Investing in micro four thirds

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jonlong, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 25, 2013
    First, some background: I'm new to micro four thirds and relatively new to camera systems in general. I had progressed through various high end point and shoots and recently purchased a Lumix G6 with the 14-42 ii lens and later bought the lumix 45-150 lens. I've been happy with the combo so far but feel that low light performance is slightly lacking. I like to shoot outdoors, urban and wildlife, but I also play in a band and need the low light performance for indoor low light shooting.

    Size of the camera is not an issue to me, so I was looking at comparably prices dslrs ranging from d5200 to d7100 and rebel t5i to 70d, but I liked the comprehensive feature set that came on the G6. My question is this - do you guys think there is any reason to be concerned about investing in the mft system? I'd like to buy good lenses for the G6, and then upgrade to a GH body if and when the sensors see significant improvement. Do you think mft will continue to see significant improvements to sensor technology? Will new focus systems, such as hybrid phase/contrast detect be compatible with current lenses? Dslrs are well established, so you can confidently buy good lenses. Mft is still young, so I don't have the same level of confidence.

    I realize this is a highly subjective question, but I'd like to hear your opinions on it.

  2. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    M4/3 is here to stay, for the foreseeable future. Oh, we can't see the future. Can we? :smile:
  3. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 25, 2013
    If I invest in good glass now (looking at the 100-300 and a fast prime for indoors), do you think that new camera bodies will continue to support those lenses? My fear, which is perhaps unfounded, is that I'll invest money in nice glass and then a new camera body will come out with a great new sensor and auto focus systems, and it will require different types of lenses to make the most of it. I forgot what camera system I was reading about, but basically it had a new focus system that wasn't compatible with older lenses.
  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    A couple of quick thoughts. First, buy what you need. If you have an immediate need (not necessarily a want) for a lens, and can afford it, then you should probably buy it. Second, I would not believe that the m4/3rd's lens standard would radically change as they have spent quite a lot of time and energy building up a large lens selection, and that is one of the main attractions of the system. Abandoning it would most likely kill the system, as Olympus and Panasonic do not have the user base that Canon and Nikon enjoy. Finally, be cautious about how you define "investing', as almost ALL of this equipment depreciates the moment you walk out the door. Lenses tend to hold a higher resale value than bodies as they age, but almost none of them are going to appreciate, a traditional characteristic of investments in the financial sense. So, IMHO, unless you have an unlimited budget, it is best to buy what you need when you need it. Roughly speaking, your equipment mostly provides you with a living and/or enjoyment, and only you can know how much you want to spend for either payback.

    Good luck,

    • Like Like x 1
  5. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    m4/3 glass holds it value just about as well as any other format, in my experience. A much better "investment" than mirrorless bodies!
  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Buy used, keep your lenses in good condition and if you sell your glass down the road, you should get about the same money back for your equipment. It'll be like renting gear for free! :wink:
    • Like Like x 4
  7. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada

    This. Don't buy off the shelf.
  8. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I switched from Canon DSLR to m4/3s, so I'm not worried about the viability of the format. But if that sort of thing weighs on your mind you can certainly go with Canon or Nikon and rest a bit easier at night. Plenty of options to give you what you are looking for. Don't make a camera or format choice a point of stress in your life. There are enough "real" things to worry about!
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Somebody should tell this to the OP in this thread: . I fear that the poor chap is about to burst a jugular trying to get an E-M1 shipped to him by today. I am not certain if I feel sorry for him for haivng so little patience, or jealous because he has no "real" worries to occupy his time and energy. It's kind of sad to see people get so stressed out over something that is supposed to make them happy. Pehaps he needs a new hobby? My neighbor knits, and I have never seen her come unglued (or should I say unraveled) because a shipment of wool yarn is delayed or unavailable.

    Getting back OT, the suggestion to buy used is an excellent one. In that case, you might actually be able to sell for more than you bought.

    Good luck,

  10. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 25, 2013
    Thanks for the responses so far. I suppose I should clarify what I mean by "investment." The financial cost of lenses is only relevant indirectly. They're certainly not cheap, but I won't buy anything I can't afford. My question stems more from a lack of knowledge about the progress of camera systems. I'll give a bit more background info... I looked at both the G6 and the GH3, but did not feel that the GH3 warranted the additional cost for me, since I don't have a need for the advanced video features, and it didn't seem to have a significant IQ improvement over the G6. What I do like about the GH3, however, are the size and build quality. What I'm hoping for is to use the G6 and whatever lenses I acquire until a new camera body comes out that justifies an upgrade. Hopefully this will be a GH/OMD quality body, improved image sensor, and improved AF system. But when this hypothetical body comes out, will it potentially be limited by the lenses? For example, would a new AF system possibly be incompatible with current lenses or limited by their older design? This is mostly a question of ignorance. The other piece of my question is wondering what kind of improvement we will see to mft sensors in the coming years. Do you think that they are in their peak? Or do they still have significant room for improvement?
  11. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    The biggest question is what do you do with the photographs after you take them? If it's "Throw them on the Web," then you don't need as much horsepower as you'd need if the answer was "Print them at 36 inches on the short side." I bought a used GF1 and a 14-45 mm lens two or three years after release for about half of what it would have cost new -- and most of what I do with photos is throw them up on the web.
  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    IF they did come out with a new/modified mount, I suspect that it would be backward compatible (like Nikon's) with the current lenses, but there has been no indication of any such activity, so for now, what you see, is what you get (how I do miss Flip Wilson). Sensor development has recently hit a plateau, albeit not a bad one, but there was an interview article today with a couple of Olympus executives, and they talked about the next generation of sensor being 4k friendly. So, I would take this as a sign that future developments are in the works. Your strategy sounds reasonable, so I would just concentrate on what lens or lenses that you want to use in the near term while you wait for a new body (which may not come until some time next year given all of the recent launches).

  13. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    You've already purchased into this system... why worry so much? Enjoy it and use it. There is almost ZERO chance a lens or body will come out that makes current lenses unusable... that's the old Canon/Nikon mindset right there.

    Get yourself a nice fast prime or two and see what your camera can really do! If you are still worried then buy and adapt old manual lenses. Minimal investment, maximum performance boost. Win-win if you ask me.
  14. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    All you need now for good low light performance is a small tripod. Cost $60. Then get a fast prime such as the 20mm f1.7 Then get ready to be amazed. Keep ISO low,no more than 400.
  15. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 17, 2012
    The af system worry is a bit unnecessary there is not likely to be any change in af type any time in the near future.
  16. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    OK, where can I get a used GX7 at a discount from the price when new?
  17. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    MFT is here to stay, it's now 40% of the market of interchangeable lenses in Japan, and Japan has always been know for leading the trend in photographic matter.
    Why would 95% of photographers want a bigger camera and heavy lenses when MFT offers so much for much less weight!?
  18. byegad

    byegad Mu-43 Rookie

    May 10, 2013
    Having looked very carefully at the various smaller Compact System Cameras and the lenses available I bought into m4/3 last year. The choice of bodies and lenses, coupled with the ability to use older 4/3 Olympus lenses made the other Compact System ranges look very limiting.

    I doubt that the Olympus and Panasonic will kill m4/3 any time soon. They have spent a lot of money on an open system which allows third party manufacturers to make lenses, and I presume cameras if they so wished, to the standard. The trend seems to be to make more complex and capable bodies and higher end lenses which makes me think I chose correctly. The trend to high end bodies isn't limited to the m4/3 Compact systems, so other manufacturers see a market in this class too.
  19. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I have invested in numerous primes and I own three :43: bodies. The bodies tend to lose value fairly quickly. The GH2 is a note able exception - but the lenses hold value fairly well. New lens manufacturers keep jumping on board - I think :43: is here for awhile.
  20. kponds

    kponds Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2013
    To be honest, when the A7/A7r were announced, I was a little worried about the resale value of my lenses several years down the road. I had just bought the 75mm at the time.

    But F it. This system is great for me and I'm going to shoot it until the wheels fall off. If the value drops, that just means replacement gear will be cheaper.

    Any electronic or technological product should not be considered an investment. Sure, some lenses have held their value for several years, but it's a really bad bet. Just get gear that you will use, and put it to work until you either outgrow it, or it breaks. Don't get caught up in the rat race of having the latest and greatest system all of the time.

    I guarantee you that if, on the off chance, six years from now my 25mm and 75mm are worth pennies, I will have more than enough photos with them to have covered their cost.
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