Looking to switch to M4/3 a couple of questions.

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by JSB43, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. JSB43

    JSB43 New to Mu-43

    Aug 30, 2014
    Hi all, I'm definitely going to make the switch from my Nikon gear to a m4/3 system as I now need a smaller lighter outfit.Ninety per cent of my photos were taken with a Nikon 18-70mm lens which I was quite happy with ( Image quality and focal range) assuming I want equal if not better IQ than the 18-70 can anyone recommend a m4/3 lens to purchase? Also I have a question about the Panasonic cameras,are the GH versions so much better than the G versions, as here in the UK they cost 2-3 times as much? Thanks in advance.

    This is my first post and hopefully I'll be a more regular poster when I get my new camera.
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    If you used your 18-70 on a DX crop-frame camera, then the nearest is probably the Olympus 12-40. It won't have quite the reach, but it'll more than match the IQ and aperture. The other option is the Olympus 12-50 which is nearer in focal length range, but it's slower and has poorer IQ.

    If you want to stick with Panasonic lenses, then the 12-35 is excellent too, but it's slightly more challenged in the reach department.

    Regarding bodies, I'm not really clued up on Panasonic gear, but from brief handling of the GH and G models, I'd say the GH models are more robust and offer a slightly better feel. They also have a better sensor I think ( at least the GH3 and 4).
  3. Johbremat

    Johbremat Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 5, 2013
  4. Johbremat

    Johbremat Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 5, 2013
    Dammit. Shouldn't have taken four minutes to write that post.
  5. tetakpatak

    tetakpatak Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 12, 2012
    Hi mate and welcome here!

    Regarding the lens you use, it is probably a DX camera? Answering your other questions will require to know if you attend to shoot first of all the stills or videos?

    EDIT: Panasonic GHx are video beasts, yet the Oly is better for the stills. Careful with Panasonic lenses on Oly camera, as for example the 12-35mm lens has nearly 6% barrel distortion on its shorter end. While Panasonic cameras correct the distortion of their lenses, Olympus doesn't.
  6. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    That's not true about distortion not being corrected using Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies. Distortion correction is part of the u43 standards and is corrected on any mix of bodies. Many PP software programs also correct automatically too (e.g. LR). CA correction however is something that only Panasonic bodies automatically do, but CA correction is very easily done in Post Processing so it's no great issue.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    Don't worry about the Panasonic lenses on an Oly camera. The 12-35 has less distortion than the expensive Olympus 12mm prime does on an Olympus camera when looking at out of camera jpegs. The Panasonic lenses are great for olympus bodies.

    I will add one vote for a serious consideration of the Pansonic 12-35mm. It does lack the 40mm reach of the Olympus but image quality is excellent and the size is what makes it better IMO.

    Check the overall length and weight of the 12-35mm vs the 12-40mm Olympus.

    Panasonic vs Olympus
    Weight 305g vs 382g 25% heavier
    Height 73.8mm vs 84mm 14% longer

    Both lenses are great. If size is a consideration, the Panasonic should be seriously considered.

    From my experience, looking carefully at photos of the same subjects at the same f-stops in the same lighting, the Panasonic 12-35mm is better than the Olympus 12mm and 17mm primes and generally matches the IQ of the Olympus 25mm prime.

    The Olympus 12-40mm is apparently just as good but not as compact and therefore you are losing some of the benefits of the m4/3 system.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Real Name:
    The 18mm-70mm zoom on a DX camera is roughly equivalent to 28mm-100mm on FX, which is like 14mm-50mm on Four Thirds. You might be happy starting with the standard 14mm-42mm kit zoom, which is very inexpensive. Olympus also has a 12mm-50mm lens that is fairly inexpensive and gives the reach you're used to.
  9. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Real Name:
    Bruce Foreman
    The route I took for "kit" lenses for my Panasonics was to find used 14-45mm lenses. These were originally sold with the G series and have metal bodies rather than polymer. Zoom action is much smoother and many feel the optical performance is a bit better than the 14-42mm Panasonic has been providing with some of their cameras.

    I saw a recent sample of the 14-42mm on a GX7 and it's zoom action is much improved.

    Prices on the used 14-45mm "kit" lenses have ranged from $230 to $250 but all 3 I purchased were in almost new condition.

    On the body, I suggest the GH4. In addition to the 4K (which rendered to 1080p is stunning) it is a "world" camera that can be set for either NTSC or PAL. This is done by allowing you to set the "system frequency" to 3 different settings, one gives you the PAL framerates, one NTSC framerates, and the third option (obviously for filmmakers) is 24p.

    The EVF is much improved over the GH3 and the LCD has better definition.

    Costs more but definitely worth it.

    I made the change to m4/3 from Canon primarily to wind up carrying less weight, I turn 76 in early Sept so lugging weight in "glass" is an important consideration. I now carry about a very small bag, and some of the prime lenses are incredibly small but they do deliver. In the changeover I feel I've given up NOTHING in the way of sharpness or IQ.

    I have and use 2 GH3's, still getting tuned into the GH4, my most carried around camera is the small GX7, and I use an Olympus OMD E-M5 when I want it's incredible in body 5 axis IS.

    Good luck to you.
  10. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    There is no lens in the m43 range that gives you an exact same field of view as the Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5: that would be a 14-52. The following choices come closest:
    • Olympus 12-50 f/3.5-6.3, ~$250, cheaper used. Wider on the short end, slower on the long end.
    • Panasonic 14-45 f/3.5-5.6, ~$200, much cheaper used. Shorter and slower on the long end.
    Both lenses will give comparable IQ (if not better) as the Nikon. Both are fully useable wide open. Both weigh half or less of the Nikon.

    The constant f/2.8 zooms mentioned by others are top of the line lenses and priced as such, but with a performance to match. And with a weight much closer to your Nikon.

    The GH series differs from the G/GX/GF/GM series by considerable better video implementation. Not necessarily that much in lab test IQ for full HD/25p, but much more so in formats, control options and professional oriented features like time code. For video IQ, the GH4 is in a class of its own with its 4K option. No other mirrorless/DSLR camera comes close, except the Sony 7S. For stills they offer faster operation (but the GX7 is no slouch either), faster focusing (especially the GH4 which has really useable tracking), weather sealing (both GH3/4), deeper buffer, robuster build, and more. Stills IQ among GM1/GX7/GH3/GH4/EM5/EM1/EM10 is the same for all practical purposes with some minor differences in color rendering in JPG. The G series is using one generation older sensor tech than the GH, but the G6 is a very good camera for the price (having the GH2 sensor). The GH3/4 are not cheap, but neither overpriced if you need their strengths.

    Olympus and Panasonic lenses can be fully mixed and matched between both brands. Olympus does not implement optical IS, which can be a disadvantage when using Oly lenses on a Panasonic body. Of the Panasonic lenses, the 7-14 has a higher flare sensitivity on Oly bodies because of ineffective coating in the near UV region which is filtered out on Panasonic bodies, but not on Olympus.
  11. Jeff1:1

    Jeff1:1 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 2, 2013
  12. Theo

    Theo Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Theo K.
    CA for Panasonic lenses are also automatically corrected in the newest Olympus bodies... E-M1, E-M10 and E-PL7.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Mu-43 mobile app
  13. shepx13

    shepx13 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 7, 2012
    Tyler, TX
    Real Name:
    As someone who shot a lot of photos with the 18-70 and 18-105 Nikkors over a few years, with a D90 and D7000, the Olympus 12-50 or Panasonic 14-45 should satisfy you. I'd get the Panny and get yourself a 20 1.7 for low light work, and you should be set to start with.
  14. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    Agree with the above reply. The panasonic gx7 combined with the standard zoom lens is an excellent equivalent to the nikon combination that you described.
  15. tetakpatak

    tetakpatak Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 12, 2012
    Thanks, mate. Panasonic 12-35 at its shorter end has indeed just slightly worse distortion than Olympus 12mm.

    -5.78% vs -5.45%
    (Source: photozone.de)


    I don't know if I just belong to the minority who don't like this new "feature" of software equalized high optical distortion. If it was a cheap slow 10x zoom lens, I wouldn't care, but IMHO it should be possible to design a 3x zoom with less optical distortion.

    Yet, it is otherwise a great lens.
  16. JSB43

    JSB43 New to Mu-43

    Aug 30, 2014
    Hi and thanks for all the helpful replies.I went to my local camera shop yesterday and had a good look at a Panasonic G6 and a used GH3,both came with the 14-42 kit lens.The assistant was very helpful and confirmed what you were all saying re the lenses and video capabilities of the GH models.I can't see myself using the video function much, if at all, but you could feel the extra build quality in the GH3 .I was really impressed with the G6's lightness and size, but it in no way felt cheap and tacky.As I've been a good customer of his over the last 25 years he's offered to lend me the GH3 with the kit zoom for a week to see how I get on with the lens,if I feel it's lacking in sharpness I will go for the G6 and Panasonic 12-35, or I may like it and keep it.Thanks again and I will let you know how I get on.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. chipbutty

    chipbutty Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 18, 2012
    Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
    Real Name:
    The G6 is pretty amazing for the money. If I got on Ok with Panasonic bodies I'd still have mine. I just prefer the handling of Olympus m43 cameras. The OMD EM5 is very affordable at the moment going the grey import route. I paid £450 for the OMD from HDEW. They actually have a shop in the UK even though they're imported. Though I can understand why you'd want to stick with a camera shop you know.
  18. tetakpatak

    tetakpatak Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 12, 2012
    That is cool, mate. Regarding the sharpness and all other things check also the RAWs because they are with GHx's usually better than out-of-camera JPEGs.

    EDIT: As you desire to shoot stills, an 5-axis stabilized Olympus camera would be better choice IMHO. Not only for stabilizing also non-native micro 4/3 lenses (awsome feature), but also because it has better JPEG engine than GH cameras.