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Author Topic: Why I'm sold on micro 4/3  (Read 1807 times)

danfried2

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Why I'm sold on micro 4/3
« on: April 03, 2023, 09:17:25 pm »

Micro 4/3 saved my ability to continue to be a serious photographer. Some years ago, I was hiking in Yosemite with a backpack full of Canon FF gear. My back started killing me and I almost tossed the gear in the trash. I realized that, after multiple back surgeries and getting well into my "senior" years, I just couldn't carry that kind of weight. Plus, I've got an absolute rule that I follow when in the field: I NEVER change glass while hiking. NEVER. The risk of dropping a lens, or introducing dust into the camera is simply too great. For example: On the 1st day of a Nat Geo photo expedition to the Galapagos, one of the guests dropped his main Nikon lens while walking on a rather irregular path. He was then stuck with extreme wide angle, or long tele for the rest of the trip. I never do that unless I find a clean, stable place to swap lenses. Plus, and maybe this just my luck, when shooting wildlife, something would always happen for which I had the absolutely wrong lens on the camera and there was no time to change. I consider the camera body to be an extension of the lens and if I'm carrying 3 lenses that I intend to use while on a hike, I need 3 bodies. Yes, I know that many new FF mirorless bodies are not much heavier than a micro 4/3 body. But, the glass is still MUCH heavier.

When Olympus introduced the OM-D EM-5, years ago, I bought one and ran a bunch of tests vs my 5D mk2. Of course there was a difference in IQ, but it was much less than I expected. Mostly, it required pixel peeping to notice. I had an upcoming trip to Yellowstone and I brought the EM-5, 2 Pen bodies and 3 lenses and NO backpack. I was able to carry all 3 on a BlackRapid strap system and whenever I saw something interesting, I just raised the appropriate body/lens combo to my eye and fired away. Of HUGE importance to me, I was able to hike 5-10 miles at a time without back pain. In reality, for that kind of trip, if it wasn't for the light weight of the micro 4/3 gear, I would probably have just hiked with a Sony RX compact camera and left the Canon in the car. So, for me, the choice isn't whether micro 4/3 can compete with FF, but whether I bring a camera or not. I'm a volunteer photographer for several organizations, including the National Park Service, and have never received a negative response to images I have submitted.

Today, I have an OM-1 and a couple of older E-M1 mk2 bodies. The IQ is far superior to the original micro 4/3 gear and the new noise reduction apps (I use DXO DeepPrim XD) enable me to shoot over ISO 10,000 and still obtain clean results. Would I like a camera with 30-40MP resolution, sure. But, absent someone willing to carry it for me, it simply would not be with me when I'm doing my favorite kinds of photography. So, what good would that do?
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bobtrlin

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Re: Why I'm sold on micro 4/3
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2023, 08:21:08 pm »

Whoohoo, another m4/3 user!  For many years I've been a reasonably active member of the ill-fated DPR whilst being a lurker here.  I liked the vitality of DPR and learnt heaps.  Unfortunately, that came with considerable vitriol but thankfully, there was an "ignore user" button that I used to full advantage.  When I needed a sanity check, I came here.
I made the switch to digital with the view that for my purposes, systems were much of a muchness.  I had no need nor the skill to sell large landscapes so 4/3 was the logical affordable choice.  That has now morphed into OMS m4/3.  There is no compelling reason for me to consider anything else.
It's a shame that m4/3 is lumped into the mirrorless forum.  It seems to me that in terms of technique and genre, the leap from DSLR to mirrorless is considerably less than that from FF to m4/3.
In terms of weight, yes, I'm a septuagenarian yet can happily cradle an OM-1 + 300mm f4 + MC-20 (2xTC) in my left hand looking for a handheld shot of a bird.  I now only ever use a tripod for focus stacked macros and the occasional high-res landscapes.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Why I'm sold on micro 4/3
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2023, 06:44:33 am »

Another m4/3s user here. I'm not a convert since I never used any other digital system unless you count the Sony R1 I had once and a tiny sensor p&s or two. Went from Olympus 4/3s D-SLRs to m4/3s. Gives me everything I want or need and doesn't break the bank and there's lots of lens choice.

A tongue and cheek thread appeared over on micro43.org when dpreview's demise was announced, https://micro43.org/t/new-life-for-m4-3-now-dpreview-full-frame-shilling-is-gone/301.
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Robert

armand

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Re: Why I'm sold on micro 4/3
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2023, 12:31:56 am »

I've been using m43 more over the last couple of years, mostly for hiking/light travel where there are significant advantages to the zooms making for a lighter yet rugged kit with mostly good enough image quality.
I got the OM-1 for the extra computational abilities which make it punch above its sensor size. The 12-100 F4 is a classic, and I do get along well with the 8-25 F4 also. Occasionally carry the Laowa 7.5 F2 and the Oly 17 F1.8 and 45 F1.8. This last month I finally bit the bullet and got the macro 60 F2.8 and it looks and performs much better than I expected.
Overall I still see myself using the m43 quite often although if I can afford the weight/volume I might grab the Nikon Z stuff.

This being said, I do have some criticism of the OM-1 and it mainly involves the build quality; compared to the E-M1 iii there is a significant drop in the overall impression and function. While the OM-1 is overall the better camera, mostly on the extra computational things, it doesn't give the same impression of solidity. The card door slightly bends when I hold the camera, it doesn't do it on the E-M1 iii. The top dials, the back one in particular, can be quite sticky and require extra effort to move and it's a far cry rom the smoothness o the E-M1iii and some of the buttons seem to be less responsive. I've been with it in the rain several times and it works, but I'm not that sure on the long term and the main reason why I held on buying another one and just use the E-M1iii that I have despite a different layout and different batteries.

niteart

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Re: Why I'm sold on micro 4/3
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2023, 04:00:21 pm »

Another Olympus user here. I shoot both m43 and gfx interchangeably. My bag fits either 1 GFX + 2 lenses, or 2 Olympus cameras and 4-5 lenses. I used to carry three Oly cameras so I don't have to change lenses too! One feature that I love about m43 is ability to focus close. Every lens is pretty much macro!

I also noticed that physical changes to OM-1 made it less pleasant to use. There are subtle changes, they are annoying, but I can live with it. em1.3 is absolute champion in ergonomics.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Why I'm sold on micro 4/3
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2023, 10:36:48 pm »

Micro 4/3 saved my ability to continue to be a serious photographer. Some years ago, I was hiking in Yosemite with a backpack full of Canon FF gear. My back started killing me and I almost tossed the gear in the trash. I realized that, after multiple back surgeries and getting well into my "senior" years, I just couldn't carry that kind of weight. Plus, I've got an absolute rule that I follow when in the field: I NEVER change glass while hiking. NEVER. The risk of dropping a lens, or introducing dust into the camera is simply too great. For example: On the 1st day of a Nat Geo photo expedition to the Galapagos, one of the guests dropped his main Nikon lens while walking on a rather irregular path. He was then stuck with extreme wide angle, or long tele for the rest of the trip. I never do that unless I find a clean, stable place to swap lenses. Plus, and maybe this just my luck, when shooting wildlife, something would always happen for which I had the absolutely wrong lens on the camera and there was no time to change. I consider the camera body to be an extension of the lens and if I'm carrying 3 lenses that I intend to use while on a hike, I need 3 bodies. Yes, I know that many new FF mirorless bodies are not much heavier than a micro 4/3 body. But, the glass is still MUCH heavier.

When Olympus introduced the OM-D EM-5, years ago, I bought one and ran a bunch of tests vs my 5D mk2. Of course there was a difference in IQ, but it was much less than I expected. Mostly, it required pixel peeping to notice. I had an upcoming trip to Yellowstone and I brought the EM-5, 2 Pen bodies and 3 lenses and NO backpack. I was able to carry all 3 on a BlackRapid strap system and whenever I saw something interesting, I just raised the appropriate body/lens combo to my eye and fired away. Of HUGE importance to me, I was able to hike 5-10 miles at a time without back pain. In reality, for that kind of trip, if it wasn't for the light weight of the micro 4/3 gear, I would probably have just hiked with a Sony RX compact camera and left the Canon in the car. So, for me, the choice isn't whether micro 4/3 can compete with FF, but whether I bring a camera or not. I'm a volunteer photographer for several organizations, including the National Park Service, and have never received a negative response to images I have submitted.

Today, I have an OM-1 and a couple of older E-M1 mk2 bodies. The IQ is far superior to the original micro 4/3 gear and the new noise reduction apps (I use DXO DeepPrim XD) enable me to shoot over ISO 10,000 and still obtain clean results. Would I like a camera with 30-40MP resolution, sure. But, absent someone willing to carry it for me, it simply would not be with me when I'm doing my favorite kinds of photography. So, what good would that do?

If I may ask, how much do you weight and how tall are you?

Cheers,
Bernard
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