Olympus UK E-System User Group
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  #1  
Old 9th December 2015
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Question Have you or are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

I have also posted this question on Four Thirds User.

I am sure quite a few members here have switched from DSLRs or maybe use a Micro Four Thirds body or bodies to complement their DSLR kit and an increasing number are coming from Nikon and Canon.

How was your experience with Micro Four Thirds compared to your DSLR? What was the most challenging aspect of using Micro Four Thirds and what was your motivation in the first place?

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Last edited by Ian; 10th December 2015 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

I moved from a Canon 5dii and a bunch of lenses. Overall, the move has been extremely positive and to a big extent has rekindled my enthusiasm for photography. The smaller size and added functionality on the Olympus bodies far outweighs the small IQ differences between the platforms. The lens range and quality is superb.

My motivation was simply that having bought an E-PL5 and 17/1.8 as a small travel camera, I found that the images from it got very close to what the 5dii delivered and at a fraction of the weight and size. On the basis of the E-PL5 I bought a E-M5 and shortly thereafter decided to shed the Canon kit.

I can't think of any real downsides/constraints to u43 compared to Canon FF - or at least that matter to me. Of course, DOF is always deeper on m43 and CDAF isn't as good as tracking PDAF, but since I don't do a lot of environmental portraits or BIF/sports these limitations don't worry me.

If I had to point to something I'd like to see improved, I'd say that some increased DR and noise control wouldn't go amiss. Most of the time it's a non-issue, but there are times when I need to crop a shot taken at high ISO and then I find noise can become problematic. The same applies to DR - if I avoid blown highlights in high contrast scenes then I need to fill shadows with the potential for troublesome noise to come in. HDR stacking helps, but it's not a substitute for having more latitude on a single file.

I'm looking forward to improved HiRes capability on the next E-M1 which I think will address these issues for a good proportion of the scenes I shoot. I may also buy the rumoured f1 17mm lens that might be heading our way. That way I can have the shallow DOF of FF for subject isolation without all the downsides of big bodies and lenses. Overall, I think that Olympus have a great strategy for the market and I'm happy I'm on board with it.
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

I came to M43 from a Pentax K100D which was my first DSLR after a long break from photography.
When I wanted a newer camera I knew I wanted interchangeable lenses and good quality images. The physical size of the DSLR meant it didn't come out as often as it should so it didn't come on a trip to the Eastern USA, I just took a compact.
A couple of years later I took my E-PL5 with me on a similar trip to the Western USA and I have hundreds of images I simply wouldn't have got because I wouldn't have had a DSLR with me with the lenses I needed.

I know for ultimate image quality I might want a full frame DSLR but the size difference means I have many, many more images to treasure from the smaller kit.
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

I moved to m43 almost two years ago now, from Sony DSLR kit. It was all too big to get the whole kit into one bag any more, or at least one that I could actually lift! I considered moving to Sony A7, but didn't feel a need for full frame, and there was also no real range of native lenses at that time. It was a big leap of faith therefore, to sell up the whole lot and restart fresh with Olympus kit, but I've never looked back. I've since able to take my whole kit to south-west USA, and Iceland, which would not have been possible before.

If I have one niggle, as Paul has said, it's probably around noise control. I do see more noise at lower levels than with my DSLR (obviously on a smaller sensor), and sometimes it's an issue. Trying to shoot (very faint) aurora shots in Iceland, for example, was a complete waste of time; part of that was me not knowing what I was doing, but what shots I did get were extremely noisy and not usable. So I know not to try that again, and also I now routinely run all my 'important' shots through Topaz DeNoise, just to be safe.

Apart from that, the EM-1 has so many capabilities that even other m43 cameras don't have, and Olympus's recent firmware update shows their continuing support. I love it all, and get a real kick when on photo trips showing off what I can do with my little beauty, that the Canikon users can't!
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  #5  
Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

Apologies in advance for the ramble that follows...

I originally got into photography with a Nikon D40 and quickly got sucked into GAS, working my way through a D90, D300 and finally a D700. My motivation for photography was mainly my children and being able to capture superb pictures which were well received by all. The Full-Frame sensor, of the D700 paired with fast primes meant I felt confident to nail an image whatever the situation.

In truth, I got way too obsessive with having the best kit and resulted in me not enjoying photography anywhere near as much as I should have - the weight was also a huge negative as it was a strain taking the kit out with me (almost had to plan every trip). The fall in the Economy put paid to a number of my hobbies as my partner went through a number of redundancies over a handful of years...as such I cut myself off from photography.

A couple of years ago. my wife brought me a Nikon D3200, which was lovely, but I found myself going in the same old cycle of getting good lenses, being too critical of images and not taking the kit out with me.

Across my time with D-SLRs I was a bit of a RAW snob, as such, I don't think I ever used a jpeg from an image I took; in truth, the RAW workflow was a bit of a PITA and also contributed to me not producing or sharing more of my work...so, I sold the entire lot of kit and decided to go for an Olympus OM-D E-M10 and two prime lenses (Olympus 25mm f/1.8 and Olympus 45mm f/1.8). The reason for this decision? Being swayed by the form factor of the OM-D, IBIS, the images it was capable of producing and combined with the weight saving, it all made for an intriguing final roll of the dice for my photography.

To say I have been impressed is an understatement; I found the grip transformed the handling of the E-M10 and I no longer felt restricted with a camera kit. The OM-D goes with me everywhere and my passion for photography has been re-invigorated. I shoot RAW & jpeg but mainly use the jpeg straight out of the camera and adjust where necessary in the VCSO app on my iPad. The wi-fi and quality of the jpegs are outstanding and make it easy to share images with Family and Friends. The only thing I would change on the E-M10 are the max shutter speed and I'd love to see in-camera Panoramic processing.

The most challenging aspects of using M43 is the snobbery from other photographers and, if I'm honest, a worry that M43 is not being pushed enough in the bigger scheme of things...the platform ticks a lot of boxes IMO and deserves to be pushed and promoted as far as it can be.

My daughter has since been bitten by the photography bug and has asked for an E-PL7 for Christmas...we will share lenses between us too. I don't think she'd have been so enthusiastic with a bulky D-SLR...
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

Well, I haven't come through the DSLR route. I jumped from film (OM4Ti) to mirrorless (E-M5).The final days of film were shared with a Fuji compact which saw more and more outings because if its convenience. Gone were the days when I carried a large camera bag and a backpack; the camera, batteries, cards, and cables had to go in the backpack along with lunch, warm jumper, waterproofs, and a large bottle of water.

The reason I didn't jump into the non Oly DSLR camp was because I didn't see that it fitted my needs and if anything it would have been larger than my OM System kit. Olympus were not heavily pushing the 4/3rds format DSLRs, in fact it is probably true to say that they were not pushing it at all. When I did come across Oly DSLRs the system was in slow decline, the early models were not terribly exciting, the E-5 when it came out was too big, and the E-620 whilst about right was getting on a bit when I finally thought about it. An E-630 with an up to date sensor would have seen me switch but it was never going to happen.

My Fuji compact was beginning to show its age as improvements were being made with new cameras in focus aquisition time and shutter lag (time from pressing the shutter button once focus had been locked to actually taking the picture). The PEN line of cameras did not interest me as they were quite expensive and I really hankered for something that felt like my OM4Ti with its built in viewfinder (and dioptre correction). When Olympus started heavily advertising its forthcoming E-M5 I pre-ordered as it was exactly what the doctor ordered; small, light, viewfinder, excellent image stabilisation, fast focus, live view, high ISO capability, and was part of a system (MFT) that was going places unlike the now declined 4/3rds. I wasn't actually swayed by the advertising except in as much as I had been waiting for about 4 years for just such a camera and would have been prepared to wait even longer as I don't waste money on something that I don't want and doesn't meet my needs.

My Olympus mirrorless kit fits in a small bag which goes in the top half of my backpack which is just how I wanted it. My range of lenses has expanded... I wish the PRO lenses had been available (or even announced/hinted in some sort of timeline) before I picked up a few prime lenses... so as they will not all fit into my small bag I have to choose what to take with me which is not a problem. Having discounted the PENs early on I now have a second hand one (which solved the cost issue) as a back up body and for when I want something pocketable to truly replace the Fuji compact that served me well for many years.

I could add to this that I have the usual gripes on the menu system, the lack of complete control over assigning ANY function to ANY button, and the lack of saving/editing the MySets on a computer. I did not buy into Olympus Mirrorless because of its menu system, but neither did it put me off being only a slight nuisance rather than a complete inconvenience.
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  #7  
Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

I also came from Canon setups, Full Frame kit for landscape and the occasional wedding, cropped sensor for wildlife and general photography and a wee EOS M kit for travelling light.
I had been shooting Canon for over 30 years man and boy, film and Digital.
My mate and I had a wee play with the E-M1 in Jessops this time last year and he ended up buying one.
We had a day out and I borrowed his Olympus for a few shots to compare with my FF Canon.
Although the Canon images were superior there wasn't all that much in it and once developed I was blown away with the quality from such a "small" package.
The M43 lenses are excellent and up there with the best of Canon and Nikon offerings.
So much so that I went and bought a Silver E-M1.
I haven't parted with my Canon gear yet and they haven't been used since getting the E-M1 but I have sold a few lenses lately to fund M43 lenses.
I haven't used any of the v4 additions as yet but can't help thinking "is there anything this camera can't do?"

Drawbacks? Difficult to think of anything apart from CAF but I'm sure with a bit of practice I could overcome this.
The E-M1 and PRO lenses are quite big and heavy by M43 standards and not much lighter than some of my DSLR kits which kinda defeats the purpose IMHO
I have added an E-M10 body and some wee primes to my arsenal which is a sublime combination - light and top notch quality. Everything I hoped my defection from Canon would be.
Conclusion - one happy convert

Anybody want to buy some Canon gear?
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  #8  
Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

I have both a Canon 7D II and an Olympus.
My first foray into mirror-less was like so many others driven by size and weight and ended up with me buying a Panasonic GX7 but I did not get on with this camera due to it's control system. That camera ended up with one of my daughters and I then bought an EM-1 which I enjoy using with one main caveat which is for any subject needing C-AF. The C-AF is the reason for the Canon gear used when I shoot wildlife, mostly birds and motor sport plus horse events.
Although not up to the clarity of an optical viewfinder I do very much appreciate seeing what you will get in the electronic viewfinder which is a huge boon especially things like exposure compensation. So horses for courses, action the Canon and pretty much everything else the Olympus.
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

Started with film then moved to a digital bridge camera. Went to an E500 and two lenses. This also resulted in my darkroom being abandoned for my computer. Then an E30 and some more lenses. A move to the E5 with 7-14 ,35, 14-54, 12-60, 50-200 Sigma 135-400, 150 macro & 50-500.
Then disappointment 4/3 equipment ended.

An invitation by Olympus to Castle Leslie for the launch of the OMD EM1 brought a lift to my heart there was life after death!

Christmas came and Mrs Claus got me an EM1 and a 12-40 pro lens. The adapter meant my 4/3 lens could still be utilised. The quality of the new camera persuaded me to invest in m4/3 7-14, 60macro, 75-300 & the 40-250 Pro.

Now starting a sale of my 4/3 kit as I now have the balance of kit I am happy with. Good Lens selection with Iight weight and great IQ. Olympus showed their faith in the system with firmware 4 to improve an already good body into a much better one.

Only drawbacks cost to change too the smaller lighter kit and loss in resale price of existing 4/3 kit and the ongoing problem of AF on moving targets as I do wildlife. Ed
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  #10  
Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

Not sure if I'm answering the original question here but just wanted to give a different slant on things.

In my younger days I always used compact cameras, which took films and then moved onto compact digital cameras. The last compact camera I bought was a Sony W300, which at the time suited my needs as it was small and produced some good shots however each time I went away somewhere such as Bruges I struggled to capture a decent shot of an evening. I continued to use the system due to funds but when the camera finally gave up I began to spend hours and hours researching 4/3 and M4/3 systems for a replacement. I bought every camera magazine under the sun and spent countless hours trawling the internet doing comparisons.

Even after exhausting every avenue I was torn. I had narrowed my search to three brands

Nikon
Canon
Olympus

I removed Canon from the equation simply because I found a fair few reviews commenting on a complex menu system, which coming from a fully auto compact easily put me off.
I then tried to sum up what was necessary and what I didn't need after reading User Reviews both technical and from a users point of view.


Size/weight
Build quality (mainly metal) I'm accident prone
Wifi
Weather seal
Olympus Christmas offer 2014
Ability to carry camera and kit as separate hang luggage on top of hand luggage as no extra cost
No requirement for bill board sized prints
No requirement re wildlife
No requirement re video
Continued firmware updates being supplied by Olympus
Olympus app reviews


One of my other main concerns was the cost of additional lenses. I was very fortunate as I was in the market just as all of the Olympus pro lenses were being released combined with a fantastic offer on Olympus.
My heart was set originally on a Nikon D750 but my head said go with the Olympus. Olympus had a crazy offer giving an EM-1 with a 12-40 lens 2.8 grip and 150 cash back not to mention 30 months warranty. All for 1350.

I went with the deal. From the second I opened the box I could feel the quality was exquisite for the visual appearance to the feel of it. The cold metal to the manly knobs.
When I first tried it out I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I was almost scared of using it.
I soon learnt having purchased a book on the camera. You learn something new every day about it. I'm slowly starting to produce good images and this is mainly due to my camera being better than the user.

I originally planned to keep it for 3-5 years with a view of upgrading to 4/3's however the more I use it the more I have fallen in love with it. I will only change my kit if there is a huge jump in capabilities offered on an alternate body of similar size, but I hope it is Olympus who make this jump. At present there isn't anything that would draw me to a 4/3 system even if money was no object. I admit I have never used full frame so probably not best placed to comment but equally I have no intention to try given a D750 was similar priced at time of my purchase. Olympus also offer a superb range of lenses, which is only getting better.

All I can say is

Many thanks Olympus from one very happy customer ;-)
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

I am the same as OM User and came directly from film, mainly OM1 and 4ti, I always wanted to stay Olympus as I thought DSLRs were always too big and cumbersome. For example go to any airshow and you'll see what I mean! The camera I started with was an OM10 which I loved for it's size and ease of use. The OM1 is a design classic like an E Type and is still able to give a lesson in functionality today. As soon as I saw the EM-5 I knew that it was what I had been waiting for to go digital, it and the EM-1 are very reminiscent of the OM series and I like the fact they are small enough to be placed in a jacket pocket when you don't want to carry a lot of gear about.
Another motivation for me is cost as I couldn't afford to go Canon or Nikon at all. The most challenging aspect of m43rds for me is just remembering everything that the camera can do when I'm out with it, I particularly like the panorama function and the dramatic tone filter. I would like an EM-1 sometime but for now the EM-5 is a brilliant camera.
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timboo View Post
Not sure if I'm answering the original question here but just wanted to give a different slant on things.

In my younger days I always used compact cameras, which took films and then moved onto compact digital cameras. The last compact camera I bought was a Sony W300, which at the time suited my needs as it was small and produced some good shots however each time I went away somewhere such as Bruges I struggled to capture a decent shot of an evening. I continued to use the system due to funds but when the camera finally gave up I began to spend hours and hours researching 4/3 and M4/3 systems for a replacement. I bought every camera magazine under the sun and spent countless hours trawling the internet doing comparisons.

Even after exhausting every avenue I was torn. I had narrowed my search to three brands

Nikon
Canon
Olympus

I removed Canon from the equation simply because I found a fair few reviews commenting on a complex menu system, which coming from a fully auto compact easily put me off.
I then tried to sum up what was necessary and what I didn't need after reading User Reviews both technical and from a users point of view.


Size/weight
Build quality (mainly metal) I'm accident prone
Wifi
Weather seal
Olympus Christmas offer 2014
Ability to carry camera and kit as separate hang luggage on top of hand luggage as no extra cost
No requirement for bill board sized prints
No requirement re wildlife
No requirement re video
Continued firmware updates being supplied by Olympus
Olympus app reviews


One of my other main concerns was the cost of additional lenses. I was very fortunate as I was in the market just as all of the Olympus pro lenses were being released combined with a fantastic offer on Olympus.
My heart was set originally on a Nikon D750 but my head said go with the Olympus. Olympus had a crazy offer giving an EM-1 with a 12-40 lens 2.8 grip and 150 cash back not to mention 30 months warranty. All for 1350.

I went with the deal. From the second I opened the box I could feel the quality was exquisite for the visual appearance to the feel of it. The cold metal to the manly knobs.
When I first tried it out I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I was almost scared of using it.
I soon learnt having purchased a book on the camera. You learn something new every day about it. I'm slowly starting to produce good images and this is mainly due to my camera being better than the user.

I originally planned to keep it for 3-5 years with a view of upgrading to 4/3's however the more I use it the more I have fallen in love with it. I will only change my kit if there is a huge jump in capabilities offered on an alternate body of similar size, but I hope it is Olympus who make this jump. At present there isn't anything that would draw me to a 4/3 system even if money was no object. I admit I have never used full frame so probably not best placed to comment but equally I have no intention to try given a D750 was similar priced at time of my purchase. Olympus also offer a superb range of lenses, which is only getting better.

All I can say is

Many thanks Olympus from one very happy customer ;-)
Tell us more about the manly knobs!
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Tell us more about the manly knobs!
They are not flimsy, are large in size so good if u have large fingers. They feel firm/hard and are stiff to turn. ;-)
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

Enough. .
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Old 9th December 2015
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Re: Have you ar are you thinking of going mirrorless with Micro Four Thirds?

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Enough. .
lol but they are :-( oh and u can fix them in position which is v good.
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