Upgrade from a Nikon D5000?

Discussion in 'Welcomes and Introductions' started by cthart, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. cthart

    cthart SC Rookie

    Sep 26, 2013
    Frösön, Sweden
    Real Name:
    Colin 't Hart

    Just stumbled upon this site and it's just what I need!

    I'm the fairly satisfied owner of a Nikon D5000 along with several lenses (I got the 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR with the body in a dual lens kit but also went for the 35/1.8 at the same time). And while I used the 35/1.8 a lot -- often in conjunction with a SB400 used as a "bounce flash" off the ceiling -- when our son was a baby, I don't use it very much at all right now.

    Last summer we travelled internationally, and to be honest, the camera + associated gear was heavy. Even leaving home most of the gear and taking just the camera and kit lens it's still quite bulky and heavy -- I guess this is the same story as many of you here.

    Next March we hope to travel internationally again and I can't see myself taking the DSLR along with all the other luggage and child...

    So what should I get instead?

    1. It needs to feel like an upgrade. That basically means pictures as good as or better than from the DSLR. But the upgrade can be in other areas too -- size and weight are included here. But I'm not prepared to sacrifice image quality now that I'm used to what the Nikon can do.
    2. It needs to be fast in auto-focussing and in taking photographs, at least 3-4 FPS like the DSLR can.
    3. It needs to be smaller and lighter.
    4. A Canon camera that can run CHDK would be nice -- I still have a PowerShot A720 IS that I use very occasionally for some fun things like time-lapse videos.
    5. I prefer using a viewfinder when composing photos, so this is almost essential for me, unless you can convince me otherwise.
    6. A hot-shoe for an external flash would also be nice; I'm almost never happy with images made under direct flash.

    Other things to consider:
    I like taking pictures of architecture. I take no videos with my Nikon DSLR, I use my iPhone occasionally for this.
    I have desired an UWA lens for my DSLR but not bought one (yet). It seems no compacts go much wider than 24mm (35mm equivalent).
    A fast lens would be nice now that I know what the 35/1.8 can do.
    I've not been impressed by electronic viewfinders but would be willing to consider a camera with one.
    I have an iPhone which gets used a bit for quick snaps for Facebook etc. Would I use a WiFi camera and the iPhone just so I can post better photos on Facebook? I'm not sure.

    Cameras I've eyed are Canon G-series and S-series of the last few years, various Panasonic M4/3 models, Sony RX100 (original and newest model), Olympus OM-D (the original model, but I hear there's a new one now too).
    My father got a very good deal on a Panasonic G3 (as an upgrade from a Nikon D50 -- which is even bigger and heavier than the D5000) and he's very happy with it.
    Recently an ex-colleague recommended the Sony RX100 II over the Canon G and S because it has a bigger sensor.

    There's so much to chose from and probably I would be satisfied with most of the cameras listed above.

    I guess also I don't need to *replace* the Nikon DSLR but I could get a very compact camera to supplement it, but SWMBO prefers that I "sell stuff that I don't use (so much)".

    Who can help me navigate this quagmire?


  2. ean10775

    ean10775 SC Regular

    Feb 25, 2013
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Real Name:
    Its only my opinion, but as a DLSR, m43 and Fuji X user (as well as previously owning compact/bridge cameras), I don't believe you can get image quality that is 'at least as good as, or better than' your Nikon with a fixed zoom compact. You can certainly get excellent image quality and in good light the image quality may approach DSLR levels with some of the larger sensored compacts, but if, along with size, your chief concern is IQ I'd definitely be looking at the newer m43 cameras at a minimum.

    A m43 camera gives you the option for the UW lenses you want (as you stated, pretty much the widest you'll get on a fixed lens camera is a 24mm equivalent) as well as many other zoom and fast aperture prime options - and most all will be smaller and lighter than your Nikon lenses.

    Electronic viewfinders (which you'd be limited to in m43) do take some getting used to, but now that I've used them for a while I have to say that I believe their usefulness in previewing exposure and being able to zoom into a subject to ensure critical focus makes them preferable to an optical viewfinder.

    Unless you shoot fast moving subjects or require good AF tracking (basically I'm saying sports), a m43 camera like the OMD E-M5 or Panasonic equivalent can easily replace your APS-C sensor Nikon kit, so you wouldn't need to keep both systems. In fact - again, just my opinion - if you don't need the AF tracking performance of a DSLR for sports I think its crazy to keep both an m43 system and an APS-C sensor DSLR system. They are just too redundant. If you intend on keeping your Nikon, then a fixed zoom/fixed lens compact makes a lot more sense provided you can deal with the compromise in IQ the smaller sensor gives for the convenience of small size/weight.
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  3. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    Welcome to SC! It is a very loaded question:)

    I think you have to decide, eg P&S vs mirrorless & keep the dslr or not...

    RX100 is a good camera, IQ is above other smaller sensor cameras like S95/S100. It has fast af for a P&S. Better IQ choice might be Ricoh gr which has 28mm lens (no zoom) and you can get a 21mm adapter also. If you are looking for wide angle, Panasonic lx7 might be a good choice also but smaller sensor.

    Mirrorless can be Fuji, nex or m43. M43 has the fastest af and the smallest wide/long zoom and primes, so that is my optimum travel set up. There are good deals on the older bodies, but the older generation Panasonic sensor (like in g3) is behind the latest generation Sony sensor that are used on Olympus epm2, epl5, omd em5/em1, & Panasonic gh3. It looks like new Panasonic gx7 may close the gap but still not fully tested. You can compare sensors using dxomark sensor comparison, eg omd e-m5 with 16MP has nearly same score as your Nikon 5000 with 12MP & both beats g3 sensor:


    The new E-M1 has a similar sensor as e-m5 with better tracking focus, so it can easily replace your D5000. If you are looking for video, Panasonic gh3/gx7 might be a better choice.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin SC Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Seeing that you're already using Nikon and you're after something with very fast autofocus, I'd have a closer look at a Nikon1 V1 or V2.

    I'd imagine you would be able to share the flash, and with the adaptor you could even use some of your Nikon lenses on the Nikon 1 (with a crop-factor of course)
    • Like Like x 1
  5. cthart

    cthart SC Rookie

    Sep 26, 2013
    Frösön, Sweden
    Real Name:
    Colin 't Hart
    Thanks for the replies thus far!


    * I think swapping my Nikon DX system for a m43 system might be a good idea. I could get the wide angle lens I want (either a Panasonic 7-14 (ideal choice) or an Olympus 9-18 (budget choice)). I don't shoot sports, though I do do a little bit of railfanning. No video with my DSLR up to now because it doesn't autofocus while videoing.

    * I'm starting to think that an additional truly pocketable P&S camera might be a good idea too.

    * Nikon 1 system is out, I think: using existing DX lenses with adaptors defeats the purpose of going for a smaller body. And the DSLR flash units can't be used either. The Nikon 1 system would have to win on its own terms.
  6. coyote

    coyote SC Rookie

    Mar 7, 2013
    eastern oregon
    Real Name:
    i'm a nikon dslr shooter who has always wished for something easier to lug around. (in fact, that was also true when i shot film back in the 70's and carried a Minox 35 as my P&S)

    i've tried many many digital P&S and to date my fav is the RX100.

    it has amazing image quality in a very small package. it can do 24mm (equivalent) in RAW (its rated having a wide of only 28mm but thats when doing JPEGs. if you doubt me, check this review: http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2012/07/24/sony-cyber-shot-dsc-rx100-review/). it gives me access to a huge number of controls. it take wonderful video. in fact, the video is so good i often use it over my D800, in part due to the ability to auto-focus, its very good image stabilization, and that it can do 60 frames per second that my high-end nikon can't do, which helps greatly when doing slo-mo in post.

    i take it everywhere, particularly when i'm not planning on a serious session with my dslr gear.
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