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stillcrazyman

macrumors 603
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Oct 10, 2014
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I've been shooting with an older Sony a77 mk 1 (APS-C) for a few years now. Looking at adding a second camera and have been reading up on m43 cameras from Olympus and Panasonic. I like a lot of what I see as far as lighter weight and image quality, but I'm really just beginning to look.

So, if anyone here has any insight to share, I'd appreciate some input.
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
6,504
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Glasgow, UK
I've been shooting with an older Sony a77 mk 1 (APS-C) for a few years now. Looking at adding a second camera and have been reading up on m43 cameras from Olympus and Panasonic. I like a lot of what I see as far as lighter weight and image quality, but I'm really just beginning to look.

So, if anyone here has any insight to share, I'd appreciate some input.

Risking serious flame-age....

I was getting tired of the cost of Sony lenses for the A7Rii so I looked for something more economical and also something that was ideally weather sealed.

I tried an Olympus OM-D EM-5mkII and the 12-40 Pro lens. In the end it wasnt for me. I ended up going Fuji and I couldnt be happier. Well, I could but that involves a red dot and a dicey conversation with Mrs Kenoh...

YMMV but I just wasn't sold on the image quality of M4/3. Admittedly, I wasnt looking at the latest generation. The EM-5mkII was showing its age when I tried it a year ago but ultimately the Fuji X-Pro 2 and now the X-H1 are fantastic cameras and the cost of lenses is a fraction of that for Sony. At a minimum they are typically half the cost for the equivalent. So I get the following pros which suit my tight fisted requirements:

1. No more HUGE RAW file so it has slowed down my image storage expansion
2. Dual card slots so protection when I go to these once in a lifetime locations - didn't understand the desire for this until I had it
3. No need for special insurance as they are all now below the listed item thresholds - this alone is saving me £200 a year
 

stillcrazyman

macrumors 603
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Risking serious flame-age....

I was getting tired of the cost of Sony lenses for the A7Rii so I looked for something more economical and also something that was ideally weather sealed.

I tried an Olympus OM-D EM-5mkII and the 12-40 Pro lens. In the end it wasnt for me. I ended up going Fuji and I couldnt be happier. Well, I could but that involves a red dot and a dicey conversation with Mrs Kenoh...

YMMV but I just wasn't sold on the image quality of M4/3. Admittedly, I wasnt looking at the latest generation. The EM-5mkII was showing its age when I tried it a year ago but ultimately the Fuji X-Pro 2 and now the X-H1 are fantastic cameras and the cost of lenses is a fraction of that for Sony. At a minimum they are typically half the cost for the equivalent. So I get the following pros which suit my tight fisted requirements:

1. No more HUGE RAW file so it has slowed down my image storage expansion
2. Dual card slots so protection when I go to these once in a lifetime locations - didn't understand the desire for this until I had it
3. No need for special insurance as they are all now below the listed item thresholds - this alone is saving me £200 a year

I did look at the Fuji system, but one big problem is using DxO Optics (PhotoLab). They won't process the files. That sort of rules out going to Fuji.

I appreciate your input.
 
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MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,587
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Atlanta
Sold off Canon and went with Olympus E-M1 around 4 years ago. Since then upgrade to E-M1 II. Have Pro lenses that let me shoot out in bad weather without rain sleeves. Can put two E-M1 II bodies and 4 Pro lens into an a messenger bag, small backpack, or Think Tank Advantage along with 15" MacBook or iPad Pro.

Go Olympus if stills is the priority and Panasonic if video is the priority.

You should join: https://www.mu-43.com
 

stillcrazyman

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Sold off Canon and went with Olympus E-M1 around 4 years ago. Since then upgrade to E-M1 II. Have Pro lenses that let me shoot out in bad weather without rain sleeves. Can put two E-M1 II bodies and 4 Pro lens into an a messenger bag, small backpack, or Think Tank Advantage along with 15" MacBook or iPad Pro.

Go Olympus if stills is the priority and Panasonic if video is the priority.

You should join: https://www.mu-43.com

Thanks for the input. Video is no issue for me, I only do stills. I've been browsing through mu-43.com.... Lots of great info.
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
6,504
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Glasgow, UK
I did look at the Fuji system, but one big problem is using DxO Optics (PhotoLab). They won't process the files. That sort of rules out going to Fuji.

I appreciate your input.

You could use Irident X-Transformer to pre-process the images to DNGs :)

No problem. In that case, the 12-40 Oly and the 60mm Oly lenses are lovely.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,129
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OP:

There are "wisps of rumors" that an a77III -might- be announced in May or June.

Can you hold out that long?
 
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stillcrazyman

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OP:

There are "wisps of rumors" that an a77III -might- be announced in May or June.

Can you hold out that long?

I've been holding off just upgrading the a77 mk i to the mk ii. If indeed there is a mk iii coming out, I'd be very curious to see what that has. I really have no complaints with my current system, it's just getting a bit older. New tech makes me want to look at options.
 

0970373

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Mar 15, 2008
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I love my Oly. I had been shooting on my 7D for quite a while but was traveling more and more to less accessible places so I wanted something lighter. I picked up the original OM-D EM5 about 8 mo after the initial release. it took some getting used to but I've really come to love that thing and their lenses have only improved, particularly with the Pro line. The 12-40mm Pro lens is a dream. I still have my EM5 and it shoots just as good as it did when I first got it. That thing is sturdy!

And I considered the mII when it was released but decided not to upgrade. Considered the EM1 mII but at $2K it was just a bit out of my reach. In my mind I was going to upgrade to the em5 mIII when they release it (rumors are later this year) but last night, I checked out the Oly refurbs page for lenses and saw they had an EM1 mII for $1499. Done. Sold. It arrives next week. They have made a lot of strides in image quality since my original OMD EM5 and for me, the tech upgrade is huge. I really love the weather sealing on bodies & lenses. A great thing if you shoot landscapes.

I finally sold my Canon 7D and some of the lenses a few months ago. I've gone all in.

It definitely depends on what your priorities are but I love my Olympus kit. I'll update when the new-to-me EM1 mII arrives!
[doublepost=1523043362][/doublepost]
Risking serious flame-age....

You are dead to me!
 
Last edited:
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kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
6,504
10,849
Glasgow, UK
I love my Oly. I had been shooting on my 7D for quite a while but was traveling more and more to less accible places so I wanted something lighter. I picked up the original OM-D EM5 about 8 mo after the initial release. it took some getting used to but I've really come to love that thing and their lenses have only improved, particularly with the Pro line. The 12-40mm Pro lens is a dream. I still have my EM5 and it shoots just as good as it did when I first got it. That thing is sturdy!

And I considered the mII when it was released but decided not to upgrade. Considered the EM1 mII but at $2K it was just a bit out of my reach. In my mind I was going to upgrade to the em5 mIII when they release it (rumors are later this year) but last night, I checked out the Oly refurbs page for lenses and saw they had an EM1 mII for $1499. Done. Sold. It arrives next week. They have made a lot of strides in image quality since my original OMD EM5 and for me, the tech upgrade is huge. I really love the weather sealing on bodies & lenses. A great thing if you shoot landscapes.

I finally sold my Canon 7D and some of the lenses a few months ago. I've gone all in.

It definitely depends on what your priorities are but I love my Olympus kit. I'll update when the new-to-me EM1 mII arrives!
[doublepost=1523043362][/doublepost]

You are dead to me!

Lol...you can kick my butt when you are over next
 
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robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,465
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I use an E-M5ii and love it. I don't even use the high zoot (high Zuiko?) lenses, and get results that work well for me. I love pixel shift (high resolution or whatever Oly calls it). And using old lenses on it is amazing. My walk-around lately has been a Russian Helios. As you can tell from that, I'm no pixel peeper. I even use an old (gasp!) soft focus lens. Virtually any old lens can be used on a M43 with a cheap adapter, and the focus peaking on the Oly is as good as it gets IMHO; you can even change the color which can be very helpful. With IBIS, it means that you can get the benefit of some stabilization even with lenses that never had it.

But since you're gonna be adding a camera, get something that maybe complements your existing kit. That fills in where you've felt the Sony held you back, or isn't suited to the job. That could be video, IQ, a particular lens (l use that M5 for macros just because I love the Oly 60mm macro so much, and focus bracketing and stacking built in), or something else, like even weather resistance.
 
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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,308
43,132
I'm very happy with my OMD EM5.

I'm not going to delve into which platform is better or not. OP you need to make that decision, and it seems like the PC/Mac wars of the 80s and 90s, many folks have very strong opinions.

The reasoning for my embracing the M43 system, is camera size, pure and simple. I wanted a smaller form factor, that produced great images. With the M43, I got that.
 
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stillcrazyman

macrumors 603
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I've been reading through the m-43.com forums... Lots of great info and the photos that I've looked at are amazing. I've also been shopping for a EM5 Mk II and a lens. Not ready to buy just yet, but seriously looking to.
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
6,504
10,849
Glasgow, UK
I've been reading through the m-43.com forums... Lots of great info and the photos that I've looked at are amazing. I've also been shopping for a EM5 Mk II and a lens. Not ready to buy just yet, but seriously looking to.

get the EM-5MKii and the 12-40 kit.... that will be all you need to get started for a while... then be a connoisseur of glass - be picky...

:)
 
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0970373

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I've been reading through the m-43.com forums... Lots of great info and the photos that I've looked at are amazing. I've also been shopping for a EM5 Mk II and a lens. Not ready to buy just yet, but seriously looking to.

I highly recommend getting a refurb unit if you're leaning towards the EM5 MkII. It's older so don't spend a premium on it. The MkIII is likely due out later this year - they say. Definitely get the 12-40mm pro if you can swing it.
 
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stillcrazyman

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@kenoh - I was just browsing through B&H Photo.... They have the EM5 MkII and the Oly 14-40 2.8 Pro as a kit for a lot less than separately. And, the thought hadn't occurred to me, but they do buy older gear. I might just be at the tipping point to get the new kit.
 
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kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
6,504
10,849
Glasgow, UK
@kenoh - I was just browsing through B&H Photo.... They have the EM5 MkII and the Oly 14-40 2.8 Pro as a kit for a lot less than separately. And, the thought hadn't occurred to me, but they do buy older gear. I might just be at the tipping point to get the new kit.

Deffo get the kit to save the money unless you can get a refurb like @E3BK suggests. The 60mm macro is a fantastic lens too.
 
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0970373

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@kenoh - I was just browsing through B&H Photo.... They have the EM5 MkII and the Oly 14-40 2.8 Pro as a kit for a lot less than separately. And, the thought hadn't occurred to me, but they do buy older gear. I might just be at the tipping point to get the new kit.

I just looked that up and you should def pick that up if you're ready to spend the $. The lens by itself is $900 so the body is really only $398. That's a good deal. And if the Mark III does come out later this year or early next, it wouldn't have been such a large cost so as to put you off an upgrade if you decide you like m43. If you don't, that lens can sell pretty easily.
 
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stillcrazyman

macrumors 603
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I just looked that up and you should def pick that up if you're ready to spend the $. The lens by itself is $900 so the body is really only $398. That's a good deal. And if the Mark III does come out later this year or early next, it wouldn't have been such a large cost so as to put you off an upgrade if you decide you like m43. If you don't, that lens can sell pretty easily.


I have an order sitting in the shopping cart at B&H.... Camera kit, lens filter, batteries & charger, memory card.

We'll see how it is when I get home later tonight ;)
 
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v3rlon

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2014
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I went from full frame to m4/3 in the last several months.
Contrary to Sony FF fans, the only way to actually save weight and size on your gear is to go to a smaller sensor (compare an A7(anything) and a 70-200 F2.8 to Canon/Nikon with their lenses. The difference in volume/mass is negligible.

Now, Take The Oly EM1 MII or the GH5: You get a (slightly) smaller camera and a smaller sensor. This allows smaller lenses. It isn't all win. The 35-80 or 35-70 are both F2.8 (F5.6 for DoF), but they are notably smaller. How much do you use the wider aperture for DoF?

The Panny 42.5mm F1.2 is a really nice lens, and I love that you can use the aperture ring if you want to (like the Fuji XT series).

In comparison to my D750 - There is less battery life, but not cripplingly so. If I carry an extra, I am doing fine. As an aside, I tended to shoot the D750 a little under according to the camera, then pulled the shadows up in post. I tried shooting the GH5 using zebras similarly, and it didn't work so well. The zebras, even at 105%, are a little pessimistic. Shoot closer to the middle of exposure, at least with GH5.

As a still camera, the EM1 is better by most accounts, but I wanted something that could double as video.

The Dynamic range falls off a little at high ISO (>3200) compared to comparable full frame, but it wasn't the end of the world once I adapted to the new camera.

I REALLY like the live preview that shows what the sensor will see.

I like having access to ridiculous shutter speeds so that I can use the aperture I want, even in sunlight.

I like the wide lens selection (~90 lenses), and competition from the 2 manufacturers keeps prices closer to reasonable.

While the lighting side is a little less fertile, you can get the really good Godox line for M43, including wireless triggers (though the best wireless setup seems to still be for Canon regardless of who makes the speedlight, this is due to camera design).

The Fuji XT line is an ergonomic dream if you like old school cameras. They are APSC, so the lenses are smaller than FF but larger than M43. They have a more limited selection of lenses and lights, and higher price tags in many cases. There also seems to be less 3rd party support.

Several pros have gotten fantastic results (see Gavin Hoey, Sean Archer, and others) using M43. There are still some nice advantages to larger sensors, but that doesn't mean you can't get great results with smaller ones.

For me, the GH5 replaced a D750 AND a Camcorder, so I saved quite a bit of space and weight. Then I have smaller lenses, and can use smaller tripods/mounts on top of this.

Having said all of this, wouldn't it make more sense if the second camera shared lenses with the main? If the goal is to take up as little space/weight as possible, that would seem to make the most sense.
 
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