FujiFilm X-Pro 1 or Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 or other?

iim7v7im7

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Hi,

We currently own a Canon EOS 30D body and a number of Canon lens. My wife travels with an enormous gear bag as a result and is quite happy to do so. I, on the other hand simply take my small Canon point-and-shoot (Powershot S95) but it is quite limited in what it can do (e.g. maxes out at F8). I would NEVER carry a large bag of kit like she does. I am trained from film days (Nikormat from the 1970s) to shoot manually and I frequently shoot fully manual or with aperture priority modes.

So I am looking for a camera that will be good to travel with that is SMALLER and LIGHTER than our DSLR. It can be a great camera like a Canon EOS 6D or Nikon D600 but at that size and weight, particularly with good glass it WILL NOT BE USED. I will leave it at home. This has led me to look at a number of the mirrorless options available today. I also have been looking into the range of lens available as well, because you’re really buying into both a body and the associated glass.

I also shoot staged still life photography of my mechanical wristwatches which I collect and also my guitars. I do a bunch of detailed macro here with diffused lighting using my Wife's DSLR with a 60 mm Macro. I would like to buy a macro lens and use my new camera for this as well. I am concerned that the type of depth of fields that I use to control focus may not be the same in these non-DSLT options.

After looking at offerings from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony; I am focused on two alternative cameras:

1) Fujifilm X-Pro 1
2) Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

I have been really looking into size and weight of these camera systems to get a sense of size and weight savings over an equivalent cost DSLR with a typical standard zoom lens on:

Canon EOS 7D + EF 24-70 mm F4 lens (38-112 mm effective)
Weight: 1416g (816 g body + 600 g lens)
Size: 147 x 112 x 74 mm

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 + GX Vario 12-35 F2.8 Lens (24-70 mm effective)
Weight: 855g (550g body + 305g lens)
Size: 132 x 94 x 81 mm

FujiFilm X-Pro 1 + XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 Lens (36-110 effective)
Weight: 780g (450g body + 330g lens)
Size: 140 x 81 x 43 mm

So both models assembled with a standard zoom lens are 55-60% of the weight of the full frame Canon DSLR. Size wise, the Fuji is thinner and both are slightly shorter but are as wide as a DSLR.

The lenses for each that look interesting are:

Lumix:
12-35 mm (24-70 mm) F2.8
45 mm (90 mm) F2.8 Macro

Fujifilm:
18-55 mm (27-84 mm) F2.8-F4
60 mm (90 mm) F2.4 Macro

Even looking at the list of planned glass for 2013, the Lumix line-up seems more robust albeit more expensive. The GH3 is slightly larger and heavier than the Fujifilm, but is still about 40% lighter than a DSLR in a weatherproof body. The question is when I handle it, is it small enough to travel with? For example, even a smaller pro/consumer DSLR with a plastic body is only slightly lighter than an EOS 6D:

Nikon D5200 + Nikkor 17-55 F2.8 lens
Weight: 1310g (555 g body + 755 g lens)
Size: 129 x 98 x 78 mm

An equivalently outfitted Lumix (the heavier of the two) is still 35% lighter mostly due to the 4/3 glass vs the body which is similar in size and weight albeit the Lumix is more robustly constructed (weight in DSLR body is Penta-prism I suppose).

So what say you? Between these cameras and lens families which is better based on my needs?
Or should I consider something else given my needs/goals?

Thanks,

Bob
 

brunerww

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Bob - I love my GH3, and it is very compact with the 12-35 on it:

View attachment 37117

I use a very small over the shoulder bag with it and pretty much carry the camera and this little $6 Vivitar pistol grip/tripod everywhere I go, but the GH3 is not a pocket camera with this lens on it.

You have done a great job of laying out all the data above, but a picture is worth a thousand words - have you used the "camerasize.com" side-by-side comparison tool? Here is their comparison between the GH3 and the X-Pro1: Compare camera dimensions side by side

Here is the comparison between the GH3 and a Canon 40D (closest they have to the 30D): Compare camera dimensions side by side

And here is the comparison between the X-Pro1 and the 40D: Compare camera dimensions side by side

Personally, I like the water-resistant robustness of the GH3 in a relatively small package. I also like the articulated LCD for close-in macro work. The Fuji may be thinner, but its larger sensor means that its lenses will be larger as well. One note: the Fuji actually has a 1.5x crop, not a 2.0x crop, so its 18-55 lens is 27 to 82.5 effective - about the same as the 24-70 effective of the lighter and smaller Panasonic lens.

Due to the physics of the Fuji's larger sensor, its lenses will tend to be larger and heavier - which may negate the weight advantage of the camera body.

The real challenge with the GH3 is that demand has outstripped supply, and they are difficult to find in stock. If you can wait, Amazon will not charge you until they ship.

If you can't wait, there is a display model on eBay right now for $1495.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
 

usayit

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Pretty much brunerww's post is on target.

I considered the FujiFilm X-Pro1 but stuck with micro 4/3. IMO, its a better all around camera system. A strong point of the FujiFilm camera is its high ISO performance as you would expect from a larger sensor. Its weakness is its auto focus which happens to be a strong point of micro 4/3 cameras for static objects. Neither are ideal for subjects in motion.

Micro 4/3 has a much better selection of native lenses. Don't forget that both Olympus and Panasonic camera bodies share the same lens mount; the major design difference is image stabilization (Panasonic = in lens vs. Olympus = in body). This means you can use lenses from Olympus, Tamron, Sigma, Panasonic, Voigtlander. Its crop sensor is a sweet spot that not only makes the camera smaller but the lenses as well. If the GH# is too large, you can consider the GX# or the tiny GF#. From the Olympus camp, the E-PL#, E-PM1, and E-P# will make the FujiPro look rather large by comparison.

I personally use the Olympus OMD with a mix of Panasonic and Olympus lenses. If I were to return to a Panasonic body (I started with the G1), I would go with the G5 paired with 17-40, 12-35, and 35-100. The price difference between the GH# and the G5 is large enough that I'd rather have that money invested in the lenses; I don't do video. GH line of Panasonics target consumers with video in mind.
 

brunerww

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