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Micro Four Thirds body with the best focus aid?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by feppe, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. feppe

    feppe Mu-43 Regular

    I've been using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 since launch and love it, but find its focus aid very fiddly with manual lenses. The zoom is difficult to launch and navigate, slow to respond, and too jumpy shooting a 100mm equivalent lens handheld. I'm considering upgrading the body or adding another camera system into my gear just for that feature, unless there is a good solution in the micro four thirds world.

    Which MFT body has the easiest, fastest and most accurate focus aid?

    And a bonus question: are there any MFT bodies with dual memory card slots, except the rumored E-M1 mk II?
     
  2. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    My guess, based on my experience with the GX7, is that the GX8 would have the best manual focus aids.

    The GX7's focus peaking and touch-magnification are better than any Olympus implementation I've used (compared against the E-M1). The GX8 has the best viewfinder in the Micro Four Thirds systems, so combining those two aspects together, I imagine it would work very well.

    However, the in-body image stabilization on the GX8 does not stabilize the viewfinder. The GX85 does stabilize the viewfinder, but it has a worse viewfinder. So it's kind of a compromise there.

    And to answer your bonus question, no MFT camera has dual memory card slots.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. feppe

    feppe Mu-43 Regular

    Saw a Youtube video, and GX8's system does look very good. Too bad it offers almost zero improvements to E-M5's image quality, and other improvements are also marginal.

    I'll have to wait to see how the E-M1 Mk II looks!

    Thanks!
     
  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Personally, I think the silent shutter, much improved EVF, manual focus aids, touchpad autofocus, fully articulated screen, improved autofocus, 4K video (and 4K Photo features), larger shot buffer, and improved resolution are worthwhile advantages. A few of those niceties are why I picked the GX7 instead of the E-M5 when I upgraded from my GX1, even though they were about the same price at the time.

    But it's a fair point. If you don't care about the little improvements, its pretty easy to justify sticking with the same camera if you have an E-M5, D7000, K5 IIs, 5D II, or the like on the basis of image quality.
     
  5. feppe

    feppe Mu-43 Regular

    Yes, that's pretty much how I look at it: none of the features are killer features to me. Based on feature set, GX8 is certainly something I'd pick today over E-M5 if I was getting my first M43 camera, but the upgrades are not that compelling to drop a few hundred euro on to switch.

    The resolution is wasted: looking at DPReview's comparison shots and DXOMark, there's zero improvement over EM-5. I'd much rather have higher dynamic range or color bit depth than more (read: noisier) pixels. Perhaps next generation 20-24 megapixel M43 sensors will finally bring some noticeable IQ improvement; Sony's backside illuminated sensors might just bring that about, if Oly/Panny and customers are willing to pay for them.

    Improved manual focus aid with dual card slots would be enough for me to upgrade, though!
     
  6. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    I can understand your reluctance to crossgrade to the GX8, in which case a new or nearly new GX7 would make more sense.

    I haven't tried the Oly focus peaking, but the Panasonic's is hard to fault, certainly (since you asked about other systems) compared to that on the Fuji X-E2 which is utter misleading rubbish. I'm curious if the Sony implementation is better. The Fuji adds insult to injury with a digital split-screen SLR emulation option that works well occasionally but is generally useless!
     
  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Just curious, why is dual card slots so important to you?
     
  8. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    Generally speaking, I'd say Panasonic does it better. My main lenses at this point are MF Voigtlanders on my E-M1. I set the lever to MF mode, and configure buttons for (red) focus peaking and magnification. As you note, the magnification trigger sucks. On the GM1 in MF mode, you get one-tap access to a highly-responsive magnification overlay with a dial to enlarge and automatic focus peaking. It disappears when you half-press the shutter. Hoping the E-M1MK2 has improvements in the MF arena, but not holding my breath.
     
  9. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    217
    Jul 28, 2013
    India
    I would say focus peaking works best for me with my AI Micro Nikkor 55 F3.5 mounted on either my GX-7 or EM-5 II. Once focus peaking starts theres really no difference between the two though a bigger EVF like the one of the EM-5 II is actually better in real time usage. However to start focus peaking on the EM-5 II, I have to press a button which I have programmed where as it is automatic with my GX-7, so a slight advantage to the GX-7 for this.
     
  10. feppe

    feppe Mu-43 Regular

    Writing to two cards for instant backup. I've had a Lexar memory card fail on me after an evening of night shooting at National Mall in DC, with some of which I'm sure were portfolio shots. Even a professional recovery service couldn't recover those shots. Haven't bought a Lexar since.

    I know it's rare, but it does happen. The risk is even bigger these days due to the very large memory cards, which can take thousands of photos with them if they fail. I'd rather have the piece of mind of a backup, especially when I'm in the studio paying for rent of the space, lighting, model, MUA, etc.

    It also helps when traveling, so I can put the second card in another place or with a travel companion or even mail it to myself, so it is less likely to be lost in case of theft. I used to have portable hard drives (HyperDrives) for this, but SD cards are much cheaper, smaller, and have multiple uses.

    Did I mention Lexar sucks?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Yikes now I'm paranoid!
     
  12. feppe

    feppe Mu-43 Regular

    Incidentally I was just watching a Pentax K-1 review, and they had a card failure. Guess the brand?

    LEXAR.

    12:35 mark.
     
  13. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    E-M1. Focus Peaking and assignable magnification button. Great viewfinder. Fast autofocus. Boom.
     
  14. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    E-M1. I have focus peaking set to yellow and activated whenever I use a manual lens or touch the focus ring when set to S-AF+MF. Works like a charm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have an E-M1 and GM5 and while the E-M1 EVF is better for MF, I find the high FPS PIP magnify aid and focus peaking on the GM5 to be much more fluid to use - I just prefer the Panasonic aids even though I like almost everything else about Olympus better.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    Exactly this. Important to have experience w/both brands, I think.
     
  17. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    there's a fast FPS option for the EVF in the menus on the EM1, but conveniently, if you have focus peaking assigned to a button (Fn1 in my case) that option is no longer available. This is one thing I hope they can fix for the mk2.

    That said, I find myself using focus peaking only rarely these days. The EVF is so clear on the EM1 I can focus manually on just about anything and see when I'm in focus.
     
  18. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    No complaints on the focus peaking or EVF for the E-M1. The magnification options are worse in every way compared to Panasonic.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  19. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    It really depends on your own eyes and brain : for myself I can focus best without peaking and without zooming, but with a nice big sharp EVF,
    making the detachable VF-4 and the E-M1 the best current focus aids.
    Roll on the next EVF ...
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  20. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The GX8 has an even bigger EVF magnification, for what it's worth.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2