This cyclocross or 'CX' season marks my first without a full frame DLSR, having divested my Canon gear in favor of something lighter and easier to carry on the course. I struggled with this decision, seeing as an equivalent setup for my uses was not available with the m43 system at the time. Unlike many who favor a zoom for shooting sports, in the past couple years I have shot local and professional races exclusively with a Canon 5D Mark II and EF 200mm f2.8 lens: KirtlandParkCX-025 by ericarthur, on Flickr Cincy3-035 by ericarthur, on Flickr Cincy3-005 by ericarthur, on Flickr Cincy3-003 by ericarthur, on Flickr Cincy3-014 by ericarthur, on Flickr Cincy3-023 by ericarthur, on Flickr GEAR SELECTION Seeing as the sport takes place most often in parks or in fields there is always plenty of room to move around to compose the shot as needed. The obvious options would have been the Panasonic 35mm-100mm f2.8 or the Olympus 75mm f1.8. Both of these lenses are fairly expensive however, more expensive in fact than the EF 200mm f2.8 I had been shooting with. As I wanted a more compact system, and wanted to save some money, in the end I purchased a Sigma 60mm f2.8, conceding quite a bit of reach but gaining a distinct size advantage and keeping some money in my pocket. With the prices the Panasonic G5 was going for at the time, the body was a much easier decision. Here is my kit for shooting CX: Panasonic Lumix DMC G5 + Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN by ericarthur, on Flickr Not shown, I keep a Heliopan Jet-Pol linear polarizer mounted to the lens at all times as well as the Sigma hood that shipped with the lens. The small Optech connector loops allow me to attach the camera to the chest strap of a my backpack using a small carabiner (the backpack contains a jacket, gloves, spare batteries and most importantly, beer). The camera is easy enough to remove from the carabiner, but I usually just leave it attached as I can still bring the camera to my eye for most shots, or I simply use the articulating lcd of the G5. We all know the size/weight advantages of mirrorless system cameras over DLSRs so I won't dwell too much on that, but I can certainly say that the advantages of my m43 kit in this regard are a godsend over the course of a full day of shooting CX (after having raced myself in the morning) compared to my Canon gear. AUTO FOCUS I should point out that the G5 is not my first m43 camera as I also own an Olympus E-PL1 and have used that to shoot CX on one occasion as well - the UCI Cyclocross world Championships in Louisville, KY several years ago. This was a decision I regretted. The AF of the E-PL1 (with any lens) was simply too slow to keep up with the riders, though I had some success with older manual focus lenses: P2020479 by ericarthur, on Flickr This experience (having left the DSLR at home in favor of a smaller kit) left me wondering how the advancements in the AF of the m43 cameras/lenses in recent years could handle the pace of cyclocross, which while fast, is very predictable. Riders do laps on a closed course and the racing line is easy to see and its repeated multiple times over the duration of the race. They slow for obstacles and then accelerate again quickly, but no where near the speeds of road cycling or something like motorcycle racing. Even though neither the G5 nor the Sigma 60mm f2.8 are the fastest in class when it comes to AF, I've been fairly pleased with how quickly the camera/lens combination can focus and find that this quickness in S-AF nearly negates the need for C-AF in most of my shooting: P1030478 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030309 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030538 by ericarthur, on Flickr Perhaps my favorite AF feature of the Panasonic cameras, including the G5, is the ability to drag your finger over the LCD to set the focus point with the camera to your eye looking through the EVF. Initially I was worried that the resistive touch screen of the G5 would be subpar compared to that of the capacitive screens Olympus and newer Panasonic cameras, but I don't find that to be the case and the bonus is that the screen of the G5 works with gloves on (a huge boon seeing as CX is a Fall/Winter sport). EXPOSURE PREVIEW One of the advantages that mirrorless cameras offer that is most important to me is live exposure preview. This feature is hugely convenient in a sport like cyclocross where the lighting conditions vary continuously. Riders dart in and out of wooded areas into sunlit fields and the ability to see the exposure rather than needing to rely on the meter and experience just makes the entire shooting process that much easier. P1030395 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030537 by ericarthur, on Flickr I find that since switching to m43 I make far fewer tweaks to exposure in post production and that speeds up my editing workflow by a good margin. My only complaint with regard to the G5 and its implementation of live exposure preview is that it does not work with fully manual exposure, which is how I typically have like to shoot in the past. My workaround is that I now shoot using shutter priority and auto ISO and in most cases the lighting conditions mandate that the lens stays wide open at f2.8 to maintain the shutter speed I have set. I then simply mind the histogram and ride the exposure compensation to get the look I want in the EVF. THE RESULTS I suppose I should just let the results speak for themselves, but for me, while I certainly notice the differences in the look of the files from the 5DII and the m43 gear, I really am just as happy with what I am able to get from my G5/Sigma 60mm and even happier with the ease with which I'm able to get it. When you factor in the difference in cost between to two setups (I paid $2,289.45 for the Canon gear and $467.42 for the m43 gear), I'm simply ecstatic. P1030575 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030409 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1020376 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1020255 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1020300 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030139 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030115 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030227 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030527 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030154 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030398 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030202 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1020356 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030089 by ericarthur, on Flickr P1030072 by ericarthur, on Flickr THE FUTURE I'm fairly content with my current setup, but am certainly looking forward to the day when a mirrorless system can compete with DSLRs with regard to C-AF. I don't see myself buying another lens or body until that is the case, but I don't think that day is too far off. Thanks for allowing me share.