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M43 for events?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Gvp, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Gvp

    Gvp New to Mu-43

    Nov 4, 2018
    Hey everyone,

    So I am currently working as a pro mainly shooting corporate events an ocasional wedding and lots of congresses. I am pretty happy with my full frame system (Nikon D750+ 35 1.8+ 50 1.8 + 85 1.8 + 180 2.8) but there are times where a lighter and smaller setup would be ideal. I also miss using zooms, I used to use the 2.8 zooms and the quality and DOF and sharpness where amazing but the weight of the system really put me off.

    So I am thinking on adding a smaller setup to my current one and thought of M43 system. A g85+ 12-35 + 35-100 and maybe later on a few bright primes. Anyone out there that uses this system for this line of work?

    How will the tiny sensor behave in dark lit rooms where I often have to bump the iso on my D750 to 4000 or even 6400?

    How is the AF when it gets really dark? In the nikon I have the help of the red beam assist lamp on the flash, since mirroless cameras don´t have that luxary how do you nail focus after dark?

    Apart from M43 there is also the option to go Fuji. Is it safe to assume that a Fuji xt20/xe3 with variable zooms (18-55 + 55-200) would achieve similar results as the g85+ 12-35 + 35-100? The fuji system would weigh the same, have similar DOF and cost less...
  2. Davidof_CR

    Davidof_CR Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2017
    My limit with G9 is rather 3200 then 4000-6400 you use. I think, for such low light, MFT is not optimal. You might consider 1,2 primes, but for zooms there is no such option.
    To achieve weight reduction and low light performance, Sony A73 + 1,8 primes and 28-75 zooms are better.
  3. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    You'll be able to push ISO 3200-6400 if you're good with noise reduction in post. Avoid underexposure as it'll be your enemy on Micro Four Thirds.

    For reference, this is from my E-M1II, but I had the benefit of dealing with frame stacking:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    But of course: You should note the aperture on the exif of that shot. Lenses will more or less be fairly constant factor in terms of light gathering capability. You're looking at the equivalent of a 70-150mm f/2.5 in my case. If you're in good lighting, Micro Four Thirds will work to your advantage. In bad lighting you'll end up getting the fastest lenses out regardless of the system.

    The bodies should still have AF illuminators that function. The Godox/Adorama Flashpoint X-Pro will provide a grid as well if you use it as a remote flash. My understanding is with the Olympus flashes and bodies, in some cases the LED light for video should come on to provide focus assistance.

    The AF should be pretty fast, you should try to find a camera to play with locally (store, rent, etc) and get your impressions that way.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  4. If you're used to f/1.8 on a low pixel density FF sensor then f/2.8 zooms on m4/3 is likely really going to disappoint you on the noise front.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  5. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    I have shot events and weddings with micro four thirds - in my case I used the original EM1 so not the latest tech.

    First the good news - in darker situations with the right lenses and using AF-S the focus accuracy is very good.

    Now the bad news - ISO performance is not comparable to the d750. And going to f2.8 from primes is going to compound the problem. I wouldn't do it personally, I always used primes with m43 in low light and even then I wasn't always 100% satisfied.

    If you are looking to shed weight, I'd swap to m43 or fuji for good light and keep the dslr or similar alternative for those situations where needed.

    They are very capable cameras but with events, where you want to batch edit and not concentrate on selective nr on each individual frame, they are just not quite the right tool imo.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. With weddings in mind, I wouldn't keep both. Make a decision one way or another and stick with it. Last thing you want is to be fumbling at a wedding.

    Flipping between systems probably wouldn't matter in any other circumstances.

    I would be very happy to shoot a wedding on MFT. But I've never shot with FF so I guess I don't know what I'm missing.
  7. ToxicTabasco

    ToxicTabasco Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 2, 2018
    South West USA
    For Pro work the Top cameras like the G9 or OMD EM1 II would be the ideal camera, compared to DSLR's top camera, they are a bargain for what you get. All those features make shooting a heck of a lot easier than the D750. And they go for about the same price.

    As for lenses, this is what makes the MFT system light and compact. There are tons of pro high quality fast zooms to choose from. And there are very light high quality zooms and primes. Optic quality is as good as any of the top lenses of DSLR. And they come with added features for video, and super fast AF and burst shooting. Some have custom function buttons.

    Another option if you want larger is Fuji X-T3. DPreview loves this camera, and their marketing reflects how good the X-T3 is. It is reviewed as the best APSC pro camera on the market, and beats out all the DSLR crop cameras, and beats out every MFT camera in all areas, for all types of shooting conditions (according to DPreview).

    However, the one thing the X-T3 doesn't have is a good buffer, faster burst rate, and most important to me, the IBIS. IME the IBIS on MFT is what allows people to shoot in conditions and situations you can't do without a tripod. And for journalism that should be looked into.

    So there you have it. Just my take on what is out there for top compact pro system. Because everyone shoots different, there will be different preferences. These are just my top picks.
  8. Jay_M

    Jay_M Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    Fast primes are what you need to keep ISO down to acceptable (3200) levels in my experience. That would pretty much defeat the purpose of what you are trying to accomplish. The settings you will run on your FF in regards to the exposure triangle will basically be the same as you will end up with on MFT (minor differences expected), the difference is you will get more noise on MFT.

    Have you considered just getting a 24-70 f/2.8 to replace the trio of f/1.8 primes?
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  9. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2013
    This is a tricky question and it really depends on your image quality expectations. I am extremely familiar with Nikon system and was a working pro for about 3 decades, so perhaps I can be of help. I am assuming that you are a high level working pro; so based on my pro expectation with the D750 gear you have and you are already using the trinity 1.8 primes shooting @ ISO4000 to 6400, then I am sorry to say the m43 system is not for you.

    When you are going to a smaller system, you need to make some sacrifices in image quality that you are used to with full frame. How much loss of detail, color shifting shooting at HI-ISO and noise are you willing to accept coming from a D750 is up to you. My best advice would be to rent the equipment (m43 and Fuji) and shoot along side your D750 and subject them to the same rigours of your D750.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Gvp

    Gvp New to Mu-43

    Nov 4, 2018
    Thanks everyone for your opinions and thoughts!

    Today at a congress the guy that was hired to do video lent me his GH4 + 12-35 + 35-100 and I was able to test the camera out. Loved it. Small, fast, easy to use. Had a blast using it. And those lenses are so tiny! Simply amazing.

    I have been going through the files in lightroom, the lumix files do have more noise but the detail is pretty amazing even at high isos. No weird artifacts, no mushy skin tones, I am impressed! Also the AF accuracy is very good and that shutter sound, oh so quiet!

    I did notice that the EVF and LCD had a hard time coping with flurescent lights presenting me with lots of banding, like when in the old days one would film a tv. Is there a workaround for this? It was pretty disorientating. The images looked good, it was the just the LCD/EVF that had problems.

    Overall I am very impressed with the usability and the overall quality of the files I got out of the system.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    I'm not too familiar with modern Panasonic bodies, but there should be an anti flicker setting in the menus if you're shooting video. I'm not sure if there is an automatic one, but there is a setting called "synchro scan" which lets you finely adjust the shutter in fine increments to prevent it.

    I'm not sure what would cause the LCD/EVF to lock the refresh rate like that. There should be something that prevents the flickering effect short of pointing the camera at a very bright source of light where it can't reduce the lens aperture enough and needs to bump the refresh rate up to avoid blowing out the highlights in live view.
  12. Perhaps not "small and light" enough, but I think the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and the Zuiko Digital 35-100mm ƒ2.0 (with MMF-3 adapter) is ideal for conferences.

    That lens is no lightweight, but hey, it's ƒ2! You can shoot a full stop faster than you can with a 70-200 ƒ2.8!

    The reach was perfect for conference room shots. At 35mm, I could add some context, and at 100mm, I could do a personal shot.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Events and conferences are often poorly-lit, and that extra stop comes in handy. I was able to stop hand motions at 1/80th; at 1/40th it might have been blurred. Moving from the conference room to the 400-seat auditorium, I added the EC-14 tele-extender, and had a 50-140mm ƒ2.8

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I tried the generally-excellent ZD 50-200mm ƒ2.8-3.5, but while it had more reach, it just didn't have the light-gathering that I need. I shot nearly the entire conference with the 35-100/2.0 (plus 1.4x teleconverter in the auditorium), and the incredible 7-14mm ƒ2.8 for contextual shots.

    Yea, I wish it were smaller and lighter. But you have to pay something to get to ƒ2! Bigger and heavier is the price you pay for an incredible light-bucket.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. DPReview is notoriously antagonistic to µ4/3rds. I don't trust them. They judge everything by Fool Frame standards. They give zero credit for features like Live View, Pro Capture, etc.

    And "all areas" apparently does not include IBIS. I could not have shot the conference I outlined above without IBIS! At least, not without a tripod, which is additional weight and which limits your mobility and reaction time.

    I guess with the lower noise of the Fuji, you could shoot with one stop higher ISO, but IBIS gives you about five stops more latitude, not just one! I could shoot in a dark auditorium at 1/80th, using ISO 6,400. If the Fuji gave me ISO 12,800 with the same amount of noise, I would still pretty much need a tripod to shoot a same-reach 100-280mm ƒ4.0, because I'd still be stuck with 1/40th. Plus, that would have blurred hand motions, which are important for dynamic, impactful shots.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  14. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    You are going from FF with fast f/1.8 primes to m4/3 with slower f/2.8 zooms.
    So you are taking a hit 2x
    #1 the smaller sensor size
    #2 the slower lens speed

    Now that you've tried it with the Panasonic m4/3.
    You may want to consider renting a kit for a few shoots, and give it another trial.

    One comment, the Panasonic set 12-35/2.8 and 35-100/2.8 is lighter than the similar Olympus 12-40/2.8 and 40-150/2.8.
    If you are going for light, this may make a difference to you.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Jay_M

    Jay_M Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    That's pretty awesome that you actually had a chance to test out that setup. I believe the newer MFT cameras would have even better high ISO performance than a GH4 too? The sharpness and detail you can get from MFT with premium glass is one of the many things people who talk down MFT do not give it credit for.
  16. ToxicTabasco

    ToxicTabasco Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 2, 2018
    South West USA

    In real world I don't think the Fuji APSC or any APSC at this time, is one stop better than MFT for low light. Especially with the new G9 and newer 20mpx MFT. The difference is really small between APSC and MFT when it comes to low light and high ISO. And like you said, the IBIS more than makes up for that small difference in ISO performance. In fact, there was a online review of the G9 that rated its dynamic range and ISO performance better than some Fuji and Sony APSC cameras. I don't know how legit they are. But IME with the G9, it can do almost as good as the D5500 and D7200 in long exposure and high ISO night sky landscapes with milky way. And for any type of moon lit night , the difference is impossible to see.

    But I agree, that IBIS takes photography and video into a whole new level. IBIS allows shooting hand held video with long lenses and allows shooting photo in conditions that would require tripod.

    And, DPreview really really really likes the Fuji X-T3. They've done more videos and positive reviews of that camera than any 5 new cameras combined. That's how much they like the Fuji X-T3. In their DPreviews, they claim X-T3 is better than anything out there, but just how much better is it really. I have no clue.

    Nevertheless, after using IBIS of MFT, I can't live without it. Photography will never be the same without it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. bbarnett51

    bbarnett51 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    Nope. If you are shooting at those ISOs then m43 would not be a smart move. I shoot weddings and events and love the system but I’m not shooting above 3200 and rarely above 1600.

    On the other hand, the EM1MKII files would be cleaner than the gh4.
  18. Dinobe

    Dinobe Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2017
    Lochristi, Belgium
    I've used my EM5 + 1.8 primes in August at a wedding, together with my 7D + 2.8 zooms. The environment was very difficult: artificial light, black, high ceilings so I couldn't bounce my flash.

    Totally unexpected I had more keepers with my EM5. Focussing with the EM5 in very dark conditions wasn't much of a problem and my primes with wider apertures and double the DOF allowed me to shoot at faster shutterspeeds and stabilization helped at not having motion blur. The noise levels where high (ISO3200) but acceptable and fixable. Also, you never look at a photo@100%.

    My 7D + 17-55 f2.8IS struggled to find focus without the AF assist from the flash gun and could not give fast enough shutterspeeds to freeze motion. I had to raise the ISO to keep up and gave me worse images....
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The 7D is nearly 10 years old. The E-M5 is 3 years newer than the 7D, plus you were shooting with glass that was 1.33 stops faster.

    I'm not surprised that the E-M5 did better.
  20. Isn't the 7D APS-C? If so then the small difference in 2x versus 1.6x crop factor is offset by a f/1.8 lens versus an f/2.8 lens...

    The OP is talking about a comparison with f/1.8 lenses on a FF D750.
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