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Thread: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

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    Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    I asked this question on another forum but would like to get your opinion.

    I currently use Nikon FX and would like to add a backup/travel kit.
    I already have a full set of FX lenses, no DX lens.

    I am debating between a D7000 (7100) or go micro four thirds. the reason is that I already have a few M4/3 glasses (good ones) from a year ago when I made the foray. At the time, I found the M4/3 image quality to be lacking. I sold the camera but I kept the f2.8 panasonic zoom lenses.

    So my questions to other experience users are the following:
    1. assuming the latest m4/3 (EM1, EM5 II) IQs have improved much, how do they compare to a D7000 or D7100 in the IQ department
    2. How much bigger is the D7000 compared to the EM1 physically? From photos I saw, not much bigger, correct? What about with the 18-300mm lens added on?
    3. D7000 vs D71000. I've seen mixed reviews, some say D7000 AF is better than the D7100 or the old Sony sensor is better than the new Toshiba? to me, 16 or 24mp doesn' t make a difference. I'd still be using FX for critical work anyway.

    Anything I'm missing?

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    I owned myself a Fuji XT1 and a Olympus EM1 for my only cameras over the last months. I found IQ from both cameras and lenses very comparable (using only pro grade Oly lenses and the better Fuji glass). So I decided to get rid of my Fuji and go Nikon FF again (with the Df) because I could not get better images from the Fuji while the Olympus system being considerably smaller.

    Main reason for me going FF again was that the APSC sensor from the Fuji while great could no way compare with FF. This has nothing to do with the Fuji sensors or the XT1 per se, but I found the m43 advantages for a compact system in combination with a FF Nikon system just to be the perfect complement for me. Maybe this could be an answer for you ....

    BTW if you want to go the Nikon DX route, why not choose the D7200 instead of the D7000/D7100?

    Just my 5c

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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    Thanks for the quick reply. This was my exact setup a year ago. (not the EM1, though).

    I like the M4/3 form factor for sure, but I found found the files didn't stand up to much post processing before they became brittle. The latest Olympus probably are much better now so I'm considering this again.

    The only issue is that keeping two separate lens systems is both costly and distracting.

    My concern are the above. Is DX plus lens really that much bigger than the Olympus setup? On 7100 vs 7200, the 7200 upgrade was so minor, one could get a 7100 for half the price.

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    Personally I would stick with FX and get the d750 - which is the same size as the D7100/7200…..but has better IQ…. or is there another reason that you want DX?
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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    had no idea the d750 is the same size as the d7000.....

    other factors are price and crop factor for wildlife.. but not as important as physical size (not only the body, but the lens)

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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    I've been using Olympus E-M1, Sony A7, Leica M9, and now Leica M-P cameras over the past year and some. Haven't used Nikon FF DSLRs for a long time, last I used was the D700.

    For me, I find the E-M1 raw files are about as robust as the Sony A7 files up to ISO 6400. The A7 has another stop or two on the E-M1 on the noise level but editing and noise are a bit fragile once there.

    The M-P I obtained recently. IMO, it produces better files than either the Sony or the E-M1, although it's not quite as sensitive as either. It works best up to ISO 3200. This is fine by me ... I'm more likely to be working in the ISO 200-1600 range with any camera than the ISO stratosphere above that.

    Now that said, good exposure is critical with all of them, and more so with the smaller format E-M1. But presuming you hit the exposure right, what I find is that the E-M1 produces results quite on par with the M-P in the M-P's prime working range when I use premium lenses (for me on mFT: ZD 11-22, ZD 35 Macro, ZD 50-200, Summilux-DG 25, Macro-Elmarit-DG 45, M.Zuiko 75), and the E-M1 with my usual three-four lens travel kit is as compact as the M-P with similar FoV lens kit.

    mFT and FF make a good pairing, IMO. Particularly with a body as good as the E-M1 which has outstanding image stabilization, great responsiveness and speed, and excellent lenses. The different formats have different strengths, the difference in the size and weight of what you carry is significant, and both make great photographs.

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    Senior Member segedi's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Personally I would stick with FX and get the d750...
    I agree.
    My DSLR travel kit consists of
    Nikon D750
    Voigtlander 28mm f/2.8
    Nikon 50mm f/1.8g
    Nikon 85mm f/1.8g

    It weighs about 3.4 lbs. Cost to acquire was about $3400.

    Otherwise, I'd go to micro 4/3 as you already have some lenses and the bodies are getting better and better. It would be a lighter kit too.
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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    A point to bear in mind is that Nikon has very few good DX lenses, especially at the wide angle side… they just don't compare with Fuji, Oly etc.

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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    Since I've used all of these three formats/systems simultaneously, I guess I should chip in with my opinion:

    - If you consider DX, consider the D7200. From what I've seen so far, image quality is fantastic and approaches that of 24MP FX sensors even at high ISO. Since it's new, it's obviously more expensive than the D7000/7100, but you'll forget that when you see the images. Also, the D7200 has a decent buffer, which helps a lot for many kinds of photography. A great advantage using the D70/71/7200 cameras is that they use the same batteries etc. as your current FX cameras. That saves your brain as well as your wallet.

    - Another Nikon alternative is the D5500. While the viewfinder and the build quality are nothing near the D7200, it's very cheap, has a fold out, touch screen LCD and is as small/light as most high quality mirrorless cameras. It's uses smaller batteries than the D7200 though, but a similar 24MP sensor. Good video functionality too, and built-in WiFi. Be aware that the D5500 doesn't have a focusing motor, so older AF lenses won't focus by themselves.

    - While it's correct that Nikon's choice of high quality DX lenses is very limited (unless you want one of the countless 18-something plastic lenses), there are some great alternatives from other sources, like the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 and the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 (that's one point eight). Obviously, all your FX lenses will fit, so for anything longer than 28mm, this is mostly not a problem anyway.

    - Image quality of m4/3 cameras has improved, but every time it does, the image quality of larger sensor cameras improves too. Using any of those cameras will mean compromising on image quality except in situations where IBIS (Olympus) gives you an advantage or the size of the lenses means that you bring a lens that you wouldn't consider carrying that day with a larger system. The Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 is a good example of such a lens, as is the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4.

    With m4/3, you also have access to some of the best "standard" zoom lenses ever made, like the PanaLeica 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5, the Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 and the best of them all: the Zuiko 14-35mm f/2.0. Be aware though that AF is really only good with the Olympus E-M1, since that's the only m4/3 body that features phase detect AF. When that is said, there are some amazing lenses made for m4/3, and the prices are mostly to live with.

    For me, the reasons to buy into m4/3 again would be:

    - Easier to shoot video because of the EVF and better contrast detect AF
    - Articulated LCD on most cameras
    - Better video quality (Panasonic GH4)
    - Smaller lenses, particularly at the long end
    - Mostly smaller and lighter (but not as much as one might think)

    My decision to leave m4/3 for now came after a trip to a rather remote are of Myanmar that will take a lot of time and effort to re-visit. While I'm quite happy with many of the photos I captured, I do wish that I had more megapixels available, and not least better low light capabilities. I won't go back to rake those photos again, but my permanent travel camera is now the D810, and I have a feeling that it will stay that way for quite a while.
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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    jorgen

    thanks for that thoughtful post. It's hard to part with the m4/3. I have spent a year assembling a great collection of modern, high quality, and compact lenses. now to see them go at a discount is really tough.

    But, more often then not i'm not happy with the images I get from my old Em5 (then loaned a EM1, not much different). That gives me pause every time I bring it out it's always a compromise between portability and quality. It's distracting and expensive to keep two full camera systems so I've decided to let go.

    I went to B&H and tested the DX cameras. the 5500 is really small, but really plasticky. the AF is slow, and the viewfinder is limiting. the 7200 felt great, but it's really the same size as my FX set so I don't see the point (other than using smaller DX lenses, but....they are not good!)

    So I ended up not buying anything. I guess I will wait and see

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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    Well, I like the smaller format for a lot of stuff because I can get more DoF at larger lens openings, better performance in lower light with that and the E-M1's 5 axis IBIS.

    A four lens mFT kit fitted into the same bag as a four lens FF DSLR kit with the same effective speed and FoV coverage takes up half the space and weighs about a third as much. To me, that's a big deal: I just don't want to carry so much weight anymore. Which is why I went mFT and Leica RF as my pairing ... :-)

    G

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    Re: Nikon DX or Micro four thirds

    If size is important than Micro 4/3 but if you have a great collection of lenses then maybe stick with Nikon. The Df isn't much larger than most pro-level crop sensor DSLR. The Micro 4/3 are much smaller (even the largest Micro 4/3 that I've handled - OM-D EM1 which about 7/8 in size compared to the A7 body) by comparison. This reality is more apparent especially when you factor in lens size.
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