Recommended micro four body and lenses

DavorSt

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This topic might be covered in some other threads - if so, please redirect me.
My dilemma is following: I am a zealous traveller and amateur photographer. Few months ago I finally collected money and bought Canon EOS 5D mII, but it is too bulky and heavy to carry it easily around all the time. It is hard to give up the image quality it offers, but to carry it for a month in Himalayan valleys...
I am now looking for trading it for a Micro four thirds camera that will not be a too big step backwards. Olympus OM-D E-M5 body seems fine enough, but when it comes to lenses they all (from specifications) look too slow and inferior.
I would be grateful for a reccomendation - what micro four thirds body + lenses combination make the best travel gear - I mean portable but not so compromised image quality (low noise at high iso if possible) would you buy?
Thanks in advance
Davor
 

brunerww

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Hi DavorSt - I recommend the 1039€ Panasonic GH3, Panasonic's flagship micro 4/3 camera. With the 969€ Panasonic 12-35mm and 1073€ 35-100mm constant f2.8 lenses, you will have equivalents to Canon's 1999€ 24-70mm and 2119€ 70-200mm constant f2.8 lenses on full frame. With the GH3's magnesium body, and splashproof Panasonic lenses, you will have a robust travel camera with lightning fast autofocus that produces images like these, from a body and lenses that are not only less expensive, but also much smaller and lighter than a 1796€ 5D Mark II with its heavy full frame lenses.

Here is what some people who have switched from Canon full frame to the GH3 are saying:

Lumix G 35-100 f2.8 : Is it a DSLR killer? - Small Camera BIG Picture

Hope this is helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
 
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DavorSt

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Thank you brunerww, this is a starting point for my search. Do you have 1st hand experience with GH3? How good it is in low light?
 
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DavorSt

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How the Olympus OM-D E-M5 compares with Panasonic GH3?
 

usayit

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Do you prefer zooms or primes?

Budget?

The OMD E-M5 is pretty much the best micro 4/3rds body but it comes with a price. I also prefer to use it with a grip with these larger zooms. So I personally had to factor in another $300 for it. If zooms were to be used for their flexibility, there is the 12-35mm f/2.8 and 35-100mm f/2.8. I am perfectly comfortable carrying the OMD + 12-35 + 35-100 + grip and small FL600R flash. If I need something longer... 100-300mm.

However, I do prefer to shoot primes.... So often, I leave those at home and carry the OMD (no grip) + 12mm f/2 + 20mm f/1.7 + 45mm f/1.8 instead. Some may prefer the 75mm f/1.8

A more reasonable (price wise) combo that I would be totally content with would be the G5 + 12-35 + 35-100. The $500 difference in the body would make the price of the lenses a bit easy to swallow.
 
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DavorSt

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The original idea was to explore what is the best "travel set" I could get if I trade my DSLR combo (EOS 5D mII, Speedlite 430, 85mm f1.8, 24mm f 2.8, 50 mm f 1.9 - all Canon gear) that obviously need a serious (costly) upgrade in lenses but even after that remains too heavy and clumsy to carry to places I go. Zooms would be (and always are) less of a nuisance, but primes I do like (obviously). However, I was so annoyed on my last travel with constantly changing lenses in the most terrible conditions all the time and constantly missing shots... I think I should go for a good zoom.
I will obviously have to make quite a few compromises as the (perfect) combo Brunerww suggested would be too expensive for me at the moment. I might leave the purchase of 35-100 lens for some other times and ths time go only with 12-35.
 

brunerww

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Hi DavorSt - sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. I hope you don't mind, but I have consolidated your questions in one post.

...Do you have 1st hand experience with GH3? How good it is in low light?


Yes I am a GH3 owner and I carry it with me just about everywhere. It is good in low light up to ISO3200 on a computer screen, but I wouldn't go above ISO800 on a large print.

Here is a good comparison with the 5D Mark II from hybrid still/video shooter Marlene Hielema, who switched to the GH3:





Some people like the OM-D's still images better because of Olympus' in-camera JPEG color processing. This doesn't really matter for RAW shooters.

The OM-D is somewhat smaller and lighter, but has no substantial hand grip without paying 257€ extra for an Olympus HLD-6 external battery.

The original idea was to explore what is the best "travel set" I could get if I trade my DSLR combo (EOS 5D mII, Speedlite 430, 85mm f1.8, 24mm f 2.8, 50 mm f 1.9 - all Canon gear) that obviously need a serious (costly) upgrade in lenses but even after that remains too heavy and clumsy to carry to places I go. Zooms would be (and always are) less of a nuisance, but primes I do like (obviously). However, I was so annoyed on my last travel with constantly changing lenses in the most terrible conditions all the time and constantly missing shots... I think I should go for a good zoom.
I will obviously have to make quite a few compromises as the (perfect) combo Brunerww suggested would be too expensive for me at the moment. I might leave the purchase of 35-100 lens for some other times and ths time go only with 12-35.

Since telephoto shots are mainly outdoors, you can save some money with a 220€ 45-150 or a 282€ 45-200. Even though they're not f2.8 lenses, you probably don't want to travel without some kind of telephoto.

Again, hope this is helpful,

Bill
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DavorSt

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Dear brunerww, very helpful indeed. Thank you very much.
 

usayit

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For someone ~not~ interested or focused on video, isn't the GH3 a little bit overkill? Wouldn't the G5 or G6 be a more reasonable option that will free up $$$ for lenses?
 

brunerww

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For someone ~not~ interested or focused on video, isn't the GH3 a little bit overkill? Wouldn't the G5 or G6 be a more reasonable option that will free up $$$ for lenses?

Thanks, usauyit. From a pure image quality standpoint, you're right. But coming from a robust magnesium body, water resistant camera such as the 5D Mark II, I thought an unsealed camera with a plastic body would be too much of a downgrade. In addition to its improved low-light and video performance, the GH3's magnesium splash-proof body was a big part of my decision to upgrade from the GH2.

Canon 5D Mark II

$108986478.fO4oTX43.jpg

Panasonic DMC-GH3

$overview-W05A-Mag-Body.jpg

Best,

Bill
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