1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Tough m4/3 camera?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by rgugler, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. rgugler

    rgugler Mu-43 Regular


    I am hoping to get some input on m4/3 cameras that could stand up to some rough usage. I work in rather remote, rough environments, and I would like a system that won't die on me the first time it encounters some sprinkles or dust. I have been using an Olympus tough camera and a Canon S100. The S100 was supposed to be just my dive camera, but when I chose a trip to Morocco over a new camera, it had to take up a lot of slack!

    The only thing I really must have is a viewfinder. I mostly enjoy doing wildlife, landscapes, and macro. Money may or may not be a limiting factor.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


  2. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Sounds like the EM5 for you.
  3. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    Also the E-M1, and Panasonic GH series. All of these are weather sealed, and have the toughest bodies in the system. Lens choice is something to watch out for, though. Only a handful of the lenses are sealed, and a sealed body with an unsealed lens can let dust/water into the camera.

    If you're doing diving, the Nikon AW1 is probably worth a look. It is usable underwater with the right lenses. No viewfinder though.
  4. rgugler

    rgugler Mu-43 Regular

    I think I will probably stick with my S100 and housing for diving right now. The viewfinder is a deal breaker for me. I about went cross eyed in Antarctica trying to see the screen in any sort of light, and polarized sunglasses about did me in. They make the screen blank when the camera is turned vertically. If I had known I would be using it for land shooting so much, I would have gotten the G12, but I wanted a compact dive camera.

    What would be some good sealed lenses to start with?

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
  5. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    One of the members on here has this page listing all available lenses:


    in the notes column it lists which are sealed. The only one of those that I've used is the 60mm macro, which is a great lens. I think the others are the 12-50 (E-M5 kit lens option) and the pro zooms. The 12-50 is probably the only one of the bunch that's not an excellent lens, but I think it's pretty good too. Lots of people here have used it, so hopefully they will fill you in.
  6. rgugler

    rgugler Mu-43 Regular

    I was looking at pictures from the 60mm macro lens earlier! Definitely want it!

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
  7. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    GH4 your best bet!
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    That list is a bit old and therefore not quite correct. With the E-M1, which would fully meet the OP's needs, the 4/3 ZD lenses are all optimised for focus with the E-M1's phase detection focusing capability and a significant number are weather sealed. An excellent combination would be the E-M1 with ZD 12-60mm lens.
  9. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Actually, I'll amend my earlier statement. I believe the GH series have a fully articulated screen? The ability to fold the LCD on itself and instead rely on EVF is something that has be almost trading in my GX1 for a G5 or similar...
  10. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    E-M1 or GH3/4.
  11. rgugler

    rgugler Mu-43 Regular

    I doubt I'll be able to afford the GH4 right when it comes out if the body alone is $1700. The EM1 body is $1400, the GH3 body is $900. The GH4 release will probably push that price down a bit more. The EM5 is $630.

    What is the difference, quality-wise between the GH3 and the EM5, and is there a new release coming out that would drop the EM1's price this summer? What makes the EM1 worth $500 more than the GH3? I had the opportunity to meet a National Geographic photographer who shoots with the EM1, and of course gets amazing results, but I don't know if my skill level really justifies the additional money. He used the EM5 in a housing for water shots. Depending on which job I get for the summer, money may be an issue, though both jobs would offer amazing photography opportunities and adventure. :) 

    I REALLY want the Olympus 60mm macro lens now after seeing all the pictures on the forum! I'm leaning pretty heavily towards the EM5 right now just so that is closer to being an option!

    Knowing what you know now as experienced photographers, what 2 lenses would you buy first if you were starting your micro 4/3 kit from scratch?

  12. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    There's really nothing significant between the E-M5, E-M1 or the GH3 where image quality is concerned - at least not for stills. The E-M1s unique selling points are the larger, better EVF, in-body IS, and the PDAF/ability to use 43 glass with decent AF performance. The GH3 is the no brainer if you're serious about video.
  13. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    I think the GH3 is worth checking, it is weather sealed and has extensive external buttons which will come in handy when you are on the move... responsive and quick AF, ergonomics and handling are top notch in Micro 4/3s.

    First 2 lenses? It depends what you intend to shoot... I'll take the 12-35 and 35-100 as a general answer, since they are also weather sealed.
  14. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I did a 3hr time lapse with my GH3 in light rain, no problems. Battery life is fantastic, the intervalometer is built in, wifi and switches/knobs everywhere.
  15. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Lenses? The simple (but expensive) answer is get the Panny 12-35 or Oly 12-40 and the Panny 35-100. For less money, since you like the Oly 60mm macro, I think it could cover for both the Oly 45 and the Oly 150. To go reasonably wide on the cheap, there's the Panasonic 14mm. But the truth is, you can do a lot with the basic 14-42/14-45 kit lens.
  16. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Not all of the GH series bodies are weather sealed.
  17. rgugler

    rgugler Mu-43 Regular

    So many options! I am hoping to find a good camera shop with all the different cameras to try in hand. Unfortunately, the area of Kansas I am currently in is not a hot spot for camera shops. It is a 3-6 hour round trip drive and the prices are usually several hundred dollars higher than online. I hate trying stuff out at local stores then buying online, but

    I have to say, I first thought the wifi and apps a bit gimicky, but seeing the wildlife photos taken remotely is rather tempting! Fund availability will be the deciding factor in the end, I'm afraid, but at least a basic system will get me started, and I'll keep reading up and practicing with my Canon S100.

  18. rgugler

    rgugler Mu-43 Regular

    Another quick question, and important consideration.

    I work on boats quite often, and tripods are of no use on a boat deck. Image stabilization will be a big factor at those times. What is the difference speed and quality wise between the Olympus IBIS and the Panasonic OIS? Seems like you would get updated technology faster with the stabilization in the camera body, and smaller, cheaper lenses without the stabilization tech stuck in there too.
  19. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Olympus' 5-axis stabilization IBIS as seen on EM5 and EM1 are AFAIK the best image stabilization in the market today.
  20. erwinwee

    erwinwee Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 20, 2014
    Erwin Wee
    is the 4/3 to m4/3 adapter weather sealed, though?
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.