm f2 which I liked but missed IS on that lens. I got a few nice shots using the adapter and low cost sharp 55-250mm STM lens but in the end I sold all that too.

I am eyeing the G5X II for 20mm more focal length plus panorama and a few more features. The opening price isn't great but compared to the Sony RX100 VII it's not too bad.

I've played with the Sony RX100 models and just can't adapt to their abysmal menu system. I just want the camera to get out of my way so I can take pictures on my travels, the grandkids or whatever.

Another thing I'll add about the 1" sensor Canon G7X II. There are sweet spots at focal lengths in your aperture choice.

I shoot underwater in a Fantasea housing (confession, I'm also a dealer and organize dive trips.) Using a pair of small Inon S2000 flashes I can shoot almost everything at f5.6 (not sure what the equivalent SLR aperture that is) and it gives me plenty of depth of field plus detail without introducing diffraction.

Zoomed into the mid-range I find my sharpest shots are anywhere between f2.8-4. I don't know why but reviewing pictures on my 27" iMac screen that's why I see. I've made large canvas 14" X 20" prints from an Italy trip using the first G7X and they look great.

I even shoot the largest JPEG size and as long as I get a decent exposure can make enough adjustments to satisfy me.

The convenience of never hauling lenses and small camera size outweigh everything for me meaning I take the camera more often plus my iPhone Xr. I can Wifi a shot over to the phone easily, edit it in 90 seconds using the Snapseed App and people think you shot it on much more expensive and large equipment. For street shooting a small camera never attracts attention either.

I am considering the G5X II due to Digic 8 processor, longer focal range, etc. but will wait for a few more detailed reviews.

Just one old guy's opinion after decades of enjoying photography!

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