First Post - Big Change

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by arctic_rogue, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. I picked up my first DSLR in 2007 with the 40D. I've since switched to the 5D Mark II and have gone through quite a few lenses: 17-85, 50 f1.8, Sigma 50 1.4, Sigma 30 1.4, 17-55 f2.8, Canon 35 f1.4, Canon 70-200 F4, Canon 70-200 f4 IS, Canon 17-40, and Canon 85 f1.8. So needless to say, I definitely have a good understanding of what I want in a camera set up.

    Over the past two years or so, I've consistently left my 5DII at home because it was too big/bulky to be carting around with a 2-3 y/o. Most recently on a 10 day vacation, I took the camera with me on 2 occasions - not what I'd expect from $3K+ in camera gear. I started looking at mirrorless cameras with the expectation of getting a Sony Nex when I learned about the E-M1.

    Today, I bought the E-M1 and 12-40. I have been a big fan of primes for a while, but with a fast moving 3 year old, I know primes definitely have disadvantages when compared to primes.

    I'm looking for two pieces of advice/input in this, my first post:

    1. I am a big fan of the 35mm focal length. Is the Olympus 17 f1.8 the best offering at that focal length? I'd like a prime to cover off low light situation AND have a small lens when I want to reduce form factor even further.

    2. PLEASE give me some assurance I'm not going to drastically regret the drop from full frame image resolution. :)

    Thanks all!
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    the 17 oly lens is wonderful despite what some reviewers say

    while I am sure my 5D Mk2 has some advantages in terms of DOF..... the size, the physical noise and the sheer frigging weight just dont add up ... and it sits unused fro more than 2years

    photography isn't about the camera... its about the photograph

    I make no great claims as a photographer... I am an amateur.. shooting for my pleasure.

    Flickr decides that these are my most interesting shots

    As I write this.. none of these are FF shots... and indeed No 2 is from a 2000 canon Ixus

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Thanks Kevin, your input is much appreciated.

    I agree that photography isn't about the equipment - sometimes we lose sight of that.

    Although the 5dII wasn't totally unused for 2 years, it wasn't used anywhere near it's full capacity. I attribute 75% of that to the general inconvenience of carting the 5DII and 3 lenses around.
  4. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I was in a very similar position a little less than 2 years ago - 5DII, bunch of L glass, 35L and sigma 50/1.4 as a a few favorites. But it all just got so big and heavy it never left the house. For travel, I switched to a MFT system (E-M5, which was stolen and replaced with the E-M1), selling off all my L zooms to cover costs (17-40,24-105,70-200,100-400); it's really excellent, and in some ways better for low light than the FF canon. And I a full kit covering ultrawide to super tele was lighter and te same size as the 5DII with 2 moderately sized lenses. The only things I missed were resolution for landscape shots, and the option for shallow depth if field at wider angles (I.e the look of a fast 35 on FF for people shooting). So I got the Sony A7r and finally sold the rest of the Canon gear. Perfect pair for me.

    For all-round, best AF performance, general handling and really very good IQ I go with the E-M1 every time. For pure quality in a very demanding package that's still a bit of a first generation product, there's the Sony - with the 55/1.8 in particular being one of the nicest lenses I've ever shot. The 35 is also great, better in a lot of ways than the 35L, but lacks the magic the latter can deliver due to its 1.4 aperture.
  5. Thanks!

    I narrowed my choice down the Sony a7 and the E-M1. Ultimately, it came down to the better AF speed in the Olympus and solid IQ. Shooting a 3 year old that doesn't stop can be a challenge, so after the AF troubles with the 5DII, a good AF was a must. Based on all the reviews I've read, the E-M1 AF is superior the a7.

    Another knock against Sony for me was the limited resources of good glass.

    I am glad that you've been happy with your decision and it definitely provides me some reassurance. Your one issue was landscape shooting and while I do some myself, it's mostly just for my family, so the reduced resolution shouldn't be a deal breaker for me.

    With that said, I would have loved to try an a7 and E-M1 before purchasing, but that opportunity was not there. I do have a return period with the E-M1 that I can always use if I'm disappointed. But I don't expect that will be the case.
  6. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    Welcome to the mirrorless world. I like the O17 and it is on one of cameras all of the time. It compliments the 12 - 40, or any short zoom, nicely.
  7. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Just so we're clear, I've shot and printed landscapes with the E-M1, and they're wonderful. But I love printing huge, or at least having the option - my walls currently feature 5 large landscape panos - 3 shots stitched, smallest two at about 40" wide, largest at almost 80" (2 meters). An option is always shooting vertically/ more shots. But the AF on the E-M1 is really great. The Sony's is merely acceptable. Accurate, but sometimes hunts in poor light, and just nowhere near the same league.
  8. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    sorry to be grump... but can we please ban the blanket phrase "IQ"... it doesn't actually define anything!!!

    OK.. that was maybe one Russian Standard Vodka too far

    Just I hate the phrase "IQ" with so much venom... its the photographic eqiuivalent of 'nice' or 'fast' :)

  9. *pictures my wall with an 80" photo. Hmmmm.. I think I'll be alright with the E-M1. :)

    What do you think would be the max size you could print a well-exposed E-M1 shot, roughly?

    Well, not here a couple of hours and already disturbing the peace. :)

    Come to think about it, I agree with you. What I mean by IQ is resolution. Perhaps someone can really mess things up and replace every single IQ in the forum with Intelligence Quotient? :D
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Well, let me clarify: both have excellent dynamic range a noise perfoance at higher ISO. Per pixel the Sony is slightly better at higher ISO and smoother at base ISO. That's what I mean by IQ in this context - and I realize it's always reliant on a good lens in front if the camera, and that an interesting picture is always more important than technical perfection. Except that for landscape - which I love to shoot - excellent detail/dynamic range/resolution is a big plus.
  11. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    my a99 with zeiss 24-70 has a nice creamy richness to it that my em1 lacks when it comes to oof fall off, but thats really about it
    however, that a99 just sits there in a bag and only gets pulled out so i can convince myself it wasnt an utter waste of money. lol
    then i cram it back in the bag.. i do all this from a swivel chair so i dont have to burden my weak body with all its weight. HA! :)
    i think if i had a studio set up, or did nothing but tripod work, id appreciate a huge camera more. but since i dont.......
    i have a next 5n as well, and it doesnt seem to make much sense to me if trying to go smaller.. same for any apsc camera. the lenses are still just too big compared to the lenses for m43. the iq lost going from apsc sensor to m43 is way less than the size added to apsc lenses from m43 lenses. it just doesnt balance out for me.

    as for the a7... when i get my em1, i fully was expecting to leave the store with an a7(not r)
    held it, was amazed how i kept trying to take a photo with the front dial... which isnt the shutter, btw ;) lol. that shutter button was just nowhere near where my fingers thought it should be. that was a big deal to me, as handling is pretty important for me.
    the look, the build quality, the gorgeous files... all amazing.
    the af was good enuf
    the handling, the huge lenses on a teeny body(i tried the 55 - more out of balance than the nex 5n to me) and lack of lenses ruined it for me :(
    i think id only go for an a7 if i had great tiny mf rf lenses already

    i picked up the em1 and was amazed that it wasnt as huge as i thought. it felt like my em5 with half of the grip added. (tho i wish it were half a cm taller for my pinky finger on the grip) the build quality was great, the buttons were great, the evf is great(tho i like the rx1/a7 sony evfs as well) plus tons of amazing tiny lenses. im not a zoomer, im a prime fan, so i really get to take advantage of that
  12. I'm definitely a fan of primes over zooms myself.

    One thing I've learned however, is that I NEED a zoom for my zoomy little 3 y/o. When he's a lethargic teen, I'll switch back to majority of primes then. :)
  13. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    yes, but when kiddo isnt around for photo walks or hikes or whatever, you still get the benefit of tiny primes :D
  14. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    Ditto what Kevin said. I just got the Oly 17 1.8 and like it quite well. Sure, if you pixel peep at 100 - 200% you can find a lens that's sharper. But I'm not sure in any print I'd make I could appreciate a difference. Grousing about it seems a little like saying Auto A goes 180 MPH but Auto B goes 200 MPH.
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    We prefer the term "pretty, pretty picture".
  16. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    The 17/1.8 has some CA issues, but if you shoot JPGs with the E-M1 it's taken care of in processing. The focusing is very fast and accurate in indoor lighting; better than most DSLRs.
  17. I think I'm going to lean that way as I know I love the 35mm focal length on FF.

    Now, I just gotta try to nab one used.

    Thanks everyone.
  18. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    I think you have made a good choice. You will find your m43 photos are far nicer than your non-existent 5D2 pictures.

    I am happy with the Oly 17mm 1.8 prime, but if you are ok with a bit wider, and can wait, you may want to see how the upcoming Panasonic Leica 15mm 1.7 fares with the reviewers.