Why M43 over DSLR

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by D7k1, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    The M43 difference for me.

    I have two m43 setups – EP5/Pany 14 with GWC1/Sigma 30/Oly 75-300 II and Gx8/7.5/12-35/PL100-400 on order. My EP5 is my “always with me kit” and with a second Gx8 and the PL100-400 ordered the Gx8 kit is my “serious” kit.

    I am getting ready for a trip to photograph snakes in S. California and Arizona for a week. About six years ago I took my D200 and a Tamron 90 in a small LowPro bag with the weather/sand cover. I’ve just packed my EP5 kit including 3 batteries and 3 SD cards in the same bag. So basically I will have 11mm to 300mm (EFov 22-600) covered. I’ll have any urban stuff or landscape stuff covered with the 14 and 30 and critters with the 75-300 (taking a Hoya 2 element +10 close-up filter for the Sigma).

    One day when Olympus has 4K I’ll buy the PenF(2/3) to replace the EP5 for video. But the key here, is that entire kit weighs maybe 3 pounds or so and I have a complete system which I can carry for miles at my age. There is no other system that could pack such imaging strength into such a small area.

    M43 has done one thing that no other system was able to do, I have hit “good enough” and like my D200 I expect everything but perhaps the EP5 as 4k video is important to last for 6 to 7 years. Maybe not a forever kit but certainly a “good enough” for what I need.
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  2. DriftlessRider

    DriftlessRider Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 4, 2016
    Fountain City, WI
    Real Name:
    As I shopped around for my first "real" camera I hit upon my MFT over the DLSRs I was considering for:
    1. Size (I take a lot of pictures while traveling on motorcycle)
    2. Cost ($300 for a E-PL6 with a kit lens ... come on, that's terrific)
    3. Retro-coolness look
    There were other cameras that had better numbers in a side-by-side comparison, but ultimately lost on the above three factors. And looking around at blogs and this site, it is obvious that the camera is way more capable than I am of taking great pictures. It will exceed my abilities for many years.

    Wish it were more weather-proof, and I wish it had an extra dial or two on the body to program, but not enough that I would have spent more money for it. I have zero buyers remorse :)
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  3. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Real Name:
    For me, it was
    - way more than "good enough",
    - somewhat smaller than the typical DSLR
    - for the price, my original G3 had loads more "extra" features like autobracketing etc that a comparably priced consumer DSLR did not have
    - It had a kind've "21st century vibe" compared to DSLRs (yeah - I know, total BS, no need to tell me...)
    - It appealed to my contrarian side - same reason why I used to drive a Lexus IS200 instead of the 90% of the "sports saloon" crowd who all drove BMW 3 series cos every fule kno it's the "best car in the world" (like the old adage "no-one was ever fired for buying IBM")

    Who am I trying to kid - nobody can ever truly justify these kinds of buying decisions, cos there's so much emotion/heart in there as well as logic/head.

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  4. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 25, 2014
    Real Name:
    Very true. I went for :mu43: in the beginning purely for size/gestalt reasons. However, I stick with it because it's a potent system that allows me to travel light without sacrificing quality in any meaningful way. I can carry a whole system in a small bag that weighs maybe five pounds, or six if I bring a second body, and that's everything included (of which some things stay behind during the day - chargers and whatnot ...). Even if some APS-C setups available to me manage slightly better IQ, it's not really decisive in most situations, whereas the fact that I can have everything I need at hand without ruining my back definitely is.

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  5. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    1) Lots of good lenses, and a few great ones
    2) Pretty good sensor in bodies that tend to be fast and responsive shooters
    3) Very versatile system that does almost everything well, and couple things great
    4) The bigger a camera is, the less likely I am to take it out. Back at the end of the film days I left my Nikon kit at home and did a 3 month Asia trip with a Yashica T4 Super D (A fixed lens point a shoot with a great Zeiss 35mm tessar). That pretty much sealed the deal for me with small cameras and prime lenses.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
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  6. bjurasz

    bjurasz Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 10, 2014
    Cedar Park
    For me it was nerve damage making the larger kits harder to deal with. 10 years ago I was shooting with a 1D Mark II and a 300/2.8. Can't really do that today for long. (But I do miss that combination, it was pure magic.) When I switched to m43 I absolutely had to have an EVf because I cannot tolerate using the LCD to shoot from. I have been very, very impressed with my E-M10. Surprisingly so. If I was shooting motorsports for a living would I still want a Canon dSLR system? Most likely. But for what I'm doing the m43 system was an eye opener to me. I don't feel the need to go back.
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  7. Johbremat

    Johbremat Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 5, 2013
    IBIS and Olympus' legacy of great glass convinced me. That, and their designing of lenses for the sensor rather than vice-versa.
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  8. GnedTheGnome

    GnedTheGnome Mu-43 Regular

    For me it was 3 things:

    1. Size/weight, particularly of the lenses. Depending upon the models you are looking at, the bodies may not be much different.

    2. Price to quality ratio of the lenses. In FF you tend to have to choose between excellent quality, *or* affordability. Where as, in m43, almost all the lenses are excellent quality, including some very affordable ones.

    3. Cool retro design. OK, I admit this is not a logical reason. But, for me, there is a certain pleasure in picking up an attractive, all-metal, well-crafted camera, that is missing when I use one of those bulky, plasticky marshmallows that pass for a camera today. Now, if we could only get someone to resurect a digital version of the Beau Brownie: :thumbup:[​IMG]
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  9. n3eg

    n3eg Mu-43 Regular

    For me, it was size, size, weight, format familiarity (Pentax Auto 110 in 1981), and lens adaptability. Did I mention size?
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Size and lens options. Although I freely admit I missed my FF now and then, the 5DII hardly ever left the house with me after I got the E-M5; the Sony A7r solved that for me, although I don't think I'm likely to ever own real telephotos for it because of bulk.

    What I really like abou MFT is that it's a mature, responsive system that allows tiny (eg a P20 on a smaller body) or larger but extremely high quality (E-m1 and the 150/2.0) while still retaining relative compactness. I do a lot of my photography while traveling, and after a long trip with almost 20lbs of DSLR stuff I decided I wanted a change. Now I have more range And an underwater setup in about half the weight.
  11. Krigskoen

    Krigskoen Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2015
    I don't know if it's BS. Whenever i try a DSLR now, I always feel like I'm holding some kind of outdated device, like "this is what people used before xx was developed, can you believe it?".
    It just feels too weird to have that clunky and noisy mirror jumping around inside, which doesn't even give you a 100% view of what you're seeing through the viewfinder (at least not the cheap and mid-range ones). I prefer a 100% WYSIWYG view overlaid with any info I wish for, along with some nifty night vision ;)
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  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I know what you mean. I recently used a D610 and had exactly the same impression. It felt old fashioned in comparison to my E-M1.
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  13. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Real Name:
    Weight, and nothing else started me down the OLY road from Canon. Bad shoulders and knees moved the decision quickly. I would have loved a Canon 7D the same size as my original 5.
  14. srhphoto

    srhphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 26, 2012
    Size + weight (particularly the lenses) + m4/3 IQ is way more than good enough for pretty much every application I would want to use it for. I also love the ergonomics and functionality of my Panasonic GX8 and previous bodies (G2, GH2, G6 and GX7). They just 'get out of the way' if that makes sense when I'm using them allowing me to fully concentrate on what I am trying to capture.
  15. JensM

    JensM Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 6, 2016
    Oslo(ish), Norway
    Real Name:
    As screename
    I seem to find myself in good company here, as the reasoning for why, resonates soundly with my own reasons for the change. Getting one of the GX7s tomorrow (one of the last 5 available new over here, not counting dealer stock), and am currently offloading an inherited Canon System and my Pentax K7, which where bought for its "small size", when it came out, and plowing the gains into M43 stuff. :)
  16. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 2, 2012
    The greatest advantage of M43 over DSLR is the EVF. No auto focus system works to my satisfaction,despite all the claims,. They do work well on big subjects like buildings and even people, but fall down miserably for eye shots of birds or animals. With DSLR you have to do back screen manual focusing which is very clumsy. With the OLY EM--1 and others you pop into manual node and focus with EVF on magnified view in perfect detail. Really, few people mention this. I don't care about weight or size too much,and I'm a skinny old guy. I always carry both cameras.
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  17. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I just liked all the amazing and small prime lenses and zooms and more accurate AF. The fact that image quality has not suffered at all (vs. a Canon APS-C system) is the icing on the cake.
  18. DWS

    DWS Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 6, 2014
    Eventually, my wedding days Nikon boat anchors/attracted glass wore me down.
  19. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2016
    I'm kind of new here, so pardon my question, but by "back screen manual focusing" do you mean focusing using the DSLR's LCD screen? Can you not focus manually via the DSLR viewfinder (and magnified)? I'm at work but I'll have to try that on my Pentax DSLRs (I thought I could do that)?
  20. I hear a lot of people mentioning the cool factor and the retro look, and then stating that's not a good or valid reason...well, I disagree. How often do we buy clothes based only on quality and functionality with no regard for style or how they make us feel? I never had the love for my DSLR that I do for my E-P1's (yeah, I need to upgrade). Yeah, whether anyone else thinks I look cool with my Pen, I feel stylish and that makes me carry it and use it more. All the other pluses mentioned here I agree with. I have the best kit I have ever had in 30+ years of pro shooting and enjoy it more. I wouldn't go back to a DSLR.
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