Lens size may be more important, but a reason for small bodies

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by noohoggin1, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. noohoggin1

    noohoggin1 Instagram: @tomnguyenstudio

    325
    May 21, 2012
    MN
    Tom
    There seems to be a trend of increasing body size with some 4/3rds cameras (for example: post-Pana G3, and of course GH3 and now E-M1). And I think that most, if not all of us, agree that lens size is a bigger factor in determining the overall size/weight benefit of this system.

    However, I think it needs to be said--because I don't think it's said enough-- and considered that some shooters (like myself) still would prefer smaller bodies for this reason:
    we don't always need to have the lens glued onto the body; I find myself often and able to put the lens (most of them) in one pocket, and the body in another pocket when traveling about. This way, they are still with me and ready in the case I am approaching a shooting situation. So just because a rig is not pocketable as one whole unit doesn't mean it can't be separated to be pocketable.

    Of course, there's a few pocketable body options...plenty, actually. But it seems the best features (that I like, especially built-in viewfinder) seem to be reserved for the top. Unless of course we wait a few years where some of the today's top tech will trickle down into smaller bodies, but by that time I'm sure better tech will still be in the best, "big" bodies. :)

    Just a thought...and hoping for a small E-M5 successor. :wink: Thanks for reading.


    PS-- yes I know the argument "the EM1/GH3 isn't much bigger...." and "compared to DSLRs they're already small..." but hey-- for people like me, I'll take every size/weight advantage I can get. It's the main reason I left DSLRs!
     
    • Like Like x 5
  2. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I like smaller bodies too, one of the things I like about the GX1, even with a LVF2 mounted atop. Some of the features of the GH3 are appealing, but it may be larger than I want in a m4/3 body as you suggest. Size is one reason I like the new GX7, though I don't plan to replace my GX1s for a while. I don't mind the small size of the G3, and I actually prefer it to the G5.

    I'm with you, small lenses and bodies are nice features.
     
  3. noohoggin1

    noohoggin1 Instagram: @tomnguyenstudio

    325
    May 21, 2012
    MN
    Tom
    I used to own the G3, and was able to comfortably put its body into one of my pockets (your pocket sizes may vary) and often a 45mm into another when I'm about. Its size (and the size of the EM5) is about my personal limit for body size--and my cargo shorts! :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Sounds like an advertisement for the Nikon 1 system...:wink::biggrin::smile:
     
  5. noohoggin1

    noohoggin1 Instagram: @tomnguyenstudio

    325
    May 21, 2012
    MN
    Tom

    Haven't tried it, haven't even held one. Have you? If so, opinions?
     
  6. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Another thing I like about the G3 is that it takes the same battery as the GX1, but both cameras are similar in size and both quite small. I wouldn't want them smaller, but for a guy who really liked shooting his Contax G2 rangefinder system with the fantastic little primes, the GX1 is nearly perfect.

    I hope Olympus and Panasonic continue to offer small, full-featured cameras for enthusiasts that prefer a compact design.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    I loved my J1 when I had it. Blazing fast autofocus, super-fast shutter speed. The main reason why I got rid of it was lack of native lenses.

    The V1 is steal right now :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The smaller bodies are there, but 'the trend' isn't a trend but a provision for 'pro' use which requires a lot more direct access (buttons), solid hold as well as performance & these bodies aren't large but larger to make a 'pro's' use with large fast glass (includes zooms) which includes the 4/3's lenses, a comfortable & viable camera to use. The range of bodies available are targeted for different requirements & not every model will suit everybody.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    I don't really see a trend towards larger M43 bodies either. There are abundant wee models to choose from. A couple top models with pro aspirations does not a trend make.

    I mainly shoot with FF EOS but find the main charm of M43 is it's half-frame format. Thus, I am attracted towards the more compact but full featured models like the GX1 or E-P3. I already have big and love it. I'd never buy a or GH3 or E-M1 as they seem to be in no man's land: not compact enough but not fully supported with lens offerings, especially big telephotos. The GX7 and E-P5 are at the top of my list in a year or two when prices hit rock bottom. And I'm pancakes all the way!

    My pants are too tight to carry even a S100 in my pockets...
     
    • Like Like x 4
  10. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think the GX7 is the right direction in terms of features, size and price. I also think it's necessary that the system has it's flagship cameras such as the GH3 and E-M1 and also small entry bodies like the E-PM2. I'm hoping though that the E-P6 takes on the full rangefinder style with the built in EVF. In fact I hope Olympus just merge the E-P5 and E-M5 as one camera. As it stands, I think there is too much overlap between the two.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 20, 2011
    I always always have a lens attached to my GF1 unless I am in the process of changing lenses. So the advent of bodies with big grips is a total boon for me, as the overall package was never that slim, so it would take up the same space in my bag in reality. Even if you think of the smallest lenses in our system, like the collapsible panny zoom and 17mm f/2.8, they're still deep enough to justify a sizeable grip.

    As far as the rest of the body is concerned though, I want to it to be as small as possible. I love the NEX designs where the body is basically a thin sliver, with a lens mount and chunky grip protruding on the front. As technology continues to miniaturise, I think this is going to be the trend for 'serious' cameras. If you really need a second point of contact, it should be the lens.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. noohoggin1

    noohoggin1 Instagram: @tomnguyenstudio

    325
    May 21, 2012
    MN
    Tom

    Totally agree on the E-P5/E-M5 conundrum..especially when the E-M5 successor is going to rear its head in the next year.

    PS-- I do think that there is a purpose for larger m43 bodies--especially for bigger/four thirds glass for example.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Right now, mu43 has the best range of cameras sizes. You can take the E-M5/1 and an E-PM2 and have two really different options that take the same lenses. Given that some like small and some like bigger, this strikes me as a real advantage of mu43.

    I remember the old SLR days (70's), and the standard grip was always hold the weight of the camera with the left hand, palm up, cradling the lens with the body resting on the heel of the hand for smaller lenses. The right hand didn't handle much weight. That's changed now with the emphasis on the right hand grip. I notice I fall back into the old position with the E-M5, however.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    I've always heard size doesn't matter ;)

    Fred
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    That was a line put forth by those who lacked the size.:biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Agreed. Holding a 'serious' camera by a sizable grip is a relatively modern phenomenon (I'm not against it). Left had supporting the weight & lens and focusing, with the right had operating the shutter button and film advance was the way. With lager lenses this style of holding still works very well. It's not quite as comfortable with shorter, smaller lenses, and of course many of us rarely focus manually these days.

    No big grip on Leica rangefinders.

    While I like the very compact GX1, it's about as small as practical for my fairly large hands. Like others, I like the GX7, and after the camera ages and the price drops I'll be interested in trying one... then buying a few if I like it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I'm probably the absolute fringe demographic, but I need a "system" small enough to make a lightweight pack for urbex work where I'm entering old structures that are potentially tricky to enter or navigate. I used to do it with a 25+ pound pack of tripod, DSLR's and lenses.

    Micro four thirds was a revelation. I'm willing to "split the difference" and use APS-C (Fujifilm in this case) but small and light can be beautiful for an old guy like me who just can't move like he use to with a heavier pack, lol.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Jan 29, 2012
    I will be really sad if they drop the GF3/5-sized bodies entirely. I'm not sure what the specs say, but it's just smaller enough than the E-PM1 to make for a compact camera substitute in conjunction with the 14mm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. noohoggin1

    noohoggin1 Instagram: @tomnguyenstudio

    325
    May 21, 2012
    MN
    Tom
    drd1135--that's how I've always held the camera, I guess that's why I don't prioritize a bigger, right-side grip like some others do.

    Just to reiterate: sure, I could use the excellent EPM2 or GX1/similar, but it seems all the best features (that I personally want) go into the bigger bodies. Perhaps understandably so. Still, I'd be willing to go bigger as long as I can fit the body alone in one of my pockets, thus the reason for this post.
     
  20. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I can't imagine a better way to miss a great photo than to have to pull two separate pieces out of two pockets, remove two caps, put the lens on the camera (don't drop the caps now!), turn the camera on, and THEN start the process of composing a picture. If you want to carry a camera in your pocket, just use a cell phone or small P&S camera. (MHO only, YMMV).
     
    • Like Like x 2