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Whats the opinion on micro 4/3s
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Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
Whats the opinion on micro 4/3s on 04/03/2014 13:42:33 MDT Print View

Hey Everyone,

I have been researching A LOT in here and in a bunch of different forums. I'm looking to either upgrade my camera or change my system all together.

I'll give you all the good info upfront so you know what I'm going for :-) I currently have a Canon T2i with a Canon 10-22mm, Canon 15-85mm, and a Canon 90mm Macro. I love this set up but it's really heavy and bulky. I would say 97% of my shots are landscapes, and I spend a substantial amount of time shooting the stars and making time lapses. I normally would carry the 10-22 on the camera at all times, but if I'm traveling I bring the 15-85 to avoid a 2nd lens. Mainly I am looking for some wide, fast lenses.

The moral of the story is that I have gone through over a dozen P&S camera for backpacking, my iPhone 5, hacking Canon P&S, etc and I'm always left in the wilderness wishing I had my SLR. (Mainly to shot the stars) I hardly ever bring my SLR backpacking bc it weighs 3+lbs, but that is the EXACT place I should ALWAYS have my camera. I do not need a full frame, that's excess for my needs, so I started thinking about instead of hacking a P&S, or carrying a 3lb camera, how about selling the old Canon SLR and switch to the micro 4/3s system. Seems kind of like a win win. Part of me seems like it's too good to be true.

I found this thread which seems to be the most helpful but there have been several new models released since then and that thread is more about what type of camera you need to get star trails then which camera to buy:

The 2 cameras I'm looking at are a Sony NEX or the Olympus OM-D E-M10. I know that the Sony is not a micro 4/3rds camera but it is just as small so I'm not sure what the difference is between the sony and micro 4/3rds cameras.

My questions are how does the image compare to my images now, on the old T2i? Will it be the same quality of night shots? How do micro 4/3s do in the nightshot relm?

Does anyone have experience with and olympus or nex and taking star photos? Any recommendations on specific cameras or lens?

Thanks in advance! I always look forward to hearing what everyone out there has to say about this stuff! Cheers! - Megan



Edited by meganpetruccelli on 04/03/2014 13:43:19 MDT.

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Whats the opinion on micro 4/3s on 04/03/2014 15:22:34 MDT Print View

I'm of the opinion that if you want an interchangeable lens system that you might as well go aps-c (same sensor size as your canon but mirrorless bodies like the nex are much smaller). M43 lenses might be a little smaller, but just barely and they aren't really any cheaper. Hell, the A7/A7r are full frame and the body is the same size as the OMD. If you really want the flexibility of interchangeable lenses I'd probably go Nex or maybe Fuji. Nex might be more versatile lenswise for adapting third party/rangefinder lenses but the Fuji lenses are pretty excellent.

I'd check out the Sony RX100 as well. It's a pretty grown up P&S and can probably compare well with most m43 systems. Maybe search on flickr for RX100 night stars or something to see if it might fit the bill.

edit: I'd also recommend not discounting fixed lens options. Something like a Ricoh GR costs and is similar size and weight to a nice 28mm lens and you get a killer lens that is matched perfectly to the sensor.

Edited by brendans on 04/03/2014 15:25:16 MDT.

Paul Schwerdt
(flexabull) - F

Locale: State of Jefferson
NEX on 04/03/2014 15:30:04 MDT Print View

I switched from a Nikon D90 to a Sony NEX 5n last year, and haven't looked back.

I think the sensor is the same size in the NEX as in your Canon. (not positive though)

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
APS-C vs M43 on 04/03/2014 16:01:39 MDT Print View

"I'm of the opinion that if you want an interchangeable lens system that you might as well go aps-c (same sensor size as your canon but mirrorless bodies like the nex are much smaller). M43 lenses might be a little smaller, but just barely and they aren't really any cheaper."

What is the difference between the sony's and M43's? Other then the sony's are a little larger and have a bigger selection of lenses?

marc D
(mareco) - M

Locale: Scotland
APS-C vs M43 on 04/03/2014 16:40:45 MDT Print View

The Sony's have a bigger sensor, so generally more light catching ability (ie better at high ISO's). This can be important for night shots if you want a short exposure so that the stars dont trail, if you do want the star trails then its not so important.

I have the original M43 GF1 and it is only good up to ISO 800, I cant do Milky Way shots with it. The latest models are good to ISO 3200 I believe, the Sony's may be higher. The Sonys also use Zeiss glass, which can be quite special.

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
RX100 on 04/03/2014 17:11:39 MDT Print View

I'm intrigued by the RX100. The goal here is to get as small and light as possible while not compromising quality or functionality. I think the only thing the RX100 is lacking is the time-lapse ability and interchangeable lenses. The interchangeable lens thing isn't a huge deal especially for backpacking, but i would REALLY like to not sacrifice image quality of night shots and the ability to take a time-lapse is a HUGE plus. Anyone have experience with night shots with the RX100? and time-lapse functionality?

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: APS-C vs M43 on 04/03/2014 17:46:46 MDT Print View

Megan, do you make A4-sized or larger prints or do you mainly view your pics on a PC/TV monitor? Do you crop your images significantly? Do you hope one day to publish or exhibit your pics in a gallery?

If you your answer to all of these questions is "NO" then you might as well stay with a pocket-sized digicam. Olympus just announced its latest TG-3 waterproof camera which might be ideal for your purposes. It does interval exposures/star trails and has a pretty cool new macro mode.

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Re: APS-C vs M43 on 04/03/2014 17:57:48 MDT Print View

Hey Rick,

I don't think a pocket cam is going to suffice. Unfortunately! I wish there was a camera that would fit in my pocket!!!! :-)

Yes, I regularly blow my photos up to 11 x 14 or 16 x 20. Never gone bigger then 20 x 30 and don't really intend to. So far I have yet to have a problem with this old t2i blowing up that big. Image are nice and crisp. I don't intend to publish anything but have been in several galleries.

Any suggestion?

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: APS-C vs M43 on 04/03/2014 18:09:08 MDT Print View

In that case, definitely go with the larger APS-C or full frame sensor models out in the mirror-less format. Sorry I can't make any specific recommendations as I've been OK with lugging a dslr when quality matters and the waterproof Oly TG-1 for fun and water so haven't really kept up with the latest/greatest.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: APS-C vs M43 on 04/03/2014 18:33:10 MDT Print View

I've never used any four/thirds camera, so I can't comment. However, the larger sensor sizes of full frame 24x36 or APS-C nearly always get better image quality. As was noted, the larger sensor sizes can collect low light easier. So, if you have to shoot in a darkened theatre, the larger sensors are the way to go. In a related manner, the larger sensors typically have as good or better color noise performance at the higher ISO settings. Often, it is lots better. Again, that favors the photographer shooting in a dark place.

A few of us are mostly wildlife shooters, so we are typically trying to stick monster lenses to the front to be able to reach out and snap that animal a quarter mile away. There, the APS-C sensor gives an apparent extra magnification of x1.5 or x1.6 as compared to full frame, so APS-C is the way to go for wildlife. I used the term "apparent" because it really doesn't magnify it, it just makes it seem as it does.

So, as always, you need to plan what kind of photography is your priority, and then get equipped for that.


Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
Sony NEX, Olympus OMD Or the RX100? on 04/03/2014 18:44:05 MDT Print View

Ya awesome advice. Thank you!

I'm definitely not in the market for a full frame camera. The dinky old t2i is great for me. It's just really big and heavy. I regularly blow up my prints but the sensor that is in the, almost 4 year old, t2i is more then adequate for that. The pictures are nice and crisp. A full frame would just be excessive for me.

My priority to to not sacrifice the quality of the image for a smaller camera. However i have a sneaking suspicion that with either the Sony NEX or the Olympus OMD the image quality would improve. Which just brings me to priority 2. Night shots. and Time Lapses would be a BIG PLUS.

So I guess my question is it what are people's experience with the Sony NEX and the Olympus OMD? Or the RX100? Anyone have any experience with night shots or time lapses? Anyone recommend a different camera?

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Whats the opinion on micro 4/3s on 04/03/2014 19:15:46 MDT Print View

Hi Megan,

I'm in a similar position. I tried a smaller Canon P&S. While it has some really nice features, the sensor is way too small and it comes up short in low light situations and I've lost some awesome shots because of it (of course my lack of skill doesn't help either).

I'm in the process of researching mirror-less cameras. I think this gentleman does a great job of explaining the state of the market and discusses the pros and cons of the various sensor sizes, including and up to APS-C.

I'm still torn between the mirror-less options but the Sony NEX 6 & 7 are very tempting.

Of course I'm a big flake and as of right now I'm thinking about sticking with my DSLR and to start upgrading from my kit glass to something better like the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR so I can hike with one lens instead of two since it'll handle the wide shots and still zoom in for far away wildlife but then I could upgrade to the Nikon D7100 but then I'd still be stuck with kit glass and I really need to get out of Auto and start shooting in manual mode so putting me behind a D7100 is about as pointless as putting me in a F1 car so yeah.... yeah... the 18-300 is probably the way to go and wait on the upgrade for a few years and maybe then I'll just jump up to a FX chassis which would be REALLY sweet but I can still see how awesome it would be to have a smaller mirror-less option that's capable of taking professional quality shots you know... because it's smaller and lighter... but now the Nikon 1 AW1 is weather proof which is REALLY great for backpacking but I keep hearing that their mirror-less options are great for sports but are not as great in low light situations which is more important to me... so... oops...

Oh dear... did I just say all of that out loud? I'll be over here in my time out chair.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/03/2014 19:41:55 MDT.

Ed Engel
(Doorknob) - F

Locale: West of what you think is west
Camera on 04/04/2014 10:41:40 MDT Print View

You may also want to look into the Fuji camera lineup.
They have some great lenses.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Whats the opinion on micro 4/3s on 04/04/2014 13:44:27 MDT Print View


I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I have a d7100 (used to have d80) that I take everywhere hiking. I bought a Olympus TG-2 for fun at the pool and for portability, but it doesn't work for me for backpacking.

I am no considering the Sony a6000 (replaces the NEX lines)for a dedicated hiking camera. It is small and with the kit lens is down right tiny. I am thinking about getting it when released this month. I hope it can fit my needs.

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
Sony a7000 on 04/04/2014 14:09:29 MDT Print View

Hi Michael!

There are so many good option out there all around the same price point. I have no idea how to chose. If it was between 2 models I would go out and buy them and just try them but there seems to be SOOOOO many different models I'm at a loss.

Olympus OMD M5
Olympus OMD ME10
Sony NEX 7
Sony a6000
Sony RX100
Fuji X-M1
Fuji X-A1

What made you decide on the Sony a6000?

Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Sony a7000 on 04/04/2014 15:34:15 MDT Print View

Nex 6/5 will probably be better/less noisy in low light than 7/a6000 due to lower pixel density. One advantage they also have over the Fujis you listed (though not true of x e2) and RX100 is a real viewfinder. I use a Sigma DP2m and get by without it but I really wish it had an EVF. If you're doing largish prints, which it sounds like you are, then I'm not sure the RX100 will cut it. I'm picky about prints, though, so some might disagree. I'd go nex 5n/6 or Fuji X-e2 based on your criteria. Buy used. is super conservative with their grading and has great customer service. If you can find bargain rated stuff on there it's usually a good bet. Fredmiranda and getdpi forums are good for buying used as well.

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
THANKS on 04/04/2014 16:04:17 MDT Print View

Thanks Brendan! Super helpful advice! Everyone seems to be leaning towards the Sony's. Good to know!

Also about the used gear. I've been looking on Craigslist a bunch. You can get a Sony NEX5 with a 16-50 lens for $500 on Craigslist. Seems like a great deal!

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Sony a7000 on 04/04/2014 16:10:04 MDT Print View

First Brendan makes some good points.

I decided for a variety of reasons. Weight, reviews, lens selection, controls. It was close between sony and Olympus for me. I wanted to go with Nikon since I'm ther already, but the cost isn't worth it.

Sony was lighter and cheaper than Olympus for the most part. Then I looked at which nex to get. I was considering the 7, but wanted to wait for the newest incarnation. I decided on the newest since it has a few new features/sensor. Then they dropped "nex" and changed the name!

But a used 7/5nex would work I think.

Several things I read that pushed one SLIGHTLY ahead:

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco
Sony a7000 on 04/04/2014 16:20:18 MDT Print View

Hey Michael,

What's the difference MAJOR difference between the NEX 6 and the a7000? There are so many reviews out there my head is spinning. I think I agree with you. It's between a Sony NEX 6 and the OMD E-M10.

I like the m10 because it's so small and nice. But I have yet to get my hands on a Sony. Whichever one takes better picture will be the one i go with.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Sony A7 on 04/04/2014 19:15:54 MDT Print View

So this thread got me curious about the latest and greatest and after a quick scan I don't get why you would not consider the full frame Sony A7 since the body is roughly same size as the Olies with demonstrably better IQ. Maybe a lens issue? Or cost?