Guess what? Another Newbie

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by snerkler, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. snerkler

    snerkler Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 27, 2014
    Hi,

    I am a relative newbie into the camera world, having only started learning photography 8 months ago. I'm happy with my progress so far, but have a LONG way to go. At present I have a Sony A77 which I'm very happy with, but I would like something a bit more compact to have with me all the time and have been looking at M4/3's, hence me being on here :) I'm not sure the next bit is the right place to post this, so if not please advise me where best to put it and I'll cut and paste it into the correct forum.


    After researching what was best for me I settled on two cameras, the Olympus OMD EM10 and Panasonic GX7. I initially set my mind on the Olly as from looking at hundreds/thousands of photos on flickr I found that the Olly showed more detail (yes I know it's not the best way to analyse, but I think i I find an image that blows me away at least I know the camera is capable of this quality), and also downloading RAW test shots from DP review the GX7 RAW was a touch softer. Also, I think the EM10 looks really cool ;)

    The shot that impressed me with the detail was this, looking at the texture of the skin etc. Granted it's with the EM5, but he EM10 is supposed to be on par if not slightly better.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/shark...fAQ-eq4xpH-mGT9gS-ihk2fk-ihkZR5-ejk6ve-f8gQsw

    However, I tried one out in store and there's a few things that niggled me. Firstly the EVF wasn't as sharp as I'm used to. It's not bad by any stretch, and granted I have the A77 which has an exceptional EVF, but I am quite picky about these things :redface: The other thing was the placement of the rear control dial, I found it didn't fall comfortably for me thumb and I had to reach. I have big hands too so it's not a size thing. Also, because the rear control dial is close ish to the middle I found I kept poking myself in the nose when using it lol. Another niggle was that if you accidentally triggered the eye sensor when browsing menus on the LCD, when it swapped back to the LCD it would bring up the live view rather than the menu you were just in meaning you have to navigate back through the menus to get back to where you were. OK, not the end of the world, but a little annoying. I would prefer a proper in camera panoramic feature like I have on my sony (sweep panorama, which I believe the GX7 also has). Finally, I would like peaking to show with AF too, but I'm not sure many cameras have this? My A77 doesn't have it per se, but it does have DMF (direct manual focus) meaning that as soon as it's autofocussed it switches to MF and thus shows peaking. I know peaking's not for everyone, but I like it. So none of these issues on there own are deal breakers, but taking everything into consideration there's enough to potentially put me off. Shame as I really wanted to love this camera.

    So, that put me back onto looking at the GX7. I scoured and scoured Flickr and other site trying to find images with the same level of detail as the EM10/EM5, and whilst I found some superb images I couldn't quite find any. However, thank god I found this forum. I just found a thread regarding a member who's recently been to india using the GX7, and tbh the images have blown away any other I've seen, including those of teh EM10/EM5. Here's a link to the thread. Stunning images imo.

    https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=63264

    So I'm happy with the IQ of the GX7, I just need to get hold of one to try. Unfortunately I live in a small UK town, and camera shops are not in abundance, plus the main camera shop in the next City have stopped dealing with Panasonic. My local camera shop is going to try and get one in for me to try, but it may be several weeks. I've read many reviews and they generally seem to be positive. However, there seems to be a couple of potential issues, the first of which concerns me a bit. I've read that some people (not all) see rainbow tearing in the viewfinder when panning or generally just looking around the frame. For those that can see this, how much of an issue is it? Whilst on the topic of EVF I've read that apparently it's in the 16:9 aspect ratio and when you change it to the native 4:3 ratio the resulting size of the frame is quite small. Again, is this a genuine issue, or just people being pedantic? The last thing I've read about the EVF is that the eye cup is quite small and so you get a lot of light leak, is this an issue and if so can you get a larger eyepiece?

    The final issue that concerns me with the GX7, although I've read contradicting info, is that the EVF and LCD do not show realtime changes in exposure and WB when in aperture priority and shutter priority, only in manual mode. However, I've also read that this is nonsense if you set the camera up right. So can anyone confirm that if you are in aperture priority for example, if you change exp comp can you see the image brighten/darken in the EVF/LCD in realtime, and likewise with WB.

    I know I need to try the camera for myself, but any advice in the meantime would be appreciated.

    Cheers, Toby
     
  2. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    512
    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Ivor
    Welcome to the forum Toby.

    Now, this may only be my solitary opinion but the best photographer in the world can wring some stunning images from the most basic equipment while the beginninest beginner can use the most expensive kit in the world and still capture terrible images. When you browse forums like Flickr, it's not necessarily the camera which has captured the images, it's the person behind the camera. There's also the magical hand of 'post-processing' and 'cropping' at work behind the scenes. So, it's a combination of camera, photographer and software which produces stunning images.

    If advice is what you're looking for then I would say that looking at the top of the range offerings from either Olympus or Panasonic when you're still at the (self described) 'beginner' stage might be a bit of overkill. You could spend a couple of thousand pounds on equipment and find that m4/3 isn't for you - imagine that tragedy. :wink: I guess what I'm trying to say is buy a second hand m4/3 camera for a reasonable price and give it a whirl. If you like what it does then you can 'trade up' after selling on the used camera for not much less (and maybe a little more) than you paid for it.

    By all means feel free to ignore me - it's only my opinion after all - good luck with your decision and future efforts. :thumbup:
     
  3. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    Using flickr to assess image quality is not the greatest idea. Post production affects alot on how a image looks. With the most current crop of cameras (em5 and gx7 onwards), theres probably not a whole lot of difference in image quality, particularly if are comparing RAW images.
     
  4. snerkler

    snerkler Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 27, 2014
    Thanks for the replies. As I said, I know Flickr isn't the best way to assess things, but if I see something stunning at least I know the camera can produce these images, with the right photographer, lens and software ;) I do think those images I posted from the India trip are stunning, how much is PP I don't know. At present I tend to use Aperture or Lightroom 5, photoshop is too complicated for me at present.

    As for the advice about buying second hand, this is definitely something I'm looking into. However, a second hand GX7 isn't going for that much less than a new one in the UK. On top of this Panasonic UK are offering a free 20mm f1.7 with the GX7 kit at the moment, so would actually work out better value.

    Also, I understand what you're saying about the GX7 maybe being overkill, but I am used to the A77 which has an abundance of pro features and I wouldn't want to go back to a camera that was dumbed down too much. I know I'm new to it, but I have learnt a vast amount about the technical side of photography, and cameras and so happy (as well as familiar) with a lot of functionality. It's putting this knowledge into getting the image I want that's the issue lol. Arguably my biggest issue is lighting and how to capture the light to get the desired effect. I do plan on going out for a shoot with a 'pro' this summer to pick up tips on lighting, especially natural light.

    I am convinced that M4/3 is for me after spending a lot of time going through the pros and cons of each systems. I did think about going APS-C CSC but the X-T1 didn't suit me, and is to bulky with the lenses, I may as well just take my A77 out. The Sony a6000 was also an option but I don't like the fact that there's only one control dial (I'm used to 2), and the Sony e-mount lens range is poor imo. I was worried about DOF with the M4/3, but the 45mm f1.8 is cheap enough and produces some lovely shallow DOF and lovely bokeh. The 75mm f1.8 would be nice too but pricey.

    If I went for the GX7 with 14-42mm kit, I could easily carry the free 20mm f1.7 and 45m f1.8 in my pockets. At the moment I have the 16-50mm f2.8 and 55-300mm for my Sony (plus a 50mm prime and 105mm Macro), but these lenses do not fit well into a pocket, and the 16-50mm is quite a heavy lens to be carrying in a pocket too.
     
  5. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    Let me also add to the chorus of people warning about looking at other people's photos - you don't know how much they have been edited / processed / improved. If you are not that skilled in that regard you may not be able to get that same image. I think major review sites like dpreview have a bunch of walk around type photos attached that are straight out of camera and are a better indication of camera quality.
    I dont have either of those cams but from what I read, they are about the same in quality. I would go with whichever you think looks nicer :)
    One advantage of Gx7 is that the kit lenses that go with it, 14-42 or 20mm are both excellent especially 20mm, which is a legend at this point.
     
  6. snerkler

    snerkler Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 27, 2014
    Thanks, I do look at Flickr with caution. The RAW files from DP review might be more beneficial then, in which case the RAW from the GX7 is definitely softer. However, nothing a bit of sharpening in PP can't fix. I do like my edges to be crisp ;)

    As for the, which looks nicer then that's the EM10 all day for me, but as above it has a number of niggles for me although I've not completely ruled it out. Is the 20mm f1.7 that good then, as it's free at the moment as just mentioned?
     
  7. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    The 20mm is the best if you want the smallest possible package with best possible quality . It's a little slower to focus than newer lenses. I think it's an acceptable trade off. It is also a very versatile focal length. You can easily walk around with nothing else on and do fine. I still see many people do just that.
     
  8. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    512
    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Ivor
    Toby when it comes to photography, it's ALL about light. I've been taking photographs since the early 80's and I'm still a beginner when it comes to digital photography using the m4/3 system.
    You're still coming at it from the wrong end of things though. It's not the camera that's capable of taking the 'stunning' images. You can throw tens of thousands of pounds at a camera and still take mediocre 'snaps'. My sister spent £700 on a CSC but she'd have been as well spending a tenth of that judging by the quality of photographs she takes with it. (no, she won't listen to advice) You must get your head around the fact that you're the one who takes photographs - good or bad. Sure, you can always have a better sensor which produces less noise at high ISO's but that's a technicality. When I see a photograph that moves me, no matter how grainy (see Robert Capa for more info), it still moves me. Sorry, hope I'm not nipping your head with all of this, I mean well...
    Lastly, I didn't mean go out and get a second hand version of the exact model you intend buying new. Top of the range cameras, like Ferraris and similar sports cars, don't depreciate all that quickly so you won't find a minty fresh cheap one for years to come.

    See what happens when you ask for advice? :wink:
     
  9. snerkler

    snerkler Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 27, 2014
    Thanks for the advice again. I think I've given the wrong impression though from how people have picked up on things. Happens quite a lot when I post on forums lol.

    I do fully understand that the photographer is the most important thing in photography and in no way am I underestimating this. However, I think it's also fair to say that a top photographer will also get a better image out of a top camera/lens combo that a bottom end one or compact. Ideally I'd like to invest in something that will last years, and that will not hold me back as I progress. Also, it's vitally important that I get on well with the camera and I like the layout and functions otherwise I'll be less likely to use it. I'm used to a vast array of functions that I have been able to personalise to my liking, and because of this it adds to my enjoyment in using the camera, which of course is a large part of photography. Lower end cameras don't have these level of functions (although happy to be proven wrong), or flexibility hence why I'm looking at the higher end.

    Once I've decided on the usability of the camera, the next thing I consider is the lens availability, which is the main reason I have moved away from the Sony CSC cameras. The lens range just doesn't cut it for me, then there's the issue of size as I've already mentioned.

    After these things have been decided I've ended up with two cameras on the list, the olympus EM10, and the GX7. Usability is then the most important thing for me, but if I find them on par (which I don't know yet as I haven't tried the GX7 yet) then maybe the IQ may sway me to one or the other, hence my original line of questioning. I appreciate that I've only really asked about IQ, but that's because I've already narrowed down all the other factors and so haven't come on here to ask about these. I can see how this gives the impression that all I'm interested in is nit picking the IQ, so apologies for that.

    Regarding the comment it's all about light, I do realise that hence my comment that I am wanting to learn this. I have been spending my time learning the basics such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, composition, exposure levels, metering etc. And now I've got my head around all that I am looking at understanding lighting so that I can (hopefully) give my photos a bit of wow factor. I know it will be a long process, but I am willing to learn and take on any advice.

    I really appreciate everyone's feedback on here, and have truly taken it on board. However, I do know what I like in terms of functionality and unfortunately that leads me to the higher end cameras. I am open to suggestions though if someone can list a camera I haven't considered. Absolute musts are a good quality/crisp EVF (not a clip on) with real time changes, and two control dials for shutter and aperture (or Exp comp), as well as customisable buttons for quick access to ISO and WB. Focus assist and peaking are also things high on the list.

    Thanks again for the advice, much appreciated. I will try to add a link to my Flickr so that you can see my progress over the past 8 months. Feel free to pass judgement ;)

    On a separate topic, I'm not receiving emails when someone replies to topics I'm subscribed to, despite me changing my settings to instant email notification. Does anyone know why this is. I've checked my junk mail.

    Cheers, Toby
     
  10. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Tearing happens with me only if I have the lens cap on, and it seems to be an individual thing anyways. Some get a bit, the vast majority never do. If your shop will get you one, you will find out pretty quickly if you are someone who will see tearing. It is something that happens only with certain people and can happen with any EFV or screen that uses sequential display tech. Sequential display gives better contrast, color and resolution, but some, not all, will see tearing (https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=56690&highlight=gx7+tearing) There is an optional eyecup available, I have it on mine all the time, it really helps when shooting in bright sun. Overall the EVF is good but not great. I hear Sony EFVs are very good, so it might not be as good as what you are used to.

    The GX7 will not peak with autofocus as far as I know (but I haven't looked for a way to turn it on). Constant preview can be turned on to show changes in exposure, and I believe it always reflects changes in WB (or maybe I just haven't looked for a way to turn it off).

    Aside from the EM1 and EP series, I have not been fond of Olympus ergonomics (but to be fair I haven't handled the EM10). The GX7 has good ergonomics, is responsive, and handles well. I have read that the GX7 will lose a very slight bit of absolute pixel peeping sharpness to the Olympus (I believe its because they don't have an AA filter, but I don't want to say for sure thats why), but I haven't seen any real difference in IQ with this latest generation of sensors. Really, you can feel confident buying whatever camera has the features and usability you want. I would say look at my flickr stream, but I've been playing around with VSCO lately, and they often add grain and reduce clarity to get film looks, so my sharpness is often reduced.

    And I agree the 20mm is fantastic. It's my most used.
     
  11. snerkler

    snerkler Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 27, 2014
    Thanks very much, very useful.
     
  12. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
  13. snerkler

    snerkler Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 27, 2014
    Hopefully my signature is now working with my Flickr photostream?
     
  14. snerkler

    snerkler Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 27, 2014
    I finally got to try the GX7 today, and chose to buy the EM10 instead. Here's why I didn't get the GX7, despite the temptation of the free 20mm f1.7 lens.

    The grip felt a bit brick like and didn't fit naturally in my hand, kind of reminded me of when I was looking at buying he D7100 but found that a bit brick like too. Also, despite the EVF being sharper it looked too contrasty to me so not as easy to see if that makes sense, especially dark objects. For example, I was obviously in a camera shop an there was a lot of black cameras about, they looked more solid black without being able to see all the shapes and edges compared to the Olly (and my A77). I did find the EVF of the olly slightly bigger in 4:3, and it looked bigger than the Panny when the Panny was in 3:2, but that might have been my eyes deceiving me.Either way, there's very little in it.

    The other thing that put me off the panny was the control dials, they felt very ratchety and not smooth to operate. Maybe these free off with time, I'm not sure and didn't want to risk it? Finally, despite other reviews I've read, and the spec sheets, I found the Olly AF'd quicker.

    The above is all very nit picky, and the GX7 is a great camera, but the cameras were so close I had to be very judgemental. Hopefully I've made the right choice, time will tell.

    Thanks for the help.