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Justified. M 4/3 works for me. (Edited, forgot the cells!)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Fmrvette, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    We have returned from a four day driving vacation in northern Ohio. We took in sights in Akron and then did a quick drive across the state to the Sauder Village, with a final day spent at the Toledo Zoo.

    Having talked my wife into my moving to :43: and selling (at, of course, a loss) all of the Nikon gear this was the first vacation opportunity for me to justify the move.

    What worked:

    The size of the kit; having previously lugged around a Nikon D300 with battery grip (filled with EIGHT AA batteries!) and a 70-200mm 2.8 lens it was pure pleasure to carry the diminutive OM-D, grip, and Panasonic 45-200 lens. After a four day trip with two of the days being "all day walking" days I can attest that there was NO fatigue factor in carrying the OM-D system.

    The IBIS; Nikon builds their stabilization into the lenses, whereas Olympus opted for in body stabilization. This shoot made a believer out of me (although I still cannot claim to get anywhere near a 3 stop advantage over a non-stabilized system. I simply have too much hand tremor). The downside is, of course, that the system makes me THINK that I can shoot at lower speeds than I truly can, so I have to watch myself pretty closely.

    The Lens Pen; it worked well in keeping smudges off of the lens and dust off of the camera body proper.

    Edit: Totally forgot to mention the Wasabi batteries and charger; kept the OEM cell in the camera and a Wasabi in the grip. The Wasabi lasted nearly all day each day; when the 'low cell' warning came on I pulled the battery out of the grip and replaced with a charged Wasabi. The OEM cell never got to the point of needing recharging. I used the Wasabi charger, but not the car adapter. I didn't keep track of number of exposures before the cell needed replacing, but I chimp very sparingly, do not use the view screen. On the other hand I do not have the camera power down or go to sleep until the day's shooting is done. I'm very pleased with the Wasabi cells, even if they do run down faster than the OEM cell.

    The grip worked to perfection, except that it does seem to get in my way a bit when reaching for the Fn2 button.

    End of edit.

    What kinda sorta worked:

    The autofocus; at the zoo in several instances we were behind fences, grates, etc., and the autofocus invariably grabbed that object, rather than the animal in the distance. In each case a quick manual adjustment of the focus resolved the issue. This was with the Panasonic 45-200mm lens. The Nikon D300 kit mentioned above seemed to be a bit more "intelligent" when auto-focusing under similar conditions. Of course the Nikon lens costs $2000 and the Panasonic $200, and the Nikon body at time of purchase was well over what the OM-D body costs today.

    What needs work:

    The camera strap; I use an Op-Tech strap off of the Nikon and it just isn't "perfect"; the strap is a bit too short when worn around the neck and the pad is a bit too wide. The pad was needed for the heavier Nikon kit, but is overkill for the OM-D and gets in the way a bit.

    The camera bag; I took the Olympus factory camera bag along to test out and at one point the "single point of failure" retaining clamp opened by itself when retrieving the bag from the car. Fortunately I spotted the issue and no damage was done, but the bag could have spilled all of the gear onto the pavement. This is unacceptable, and I'll be revisiting the Domke cases. Olympus should have a backup latch or Velcro on the bag. I have a review of this bag on the forum and will update it to note the failure.

    Lenses; I took three, the 12-50mm, the 45-200mm and the 20mm. While the 45-200 and the 12-50 proved adequate outdoors I found that I needed to shoot wide angle indoors in some locations. In the Classic Car Museum in Akron, Ohio and in the McKinley Presidential Library there were instances where there was not enough room to use the faster 20mm lens. This, of course, required the ISO to be bumped up to use the slower 12-50mm lens. I do not print larger than 8x10, so the higher ISO was not a deal breaker, but I'm considering moving to something faster at the wide end. I used Exposure Plot to analyze my indoor shots and nearly 50% of them were at 12mm, 3200 ISO. (Note that I did not use a flash of any kind during the trip, nor did I take a monopod or tripod along. I should have taken the monopod).

    Edit: 10/21 Update - after taking the 12-50mm to a shut-in's birthday party and trying to get available light photos made in a hospital room setting I've ordered the Panasonic 14mm 2.5. I think it will prove wide enough and the added speed over the 12-50 may be decisive. At $173 new it's worth the risk. Also the photos taken today were of the Princess's mother (The Queen Mum, as it were) so I probably won't catch much heat about balancing the exchequer. End of edit.

    While I have not yet made any 'final' prints for display (boy, does that sound pretentious or what??? The prints will be "displayed" in my den...) on screen they appear to be favorably comparable to similar photographs I have made with the Nikon kit.

    I was originally tempted by the Fuji X-100 (harkens back to cameras I used when just starting out); "one lens and done". Having analyzed my shooting preferences, however, I decided that I really wouldn't be happy with the X-100 as my main camera. I rely too much on interchangeable lenses. The Fuji Pro was beyond the capacity of my wallet. I must admit to being quite pleased with myself on the move to the Olympus system (I had to ice down my arm to relieve the pain of having patted myself on the back for four days running).

    The bottom line - the Princess was pleased that I didn't need to plead fatigue or stop to sit for a bit every hour, and the photographs (about which, since they aren't of the grand kids, she cares little) are acceptable to her.

    It is nice (although in my life, rare) to be right :biggrin:.

    • Like Like x 8
  2. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Now let's see some of those pics! :smile:
  3. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    LOL, got to throw a dog a bone every once in a while! I too would love to see some of those pics. . . sounds like the system worked out great for you.
  4. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Excellent commentary. Thanks!
  5. emirabal

    emirabal Mu-43 Regular

    Im glad that im not the only one that saw the justification of the camera from a recent trip. Glad to hear.
  6. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Great write up, Jim! You didn't mention whether your wife admitted that you were right? :biggrin:

    Curious if you used the standard focus box, or the smallest version available (e.g. when you can select size on touch focus)? It is a bit of a frustration for me to get there, especially since you can't have the blue/red blinkies or level up at the same time, but I find that it is quite a bit more accurate with the small focus box. Nice to see that they have this as standard on the upcoming PENs.

    I think there is still a big whole in the market for these in between camera systems. Lots of stuff for big DSLRs and subcompacts, but not much that works well for compact systems.

    If you don't mind having a fixed length strap, I think the Streetstrap (46"... long enough for me to bandolier) and Gordy's (custom length) are good options.

    Did you find your goldilocks bag yet? :biggrin:
  7. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Forty one years married, dated 2-3 years before that...and I haven't been right since I said "I do". Actually, she said "Yes, he does". :wink:

    I used both, standard and smaller; also used "P"erfect mode a bit (but mostly Aperture mode). Concur that the smaller box is preferable, and it would be nice if Olympus engineers could make that a choice/default value. I don't use the screen for focusing, I'm strictly an old-school viewfinder cyclops shooter. The one thing I miss from the film days is the split/view focusing of the original Pen FT. I'm still having issues reaching the Fn2 button over the grip - sometimes I touch the shutter in error and get a true "candid" photo.

    Thanks for the recommendations, I'll check 'em out. I spend about half the time with the camera slung around my neck or over my right shoulder, the other half with the strap wrapped around my wrist in a 'one hand' grip.

    Nope. Still lookin'. The Olympus bag is maybe just barely a tad too small for the body and three lenses. The big deal is, of course, the latching system - or rather the lack thereof. I've hit both of the local camera stores and the big box electronics store and not found Goldilocks.

    As for posting pics...I don't usually do that but I'll see if there's anything suitable. I shot .jpg the whole trip and they are absolutely snapshots. The Princess does NOT dawdle waiting on me to make the perfect shot :wink:.


  8. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Women scream, strong men faint.....and real photographers tend to hand me a $20 P&S and send me on my way...:biggrin:.

    The first attached file shows the south end of a north bound bear...but the point is that the focus point automatically picked up the fence. (I had to shrink the photo down to 20% of its original size in order to upload it).

    The second shows a photo, still on autofocus, where there was no fence in the way. I attempted several times to get the OM-D to adjust the focus off of the fence and onto the bear w/o resulting to manual, but there was no joy to be had. I hate it when things do what I tell them to do and not what I want them to do. :biggrin:

    Hand held with the 45-200.



    Attached Files:

  9. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Isn't that exactly what manual focus is for?
  10. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan

    However, as noted, the Nikon system that I had been using seems to be somewhat more "intelligent" under similar conditions.

    I'm not implying a downstroke on the Olympus or the 45-200mm lens, just noting one of the things I noticed during the trip.

    As I understand it Nikon (and Canon, etc.) use a different focusing system in their DSLRs than the :43: camera bodies do, which may account for the perceived difference. I had experienced (and expected) that the D300 would better track fast moving objects in dim light than the OM-D, but had not expected that the camera would lock focus on such things as the fence more persistently than the D300.

    I find that most of the "fly by wire" lenses to be abysmal in manual focusing - but of course I'm comparing today's gear with lenses from forty years ago. The new lenses simply don't have the same 'feel' as the older mechanically focusing lenses. Other users may not feel this to be the case and my experience with :43: lenses is limited. However since manual focusing (again, to me) isn't a pleasant tactile experience I find that the ability of the camera/lens combination to autofocus has ratcheted up in importance. I can, and do when necessary, use the manual focus on the 45-200mm Panasonic lens - I just don't enjoy it much.

    But you're absolutely correct, that's what manual focus is for.


  11. I find with CDAF that when you have a thin foreground object you will often need to guide the lens to get it to focus on the subject that you want (either foreground or background). If the lens is pre-focused beyond the foregound object it will likely pick up the background. If the lens is pre-focused in front of the foreground object it will have a far greater chance of focusing on the foreground object. Pre-focusing the lens can be as simple as tweaking the manual focus ring or focusing the lens first on something else that is at a distance either similar to or closer than that of your desired subject.
  12. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Major - your post got me thinking; I should have implemented the smaller focusing area, rather than the stock large area.

    I'll have to give that a go and see if it would make a difference. The Nikon focusing area is much smaller than the OM-D default, when using center focusing.


  13. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Lucky, thanks for that idea!

    I'll have to get out and about without the Princess, who has limited patience with me fooling around with camera controls. ("Just point it and shoot already!!! Gee whiz!!!) :biggrin:.


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