Mu-43.com - Micro Four Thirds User Group
Today marks my one year anniversary as a mu-43 member! It has been a little over a year since I bought the brand new Olympus OM-D E-M10, the first new camera I have owned a very long time. I had been using a 10 year old hand-me-down Canon DSLR, and when it lost the ability to autofocus, I knew it was time to buy a new one. This time I was determined to really learn all the features and capabilities of the new camera and to finally invest in better glass than a kit lens. In the course of my camera research I was introduced to the idea of mirrorless cameras and liked what I read. I explored the various types, and eventually settled on micro 4/3 when the E-M10 was announced and had all the features I wanted in a small size in the target price range, as well as a great lens lineup.
If you had told me a year ago how many lenses I would purchase in the first year, I might have been scared off from getting started! On the other hand, I can honestly say that I have learned a great deal from every single lens I have purchased. There is a certain educational value to GAS for a newbie. I bought almost all my lenses used, refurb, or at least $100 off retail, so in most cases I can recoup most of my money if I decide to sell anything. Because my most photographed subject is my own garden, it is very easy for me to bring out my big camera bag that contains ALL my gear and use whichever lens suits the subject and situation at hand, so everything I have gets used.
To say that my photography has improved in the past year due to a modern sensor/camera, good lenses and improving skills would be an understatement. I am still learning all the features of the camera, but I have come a long way. Last month I entered my first photo contest, the annual photo contest sponsored by my local gardening magazine, Washington Gardener. I figured it was a low risk place to start given my preferred subject matter. I found out a few weeks ago that three of the seventeen winning...
I had an EPL7 on loan from Olympus for a couple of weeks for review. During that time, I used the EPL7 almost exclusively, touching my EP5 only to (1) take photos of the EPL7 and (2) record a video review, which is below.
The camera is a lot of fun, and while frankly it's not that different from my other Olympus cameras (EP5, EPM2), it does strike a unique balance of size and weight (closer to EPM2) with features (closer to EP5). If only it had a second dial...
Below are my favorite photos shot with the camera, using various lenses. Clicking through to Flickr should give you all the EXIF data you need, though the shots without lens / focal length / aperture data were shot with my trusty Olympus Pen-F 38mm f/1.8 (usually at f/4).
Panasonic just announced two new lenses: http://www.43rumors.com/hot-panaosnic-announces-two-new-mft-lenses-425mm-f1-7-and-30mm-f2-8-macro/
I think everyone knew the 30/2.8 macro was coming, so I won't say much about that one.
However, the 42.5/1.7 is really surprising to me, especially since Panasonic released the 42.5/1.2 in recent memory. Obviously this will be a very different lens, much lighter, smaller, and less expensive. On the other hand it looks to be very similar to the existing 45/1.8 so I question the reasoning for yet another duplicate focal length prime.
Personally, I was betting that if someone came out with another 45 or 42.5 portrait prime it would be Olympus with a 1.4 aperture to offer something between the 45/1.8 and the Nocticron.
I suppose with OIS, this will make a great lens for video shooting on Panasonic bodies, or on the diminutive GM1 and GM5 bodies which do not have IBIS like the GX7. The Panasonic 42.5 also offers a close focus distance of 31cm vs 50cm, and I bet the build quality will be a bit nicer than the Olympus as well (it could hardly be any worse).
The Spanish Peaks are a pair of prominent mountains located in southern Colorado. The peaks can be seen from many miles away. Through centuries the peaks have been used as an important landmark. The Ute Indians called them Huajatolla, or "breasts of the earth".
The tall peak on the right is West Spanish Peak. It stands 13,626 feet tall (or 4153 meters). We hiked to its summit a few years ago. I carried a D7000 then. Last summer, we hiked to the top of lower East Spanish Peak, seen at photo left. It stands 12,684 feet tall. The hike is long - 15 miles out and back with over 4,000 vertical feet of gain. But it's well worth it for the beauty. This time I carried an E-M1 and 12-40 f2.8. Thought some might enjoy a few pics from along the way:
The knobby crag in the foreground is 8,000 ft Goemmer Butte. The mountain in the back is East Spanish Peak.
The Spanish Peaks are surrounded by farms and ranch lands. Much of southern Colorado is privately owned and trying to find a legal car-accessible campsite the night before the hike proved to be difficult.
We enjoy a restless night of half sleep. Eventually we give up and start hiking at dawn. We reach the Wilderness boundary two miles later.
We hike for a few more miles. East Spanish Peak comes into view.
One foot in front of the other. Eventually we reach high above timber line. Up here, West Spanish Peak dominates the view.
Back to our task at hand: the summit of East Spanish Peak....
My GM1 review and thoughts compared to Olympus E-PM1
The GM1+12-32mm kit package is small. And that is in the positive sense, because I feel most consumer electronics are packed in to so large packages that logistically and for the nature’s sake it doesn’t make any sense. The box is very minimalistic, just a black box with some text on it, no pictures of the camera nor the lens. Inside there are the usual suspects:
- Paper version of quick manual, CD version of full manual and guarantee papers
- Installation CD for Silkypix 4.1 and PHOTOfunSTUDIO 9.2
- Battery, charger, proprietary USB-cable and neckstrap
- The camera with the 12-32mm kit zoom in place, there is no rear cap for the lens!
The feel, the looks!
Yes, I am one of those who can get excited about the looks or materials of some products, consumer electronics even. The very simplistic approach of the GM1 design is very attractive. It could be more comfortable to hold if it had a fore grip or thumb grip, but this way it is so good looking AND it is sleek, which helps if you need to get it out from a compact camera pouch. At least if you have a wrist strap to pull from. The choices of materials are excellent. The outer casing is made of high quality, nicely textured, black plastic. There are faux leather thumb area and front panel. The top of the camera is some sort of metal. Buttons are mostly plastic except the mode dial, which is of metal. I am not sure about the other dials, in any case they feel well crafted too. The outer side of the bayonet is painted black. I think it looks nicer than the one on E-PM1, which is just bare metal. The top plate of the pop-up flash is of slightly different shade of black than the rest of the top. It could be made of plastic but it’s hard to tell.
Tech specs and IQ
Why did I choose the GM1?
My main camera is Olympus E-M5. Although it has small and squishy buttons I still...