Consider Moving to Micro 4/3

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MrGIS, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. MrGIS, Sep 11, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2010
    Ontario Canada
    I am a Canon DSLR crop shooter and am considering moving to the Micro Four Thirds world.

    Going from:

    15-85 3.5-5.6 EF-S
    70-200 L
    28mm 1.8
    Sigma Flash

    To start I am consider moving to:

    Panansonic DMC-GX7 (late Sept Release)
    Lumix G 14mm 2.5
    Lumix G VARIO 14-140mm 3.5-5.6 (also Sept Release)

    I'm curious how many of you out there have made a similar move and what your experience has been. Any feedback you can offer would be appreciated. No haters please, informed opinions only.

  2. macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I didn't move to micro 4/3, but I did buy a Panasonic GH2 and owned it for a few months. I returned it because it was too noisy and I prefer less DOF. I currently shoot Pentax APS-C and previously shot medium format digital and a Nikon APS-C. I'm happy with the Pentax K5 and K-01. They have the best APS-C image quality that I've seen. Haven't seen the latest Nikon 24 MP, but I wouldn't expect it to be significantly better.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    I've recently added an Nikon V1 to my APS-C cameras and I find that I carry my small (but of course small-sensored) csc with me when my larger camera would be impractical.

    I am not obsessed with sharpness, but I do like images with a good aesthetic, for me that generally means high dynamic range, nice rendering (from the lens) and good colour or tonality. The V1 doesn't quite match my larger camera but I am still very much the limiting quantity and I find myself taking photographs (for example of insects I stumble across) which I would otherwise have missed (because my camera would have been at home).

    I guess what I am saying is - the move might make sense, but it really depends what you shoot and your individual circumstances.
  4. macrumors demi-god


    Apr 27, 2011
    Before buying my Nex-7 I considered micro 4/3 cameras but decided I wanted the size and format of the APC-C sensor. I wanted mirrorless and liked the options on the Sony over the various M 4/3 models I was considering.
  5. macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2008
    There are some really nice smaller sensor cameras out there and yes I made the change over. While not quite a 4/3 camera it is a smaller sensor and I speak of the Fuji X series of cameras.

    Of note - X100s, X Pro1 and X E-1. The latter two have interchangeable lenses and a new model just came out without any eye piece (just the LCD on the back) X-M1. Obviously I am a fan but I suggest you may want to read up on this camera, the Olympus and Sony counterparts as well.

    There are some positives and minuses with these cameras and I have found that the Fuji X-E1 for me is ideal. These are not cheap outfit cameras but amazing results for a 16.3 mpixel camera.

    Hope you find what works best for you and highly suggest you check out DPreview's site and also try out the camera(s) at your local camera store to see if your selection is ergonomic for your taste, ease of menu and handling.
  6. macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    GH2 user it more for short films but it has also handled my family photography fine.

    I also picked up a used PEN E-P1 for my wife. It's great that we can share lenses yet she still gets to have small camera not much larger than a point-and-shoot. Especially with one of the pancakes on there...

    I have the 14mm f/2.5 and I like it. Some reviews are harsh on it and the 20mm pancake gets much better love. I went with the 25mm f/1.4 and the 14mm.

    What I love most about m4/3 is the ability to use most other lenses with inexpensive adapters.

    The GX7 looks great. Early reviews said the IBIS may not be as good as Oly's. New OM-D was just announced also, so check that out.

    As others have said, there are tons of options in the mirrorless world. Don't forget ergonomics--your best bet may be to go to a store and handle some cameras and see which you like best.

    As for sensor size....I have no problems getting shallow DOF on my GH2 with the 25mm f/1.4 or my Nikon 50mm f/1.8. Francis Ford Coppola pick the GH2's video quality over $300,000 cameras in a shootout. That's enough for me...
  7. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2011
    Check out the forum at
    There are a number of folks who have made the switch. I have a Pen mini. I like it, but wish I had a current generation Olympis with that nice Sony sensor. Look at the em-5. There are good deals to be found now that it's a bit older.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    Oly User

    Have done the Canon APSc thing for years, and now happy to be rolling with an E-PL5. The photos are amazing, and the whole system is much more portable than my Canon stuff ever was. Many people focus on the camera sizes, which both Nikon & Canon are shrinking, but the reduces lens bulk is key. If you do go MFT, do look into the Oly 45/1.8... it's awesome glass and good for 80% of the stuff I shoot.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2011
    Results from the 75mm are stunning, too. The strength of m4/3 is the lens selection. They are not cheap, but the 25, 45, 60 macro and 75 are fantastic lenses. Folks love the 20, but focus speed is an issue.

    Something else to consider: autofocus. SAF is fantastic, continuous not so much, save for perhaps the new e-m1, which will have on sensor PDAF.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2012
    Kent, UK
    Me too!

    Got to agree with Fred (;))

    Made the change to the Fuji XE-1 last week from Canon 550d.

    Main reason is the superb usability and pictures my wife gets with her x100 which is a truly awesome camera.

    This camera is so easy to use in Manual, you feel a fraud using AE or programme mode.

    What I have also found with Fuji, is the development now coming through of there own and 3rd party glass is truly fantastic and although the lenses are not cheap.....they are not overly expensive either.

    Have a look at this thread Phrehdd started in June.....some great pics in there from 4/3's cameras.

    Must admit we can see a road map for the future with these cameras. we have decided to upgrade my wife's camera to the XPro 2 when it arrives and then we can glass share as well.

    Phrehdd - quick question. XE1 came with 18-55. Which could never be termed a kit's so good. What other lenses have you got......i really want to get 55-200 next and then something really wide. Any suggestions? Or would you do it different?

    One more - have u bothered with UV filters?
  11. macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    If I were on APS-C dSLR and shot mostly travel, street, and on the go (e.g. hiking), I'd definitely switch to micro-4/3. The form factor and weight is ideal for travel, and the appearance of MFT cameras look 'amateurish' which means you are less likely from getting hassled while taking photos in public.

    I really want an Olympus OM-D, but I can't replace my 5D Mark III with one. I got an EOS M on the $299 deal from several weeks ago and it's nifty for my setup, but the OM-D would be a far better secondary camera to take when out and about. The only thing holding me back from OM-D is having to support another camera platform (another lens mount).

    Anyway, I say go for it
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Parkin Pig

    I'm heading that way

    I'm in the process of selling my gear:

    Canon EOS 1D mkIV
    EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM
    EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
    EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
    EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 L IS USM
    EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
    EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM
    Couple of Speedlites, etc etc

    and getting an Olympus Pen.

    I've had some fantastic results from the above gear, but I don't take it out very much because it's just too damn bulky and heavy.
    I always carry a Canon G12 with me, and the biggest 'wow!' reactions I've had from people looking at my photos is generally for the G12 pics simply because I caught the moment. I guess I'm better at catching the moment than planning the moment.
    The Olympus Pen will blow the G12 out of the water and be with me most of the time, so it makes sense for me to head in this direction.
    Also, the first camera I ever owned was the Olympus Trip, which I loved, so it'll be a nice trip down memory lane.

    I have absolutely no reservations about this move, and I'm actually more excited about getting the Olympus Pen than I was when I got the EOS 1D mkIV.
  13. macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I moved to a Sony NEX series APS-C. Image quality is on par with the crop sensor Canon it replaced.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2011
    Pig - which one are you getting? The EP5 with VF4 and 17/1.8 package looks mighty fine.
  15. macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2008
    First - thanks for the kind words.

    Everybody has different needs so my set up (so far)

    18-55 "kit" zoom + B+W XS-Pro Clear UV Haze (010M) filter
    55-200 zoom + B+W XS-Pro Clear UV Haze (010M) filter
    35 1.4 prime + B+W XS-Pro Clear UV Haze (010M) filter

    For all of the above, I use the Op/Tech lens hood hat instead of lens cap given that I leave lens hoods on all the time.

    Basically, my regular needs are covered with what I have. For wide, I have no desire to the 18mm as the 18-55 is quite impressive on its own. This leaves either the 14mm by Fuji or another maker's lens if I needed wider.
    It is really nice that Samyang and Leica and Zeiss lenses are available plus adapters for Canon and Nikon lens mounts to add to the mix. (Okay I really want to see how the 200mm micro Nikon lens would work with this camera.)
    The 55-200 requires a bit more attention in handling as it is a physically longer lens when the barrel is fully extruded but is still hand holdable if one shows care and craft. (Tuck in your arms and pause your breath when hitting the shutter at 200mm.)
    For raw files (RAF for Fuji) I settled with Capture One as all jpg generated files can be done in any editor such as Aperture and Lightroom.

    Those folks considering other makers cameras should think in a similar fashion to get the right lenses that meet your real needs and save for later dates the more exotic lenses. As in my case I have a fast lens for informal shooting and street as well as the full range from 18-200 by using two zooms. This is the equivalent to approximately 28-300mm in full frame.

    As others are happy with their camera make and lenses I am with mine. I think the Olympus line would have been my second choice as it is a really well thought out set up and also a bit of homage to the days of film in style.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2012
    Kent, UK
    Weight and balance

    Thanks for the advice and as always a few supplementry's, if you have the time:

    I was thinking about the weight and balance for the zooms. Was considering a hand grip - - for sole use when I get the 55-200, just to bring a bit of weight back to the rear of the set up. Is this worth considering? It also changes the tripod screw location back to the centreline of the camera.

    I've only tried some test shots so far, going to Dublin on Thursday to put me and the camera through our paces, I'm interested why your not using Aperture for RAW processing? Are you not an Aperture fan, or is Capture One that good with the RAF file format? Our X100 shots over the last year have gone through Aperture and have been a revelation for colour and detail and the reason I left my 550d.

    I will be researching filters and hoods today, thanks again for the pointers!
  17. macrumors demi-god


    Apr 2, 2004
    I'm someone who played around with a DSLR on and off for a few years but could never get into photography because I found the equipment too bulky and consequently I never wanted to take the camera anywhere.

    When I discovered Micro 4/3 cameras I thought that they would be the answer to my problems so I snapped up an Olympus EPL1 and played around with that for a few months before selling it because it frustrated the hell out of me with it's refusal to lock focus on anything in low(ish) light. The photography bug was still pulling hard with me though so I tried again with a Lumix GF1 and absolutely loved it. I took that little camera everywhere with me and found myself really enjoying taking pictures because of the convenience factor. I lusted after the Panny 20mm as it gets such rave reviews but couldn't justify the price to myself so ended up getting the 14mm 2.5, which was an excellent lens and reinvigorated my love of the camera even more. The only thing I didn't like about it was the lack of viewfinder as I couldn't see what I was shooting in bright sunlight. I considered buying the add on EVF for it but for the money the quality was rubbish and it ruined the look and size of the camera. In the end I couldn't live without a built in viewfinder as it doesn't seem natural to me to be shooting at arms length like a camera phone so I decided to look for something else that was small, light and stylish. That's when I bought my used Fuji X100. I LOVE this camera. It has it's niggles but the images I get from it are beautiful and it feels so natural and rewarding to shoot with. I do sometimes miss having the ability to switch lenses but for the majority if the time I'm happy to use my feet to get the shot I'm after. It never leaves my side.

    If I had the money and was in the market for an interchangeable lens CSC then I'd probably go for the GX7 or the OMD EM5 and I'd definitely buy that 14mm 2.5 again.....that's if I could resist the X-Pro1 or XE1 of course ;)
  18. macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2008
    I don't fancy the Fuji provided grip as it gets in the way on the bottom for battery and card. There are two that come to mind - RRS (Really Right Stuff) and a Chinese knockoff that I believe people are buying on ebay.

    I have the RRS plates that compose an L-plate but only use the one that fits on the bottom so that I get the fast detach from my tripod. It is still comfortable in my hand. Are you planning to hand hold the 55-200? If so, a hand grip would be a good investment. Just realize that depending on your fingers, the release for the lens might be a tight fit slightly. The RSS solution is not cheap but I admit I refuse to get Chinese knock-offs on anything when possible even though in this case it is substantially cheaper.

    You may want to consider a thumb rest/grip. Some believe those do more to keep your right hand in the correct position and avoid accidentally moving dials or pressing buttons. There are a few makers of those from cheap to somewhat expensive. My only reservation is that they mount to the flash hot shoe socket and thus no flash can be put on. There is one place where you can get a "hot" thumb grip as in still can put a flash on top. The guy who sells these uses the Canon adapter that allows for also a cable to the flash. Canon's cable appears to work for off camera flash.

    Fuji's RAF/raw files are known to be problematic for Lightroom and Aperture as well as some other software. I believe Capture One provides a more meaningful solution (for now) and Lightroom 5 is catching up and Aperture is behind slightly.

    Here is a link you might enjoy -

    This should get you going in Aperture nicely. The "goodness" of the Fuji sensor is also its Achilles heel when it comes to raw files. There are a couple of other software solutions that are on par with Capture One but are a bit too archaic for me.

    Last - if you go to RRS site, they have other types of equipment that you may find interesting. This is a suggestion as not to buy but realize that some of the "macro" and long lens gear may give you ideas on how to bet the most solid foundation for the 55-200 zoom on a tripod.

    I come from a film camera background and I admit it took me a long while to wrap my head around the digital image way of thinking. I do have a history with Photoshop and DXO software and back when Capture One used at times with a Nikon D200 NEF/raw files. I am more at home with restoration of physical images (photos, negatives and transparencies) which is what I do mostly via Photoshop.
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Parkin Pig

    That's the one I've got my eye on, although I won't be able to resist trying out the new OM-D E-M1 if they've got one in store - it does look amazing.

    MacRy - I've seen your work on these forums, and you're a fine example of how a good photographer doesn't need a top end DSLR to produce great results.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2012
    Kent, UK
    Thanks Phrehdd

    Loads of great info in there P! Thanks very much for your time!

    Currently I think that a fast open lens maybe my first buy, but I know I'm gonna be so tempted by the reach of the long zoom. Reviews are really good as well. I much prefer hand held shooting and I'm a pretty big guy so I'm sure the weight won't be an issue! Stability is another issue, but the OIS on the short zoom is excellent.

    Will def look at the RSS grip you mentioned.

    We've had pretty good results with the wife's X100 RAF files in Aperture, but I have downloaded a trial of CO to try out.

    Thanks again.

    And ditto Pigs comments on MacRy's pics.
  21. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2011
    There are a lot of good deals out there for the em-5 right now, too. With he e-m1 coming out, there will also be a lot on the used market. The only thing missing from the em-5 is focus peaking and PDAF, otherwise it's hard to beat.
  22. macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2008
    I am happy being in the Fuji camp but I will be the first to say that if there was no Fuji - without hesitation I would be in the Olympus camp. Really nice product that Olympus is putting out with the em-5 and e-m1.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2011
    The Fuji's look great, too. A bit expensive for my ability to pay, but really nice.
  24. macrumors demi-god


    Apr 2, 2004
    Thanks for the kind comments guys. I always think of my photography as somewhat amateurish and a bit "Meh" so that's really cheered me up this cold and grey Monday morning :)

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