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M4/3 camera for Still-life

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by elandel, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Hi all,

    Hope this is the right place to post.

    A friend of mine has a p&s camera which shee is not satisfied anymore with.

    She asked me to help her making choice for a new camera and I said :43::rolleyes:
    Now I have to ask: she is involved in still-life and macro, which camera and lens combo wuld be the best choice?

    I don't do still-life so I really have no idea. Can anybody help me also posting the combos that would be fine.

    Thanks
     
  2. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    308
    May 28, 2011
    Depends the size of the things she's photographing, but you can get legacy 50mm and 100mm macro lenses for a good price. You'll want one of the larger Micro 4/3 bodies in order to have sufficient lens support when using a tripod (if the lens doesn't have a tripod mount).
     
  3. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    I'm using g3 with pl45.

    Very pleased with macro results.
     
  4. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I also have the G3 and it's a really good camera.
    But what about still-life?
     
  5. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Why wouldn't the G3 work for still life? It's got a great sensor (the only m43 that's better is the GH2 at low ISO, the G3's probably a bit better at high ISO). It will take any macro lens than any other m43 camera will accept. It's got a very good EVF and an LCD, so whichever your friend prefers to work with is there. And it support image magnification for manual focus, which should be a big plus for macro work.

    But there are a couple of other things to consider:

    Does your friend work mostly with a tripod, or handheld? If handheld, non-moving subjects, and at relatively low shutter speeds, she might consider an Oly body with IBIS. But if she shoots with a tripod, IBIS (and OIS) or at high shutter speeds then IS really isn't needed. And if she's shooting subjects that move around some then IS won't help anyway.
     
  6. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I'll have to ask her.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    We also need to know what her budget is. :)
     
  8. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    That's right. I'll also ask her for this.
     
  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    For still life, they're all about the same, since they all have the same sensor for the most part. With her current camera, is she using a tripod? That will improve her photography more than upgrading cameras, although it could help. This macro set for example was shot with an FZ50, which is a point and shoot:
    https://www.mu-43.com/f54/silent-death-22410/
    If you know of the camera holding back the quality of those photographs in any way, I'm all ears.

    It's just about which combination of handling and features she prefers. I would say that the G3 is probably the best choice for her, as it has a viewfinder which will be useful for macro photography and framing, a flip-out screen which is useful when the camera is on a tripod for still life. In addition, it has the improved sensor over all of the other cameras.
     
  10. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    I think the question to ask is, what about her current P&S is she unhappy with? Is it DOF, sharpness, something else?

    The other thing to consider is lighting. IMHO, the best bang for your buck in improving the quality of tabletop photography is to improve the lighting.
     
  11. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    If it's still-life, why not go with a budget G1/G2/Epl1..
     
  12. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy

    Yes I suspect lighting is important in still life. But as I said I really have no idea on the techniques involved because for me its of no interest.
    What I can say is she said she wanted to upgrade to something more 'pro' because the images with the cheap p&s she has no more satisfies here and for me thats enough because I never question on others needs. I mean if she is not satisfied I believe and help her change if she asks me.

    So what about the lens for still life?
     
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would just get a macro lens of a fair length (ie, not too wide). That will give you something that can be used for both general purpose still life and also for macro still life.

    The Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit would be very good, but there is no need to stick with a native lens. Manual focus will be preferred for still life and macro anyways (not as much still-life, but moreso macro). The Zuiko 50mm f/2 (Four-Thirds mount) is probably the sharpest lens that you'll use. It has 1:2 macro and also makes a killer sharp portrait lens.

    Or for legacy lenses you have too much choice to list. ;)
     
  14. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    Well, it makes it more difficult to suggest something appropriate if we don't know what's holding her back, or what she wants to achieve.

    I can only say that from my personal experience, my 14-140mm zoom lens has been most useful to me when doing product/tabletop photography. I'm able to go wide with it, and also zoom in close. Since I've been taking shots of subjects that very widely in size, it's nice to have the flexibility of a zoom lens with a large range. Also, if you are still considering bodies, I might also suggest the GH2. The flip/tilt/swivel screen has been invaluable to me because it enables me to get all around the subject -- I can shoot handheld from directly above, for example.

    For example, I shot all of the photos in this eBay auction (my husband's) in a single shoot using the GH2 and 14-140mm lens. The entire tool is about 45 cm long, and the smallest closeups are of things less than 2cm wide.
    Pexto No.510 Bit Brace 1/4 inch Hex Screwdriver Bitholder USA & 3-Jaw Bitstock C | eBay

    Now, when doing this kind of product photography, I'm actually looking for deep DOF, so I'm shooting at f/13 and above. So I don't need a fast lens. If she really wants shallow DOF then you might want to put that into consideration when recommending a lens.
     
  15. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Yes the 14-150 if she wants Olympus or the 14-140 as you said if Panasonic.

    The real problem is she hasn't told me what her budget is:mad:
     
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Personally, I wouldn't get a super-zoom to shoot still life. You don't need that zoom range for to shoot an object which is sitting there for you to shoot from any position, so why should you compromise your DOF control and sharpness? Don't get me wrong... I do certainly agree that having a zoom range will allow you to shoot various still lifes from one position, but I personally wouldn't make sacrifices for that convenience.

    Plus... there's also a large segment of still life which includes macro. A super-zoom won't help you there either. A dedicated macro lens on the other hand, can also be taken back and shot as a normal lens.

    However, a lot of that also depends on whether or not you shoot on a tripod. I'm sure most still life photographers do use a tripod but I shoot hand-held with all my product and similar photos, making me more mobile. This is my shooting style, which also carries through my fashion work. If I were shooting on a tripod I'm sure I would value the super-zoom range a lot more.