Why I Chose a Hybrid?

More than a month ago, I bought a hybrid micro 4/3, being equipped with an SLR, yet already and not to sell the latter. As I have a lot of questions by e-mail on the relevance to turn to hybrids instead of or in addition to SLRs, I decided to revisit this choice, with hindsight, to explain it, while trying to guide you: – this is for you or not?

Why I Chose a Hybrid
First of all, I got several emails from people asking if I was okay, given the lack of articles lately, and I was just on vacation or if I went under a double-decker bus! Thanks for your concern for me, but everything’s fine!: D

Basically it’s a mixture of time very load (including training), and a well deserved holiday, during which I could test my hybrid precisely.
Those who have followed my Flickr could see some pictures taken with this camera, and as I wasn’t dead.
Why I added a hybrid to my satchel
More seriously, I was very happy with my DSLR in a lot of situations, and I do not spares for my chosen field: the picture together. (I even bought a 7 d d
But one thing frustrated me in the reflex, namely its main disadvantage: its size. Let us say, a DSLR is lightweight, small, or discreet. And at the same time, it is not made for that, it is normal.
However, I wanted to take my camera with me on a daily basis, and it must be said, with a DSLR is not really easy. It is sometimes, forcing himself a bit, and then in the end we get out without a camera most of the time.
And then for what is going on vacation with a DSLR and 3 lenses, it’s on bulky, especially for short stays where we could travel light. In short, I wanted something compact and lightweight.
Then there was the classic compact option that fits in your pocket, but having been raised to DSLR sauce (my first camera), I could not do without the creative possibilities of a large sensor, especially in terms of depth of field. I really couldn’t see myself without the possibility of having a nice blur of background.
So, exit the compact!
The hybrid market is growing already for some years, but sometimes now mature, with several credible cases, and the question may arise: do hybrids today are a credible alternative to the DSLR? Well, the answer is Yes, but it depends on (once again) needs! Like it’s not even necessarily clear for everyone, I get a lot of questions about it, that’s why I wanted to explain my choice and give initial feedback.
Indeed, hybrids have a slightly smaller sensor or as large as some DSLR, and therefore can have equivalent depths of field. In addition, a large sensor also means greater ease to ride in the ISO without too much noise, and therefore greater opportunities in low light.
In short, a small size all keeping a good image quality and creative capabilities. Clearly, that’s what missed him me!
A hybrid, Yes, but which?
So once we decide for a hybrid, the question arises of which. Because the market is already quite full, and it can be difficult to navigate. This article is not intended to be a guide to buying a hybrid, but to explain why my heart ended up swinging for the Panasonic GX1 (successor of the GF1).
My main criteria were: a large sensor, and a compact and ergonomic device with a sufficient reactivity, and the essential modes PASM and the RAW format of course. As it was a bit of an experience, and I didn’t know how it was going to satisfy me, I did not put 1500 and my budget was around 700 – 800. This is for my needs and constraints (what he must always start in the choice of material).
First of all, my first filter was the size of the sensor: the hybrid market offers first of all of the boxes for APS – C sensors (as large as that of most SLR cameras), such as the Sony NEX, and the Fujifilm X 100 and XPro-1. The Sony NEX have their own range of optics, already fairly extensive, the Fujifilm X 100 has a fixed lens (interchangeable, although quality and light), and XPro-1 has 3 excellent fixed focal lengths.
As the APS-C sensors are the largest on the market of hybrid, I started there. The Fujifilm had an attractive look and excellent reviews, but I quickly eliminated them: XPro-1 was above my budget, and I couldn’t change the perspective of the X 100, but I like having this possibility in order to adapt the device to my photo if you need practice.
Much I eyed on a NEX, whose case is very thin. That said, the optics are still frankly bulky for my taste, light lenses. There were one or two “pancakes” (optics very thin), I would have probably cracked on a NEX. But one of my criteria was the compactness of the lens/body couple, and there was not enough for me.
I had eliminated the devices to APS-C sensors, and I had to choose among the devices to micro 4/3 sensor, smaller but remains of a sufficient size for small depths of field. 1 Nikon and Pentax Q were excluded from office for cause of big joke in terms of sensor size.
I hesitated a lot to myself for a micro 4/3, because I prefer the proportions 3/2 for my images: I find the 4/3 format somewhat ‘soft’, and it bothered me. Fortunately, some hybrids offer to shoot directly in 3/2, or even format square! (Joy!: d)
The advantage of the micro 4/3 format, is that Panasonic and Olympus’s share, and so the Park of Optics is more important, especially as Sigma also begins to build compatible lenses. My choice of housing, therefore, was not limited by optical, the largest park in hybrids: whatever the micro 4/3 body, I would find my happiness in terms of optics.
During my research, the Olympus OM – D EM-5 came out and was the news, and it must be said that it has won all the praise. This is probably one of the best current hybrids, but it was both off-budget and not compact enough for me.
Panasonic offers basically three ranges:
LesGF that are compact, have the PASM modes but without access by a wheel of the modes, indispensable for me → no!
Lionheart who aren’t enough compact → no!
LeGX1 (successor of the GF1) which was both compact and intended users ‘Advanced ‘.
At Olympus, there was the PEN models, compact and intended for advanced users.
In terms of optics, as I wanted something bright and very compact, of course (both for beautiful models and to work in low light), I had to turn to a perspective called ‘pancake ‘. I was basically a choice between the Panasonic 14 mm f/2.5 (28 in 24 × 36 mm equivalent), the Olympus 17 mm f/2.8 (equivalent 34 24 × 36 mm), and the Panasonic 20 mm f/1.7 (40 24 × 36 mm equivalent).
Logically, my choice fell on the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, the brightest of the 3, and also the longest focal (I am a regular at the short telephoto lenses, then 14mm was clearly too wide for my use). In addition, the 20 mm f/1.7 is recognized as one of the best optics for micro 4/3, and rightly!
After reading of a few (faster to autofocus GX1) tests and tests of the boxes in the store (I preferred the grip of the GX1), I turned to the GX1.
I bought it used less than 1000 triggers, to someone who had not been able to get used to the view. Now that I told you my choice, well, let’s see what I think after 1 big month of use!
So, happy?

A discreet, innocuous device
The first time that I took out the camera, it’s going to a party. I thought it would be interesting to see the reaction of people, if they would also be afraid of the case of a large SLR. I was told, among other things “is a bridge it? (Oh no, not really!) People were curious (a new tech gadget!), but also much less suspicious. I could make quite a few images, discreetly, without my subjects to see me.

This device is not only discreet, but I would say innocent. There is no “pro”. People don’t think we can “do the photo” with, and therefore don’t not more suspicious of the 1st compact 80 came. And it’s really a very big advantage.
I could see several times thereafter with friends, both by stealing some unpretentious shots (which can always be fun, it is also the picture!), and also managing some portraits (that I will not publish, they are personal of course).
Remember, I was caught myself with Anne-Laure Jacquart when we made the interview prior to training become an accomplished photographer.
The only flaw in terms of discretion, it is the trigger noise, still audible. But anyway no more Panasonic offers basically three ranges:
GF who are compact, have the PASM modes without access by a wheel of the modes, essential purpose for me → no.!
G which are not compact enough → no.!
The GX1 (successor of the GF1) which was both compact and intended users ‘Advanced’.
At Olympus, there was the PEN models, compact and intended for advanced users.
In terms of optics, as I wanted something bright and very compact, of course (both for beautiful models and to work in low light), I had to turn to a perspective called ‘pancake ‘. I was basically a choice between the Panasonic 14 mm f/2.5 (28 in 24 × 36 mm equivalent), the Olympus 17 mm f/2.8 (equivalent 34 24 × 36 mm), and the Panasonic 20 mm f/1.7 (40 24 × 36 mm equivalent).
Logically, my choice fell on the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, the brightest of the 3, and also the longest focal (I am a regular at the short telephoto lenses, then 14mm was clearly too wide for my use). In addition, the 20 mm f/1.7 is recognized as one of the best optics for micro 4/3, and rightly!
After reading of a few (faster to autofocus GX1) tests and tests of the boxes in the store (I preferred the grip of the GX1), I turned to the GX1.
I bought it used less than 1000 triggers, to someone who had not been able to get used to the view. Now that I told you my choice, well, let’s see what I think after 1 big month of use!
So, happy?
A discreet, innocuous device
The first time that I took out the camera, it’s going to a party. I thought it would be interesting to see the reaction of people, if they would also be afraid of the case of a large SLR. I was told, among other things “is a bridge it? (Oh no, not really!) People were curious (a new tech gadget!), but also much less suspicious. I could make quite a few images, discreetly, without my subjects to see me.

This device is not only discreet, but I would say innocent. There is no “pro”. People don’t think we can “do the photo” with, and therefore don’t not more suspicious of the 1st compact 80 came. And it’s really a very big advantage.
I could see several times thereafter with friends, both by stealing some unpretentious shots (which can always be fun, it is also the picture!), and also managing some portraits (that I will not publish, they are personal of course).
Remember, I was caught myself with Anne-Laure Jacquart when we made the interview prior to training become an accomplished photographer.

The only flaw in terms of discretion, it is the trigger noise, still audible. But anyway no more than an SLR, so good it’s not so bad, and then once the picture is taken it is good!

Un appareil vraiment léger et compact

The following days, I found myself taking it with me everywhere with the least exit, which gave me the opportunity to make some interesting photos on the street (area that has always attracted me), especially The one you see on the left, and who did the Flickr explore, to my surprise!
I went on vacation, in the Massif Central and London (yes, that changes!), And as it was only for a few days each time, I decided to test the couple GX1 + 20mm f / 1.7 in this context. And it must be said that it changes life! Since it does not weigh anything, it is taken everywhere, even if you walk for a long time, and the fixed focal length obviously has the benefits of any fixed focal length: oblige you to move and find the best point of view.
So I brought back a number of pictures that I like that you can see here, and besides that I could get used to the camera, at the angle of view proposed by this focal (I “see “Now in 40mm: P), and I will also be able to tell you what I like and what I like least about the device.

The most and the least

The first question we can ask ourselves, especially if we come from the world of the reflex, is if the aim by screen is not too painful.
Well I am very pleasantly surprised  ! It should be said that the GX1 is designed intelligently, and particularly adapted to this type of sighting, for several reasons:

  • The autofocus is rather fast(even by contrast detection as here). So in low light this is not a 7D eh, but it is very honorable.
  • The screen istactile. I was perplexed at the start, but it’s really good: you can choose the place where you focus just by touching the screen, and if you choose a spot measurement, it is done on This same place. So, I shoot almost exclusively in spot meteringwith this case, at least in street photography, especially as the light metering is excellent.
    We can even trigger in tactile, but I have disabled this option, there is a trigger for that, thank you.
  • The screen shot has certain advantages, such asgreater discretion (you make less gestures to take your picture), a greater ease to shoot at some unusual points of view (even if the screen is not Orientable), and a histogram display before shooting.

Moreover, the ergonomics is very well thought out. I had never touched a Panasonic before, but I took a little time getting used to it:

  • thedial is used to change the aperture or shutter speed (depending on the mode) is also used for exposure compensation(it is enough to press it to move from one setting to another! It’s fast and intuitive )
  • There are 2 physical buttons whose function iscustomizable, and 2 easily accessible touch buttons are also. Very good to suit your needs!
  • The other buttons give access to essential functions quickly, it is well thought out.

On more technical points:

  • Theburst is surprisingly fast
  • Therise in ISO is really good (1600 ISO is a max, it is not bad given the size of the sensor), and the dynamics follows rather well, considering the size of the sensor
  • Thereactivity is really satisfactory

I see few flaws, but I can point:

  • A touch screen that lacks a chouilla ofreactivity. I would have liked it a little more sensitive.
  • Themenus (and manual) that are unclear. I had several times struggling to find what I wanted. The advantage is that we will finally get very little in the menus, so much of the useful functions are at hand.
  • A dynamic a little short of an APS-C I feel, I have surprised once or twice to have white cramés.But it’s pretty insensitive compared to an entry level SLR eh, I quibble.

In summary, the GX1 now accompanies me almost everywhere, and I have released good images with. It corresponds to my needs a little demanding (shallow depth of field, good reactivity, good climb in ISO, ergonomics at the top), while remaining really compact and light.
So maybe for you it will not necessarily be the ideal case, but yes, hybrids (with large sensor!) Are a more than credible alternative to the SLR. I know that for some it is psychologically difficult to pay as much for a hybrid as for a DSLR, but do not forget that a camera can not be bought by weight like tomatoes, but the pleasure you will take with!