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"Why back to m43?"

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dixeyk, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    A friend of mine just asked me this upon seeing that I had an Olympus E-M10 in hand rather than my more customary Fuji or Sony body. I used to shoot m43 years ago but had moved on to APS-C cameras and not really every looked back. That got me thinking. Why did I choose to to buy another m43 camera? I prefer the image quality of APS-C cameras by a significant margin. I'm not crazy about Olympus colors or JPEGs and I don't like Olympus lenses all that much. So, why the heck did I choose to buy m43 let alone an Olympus camera?

    Well, I think it boils down to just a few things...

    I liked the way the E-M10 felt in hand. It fit comfortably and everything was where I wanted it to be. Of course this is something that will be different for each person. For instance I liked the E-M10 and E-M5 but not the E-M10 II.

    I really like Panasonic lenses. I like how small they are and most of all I like that a number of them can focus reasonably closely. The P20/1.7 focuses down to about 8" and the new P42.5/1.7 focuses to about 10". That's huge for me. I like to get close when I shoot. I know folks LOVE the O45/1.8 and it does have terrific IQ but the minimum focus distance is almost 20" and when I had one that drove me absolutely bonkers. With the P14/2,5, P20/1.7 and P42.5/1.7 I could put together a classic 28, 40, 90 set of focal lengths and all of them would fit into about the same amount of space than as my old Fuji 18-55 (and all close focus to boot).

    Finally, on the whole m43 gear is pretty affordable, this is due in part to having a lot more bodies and lenses available but no matter what the reason I can manage to indulge my habit on a budget. There are definitely trade-offs but IMHO you get more than you give up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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  2. specialagenttuna

    specialagenttuna Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Apr 19, 2013
    I just went back to m43 too. I picked up a GX8 and a few lenses. I sold my em10 back when a7s came out thinking full frame would make me happier since I love my FF Nikon cameras. The focus was crap and lenses were large (completely removing the benefits of a tiny body). I think I liked my em10 and 12-40mm combo better than the gx8 and 12-35mm but I really haven't had a chance to shoot much yet. If Olympus had 4k (yes I have a 4k screen before someone complains that NO ONE needs 4k) I'd have gone back with them but I don't think I'll go wrong with either brand. The size difference is amazing compared to both FF and aps-c.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
     
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  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    FWIW I always preferred Panasonic bodies when I shot m43 before. It wasn't so much that I thought one was better than another, I really liked that Panasonic cameras had thumb wheels which at the time Olympus did not. This time around I simply liked the way the E-M10 felt. I think any of the current crop of m43 bodies are good.

    I think the real star of m43 is the lenses. They are amazingly compact and quite affordable. While shooting Sony and Fuji there were so many times I wished there was an equivalent to the P20/1.7 in those mounts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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  4. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi
    its always good to hear these sorts of stories.
    I get tired of the "its because of the amazingness" of (what amounts to newbies) excited folks when as always its about a rational compromise between a number of things.

    Curiously some of my personal favourites with a digital have come from my 20D during a period when I was struggling with stuff like
    • corrupted files (turned out to be a door switch which ceases writing instantly when triggered)
    • back focus
    • front focus
    • my personal struggle to come to terms with my existing EOS lenses on 1.6 factor

    right now I'm pretty satisfied with the compromises but then I've only got a minor investment in m43 now days (in terms of money that is)

    {from next post}
    something I find interesting is just how well Panasonic nailed it in the beginning. The featureset of the G1, GF-1 and GH-1 as well as the initial pancake lenses for the GF (14 and 20) are just remarkable.

    Its interesting that when the Pen series was released (his majesty) KingWang sites like DPReview dissed the G1 as being a "faux SLR" and praised the genious of the Pen EP1 ... in the fullness of time the OMD developed with a better EVF and they stopped calling it a Faux Prism as they had done on the Panasonic range. That there is now a tilt swivel design on the latest pen rear screen sings out to me that Oly are observing that Pana had the format needs nailed right from 2009
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I shot the G2 for years and thought it was terrific. Loved the articulating screen. I think Olympus gets most of credit for innovation in m43 but I look at things like the new P42.5/1.7 and think that Panasonic really does a lot of things right.
     
  6. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    One doesn't need a 4K monitor to realize the benefits of 4K. A lot of times it comes with reduction in moire, gives the user the ability to zoom, pan, slide, or crop in post, and it gives a much sharper HD image when rendered in 1080p (much like how a 64MP image would look much better down-res'd to 16MP compared to a native 16MP image).

    4K isn't some gimmick like 3D. It's legit, and it's here to stay.
     
  7. specialagenttuna

    specialagenttuna Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Apr 19, 2013
    I agree completely but so often people just want to complain about the space it takes and "no one even has a 4k TV" always comes up as if 4k is something to get offended about. It should be less of an argument as it becomes more common in-camera as opposed to the 4k HDMI feed to external recorder. A lot of people disregard the benefits of 4k downsampled to 1080 also.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
     
  8. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    People who dismiss 4K are those who don't shoot any video. Anyone who shoots video knows the benefit of 4K, and it truly is fantastic. Yes, it takes up more memory, but SD cards are pretty cheap, and IMO the benefits outweigh the costs.

    I'm looking to pick up a 4K action cam next. I don't like the footage out of the GP H4B, as Sony's X1000V absolutely kills it in terms of IQ, but the interface is your typical Sony disaster. Sony just announced a new AS50 action cam that solves all of the issues with the X100V, but it only shoots 1080p 60fps, so I'll wait until they update the X1000V.
     
  9. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    I am satisfied with driving a car that isn't the absolute best, and don't get me (or my wife) going about my clothing or shoes :eek: Very few agree on which vehicle or clothing brand is the absolute best anyway. So why would I be seeking the ultimate in imaging gear for shooting my family, my hikes, my flowers? Having used APSc, :mu43: 1" and smaller sensors (and FF-film) I have a feel as to what it takes for subject isolation that looks reasonable (to my tastes) as well as how much I'm willing to carry around to capture light. For me 1" sensors are just enough but diffraction is too near; :mu43: does the job fine, APSc a bit better (but weight is rising even without f/2.8 lenses) and I need nothing that 36×24 offers. Anyone who tells me otherwise is .. well.. not me :)

    I really like the promise of 4k but probably won't make anything of it for a few years yet. In the early 90s I carried SLR and camcorder into the wilderness more than once, and it's nice to know those days are long past! Once I incorporate video into my typical shooting routines I will hop onto the 4k baton and not look back.
     
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  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    For me, given that Panasonic had the first cameras out its hard to make that call.
    G1 - 12th Sept 2008
    GH-1 3rd March 2009
    both with excellent EVF and tilt swivel screens...
    EP1 16th June 2009 (after the long wait, I don't recall anything innovative in it)
    GF-1 2nd Sept 2009

    but credit goes to Olympus for making it seem like that they were the innovators.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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  11. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Panasonic had the first m43 camera, Panasonic had (and still has) the excellent video capabilities, starting with the hacked GH2, Panasonic introduced the first f/2.8 lenses, YEARS before Olympus did, Panasonic was the first to bring a 20MP sensor to market, etc.

    But like you said, Olympus seems to get more credit. Granted, their IBIS is amazing, they have the hi-res mode (thanks to their IBIS), but still...
     
  12. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Olympus - 5-axis IBIS, high res, focus bracketing, live time/bulb/composite, pseudo macro, function button and weather sealing on their pro lenses, manual focus clutch, better implemented eye detect AF, PDAF, EFC for shutter shock, the venerable 45mm, EE-1 dot sight, f/1.8 fisheye.

    Panasonic - sub f/1.8 AF primes, decent pancakes, OIS, more reasonably sized f/2.8 lenses, aperture ring, full time touch-pad AF control, fine single point AF, DFD, everything video related, usable custom presets, silent shutter, also recall how long it was before there was any real alternative to the PL25.

    I have an almost 50/50 mixture of bodies and lenses from both vendors. Both have their merits and continue to innovate.
     
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  13. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    The GH2 and video brought me here, but the camera didn't suit my needs for still images. Ironic that the GH1 actually had better still image quality. So for the past several years I've used the GH2 for the occasional video project while I used other cameras for stills. But I had a trio of primes (P14/2.5, P20/1.7, and O45/1.8) gathering dust, so instead of selling them I sprung for a used GM1. I've only had it for a couple of days but I'm pretty pleased. Not only that, but I'm a better photographer than I was 5 years ago and in better control of the tools and the light.
     
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  14. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi
    interesting, have occasionally thought of getting a GH2 but the specs never made a compelling case (when $$$ are also factored), and I mainly do stills with my GH1. So that's helpful. I take into places where its gonna get banged and injured, but as its worth essentially nothing I have nothing to lose :)

    I like the way you think ;-)

    I accidentally bought a 20f1.7 cheap, and so rather than sell it I bought a used GF1 for $50 to go with it ... then a cheap 14 came up ... :)
     
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  15. aphasiac

    aphasiac Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Oct 18, 2015
    Taiwan
    Did you own the Fujix 35mm 1.4? It's very affordable and sharp, I'd say that's the fuji P20/1.7. It's not as compact though, and I guess it doesn't focus as closely? That lens is actually tempting me to Fuji..

    By the way, I agree p20/1.7 is killer. I used to use it with EPL5, makes a tiny compact pocket camera that you can shoot all day and night (EPL5 has IBIS and tilt screen, which to me makes it a better option than the GM1 or GM5).
     
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I also got into m4/3 because size, weight, price.

    I shoot Nikon FX for events. But when my wife and I were getting ready for a little vacation I realized the smallest kit I could put together started with a D700 and 28-105 AF-D. So I picked up an E-PM1 kit that was smaller and lighter than the 28-105 alone. From there I was hooked.
     
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  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I did have the Fuji XF35 and it is a terrific lens. The P20 is very similar. The XF35 is bigger, more expensive (around $350 used), slower to AF and MFD is a bit longer at around 12". It's a terrific lens and the rendering is lovely. I'd put it a bit ahead of the PL25/1.4. I hear the XF35/2 is a bit sharper than the 35/1.4. I have to admit I REALLY liked the fact that it had an aperture ring on the lens body. Despite all of that I still think that for me the P20 is just a better fit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
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  18. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    484
    May 2, 2012
    I was almost giving up on M43. Many friends were using the Sony Alpha series and many were happy with the cheap A6000. Those camera's are amazing and still smaller than the full size dslr world.

    I'm deep into the full frame Canon world and get incredible results for personal and wedding/events work.

    With my limited lenses I purchased I did use my M43 from time to time. The inexpensive 14 f/2.5, PL25 f/1.4 and 14-140 worked for my E-M5 and Gh3 bodies. I just recently gave me virtually never used E-M5 to my 9yrs old daughter so I wanted to get her a smaller zoom. I dumped the 14-140mm and purchased a mint used 14-45mm panny kit lens and it shocked me in how much better IQ it produced. Days later I went to my favourite Camera store and decided to buy a 12-35mm for the heck of it. Again I was thinking "ohhh my......"

    I liked the image quality of the 14mm and 25mm . I use both zooms an primes equally as much in my events work. Now that I have purchased a 12-35mm I was astonished how similar it is to a high quality constant aperture zoom in the Canon "crop sensor" world.

    If I still do not get tempted into buying a small form factor Sony A7Rmk2 I may just buy a new GH4 or GX8 and call it a day for a versatile smaller system. I will be honest and say i am still very tempted to purchase an inexpensive A6000 and buy a couple of fast primes too. I'm all about experimenting. I'm just finding the 12-35mm was an extreme eye opener in the true potential of M43. im just waiting for more technological advances in the noise control in the cmos sensor design. Even the new sensor in the Gx8 is still far from what I want in noise control however it will be good enough for my demands in a small camera. I will be using the M43 for casual purposes and family video documentation with a video rig I'v setup.

    The GX8 is definitely a body I'm looking at the moment. I'm really wanting newer AF system of the DFD from panny or the hybrid AF system of the oly E-M1.
     
  19. PhilippePASCAL

    PhilippePASCAL Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Jan 21, 2015
    It is funny, because some arguments/experiences here resonate inside me ;)
    I was thinking about an used old NEX to put a focal reducer and get FF-like focal with legacy/manual lenses.
    But on the other side, i love my E-M10/P20/1.7 combination. I shot that at 2500 ISO in a church (natural light only) and changed my mind about switching :

    When i was tweaking DxO tests, i realized M43 16MP sensor get the same specs than a 10 years older FF sensor...apart the size :biggrin:
    When ppl where taking pictures with those 10 years old FF sensors, no one complained about lack of dynamic, ISO noise and such.
    It was "state of the art". You know what i mean ? :2thumbs:
    Another test i done was to compare the same year/same techno Sony sensors, in M43, APS-C and FF. It was a simple scheme :
    FF to APS-C : you loose 1 stop dynamic, 1 stop ISO and 1 bit color depth (less important factor, because already enough by a large margin).
    APS-C to M43 : same
    I know what i loose, IQ wise. And i know what i gain on other points. There is no perfect choice. Just a compromise.

    May be i will still buy an old NEX. But probably NOT with Sony/third party E-mount lenses. Only wide angle/standard legacy with a cheap focal reducer.
    I dream more about an E-M,1 to get phase detection AF and better continuous AF with native telephoto ;)
     
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