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The more I shop cameras the more I realize how good Olympus really is

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by bbarnett51, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. bbarnett51

    bbarnett51 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    So I’m shopping cameras. It’s not bc I’m unhappy with Olympus it’s bc there are times I need better low light performance.

    So I’ve been looking at cameras. I’m now convinced the EM1mkii and Panasonic G9 might be the best cameras made. Certainly 2 of the most versatile. Now I’m not talking about sensor performance. I’m talking about features, build, and ecosystem. I thought about Fuji xt3 bc I love the video and amazing AF. Buuut it doesn’t have IBIS and ‘many of the key lenses I would need don’t have IS. I might be able to justify this if it were FF and I could jack up the ISO but the Fuji sensor doesn’t offer too much of a low light advantage over Olympus (hang tight I’m renting one to go head to head). I take advantage of IBIS frequently when shooting detail shots at weddings, parties, and other church functions. This is important to the work I do!
    Next is the Sony A7iii. I want its eye AF but I can’t stand using the camera. I’ve tried!!! I really tried to like it but the ergonomics are terrible, imo the build quality is nowhere near the Olympus, the G Master lenses are huge and crazy expensive. The 24-70 f2.8 is $2200 and the 70-200 is $2500. That’s $6700 for the body and only 2 lenses. To build my kit it would be roughly $10k. Of course I could buy the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and some of the cheaper primes but then I’m giving up the Olympus pro build quality on the body AND the lenses. Then the IBIS is nowhere near as good as Olympus either. I got some strange artifacts when shooting handheld low shutter shots. I’m assuming it’s the IBIS.
    Canon and Nikon aren’t even close to having the features of the Olympus or the Sony in their mirrorless offerings and 1 card slot is a no for me.
    I’m not investing in a DSLR. If I could shoot anything it would be the Nikon D850 but I’m not buying into that system with the future clearly being mirrorless.
    Soooo when I look at everything out there, Olympus is hurt by its sensor but is the most well rounded and best built camera out there! The lens line up can’t be beat. The Pro lenses are built as good as any out there and in my experience perform as well too. There are some unique lenses like the 12-100pro, 40-150pro with TC, the just announced 150-400pro, that can’t be rivaled in other systems. On top of those there are a plethora of amazing inexpensive lenses. I have to put Olympus at the top when it comes to lens selection. Certainly Canon ranks up there with them but they can’t touch some of the unique focal lengths of m43.
    When I combine the best IBIS in photography, above average AF(this is an area others have pulled ahead), build quality and ergos, speed, lens selection, live composite(I use this frequently), battery(I have zero complaints on my em1mkii) and size...I can’t find a damn thing out there I’m willing to switch too! And trust me, I’m looking. I want better sensor performance.
    Bottom line...Em1mkii and G9 are freaking beasts...with little sensors
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 28
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  2. speedy

    speedy Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 27, 2015
    I'm hearing ya. My G9 is THE most enjoyable camera to actually shoot with, that I've ever come across. And I've owned & used a few :)  I'm not looking for the best in any particular area, just a competent all round system, that doesn't weigh a ton, has a great selection of native lenses, & doesn't cost a bomb. My Panny collection does exactly that. Sometimes I think I wouldn't mind a bit better low light performance, then I look at the full frame zooms, or 85mm primes, & that thought quickly flies right out the window :)  Long live m4/3 :)  I for one hope the current fascination with cheap FF cameras doesn't mop up the disposable income out there, and leave m4/3 to die.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  3. DennyVanNostrand

    DennyVanNostrand Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 3, 2018

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    • Agree Agree x 3
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  4. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Mar 9, 2016
    I agree. I'm on my fourth Panasonic body but I have 3 Olympus primes. I really love what the EM1-II has done with some of their features like focus stacking for macro etc, IBIS etc. I love my MFT cameras. That's part of the reason I'm glad Panasonic has gone to FF. No matter how good the cameras are, the one refrain I keep hearing is "yeah but the sensor is too small". Now that Panasonic is FF I want ppl to realise just how good Panasonic is at making cameras and give them more of the accolades they deserve. Unfortunately DFD AF still isn't at the level of Dual Pixel or Sony's Phase detect. So that'll be the new detraction for them to latch onto.

    When you ignore the sensor , Olympus and Panasonic really put the other manufacturers to shame.
    • Like Like x 1
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  5. bbarnett51

    bbarnett51 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    I kept referring to Olympus but that’s just bc I own one. I agree that Panasonic is at the Top. The GH5s revolutionized video really and IMO the G9 is the most underrated camera made. It should be at the Top of anyone’s list when shopping.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    Actually I reckon the GH-1 revolutionized video (ok, that's a bit strong, maybe piqued sincere interest, indeed its been an evolution from the Canon 5D ...) and the subsequent GH-x models just kept improving on that.

    The G1 was out before there was even an Olympus model m43's available, so I agree with you that it should be M43rds in the title, not just Olympus.

    Throwback Thursday: the Panasonic GH1 - mirrorless video arrives
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 30, 2013
    Central California
    Anyone want to take bets on how long until we get the 100% crops of that dude's teeth again?
    • Funny Funny x 3
  8. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    It goes to show what you get when you've been in the mirrorless business the longest of anyone. More innovation, more mature lens stable, more refinement.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. NCV

    NCV Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2016
    I played with the Nikon Z7 with the F4 standard zoom and was very impressed. I am very tempted by this series.

    Olympus are a bit behind in the EM5 sort of sector that interests me.
  10. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Good post, and just what I needed right now...

    I feel like the majority of the innovation in the photography industry, whether we are talking about brand new ideas or perfecting those of others' (like Pentax), has been in µ4/3. The rest of the manufacturers later adopt what Olympus and Panasonic had been doing. It's almost like µ4/3 is the Mercedes E-class of the photography world, at least in this one respect. It's arguably had to be that way because Olympus and Panasonic are having to find ways to make up for the smaller sensor, but it pushes them to comparative advantages the other manufacturers have not displayed. If µ4/3 didn't exist, would features like IBIS, Pro Capture, Hi Res and Live Composite, sensor dust removal, (etc) be what they have become today (if they'd exist at all)?

    I agree that the E-M1 MkII (no experience with the G9, but no doubt it is too) is one of the best all-around cameras on the market. Right now, there isn't another camera I would rather have. It does everything I would want it to. I have started to fear for the future of µ4/3 (won't get into that here), but I really hope that it survives. That fear has caused me to look around, but like the OP, I didn't find anything that would fit my needs better. As an amateur who shoots primarily landscape, wildlife, travel and food (sometimes all on the same trip), and occasionally macro or portraiture, I'm always going to need a durable kit that I can carry on a plane and hike all day with, with as little compromise to performance and IQ as possible. No system can do all of that as well as µ4/3 can. Even if µ4/3 dies, I'll still continue to use the gear for the foreseeable future.

    That's an interesting point about using Panasonic full frame as a platform for getting people interested in Panasonic µ4/3. I hope that happens. As for the DFD problem, it seems that Panasonic is a part of the new AI tracking wave for autofocus, so maybe it could help shore up that weakness eventually.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Mike G

    Mike G Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2018
    Mike Gorman
    As a newcomer to m4/3(August 2018) with a G9 and a selection of PLeica lenses, I definitely agree with Speedy! :2thumbs:
  12. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Mar 9, 2016
    I hadn't actually thought of that. But I do see where If someone has Panasonic FF but needs something smaller for travel then MFT would be an obvious choice. I was just thinking that I wanted people to take Panasonic as a serious contender for a professional photo-centric camera like Sony, Canon and Nikon because they've now gone FF. There's a wholly undeserved derision of Panasonic and Olympus cameras just because of the smaller sensor. I want them to get beyond that finally.

    Re the AF , yeah hopefully it makes a difference but I suspect there's a fundamental weakness to contrast detection in video that makes it problematic and that's the pulsing. I don't see any way around it. If Panasonic's FF had even just Canon's focus stability they would be well on their way to gaining significant market share because in the other areas their cameras seem to be excellent.
  13. mary

    mary Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 13, 2018
  14. Saledolce

    Saledolce Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2017
    I'm the biggest Oly fan, but ignoring the sensor is a bit hard for me:) 
    • Agree Agree x 3
  15. mary

    mary Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 13, 2018
    I can't imagine doing a wedding with mft camera and yet I know Joe Ellis and Joel Edelman are both making use of the EM 1 Mark ii for their wedding photography. They must be using flash a lot! Good luck with your search.
  16. bbarnett51

    bbarnett51 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    Honestly I find it easy. There are times I would prefer FF sensor. Which is why I I’m looking...But those are rare. I use fast primes for most church work and then flash for the reception. I like it bc it’s so easy to have two bodies on me.
  17. Stanga

    Stanga Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 16, 2016
    A very odd assumption. I haven't found any limitations that hinder the use of m43 for weddings.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  18. Christop82

    Christop82 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 10, 2016
    I really like the m43 system as well, but I can't overlook the fact that both sony and fuji have better image quality. The talk about the premium olympus build is fine, but I feel like my a7ii and xe1 are built pretty well. When I'm shooting primarily manual primes the fuji and m43 bodies (with a focal reducer) do fine, but sony is way ahead in the AF department. People like to trash the a7ii alot, but it's CAF and image quality are far beyond anything Panasonic or olympus has. The new ff panny will change that I know. If m43 works great for you that's wonderful, but let's not get carried away and think all other systems are garbage because their ibis isn't as good.
  19. bbarnett51

    bbarnett51 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    Has there been firmware updates? The Sony a7ii is one of the single worse focusing cameras I’ve used. FAR inferior to the EM1ii. My second shooter has one and I find it almost unusable for anything other than stills.
    Nobody implied other systems are garbage! Please don’t mischaracter my statements. I’m looking hard at the xt3. I clearly stated that I take advantage of IBIS in my business which is why that feature is important to me. Fuji is lacking that in the xt3 and some of the lenses I need such as the 16-55 2.8 don’t have IS. For the type of work I do, this is a big deal.

    Keep in mind, the entire point of my post was that I need better sensor performance which caused me to compare features. This is when I realized how feature rich the m43 cameras are. Never said anything was garbage...except Sony IBIS and possibly build quality. The a7iii is probably the best camera for me. I just don’t get along with it.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. mary

    mary Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 13, 2018
    Nothing odd about it..sensor size or lack there of equals noise. Simple fact of life. I love my Olympus MFT but for a wedding I would struggle..that's just me. As I stated there are some pros using the system quite proficiently.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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