Full Frame Nikon or MFT Lumix Mirrorless?

Posted Oct. 1st, 2014 by Daniel J. Cox

Hi Daniel,

I am looking to upgrade from my D200 to a new camera, have invested thousands and thousands of dollars into various lens for the Nikon Body and debate between a full frame body or a mirror less camera. Frankly weight has become an issue. Would you mind giving me your advice. I am primarily an advanced amateur macro flower photographer but do other forms of photography as well including landscape and portrait photography. I know you don’t want to hear this but perhaps I should give it all up and just buy the new iphone 6plus?

Virtually any camera you update to is going to be a big step up from your D200. Great camera in the day but it is now considered old. Since you have been shooting the D200, a DX body, I’m guessing some or all of your lenses are the DX versions? If so, and you want to go to an FF Nikon, most if not all of your lenses will need to be replaced anyway. If that’s the case and weight really is a major concern I would seriously look in to the new line of Lumix cameras by Panasonic. Panasonic is relatively new to the still photo game but their reputation for high end optics and video gear is superb and goes back at least a couple of decades. I’m guessing you sent this question to me due to my ongoing enthusiasm for Panasonic cameras so I’m guessing you’ve been seeing my posts relating to the Lumix line of equipment. If you go the smaller route of MFT Lumix cameras I doubt you will be disappointed. I’ve been thrilled with the superb image quality, light weight, reasonable cost and overall fabulous value of the Panasonic Lumix line of cameras.

The Lumix GH4 is the top of the line right now. Two lenses that I absolutely love are the 12-35mm F/2.8 and the 35-100mm F/2.8. Multiply them by two and you get 24-70mm F/2.8 and 70-200mm F/2.8 FF equivalents. Big difference is size, weight and price compared to the same from Nikon, Canon or Sony. The other sleeper lens is the 45-175mm and I’m also a huge fan of the 7-14mm F/4. Hope this helps. Thanks for checking in.

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There are 4 comments on this post…
  1. Bill TylerOn Oct. 4th, 2014

    Here’s one more vote for the Olympus 60mm macro, and a bit of explanation. First, it’s a superb lens, but I’m sure the Leica 45mm is also superb. What you get with the Olympus lens is a longer working distance to your subject. That can be important when working with insects or other small animals, or simply reaching the interior of a deep, conical flower. Of course, you lose in-lens image stabilization. If you’re shooting hand-held and using a Panasonic body, that’s important. If you use flash, the problem of camera motion goes away. So ultimately it’s a tradeoff between two good lenses – longer working distance versus stabilization.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 4th, 2014

      Bill, I agree with the idea of the benefit of a longer working distance. That’s a great bonus. Thanks for the additional info.

  2. Bill HOn Oct. 1st, 2014

    If you go with a Pansonic GH4 (or the cheaper G6 or GX7 models), consider getting the Olympus 60mm macro lens for flower/insect photos. It is sharp, light and works very well on a Panasonic m43 body.

    The focus peaking feature on newer Panasonic cameras makes manual focusing much easier than it was on DSLRs. Image magnification helps too. The camera can be set up to show (in the viewfinder or on the LCD) a 2 second review of the photo just taken. The display will show blown highlights as flashing dark areas. (Blinkies) You can adjust exposure with a quick turn of a dial or with a nudge on a toggle switch and take a corrected image without removing your eye from the viewfinder.

    The Panasonic 14-140mm f3.5-? zoom lens (the newer 14-140) makes a lovely walking around lens. Much better than the 18-105mm I used on Nikons.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 1st, 2014

      Thanks for your input Bill. I actually already have the Lumix LEICA DG 45mm MACRO-ELMARIT. It too is super small, very ought and extremely sharp with builtin OIS (Image Stabilization). I

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