Superzoom or m4/3rds

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by robert_thommes|1, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. I'm really torn by a trade offer made to me recently, and could use your feedback to help me with a decision.
    I'm trying to figure out just which camera (and system) would be best for me. Specifically, it's between a Canon SX50 HS (50X optical zoom) OR am Olympus E-PL2 with the kit 14-42mm lens and a 45-150mm lens.
    Points to consider: image quality, zoom length, quality of the Oly lenses (both being merely consumer-grade), Lens changing(E-PL2), use of LCD (E-PL2) vs. EVF (Canon), convenience of a one-piece camera (Canon) vs. interchangable lenses (Oly). Then, keep in mind that I currently have a Canon DSLR and a few good lenses.
    Ultimately the decision is mine. I understand that. But I'd still like to know what YOU would do in my shoes. And/or what other questions I should be asking myself.
    Finally, if it's really a NO CONTEST, because one of these cameras (systems) is so totally superior over the other, let me know.
    Thanks for your feedback.
  2. Robert, you are not a beginner in these issues, you have asked questions about super-zooms for half a decade and about the 4/3s system at least since 2009, hundreds of questions about buying, selling or trading cameras. In 2007, you asked essentially the same question (Thinking about "cashing in" my DSLR for a one-piece digicam) here.
    In the beginner's forum, we are supposed to pay even more attention to being helpful and informative. Here is the most helpful thing I can say: Stop doing this to yourself. Take care.
  3. I don't even recall asking this before. But if I did, what was the summary of responses?
  4. "...what was the summary of responses?"​
    Grab a camera and go take photos.

    "But I'd still like to know what YOU would do in my shoes."​
    Life helped with that decision. Due to chronic neck and back pain my dSLR, lenses and TTL flash stay home. For the past few years I've carried nothing but P&S or compact 35mm film and digicams: Olympus XA-3 and 35 RC; Olympus C-3040Z, Ricoh GX100 and Nikon V1. And I'm enjoying photography more than I had in years.
    But I shoot mostly candid snaps of people, or whatever bit of light and shadow happens to catch my eye. My style doesn't depend on the sharpest glass, least grainy film, least noisy digicam or any conventional standard for good technique. High end cameras are wasted on me unless they fit in my pocket or smallest waist or shoulder bag.
    Only you can decide which compromises you're willing to make to get the shot, rather than spinning the shill-I-shall-I wheel. If you do mostly nature photography, in your shoes I'd go for a mirrorless Micro 4:3 or Nikon 1 CX format, an adapter and enjoy the huge advantage of putting affordable fast medium teles on those bodies. But that's me.
  5. Thanks, Lex. That's the sort of response that I'm looking for.
    Hector, I visited the "here" site. It's not at all the same question that I'm asking here. For one thing, I'm not intending to scrape my DSLR gear at all right now.
  6. I have a decent point and shoot for places where a DSLR is impractical. I wouldn't want to bother with a second system of lenses, because inevitably I'd want to flesh out the second kit, as well.
  7. Good thinking. I must admit that two "sets" of gear might make life more complex than it is.
  8. I used to use a Canon SX20 (20x zoom), but have recently bought a Panasonic G3 (m4/3) and here's why...
    - Super zoom had f/2.8-5.6 lens, but as the sensor is much smaller (crop factor of 5.6) it meant that the depth of field at f/2.8 was the equivalent of about f/16 on a full frame camera. The SX50 has a similar crop factor (24/4.3=5.6) and the widest aperture is f/3.4.
    - The tiny sensor in the super zoom provides poorer image quality than the m4/3 sensor
    - I rarely used the 540mm equiv. on the super zoom. I don't know what you shoot, but how often are you really going to be using the 1200mm equiv. focal length on the SX50?
    - The m4/3 system provides the flexibility of changing lenses which allows my photography to grow, although I'm still using the 25mm f/1.4 prime at the moment (and loving it)...
    You already have a Canon system, so what are you looking for from buying one of these? Neither of them are really small enough to fit in your pocket either (maybe a large coat pocket), but they are lighter than carrying around a DLSR system. Maybe you should look at something more like the Canon G15 if you want something for your pocket.
  9. That's why a good versatile mirrorless camera with adapter for your favorite lenses makes sense. No real need for a second system.
    When I got the V1 it wasn't with the intention of making it a "system" camera. Mostly I wanted an ultra-fast P&S that could inexpensively handle one or two of my favorite Nikkors on odd occasions.
    But if I was invested in the Canon dSLR system, especially if I had some fast teles, I'd go for a Micro 4:3 camera with adapter.
  10. I don't even recall asking this before.​
  11. Personally, I would get the m4/3rd probably. I keep being dissatisfied with compacts, good as they have gotten, it's just a far cry from what I've grown used to (DSLR). And even if the 2 Olympus zooms are consumer zooms, then there is a good chance they still come out well ahead of a 50x zoomlens that's made on an even smaller budget. So, m4/3rd bigger sensor, better exchange for a bit of convenience. Since I find I need the ultra-long less and less, I'd be fine with sacrificing the extreme zoomrange over a bigger sensor with better lenses. Probably, I'd pass on the long zoom lens too, the 14-42 alone would do.
    But if you'd ask me now to put my money where my writing is: no. I'd get neither one. I have a fine DSLR which handles thew way I like, and a smartphone that does decent enough quality for the occassional snaps (and that rendered my compact nearly unused). Smaller cameras do not fit my hands too well, and they do not solve any problem I experience.
    What I would do in your case? Really no idea. It is not clear which problem you look to solve. So, the one question that seems to be missing in my view is: do I need either of these cameras? If yes, why? And then it'll be clear enough soon which one fits the bill better.
  12. Thanks for the comments, suggestions, and your personal opinions. Since posting this, I'm starting to see more clearly just how important convenience might be in all this. And the superzoom is the more convenient tool; with no decisions to be which lens to mount, which ILC to even take, etc. I still have the DSLR for the shots that really matter. For a guy who occasionally gets on a binge of attempting to reduce the amount of gear, adding the Oly gear would be a move in the wrong direction. The only counter comment for me might be that I have frequent thoughts of maybe eventually acquiring m4/3rds gear as my main gear to replace the DSLR gear. For that reason, this might be a golden opportunity.
    O, and I have a small pocket-sized Canon when size and occasion dictate it's use. It has a 14X zoom lens in it. (Canon SX230)
    NOTE: (Aside from the subject at hand, I can't help but ask why a few of you are so upset by my asking similar questions. The "policeforce" on these forums is intense. Either don't respond to my questions or consider my somewhat repeated questions of value to any new readers with similar interests.)
  13. I hope you seriously consider dumping your DSLR body for a quality M4/3 body ....I wouldn't dump the lenses though from my current experience I wouldn't be likely to use them very often but it is nice to have them.
    I came to M4/3 from a very good bridge camera, I bought a second one as back-up when subsequent models developed in ways I didn't like, and retain it for the occassion when with its tele adaptor I need 950mm reach, yet to use it that way of course because with my M4/3 I have 500mm reach and can safely crop to achieve 1000 reach.
    I have always in the digital world viewed the DSLR with disgust as a clunky heavy beastie, for all the quality of its results which is not my prime interest in photography, and reveled in the compact flexibility of the bridge camera which when I was saved by it from buying a DSLR I consider to be the delightful machine/tool the digital revolution has brought us. The only problem I see is that the 'big fellows' put their energy and R&D into developing the DSLR instead of bringing us a large sensored bridge camera. So the compromise I am currently with is a Panasonic GH2 with the Lumix 14-140 ... but I still have my bridge cameras and lenses from my SLR days... none of which are being used becuase the GH2 seems to meet all my needs.
    The biggest chore of my life is keeping all my batteries charged up since normally I have two or three batteries for each camera I own :)
  14. JC,
    Liked your comments. And I would like to dump my DSLR gear if it weren't for the ability of that gear (only) to capture my grandkid's hockey games. Doesn't seem as though there are any other options able to deal with with those photo situations as well as they (DSLRs) can, yet.
    Thanks for contributing.
  15. I have a Canon T3i and 6-8 lenses. I also have a Canon SX30, with its 35X zoom (24-840mm). I use the SX30 much more because of the convenience, I can cover much of what I need with the camera and my EX430 flash. I keep the DSLR for more "serious" uses, mostly around home where I don't need to haul around a big camera bag full of gear. I have a small bag in which I keep the SX30, it goes with me everywhere in the car.
  16. Thanks, Bob. That the sort of thing I need to hear.
  17. I don't know what the current generation of bridge cameras are capable of but I am guessing that a Panasonic FZ200 with its constant f/2.8 lens at what is? 600mm zoom would handle those hockey games in poor light [?] very well with a minimum of raising ISO .... 800 ISO ?
    Here the advantage of the M4/3 is the ability to work satisfactorilly at 6400 ISO for up to 50% on the monitor screen ... 50% using 16Mp is a pretty big picture if you can follow my thinking .. I was very pleased when I first tried it after being used to working at 100 ISO with my bridge cameras. As with all things photographic a lot depends on what you want to do with the final product.

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