View Full Version : Which Camera: Samsung NX300, Panasonic DMC-G5, Sony SLT A58 or Canon 700D

09-12-13, 01:23 AM
Budget around 400: My son wants a camera for free running (running, jumping, climbing, summersaults etc quick movements, requiring fast tracking, possibly in low light levels). He wants this as much for movies as pictures.
He was advised to get a Canon 700D but to me the spec, especially for movies wasn't as good as for the other models mentioned.

I've currently purchased the DMC-G5, as has less shutter lag and does 20 fps continuous shooting. I'm now having second thoughts as the spec for the A58 and NX are better in other areas eg pixels, I'm not sure which has best detection for tracking this kind of movement and 4/3rds vs APS-C. The NX is really stretching the budget for the tasks required but do want to consider.

Any advise greatly appreciated, though not too technical please as my knowledge is very limited. My son also has limited knowledge, so camera needs to be user friendly but with options to improve as he learns.


09-12-13, 09:49 AM
Hi and welcome looking at what he wants to shoot I would go for the canon 700d for several reasons both canon and nikon have the best lenses selection and i am sure that he will need a zoom to do what he wants. the 700d with stn lens does have good reviews. IMHO a DSLR focuses quick than and evf view finder again he will need that on fat moving objects.
again not sure about how much light there will be then you will need a fast lens a hi iso values and fast lenses are expensive

09-12-13, 10:15 PM
Hi, thank you for advice. The thing that made me discount the 700D was the spec for movies ie 1080@30fps, I had assumed this was half as good as the 1080@60fps for the rest but now believe this is American and European standard and is negligible? I did think i'd also seen it had a restrictive storage type memory port but looks like I was mistaken.

Which is best crop factor 1.5 or 2.1?

I've copied the specs from Snapsort below and if I exclude the 1080 as mentioned above they all look close.
> Panasonic has 20fps continuous shooting, worst battery life, Contrast Detection (better than phase?), 23 focus points. & 3d
> Canon has more lens choice, mic jack, better screen, better battery life.

Canon EOS 700D Sony SLT A58 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Samsung NX300
Brand Canon Sony Panasonic Samsung
Lowest price 465.00 329.00 349.00 499.32
Announced March, 2013 February, 2013 July, 2012 January, 2013

Size APS-C 22.3x14.9mm APS-C 23.5x15.6mm Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm APS-C 23.5x15.7mm
Crop factor 1.6x 1.5x 2.1x 1.5x
Megapixels 17.9 MP 20.1 MP 15.9 MP 20 MP
Light sensitivity 12,800 ISO 16,000 ISO 12,800 ISO 25,600 ISO
Light sensitivity (boost) 25,600 ISO 25,600 ISO Unknown Unknown
Sensor cleaning Yes Yes Unknown Yes
Sensor (Advanced)

True resolution 17.9 MP 20.1 MP 15.9 MP 20 MP
Native resolution 5184 x 3456 5176 x 3880 4608 x 3456 5472 x 3648
Pixel size 18.5 m 18.3 m 14.1 m 18.5 m

Size 3.0" 2.7" 3.0" 3.3"
Resolution 1,040k dots 460k dots 920k dots 768k dots
Touch screen Yes No Yes Yes
Flips out Yes Yes Yes Yes
Live view Yes Yes Yes Yes

Lens availability 197 lenses 123 lenses 40 lenses 36 lenses
Lens focus motor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lens mount Canon EF Sony Alpha Micro Four Thirds Samsung NX
Form factor

Size 133x100x79 mm 129x95x78 mm 120x83x71 mm 122x64x41 mm
Depth 3.1" 3.1" 2.8" 1.6"
Weight 580 g 492 g 396 g 280 g
Interchangeable lenses Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waterproof No No No No
Weather sealed No No No No

Type Pentamirror Digital Digital None
Viewfinder size 0.53x 0.65x 0.67x n/a
Coverage 95% 100% 100% n/a

Format 1080p @ 30fps 1080p @ 60fps 1080p @ 60fps 1080p @ 60fps
Supports 24p Yes Yes No Yes
High-speed framerate None None None None
External mic jack Yes Yes No No
Autofocus Contrast detection Phase detection Contrast detection Contrast detection
Continuous focus Yes Yes Yes Yes
All formats 1080p @ 24fps 1440 x 1080 @ 30fps, 1080p @ 25fps, 480p @ 30fps
720p @ 50fps 1080p @ 60fps 1080p @ 30fps 1920 x 810 @ 24fps
480p @ 30fps 480p @ 30fps 1080p @ 50fps 1080p @ 60fps
1080p @ 30fps 1080p @ 24fps 480p @ 30fps 1080p @ 30fps
1080p @ 25fps 720p @ 60fps 320 x 240 @ 30fps
480p @ 25fps 1080p @ 50fps 720p @ 30fps
720p @ 60fps 720p @ 50fps
1080p @ 60fps
480p @ 25fps
1080p @ 60fps


Panorama Unknown Yes No Unknown
HDR Yes Yes Yes Yes
3D Unknown No Yes Yes
Image stabilization None Sensor shift None None
Supports RAW Yes Yes Yes Yes
GPS No No No No

Startup delay 700 ms 1900 ms 1030 ms 1200 ms
Shutter lag 264 ms 326 ms 194 ms 116 ms
Battery life 550 shots 690 shots 320 shots Unknown
Continuous shooting 5 fps 8 fps 20 fps 9 fps
Focus system

Autofocus Phase detection Phase detection Contrast detection Phase detection
Focus points 9 15 23 105
Cross type focus points 9 3 Unknown Unknown

Max 1/4000s 1/4000s 1/4000s 1/6000s
Min 30s 30s 60s 30s

Built-in flash Yes Yes Yes No
Popup Yes Yes Yes n/a
External connection Yes Yes Yes Yes

Storage slots 1 1 1 1
Supported formats SDHC SD SDXC SD
SD Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo SDHC SDHC
Memory Stick PRO Duo
DXO Mark Scores

Image quality 61 74 61 76
Color depth 21.7 bits 23.3 bits 21.4 bits 23.6 bits
Dynamic range 11.2 EV 12.5 EV 11.6 EV 12.7 EV
Low light performance 681 ISO 753 ISO 618 ISO 942 ISO

09-12-13, 11:14 PM
Comparing lists of specs is possibly the least important part of picking a camera. They'll all do what you want; the ones with a larger sensor (and thus smaller crop factor) will in theory do it in better quality. But the critical thing is how the camera feels - if the controls seem to be in a logical place, if the menu structure makes sense, if the camera is the right size for the hand, if you prefer an electronic viewfinder or optical one and so on. The spec list gets you a shortlist, but certainly isn't the way to make the final choice; getting your son to decide which one suits him best is the way to make the final choice.

10-12-13, 08:17 AM
I agree if it feels right then thats a long way to being right go and try them see how they feel are the buttons in the right place is the menu system right for you. do not settle for i will get used to it

10-12-13, 11:37 PM
thanks NRoberts & Wave for your advice, I think I'll go with the shortlist and have my son try them out.

I'll also make sure he joins the forum, expect he will have hundreds of questions for the new year.



11-12-13, 08:03 AM
get him to a local camera club theres a wealth of knowledge there

19-12-13, 08:45 AM
Amazon Review Of The Canon 700D
When buying an entry-level DSLR, there are many brands to choose from; Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax. However there are 2 things to consider. Once you "buy into" a brand, you generally are stuck with them due to the compatibility of lenses, flashes etc. Secondly are you going to progress beyond that level? Arguably only Canon & Nikon cover the higher ends of the market. Sony represents exceptional value at the entry level but perhaps offers less at the pro-amateur level?

Personally I have concerns about the quality of some of the Canon products. My 17-85 IS lens failed me after only a couple of years.
This camera is a perfect replacement & upgrade for my old Canon 350d which has served me well for over 7 years. I also have a 40D which is much heavier but offers faster shot rate, more pixels, expanded ISO range etc.

The 700D is the latest in the "amateur" Canon DSLR range. The reduced sensor cameras go something like this; 1100D, 100D, 700D, 70D & 7D. After this, comes the full frame sensors.

The 700D is based on the 650D but uses a AF system designed to work better with the new STM lenses; 18-55, 18-135, 40mm pancake.

What you get...
You get the body, a 18-55 IS STM lens, charger, a couple of CDs, a strap and simple USB data cable.
The manual is 400 pages thick(!) and you don't get a handy reference guide.
The battery was supplied 2/3 charged but a full charge is recommended which initially should be overnight.
This uses a full size SD card. I recommend a faster class 10 card with a speed of 45mbps to accommodate HD video recording to prevent buffering problems. 32Gb is enough for over 3000 shots and should be enough for a few hours of video,

Appearance, Build & Ergonomics
There are only minor cosmetic differences between this and the 650D, there are major differences from my 350d This actually appears to use the same body as the 650d; it is made of a lighter plastic and feel less sturdy than the 350d BUT is it lighter & I don't think it would break easily. It has a robust rubberised grip unlike the 350 which had a thin rubber coating which wore off over the years.
Good weight & well balanced with lens attached, this should be fine with a larger lens. The buttons are well placed for those with average sized hands but if you have large hands, you may find the button layout a little fiddly, which is the draw back of the reduced sized bodies.

The screen is side hinged & can be viewed from a multitude of angles; overhead, waist level, folded out, folded in or folded away. One neat trick I found is that when taking a "selfie" and you rotate the screen to point towards the subject, the camera automatically goes into Live View mode. The quality of the screen is excellent. Colour, contrast & brightness are very good. The touchscreen is fairly responsive & the interface is easy enough to use.

Controls & Interface
All of the major controls are via buttons with some fine-tuning using the touchscreen. This is a major improvement over the 350d, enabling more freedom to experiment with settings quickly such as TV, AV & M modes. It took a little getting used to perhaps a more visual GUI may have made more sense.

The supplied 18-55 F3.5 - 5.6 lens is image stabilised and uses the newest stepper motor. This new motor is extremely quick and completely silent, unlike the old USM lenses. This kit lens is certainly a major step-up from the old 18-55 non-IS lenses they used to supply with their kits. It's a little longer than the previous 18-55 USM. It takes a filter and lens hood but neither are supplied.

Taking photos
Anyone who is familiar with the use of Canon DSLRs will immediately feel at home with this item. The addition of an intuitive touchscreen makes tinkering of the settings very easy hence I found I tended to experiment more with my photography.
The supplied kit lens provided respectable results. The photos were a little soft compared to, say, my Canon 17-85mm
My "test case" was a close-up of a flower in my garden. I find this to be a good test of focus, level of detail, colouration, contrast etc.
The supplied lens did a respectable job but once I had swapped over to the 17-85 and compared this against the 40D, based on my initial test, I was truly impressed by the results.
The AF is super fast & accurate. The metering was OK in evaluative mode but on Spot the results was excellent. The level of detail & colouration on the photo was very impressive.
When using the 17-85 f4-5.6 IS USM lens, the results were better than the 40D by some margin. When using the kit lens, they were comparable. Essentially this means my 40D is obsolete!

Live View - what to expect
The camera has a live view function. Unlike my 40D, this can autofocus in live view. This is a real luxury on a SLR as it enables some additional creativity during composition but it is NOT a direct replacement for the viewfinder. The additional lag in moving the mirror & additional AF time prevents this being used as a good point & Shoot camera. If this is a real problem for you then I would recommend a mirrorless camera system like a m4/3 camera.

The Canon 700D takes full HD video, that's 1080p. You should be able to get a ew hours onto a 32Gb card. Just ensure you have a fast enough card. 45mbps was recommended to me.
One of the main problems with the earlier models was the noise of the lens motor during shooting. The new STM lenses alleviate this problem by having near-silent stepper motors. I can confirm that there is no noise from the lens motor whatsoever. The file sizes are huge; a 31s video took-up nearly 190mb. So you'd get 2.5 to 3 minutes per gigabyte?! The video quality was excellent with absolutely no judder. Sound quality was a little "thin". If you were going to use the video facility seriously, I would recommend an add-on mic.

Connections & Software
On my Windows 7 PC there was no need to download any drivers. Photoshop Elements saw the camera & simply downloaded the files into my organiser. If you don't own Photoshop or anything similar, then Canon provides their Solutions Disc which includes a downloader & organiser. I have not used this latest version, but the earlier versions for the 350D were horrid. My advice would be to purchase a good bit of software fairly soon after buying this. In the mean-time the Canon software is functional but just about bearable.
Mini-USB cable. Downloading is remarkably faster than on my 350D.. probably due to the speed of the card.

The 700D is a definite upgrade from the 350D & would perhaps even recommend from the 400/450. If you have a 1000D this seems a logical step don't bother if you have a 600/650. Currently this is the best camera for a reduced body Canon and even holds-up well against the older models of the next series up (i.e. the 40D)
I really don't have any negatives to speak of at this price. If you want extras such as a heavier metal body or weatherproofing then you will have to pay for it (and carry it around!)

19-12-13, 08:51 AM
Amazon Review Of The Sony SLTA58
I have had this camera in use now for 3 days and as an avid photographer I am positively surprised regarding the features and the ease of use both in manual and automatic settings. This is my 3rd Sony with interchangeable lenses and while the Alpha 100 was noisy and clumsy this A58 feels more like a camera for semi-pros and certainly a nice camera for beginners.

I bought this camera for the sole purpose to use existing lenses of which I have many but also because my Nikon D800 is to complex and heavy for day-to-day use and I rather break this Sony than the Nikon considering the price which is quite nice for a camera with almost all preferences one may need, professional or a hobby photographer.
So it feels a bit plastic… and it is mostly plastic, but it fits my hand like a glove and does not feel slippery at all. Actually it feels surprisingly solid although its quite light I weight. Many have complained about the lens mount. The metal lens mount is now replaced with plastic and it might not be as durable as the metal mount. Well, that is not quite true. The mount is not plastic as in He-Man, but rather a composite material not unlike the materials used in high end racing cars and space exploration. It is lighter, but as hard and durable as you ever might need. I don’t think that Sony would put their reputation on the line because of a bit of plastic. It has been tested and it has passed. I’m satisfied and can’t feel any difference between the metal mount on my Nikon and this composite mount. Actually the kit lens slides very easily and effortlessly in place and even the kit lens feels solid and produces some quite stunning pictures. Certainly the best ones I have ever managed to snap “right out of the box”.

I will not go into technical specifications but must emphasise that the OLED viewfinder is magnificent and the tilting rear LCD screen is adequate. It is not the fastest camera on the market and the auto focus might have some difficulties in focusing in poorly lit conditions. However, you may always use a manual focusing and then you see how good the OLED viewfinder is. In normal daylight I have seen no problems at all and fast moving objects (dogs) freeze nicely and in perfect focus. I like to experiment a lot with all the possibilities the camera offers and one can do magic, but in the end it’s the composition and your own abilities that determine the outcome of a nice picture. Certainly my Nikon is a “better camera”, but having had this in use both professionally and fooling around a bit, I must say that one gets quite a lot of value for money. As it happens the size and the weight is perfect even for me with I bit large hands, so at this point I’m actually quite astonished regarding the picture quality and the robust feel of this camera and do indeed recommend it to anyone who’s keen on wanting more than just compact camera holiday shots.

19-12-13, 08:55 AM
Amazon Review Of The Panasonic DCMG5
I used to own a Nikon D70 DSLR but sold it and all it's equipment in favour of a Panasonic FZ200 bridge camera because I was finding it difficult to carry round the heavy equipment (camera, lenses, tripod etc). Lightness, size and image quality were important considerations for me hence my choice of the bridge camera. Now although I love my FZ200 (a cracking little camera itself) I missed the extra creative control and intuitive feel of using zoom and focus rings. Also, I enjoy doing close-up and macro photography and the FZ200 wasn't quite "cutting the mustard for me". My high opinion of the FZ200 was a large influence in my choice of researching the micro four thirds system and the price, weight of camera and it's lenses, reviews (e.g. Ephotozine, Which Camera, Amateur Photographer etc) made the Panasonic G5 an attractive proposition.

The camera itself is certainly very small for an interchangeable lens camera but having said that it's comfortable to hold and carry in the hand. The position of the controls are very well thought out and easy to reach without having to look to see where they are. Also, there are 3 function buttons (most cameras only have 2) to which you can assign frequently used camera controls etc for convenience and/or speed. The camera itself is certainly very light, a big plus point for me yet feels substantial in the hand. The build quality is also excellent, especially given the price.

I was very surprised at the speed with which the G5 responded and in that respect it's a delight. It locks on to the subject quickly without hunting and responds quickly to use of the controls. Especially useful is the little box in the display which you can set to come up when using the focus ring. This magnifies the part of the image you are trying to focus on in order to obtain super sharp focus. The box can also be moved to different parts of the image making it a dream to decide where the main point of your focus is if wishing to use differential focus/depth of field. This is also a big bonus for doing close-up/macro work.

Although the camera itself has no image stabilisation the Panasonic lenses do and it works well. The lenses themselves are also of good quality. Camera image quality is superb and I've been really pleased with the results. Pictures are sharp, clear with good colour reproduction and good contrast. I've yet to experience any noise but then I haven't had to go any higher than ISO400 yet.

If I have any complaints at all I would say it's in the battery life - it's ok but not as long as it could be compared to some cameras. However this hasn't been a problem as it takes the same battery as my FZ200 so I have two genuine Panasonic batteries. I also have a compatible battery giving me three batteries in total - more than sufficient!

Overall I'm exceptionally pleased with this camera - build quality, weight, size, image quality, speedy response and ease of use are all plus points. Without a doubt this is the best camera I've ever owned and I cannot fault it.

19-12-13, 08:59 AM
Amazon Review Of The Samsung NX300
I bought this camera 2 weeks ago at the Samsung flagship store at Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, East London, for 499 including the 20-50mm kit lens. It was love at first sight... while fumbling about with one of the abused and worn display cameras at a temporary promotion stand inside the shopping centre the lovely assistant told me about the NX300 which I hadn't heard of before. Owning the Galaxy Camera for some months I was eager to pick up a camera which indeed delivers good quality pictures and a better usability (instead of the overladen and sluggish Android UI, as much as I love Android). I went over to the store, had a bit of a hands-on and went home, only to spend the rest of the evening googling for the NX300 and comparing it to other cameras. It seemed to be top-notch, especially as it comes with all the bells and whistles of a DSLR (except an optical or digital viewfinder, of course) but in a much smaller package.
As the price was 599 "everywhere" I went back to the Samsung store the next day, asked them to confirm the 499 price tag (which they did) and bought it right away. To be honest: I wasn't fully aware of the two different short tele kit lenses (18-55 and 20-50mm) and the difference between them.
At home I unpacked everything, was happy about the general quality feel of the camera but less happy about the cheap feel of the lens (more about that later). I inserted a used 8GB Micro SD and tried to take the first pictures: the only thing that happened was a total software crash everytime, I couldn't even turn the camera off! It took me another 2 frustrating hours to find the reason: the storage card was damaged! After inserting another one (32GB Sandisk class 10) everything worked fine.

The next day I went on a longer photo tour and was happy with the easy UI (touchscreen and hard-buttons), the menus are well thought through and fully logical.

On my walk I noticed:
- the 20-50mm kit lens works much better than it looks, it can be retracted for transport which makes it rather compact. It's also very light (at least the body is fully made of plastic, including the lens mount). The AF motor can be noisy and slow when it tries to lock on something but can't. Tapping a suitable motive edge on the touchscreen almost always helps the AF to lock (which is otherwise not always entirely satisfactory). Manual focus works brilliant with the centre of the motive being magnified several times in order to be able to precisely adjust sharpness as soon as the focus ring is being turned. Zoom and focus rings only require very little force. The lens lacks an image stabiliser (which the more expensive, heavier and bigger 18-55 has) but I didn't really miss it thanks to its short maximum zoom. According to a thorough physical test of the lens ([...]) the 20-50 performs even better than the 18-55.
- it's better to rely on the handy EV scale on the display rather than on the optical impression from the screen: about 50% of my photos were overexposed. Using the EV scale and keeping the red bar at or close to the +/-0EV mark produced perfect exposure.
- while ISO100 up to ISO800 are absolutely fine with next to no noise (only detectable when deeply zooming into the picture), the high settings of 12800 and 25600 are more or less useless and produce pictures of the quality taken with an average smartphone at low light. But that's not a fault of the camera, more a system-related issue which is valid for more or less all cameras and surely not helped by the high resolution of the APS-C chip.

As 50mm is not a brilliant zoom length I immediately ordered the 50-200 lens for 139 (ebay, new, 2nd generation). It's much heavier than the camera and also rather bulky. Zoom action is not very smooth and needs some force, there's apparently a lot of friction going on in the zoom apparatus. The lens has an AF/MF toggle switch (for the 20-50mm lens you need to switch the mode via software which is only two clicks) and just like all the other NX mount lenses an iFn button which opens a menu in which some settings can be selected by twisting the focus ring. The 50-200 zoom lens is also equipped with an image stabiliser, which can be turned on or off via menu settings (again not more than 2 or 3 clicks). The 18-200 lens only seems to be 2nd choice with its additional length, rotating filter mount and heavy distortion ([...])

Taking my Galaxy Camera and my 8 years old Sony DSC-F828 bridge camera for comparison I can only say the NX300 is a brilliant camera. White Balance (a real issue on the Galaxy Camera) works perfectly and can be further manipulated via pre-sets for e.g. tungsten and fluorescent (hi and low/warm and cold) lighting, sun, clouds and two manual settings where you can either select the colour temperature (Kelvin) or taking a "picture" of a white underground where the camera automatically sets the appropriate WB.
Single beam autofocus works in maybe 8 or 9 out of 10 cases, but it can be helped by pointing the focus area to a suitable edge through tapping the touchscreen. Multiple beam AF works better but I don't use it much as I mostly like to focus on special details.
Picture quality is top notch, nothing to argue about, really nothing.
When I see my friend sorting all the buttons spread over the entire body of his Nikon D7000 I'm very happy with the menu system and general usability of my NX300.

Last but not least some words about the Wi-Fi functionality.
If you own an Android smartphone or tablet you can install the Samsung Mobile Link app and easily transfer pics between the camera and your Android device for example for quickly sharing a photo on Instagram or wherever. You can also transfer pictures from the camera to Facebook, Picasa and SkyDrive, unfortunately not to Drop box though. And sure enough you can hook it up to your PC via Micro USB cable or simply throw the full-size SD card into a card reader.
The Samsung Remote Viewfinder App (Android) allows a very basic remote control for the camera via your Android device with options to save the picture either on the camera or phone or both.

Huw Williams
20-12-13, 04:56 PM
Pity I hadn't seen this a couple of days ago. It might not be too late though.

Amazon have been having regular 'lightening deals' on the Panasonic G6 with 14/140 lens, lasting up to an hour or until a set number of units have sold out. Normally selling for near 700, they have been on sale for short periods for 470 less 100 cashback from Panasonic, so 370 net. This represents amazing value for money for a superb camera in my opinion.
They might or might not repeat the offer before Christmas or in their New Year Sale. It would be very surprising if they continued to offer this kind of deal, because it is a game-changer and will sweep the market and decimate the competition unless they lower all their prices in proportion.

In case you don't know what this camera is, it's a DSLR-style micro-four-thirds advanced compact-and -light high end mirrorless. It has all the features and qualities you would expect, including full high performance video to 1080 60P in AVCHD and MP4. There are probably reviews on it here and elsewhere.

I only mention it because of the value for money if you can source it at the price mentioned. The lens alone sells for well over 400 normally. Do a search for confirmation.