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madlilgurl
08-02-13, 10:23 AM
Hi, I'm a student at college taking Art & Photography and I am currently looking for a new camera.


I was wondering which is the better camera between these two? 'Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 12.1MP' OR 'Canon EOS 400D Digital Rebel Xti 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (Black)''


The camera I am looking for I want it to take very close and in good quality Macro images (close up) but I am unsure if it's the camera itself that needs to be a higher mega pixel or if it just needs a longer lens for Macro photos. I was also wondering if the 'Panasonic Lumix' was a good make as the only cameras I know of that are really good are Canon or Sony cameras.


I do like the fact that the 'Panasonic' has the flip out screen ability and it can record videos which I do often. Someone I know is selling the 'Canon EOS 400D Digital Rebel Xti 10.1' for 180 which is a really good price for how much the camera was originally but I'm not sure if it'll do what I want it to.


I hope you can help, many thanks! - Madlilgurl -


Here are the links to them for a photo -


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 12.1MP


Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 12.1MP Compact System Camera Kit: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo


Canon EOS 400D Digital Rebel Xti 10.1MP


Amazon.com: Canon Digital Rebel XTi 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Black Body Only): Camera & Photo


P.S I'm also new to this forum/site so i'm sorry if I've out my question in the wrong place Thankyou

bobfa
08-02-13, 03:08 PM
Madlilgurl,

I would like to have you think about this in a different manner. Think about what you are using your cameras for today. Then think about what you are planning on doing. Get that down on paper so you have it someplace you can reference. You are creating a sort of road map for your self. Your mission is not technology but what you want to do with the technology!

In your post you say some things about Macro and Movies. So I take that as two requirements for your art.
You discuss a bit about Sensor size as a concern. You also mention flip out screen.

So we have some requirements to go from. Now we can get down to analysis.

I am going to ignore cameras here for right now because they are really not relevant to the first part of the selection process. I think it was Scott Bourne or Ken Rockwell who stated something along the line of:99% of the cameras out there are better than what 97% of the photographers need or can do.

Budget is your first and foremost decision. Do not bankrupt yourself for your Art. That is pretty easy to do. Next in my mind is how you like to work. IF you are a studio shooter and you want to print at sizes that would be displayed in a train station mural you have different requirements than someone who is printing for a home photo album!

In my experience the glass is the most important decision. For Macro photography I can talk about my experience with three lenses. First the bad. I had a 50mm Macro from Quantary for EOS mount and lens was just bad, slow focus, not great image quality, it was just not good. I made a bad purchase decision. The second macro I have experience with is the Canon 100mm F2.8 IS L USM. That lens is over $1000 and the performance shows it. My third macro lens is the 60mm F2.8 Micro 4/3rds lens from Olympus. That lens virtually equal to the Canon 100mm for about $500. (sorry I am from the USA and not know UK pricing). Finally I have a used Cannon 200mm F4 FD series macro that is right up there with the other two and used it was around $300. IT is bright, sharp and fast and 30 years old. There is more but the point is pretty clear.

Macro photography almost always requires a good support to hold the camera and the lens. It is too easy to move and spoil the shots. Image stabilization either in camera or lens helps but a tripod will still let you get more keepers... I will not go into tripod selection in this email as that subject adds complexity. Video also requires support but has different needs in how the camera is controlled.

Lets spend a little time on video. I only dabble in video and there is a lot to learn there but I have learned a few pointers. I can say that in general Video cameras do things a lot different than Still cameras, but some of the newer still cameras do amazing video! I would say that today the best still cameras that do video are the Canon 5d MKIII and the Panasonic GH2. I own the GH2 and the output of that camera in video is really great, no I would not use it for a full length movie...

Again here the lens that is on the camera is really important. Sony has an 18-200 E mount lens for their Video can Still cameras that is their "video" lens. Sony has some advanced software and hardware?? in that lens that makes shooting video with it great. The lens is quiet to focus and zoom, great stuff for say $1000. While back on the GH2 the Panasonic 14-140 zoom performs as well. No these are not $25,000 lenses on $100,000 cameras.

I know that this post is getting long please stay with me for just a moment longer.


I am now going to touch lightly on image sensors. From the 24MP Sony Nex-7 to the 18MP Canon 7D on down to my 12MP Panasonic GF-1 the sensors can show where they outperform the lens. Camera selection is more about personal handling, size, money, and the ecosystem around it. The files out of all three of the these cameras are very very good. The images from the NEX-7 are HUGE, and the GF-1 are smaller. Shoot in RAW and use good software on your computer to help you make the best of what you take.

OK we are at the end. Either of the cameras you have listed in the post can do what you want. They may not be optimum for what you want to use them for. The kit lenses on either of them are not Macro lenses and they are not Movie lenses. Yes you can get close, yes you can take movies. Either of those cameras will make good images for you.

Read the articles here. Go visit Steve Huffs web site, see what Ken Rockwell is writing. But MOST OF ALL go out and practice your are, experience and your heart will lead you

Bob Fairbairn
about.me/bobfairbairn

Nigel Atherton
13-02-13, 01:10 PM
Firstly, I agree with everything that Bob said in his very detailed answer.

Regarding the two cameras that you mention, I assume you’re on a tight budget. The Canon EOS 400D is excellent value for the price quoted and I would be tempted to choose that over the G2, for the following reasons:

• The image quality is better, due mostly to the larger sensor.
• As part of the biggest system out there it would be easy to get a good secondhand macro lens to fit on it, whereas the Lumix G series is much newer and there’s little secondhand stock around at the moment.
• With a larger sensor it will easier to get that very shallow depth of field look (ie narrow band of sharp focus) that you may have seen in some macro images, though conversely it’s harder to get everything in your shot in focus than it would be with the G2.

The main downside from your point of view is that it doesn't have a tilting screen, but although useful it isn't essential.

The 400D is bigger than the G2 but relatively small and light as DSLRs go. If you’ve handled it and like it then that’s not an issue.
You could try to track down some used Nikon or other branded DSLRs to see if you prefer them, but it’s getting harder to do that these days.


If it was me I’d get the Canon, it’s capable of some great pictures. See here for some examples on flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/cameras/canon/eos_digital_rebel_xti/

I’d look out for a used prime macro lens – you should be able to find one for 150 or less – or even some extension tubes for about 50. Finally you’ll need a reasonably sturdy tripod.

POSTSCRIPT: having just re-read your question and noted the comment about video, the Canon EOS 400D doesn't do video. I don;t know how important video is to you, and how importnat the quality is. If its just for recording friends, family and events for posterity you may find you can get by with the HD video on your phone or a compact camera. But if you're talking about creative film-making then the 400D clearly isn't suitable, and you should look at the G2. If you can tell me your budget may be able to suggest other alternatives.