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

Locale: San Francisco
A7 on 04/04/2014 19:57:25 MDT Print View

I'm not considering the A7 because I do not need a full frame camera in the slightest. I'm really happy with what I have now with the expectation of the weight. Any of the cameras we've discussed will be an improvement so why waste the money on something I don't need.

Not to mention it's $1000 more then any of the cameras I'm looking at. I would much prefer to spend that money on new tents, sleeping bags, stoves, and the plethora of other things I could do with $1000.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: NoCo
Re: Sony a7000 on 04/04/2014 21:23:38 MDT Print View


That covers it for me. I like what I hear about the menus and newer sensor. Xbut really i just want the newest. :)

Levon Jensen
(LevonJensen) - MLife

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Star shots. on 04/04/2014 23:12:31 MDT Print View

i used to use a sony nex 5n, and a 8mm rokinon f2.8 for star shots. sample shot from my nex5n.

If you are on a budget, i would look into a used nex 5 or 5n, ( 5n has a better on off switch and that's about it. same sensor)

look into the new rokinon 10mm, the 8mm is a fisheye and the 10 should give a better FOV without the heavy distortion.

Rokinon , or samyang makes the best night photography lenses. and they are cheap.

The nex line lacks lenses, but for under 1000 you could have a top of the line night photography setup. which is less then most cameras.

If your not on a budget, I think the best compact camera at the moment, is the fuji xt-1, but its 1300 plus lenses.

And the A7-r ( the a7 is not worth buying) is the best camera for size and weight. if you have no budget, you would be looking at 2000 for the camera, and i think a wait on the rokinon lenses, not sure if they are out yet. and i think there 35mm is around a grand.

One more, if the weight of your old camera was ok, the canon 6d is the best star shot camera avaiable at the moment, and can be found for 1300-1400 , plus a rokinon 14mm f2.8 is the very best setup you can get.
If star shots matter, that will be your best kit.

Feel free to pm me, i just went through the process and decided on a Nikon d610, but image quality for night/star shots was my only concern, and i can feel the weight :P

Edited by LevonJensen on 04/04/2014 23:23:01 MDT.

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F

Locale: San Francisco
THANK YOU! on 04/04/2014 23:28:37 MDT Print View

Hey Levon,

THANK YOU! Awesome info, and exactly what I was looking for.

"The nex line lacks lenses, but for under 1000 you could have a top of the line night photography setup. which is less then most cameras."

Are you referring to a NEX 5 or 5n with the rokinon 10mm? That is the exact lens that I was looking at and I was wondering about samyang so thanks for the info!

I think if I changed I would go to a lighter and smaller set up. I just think I would use it more all around. Although I would LOVE to get both :-)

Levon Jensen
(LevonJensen) - MLife

Locale: Canadian Rockies
reply on 04/05/2014 16:22:11 MDT Print View

yes the nex 5 or 5n ( or even the 5t, 3n to 3c ) they all use the same sensor i believe, and the rokinon/bower/samyang, 10mm f2.8. you could also look at there other lenses all are the best for the cost for landscapes.

And yes i find i use my lighter setup a lot more . and almost dread bringing my new gear out.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Sony a7000 on 04/07/2014 08:59:59 MDT Print View


I think you'd be well served by either the NEX 5N, 6, 7, a5000, or a6000. These APS-C sensors offer some of the best image quality you can find. For long exposures, especially night shots m4/3 is going to show its weakness, otherwise differences in IQ are probably not worth worrying about much.

Fuji and Olympus are where you want to be looking if you're leaning toward m4/3 at the end of the day.

A good friend of mine switched from a full frame Pentax DSLR to the Oly E-M5 and has been mostly happy with it but he likes to shoot star trails and other long exposure shots and I know he's been a little frustrated with excessive hot pixels and noise. Granted that sensor is starting to show its age now, but I think comparing modern APS-C to modern m4/3 it's generally going to be the case.

Here are a couple of older blog posts that might be of some use to you...

I still find my 5N to be a great camera. I recently purchased an RX100 to take on runs and it's pretty impressive too... but it can't hold highlight or shadow detail like the 5N can. I'll be posting a writeup about it soon, as well as some thoughts on the full frame mirrorless and why I'm not switching to them (as if anyone really cared :)

TL;DR... 5N can be had for a song. Just sayin!

Edited by JacobD on 04/07/2014 09:00:50 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
My head hurts on 04/07/2014 09:56:02 MDT Print View

The proliferation of models from each manufacturer means I have regularly window shopped but not replaced my Canon 20D from about a decade ago. There's too much choice and not enough clarity in how each model is positioned. Add to that the arms race to release newer versions every few months, and the quandary becomes "should I buy something that'll be obsolete soon" vs "am I buying an unproven lemon"?

I like the look of the Sony NEX / Ax000 models, but their choice of prime lens focal lengths leaves me cold. As a former Leica film shooter (woah, those prices have gone into the stratosphere in the last 15 years!), I became really comfortable with 21mm, 35mm and 50mm. Sony have some curious gaps - their full-frame equivalent focal lengths work out to be 24mm, 30mm, 52.5mm and 75mm. They might not sound all that significant, but there's an unlearning process to go through.

Can anyone convince me that any of the Sony APS-C zooms that are small enough for backpacking offer good enough image quality? I long ago gave up kit zooms, and f/3.5 or f/4 seems like a horribly slow maximum aperture. Or is there an aftermarket alternative that beats Sony hands down in the FL ranges I mention above?

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: My head hurts on 04/07/2014 10:58:04 MDT Print View

Stuart, there are quite a few lenses now for the E-mount. Have you looked into the Zeiss primes at all? Sigma? Samyang? Not to mention you can mount just about any manual focus legacy lenses with adapters - and depending on the sensor, many rangefinder lenses as well.

As for zooms... not really my thing. The Sony zooms are not very impressive. The Zeiss 16-70 has been pretty well received, but quality control issues exist (which is not all that uncommon). Phillip Reeve is a friend of mine, and a very capable photog. He reviewed the lens a few months ago.

This thread being about m4/3 opinion, I'd say there are options there as well if you want those focal lengths. You'll just have to weigh everything out. If you're worried about buying unproven bodies... then don't :) Problem solved! Buying a generation back has never bothered me, especially when it saved me some cash.

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Re: My head hurts on 04/07/2014 21:22:20 MDT Print View

You are looking at it all backwards Stuart. Quit looking at cameras for a bit! Look at lenses, find the lenses you want - and then look for a camera that fits the lenses!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: My head hurts on 04/07/2014 21:43:29 MDT Print View

I agree, look for lenses first. Over a long period of time, your investment in good lenses will prove better than the investment in camera bodies. A good camera body may be semi-obsolete after several years, but good lenses stay around longer. I'm using Canon EF lenses that I purchased in 1997.


Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: My head hurts on 04/07/2014 22:12:35 MDT Print View

Good feedback Jacob, Jim and Bob. Zooms leave me cold. Buying a system based on the lens was how I wound up with a Leica M4 rangefinder that's older than me. Before digital that suited me down to the ground. I'm simply not able to make the leap to a digital M to bring my one and only remaining Leica M lens, a 4th generation pre-ASPH 35mm Summicron, into the 21st century.

I like fast primes, and compact systems. Which led me to look carefully at m4/3 and specifically the Panasonic 20/1.7 or Pana-pseudo-leica 25/1.4, and the Olympus 45/1.8. However as this thread pointed out the smaller sensor gives up a lot vs APS-C, and that's why I briefly considered Sony NEX. Time for some more lens research.

Garrett McLarty
(gmac) - MLife

Locale: PNW, Seattle
full frame to m43 on 04/14/2014 08:46:24 MDT Print View

Just my two cents.

My camera progression; D40, D3100, D7000, 6D, OMD-EM1.

Going through the APS-C line to full frame and then to the Olympus EM1, I wish that the Olympus would have been around 10 years ago. My two frustrations with APS-C were lack of manual controls and high iso noise. The problem with full frame and APS-C was size. If the EM10 had been out when I bought the EM1, I very likely would have gotten it as it is smaller and cheaper.

Yes there are some compromises with m43 vs full frame image quality, but not enough for me to want to carry such a large camera. I love the m43 as it does everything I need and is small enough to carry. If you are wondering about it'd capabilities, check out this link.


Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: My head hurts on 04/14/2014 12:14:54 MDT Print View


Leica is proud of their product line, and always has been. Great stuff for those who can afford it. It's worth noting that some (many) of the Leica and Leica-compatible rangefinder lenses can be mounted to NEX bodies via an adapter, and will work great. I'm not sure yet how this translates to the new "NEX" (no longer NEX) bodies, but for a very small and high quality manual-focus system... I love it and use rangefinder lenses exclusively on my NEX.

Anyway... I didn't mean to imply that m4/3 gives up a lot vs. APS-C. It really doesn't give up much at all. Compared against full frame, the differences are more obvious but modern m4/3 has become very impressive (Olympus pretty much proved this with the OM-D E-M5).

Regarding Garrett's comment above about lack of manual control and amount of noise with APS-C... I'm not quite following (?) Controls would be only related to the camera body, have nothing to do with the sensor size. On the other hand, I can't think of a body from any manufacturer that offers and APS-C sensor and lacks full manual control, hence confused face :) Regarding noise, if comparing same-generation sensors, APS-C would have more noise than Full Frame, but less than m4/3 as a general rule. HE seems happy with his m4/3, so again not sure how to interpret his remark about noise (Garrett?). If you look at the performance of modern sensors compared to those from 5 or 6 years ago, the ISO performance has advanced so much that noise is *almost* not worth mentioning, relatively speaking anyway. I would only be concerned about that if you focus heavily on long exposures and low light photography.

Edited by JacobD on 04/14/2014 12:16:14 MDT.

Garrett McLarty
(gmac) - MLife

Locale: PNW, Seattle
Clarification on 04/14/2014 21:15:23 MDT Print View

Sorry about the possible confusion in the last post.

To clarify, on the first 2 Nikons I owned (D40 and D3100), you have to dive into the menus to change several frequently used settings. That prompted me to move to the D7000 which has dual dials and several more buttons. The D7000 did everything that I wanted except that I was still unhappy with the noise at high iso, and tempted by the image quality of a full frame. The Canon 6D was a lot of fun to shoot. I like its controls. (one thing that Canon did on the 6D was put almost all the controls on the right side so you don't need a second hand to change settings very often). The Canon 6D also has amazingly good high iso performance. The downside to all of these camera setups with multiple lenses was size and weight. I hated carrying them. My wife used them only rarely because of size. Many times hiking and backpacking, we only took a little lumix point and shoot.

Due to the size and weight issue, I began to look for an alternative. I tried Fuji and nex but was not happy with the external controls, and lack of viewfinder, autofocus. When I saw the pictures people were taking with the OMD series, and tried them out in the store, I was sold. The OMD series give you DSLR like controls and image quality in a very small package.

Yes there are other small bodies like the Fuji (XT-1 is improved from what I tried) or the Sony. However, APS-C and Full frame bodies can be small but the lenses will not be nearly as small as the m43.

My advice for anyone making a decision like this is to go to a camera store where you can play with each of the bodies that you are interested in along with a lens or two and then make the choice.

Hopefully this clears up any confusion from my last post.


Anton Solovyev
(solovam) - F

Locale: Colorado, Utah
m43 on 04/14/2014 22:37:22 MDT Print View

m43 is great for outdoor use. The difference between an APS-C DSLR and a m43 camera for me was that the DSLR always stayed home, whereas the m43 camera travels with me.

With a pancake prime a m43 camera is very light, compact, has no moving parts and has a great image quality. There are a lot of lens choices for m43, more than other compact interchangeable lens systems.

I have had Olympus E-PL2, upgraded to GX-1 and looking to upgrade to GX-7 or OMD in the future. I have a Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 prime (~$180 on Ebay). That system makes a tiny package.

Recently I got a Panasonic 7-14mm f/4.0 (~$950). It's a great lens for landscape shots and tight spaces, like canyons. I printed images taken with this lens to 20x30 size and there's still room to print larger, I believe.

The choice between Panasonic and Olympus for me is better quality out of camera JPEGs in Olympus and better support for Panasonic lenses in Panasonic bodies.


I am not an expert by any means, but I am very happy with m43, first time in a long series of various cameras I have used. If I were to think about a different system, I would be looking at an "enthusiast" type full frame DSLR, where there would be a noticeable increase in image quality.

Edited by solovam on 04/14/2014 22:42:15 MDT.

Megan P
(meganpetruccelli) - F

Locale: San Francisco
I DID IT! on 04/30/2014 11:05:20 MDT Print View

I did it. I pulled the trigger and bought a OMD e-M10. I'm REALLY excited!

Looking for suggestions for lenses. I didn't buy the kit lens and I instead upgraded to the 14-42 EZ lens which is the same as the kit lens but a fraction of the size. It's TINY. I wanted to get the smallest package I could to start.

I'm looking for a wide angle now. That's good for night shots. There are quite a few out there so I was wondering if anyone has suggestions. I'm open to a prime lens but I definitely like the idea of a wide zoom. Anyways.. any suggestions for a good sharp wide angle for stars?

I had a 10-22mm for my Canon and loved it. Really nice lens.