m43 or dslr

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jskee, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. jskee macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2011
    Hi guys

    Im about to leave for college soon and i want to buy a camera before i leave. I was just wondering what you guys think about the new micro 4/3rds cameras and whether its worth it to buy one instead of a entry level dslr. I'm relatively new to photography, started about a year ago using my dads sony nex 5.
    I'm in quite a dilemma as certain micro 4/3rds cameras are twice the price of entry level dslrs. for example, the new olympus ep 3 that just came out is retailing at twice the price of a entry level dslr such as the nikon d3100.

    I like the portability of the new hybrid system cameras and how it performs pretty well, but do you guys think it is worth twice the money?

  2. emorydunn macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2006
    Austin Texas
    In your situation it's really what you want to get. Most people are debating whether to get a mirrorless camera as a second, smaller camera that still has many of the advantages of a full DSLR.

    But, since you did ask for advice I would go the route of the full DSLR if you think you'll want to learn more about photography in the future. You're going to find that DSLRs are more powerful cameras and have a much larger selection of lenses. You can also pick up a second-hand DSLR for a pretty reasonable price.

    On that, I also wouldn't consider getting a shiny, brand-new E-P3. You can get an E-P2 for $400-500.
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I don't understand: the cheapest m4/3 cameras cost roughly the same as entry-level dslrs (420 € vs. 380 €). Of course, there are more expensive models out there, but then, there are also expensive dslrs. Olympus' PEN E-P3 is its top-of-the-line model, so it's hardly surprising it's more expensive than an entry-level camera -- it's the wrong camera to compare it to.

    If you pit m4/3 cameras against entry-level dslrs, then they're quite even. The only two advantages of dslrs I can think of is faster AF of the more advanced models (not the case for entry-level dslrs) and the larger sensor helps in very high ISO situations (under normal lighting conditions, you won't see a difference). This is only true for micro 4/3 cameras, mirrorless cameras such as Sony's NEX system uses the same sensor size as most dslrs.

    Mirrorless cameras also have a few advantages: the AF system is more consumer-friendly. The GF-2 can focus on faces if you want it to. This is impossible for dslrs (I'm sure many other models can do this as well). They are also a lot more portable, especially if you use one of the pancake lenses. My best friend replaced his Nikon D70 with a GF-2 and he went from someone who never takes his camera with him to someone who has his camera with him all the time.

    Remember, the best camera is the one you have with you!
  4. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    There are two other advantages of DSLRs over u4/3- Depth of field and optical viewfinders. Only you can say if they're important to the type of shooting you plan on doing. You'll also get a little less noise from a larger sensor- only really an issue in borderline situations these days, but if you print large and shoot in dark places it might be important to you.

    Primarily, you have to decide what's important to you- for instance, pancake lenses are a trade-off between optical performance and size- if smaller is more important than sharper, then they're a potential positive (they don't suck, but they're not as good as other optical designs- most folks really don't see much difference, but most folks are perfectly happy with kit lenses.)

    If you think that someday you'll want a larger sensor camera, then Canon, Nikon and Sony's DLSRs are your choices. If you might want to do architectural photography one day, then Canon and Nikon are your best bet. If you want built-in off-camera flash capability, then Canon and Nikon become the cameras of choice. If you want the largest possible lens choices, then Canon and Nikon DLSRs are your top two choices.

    If you're not the sort who'll carry a camera bag around a lot, then u4/3rds may be a good choice.

  5. jskee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2011
    Well, i was playing around with my friends dslr the other day and i guess I wouldnt really need one. A m43 probably suits me more. Something that can I can bring around on a daily basis.

    Do you guys have a good m43 camera in mind? Im leaning towards the olympus ep 1/2/3 but the 1 and 2 dont have a built in flash. + the external flash is huge, making it kinda bulky.

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