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Looking to shrink down from DSLR

Sleepows 5 7
26 May 2012 12:59PM
Hi All,

I currently own a Canon 7D with few lenses: Canon 10-22, Canon 15-85, Canon 50 1.8 and Sigma 105 Macro.
Due to the bulk and weight of the camera plus lenses, I basically never carry the camera anymore (except on holidays maybe).

I am thus looking to replace my camera with something smaller.

What I care the most for is manual controls and good low light performance (taking many pictures inside).

There are few camera on my short list:
Fuji X-Pro 1: excellent IQ, excellent low light performance, good design; not fast auto focus, expensive
Olympus OM-D E-M5: excellent IQ, good low light performance, wide lens selection; I do not like the design, most fast lenses really expensive
Sony Nex 7: good IQ, nice design, nice controls; not good selection of premium lenses

So far I am leaning towards the Fuji, but do you have any opinion on those models or any other suggestions?


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Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
26 May 2012 1:55PM
Just a few thoughts; the Oly OMD is also weather sealed, plus Oly are always boasting having some of the best AF performance in this class of camera. As a step down or compliment to a 7D those two facts would really be a big boon.

Also have you see the optional grips - I know you're downsizing the bulk, but the OMD is the only one I know that lets you have the option of having a portrait aspect grip and camera controls.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
26 May 2012 2:26PM

Quote:So far I am leaning towards the Fuji, but do you have any opinion on those models or any other suggestions?

I`m a big fan of these new Fuji`s, the X-pro 1`s a great camera and especially for travel, but there`s only a limited selection of lenses and I don`t think this would be a stellar camera for macro work.

The OM-D and Nex 7 bodies have a similar price, whats best, guess this largely depends on personal taste and what you want or need.

For me it would be the OM-D as you will be buying into what is becoming a pretty vast system by CSC standards, there`s now something like 18 different bodies and I can`t keep up with all the new lenses that are appearing.

But smaller does not mean cheaper, a pro grade CSC kit will cost you as much as a pro grade DSLR kit.
Sleepows 5 7
26 May 2012 3:22PM
The Oly is indeed a strong contender and although the weather sealing is not a must, the fast autofocus is really a plus.
For lenses, I understand the 4/3 system has much more choices, but I do not need many lenses as much as I need fast ones; and in that regards, the selection from fuji is not bad (although a nice cover it all zoom would be welcomed)

I think it will be the Oly or Fuji; the Sony is interesting but the lense selection (and sizes) put it a little behind for me.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
26 May 2012 5:12PM

Quote:I currently own a Canon 7D

You may well find the Olympus OM-D a slight step up in some ways - especially IQ (see comparison - RAW at ISO 3200 - below). Smile It is expensive though. I was an early adopter because of an excellent deal available at the time. Handling is very good.

The Sony NEX-7 is also expensive and some find the combination of a small camera body and relatively large lenses make for awkward handling.

Not sure anyone on here has experience of the Fuji as yet so it's a bit of an unknown. To be honest all these cameras would produce the goods. Is there any way you could go to a camera shop and handle the devices?


Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
26 May 2012 5:39PM

Quote:I understand the 4/3 system has much more choices

I`m not sure if it has anymore Smile

A good place to check is Fourthirds.org

Here`s the page showing its primes, some that have not been released yet have not been included.

ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
26 May 2012 9:01PM
I have the 7d and the 5d mark ii plus an olympus pen ep3.
the oly is a good camera but i still prefer the canon dslrs all day long, I am not convinced that an olympus camera is there with IQ and ease of use.

My canons are really easy to use with buttons all in the right places and easy access to any menu very quickly, the oly is awkward to find the menus quickly before the pictures gone.
I find i use the oly as a snap shot type of camera at the mo, but saying that i suppose i have took the time to understand canons language and not olympus.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
27 May 2012 12:51AM
Cb its interesting but move around that image and try some other bits of the image like the playing card and the result change around. I think we now can say there are lies, damned lies and selections from test shots Smile

It strikes me that with the OM-D there is a competitive to APS sensor technology camera, it is a big step on from the previous olympus cameras. At that level of noise and zoom you may be at liberty to RAW conversion and lens performance/set up. regardless the new Olympus looks to be setting a new benchmark for 4/3 cameras and for lower size and weight the m4/3 cameras do look good.

But returning to the test image would you not agree you can end up blind going through those close in comparisons and you can see subtle differences in how Nikon Canon and Olympus handle colour sharpness and I guess noise.
Sleepows 5 7
27 May 2012 3:49AM
I have had chances to handle the Sony and fuji (although in a camera store there is little I could do except lookingbatbthe buttons, checking few menus and the auto focus speed)
I like the commands on both, the main exposure settings not being menu based.
The auto focus is faster on the Sony camera, but the handling, with the big lens on a flat camera, did not feel that comfortable.

I have been reading only good reviews on the Oly, I think it is just hard to believe this smaller sensor can be that good in low light; but people are really saying it is. It also seems that the auto focus low light performance of the Lym are much better than the Fuji: touch choice for me: design, high ISO quality and faster lens VS. better auto focus especially in low light.
kodachrome 6 702
27 May 2012 8:29AM
I'm not a big fan of the Sony NEX cameras, yes, they take excellent pictures, but the lenses are just average and it looks like a credit card stuck on the end of a Coke can. I jest, but they are too small to handle for me.
The Olympus OM-D EM-5 is a high end camera with a price to match, but in the real world in my view the Panny G3 and GH2 give just as good a IQ and performance for a lot less money.
Check out the Panasonic DMC G3 or the GH2, they are both absolute bargains at the moment.
There is a good range of Panasonic and Leica lenses plus Olympus micro lenses work as well.
Most of which will out perform the Sony lenses.
The Panny really does challenge the DSLR's for performance.

If you want to wait a while the new Samsung NX20 looks like its going to challenge the CSC's for top spot and the NX lenses are pretty good too.

Fuji have hinted at a more affordable interchangeable lens camera other than the XPro-1, something like a X100. Now that would get my attention as I am a huge Fuji fan as well. Best colours in the business!
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
27 May 2012 8:25PM

Quote:The Panny really does challenge the DSLR's for performance

Only in video, but I guess that is now debatable Smile

I use Pany M4/3, but the Olympus system adds more bang for buck, that`s for sure.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
27 May 2012 9:17PM

Quote:But returning to the test image would you not agree you can end up blind going through those close in comparisons

Yes.The reason I chose a blue part of the image was that it is in the blue channel most noise is usually to be seen. And if you look at the blue bits of the part of the image you have chosen, I would still say the OM-D shows slightly less noise than the 7D. But that could be my imagination. Wink
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
27 May 2012 9:35PM
Another comparison from the same pic. I think most would be hard put to say which is the better?

All a bit Mickey Mouse really! Wink


strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
27 May 2012 9:56PM
In terms of detail little in it, in terms of general noise look left of Mickey, its subtle but a bit more. I doubt in the real world its much so I would say a draw, how do you call it. Great for the new m4/3 sensor or great for the old technology Canon???

If you go to Page 16 of their review you can see that aspect and you can call up a number of other cameras, including the 5D II etc. Compared to the D7000/7D it looks comparable, but it looses out the the 5DII I would say by 1 to 2 stops (remember the 5DII is higher resolution so you need to factor that in as well, also the NEX7 needs that note). Interestingly the Blue channel does not look the worst, and perhaps the chroma noise on the grey samples is the most interesting.

I think in the test image you link too there would look to be something going on as the watch looks less in focus than the playing card. Is that the lens or some noise filtering or an imperfection in how the image was shot?? I believe they changed their lighting rig so it could even be that.

Do you know what shutter speed the shoot at, I guess shutter speeds of 1/125 or slower are interesting as when you go to high ISO it is to keep the shutter speed up. If its up about 1/2000 it could be very misleading. the greater sharpness of the Canon image may lead you to your conclusion. I think you need to process them to the same spread of exposure values and sharpness. For the card to my surprise and my eyes the canon image is sharper and lower noise. in general. I would take a bit more blue noise for the general reduction

Try looking at the next ISO step up the results between the two vary more.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
27 May 2012 10:08PM
It is hard to compare cameras unless the resolution is exactly the same. if it isn't then you will be downsizing the photo from the higher of the two and immediately the comparison gets a bit dodgy.

That is why it is very difficult to compare the Nikon D800 against pretty much anything else at present!

Here's a part of the pic which is fairly neutral but this time bumping up ISO to 6400.


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