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One m4/3s, One FF Sony...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by tjdean01, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    So many choices! As a semi-small one camera option, with it's 3-axis, tilty screen, and grip, the PL7 is very appealing to me. But, now that I can have two cameras--one m4/3s, one FF Sony--the waters are muddied!

    First, GM1 is the obvious choice because it's the smallest. But the mechanical shutter is limited to 1/500 sec; and turned of completely on any lens with no mechanical contacts; and the electronic shutter has a 1 second maximum. I can see potential issues here. Are there? Should I stick with the PM2? The lenses being used would be fisheye, 15BCL, 12-32, 20, 45, and a few adapted lenses.

    Then, for the FF Sony. The A7 was the good choice but now the A7 mkII now has IBIS to make the choice harder again because, not only does it cost more, it's bigger. I'd be adapting lenses to this camera. But recently I've been looking at the benefits of the no-AA filter on the A7R and even the RX1R. Boy, are they sharp! So the A7R mkII would be the one get if I want to go the high price route (I'm assuming it will be made in 2015). The A7 is now under $1000 though.

    And then there's the RX1 (r). Such a nice camera and I would not need the P20--ever. But this still would still not satisfy the full frame desire of a 85/1.8 lens. If only the RX1r had a 50mm lens. It might be the only camera many people need. Grrr, darn Sony making all these good cameras but not exactly what *I* want! ;)


    UPDATE (Just for fun):

    Imagine having a 3 stage shelf with the following on it:

    Top: PM2, fisheye, 12-32, 14, 15BCL, 45, and adapters to use the vintage lenses below
    Middle: A7, 28/2, 50/1.7, 85/1.8, 100/2, 135/2.8, 200/4
    Bottom: RX1r (35/2)

    Minimal. Perfect. Lowest price for size and quality. I pretty much have the top shelf filled. Now I just need $4000 for the rest!
     
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    You need to figure out what you want each camera for - what strengths of each particular body are you most interested in exploiting?

    I find my two systems - m43 and A7 series FF - complement each other very well for what I want from them. I have the E-M1 as the high-performing all-round body, mostly used with zooms (12-40, 43 50-200 for telephoto, currenlty 7-14 although that will probably go in favour of the FE 16-35). It's the better camera all-round, high performance, great AF, fast, touchscreen.

    The A7r is my resolution monster. I love landscapes, and particularly very large prints of landscapes (have several pano's at around 6-7 feet wide). Plus I missed the DOF control/look achieved with slightly wider lenses (35 and 50mm) on a full-frame sensor, which is where I find the 43 sensor falls down. The files are also simply better/cleaner at base ISO, much more detail, etc. For me, since resolution was a key issue, the A7r made sense. It is not without its disadvantages, however. Some complain of shutter shock (I haven't noticed it being a problem), it's not ideal for low light because of the requirement for higher shutter speeds to ensure sharp images (all the resolution!), the interface is nice enough but can't touch the E-M1 (things like moving an AF point are a hassle), but it's a dream to use with adapted lenses, and the FE 55/1.8 is worth every penny to me. Favourite lens I have ever owned (including quite a few Canon L's that come close), and leaves all my MFT glass behind in terms of 'falling in love with it'.

    The way I see the A7 series is:
    A7: great all-rounder, high but not ridiculous resolution, good AF, electronic first-curtain.
    A7 mk II: The new best all-rounder, little bigger, IBIS is a godsend for adapted lens use, PDAF on-sensor, good video
    A7r. Resolution. Demanding camera, demands good technique to get the most out of it.
    A7s. Low light and video, where resolution matters less.

    I'm curious to see what comes in 2015, but I'm not sure the A7r will get a straight 'upgrade'. I can see a rumoured A9 with an A7mkII-ish body, new high-res sensor (48, 50 MP), no AA and phase detect at a significantly higher price point than any of the current bodies. Much as I'd love IBIS on my a7r, I'm not interested in paying significantly more than the original introduction price, and I don't think I'd bother swapping unless they did something really game-changing with the sensor (and the resolution jump from 36 to 48 or 50 MP is not particularly interesting to me - 36 is already 'big files', a lot and more than enough). I think/hope I'll be set with my current bodies for the next 2 to 4 years - my 5DII gave me 6 years of great service before departing, and I hope the current two bodies I have can do the same for me.
     
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  3. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    The two systems compliment each other very well - Personally I am taking a good long look at the moment at the A7ii. In many ways (according to reviewers anyway) this is the spiritual full frame OMD EM1 and is shaping up to be a fantastic camera that is practically a jack of all trades. Albeit one that is quite small and light and yet can give medium format a run for it's money in the IQ stakes. One area that Sony have supposedly fixed is the shutter action from the A7r; shutter shock is a thing of the past, build has been refined and the AF in both daylight and low light is supposedly better to the point that I've seen some reviewers describe its single AF as being similar to what you get from an EM1.

    IBIS is a game changer too. I would take a camera with IBIS any day of the week over a larger sensor. If it can be implemented around a larger sensor - even better, magic!
    IBIS just makes such a drastic improvement to handheld IQ, allowing you to keep the ISO lower for longer in the cameras sweet spot for dynamic range and good IQ.

    Sony's A7 series as mattia already described doesn't *really* have a flagship. Price may suggest the A7s, then A7mkii/A7r , but the 3 bodies that are available really compliment each other - maybe somewhat like owning different rolls of film from ASA50 to ASA1600 depending on what you are shooting. Many A7x shooters that I know own more than one body or intend to own more than one body to compliment an existing camera that they own.

    A7r - outright resolution for landscapes. This has D810 rivalling resolution when used with the correct lens and can compete with medium format when mounted on a tripod and using good technique. A mkii version of this with IBIS and a dampened shutter would be great.

    A7mkii - workhorse of the A7 series, strikes a balance between super-high resolution, low light , AF performance, versatility and IQ with IBIS. Also has improved video capability with XAVC S-video, improved weather sealing and build etc... The latest muts nuts. Probably the best of the bunch right now IMHO for a general purpose stills shooter followed very closely by A7s, original A7 and then A7r in that order for me.

    A7s - most expensive of the bunch and targeted at low light shooters, those that need extreme dynamic range, tonal sensitivity and video. I used one myself for a video project recently. I went into the project being very dubious of the camera, the lower resolution, the A7 system as a whole and Sony's solution for FF. I walked away a complete convert. This camera is absolutely brilliant. It's a phenomenally versatile stills camera and gives great results in any light particularly great for portraits. Colours are a little different to the original A7 and A7r cameras as is the AWB.
    AF is much quicker than the original A7 twins and focuses in near pitch black. The new A7mkii looks to use the same colour pallette and AWB as the A7s and pushes the boat forward even further. The A7s compromises on resolution in exchange for low light performance and 15 stops of dynamic range at base ISO - at least Sony claims 15 stops from the sensor. The output definitely has a different 'look' to other FF cameras. Michael Reichmann described it as having a medium format look on account of the bigger fatter pixels. I would tend to agree. Of the original 3, this would likely get my money for its jack of all trades versatility. But if I owned it I'd probably still at some stage pack it out with the A7r and A7 bodies to compliment it and use the same lenses.

    The EM1 itself still packs a serious wallop and is not going anywhere. It has some of the best glass available in a portable highly capable package. The two systems do compliment each other nicely.
     
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have to say Panasonic and Olympus missed the boat not making a large sensor camera. It wouldn't even had to be FF in the traditional sense, but it could of maintained the 4:3 aspect ratio, just bigger! Imagine something larger than APS-C, slightly smaller than FF, but the advantage of smaller lenses. Include some sort of M43 compability with full AF and all the people going Sony would be more than happy to stay in the Four Thirds ecosystem. It kind of sucks too, because what's happening even with Sony going mirrorless FF, the optical physics are still the same with big glass. It would of been a perfect opportunity to change the status quo.

    Sure you can just crop with current FF cameras to get the 4:3 ratio, but you can't crop the lenses to become smaller!
     
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  5. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    I have often wondered looking at the existing m43 mount and sensor size and wondered if the potential was there for a square format sensor within the same lens mount.
    I'd love a manufacturer to produce a good square format native camera - I still love shooting square format with my 501cm. A digital (affordable) camera would be great.
     
  6. darrellc

    darrellc Mu-43 Regular

    112
    Aug 21, 2012
    I run both m4/3 and Sony based FF systems. I also have a Fuji X100T just because...

    I'm paring back my m4/3 system to focus on video and telephoto, focusing the Sony A7 on great glass in the focal lengths I shoot most of the time (35 to 85mm or so).

    I'm also tempted to get rid of all of my m4/3 gear and just go with A7, X100T and LX100, and use the X100T/LX100 combo for light travel (since 35mm is my favorite focal length for stills) and the LX100 for casual video.

    Below 100mm, if you're ok with manual focus as I am, there just isn't much size advantage to m4/3 compared to the A7. I'm even thinking about getting rid of the 7-14 as the A7/FE16-35 isn't that much bigger or heavier.

    On the other hand, my 35-100/2.8 is staying as there is no way I'm carrying a 70-200/2.8 FF lens.
     
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    The problem with M43 is that there is no upwards mobility for users wanting a bigger sensor. I think Nikon and Canon are posed to become mirrorless leaders when they decide to make the move. I think they're still milking the DSLR market, but I'm pretty sure they are already preparing some sort of FF mirrorless solution in the near future.

    I also think Olympus and Panasonic could do better competing against the mirrorless APS-C market. There is no reason why Olympus couldn't have made a Pen body with a built-in EVF and RF style body and also Panasonic really didn't push the GX7 to be price competitive against the A6000 (until recently). Now they're bleeding that APS-C market to Sony for no good reason. The sub-$1000 USD market should be M43 saturated.
     
  8. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    There will always be something good around the corner. There will always be something you want because there is no perfect camera. You have to know what you want and do the most photography wise; otherwise year after year you'll be lusting over many cameras and not fulfill what photography is all about. It's about taking pictures. If you looked over at the Olympus user gallery, a lot of people use cameras that are much older than the current norm and are enjoying what they do. They have actually inspired me to do with LESS STUFF; LESS WANTS. So, I've actually recently trimmed down my recreational camera collections and settled with an E-P5 and an OLD E-1 as my combo and sold off my E-PL1 and lenses I don't use much. I invested the return on the newer lighter travel tripod. It is what will get me to take even more pictures. Whereas my full frame bodies do my major work for clients and provide whatever they need. Find your needs and niches and then it's easy to determine which camera bodies you will need to satisfy your photography needs.
    Since I personally own a Bower 14mm full frame lens as well as a Nikkor 50mm, I can easily add the Sony A7 into my recreational tool kit. It will be attractive because my Bower 14mm is TINY compared to my Nikkor 14-24mm zoom lens. The used price for one will come down. I'm not too worried. I paid $100 for the E-1 and the 14-54 combo and I'm having a blast shooting with it; reminscent of the old Kodachrome/Ektachrome days. To me; that's a joy in itself. Remember, LESS STUFF more creativity.
     
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  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Jonathan makes some interesting points. It seems possible to me that the upper end of the m4/3s system will face a lot of pressure from this new Sony offering.
     
  10. darrellc

    darrellc Mu-43 Regular

    112
    Aug 21, 2012
    Selfishly, I would love a full frame GH4 or EM1 with Sony or equivalent sensor. Either would be infinitely better than my Sony A7/A7S. Would make a remarkable platform for adapted glass and just need a "crop mode" for backwards adaptability for m4/3 glass.
     
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I would really appreciate understanding how one becomes a better photographer or one's photography improves dramatically, by acquiring a FF camera. I've used pretty much every photography medium that's existed, and I simply can't see how a FF digital camera would do much, if anything, to enhance my photography over m4/3s. While there may be slight variations where one offers something that's marginally 'different', as a complete package, I can't see any advantage whatsoever. We can already achieve with m4/3 what could only have been dreamed of with film, of just about any format, yet it never seems to be sufficient. I'm just curious as I shoot such a variety of subject matter, yet haven't felt limited in any way.
     
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  12. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    False Panacea... but people have fun chasing it... nothing wrong with that as long as people realize that its just stuff.
     
  13. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    991
    Jun 12, 2012
    Sweden
    gus
    FF with 24mm f/1.4 gives you a dof control that O12 cant match... even a ff 35 2.0 gives a nice subject separation that I miss with the m43 wideangles. For me, thats the biggest tradeoffs...
     
  14. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    OzRay, I'm in complete agreement with you. I've shot professionally with 35mm, 645, 6x6 and 4x5 view cameras. I shoot a bit as part of my work, but not as a commercial photographer. I've also returned to shooting for fun.
    M43 is letting me do everything I used to do with film and produces better results, especially with the ability to edit raw files in the comfort of my office. I've had it with hauling a mountain of heavy bodies and lenses. I look forward to some fast long lenses, but can easily make do with what's available now, especially with the 40-150 f2.8 becoming available.
     
  15. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Bokeh doesn't drive good photography; often it's used to death and can reduce the quality of a photograph (with too shallow a DoF and/or the complete blurring of background which loses context). It has it's place, but surely that's not the be all and end all?
     
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  16. D MATIC

    D MATIC Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 18, 2012
    I like your idea of GM1 + A7

    The GM1 electronic shutter will be an issue if your taking pictures of blank walls in artificial light or super fast moving subjects. And at that point why not just switch to the A7. The whole thing with GM1 is size. It's also super discreet with its silent mode. M43 is still relevant with size. Hard to beat the size of a GM1 w/ 20mm 1.7 pancake and the 45mm 1.8 combo. (have you seen the new FE sony 90mm 2.8? it's huge) There are however some m43 lenses which do not have a large size advantage like the oly 17mm 1.8 vs the sony 35mm 2.8 or the pl 25mm 1.4 vs the sony 50mm 1.8.

    As for sony FF, A7r or A7s. If you take a 24mp A7 raw file at iso 6400 and scale it down to 12mp (A7s size), the A7s still beats it at the same settings.
     
  17. D MATIC

    D MATIC Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 18, 2012
    But you could get a longer m43 lens and mimic the look. Of course it isn't an exact match and there maybe some background compression and you'd have to change the distance to the subject. It will never match, but with some changes and technique its possible to get close.
     
  18. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Possible, maybe. But nowhere near as easy. For social shooting I love the variety of looks i can get with a really fast 35 on FF. It's just different. Whether or not it matters to you is another issue.

    My primary driver is resolution and base ISO performance for landscapes though.
     
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  19. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    991
    Jun 12, 2012
    Sweden
    gus
    alot of hazzle :)

    no I guess a Sony rx1 would have complemented my m43 kit perfect. too bad that my wife doesn't share my point of view here :D
     
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  20. D MATIC

    D MATIC Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 18, 2012
    I agree with you. It's possible, but is it worth it? For some people it isn't and some people it is. You need the right camera just like you need the right shoes. You arent going to play basketball in flip flops, but you can if you where playing horse.