Love to hear from newer digital users who purchased an Olympus OM-D camera - learning experience/curve

b_rubenstein

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With Olympus, there appears to be many former full frame users who make the switch to M-4-3, so I infer they know their stuff.
What they really know is that they are old, broken down, out of shape Baby Boomers in ever advancing states of terminal decrepitude and can't physically deal with the size and weight of FF gear. (FWIW, I'm 66 and just about dead center in the BB age range. Most of my photography is done while traveling by motorcycle, and there isn't much room for camera gear. µ4/3 cameras with current 20MP sensors provide enough data to make good sized prints, that get framed and hung on walls. Digital photography is way more technically complicated than it looks, and that's why Apple has 600 engineers working on their phone cameras. They mostly come up with very good software to make their phones digital Instamatics. I've also noticed that 1/4 to 1/3 of the posts in the Olympus and Panasonic sub-forums are in the, I don't know how to work my camera category. I don't know if this is due to the features and capabilities too convoluted/useless, poor menu structures, or all the manuals being written in Erdu.
 

wimg

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Hi Annie,

Quite a few people have replied to your post already, and a lot of valid statements and arguments have been made.

Having said that, this is really about one's personal experience, so if you don't mind, allow me to elaborate a little on my train of thoughts in the digitalisation process, and the move to MFT, or the addition of MFT to one's arsenal.
Hi,

I was out today and thinking I'd appreciate the additional crop factor of M-4-3 so perhaps I can get into some birding and animal photography (mostly I do landscape and travel).
So I am now thinking the OM-D M5 III with 12-100 F/4 IS lens to open up that possibility.
As mentioned by others, 12-100 is a very good general purposes lens, although with generally not enough reach for wildlife, so you may want to consider other, longer lenses, possibly even older FT lenses (with adapter), like the 50-200 SWD, which is a favourite lens with many MFT wildelife shooters out there.

Just check out some of the photographs of "the black fox", who posts here, but also on photography-on-the-net, in the Oly forum over there.

An alternative lens may be the Panny 100-300 as well, the older version (Mk I) may possibly be had for a reasonable amount, and may well give you plenty of possibilities to try stuff out to start with.
That weighs much less than a Fuji zoom lens of about the equivalent range (the other camera I am considering is the Fuji X-T3/30, which until today I thought I was leaning towards) -- I tend to go back and forth with these two cameras.
Fuji cameras aren't really that small, IMO, and in that case you might just as well stick with the Canon SL1 you have or had, which actually has a slightly better cropfactor for wildlife. Neither are the Fuji's wildlife lenses better or lighter, much of a muchness really when it comes to Canon, although the Canon 100-400L is truly a great lens.
With Olympus, there appears to be many former full frame users who make the switch to M-4-3, so I infer they know their stuff. And from the posts i read here, that is confirmed.

I don't, I confess. I am enthusiastic about learning, but also impatient if the learning curve is too long. In other words, I would like to take my camera out and get good photographs - even photos that can published - without years of learning M-4-3.
Personally, I never changed as such from FF to MFT, as got into it as an additional system, as they both have their uses. I started off with a Canon G5 back in 2004, and when the EOS 350D came out a bit later, I got one in 2005, when the price dropped to a level I was willing to pay. A few years later I moved to a Canon 5D, and realized I should have gotten one straight away when I got the 350D - would have saved me money if I had done so :). Within a year I moved on to the 5D II, which I used a lot until a year and a half ago.

In 2011 I was fortunate in that I could get a complete set of MFT gear for a very reasonable price, essentially a Panny GF2 with a 14-140, 7-14 F/4, 14 F/2.5, 20 F/1.7, and PL 45 F/2.8 Macro. This was great, because of my travelling for work meant I could not always bring the FF stuff along, just too big and heavy, or taking up too much space.

I did want a full-fledged, similar system to my Canon FF one, however, so I started collecting a bunch of lenses, basically to match my Canon stuff, and to be able to select different sets of lenses for travel, to be able to choose anything from a very light and (almost) pocketable set to a realitively heavy one for MFT, replacing the GF2 with an EM-5 Mk II at first, followed by an E-M1 II a bit later, and finally a Pen-F to replace my G10 I replaced the G5 with, for a similarly sized camera allowing interchangeable lenses.

I really like the Oly stuff, because the images, apart from the format, have a similar rendering OOC as my Canon ones have.

And just like with Canon, you can actually get good shots straight OOC, without learning if need be, although I would suggest you keep on doing so regardless. In order to get the best out of one's tools, one has to learn and understand them, it needs to become second nature to use them. That will only happen by using the tools, by learning how to use them, and by learning how you prefer to shoot yourself. And that never really stops if I may say so after using cameras for almost 58 years :).
I like to set my own shutter and aperture, and use flash for effect, and anticipate working with HDR and focus stacking but I don't want to come home and see only a small percentage of images working because I still need to learn something.
What is wrong with still needing or having to learn?

The learning process never really stops, and the advantage of digital is that you can experiment without the cost of having film processed and printed, which, especially if you do that yourself, takes up not only more money, but also more time, apart from being able to see results instantly.

What I used to do, and still do to this day, when shooting for myself in the first place, is imagine the image I want to create, and work towards that. The advantage of digital here is that you could in principle take as many shots as you like, with slightly varying shutter speeds, apertures, iso values, view angles, etc. - this is where you learn. With analog that was a lot harder :).
I am also a pixel peeper, not to extremes (I wouldn't compare the images from M-4-3 to say my Canon SL1 or other) and image quality means alot -- it is why I want to upgrade from the SL1, not only for better quality but also for more functionality in the camera (where i feel the Oly excels).
More functionality in a camera also means more to learn, BTW :).

I am a pixel-peeper to some degree as well, not extreme, but as a perfectionist I like to have everything as good as can be, although I tend to stay practical :). As to IQ, what is important is how you define IQ. That is really something to ponder thoroughly, and only something I figured out consciously many years after starting with photography, although I always made steps in that direction intuitively.

For me, IQ has to do mostly with rendering, colours, ideally edge to edge sharpness and the correct viewpoint and AoV for a particular image I have in mind. Noise I find less important, because I have shot a fair amount with Tri-X upped to 1600 iso in the past, and know what one can expect, and still create great looking photographs :). However, all of this is very personal, and the only way to find out what you personally find important in IQ is by really figuring out what it is you really like in your own photographs, from both a technical and emotional perspective.

I am lucky in that I have more spending money available than I had in my early days in photography, which means I can choose and select, to a degree, the lenses (and cameras) I really want to use in order to achieve the results I have in my mind's view. However it is also important to think about what an image is for, what you want to achieve with it. There is a big difference between a limited size jpeg for use on the internet, and a large size print to hang on a wall. And personally, I spend much more time on perfecting an image which wil hang on a wall than an image that will only be displayed on a monitor.

Creating a perfect image, for your view or opinion, always comes at a price, and time spent learning is in that case not optional :).
Having said all that, I'd love to hear from folks "like me" who switched to M-4-3 without having had a lot of digital experience prior to that:

- Were you more satisfied than frustrated in the first few months to 6 months of using the camera?

- Did you find it easy to advance your skills with the camera, using manuals, this forum, etc.?

- Would you do it again (purchase the same camera and lens)?
Or lessons learned: what would you have done if you could do it again?

Thank you for your time and feedback!
Annie
When switching to MFT, I did have about 6.5 years of experience with digital, but way more with analog. To be very honest, I do think that the same rules apply, just adapted to a different medium, that is really all there is to it, and it is the same going from analog to digital.

I have never been frustrated using an MFT camera at all, other than that I would possibly want different lenses than the ones I had available for specific types of shooting. By now, about 9 years later, I do have them all barring one, which is really not available yet, but which I do not miss a lot considering the good glass I am lucky enough to own. Some lenses will never be available for MFT (tilt-shift lenses come to mind), but a good adapter or speedbooster does make it possible to use such anyway. That is another reason to keep on shooting 2 systems, or more if necessary, as each system has different uses, possibilities and options, which may not all be right for different reasons or times.

Advancing one's skills, by using manuals, or this (very helpful and friendly) forum, is relatively easy, but it stops at the point where you actually have to go out and do it yourself. And that is the best way to advance your skills. Learn from what you do, analyze the results, to see where you could improve, where you want to improve, and set out deliberately to do so. That in the end is the only way to advance. It is also the only way to develop your own style. Similarly, study photobooks, go to museums, learn from those, analyze what you like and why.

Would I do it again, the same purchases? For MFT, almost. The initial setup I got as a "starter set" suited me to a t. When I got the E-M5 Mk ii I probably should not have gotten that, because I really knew that I wanted a newer sensor with some more MP, which is why it did not last too long in my toolbox. Neither should I have bought the GM5 I got, because it was a throwback in a way, to the rendering I did not like too much, and really too small a camera for me. Then there was the Oly 60 Macro - I never really got along with it, so I should have investigated that more, but otherwise I am fine. I deliberately got a few lenses double, not only aperture-wise, for different sets to carry when the need arose, but also to see the differece, like equivalent Panny and Oly lenses. By now I have weeded out what I like and do not like, so it will stay like that for a few years to come I suspect. It really is and was a voyage of discovery :).

As to my FF setup: the EOS R replaced my ageing 5D II, and I am very happy with it, it truly is a great camera for me. The path to FF is something I should have done differently, as mentioned already. I should really have skipped APS-C completely, with hindsight. I learned a lot with the different cameras I had (350D, 400D, 40D) and tried out (450D, 600D, 50D, 60D). I really only became a happy camper with the 5D and 5D II back then, but I am just as happy with my FF as with my MFT setup, in that they overlap when need be, for different purposes. Lenswise I have no complaints, I followed a predetermined path based on my experience with analog and my favourite topics to shoot, and I also had the opportunity to try and test many other lenses.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the subject, and I do hope they make some sense for your questions.

HTH, kind regards, WIm
 

Annie

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...KEH (http://www.keh.com - good place to buy or sell used). Used cameras? I'm a little more leery about that; Olympus refurbished is good for that: http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/outlet
Thank you! I was wondering about KEH. I too am leery of used cameras, but consider used lens.

I noticed they're having a special on the M5 III with 14-150 lens. I don't typically consider kit lens but the images here (https://robinwong.blogspot.com/2015/07/shooting-with-olympus-mzuiko-14-150mm.html) look good.

I checked and the refurbished sale starts tomorrow :)
All the best!
Annie
 

Annie

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I've also noticed that 1/4 to 1/3 of the posts in the Olympus and Panasonic sub-forums are in the, I don't know how to work my camera category. I don't know if this is due to the features and capabilities too convoluted/useless, poor menu structures, or all the manuals being written in Erdu.
Love your humor!
I see that frequently actually with reviews of DSLRs (at camera sites like B & H) and for all makes and models of cameras, especially the two I am most considering, the Oly and the Fuji. I don't mind at all - I would rather tons of controls rather than the limited controls on my point and shot camera!
But I like good instructions someplace, preferably written so I can bring it with me (especially on vacations).
I see there is now a book out (at least 1 that I found: https://www.bookdepository.com/Mastering-Olympus-Om-D-E-M5-Mark-III/9781681986319) so that is great news!

I hope you get in some good bike rides this season!
Annie
 

Annie

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Hi Annie,

Quite a few people have replied to your post already, and a lot of valid statements and arguments have been made.

Having said that, this is really about one's personal experience, so if you don't mind, allow me to elaborate a little on my train of thoughts in the digitalisation process, and the move to MFT, or the addition of MFT to one's arsenal.

As mentioned by others, 12-100 is a very good general purposes lens, although with generally not enough reach for wildlife, so you may want to consider other, longer lenses, possibly even older FT lenses (with adapter), like the 50-200 SWD, which is a favourite lens with many MFT wildelife shooters out there.

Just check out some of the photographs of "the black fox", who posts here, but also on photography-on-the-net, in the Oly forum over there.

An alternative lens may be the Panny 100-300 as well, the older version (Mk I) may possibly be had for a reasonable amount, and may well give you plenty of possibilities to try stuff out to start with.

Fuji cameras aren't really that small, IMO, and in that case you might just as well stick with the Canon SL1 you have or had, which actually has a slightly better cropfactor for wildlife. Neither are the Fuji's wildlife lenses better or lighter, much of a muchness really when it comes to Canon, although the Canon 100-400L is truly a great lens.

Personally, I never changed as such from FF to MFT, as got into it as an additional system, as they both have their uses. I started off with a Canon G5 back in 2004, and when the EOS 350D came out a bit later, I got one in 2005, when the price dropped to a level I was willing to pay. A few years later I moved to a Canon 5D, and realized I should have gotten one straight away when I got the 350D - would have saved me money if I had done so :). Within a year I moved on to the 5D II, which I used a lot until a year and a half ago.

In 2011 I was fortunate in that I could get a complete set of MFT gear for a very reasonable price, essentially a Panny GF2 with a 14-140, 7-14 F/4, 14 F/2.5, 20 F/1.7, and PL 45 F/2.8 Macro. This was great, because of my travelling for work meant I could not always bring the FF stuff along, just too big and heavy, or taking up too much space.

I did want a full-fledged, similar system to my Canon FF one, however, so I started collecting a bunch of lenses, basically to match my Canon stuff, and to be able to select different sets of lenses for travel, to be able to choose anything from a very light and (almost) pocketable set to a realitively heavy one for MFT, replacing the GF2 with an EM-5 Mk II at first, followed by an E-M1 II a bit later, and finally a Pen-F to replace my G10 I replaced the G5 with, for a similarly sized camera allowing interchangeable lenses.

I really like the Oly stuff, because the images, apart from the format, have a similar rendering OOC as my Canon ones have.

And just like with Canon, you can actually get good shots straight OOC, without learning if need be, although I would suggest you keep on doing so regardless. In order to get the best out of one's tools, one has to learn and understand them, it needs to become second nature to use them. That will only happen by using the tools, by learning how to use them, and by learning how you prefer to shoot yourself. And that never really stops if I may say so after using cameras for almost 58 years :).

What is wrong with still needing or having to learn?

The learning process never really stops, and the advantage of digital is that you can experiment without the cost of having film processed and printed, which, especially if you do that yourself, takes up not only more money, but also more time, apart from being able to see results instantly.

What I used to do, and still do to this day, when shooting for myself in the first place, is imagine the image I want to create, and work towards that. The advantage of digital here is that you could in principle take as many shots as you like, with slightly varying shutter speeds, apertures, iso values, view angles, etc. - this is where you learn. With analog that was a lot harder :).

More functionality in a camera also means more to learn, BTW :).

I am a pixel-peeper to some degree as well, not extreme, but as a perfectionist I like to have everything as good as can be, although I tend to stay practical :). As to IQ, what is important is how you define IQ. That is really something to ponder thoroughly, and only something I figured out consciously many years after starting with photography, although I always made steps in that direction intuitively.

For me, IQ has to do mostly with rendering, colours, ideally edge to edge sharpness and the correct viewpoint and AoV for a particular image I have in mind. Noise I find less important, because I have shot a fair amount with Tri-X upped to 1600 iso in the past, and know what one can expect, and still create great looking photographs :). However, all of this is very personal, and the only way to find out what you personally find important in IQ is by really figuring out what it is you really like in your own photographs, from both a technical and emotional perspective.

I am lucky in that I have more spending money available than I had in my early days in photography, which means I can choose and select, to a degree, the lenses (and cameras) I really want to use in order to achieve the results I have in my mind's view. However it is also important to think about what an image is for, what you want to achieve with it. There is a big difference between a limited size jpeg for use on the internet, and a large size print to hang on a wall. And personally, I spend much more time on perfecting an image which wil hang on a wall than an image that will only be displayed on a monitor.

Creating a perfect image, for your view or opinion, always comes at a price, and time spent learning is in that case not optional :).

When switching to MFT, I did have about 6.5 years of experience with digital, but way more with analog. To be very honest, I do think that the same rules apply, just adapted to a different medium, that is really all there is to it, and it is the same going from analog to digital.

I have never been frustrated using an MFT camera at all, other than that I would possibly want different lenses than the ones I had available for specific types of shooting. By now, about 9 years later, I do have them all barring one, which is really not available yet, but which I do not miss a lot considering the good glass I am lucky enough to own. Some lenses will never be available for MFT (tilt-shift lenses come to mind), but a good adapter or speedbooster does make it possible to use such anyway. That is another reason to keep on shooting 2 systems, or more if necessary, as each system has different uses, possibilities and options, which may not all be right for different reasons or times.

Advancing one's skills, by using manuals, or this (very helpful and friendly) forum, is relatively easy, but it stops at the point where you actually have to go out and do it yourself. And that is the best way to advance your skills. Learn from what you do, analyze the results, to see where you could improve, where you want to improve, and set out deliberately to do so. That in the end is the only way to advance. It is also the only way to develop your own style. Similarly, study photobooks, go to museums, learn from those, analyze what you like and why.

Would I do it again, the same purchases? For MFT, almost. The initial setup I got as a "starter set" suited me to a t. When I got the E-M5 Mk ii I probably should not have gotten that, because I really knew that I wanted a newer sensor with some more MP, which is why it did not last too long in my toolbox. Neither should I have bought the GM5 I got, because it was a throwback in a way, to the rendering I did not like too much, and really too small a camera for me. Then there was the Oly 60 Macro - I never really got along with it, so I should have investigated that more, but otherwise I am fine. I deliberately got a few lenses double, not only aperture-wise, for different sets to carry when the need arose, but also to see the differece, like equivalent Panny and Oly lenses. By now I have weeded out what I like and do not like, so it will stay like that for a few years to come I suspect. It really is and was a voyage of discovery :).

As to my FF setup: the EOS R replaced my ageing 5D II, and I am very happy with it, it truly is a great camera for me. The path to FF is something I should have done differently, as mentioned already. I should really have skipped APS-C completely, with hindsight. I learned a lot with the different cameras I had (350D, 400D, 40D) and tried out (450D, 600D, 50D, 60D). I really only became a happy camper with the 5D and 5D II back then, but I am just as happy with my FF as with my MFT setup, in that they overlap when need be, for different purposes. Lenswise I have no complaints, I followed a predetermined path based on my experience with analog and my favourite topics to shoot, and I also had the opportunity to try and test many other lenses.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the subject, and I do hope they make some sense for your questions.

HTH, kind regards, WIm
Hi Wim,
Hindsight is always such a great teacher; isn't it ;) !
When I started thinking of an upgrade from the Canon SL1, I wanted FF. I actually considered the Canon EOS RP; it is a lovely little FF mirror-less. I was thinking I'd get the EOS 24-70 F/4 or F/2.8 lens with adapter for it because I am getting bored just shooting a 24 prime. But that will put me back $2,000. Despite that, it can still be my 3rd choice.

I decided not to go DSLR FF due to the weight; mostly I am using my camera walking, generally uphill. And I know from past experience in my SLR days, I won't haul a huge camera and lens on those trips.

I don't expect to be purchasing much or often, so I put a lot of effort into "getting it right" the first time (as you might guess from my posts here!). That is why it is taking me awhile to decide.
I love the idea of "Test and WOW!" to help me decide. Mike's Camera said today they would consider whether they will do rentals and loaners in June -- so I am excited about that option if they offer it.

I will have something for sure at some point :)
All the best!
Annie
 

Annie

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...Then take photos, lots and lots of photos.

'Wow, what a lovely place Ireland is'?

Get 'good enough' equipment. Focus on your subject.
All good suggestions. Thank you!
I actually purchased a used Sony Cybershot DSC-W830 for $50 6 months ago. If I am not carrying my SL1, I usually have that with me. I don't own a cell phone but it's nice to have the camera with me.
So I won't regret the images I could not make because I didn't bring a camera. I actually even got a image of a young deer with it last week. It is not totally in focus (had the camera on landscape and of course, no time to change and had to shoot fast because mom and dad were there ;) ) but happy to have an image of the deer looking at me :)

Off topic:
I yearn to return to Ireland! I'd love to do one of the ways, like the Wicklow Way.
I don't know the Munster Way but just googled it. I love the location, close to Waterford, where my great great (?) grandparents lived :)
I am glad you got to go there!

Thank you, again, and all the best!
Annie
 

ac12

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Birds and small animals are a whole different set of requirements.
One thing about many birds is that they are SMALL.
It is not the distance to the subject, It is all about the size of the subject at a distance.
Shooting a pic of a 6ft tall person at 50 yards is relatively easy, compared to a bird that is smaller than their head.

The smaller the subject and the further the distance, the longer lens you need, or you need to learn field-craft, so that you can get closer.

Currently, the longest m4/3 lenses are the Olympus 75-300 and Panasonic 100-400.
Olympus has a 100-400 on the roadmap but no expected release date.

I shoot with the 75-300, and at max zoom, even with IBIS, it is not an easy lens to shoot free-hand.
Ironically, the light weight is part of the reason. The camera+lens is not heavy enough to dampen natural body wobble.
 

Annie

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I shoot with the 75-300, and at max zoom, even with IBIS, it is not an easy lens to shoot free-hand.
Ironically, the light weight is part of the reason. The camera+lens is not heavy enough to dampen natural body wobble.
Thank you!
I really appreciate your adding that.
And that is in line with my experience with heavier Canon cameras I demo'd -- it seemed there was less shake (but I had forgotten all about that until you mentioned).
I am hoping I can do "Test and Wow" so I can see how the lens/camera feel together.
All the best!
Annie
 

ac12

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Thank you!
I really appreciate your adding that.
And that is in line with my experience with heavier Canon cameras I demo'd -- it seemed there was less shake (but I had forgotten all about that until you mentioned).
I am hoping I can do "Test and Wow" so I can see how the lens/camera feel together.
All the best!
Annie
Things are not cut and dry. Many decisions are compromises.
If you have to carry that gear for a long time, like hours or miles, you may prefer a lighter kit than a heavier kit.
I voted for light for my 3+ hour shoots.
 

Aviator

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Hi,

I would like to add my reply to the theme as I just got an EM-5 Mk II yesterday morning and I have never used an Olympus digital camera until yesterday, so I can give you my very first impressions and experiences.

I was already a M43 shooter as well as a FF shooter, but lets keep the M43 perspective here.

Coming from a Panasonic Lumix GX8 (which I still have and I don't intend to replace with the EM-5 Mk II) at the very begining I found the menu system to be totally different to Panasonic. Much more complex, but much more robust as well with much more options to customize the camera, less intuitive though.

The camera and the lens I got (17mm F1.8) were virtually new (only 358 shots and not a single scratch for both), but they were still running very old firmwares. First thing I had to do was to update the camera to firmware 4.1 straight from 1.2! And the lens to 1.1 which I did without issues via SD for the camera and via my GX8 for the lens, since the package came without the cable.

After doing that which took me like 45min (because I had to read how to do it), I was ready to go! I started shooting the typical test shots we all do to test a new camera. Oh boy! I found a new world of possibilities with my Olympus! By night I had tested HDR, High Res Shot, Live Composite, the AMAZING 5 stop image stabilization which my GX8 does not have and I had my camera customized to my way of shooting. I even developed a few images in Lightroom and I was very positive impressed with the test results, not a huge difference in image quality to my GX8 at base ISO.

Was it all "self learned" just by intuition and by a quick explore look in the menus? Definitely not! I watched some videos, read this forum, found an extremely useful article in Robin Wong blog to customize some options, visited a few other websites and downloaded the camera manual on my phone. But I updated, tested and customized all in just one day without fuss and hassle and did not find it too bad (as I read many times to be honest), many of the options you need to shoot are readily accessible on the Super Control panel with one click.

Many of the set ups are just one time configuration and never touch it again, like the EVF style, the beep sound when focusing, the focus zone (I only use center and recompose), the Noise Reduction and Noise Filter, Keep Warm Color Off, Image Preview Off etc...

I still intend to read the manual to see what other features I can use but I can assure, you can do a first time customization to your camera in a couple hours and then you are ready to go.

Overall I was VERY impressed with the camera and its features, and the lens which is not supposed to be stellar, but I found my copy to be very sharp wide open and very fast to focus. Probably the only minor annoyance I found with the lens, was that when you use the manual focus clutch, magnification is not automatically display on the camera, but I solved that very easily by programing one Fn button.

My M43 set now consist of:
Camera bodies: Olympus EM-5 Mark II and Panasonic Lumix GX8.
Lenses: Olympus 17/1.8, 45/1.8 and 12-40/2.8 PRO
Panasonic Leica 25/1.4, Panasonic 35-100/2.8 and Sigma 16/1.4 (which I may sell, its just too big).

Hope you find this useful.
 

wyk

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Messages
88
All good suggestions. Thank you!
I actually purchased a used Sony Cybershot DSC-W830 for $50 6 months ago. If I am not carrying my SL1, I usually have that with me. I don't own a cell phone but it's nice to have the camera with me.
So I won't regret the images I could not make because I didn't bring a camera. I actually even got a image of a young deer with it last week. It is not totally in focus (had the camera on landscape and of course, no time to change and had to shoot fast because mom and dad were there ;) ) but happy to have an image of the deer looking at me :)

Off topic:
I yearn to return to Ireland! I'd love to do one of the ways, like the Wicklow Way.
I don't know the Munster Way but just googled it. I love the location, close to Waterford, where my great great (?) grandparents lived :)
I am glad you got to go there!

Thank you, again, and all the best!
Annie
I actually live in Wicklow :) I just work on a friend's estate in Waterford on occasion as a forester.

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Here's a couple of pics of my home town, Bray:

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RS86

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
340
Location
Finland
I bought my first ILC system in 2016, and the camera was Olympus E-M10 II. Before that only camera phone and no experience with exposure or anything.

I read a lot of forums, and did what Aviator above, meaning the first settings from Robin Wong's "Cheat Sheet" and similar stuff. Then I just started photographing. I didn't find it tough and have some keepers even from 2016. It is no joke when people say photographing with Olympus is really fun.

Personally I found the Aperture Priority Mode very good for me as a beginner and I still use it a lot. You just need to change aperture and ISO and the camera takes care of the rest.

Nowadays in low-light I use Manual Mode with Auto-ISO and Exposure Compensation (can be found in newer models) as it gives that fast shooting ability in that situation.

(One thing to note is that E-M5 III needs many batteries if you plan to use 12-100mm and Sync IS with it. And like others have said, 100-150mm long lens is not usually enough for small birds. Sometimes it is, but you need to be really close.)

This is a photo I took 1,5 months after getting the E-M10 II. It was the only shot I got from this sunset as I forgot my battery charger and my batteries died. I printed it as 80 cm x 60 cm chromaluxe. Taken on a boat, 9mm, f/4, ISO 500, 1/60.

P7201952_DXO-16_300.jpg
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mrjoemorgan

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
Messages
241
Location
San Francisco
Real Name
Joe M
Hey Annie, welcome to the world of decisions, decisions, decisions. One of my favorite past times.

I switched from Canon FF to M43 back in 2014/2015 but the decision was made easy for me. Until that point, I worked in and shot sport so I had the Canon 1dx series bodies and big fast lenses.

I left the world of sport and got more into traveling and taking photos of landscapes and cities first and foremost, and then more recently wildlife. So the m43 gave me great a quality camera that was 1/3 of the size and weight of my canon gear.

Here are a few thoughts/anecdotes of my transition.
  • The learning curve was pretty short. Once you know the basics of how a camera works and what settings achieve what, moving to a new system is just like driving a new car, learning where all the buttons are, how to open the fuel cap etc etc.
  • I would highly recommend the book, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson if you're in the early stages of your photographic journey and learning curve
  • The main things I miss from a FF camera / my canon are: AF performance (m43 is getting there, but I still think my Canon bodies were/are better) and low light performance. I cant use my EM1.2 above 1600 and get anything usable (just my preference, others might disagree)
  • However, the m43 has meant I can have a lens and body combo that gives me 1200mm f8 (35m eqv) and is lighter and smaller in size than my 70-200mm + 1dx. Size really is the winning factor here and the reach of the 2x crop sensor.
  • The build quality is also very impressive. I'm extremely impressed with the Olympus lenses and I find them very affordable, especially if you buy second hand. I got the 300m F4 PRO for $1200, which if you look at the FF equivalent (600mm f4) you are looking at $12,000 (New)

I was out today and thinking I'd appreciate the additional crop factor of M-4-3 so perhaps I can get into some birding and animal photography (mostly I do landscape and travel).
The m43 system for sure gives the most amount of reach for the cheapest price and smallest size/weight. The 40-150 f2.8 lens is a beauty of a lens, incredibly sharp, and if paired with the MC20, will give you 600mm f5.6 eqv reach. With enough shopping around you could get that combo for about $900-1000.

So I am now thinking the OM-D M5 III with 12-100 F/4 IS lens to open up that possibility.
This could be a great place to start. I've not used the 12-100 f4 but its focal range and its size make it an interesting "if I could only have one lens and wanted do landscape and reach for some larger/closer wildlife" option. Or maybe the 12-200? Really the 40-150 or maybe the Panasonic 100-400 would be lens to look at though if you get seriously into wildlife.

I started my Olympus life with the EM5.2 - I loved it for landscape and travel. Not so much for wildlife and need the EM1.2 to get the most out of my lenses. However, I have heard great things about the EM5.3. I got my EM1.2 just after the EM5.3 came out and with the EM1.2 being much cheaper second hand and although pretty much the same in terms of specs (aside from SD slots, FPS, and a few other things) I preferred the ergonomics of the EM1.2.

Anyways, hope that helps. And happy decision making.

Joe
 

wimg

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Dec 10, 2016
Messages
630
Location
Netherlands
Hi Wim,
Hindsight is always such a great teacher; isn't it ;) !
Absolutely! <ROFL>
When I started thinking of an upgrade from the Canon SL1, I wanted FF. I actually considered the Canon EOS RP; it is a lovely little FF mirror-less. I was thinking I'd get the EOS 24-70 F/4 or F/2.8 lens with adapter for it because I am getting bored just shooting a 24 prime. But that will put me back $2,000. Despite that, it can still be my 3rd choice.
The RP is indeed a lovely little FF camera, I have recommended it to many Canon-shooters who want to go the FF route from smaller APS-C bodies. And AF with the Canon adapters is nothign but stellar :).
I decided not to go DSLR FF due to the weight; mostly I am using my camera walking, generally uphill. And I know from past experience in my SLR days, I won't haul a huge camera and lens on those trips.
I used to carry a big camerabag with body and at least 4 or 5 FF lenses. These days I tend to go by car in that case :), just walk a little less :).

I do always have my Pen-F with me, however, and often a few extra, small lenses. Whenever I go walking, I either add the EOS-R with 1 or 2 lenses to the Pen-F, or bring along the E-M1 II with a few lenses, depending on what I expect to shoot :).

I also do a fair amount of reportage type shoots, indoor, for which I mostly use the Canon setup, unless I have to travel far for it. I have done these types of shoots with MFT as well.
I don't expect to be purchasing much or often, so I put a lot of effort into "getting it right" the first time (as you might guess from my posts here!). That is why it is taking me awhile to decide.
As long as you stay aware of the fact that tastes and preferences keep on developing. It may well be that what you like this year, or want this year, may not be the same as next year, or maybe you'll even find that you'd like to shoot other stuff anyway. You seem to have developed an interest in wildlife photogrpahy recently - that is an example of changing interests :).

An option may well be to buy used, and if you do not like a specific piece of equipment, just sell it on again. The price difference between buying and selling used, if any, could be seen as a kind of rental fee - that is often how I approach it, unless I know for sure I will use a specific lens and it is difficult to obtain used.
I love the idea of "Test and WOW!" to help me decide. Mike's Camera said today they would consider whether they will do rentals and loaners in June -- so I am excited about that option if they offer it.
That is indeed a great option. A rental or a loaner for a weekend would also be great for checking out if you like and would use a lens or other piece of equipment. My advice would be that you really plan it in that case, otherwise you may end up with having a piece of equipment for display only over a test period - speaking with hindsight here as well ;).
I will have something for sure at some point :)
All the best!
Annie
The way you research it, I am sure you will!
All the best to you too!

Kindest regards, Wim

P.S.: As mrjoemorgan indicates, it may be a great option to get a used E-M1 Mk II (or even a Mk I) to get started with. It will save you some money for sure :).
 

Annie

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
124
Location
Colorado, USA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #36
If you have to carry that gear for a long time, like hours or miles, you may prefer a lighter kit than a heavier kit.
Thank you! I am out on average 3 hours, 6 miles :) (depends too on how much photographing I am doing :) )
 

Annie

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
124
Location
Colorado, USA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #39
I actually live in Wicklow :) I just work on a friend's estate in Waterford on occasion as a forester.

Here's a couple of pics of my home town, Bray:
Thank you for sharing!
So lovely and peaceful looking -- I really hope I can return
A water-proof camera is definitely needed in your country!
All the best, Annie
 

Annie

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
124
Location
Colorado, USA
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #40
It is no joke when people say photographing with Olympus is really fun.

Nowadays in low-light I use Manual Mode with Auto-ISO and Exposure Compensation (can be found in newer models)

One thing to note is that E-M5 III needs many batteries if you plan to use 12-100mm and Sync IS with it.
This is all very helpful. I haven't had Exposure Comp experience but it sounds like something that would be helpful... you can see I have much still to learn!
That is a pain to have the battery die :( I find that happening with my little Sony cybershot camera, but I never had to worry with my Canon SL1. One thing I would definitely miss leaving DSLR.
All the best, Annie
PS: Love the image!! <3
 

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