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Olympus 40-150 or new GH4?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by ryanlogic, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    293
    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    I'm pretty much ready to invest in another major piece of equipment within the next month or two.

    I have an OM-D E-M5. I'm not dissatisfied with it for still pictures, but the USB lack is broken which bothers me more than it should for some reason. I would like to be able to use some kind of remote shutter controller (using USB) for long exposure photography and timelapse videos but it's not my main priority.

    I am interested in the GH4 because my wife and I are living overseas, and we have a baby on the way. Among other things, I would like to start making videos for friends and family back home.

    Im interested in the Olympus 40-150 also because I am living overseas and I want to use it to take natural street portraits from a distance. Also, I like to go camping and I feel that it would be a good all around lens for wildlife photography.

    My current lens lineup is as follows:

    1. Panasonic 25mm 1.4
    2. Olympus 75mm 1.8
    3. Olympus 45mm 1.8
    4. Olympus 12-50mm 3.5-6.3 EZ

    thoughts?
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    While I can understand the love for the 40-150, if you plan on getting it in the future but get the GH4 - you will not have IBIS to handle the long end of hte focal length, which is really needed unless you plan to shoot fast shutter speeds or on a tripod all the time. I think you would be better served with a Panasonic 35-100 in that scenario.

    If you love your EM5, the EM5 Mk II is, IMHO, a better camera in every aspect. A true replacement with the upgrades. The video on it, while probably not up to GH4 standards, is pretty awesome, especially coming from Olympus who is not particularly known for being strong in that respect. I'd replace the EM5 with a Mk II and then get the 40-150 later - just my opinion though.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. physicsdude

    physicsdude Mu-43 Regular

    112
    Feb 11, 2014
    KS
    Jan
    For street photography on a distance, there is another all internal zoom from Panasonic, I would consider, if it's out at daytime and no critical low light moments. Maybe this way you can get a camera and lens
     
  4. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    293
    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    If I buy a zoom I want constant aperture. I've been nothing but frustrated with the 12-50 EZ for this very reason.

    I've looked at the 35-100mm panasonic lens, but I already have the 75mm olympus and I would like to get a significantly longer focal length.

    I've definitely considered both the E-M1 and the E-M5 mkII. I would consider both over the GH4 due to the IBIS, but the video features just aren't up to snuff enough to warrant an upgrade from the E-M5. My thinking behind getting the 40-150 is that it should hold me over long enough to wait for the E-M1 mkII in hopes that it might come with some much needed video-centric upgrades aimed at competing with the GH4. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen...hence the risk in waiting.
     
  5. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    If you want to start making videos of your newborn, I would definitely recommend either the GH4/G7/GX8. Panasonic's video is vastly superior to Olympus' (talking about 1080p), and 4K is simply amazing. Also, I've done some long exposure work with my GH4's (3-4 minute exposures), and was very happy with how well it performed.

    The 75mm should do the job for street portraits from a distance. Are you finding yourself needing more working distance than the 75mm offers?

    If the 75mm does it for you, then I would look at selling the 12-50 & 45mm, and picking up a Panasonic 12-35. Prices are coming down on used copies, and it's a fantastic lens that's reasonably small and quite light. Also, the OIS would work very well with shooting video on the G7 or GH4, and work excellent for images with the Dual IS in the GX8.
     
  6. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    I think tjm's advice is good. As much as I'm an Oly guy, if I was just starting with children, I'd probably want 4K. Eventually 4K will be the standard and you'll be glad your earliest vids are in 4K.

    ...or wait for the e-m1 Mk 2 next year. Baby won't be very active for a while yet. :)

    P35-100 might be a better street lens than the 40-150, then one day, something like the 50-200 would be an excellent and inexpensive lens to add for wildlife.
     
  7. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Sure, you'd only miss out on about a year's worth of video though. Surely nothing important happens in that first year of life ;)...

    But seriously, I would get a camera before the baby is born that way you're familiar with it by the time he/she is born and home. Panasonic's DFD focusing technology is damn good, and their video can't be touched in this price point. The fact that you have an interest in video just screams GH4/G7/GX8 thanks to their 4K capabilities. You'll be future-proofing yourself a bit being able to shoot in 4K, and with the lenses you have, you'll get some lovely looking video as well.

    My suggestion would be get a G7, sell the 12-50 & 45mm, and buy a used 12-35 f/2.8. The G7's 4K video is just as good as the GH4's, as is its stills capabilities. As long as weather sealing isn't a big deal, I'd go G7/12-35.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I agree with Speedliner that the 35-100/2.8 is a better street lens. Much more discreet, less than half the weight, and some say it has nicer bokeh.

    I also think that the 40-150 is too short for a lot of wildlife. With the 1.4x TC you're getting closer to it, but when I want to shoot wildlife I definitely want a zoom that goes to 300mm.

    You might also find that the G7 or the GX8 fits the bill for you better than the GH4, as they all have great quality 4K. The GX8 is around the same price or a little cheaper, but is newer and more fully-featured, especially for stills, and it has IBIS. The G7 has 90% of what makes the GH4 great, and for almost half the price.
     
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Are you interested in shooting video, or are you interested in shooting video of your baby to share with family? A GH4 will serve the former well, but could be overkill for the latter if you are not interested in editing and post processing. I just cannot imagine dealing with the bandwidth issues of 4K with family members abroad.

    --Ken
     
  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'd be looking at an LX100 or RX100MKIV or similar for baby video needs (and snaps). Convenience will matter more than it ever has.
     
  11. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    293
    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    I'm definitely primarily interested in video of the baby. I'd probably be sharing things in 1080p... I don't even have the ability to watch 4k content myself at the moment.

    That being said I'm also interested in other kinds of video activities.

    I'm working in the humanitarian sector for an organization doing relief work in Syria. I come into contact with a lot of Syrian refugees inside Turkey and I've been toying with the idea of doing some kind of personal project exploring some of the topics that I am personally interested in.

    I don't know if the latter will ever manifest or not but I definitely think that I will eventually want my next camera to be capable of producing very professional quality video.

    I might not be ready for that just yet, but maybe I could familiarize myself with the camera and video editing software while making home movies.

    I'm not really interested in a shorter zoom lens. I like the primes that I have, and I plan on adding a few more here and there to complete my collection. I've been eyeballing the Olympus 12mm 2.0 for a few years now.

    As for the suggestions of selling gear in order to buy new gear, I'm not really planning on getting rid of anything. I like the m4/3 lens ecosystem and I want to keep everything I have. Plus, I can barely figure out how to buy bread in Turkey let alone sell camera gear. I live in a small city, and the tariffs are crazy here so I will have to order the stuff on Amazon to my mothers house and have her bring the equipment with her when she comes to see the baby.

    I'll look into the Panasonic lens a little more , thanks for the suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  12. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    The 12-35 f/2.8 is a great "run & gun" type lens, giving you great flexibility and image quality, especially for video projects.

    With any of the Panasonic bodies, you get 1080p @ 60 fps (or 50 fps being in Turkey), allowing you to play back your HD footage a 50%, making for some nice slow-mo.

    No matter which way you go, I don't think you can go wrong with one of the Pany cameras mentioned.
     
  13. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    You might want to shoot and edit some more video with your current body before picking up a GH4. You can certainly use it to shoot very basic video, but that does seem like a bit of overkill. Part of what makes the GH4 a desirable body are features like its codecs and its ability to work well in a professional workflow. If you are not going to devle that deep into video, you might be better served with a body that offers you IBIS when shooting video. Did you have a plan for how to stabilize the GH4 when shooting video? Some folks who like to do simple run and gun shooting like the E-M1 for that feature. And to be perfectly honest, if you plan to upload your videos for family abroad, I highly doubt they could tell the quality difference between them after compression, but they will notice if the video is stabilized or not.

    --Ken
     
  14. ryanlogic

    ryanlogic Mu-43 Veteran

    293
    May 23, 2012
    Antakya, Turkey
    All valid points.

    I don't have an answer for the stabilization dilemma. Really, that's the only big problem I have with the GH4. I love my Olympus lenses... And I'd really rather have the 40-150 over the Panasonic 35-100.

    It's possible that I am merely fantasizing about the things I could possibly achieve with the GH4. I'm sure my current E-M5 can take good enough video of the baby... And there's nothing stopping me from using that footage to play around with video editing software.

    What I am certain about is that I plan to continue taking still pictures.

    Therefore, it probably makes the most sense to simply buy a lens or two and keep enjoying myself with the E-M5 while I wait for the next Olympus camera to come out. I'm really eager to see what the second gen E-M1 will offer and I can probably wait for it.
     
  15. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I have been wanting to try video for the past two years and every time I see a great short clip I really think that I want to try video. But, I do not have adequate software or time for anything serious, and I have come to the conclusion that the issue is certainly not related to hardware. Unless you are in a hurry, you are wise to wait. Regarding the 40-150, is this going to be too conspicuous for where you are currently living and working? If not, then that seems like a better use of funds given your interests.

    Personally, if you want to do any journalistic work while you re working, I would stick with something like your "old" E-M5 and a small prime or zoom as they do not scream "expensive camera ". It might be less of a barrier if you are working with people in stressful situations.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  16. taurus9

    taurus9 Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Feb 3, 2012
    BC, Canada
    I had an EM5 that had very satisfying stills IQ and thought I would keep it for a long time. However, I sold the EM5 and purchased the GH4. Why? I had a fairly large %'age of EM5 footage that was OOF and I struggled to find the focus point while shooting. That is, my moving children means I follow focus or use wide DOF to ensure they are in focus. So I thought focus peaking would help and the GH4 and EM5ii were candidates (G7 was announced about 3 weeks after I bought the GH4 huh). Admittedly, I lost interest in the EM5ii once I saw sample footage but the GH4 did have 4k, longer battery life, and to me, better ergonomics (EM5ii wasn't bad, just that GH4 was better for me).

    The remaining question was how to stabilize the camera - I invested in a monopod and a travel tripod (e.g. Mefoto backpacker). I'm still learning how to use the monopod, but the travel tripod was surprisingly versatile for vids and stills. All my lenses also had OIS so that reduced the concern of losing IBIS.

    I am enjoying the GH4 very much, not just its video capabilities but also stills. IMO, the GH4 doesn't give anything up to the EM5 except price, size/weight, and IBIS.