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Archive 2012 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?
  
 
Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


I'm contemplating making a move from my DSLR to a M 4/3s system. I currently use 5D2, 7D and 1D4 with a host of lenses from 16-35 F2.8 to 100-400 to 300 F2.8. I love the qualtiy of images as well as the versatility I have, but I have to be honest, the size and weight of everything I have is getting a wee-bit much as I get older. I bought an Olympus E-PL1 a few years ago for my husband to use. I used it a few times for a travel camera and it was SO LIBERATING to carry a small body with two lenses that all together weighed less than my 1D4 by itself.

I'm not a pro in any way, I'm just an advanced hobbiest. I do sell my work at art fairs, but don't rely on that for any income.

My question is to anyone who has already done this, did you regret it in anyway? Do you have any recommendations for more professional body and lenses? The E-PL1 is nice, but I know I can do better and maybe come a bit closer to the quality of my DSLR kit. I might keep one body and one or two lenses from the DSLR kit "just in case".

Your expert opinions are greatly appreciated as I contemplate this very drastic move!

Jo



Dec 14, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Access
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


I think you'll actually find enough people here that use both, out of all the mirrorless systems u4/3 seems to be the most popular with the canon users.

I would not replace one with the other. I would honestly just buy a u4/3 camera and a few lenses (whatever your preference). I use the Olympus only when I know I am going to be moving around a lot or have to minimize the amount of weight/bulk or trying to be more discrete. Otherwise I'll use the DSLR. It's hard to shoot anything in motion with the u4/3, but for a lot of what I do, it works reasonably well. But if I was trying to do sports or an event with people moving around...

If I'm using the Olympus, I typically use two or three small primes like the 14mm f/2.5, 20mm f/1.7, and 45mm f/1.8. You can fit this in a small satchel and carry it under one arm.

Since I still use the DSLR more than two thirds of the time, I would have regretted abandoning that system completely.

BTW every photo here http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1109813/ was taken with the u4/3 and no flash. Using the right primes you can still get sufficient background blur and the lack of flash can be compensated for in post. This is a good example of the environment that is well suited to the system. Moving around a lot, partying, drinking, observing and generally trying to enjoy oneself. Most other photographers I see at such events are still using DSLRs, but I might come across one or two others using something similar.

Be advised that it doesn't allow for a lot of accessories, I sometimes have 2 filters with me (ND and polarizer) and that's it. If it has an on-camera flash, it's direct only, and if you are going to carry around an add-on flash for bounce or off-camera use, you've pretty much lost any lighter/less bulky advantage.

Now if _all you do_ with the camera is stuff like this, travel, parties, hiking, events where you can expect to move around a lot, etc., then maybe ditching the DSLR completely is the thing to do.

Edited on Dec 14, 2012 at 06:00 PM · View previous versions



Dec 14, 2012 at 05:46 PM
GC5
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?



I suggest you look at the Sony NEX system as giving you the best of both worlds. You get an APS-C sized sensor, but the size and weight of m4/3 (for the most part). Sony's NEX lenses are pretty decent (the 50 1.8 OSS is excellent and the only stabilized fast 50 on the market currently).

Canon's new M is another option.



Dec 14, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Access
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


GC5 wrote:
I suggest you look at the Sony NEX system as giving you the best of both worlds. You get an APS-C sized sensor, but the size and weight of m4/3 (for the most part). Sony's NEX lenses are pretty decent (the 50 1.8 OSS is excellent and the only stabilized fast 50 on the market currently).

Problem with the x1.6 systems is the lenses size, the body may not be significantly larger but the lenses are.
If you are carrying 3 primes and a body, it's the size of the primes that matters more than the body.



Dec 14, 2012 at 06:02 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


I think you will not be happy long term if that's your only kit. Why not sell some gear and build a small system & keep the most important pieces of your large kit? If you consolidated all your bodies to 5D3, that would give you a chunk of $$ to build out a high quality small kit... And you would lose almost nothing in terms of functionality.

I have NEX for my compact system, and love it, but it would not suffice for everything (for my use, YMMV).



Dec 14, 2012 at 06:08 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


Access wrote:
Problem with the x1.6 systems is the lenses size, the body may not be significantly larger but the lenses are.
If you are carrying 3 primes and a body, it's the size of the primes that matters more than the body.


Depends - you can build a very small prime system for NEX. I have Sony Zeiss 24/1.8 and Sony 50/1.8 and they are light. Plus I can use a host of alt glass (Contax G for example). If you put Contax G90 and Canon 100L side by side, there's a BIG difference - G90 is so much smaller. Or look at Contax 135 Jena - very small and compact and super easy to use on NEX.



Dec 14, 2012 at 06:12 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


I shoot a gh1 and a 30d. They are completely different ways of working. Of course I use the m4/3 with alts and don't have any af lenses so I use it like my old OM-1. If I am going to take my time and shoot creative stuff where most would think no good shots exist I might grab the gh1. Also I shoot it on a tripod really slow at times. The evf is great with alts. I can zoom in and focus through the viewfinder. If I want to take a picture "of" an object, the Canon DSLR would likely get the nod

Iq similar to dslr to 800. I should test , but at 1600 I'd use 30d. If it :was one or the other I'd stick with dslr. A used gh1 was $350 get both. The gh1 is a nice diversion



Dec 14, 2012 at 06:34 PM
curious80
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


Jo, Olympus E-M5 and Panasonic GH3 are currently the top of the line m43 body and both have new sensors which are significantly better than what you have in E-PL1 and very close to modern APS-C senors in performance. E-M5 is at this point the most favored m43 body by still shooters and GH3 is pretty much the best thing out there for video shooters.. GH3 has a more DSLR like body and a bit bulky for an m43, E-M5 is somewhere between the GH3 and E-PL1 in terms of its body.

In terms of lenses there are many high grade lenses in the ultra-wide to moderate tele range including Panasonic 7-14mm, Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8, Olympus 12mm f2, Panasonic 25mm 1.4, Olympus 45mm 1.8, Panasonic 45mm 2.8 macro, Olympus 75mm 1.8 and Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8. There are many other lenses but I have just mentioned the higher grade ones as thats what you mainly seemed to be interested in. So that covers up to about 200mm equivalent. Beyond that there are lenses like Panasonic 45-200mm, 100-300mm (a 200-600mm equivalent!) etc. They are not in the same league as say your 300mm f2.8 or the other lenses that I mentioned but are nevertheless pretty good lenses.

m43 is the most mature mirror-less system and for many people it has enough to be their primary system. You will find some shooters in the alternative gear forum who have shifted exclusively to m43 from DSLRs. However what it still cannot do well is sports photography as the tracking AF is not on par with even entry-to-mid level DSLRs. Single shot AF though is really fast and accurate and rivals high-end professional DSLRs. Also if you are into the type of ultra-thin DOF that comes from using an f1.4 lens wide-open on an FF sensor then m43 would not do that for you.

Hope this helps.

Edited on Dec 14, 2012 at 06:45 PM · View previous versions



Dec 14, 2012 at 06:38 PM
curious80
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


AmbientMike wrote:
...
Iq similar to dslr to 800. I should test , but at 1600 I'd use 30d. ...


GH1 and 30D are both fairly old sensors. The current m43 sensor in E-M5, E-PL5 etc is easily better than 30D and matches Canon 7D at high ISO as well as low ISO.


Edited on Dec 14, 2012 at 06:52 PM · View previous versions



Dec 14, 2012 at 06:43 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


I think the m4/3 should be close to your 7d saw some photos on here with 75 that might beat your 5d2. Saw others that matched ff with 70-200 II BUT was shot with Leica 75. The quality is there at low iso. My point is that the iq is good, maybe should've made that clearer.


Dec 14, 2012 at 06:46 PM
 

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Gochugogi
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


I shoot with a 5D2, 7D and Oly E-P3. The Oly is perfect for point 'n shoot and stays in my messenger bag 24/7. Nevertheless it's a long ways from 7D IQ and handling. Of course it's last year's top model and the new OM and E-M5 best it a notch or so. The main problem I had with the 4/3 system is it is too small to hold steady with larger optics and it really lends itself to pancakes and wee zooms. Also, while I can blaze away with my 7D and get sharp images in almost any reasonable light, the Oly is much more difficult to hold steady, especially at arm's length, so I end up with a lot more blurry images. I pretty much have to use a tripod or brace on a fence/wall for low light pics I can easily hand hold with my 7D/5D2. The in-body IS is not nearly as good as lens-based IS and my Panasonic zooms stabilize a couple stops better than the body IS.

I don't think I could ever switch to M4/3 for serious use but I love using the cameras for casual shooting. The Oly E-P3 did replace my iPhone and S90. I also gave up on the 1D series as it's just too heavy for me. The 6D might be a good compromise: great IQ, easy to hold steady but lighter and smaller than a 7D/5D2.



Dec 14, 2012 at 06:59 PM
GC5
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?



The NEX primes are all very small and comparatively light. It might not be quite as light as a m4/3 system, but you will still be saving tons of weight and have a larger sensor.



Dec 14, 2012 at 07:19 PM
dfresh
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


Access' comments are almost my thoughts exactly. I really like my OMD, but I couldn't imagine it completely replacing my DSLR setup for what I shoot (YMMV). I scaled back my FF setup in order to dip into the m4/3 world and glad I did. I was worried about the IQ of the smaller sensor coming from a 1Ds2/5D2 setup, but its quite good and the IBIS is excellent.


Dec 14, 2012 at 07:24 PM
clickclack
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


Hello! I've been photographing for 50 (fifty) years and used predominately SLRs w/film. Two years ago, I bought an Olympus E-P3, their 35mm lens, the small flash and their 90 degree, hot shoe mounted view finder (which, by the way, Leica uses EXACTLY but w/their nomenclature). Really, really nice outfit & pics.

That being said, I have sold it and saved-up enough $$$ to buy a Canon 5D MarkIII and a 50mm F/1.8 lens (not type II). Why? I truly missed the feel of a SLR and now that it has a FF sensor, it has the capability of producing some great photographs. (Prior to this, I would not have spent this large sum of $$$ on a DSLR, as I have felt that their capability to produce close approximations to the film/slides that I used was lacking. Sure, I could have gone to a MFD or spent even more $$$$$$$$$, but just felt that that was NOT the way to go.

So, my thoughts are: keep your Canon gear, or perhaps sell some of it to finance a G15, a Ricoh GRD IV, or even a Canon S110, etc. I STILL use my FujiFilm F30-a much desired 6MP compact camera. That has traveled w/me to Machu Pichu, Death Valley, to the top of Mt. Taylor, etc., and have gotten some wonderful shots. Shure, there is no RAW, but once again, it is light & very portable.

Good luck: take your time and evaluate, evaluate, evaluate what you REALLY LIKE to do in photography. THAT will be your ultimate guide. BTW, try traveling light w/your 5D II: just take along either a 50mm or even better a 35mm and work on informal, street shooting. Just use your feet :*) !

Ciao!



Dec 14, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. The Olympus E-M5 was the one I was contemplating at this time. I don't think I would ever really be able to rid myself of ALL the DSLR stuff, but there are some things that could be sold to finance the foray into higher lever M43 gear. Sometimes schlepping all that gear around is just a pain in the butt. I guess part of my problem right now is that my "muse" has left me and I've been in a photography slump for a few months. Thought maybe that with a smaller, more easily accessed/used system, I might find some new joy in photography. I'm in no hurry so I'll just keep educating myself on the system!


Dec 14, 2012 at 08:38 PM
tived
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


Good morning Jo,

Well here in Australia it's morning anyway ;-)

I am in a very similar dilemma, except I am sort of a bit forced to make a switch due to a back injury earlier this year.

I have 1D4 with 15 to 300 f/2.8LIS, I LOVE some of these lenses 85mm f/1.2L, 135mm f/2L and the 300mm f/2.8LIS but its all just getting too heavy, i have been doing a couple of small jobs lately just to test myself.
Running around with the 1D4 and a 24-70 + flash is nearly killing me within 45 minutes and this is with a fair share of heavy chemical help.

So, at the moment I have my kit evaluated for purchase/trade at one of my local stores and the plan is to get an Olympus E-M5 kit.

I shoot panoramic landscapes mainly for myself, I do not see myself using this for a job - and will simply just not take on shooting jobs unless I can see fit to do so. Maybe down the track with a Pro m4/3 body I would do it or if I feel the Olympus is up to it. But for now I will just focus on my Retouching business for other creatives.

I have been tossing up between the Sony Nex 7 as well, but I didn't find the lens range as appealing as the Olympus.

I like fast glass, I currently don't have anything slower then 2.8 and its going to be interesting to see how the m4/3 lenses fare in the shallower end. I am really hoping that I will be able to find something to replace my beautiful 85mm f/1.2L, which I think is going to be the tricky part.

Regrets - well, as it stands right now. Its better to be able to go out and be able to shoot and enjoy it, then carry something that is going to make it a burden to go out. So, yes I will miss it, but I am also looking forward to this new adventure and I hope as I go along this new journey that I will be able to get the best out of what I have and find ways to improve it. I am sure the new system will open up other opportunities that I have not seen before due to perhaps the bulk and sometimes intimidation of the much larger Pro gear.

We will see, lets talk next Christmas ;-) I am sure it will be exciting times :-) and I hope I will find myself outthere alot more often then I have been in the past 9 month

All the best for Western Australia - wishing you all a very merry Xmas and happy 2013

Henrik

Edited on Dec 14, 2012 at 09:49 PM · View previous versions



Dec 14, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Access
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


Gochugogi wrote:
small to hold steady with larger optics and it really lends itself to pancakes and wee zooms. Also, while I can blaze away with my 7D and get sharp images in almost any reasonable light, the Oly is much more difficult to hold steady, especially at arm's length, so I end up with a lot more blurry images.

Yeah this. I feel like I've basically had to re-invent technique for these cameras. It's different enough to throw you off completely if you are used to the DSLR. I can get okay results but it's not as stable as a DSLR simply by virtue of the lighter weight.

I think the latest in-body IS (the 5-axis ones) is very good but I still try not to rely on that alone.

I've found that arms length (like a handgun or pistol) is bad, about the best I can do is keep it close to my body and elbows in.



Dec 14, 2012 at 09:47 PM
tived
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


I can't imagine this being a sport shooters gear, in anyway. Even the none-1 and 3 series in both Canon & Nikon do not cut the mustard in this area.

Yes, the D800 and 5D user may think they are using Professional gear, but don't kid yourself. Its not! They are made for much slower paced work, not as durable etc... but you are closer to a m4/3 then to a Pro camera. (Ultimately its very user dependent :-) when it comes to utilise the abilities of the gear and one self )

The m4/3 is even less so, and I think that one has to try and bring the right tool for the job. If you are doing to be shooting with a m4/3 then sport and racing probably isn't going be as easy to capture as with any of the above camera's, this is not to say its impossible, you are just not going to get as many keepers as you were used to.

m4/3 will have other strenghts - like street photography (which I don't do :-) ) so thats no good, but it will be alot easier to hike with through bush.

I can certainly see, as Access pointed out, that there will be a need to re-invent new techniques, m4/3 will be a slightly different ball game, but thats not necessary a bad thing (i hope :-) )

I guess I will soon know

Henrik



Dec 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


Ive had no problem hh these cameras. I prefer them when using slower ss than I would like although in that case the higher iso of a dslr can be handy. In the end use what works best for you. The quality is there.


Dec 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM
tived
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · DSLR to M 4/3s ?


Jo, I just had a look at your website quickly to see what you shoot - Landscape!!! :-) Lovely Images!!!

Well, nice little (stable) tripod, the Oly kit with a handful of lens's with the 150mm f/2.8 (300mm) coming next year and weighing around around kilo or 2lb, some filters, remote and your are set. 5kg max and off you go!

Well, thats my plan anyway ;-) I am just hoping they will come up with a better bracketing system then only 1-stop. So I can do my HDR work as well with it. Or hoping for some device like the Promote System for the Oly.

The only thing I will keep from my old system is my Arca Swiss Cube and my Really Right Stuff pano rig, and that will probably be the heaviest gear in my bag.

Tripod for this is the only thing I am not sure about yet? what to get, coming from very large Gitzo and Manfrotto carbon fibre tripods more suitable for 600mm f/4 lens's. Any ideas?

Henrik



Dec 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM
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