Back with Olympus, after years

pgolik

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Hi, everyone, new member here,
Back in the film days the OM-4 was my favourite camera, even when AF systems became the norm. But as I decided to go digital (around 2006) I looked at what Olympus offered then as entry-level - the E300, and wasn't impressed. The thing was, let's say, unconventionally beautiful, and the viewfinder little more than a keyhole. So I went with another DSLR system. But recently, I noticed that I enjoy my photography less and less, and the big camera with its heavy lenses often stayed home. Briefly I considered a 1" compact, but that still wasn't it. When I saw an offer for a little used E-PL8 (with the Panny 12-32 pancake zoom) at a ridiculously low price, I jumped in. And that was it - I loved the feel of this pocketable combo, and took it everywhere with me. The only thing missing was a viewfinder. So, few weeks later, here I am with a new (actually refurb demo unit) E-M5 III kit. And I feel like taking a camera with me everywhere I go again. I forgot how enjoyable these little gems were, compared to the big cameras. So, yeah, I sold my DSLR gear and jumped into a system everyone says is dying. And couldn't be happier. And this family portrait shows why.
Oly.jpg
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Ghostbuggy

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Welcome!
You by far aren't the only person who enjoyed photography less and less due to rather heavy and bulky equipment. It's a prime reason why a number of people, myself included, around here got into Micro Four Thirds in the first place. The convenience of a fully capable system in a smaller and lighter form is liberating.
 

robcee

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hey @pgolik! welcome (back) to the club. :)

Love the pic of the two cameras. I've lusted after an OM4ti for years but never pulled the plug on one.

The 12-45 looks great on that E-M5. It should provide many years of excellent shooting.
 

Armoured

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I'll have to do a family portrait like that with the Olympus equipment I have around.

The look and feel matter - I definitely pulled the trigger on my first OM-D because size and feel were familiar; feels like a camera to me, not like electronics.

I've tried a few other systems and didn't take to any of them. I'll keep my DSLRs (Nikons) - horses for courses and there are some things they do better (or possibly just I'm more comfortable with them for some things).

I was thinking about this today as despite being exposed to a lot of Canons over the years - I have simply never quite got the right feeling from them. Great cameras - just not for me.
 

pgolik

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Now get the Olympus mZ 25/1.8 lens, put it on the OMD, and take the same photo again if you really want to show an equivalent setup. :thumbup:

Frankly, my initial experience with the 12-45/4 (limited, weather still not great) is so promising, that I don't feel like I'll need primes in its range. Maybe for DOF and bokeh, but I don't see how sharpness could be improved. That's another great feature of m43 for amateur photographers - their less expensive lenses do make compromises (mostly on brightness), but not on sharpness (even the humble cheap plastic 40-150 kit is unexpectedly good wide open).
And I did use a zoom with my old OM-4 a lot (a Tamron adaptall2 35-70/3.5 ), which was quite good, but not as photogenic as the Zuiko.
 

PakkyT

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my initial experience with the 12-45/4 (limited, weather still not great)

You have a weatherproof lens on a weatherproof body... get your ass out there! No excuses. ;)

Maybe for DOF and bokeh, but I don't see how sharpness could be improved.

No it wouldn't. I was just commenting on the 25/1.8 because you have the OM nifty fifty on the other.

Ya unless you really want the narrow DoF, the main advantage of those primes are the 2+ stop more light gathering that might be useful if shooting in low light handheld more than anything. I am fairly certain none of us could tell the difference between a scene shot with the 12-45 at 25mm and the 25mm prime shot at f4 to your point. On the other hand, that old OM 50, at least with the one I own I noticed there was a noticeable improvement to image quality if you turned the aperture ring one click away from f1.8. Almost like they designed the optics for f2.8 and then simple added an extra click letting the quality fall off go where it may simply to be able to call the lens an f1.8.

And I did use a zoom with my old OM-4 a lot (a Tamron adaptall2 35-70/3.5 ), which was quite good, but not as photogenic as the Zuiko.

I have the OM version of that one. The one I got was the f3.6 which is parfocal and when I bought it back in my 4/3rds days I had this crazy thought that this would be a great lens for video when I moved to micro 4/3rds because the parfocal would allow me to zoom the lens in or out and maintain focus. I used it a bit with an infrared converted 4/3rds body but by the time I moved to m43, I never pulled it out to try that video theory. I really should dig it out and just resell it. I can not imagine where I would want to use it other than to use it (like on an afternoon walk) just because its there.
 

demiro

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Welcome @pgolik

Every time I see a comment like this about preferring smaller hardware it just reminds me how disappointing it is that the market doesn't apparently exist to cause O or P to really put forth serious effort in to the smaller options. Obviously the 1.8 and 1.7 primes are still here and they're great lenses, and some smaller bodies have always been available, but clearly that part of the value prop for m4/3s has been deprioritized.
 

pgolik

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Every time I see a comment like this about preferring smaller hardware it just reminds me how disappointing it is that the market doesn't apparently exist to cause O or P to really put forth serious effort in to the smaller options.

This might be related to the general shrinking of amateur photography as a (semi) serious hobby (whether real, or just in the eyes of the marketing people, I don't know). The pros don't mind the weight and size to get that last few % of quality, smartphones are good enough for the "I was there" snapshot crowd, and people like most of us on the forum, who enjoy photography for the sake of it, are not seen as an attractive enough market. Although I hope that OMD will keep at least one E-M5/10 sized option in the future. And that 12-45 is small and light enough, amazingly so, given the quality. As for the smaller lenses, I don't see any obvious gaps in the currently offered lineup.
I don't despair too much - what's already out there will be more than enough for many years.
On a tangent - I'm pleasantly surprised by the capabilities of the sensors in my Olys. If you listened to pundits on dpreview forum, you'd think that a smaller sensor is for fair weather and good light only, no better than a phone. Well, not really.
This was the first shot I took with my E-M5III, indoors, no flash, ISO 3200. It's better than my previous APSC,more than good enough (and the old 16mpix sensor in E-PL8 is quite good as well).
P3040003.jpg
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pgolik

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You have a weatherproof lens on a weatherproof body... get your ass out there! No excuses. ;)

I hope to test that next month, as I planned to go on a sailing cruise with the kit. For the moment, another tightening of the lockdown, I'm left with chasing the cats at home, and waiting for the first flowers to show up.
 

LilSebastian

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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on reigniting your love for making images. Not to derail the conversation too much, but if you also enjoy a little post processing on the images I will highly recommend you download a trial of DxO PhotoLab 4 software. For RAW images you can apply the DeepPrime noise reduction which will make a high ISO image look like it came from a much faster prime with lower ISO value.

Here is a post I did to illustrate the benefits for certain situations. https://www.mu-43.com/threads/dxo-photolab-4-is-out-now.109680/post-1440330
 

davidzvi

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Welcome.

The 12-45 is pretty darn good. But I would add at least one prime, they can be fun even just around the house. The Oly 25 f/1.8 is a great option.

Two shots, first with the Oly 25 then with the Oly 12-45
PC270130.jpg
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PENS0712-2.jpg
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demiro

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This might be related to the general shrinking of amateur photography as a (semi) serious hobby (whether real, or just in the eyes of the marketing people, I don't know). The pros don't mind the weight and size to get that last few % of quality, smartphones are good enough for the "I was there" snapshot crowd, and people like most of us on the forum, who enjoy photography for the sake of it, are not seen as an attractive enough market. Although I hope that OMD will keep at least one E-M5/10 sized option in the future. And that 12-45 is small and light enough, amazingly so, given the quality. As for the smaller lenses, I don't see any obvious gaps in the currently offered lineup.
I don't despair too much - what's already out there will be more than enough for many years.
On a tangent - I'm pleasantly surprised by the capabilities of the sensors in my Olys. If you listened to pundits on dpreview forum, you'd think that a smaller sensor is for fair weather and good light only, no better than a phone. Well, not really.
This was the first shot I took with my E-M5III, indoors, no flash, ISO 3200. It's better than my previous APSC,more than good enough (and the old 16mpix sensor in E-PL8 is quite good as well).

I think you're correct in that the middle - where "enthusiasts" play - is shrinking. For most use cases sensor size is not an issue, and IBIS can really make up for some minor differences and then some.

But how do you and @davidzvi have the same cat?
 

pgolik

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They are close, mine has patch of white on her nose.

And more white on her neck and feet, which neither of my two cats have. Is there a cat thread on the forum?
This one was taken with E-PL8 and 12-32 - the lowcost pocketable combo that convinced me to go back to Olympus:
P2250033.jpg
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Tommy Mac

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The 12-45 is a fantastic lens. I paired a new one with a refurb em1.2 last June and couldn’t be happier. Welcome to the forum.
 

RichardC

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I'll have to do a family portrait like that with the Olympus equipment I have around.

The look and feel matter - I definitely pulled the trigger on my first OM-D because size and feel were familiar; feels like a camera to me, not like electronics.

I've tried a few other systems and didn't take to any of them. I'll keep my DSLRs (Nikons) - horses for courses and there are some things they do better (or possibly just I'm more comfortable with them for some things).

I was thinking about this today as despite being exposed to a lot of Canons over the years - I have simply never quite got the right feeling from them. Great cameras - just not for me.

Oddly, the only Canon camera I ever really felt at home with was the T90. The EOS cameras never handled quite the same.
 

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