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What brought you to the micro four thirds system?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by BillN, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    Why did you buy your M4/3 – Main Reasons

    Another miserable day in the UK, (Hampshire) - so just a little light discussion

    Why did you buy your M3/4 – Main Reasons

    I'll try to keep it short

    My reason for buying a M4/3 – (in the end a G1 - arrived today)

    1). Looked for a replacement, (upgrade), for my P&S Canon Powershot A640 - I am a D300 user.
    2). Found the LX3 convincing, (although I now prefer the Canon S90)
    3). Saw the LX3 comparison with the GF-1 and thought that’s interesting
    4). Always wanted a Rangefinder “type/size” digital but cannot justify M8 prices - still have an M6
    4). Interchangeable lenses on a digital “Rangefinder” size = yes please
    5). After hours of research I decided upon the EP-1, mainly because of camera IS
    6). Then changed my mind, why:
    a. Swivel Screen = a really big plus for me and EVR. ala Powershot A640.
    b. I hate to see the current mob of “snappers” (sorry!), holding small LCD cameras at “arms” length when taking photos – reminds me of the obsessive band of current mobile phone users
    c. Price = good G1 deals around - retired and from Yorkshire!
    d. Size and feel of G1 – not too small and the GF1 is also a "slippery" character
    e. I don’t need video
    f. Suits my uses and profile – Keen Amateur – Retired - Wear glasses - Interests are Nature, travel, older motorbikes - Now live in France most of the time
    g. fits well with my current kit - D300 with a few, mid priced AF Nikons and useful older MF primes - use MF lenses quite a bit - Gitso Tripod and Arca Swiss Monoball head again, use quite a lot – Nikon film SLRs and M6 which I now hardly use - Canon Powershot A640 – to be sold, or given to one of my offspring - Phottix remote – usual other bits and pieces

    (but now I need an S90!!!)

    Interested to hear of your reasons - as i am sure there will be lots of others
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Bill, great topic for a discussion... would you mind if we relocate this thread to "This or that" - so that we can discuss pros/cons of each body if it came into our decision making?


  3. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Prior to my GF1 I had a Canon 40D and a bunch of related gear. Frankly I was fed-up lugging a backpack of gear around to family events, days out with the kids etc. etc. I wanted to simplify and lighten the load (literally).
    Most importantly:43: just feels better and way more suited to my way of taking pictures.
  4. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    no probs - do the necessary
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Reasoning behind my choice of micro 4/3rds

    I have been carrying the Canon G10 as a backup camera for a couple of years, it was a great carry all machine but never quite gave me the IQ I wanted.

    My daughter who lives in Dubai "borrowed" my G10 so I used it as an excuse to find a replacement camera but wanted something around the same size/weight as the G10 but with better IQ - along came the GF1 so I read a lot of reviews, looked at many images taken with it and concluded this would fill the void.

    I can honestly say that I have been and continue to be amazed with the GF1 in all aspects of it's operation & IQ and have no regrets in my decision other than the fact that it is so good, that I am now leaving my primary unit at home more and using the GF1 instead.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I originally bought a Panasonic GH1 as a "tweener" camera to serve when the Nikon DSLR kit (D700, D5000) was too big and the compact cameras (Fuji F200, Canon S90) were too small.

    When I bought it, I hand no idea whether I'd keep the GH1. To be honest, it was a bit of an impulse buy. I was in a brick and mortar retail store, and they unexpectedly had one. I had gone to the store to buy a Nikon zoom, and I walked out with a GH1. I'd bought and sold enough gear to know that with the GH1 in such demand at the time that I bought it, I would be able to sell it lightly used at a minimal loss.

    Over time, I found that my other cameras were collecting dust, so I sold the Nikons, the little Fuji, and now have lent the S90 (indefinitely) to my brother :smile:. I never imagined it would happen that way, but it did!

    It feels good to me - freeing in a way - to just use one system again, and for me the best compromise was Micro Four Thirds. I certainly acknowledge that there are things for which a DSLR or digital rangefinder are better suited than is my GH1, but those things aren't compelling enough for me personally to keep an extra system around.

    When I think about the personal reasons the GH1 stayed and the Nikons went, it generally has to do with the fact that I "connected" with the GH1 in a way that I did not with the Nikons. If I try to dissect the individual reasons for that difference in connection, here are some that come to mind immediately:

    • GH1 and small lens (Oly 17 ot Pana 20) was a good bit smaller and lighter than the D5000 and 35/1.8. The D700 was a tank.
    • I liked the large, bright, what you see is what you will get view of the G1/GH1 better than the smaller view of the D5000
    • I liked the implementation of the articulated LCD, and the fact that "live view" focus is light years faster than that of the Nikons
    • I liked that AF points are evenly distributed throughout the frame and that the camera will meter according to faces detected if I have it set to do that (I thought FD was a gimmick, but it is very handy for getting the exposure correct without hassle)
    • I liked the Pana 20 more than I like the Nikon 35/1.8
    • I liked the video performance
    • The ability to use a huge number of adapted lenses for still and video appealed to me
    • I was able to carry a body, ultrawide zoom, normal, tele, and flash in a medium sized bag
    I'm sure that, if I took a few more minutes, other reasons would spring to mind, but those were some of the reasons I stuck with MFT.

    Edit -> Oops - I just realized that I am basically off topic here :blush:. I thought the question was more of "Why did you buy MFT", as opposed to why I chose my particular MFT bodies (GH1 and G1). Anyway, I'm not going to go back and delete all of the above, but will quickly address the question at hand...

    I chose my GH1 at the time because I wanted a built-in EVF (limiting my choices at the time to GH1 and G1), and I liked the idea of having video and a multi-aspect ratio sensor, though those two features were distant, secondary considerations.

    I later got a G1 as a second body because my dad stopped using his in favor of a Canon 5D II and gave it to me. Between the two (G1 and GH1), I mostly use the GH1 because it goes that little bit wider in 16:9 aspect ratio, but I find that there is otherwise not much to my decision which body to use on a given day.
  7. steve

    steve Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2010
    Havertown, PA
    I came to micro four thirds very recently. I was looking for a compact camera for those times that I didn't want to carry around my DSLR kit. I was reluctant to purchase the Canon G11 or S90 or the Panasonic LX3 because of the unlimited DOF of those cameras. In my internet research I stumbled upon the E-P1 and GF1. Having read several reviews of each camera, I chose the GF1. I am sure the E-P1 is a great camera, but the GF1 boasted faster AF and a built in flash. I was lucky to find a GF1 available with the 20mm 1.7 lens last week and have been enjoying it ever since. I'm not ready to abandon my 5Dmk ii just yet; people pay me money to see me lug that thing around. But the GF1 is alot of fun and I can't seem to put it down.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. nTo

    nTo Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 28, 2009
    Dear Bill & all,

    For me...the GF-1 is a long awaited answer...i was so happy that this kind of camera finally came along...

    I believe great pictures are produced from the skill and effort of the photographer instead of the capabilities of the camera...even with only pocket cameras i was ambitious of getting a 'cool' shot......i think when you make great pictures using only a simple camera you will get more self-satisfaction...

    I always love photography...but with GF-1 is my first time using a system camera...
    DSLRs never looked appealing to me (i prefer high-end pockets)...and yet Leica is way beyond my budget...

    in my country, a DSLR is relatively a luxury item...and sometimes (i feel) carrying it around is a bit of a showing-off...i wished there was a 'compact-low-profiled' camera with great capabilities...because if i use a normal dslr, even if i make nice photos, the bulkiness would make an impression that the quality of the picture was came from the camere instead of from my efforts...

    I think the m4/3 concept is a brilliant innovation...something that i had been waiting for..(answering my needs)
    I am a big fan of this system...and especially GF-1..because it is what i owned...(prefer it to oly's pens becauce of the AF speed)...

    GF-1 is a camera that fits my needs for a 'low-profile' camera...
    when you use it, people won't notice that it is a serious camera..(although it is one seriously crazy camera!)....

    Thank you Panasonic & Olympus! Hope you both will grab some more market share! ^_^

    * In the end...how we love the camera is much more important than how good the camera really is...

    • Like Like x 3
  9. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Mu-43 Veteran

    My E-P2 w 17mm f2.8 should arrive tomorrow, here are the primary reasons it was my choice. First, I don't want to spend a lot of time processing raw files. I read a lot about how wonderful the jpegs are right out of the camera. Next was the in-body stabilization, its an option I want no matter what lens is on the camera. Finally, it has a similar size and shape of my beloved Hexar AF. I carried that camera everywhere, always on a wrist strap never in a pocket. Thats it in a nutshell.....

    Opps, that was why I picked the E-P2 not m43... The draw to m43 is the good image quality in a small package, and fun photography.....
    • Like Like x 2
  10. texascbx

    texascbx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    I bought my G1 to replace my aging Panasonic FZ50. Going from the FZ50 with it's 10Mp 12X internal zoom to the 12Mp G1 and the 14-200mm lens was as easy a transition as it gets. The old FZ50 lives on in my daughters hands now. I was hoping Panasonic would upgrade the FZ50 to the FZ60, but I guess there is no incentive for that so when I saw the upgrade was going to be the small sensor FZ35, I got a G1 with both lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I felt the desire to get back into photography, use digital and have more control when I wanted it... As an old OM-1 user, who is way out of practice, the idea of another Olympus made my heart beat faster. "Small is beautiful" plays a very big role for me because I dislike carrying bulky items. After reading hither and yon, but especially on The Online Photographer I was pretty hooked...from there I came here, and eventually the rest will be history.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Yves D.

    Yves D. Guest

    Prior to my GF1 I had a Nikon D80 and a bunch of related gear. Frankly I was fed-up lugging a backpack of gear around to family events, days out with the kids etc. etc. I wanted to simplify and lighten the load (literally).
    Most importantly just feels better and way more suited to my way of taking pictures.


    P.S. it's a copy/paste from Bullfrog response. It's suits me fine.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Dad3*3

    Dad3*3 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 21, 2010
    Just found this site from a post on FM and glad I did.

    I had been looking at the offerings available in micro 4/3rds for a while thinking that would be the way to go for a light weight small size package with decent IQ for all those times that I didn't want to drag out the big stuff. I had a G10 that I bought from Streetshooter slightly used and although I liked it, the limitations on IQ and that shutter lag left me wanting more. I thought about selling the G10 and taking the plunge as I couldn't justify keeping both systems.

    As luck would have it, one day my G10 along with a small camera bag with a few other goodies was stolen out of my car. Of course I wasn't happy about losing the gear to some low life but when I finally gave up hope of getting the gear back I thought about getting the E-P1 and took the plunge.

    Instantly a fan, I added a OLY FL-36 flash, a Panasonic 14-140 and a few Manual Focus lenses. I just picked up an E-P2 and will probably sell the E-P1. Although the two models are almost identical in features, I do like the Electronic Viewfinder for the Manual Focus stuff, no need to enlarge or zoom in to focus and reminds me of my old rangefinders of 35 years ago. Also picked up the 17 f2.8 but now wondering if the 20 1.7 wouldn't have been a better choice.

    One small part of me is thankful to that Low Life that stole my G10 as it gave me the excuse to make the move.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dad3*3, now that is definitely an interesting twist of fate/luck that brought you to your E-P1 and now the E-P2! I think it might be one for the record books.:biggrin:

    Glad you found your way here. Take a look around, the site is evolving into a really good community. I'm sure that later on and tomorrow there'll be more members around to say hello and more. Thanks for taking the time to register and post!
  15. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Welcome Dad3*3,

    I had a scan of a FM thread yesterday, where one or two posters had a good old chuckle about m4/3rds not being capable of 3d Zeiss image quality or something like that... how do you feel about image quality of your E-P1 and E-P2?

    Before the 20mm f1.7 became available, I was relying on my 4/3rds adapter and 4/3rds SHG lenses to get the image quality I want... the 20 was a godsend! Looking forward to the couple of wideangle primes and the fast 50mm prime which are due this year, but quite happy now with the 20mm f1.7, mZD 14-42 and legacy lenses.


  16. bebrox

    bebrox Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 29, 2009
    Looking for that little bit more...

    I bought the LX3 in November 2008 and used it for a winter trip to Paris knowing the the low-light capabilities would come into 'their own'. I loved the photographs it produced but was looking for that little bit more in a photo especially portrait shots of my family and friends, I didn't know what it was at first.

    I looked at photo's taken of my daughter using my Pentax SFX (sold on ebay after I bought my first digicam a Pentax Optio S) and saw the missing something special...Bokeh. Hmmm how to achieve this with the LX3, get close and personal, full zoom, make sure the background is a distance away and click. This did not satisfy, too much hard work. How about post processing? I used 'The Gimp' and masked the outline of an area then gaussian blurred...it worked but was too false and too much like hard work.

    I then spent time studying DLSR's after looking into 'Bridge Cameras' and decided that the DLSR was the only sure way of getting good Bokeh and being able to control it.

    I love Panasonic cameras and set about looking in detail at the new G1, could it be possible to achieve Bokeh using the 45-200mm, and all in a smaller camera body...yes indeed.

    After much deliberation looking a dpreview and flickr galleries show-casing the 45-200 on the G1 I decided to hunt one down to hold it.

    I found one in Jessops in Glasgow, it looked really good in the display cabinet next to the much bigger Canon/Olympus/Nikon cameras. In fact I decided that it was a beautiful object, the shop assistant fished it out of the cabinet and let me test it...typical blokey thing...it was nice and solid, the buttons etc felt good. I put my eye to the EVF and wow it was amazing. Here was the camera I had been looking for. Total control and enough extras to help go deeper into photography, the 14-45mm lens was lovely.

    I managed to get a really good deal from mathersoflancashire in June of last year...twin kit for £599, 24 hours later the price was up to £649 after it was advertised on national TV.

    So in summary, I was looking for a DSLR type body as I love to be able to hold a camera like my old 35mm Pentax SFX and even older 35mm Pentax Spotmatic (used at Art College in the very early 80's), I need a VF as it is better for framing and helps me hold the camera steady, and I required use of more lenses.

    For me the G1 has it all (sans video which is not a requirement).

    The EVF is the bomb, during the summer I was able to preview/delete photos whilst on the beach where looking into the LCD screen was very difficult, my friends love looking through the EVF to see the shots that have been taken.

    I have yet to get my 20mm pancake to finish my kit...
    • Like Like x 1
  17. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    ive been waiting for a dslr quality sensor in a compact form and the ep1 was it

    the legacy lens usability and beautiful design were icing on the cake , when the gf1 came out i got that too ,

    both machines are great........ not the equal of each other, which make for interesting
    pauses and chin scratching when choosing which machine to take with me for the day
  18. Pieter

    Pieter New to Mu-43

    Jan 22, 2010
    Richmond, B.C.
    I'd been using an Oly C5050 for 5 years and was holding off to buy an ILDC because I found I was using the vari-angle aspect of the C5050 LCD panel about 50% of the time. When DSLRs first started to become available with live-view and various forms of non-fixed LCD panels my interest was piqued but I felt the extra step to switch to live-view from the TTL view seemed cumbersome. Then, when I first saw the preliminary information on the m4/3 specs and ultimately the initial details on the G1 system I said "Hallelujah, just what I'd been looking for!"

    I purchased my complete G1 kit with the 2 lenses in December '08 and have shot well in excess of 4000 images with the camera. I no longer 'go shooting' the way I used to in my 20's and 30's, too many other things demanding of my time, I take an awful lot of pix around my yard, seeing as I'm an avid gardener. My wife and I are both owners of Rollei SL35 systems and I was very happy to see someone has finally produced adapters which will allow me to use my range of Zeiss lenses and most importantly, also use my set of extension tubes with those lenses for macro photography.

    While I frequent various other photography forums and make very infrequent contributions, now finding a dedicated m4/3 forum is nice. I'll make a point of periodically posting some images, even though they may be more in the snapshot than the creative category, but, WTH, as long as you're having fun and can share it other photo nuts....

    Pieter Klapwijk, Richmond, B.C.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    1. My FZ3 focus motor was going bad. I needed a new camera with good IQ
    2. I hike alot, needed portability
    3. I like liveview. I didn't like how PDAF systems work.
    4. I like long telephoto lenses, but did not want to have to carry a canon around with me everywhere. MFT makes the lenses smaller
    5. IQ was almost as good as APSC
    6. Higher dynamic range
  20. sinophilia

    sinophilia Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2010
    Verona, Italy
    I was looking for a replacement for my Panasonic TZ3 because I wasn't happy with it as I had been with my glorious (but so terribly slow!) Nikon Coolpix 5400. I was on the verge of buying a Canon G11... when I happened to read about micro4/3 sensors and cameras. A couple of days later (December 10) I placed my order for a GF1 + 14-45 kit. Nine times the area of the TZ3's sensor! Of course the IQ blew me away and since then I also got the 20mm and the 45-200, going back completely to the world of interchangeable lens/but not so pocketable cameras that I had known with my old film SLR ten years ago.

    I fell in love with the form factor, the relative portability, the rangefinder look. And then it struck me how everybody has a DSLR nowadays - so I might well avoid buying one! I chose the GF1 over the EP1 mainly because I don't like the look of the latter (I know I'm quite alone here!). The very first day I was a bit confused - I thought, did I really want this kind of weight and bulk, and having to choose the lens, and learning again about apertures etc.? But then it was just so easy to learn how to use it. It became my camera in no time.
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