Looking into m43

Usemygoodeye

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Hello

I'm just an amateur. I have been shooting with an old Sony a77 Mk I for a few years. I have the Sony 70-300mm F4-5.6 G SSM II, and the Sony DT -16-50mm f2.8 SSM (Kit). I love what I have been able to do with this setup, but it's getting a lot harder to lug around such a beast of a camera.

I'd immediately thought of going with a Sony a6000 series - until I looked at one.
I want something smaller scale and lighter weight that still offers excellent image quality.

Funds are limited too, so not going for the top end of things.

I've really enjoyed reading up on the Oly EM5 MkII and the 12-40 Pro lens. I'm wondering though if I should wait a bit to see if a MkIII is announced.

I'm here to research and learn. m43 seems like a great option for my photography.
 

wjiang

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I personally find the 12-40 a tad front-heavy to be using comfortably with a limited grip like on the E-M5s, though YMMV

Consider pairing the 12-40 with the 40-150R f/4-5.6 as a kit. The kit telephoto is actually very good and such a bargai.
 

retiredfromlife

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Also have a look at the Panasonic G85 / G80 depending where you buy. The menu's and touch screens interfaces are very different between brands and don't be afraid to mix and match both Olympus & Panasonic unless you are after a full weather resistant system where it may then be better to stick with one brand. If you can look at both brands in a shop more than once.
 

DynaSport

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I highly recommend trying to find a camera store that has the cameras you are considering in stock. When I first moved to m43 I wanted the smallest camera I could find. I found even the smallest one was too big for me to carry in a pocket with a lens on it. Some folks do, but it didn’t work for me. I also found that I didn’t like holding the smallest cameras. I like something with more grip on it. So I moved to a larger m43 camera that was still small compared to a dslr. Each person is different. I don’t get on with the E-M5 or E-M10 bodies, but many people love them. You may too. But until you hold one yourself, you won’t know. I prefer the feel of the Panasonic G series cameras. I currently use an Olympus E-M1 and love it. They are available used at excellent prices if you are comfortable buying used. As far as lenses go, the system has many excellent lenses and I seem to be trying to buy every one of them. Good luck.
 

ijm5012

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Funds are limited too, so not going for the top end of things. I'm wondering though if I should wait a bit to see if a MkIII is announced.
Welcome to the forum.

One question I have is, you say that your funds are limited, and that you can't go for the top end of things, but then immediately talk about an E-M5 III. An E-M5 III (which is expected to be announced at Photokina later this year), will be a pricey camera (likely around $1,200-1,300).

Before people start making recommendations on what cameras you should look at, it would be good for you to give us an idea of the type of images you shoot, what features you're looking for, and what your budget is. Without that information, any advice you get is going to be somewhat useless, as it may not fit your requirements.

Regarding lenses, I would definitely recommend taking a look at a used Olympus 12-40 PRO (they go for around $500), and something like the 40-150 f/4-5.6 (they're dirt cheap, but offer sharp images). The 40-150 PRO is a great lens, and can be picked up for around $900 used, but I'm not certain how that fits in to your budget.
 

Usemygoodeye

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Welcome to the forum.

One question I have is, you say that your funds are limited, and that you can't go for the top end of things, but then immediately talk about an E-M5 III. An E-M5 III (which is expected to be announced at Photokina later this year), will be a pricey camera (likely around $1,200-1,300).

Before people start making recommendations on what cameras you should look at, it would be good for you to give us an idea of the type of images you shoot, what features you're looking for, and what your budget is. Without that information, any advice you get is going to be somewhat useless, as it may not fit your requirements.

Regarding lenses, I would definitely recommend taking a look at a used Olympus 12-40 PRO (they go for around $500), and something like the 40-150 f/4-5.6 (they're dirt cheap, but offer sharp images). The 40-150 PRO is a great lens, and can be picked up for around $900 used, but I'm not certain how that fits in to your budget.
Thanks for the input, everyone !!


By 'top end' I was referring to the more expensive models. Perhaps the G9 at 1700.00 is more towards the top end. I'm not sure of the cost points of all the models. Buying used is certainly an option. Unfortunately there is a lack of actual camera stores around here. The few that are around are very Canon / Nikon centric and don't seem to mind letting that be known.

I'm looking for something that has great IQ, IBIS (or it's equivalent) and a good selection of glass - again without going for 'pro' prices.

What I normally shoot is nature shots (plants and animals) not much in the way of landscapes. Lots of sunsets, and sometimes just whatever I encounter while out and about. I've posted a few thousand photos to my gallery over the last five years or so.

Chris Robison

I'm still fairly new at all this. I've only had two Sony SLT cameras and started off with an old Lumix point and shoot compact. That was just in 2012. Never bothered with photography before that.
 
D

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From what I saw on your SmugMug, IQ and AF from just about any m43 camera will be fine. Obviously, newer sensors will give you better...but as Jim had mentioned, what other features do you need, or to put it another way, think about the features that your current gear doesn't have and you want.

m43 cameras like the EM5.2 and newer have hi res mode which will give you not only larger files, but in some cases better dynamic range, truer color and more detail.
If size is a concern, then even a used EM1.1 is too big for some people. In which case, an EM5.2 may be a better option. Why? Because you can add on a grip and make it bigger, but you can't slim down the EM1.1.

My gut feeling is that the EM5.3 will most likely add in some niceties of the EM1.2 and probably 4k video. However, the EM5.2 is a fantastic camera with excellent IBIS, good control layout and feel to it and does very good 1080p video. Used, you can find them for around $500USD or a little higher. Right as of now, I'd say that the best bang for the buck camera in m43 is the OMD line in either EM5.2 or the EM10.2(if you don't desire weather sealing and some other goodies).
 

bikerhiker

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Hello

I'm just an amateur. I have been shooting with an old Sony a77 Mk I for a few years. I have the Sony 70-300mm F4-5.6 G SSM II, and the Sony DT -16-50mm f2.8 SSM (Kit). I love what I have been able to do with this setup, but it's getting a lot harder to lug around such a beast of a camera.

I'd immediately thought of going with a Sony a6000 series - until I looked at one.
I want something smaller scale and lighter weight that still offers excellent image quality.

Funds are limited too, so not going for the top end of things.

I've really enjoyed reading up on the Oly EM5 MkII and the 12-40 Pro lens. I'm wondering though if I should wait a bit to see if a MkIII is announced.

I'm here to research and learn. m43 seems like a great option for my photography.
For $999 US, you can get a Panasonic GX-9 with 12-60 lens. Add a 40-150, then you'll have a pretty good light system. GX-9 has a 20MP sensor and has similar IQ to the G-9. No one knows what the E-M5 III is going to be. I don't think it's going to be a sub $1000 camera either. Save the money for travel, so you can take even more sunset photos!
 
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There is a size and shape for every imaginable purpose, trying them out in person is kind of essential. Not everyone has a camera store stocking everything though, luckily I do.

My wife and I both got new cameras recently. I tried to steer her towards the Olympus E-M10 II. In the store she preferred a grip and ended up with a Panasonic G body. The current Panasonic in mini-DSLR shape is the G85, probably the best camera for the money in the system right now.

I wanted smaller so I went from the Panasonic G to E-M10 II myself, so I reversed positions. It does everything I want and is actually newer, cheaper and lighter than the more premium E-M5 II. I'm sure the III will surpass them all.

For lenses we use the Panasonic 12-35 2.8, the equivalent of your 16-50 2.8. It's very small! I love this lens. It's very easy to find an equivalent 70-300 zoomer, and they're all very good.
 

Usemygoodeye

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Great input and very much appreciated !!

I've also been eyeing the Panasonic GX9. Not sure if weather sealing is really an issue - my a77 has it, but I don't usually go out in the rain.

I was out today with the a77, the battery back grip and the 16-50. That's a lot of weight. Not having had many cameras, I am fairly certain a lighter weight setup is something I'd appreciate.
 

Keeth101

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Hi
I've gone from the Sony A77 Mkii to the Olympus E-M1 Mkii and I just love it. The Oly has a great grip and feels perfect even in my large hands. I would recommend that you try to get a second hand Olympus E-M1 Mk1 because it has a grip which you will appreciate and will feel great whatever lens you fit to it. You will soon want the E-M1 Mkii :)))

By the way, my Sony A77 Mkii is for sale, so is my Sony 70-300G Mk1 and my Tamron 90mm Macro lens.
 

ijm5012

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Hi
I've gone from the Sony A77 Mkii to the Olympus E-M1 Mkii and I just love it. The Oly has a great grip and feels perfect even in my large hands. I would recommend that you try to get a second hand Olympus E-M1 Mk1 because it has a grip which you will appreciate and will feel great whatever lens you fit to it. You will soon want the E-M1 Mkii :)))

By the way, my Sony A77 Mkii is for sale, so is my Sony 70-300G Mk1 and my Tamron 90mm Macro lens.
I would tend to stay away from the E-M1 Mark I if the user intends to shoot in situations where lifting the shadows is common, or using long exposure. The 16MP sensor in the E-M1 struggled more so in these scenarios than other 16MP sensors made by Sony.

If using it in good light, it's a great camera though. But for landscapes, I liked my E-M5 II more than my E-M1. The E-M1 II is better than both, but it's a pricey body (although used copies can be had for ~$1250).
 

Bristolero

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I highly recommend trying to find a camera store that has the cameras you are considering in stock. When I first moved to m43 I wanted the smallest camera I could find. I found even the smallest one was too big for me to carry in a pocket with a lens on it. Some folks do, but it didn’t work for me. I also found that I didn’t like holding the smallest cameras. I like something with more grip on it. So I moved to a larger m43 camera that was still small compared to a dslr. Each person is different. I don’t get on with the E-M5 or E-M10 bodies, but many people love them. You may too. But until you hold one yourself, you won’t know. I prefer the feel of the Panasonic G series cameras. I currently use an Olympus E-M1 and love it. They are available used at excellent prices if you are comfortable buying used. As far as lenses go, the system has many excellent lenses and I seem to be trying to buy every one of them. Good luck.
Size Does Matter.
Like @DynaSport, my first mu4/3 cameras were small. Wonderfull to carry around and pretty good image quality from a compact package. However if you ever want to move to the pro series lenses, I too find a larger grip much better. I even custom gripped my PL3 and 5 with Franiec grips. Worked great for the smaller primes and original kit lens, but mount anything larger and you have a lens with a camera stuck on the back. This was recently driven home when I sent my EM1 to get the EVF de-blobbed and had to revert to my PL5 with the 300 Pro and TC on the front. All I can say is OMG!
Eric
 

agentlossing

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You should definitely evaluate camera bodies in the store - Panasonic and Olympus have some different hardware ideologies that make the experience different, even if the sensors and features are so similar.

Also, one of the very best facets of this format is the lens stable, and the best lenses (with a couple exceptions) are primes. These are where the size advantage comes through the very best. One of the best lenses in this system for pure image quality is a pancake (20mm f1.7) for crying out loud. I like stills and often street photography when I have the chance to shoot it, and I use the 20mm by far the most. This is one time when it makes a difference which manufacturer's body you pick, however, since this lens is much slower on Olympus bodies, and subject to banding at higher ISO. While in many cases, lenses and bodies are interchangeable, there are some considerations that must be made (another is that one of the best wide fast lenses, the 15mm f1.7, which has an aperture ring which is useless on Olympus bodies).
 

DynaSport

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You should definitely evaluate camera bodies in the store - Panasonic and Olympus have some different hardware ideologies that make the experience different, even if the sensors and features are so similar.

Also, one of the very best facets of this format is the lens stable, and the best lenses (with a couple exceptions) are primes. These are where the size advantage comes through the very best. One of the best lenses in this system for pure image quality is a pancake (20mm f1.7) for crying out loud. I like stills and often street photography when I have the chance to shoot it, and I use the 20mm by far the most. This is one time when it makes a difference which manufacturer's body you pick, however, since this lens is much slower on Olympus bodies, and subject to banding at higher ISO. While in many cases, lenses and bodies are interchangeable, there are some considerations that must be made (another is that one of the best wide fast lenses, the 15mm f1.7, which has an aperture ring which is useless on Olympus bodies).
The size difference in zooms is significant as well. Check out the size difference between a Panasonic 12-35 2.8 zoom and a Canon or Nikon 24-70 2.8. The same is true between the Panasonic 35-100 2.8 and a Canon or Nikon or Sony 70-200 2.8.
 

Apollo T.

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Welcome to our party

Rarely any 'action' shots. 99% stills. Nature and some street style.
Not even interested in video.


This is the heart of the matter.

Your description of your needs is pretty close to how I felt not so long ago. I think you would be best seved by a used, older model. It seems to me much of the currrent market is driven/hyped by 4k video and super lenses (super expensive). Since you’re not interested in video an older (lower tech) camera will fill YOUR needs at a much lower price.
I can’t recommend a specific model because like any used item it’s a matter of what’s available. As DynaSport said go to the best camera store in your area. Get a feel for what you may be interested in(one reason I upgraded my system was that my Oly PEN is too small).
Ask about adapters to M4/3 for your current glass. With this in mind take your largest, heaviest current lens with you and try it out. This is what sold me on Panasonic G series.
GL
 

ralf-11

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m43 is a great option for your photography - it is small and light and has abilities that DSLRs do NOT have (in body focus stacking for macro is one)

don't just compare the bodies; also compare the lenses - there is a huge savings to m43

you will give up ~2 stops of DR over a Full frame camera sensor (D800 etc.) and will have less resolution (which you will never notice unless you make 30x40 prints or something)

you can deal with the lower DR by exposure stacking in body or in post

I got into m43 (Panny) by carefully watching my semi-pro friend - he has 2 Nikon D800 bodies and keeps both with him, each with a lens on it - he got tired of hauling them around, so got Panny bodies and lenses - he has NOT used his Nikon bodies in 2 years

my Leica lens doesn't give up any IQ to the high end Nikon glass

the only reason you might need a DSLR is pro sports; legacy equipment compatibility; or to impress clients
 

Usemygoodeye

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Great to see so much input here. I really do appreciate it.

I'm not at the ready to buy point just yet, but after a few more days of watching videos and reading.... I'm leaning heavily to the EM5 MkII. I have a budget, so getting the 12-40 Pro lens will probably be my first choice. And batteries, and other bits...

I'm going to call around to the few shops that are open and see if any carry the Oly and Pan cameras in store...

After being out yesterday all day, I really started to be mindful of how heavy my current system is.

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