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02-25-2011, 02:25 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I used the K-x Live View to take a picture of a horse. It was loud enough that it actually upset the horse.


Now that's some funny stuff! Thx for sharing!

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
i don't assume you need it i'm pointing out the limitation, if you want to shoot portraits the m4/3 is not the better choice it's the physics of it. I like the other Panasonic (GF2)as a street machine myself and an evf can always be added. really it depends on your usage which is better but i think any m4/3 camera gives up on high iso performance versus apsc and on the DOF. just as apsc gives up on those to FF cameras. Build quality also varies if you put the k7 or k5 into the mix.
apsc loses out on weight, size somewhat and stealth factor versus the oly's and GF2 particularly.
OP did mention family pictures so the assumption would be occasional portraits as well. apsc will do that better no question. Also cheaper a basic manual focus 55 f2.0 kit lens will outperform any portrait length lens the m4/3 camp has for DOF and an f or fa 50 1.4 will blow the m4/3 portrait choices out of the water at a lower cost as well (the 25 .95 mention is 820 and not available and manual focus BTW so compare it to say an A 50 1.4 for about $80-100 and take some portraits on a kr
If you are only going to own the one system and don't want to be limited then you should look at an apsc slr for best value, if small is you main concern , and the limitations don't affect you then m4/3 is a good system
if you are buying the m4/3 to use pretty much exclusively with the 17 or 20 then wait and get an x100. the preliminary beta test shots from dpreview look like it will pretty much blow m4/3 out of the water at high iso, and it is an even better design for stealth/street shooting
I think you are putting more emphasis on portraits than the OP. He did mention shots of family and children, which sounded more like candids to me. But it is an interesting question - can M43 do portraits? For kicks I just put the Pentax DA70 F2.4 Limited on the GH2 and in some shots around the house I'm getting some sharp subjects - it helps that the DA70 is sharp wide open - with nice OOF areas. So while the Nokton is expensive, M43 adapters do open up a wide range of cheap fast (albeit manual focus) options. But now we're both drifting away from the topic at hand...

OP, I've used the Pentax K-x and GH2 pretty extensively by now. If you are willing to compose and shoot with the rear screen, then the GH2 with a small prime is more stealthy than any dSLR that I've ever used; it essentially feels like a big compact, like a Canon G11 on steroids.

If you use zooms, the Panny kit zooms are smaller than the Pentax kit zooms. Is the difference enough to make a difference to your subject? I don't know - it depends. I've desensitized my family with my incessant shooting that they wouldn't bat an eye with a view camera.

I think more than zoom size, camera noise may be more important. The K-x makes quite a racket. If the K-r is similar, then it's probably a no go. The K-5, on the other hand, is quiet. Like butter. But it's bigger than the K-r, which in turn is bigger than the GH2. But it's a better photographic tool than the GH2, while the GH2 beats it on video - if that's of any concern.

Lots to choose from. I guess the good thing is that all cameras above a certain pricepoint take excellent images, so it's really hard to make a bad decision. Good luck

02-25-2011, 02:55 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Now that's some funny stuff! Thx for sharing!

Lots to choose from. I guess the good thing is that all cameras above a certain pricepoint take excellent images, so it's really hard to make a bad decision. Good luck
this is the truly relevant thing, really they are all tools. i'm just as likely to be shooting with something stupidly big like my mamiya super 23 or slightly smaller my bronica etrsi so everyone at this point just ignores me and a camera. on the street i'd like something small, right now i like my rangefinders but the x100 is calling to me
i imagine OP isn't going to end up with 16 cameras and 22+ lenses like i have at the moment (there is always room for more)
02-25-2011, 08:11 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone. This has been helpful. I get the difference between APS-C and MFT, but that difference is minimal in comparison to the difference between MFT and a compact camera sensor, even the XZ-1 and LX5. If I can get 80% of the ability of an APS-C sensor in a MFT camera, then size is going to win. But I am going to wait to see what Pentax does before diving in.
02-25-2011, 10:32 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Regular guy Quote
I hope this is the right place for this and that I am not inviting arguments. I have been actively following the development of MFT cameras for some time, but they just can't quite seem to put the parts together. By happenstance, I came across Pentax, and I like what I am seeing. I hope that some of you have experience with both Pentax DSLRs and MFT cameras.

What matters to me me is a small system camera that takes good pictures and allows me to play with the options of a DSLR even if on a more limited scale. Size is extremely important to me. I have the good fortune that price is not an issue between available cameras.

Something that the MFT camera crowd seems not to understand is that the K-r is actually smaller than a GH2, and the K-5 is only 10% larger. That is size, not weight. I personally prefer the E-PL2, which is substantially smaller, but it lacks a built-in viewfinder, which I find essential. So today, the GH2 would be my only real option.

I have been able to handle a K-r, but not a K-5. I like the ergonomics of the K-r even if it seems a bit on the big side for me. It is my impression that the Pentax lenses are bigger and heavier than the MFT equivalents, and I am not sure how much of an issue that would be in the real world.

It also seemed to me that the K-r was loud. I am looking for something unobtrusive for pictures of the kids and family, and I don't know if it really is that loud.

If anyone has experience with both Pentax and micro four thirds, I would appreciate hearing their thoughts. A full size DSLR like the Canon 7D simply won't work for me. Are Pentax cameras really that much smaller in the real world?
I've used and owned an Olympus PEN, Nikon D700, Pentax K-7 and K-x. I've tried a K-r and a Sony A55 which uses the new pellicle system. I've tried the Panasonic GH2 but only in the store.

I shoot 80% indoor candids, usually of my 2 little guys, family gatherings, etc. When I go all "artsy" I sometimes go back to my Mamiya on 120 film.

Nothing beats the D700 for indoor candids, but it's a monster. Still, as a high-end benchmark, it tells me how the others compare.

The K-x. K-r are excellent indoor candid shooters. IMNSHO they resoundingly beat the MFT offerings because they have a shallower DOF due to the larger sensor, fast focus (not in the Nikon's league but slightly better than the GH), and excellent DR at higher ISO's.

The latter point is critical because indoor shots of moving subjects requires high ISO that preserves image quality, especially dynamic range. The sweet spot is ISO's 400-800 for me because they preserve the DR allowing me to up the shutter speed. My MFT Pen simply could not keep up compared to the better Sony sensor in the K-x, and the K-r's is even better. The APS-C gives you a better sensor for indoor candids, and you sound like a guy who likes to control quality.

Sound? It's camera click, frankly. I have probably 10,000 "unobtrusive" DSLR photos of my family and the sound of the click is nothing compared to the person crouched behind the viewfinder trying to scrunch down for that floor shot!

Size? Close enough. With cameras whatever feels best in the hand is what you'll use. If you need a viewfinder you get a certain form factor and that's it--most everything else is variation on a theme. The Sony A55 you should also look at. That camera surprised me as I am usually an unabashed Sony-basher.

Indoor candids will almost certainly demand 2 things if you get really serious: a fast prime and likely a dedicated flash. The DSLR's have better options here for better value. This is particularly true if you want to experiment with shallower DOF for portrait candids.




02-26-2011, 08:29 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
I've used and owned an Olympus PEN, Nikon D700, Pentax K-7 and K-x. I've tried a K-r and a Sony A55 which uses the new pellicle system. I've tried the Panasonic GH2 but only in the store.

I shoot 80% indoor candids, usually of my 2 little guys, family gatherings, etc. When I go all "artsy" I sometimes go back to my Mamiya on 120 film.

Nothing beats the D700 for indoor candids, but it's a monster. Still, as a high-end benchmark, it tells me how the others compare.

The K-x. K-r are excellent indoor candid shooters. IMNSHO they resoundingly beat the MFT offerings because they have a shallower DOF due to the larger sensor, fast focus (not in the Nikon's league but slightly better than the GH), and excellent DR at higher ISO's.

The latter point is critical because indoor shots of moving subjects requires high ISO that preserves image quality, especially dynamic range. The sweet spot is ISO's 400-800 for me because they preserve the DR allowing me to up the shutter speed. My MFT Pen simply could not keep up compared to the better Sony sensor in the K-x, and the K-r's is even better. The APS-C gives you a better sensor for indoor candids, and you sound like a guy who likes to control quality.

Sound? It's camera click, frankly. I have probably 10,000 "unobtrusive" DSLR photos of my family and the sound of the click is nothing compared to the person crouched behind the viewfinder trying to scrunch down for that floor shot!

Size? Close enough. With cameras whatever feels best in the hand is what you'll use. If you need a viewfinder you get a certain form factor and that's it--most everything else is variation on a theme. The Sony A55 you should also look at. That camera surprised me as I am usually an unabashed Sony-basher.

Indoor candids will almost certainly demand 2 things if you get really serious: a fast prime and likely a dedicated flash. The DSLR's have better options here for better value. This is particularly true if you want to experiment with shallower DOF for portrait candids.


For me personally, a viewfinder is pretty important and therefore limits the options. I understand that a lot of folks don't mind composing on the screen on the back of the camera and holding the camera at arms length, but I don't feel steady or like I see my composition very well with that method.
02-26-2011, 09:25 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
The K-x. K-r are excellent indoor candid shooters. IMNSHO they resoundingly beat the MFT offerings because they have a shallower DOF due to the larger sensor, fast focus (not in the Nikon's league but slightly better than the GH), and excellent DR at higher ISO's.

The latter point is critical because indoor shots of moving subjects requires high ISO that preserves image quality, especially dynamic range. The sweet spot is ISO's 400-800 for me because they preserve the DR allowing me to up the shutter speed. My MFT Pen simply could not keep up compared to the better Sony sensor in the K-x, and the K-r's is even better. The APS-C gives you a better sensor for indoor candids, and you sound like a guy who likes to control quality.

Sound? It's camera click, frankly. I have probably 10,000 "unobtrusive" DSLR photos of my family and the sound of the click is nothing compared to the person crouched behind the viewfinder trying to scrunch down for that floor shot!

Size? Close enough. With cameras whatever feels best in the hand is what you'll use. If you need a viewfinder you get a certain form factor and that's it--most everything else is variation on a theme. The Sony A55 you should also look at. That camera surprised me as I am usually an unabashed Sony-basher.

Indoor candids will almost certainly demand 2 things if you get really serious: a fast prime and likely a dedicated flash. The DSLR's have better options here for better value. This is particularly true if you want to experiment with shallower DOF for portrait candids.
Cute shots, although they are a little to small to see what DOF you got. What camera/lens did you use?

As a frame of reference for the OP, here are some candids taken with the GH2 with the 20mm F1.7:

ISO400, F1.7, 1/100s using the flip-twist screen to compose (i'm on the right):



ISO800, F1.8, 1/50s



Here's a still from a 1080p24 video, ISO800, F2.0, 1/50s:



QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
For me personally, a viewfinder is pretty important and therefore limits the options. I understand that a lot of folks don't mind composing on the screen on the back of the camera and holding the camera at arms length, but I don't feel steady or like I see my composition very well with that method.
Here's my hierarchy of preferred viewfinders:
FF pentaprism
APS-C pentaprism
GH2 EVF
APS-C pentamirror

When I use the rear screen, I try to compensate for any unsteadiness by upping the shutter speed.
02-26-2011, 11:56 AM   #22
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Whilst not wishing you away from Pentax, Aristo makes a valid point. I too tried the Sony a55, it is a fair bit smaller, lighter and much quieter then a Kx/k-r, it is also stunningly fast to focus and shoot (the same goes of course for the A33). They would give a better result than an MFT and be very quiet and discrete. I haven't compared size but they can't be much bigger then a Gh2 I wouldnt have thought.

Woody
02-26-2011, 12:41 PM   #23
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One thing that isn't really mentioned is that once you stick a zoom on four thirds cameras, the size advantage goes away. Benefit seems to be primarily if you use a pancake prime.

02-26-2011, 12:43 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Regular guy Quote
I personally prefer the E-PL2, which is substantially smaller, but it lacks a built-in viewfinder, which I find essential.
I know it's not built in - but you are aware that the Olympus E-PL2 does accept an accessory electronic eye-level viewfinder - the Olympus VF-2 - which dpReview considers the best EVF they have looked through.

" The E-PL2 has an accessory port, so can mount the same optional VF-2 electronic viewfinder as used by the E-P2 (shown here on an EPL-1). It's one of the best EVFs on the market, offering a large, bright, detailed preview with an excellent 60 Hz refresh rate. "

The VF-2 seems small enough to carry along with the E-PL2 body without too much hassle -
I realize it may be an inconvenience to attach it every time -
unless one finds that attached it is not too obtrusive?

It is not cheap, at well over $200 -
but it seems right now there may be a very good deal
02-27-2011, 12:17 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
One thing that isn't really mentioned is that once you stick a zoom on four thirds cameras, the size advantage goes away. Benefit seems to be primarily if you use a pancake prime.
yes ..right, esspecially if you use a prime from panasonic or olympus , they are really2 thin and compact ...
because if you use another pancake..it will look little bit "dick" because the size of adapter ..
02-27-2011, 01:13 AM   #26
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The K-x comes in a range of better colours than say, a Panasonic
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