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 Post subject: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:59 pm
Posts: 7
Hi! I have finally decided to take the plunge and invest a little money into a new camera. I want it to be something that I will still be happy with in a few years. However, I do not know much about photography. My main goal is to be able to capture my kids better and still have wonderful image quality, and I have a budget of around $500 (willing to buy refurbished). I've done a lot of research, but I can't figure out what would be the better camera for me. I've narrowed it down to a Panasonic G5 and either a Canon Rebel t3i or a Nikon 5100. A DSLR concerns me because of the cost and the fact that with 3 kids it's most likely going to end up being dropped at one point. Then I also wonder if something like a Canon powershot sx50 would suit my purposes just fine (unsure if it would be quick enough to my liking)? I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
Posts: 733
When going to any interchangeable lens system, it's generally more about the lenses than the camera. And to determine which lenses you need, it would help to know what kinds of pictures you want to take. i.e. pictures of your kids doing what? (For example, ballet would be better shot with a different lens than soccer. And neither is particularly well suited to being captured with a typical "kit" lens.)

Also don't forget to budget for these lenses.

And that brings me to: at a total budget of $500 for both a camera body and a (kit) lens, it is indeed possible that a point-and-shoot might work better for you. Again, depending on what you plan to take pictures of.

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:59 pm
Posts: 7
Mark,

Thanks for replying! I was concerned about the costs of lenses, and worried a DSLR is out of my league. My children are 6 and under and are on the always on the move. I can never seem to capture them quick enough, and then the moment is gone. My older two have started sports, so I would like to be able to capture that as well. Are there any point and shoot cameras that are quick enough? The $500 is the initial budget for the body and kit lens, but then it would be a matter of saving to be able to buy more accessories. I appreciate your help!

Thanks again!
K


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:59 pm
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Oh, and the sports are faster...soccer etc


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:20 am 
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Sorry, I'm still not really clear on what you plan to take pictures of, other than soccer, obviously. For example, "always on the move" could be anything from going down the slide at the neighborhood playground to building a pillow fort out of couch cushions in the living room. So it would help if you could be a little more specific.

But to use soccer as a starting point, I'd guesstimate that even on a crop frame DSLR (T3i) you'd probably want a lens that's at least 200mm (for a full frame equivalent focal length of 320mm), especially since your kids are, well, kid-size, as opposed to adult-size. (Smaller subjects generally mean longer focal length.) Unfortunately, a lens like this will probably cost you around half your budget -- $200-300. (If you'd like to check your local used market to see if there's one available cheaper, I'm thinking of either the Canon 55-250mm or 75-300mm.)

Even on the G5, you'd probably be looking at a similar price range (for either the Panasonic 45-200 or Olympus 40-150mm). (I'm throwing in the Oly 40-150mm because the G5's higher crop factor (2X) will still get you a similar 300mm full frame equivalent when zoomed all the way in. Full disclosure: I own an Oly 40-150mm lens.)

(Also note that none of those lenses is well suited to indoor sports like hockey or basketball. Indoor/night sports is one of the hardest things to shoot on a budget.)

Personally, for soccer on a $500 budget, I'd recommend a Panasonic FZ200. (Camera Labs' FZ200 review can be found here.) I think the 50X zoom of the Canon SX50 you mentioned is overkill/unnecessary, and the FZ200's brighter lens may come in handy (on overcast days, for example).

Also, since you've mentioned "quick enough" a couple of times, it would help if you could be more specific as to what you're concerned about: do you mean boot (turn on/power up) time? or auto-focus time? or shot-to-shot (burst) time? or shutter lag (time from when you press the button to when the picture is taken)? or something else?

Mark

P.S. also don't forget to budget for things like an SD card, extra battery, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:59 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry I was vague, this is all new to me. When I say quick enough, I mean shutter lag. When I push the button I want it to take the picture immediately. I didn't think there were any point and shoot cameras that would have as quick of a response time as a DLSR. My budget is for the initial purchase, as extra lenses will come later.


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:57 pm 
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I'm sorry, I still don't think I answered your initial question...it's not so much as what they're are doing if that makes sense. If they look at me and smile I want to be able to capture their expression immediately, and not have a shutter lag of 5 seconds. Often it happens that the moments is gone before the camera has even taken a picture. Again, I apologize as all of this is very un-technical and I'm learning as I go.

As far as my budget, I want to learn on the camera and be able to be completely comfortable on it before investing in more lenses, which I do plan to buy at a later time.

Thanks again for your help, and I hope I haven't frustrated you...


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:50 pm 
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Location: United Kingdom
Whether you shoot with Micro 4/3 or DSLR, they focus a lot more quickly than your average P&S. It's worth bearing in mind however that DSLRs generally focus slower through Live View than when using the optical viewfinder due to the different autofocus mechanism (depending on the model).

With the three bodies you've narrowed your choices down to, you can't really go wrong with any of them though you've got more lens options (their own brand or through third parties) with the Canon/Nikon route.

Have you tried any of them out?

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:59 pm
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Thanks for your response, no I have not had a chance to try them out...just a lot of research online


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:29 am
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First, no need to apologize for being new. We all started out that way.

krobb007 wrote:
If they look at me and smile I want to be able to capture their expression immediately, and not have a shutter lag of 5 seconds.

That actually sounds more like a combination of auto-focus time (possibly with some additional indoor/low light delay thrown in) and auto-picture mode time, not shutter lag. This ties into what you said about wanting to "learn on the camera" in that, it would probably help to reduce that time if you learned to set more things manually so the camera wouldn't have to take as long trying to figure things out. To that end, most point-and-shoots in the $300-500 range have a manual mode, so you don't necessarily have to jump all the way up to a DSLR (or MILC, Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, like the G5). You might even want to check if your current camera has a manual (or at least semi-manual -- Shutter and/or Aperture Priority) mode.

In any case, one of the simplest ways to reduce AF (auto-focus) time is to pre-focus. Most cameras allow you to do this with a half-press of the shutter button. To go back to the playground slide scenario, as your kid climbs up the steps, point the camera at the bottom of the slide and half-press the shutter button (and keep it half-pressed). Then, when your kid reaches the bottom of the slide, fully depress the shutter. This should reduce the lag to tenths of a second, even with a point-and-shoot.

Also, when taking candid pics of people, you can use Shutter Priority mode with a shutter speed of 1/60 (or faster, depending on how fast the person is moving. e.g. in the slide example, you may want to use a faster shutter speed of 1/120, while soccer would be faster again, so maybe 1/250).

And those two "tricks" are really just the tip of the iceberg. (And both techniques will transfer over to any DSLR you buy in the future.)

Personally, I think you'd be better served learning these things on a P&S (point-and-shoot) (like the FZ200 or again, maybe even your current camera). And then later, when you know for sure that you're hitting the limits of the camera's performance, and you know for sure that you need to spend a lot more money, and you have a clearer idea of what you need, then upgrade to an interchangeable lens system.

My 2ยข - Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Micro 4/3 vs DSLR?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:59 pm
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Thanks Mark! Great advice and I appreciate your time!


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