Considering upgrading to mu43. Advice from those who switched?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jackthehat, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. jackthehat

    jackthehat Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 8, 2014
    Cumbria, UK
    Hi guys,

    I have shot full frame Canon EOS for years and my main camera is my trusty EOS 5D MkII with 24-105mm f4L, 35mm f1.4, 100mm macro, 200mm f2.8L, 300mm f4L, 85mm f1.8.

    I am considering upgrading to mu43 when the E-M1 MkII is released and I would like the opinions from people who made similar switches from full frame to mu43.

    There are four aspects of the change that concern me:

    1. Bokeh. Background blur on the longer lenses doesn't worry me as the effect is easily achievable on mu43 lenses. However, I love using the 35mm f1.4 on my 5D as it can make subjects pop out from the background. The closest mu43 lens that could give me anywhere near the same effect is the Voigtlander 17mm f0.95 but the image quality of that lens doesn't look too great at max aperture and I would be lumbered with manual focus. Any advice or workarounds from anyone?

    2. Tracking AF. I also have an old Canon 1D MkII which has killer AF for birds in flight. I know the E-M1 won't be as good but do any of you shoot birds in flight with the Olympus cameras?

    3. Power up time. With my DSLR, a quick tap of the shutter button means I am instantly in action (very important for street photography). How fast does the E-M1 wake up from sleep?

    4. Ergonomics. I have large hands and I love the way the EOS cameras handle, especially the dials for shutter speed and aperture which need to be adjusted quickly. The positive clicking motion of the dials confirms that adjustments are happening. How does the E-M1 compare?

    I have had an E-PL5 for a while now and I like the images from it but the small controls are far too fiddly for it to be used seriously. It's a great camera for travelling.
  2. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    1, 3, and 4 I think you'll be fine. One of the things I like most about the e-m1 is the ergonomics and the positive feel of the wheels and buttons.

    #2 is tougher. AF on the current e-m1 isnt as sophisticated as your used to. Static image AF is great, fast fps rate will impress. Continuous AF is the big weakness. BIF is one of the toughest challenges. You may do well with an Osprey ok view for a long period of time, but snapping a hummingbird zipping across your patio is virtually impossible. E-m1 mk2 may fix that. We're all watching for that upgrade, but there isn't 7Dmk2 capability here...yet.
  3. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    For number 1 I would suggest looking at different focal lengths, the 25mm f1.4 is good then you have the the 45mm/42.5 f1.8/f1.7 portrait length and 75mm f1.8 all can produce decent bokeh but only you can be the judge.

    I wouldn't pick m43 if all I did was BIF, it's probably one of it's weakest areas. Saying that many people use it and get good results.
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Yeah #1 might be tough. My best recommendation is to get a lens turbo or speed booster adapter and adapt some glass. OOF subject separation compared to FF is not in the same league especially with shorter focal lengths. Also in regards to #2, I don't care what DPReview or other sites claim, mirrorless still isn't in the same league when it comes to focus tracking especially compared to a 1D mkII!

    Honestly I'd keep the 5D mkII with the 35 and your telephoto lens of choice, and switch the rest up to M43. Outside of really shallow DOF and focus tracking, I think most things can be shot with M43 no problem.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. jackthehat

    jackthehat Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 8, 2014
    Cumbria, UK
    Thanks folks. I already have the Panny 20mm f/1.7, the Oly 45mm f/1.8 and the Samyang 7.5mm. All great lenses but the 20mm f/1.7 doesn't come close to my 35mm f/1.4 on the Canon. Wide angle bokeh seems to be very difficult with mu43 which is my concern.

    I don't do a lot of BIF work and I'll probably keep the 1D MkII just for that purpose anyway.
  6. jackthehat

    jackthehat Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 8, 2014
    Cumbria, UK
    Thanks, that's pretty much what I expected to hear. I am hoping the E-M1 MkII will offer phase detect AF for mu43 lenses.
  7. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    The EM1 already has PDAF that it uses for m4/3 and 4/3 lenses.
  8. physicsdude

    physicsdude Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2014
  9. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    I wouldn't switch . The 5DMK ll is a fine rig. If you want to test the waters get a EM 1 body,a Metabones converter and keep your old lenses. If you are a bokeh guy the best short lens is the 25mm Panny leica f1.4 . If you don't need a big grip the MkII is cheaper. If you are a big grip guy,the Panny GX-8 has it and works with Metabones. Focus peaking but not good blow up for manual focus though. Old Canon is really good at this.
  10. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Olympus had hinted that they are working on faster primes like the f/1.2 on the wider end. Probably the 17 and the 25 will be upgraded to 1.2 with autofocus in 2016 to coincide with the release of the E-M1 Mk II. During the last Olympus meeting, Olympus had said that it was impossible to defy physics; namely to match current m/43 sensor performance to what you would expect with a current full frame sensor. This is a given, so in order to bridge that gap, the lenses need to be faster. Thus the faster primes. So to address #1, you will have to wait till 2016.

    To address #2; AF tracking with BIF is still not E-M1's strongest point even with firmware 3.1 and also the annoying EVF blackout in continuous motordrive. This is why I still use the Olympus E-5 DSLR along with my E-P5. However, this I believe will be addressed with the E-M1 Mk II as it will have upgraded PDAF tracking system that rivals the current Panasonic G7 or the upcoming GH5. The G7 introduces 3D tracking; which is the same system employed in Canon and Nikon systems for many years now. Hopefully, the Mk II will have 3D tracking. Once you have 3D tracking, birding should be much easier to achieve. It is also addressing the EVF blackout issues using motor drive. Right now, you need a EE-1 combo to provide optical finder targeting, but with the Mk II it should be good with EVF.

    To address #3. The E-M1 MK II should have a faster power up.

    To address #4. I found the E-M1 grip and ergonomics pretty good. I don't see that changing with the Mk II.

    Hope this helps..
  11. Venser

    Venser Mu-43 Regular

    May 5, 2014
    I made the switch from the Nikon D700 and the trinity of 2.8 lenses.

    2 - It's not BIF, but F1. If you check out the full resolution photo, it's a good result from the little system. E-M1 handheld with the 40-150/f.28 + MC-14 extension.


    I've shot track and field with good results as well. In both cases, even though the subjects are moving, they have predictability.

    3 - Street is my main focus and I've never had a problem with start up times. It doesn't matter if the camera is fully off or if it's in sleep mode.
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    I use my FX Nikon gear for my event work, m4/3 for fun and travel. Not sure I'd switch 100% based on what you're looking for. For me it's a question of the right tool for the right job.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    I moved from a Canon 7D with non-L lenses to an Olympus OMD system with an EM5, then an EM1. I've been using the EM1 with a 4/3rd 50-200 SWD zoom to shoot kids sports and it's been working very well. I don't shoot BIF, and I suspect it would be difficult compared to your 5D II or a 7D II. As others have said, if BIF is a big deal for you, there's no point in switching. However, what was important to me was getting great IQ with much lighter and smaller gear, and not really sacrificing much to get there. For 95% of the photos I shoot, the M43 system completely replaces what I had with the Canon. After lugging around the Canon gear and suffering because of it, using M43 has been so much more fun and rewarding. I enjoy photography more. It's great for travel and has proven less costly. I've been able to get L-quality glass for much less than what I would have spent on Canon. In fact, I could never justify (nor really afford) buying L lenses, and hence never had any. Now I have L-quality or better lenses. I foresee continuous autofocus and tracking improving as Olympus keeps working at it. I ain't switchin' back! :)
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I moved from a 5dii plus 17-40, 24-105, 70-200, 100-400, 50/1.4 and 85/1.8. Overall I'm very glad I did, but there are compromises to be made.

    1. Bokeh/OOF subject separation - I mostly do landscapes, cityscapes and a bit of street so this isn't really an issue for me. However, if it's important for you, then the 35/1.4 look from FF will be very hard to emulate. The Voigtlander 17/0.95 is the best you'll get. Sharpness is OK wide open for portraits from what I've seen, but it's a big and heavy lens by u43 standards and the lack of EXIF and AF might be an issue (it is for me). You'll get good subject separation from the 45 and 75, but the FOV is obviously significantly narrower than the 17 so if "environmental portraits" is your thing then I think u43 is not ideal. Maybe Oly will release a 17/1.2 or even 17/1.0, but it's all speculation at this point; maybe they won't and it would be crazy to buy into a system on a rumour!

    2. Tracking AF - IMHO tracking is pretty lame on all the Oly u43 cameras. Maybe the Panasonic cameras are better but I've not used them. Single shot AF is pretty quick though so that might be enough for you. I think it's fine for motor sports/aviation etc, but BIF and some sports will be a challenge. I've used a 7Dii and I can tell you that it's miles ahead of anything in the u43 world.

    3. Power up time - no issue at all.

    4. Ergonomics - the E-M1 is probably the best handling camera I've used. I love it. It's better than the 5dii in this regard and of course streets ahead in terms of features (esp the EVF).

    I dipped my toe in the u43 water with an EPL5 first and ran that with the 5dii for a few months before I made the big switch. u43 re-kindled my enthusiasm for photography simply by virtue of being small, light and highly functional.
  15. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    It seems to me that all of your goals are most easily met by the Canon system you already have. Why are you trying to switch?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 26, 2014
    I thought the rumour was for some f/1.0 lenses.
  17. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Either way they aren't going to be satisfying to someone used to f1.4 on FF.
  18. TonyVentourisPhotography

    TonyVentourisPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 1, 2015
    Washington DC
    I come from the same place. I still have a 5DkII with 24-105, 105 macro, 70-200 F4, 35 1.4L, etc... There is no m43 lens "at the moment" that will do what the 35L does on a full frame on the e-m1. Olympus is hinting at them though for next year as has been stated. You DO have an option. The Canon 24mm 1.4L with a metabones ultra adapter speed booster will give you a 35mm F/1 on the E-M1. That gives you F/2 equivalent depth of field at a 35mm view WITH autofocus and aperture control. Not too bad.

    In terms of image quality, the E-M1 can do anything the 5DkII can do comfortably. You have to understand the difference between contrast and PD autofocus. The only scenario in my professional work that I find I still grab the Canon for is performance dance in high schools or poorly lit events. There is just no contrast for me to hit and the action is moving way too fast. Even the 5DkII struggles...but phase has a better hope in that situation. That's really it. Everything else i've done the E-M1 has proved equal. I don't shoot birds...but I have played around with focusing on hawks and turkey vultures in the air. It can track fine as long as the settings are configured right. If I was a pro bird shooter and may dinner relied on coming home with killer birds in flight...i might stick to a DSLR. 7DmkII or 1DX preferably.

    In terms of sleep... its just about as fast as a DSLR to wake. Big catch is actually sleeping. If it powers OFF then you have to turn the power switch off and back on for wake. You can adjust those settings though to your liking. Other catch is the power switch is on the left, so its not a one handed affair like some cameras where the power switch is with the shutter.

    Ergonomics are great. If you have really big hands, the grip might make it more comfortable. My hands are big and I am just fine with the e-m1 and a RRS L-plate. I cannot use the camera without a plate though. The plate adds just enough to the bottom to make it comfortable. Its crazy how small a camera this good is.

    I find though it has opened up new worlds of shooting for me. I use Wi-fi during studio shoots constantly now to adjust my lights and reflections on objects from the subject while watching my cell phone for the camera view. Also other features like the custom Mysets, body and button config, etc... all just make the user experience a lot better than my 5D.

    Also, if you know how to configure the camera well, the viewfinder has less blackout and is nicer in use than the optical on the DSLR. I never thought side be one to say that...but...time are changing!
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I'm also a former Canon 5D mark II shooter - had the 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200/2.L IS, 100-400L, 35/1.4L, 135/2.0 and Sigma's 50/1.4 (pre-ART, also excellent). The E-M1 is more than capable and a LOT smaller, and in terms of AF more sophisticated than your 5DII (which isn't saying much), but won't be up there with 1D series cameras. Look up some of Phocal's threads to see what he does with telephoto and the E-M1 - it's more challenging, and less mature than a good modern DSLR (i.e. 7dII, 5DIII) for tracking, but it sort of depends on how important you find that.

    The major weakeness for me remained the look I could get with the 35/1.4L - which remains one of my very favourite lenses ever. The 1.7 lenses on MFT don't give you quite the dreamy balance of great subject separation with just enough to make out the background that makes portraits with the 35/1.4L shine at times. Honestly, it's one of the reasons I ended up adding a FF body back to the mix - the Sony A7r - which is really a bit of a beta product but works great for manual glass and landscapes, and has a few fantastic lenses (th 55/1.8 being my favourite 50 ever); I also shoot the CV Nokton 35/1.2 II quite often, which is a great lens. If you want to stick to one system, the samples I've seen for the CV 17.5 0.95 seem pretty damn fine to me, and offer similar DoF; manual focus with an EVF is a breeze and a pleasure, too, and for me, wide open shots with a fast 35 don't need to be insanely sharp corner to corner; I have other lenses for that.

    I have zero regrets switching over to a mirrorless kit, although I'm still resolutely hybrid - Sony FE for wide to normal, E-M1 for everything else, including use of the really fantastic (and very nicely priced) 43 HG and SHG telephotos. For my type of photography, I can't see myself going back to a DSLR.
  20. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    For the speed booster idea you'd need to boost a fast 24mm full frame lens. To have an aperture "equivalent" to an f2 you'd need to boost something like the Canon 24/1.4 lens.

    f1.4 boosted = native f1 = equivalent to f2 in terms of full frame DoF and f1 in terms of exposure speed

    In practice exactly the same as the Voigtlander 17mm but if the Canon lens wide open is better you gain that and AF.

    But if the fast Oly lenses are coming (announcement could the January 6th) I'd simply go for a 1.2 native lens.
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