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Help me decide m4/3 or FE?
  
 
hosma
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


Hello community,

please help me decide whether to ditch sony FE for m4/3.

I'm hobby photographer using Sony a7 with FE35F28 and FE70200F4 and while I'm happy with the results I have two major problems with this setup - the 70200G is too big and when traveling I have to constantly change, the way I take pictures, lenses (esp. in cities) which bothers me the most.Through the years (granted only few) I have become a fan of longer FLs (out of those 2 lenses I mostly use the 70200).

So here is my question - should I stick with a7 and purchase the 24-240 or swich to m4/3 (was thinking e-m1/e-m5II or some Panasonic + the new 12-100). While it does not seem like much of a reason to switch and the sensor size favours Sony I see here two main benefits - one, the 12-100 offers a 1:2 (or so) macro which makes it ultimate travel lens and two, with my liking of longer FLs, due to crop factor a lens over 200 mm (full frame format) will not cost a forture and weigh like an elephant.

Thanks for your input, hopefully there's someone who made the switch (one way or another).



Dec 26, 2016 at 01:37 PM
jmmaher
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


I own both systems. There is no right answer. The Sony has better image quality especially in lower light and the 70-200 is excellent. Personally I would not buy the 24-240 as I have a friend with one and the photos do not match the quality of the 70-200.

On the other hand I have a Gx-85 body and smaller lenses for travel. The 12-100 sounds excellent but I have no personal experience with it.



Dec 26, 2016 at 11:22 PM
jmmaher
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


Just for fun here is a composite taken with both systems. The background with the GX-85 and 12-35 and the person with the Sony A7r2.

Beautiful Stranger by jmmtampa, on Flickr



Dec 26, 2016 at 11:25 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


If you are a hobby photographer I think you will be much happier with an m43 system as they are a lot more fun to shoot with than FF systems. The IQ is pretty good unless you regularly make very large prints i.e. well above 20" x 16" ... or if you are making a living from photography. What's more important to you - ultimate image quality or the enjoyment factor? Don't get me wrong - IQ is extremely important to me. The m43 sensor of today is as good as the FF sensor of yesterday.


Dec 26, 2016 at 11:59 PM
mmurph
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


The Panasonic 35-100 2.8 is a pretty great lens, with very high quality. The 35-100 on M 4/3 is equivalent to the 70-200 on full frame. It is affordable (around $600+ used) and much smaller and more discrete than the 70-200 4.0

If you look at the DxO ISO noise ("sport") rating, most of the M 4/3 cameras are rated at about ISO 800 (the GX8 is rated at 806, the E-M5 II at 896, which is a very, very small difference- about 1/6 stop.)

The APS-C cameras are at ISO 1400+-, and the Sony A7 full frame is 2248. That is the ISO at which you still retain 9 stops of DR on each sensor. (That is one of the few DxO numbers that is pretty useful without looking at more detailed information ...)

You are going to get more noise on the M 4/3 at a comparable ISO, but the 35-100 2.8 is also 1 stop faster than the 70-200 4.0. That gets M 4/3 to an equivalent of ISO 1600. The A7 at ISO 2248 is only about 1/2 stop better, so you really won't see a lot of difference!

(ISO 1600->2000->2500->3200 are the +1/3 stop marks.)

+++

I used Sony as a second- or third-tier system for about 8 years. I finally moved to Panasonic for 4K video without overheating about 2.5 years ago. The Panasonic menus, lens selection, and ergonomics are all much better for me than trying to make Sony work for my needs and price point.

Full frame didn't have the AF performance that I needed (until the A7RII- I tried the A7II), and APS-C didn't have the high quality. affordable zooms and affordable primes. (Sony has focused so much on premium FE lenses lately.)

I also keep a full DSLR kit for wildlife work with long lenses, and (previously) for events in low light with the 2.8 zooms, so I didn't want to invest $2.8K to $3.2k in the A7RII as a "secondary" system. Obviously, YMMV, but I am pretty happy with M 4/3 right now. I also have my Nikon D7200 and D5500 to supplement M 4/3 (down from the D810 since June, when I stopped doing events.)

+++

I have a GX8 and a GX85 right now. Sort of one larger, stills-centric camera to use with long lenses (GX8), and a smaller, portable, video-centric camera with video IBIS/ stabilization. The newer G85 blends features from both cameras- mostly the newer shutter, lack of an AA filter, and the 5 axis IBIS that first arrived on the GX85 in May.

I stay with Panasonic because I shoot 4K video. That is new on the Olympus M1 II, but that is also a $2K camera. My GX8 and GX85 together would run about $1,000+- used, with the 12-32 II kit lens. That is about the same as the newer GX85 with the new 12-60 kit lens.

Good luck!


Edited on Dec 27, 2016 at 12:54 AM · View previous versions



Dec 27, 2016 at 12:39 AM
notherenow
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


I use both a FF A7s and an M4/3 GX7. I also used to have an A7 and have had other M4/3 cameras.



There is a place in my bag for both though the A7s is my all time favourite camera. The A7 was maybe the best camera I have used for day time image quality and more than I needed.

What is fun is subjective (I prefer my A7s) but for traveling, M4/3 is good enough that it may well be the best bet for a smaller kit currently for you.

I will likely be replacing the GX7 in the next year or so and it may well be another M4/3 or an APSC camera. There are no bad cameras really and what suits is subjective.



Dec 27, 2016 at 12:40 AM
jmmaher
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


I think you have received some excellent advice. For most purposes m4/3 is an excellent choice as long as you stay with good lenses like the 35-100 mentioned above.


Dec 27, 2016 at 01:44 AM
cputeq
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


hosma wrote:
Hello community,

please help me decide whether to ditch sony FE for m4/3.

I'm hobby photographer using Sony a7 with FE35F28 and FE70200F4 and while I'm happy with the results I have two major problems with this setup - the 70200G is too big and when traveling I have to constantly change, the way I take pictures, lenses (esp. in cities) which bothers me the most.Through the years (granted only few) I have become a fan of longer FLs (out of those 2 lenses I mostly use the 70200).

So here is my question - should I stick with a7 and purchase the
...Show more

I owned the A7 II and the 24-240 and while the 24-240 makes a great all-in-one travel lens (it is so nice not to have to swap out lenses!), you may be disappointed in the image quality compared to your 70-200. It's also not a small lens, but much smaller than the 70-200 and of course not white

If you really want a great travel setup, then the m43 world is very nice indeed. In decent light it has very good image quality and honestly it isn't TOO far behind the A7 sensor.

I've owned m43 several times and really like the results I got from the system. If you aren't too concerned with razor-thin DOF shots (unless you're using a longer FOV) then m43 is worth a look (and MUCH smaller!)




Dec 27, 2016 at 03:48 AM
hosma
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


Thanks everyone for responses, much appreciated.

mmurph wrote:
If you look at the DxO ISO noise ("sport") rating, most of the M 4/3 cameras are rated at about ISO 800 (the GX8 is rated at 806, the E-M5 II at 896, which is a very, very small difference- about 1/6 stop.)

The APS-C cameras are at ISO 1400+-, and the Sony A7 full frame is 2248. That is the ISO at which you still retain 9 stops of DR on each sensor. (That is one of the few DxO numbers that is pretty useful without looking at more detailed information ...)



Ha, I have been wondering what this ISO number means, thanks!

Looks like m4/3 is better system for my needs. Now I have to decide which camera to pick.

Some of you own GX8/85 - I guess for stills the better camera our of those 2 is GX8, right? Do you own lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus? What do you usually lose when using lens from the other manufacturer? Does IS in lens and body work in tandem when I use say olympus lens and panasonic body?




Dec 27, 2016 at 03:46 PM
notherenow
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


hosma wrote:
Thanks everyone for responses, much appreciated.

Ha, I have been wondering what this ISO number means, thanks!

Looks like m4/3 is better system for my needs. Now I have to decide which camera to pick.

Some of you own GX8/85 - I guess for stills the better camera our of those 2 is GX8, right? Do you own lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus? What do you usually lose when using lens from the other manufacturer? Does IS in lens and body work in tandem when I use say olympus lens and panasonic body?



This is the full reasoning behind their ISO/sports rating. They are actual ISOs but with DR and SNR and Colour depth minimums too.

"Sports & action photography: Low-Light ISO

Unlike the two previous scenarios in which light is either generous (studio) or stability is assured (landscape), photojournalists and action photographers often struggle with low available light and high motion. Achieving usable image quality is often difficult when pushing ISO.

When shooting a moving scene such as a sports event, action photographers’ primary objective is to freeze the motion, giving priority to short exposure time. To compensate for the lack of exposure, they have to increase the ISO setting, which means the SNR will decrease. How far can they go while keeping decent quality? Our low-light ISO metric will tell them.

The SNR indicates how much noise is present in an image compared to the actual information (signal). The higher the SNR value, the better the image looks, because details aren't drowned by noise. SNR strength is given in dB, which is a logarithmic scale: an increase of 6 dB corresponds to doubling the SNR, which equates to half the noise for the same signal.

An SNR value of 30dB means excellent image quality. Thus low-light ISO is the highest ISO setting for a camera that allows it to achieve an SNR of 30dB while keeping a good dynamic range of 9 EVs and a color depth of 18bits.

A difference in low-light ISO of 25% represents 1/3 EV and is only slightly noticeable.

As cameras improve, low-light ISO will continuously increase, making this scale open."

https://www.dxomark.com/About/Sensor-scores/Use-Case-Scores

Those other things can greatly impact a "score/ISO rating" and many people will have different standards to DXO so someone might be happy with a higher noise threshold but also have a higher DR threshold for instance.



In practice, if you are happy with your A7 in low light, you should be happy with the latest M4/3 cameras with a faster lens than you would use on your A7.

I was fine with the A7 up to ISO 12800 and had that set as maximum most of the time with auto ISO while I would not go above 6400 with M4/3 unless I had to (I mostly have ISO 3200 as maximum with my GX7 which is a generation older than the M4/3 cameras you are considering).

If you are mainly travelling and using faster zooms than you would with Sony FF E mount, then yes, M4/3 makes a LOT of sense.

Good luck.


I like using Canon lenses in part on both M4/3 and Sony. The adapters from Kipon and Metabones for M4/3 work great for AF (AFS only with my GX7 and Kipon anyway) which can give greater choice of lenses.



Dec 27, 2016 at 07:31 PM
 

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bobbytan
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


The E-M1 is arguably the best value m43 body you can buy at the moment. It is A LOT of camera for $1,000 new and about $600-700 for a used or refurbished copy. The feature set is quite staggering with the latest firmware update.

You can use any Panasonic lens on any Olympus body (and vice versa) but you will not get Dual-IS or Sync-IS with either combo. I have to say that Olympus' IBIS works extremely well and Sync-IS gives you an extra stop.

hosma wrote:
Thanks everyone for responses, much appreciated.

Ha, I have been wondering what this ISO number means, thanks!

Looks like m4/3 is better system for my needs. Now I have to decide which camera to pick.

Some of you own GX8/85 - I guess for stills the better camera our of those 2 is GX8, right? Do you own lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus? What do you usually lose when using lens from the other manufacturer? Does IS in lens and body work in tandem when I use say olympus lens and panasonic body?





Dec 27, 2016 at 08:10 PM
sflxn
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


RX10. Wait for mark IV for the PDAF. There is no system that meets all needs. Every single system has some sacrifice. m43 + f2.8 zoom will not give you the DoF of the A7 + 70-200/4 as the m43 f2.8 is f5.6 equivalent. If you're willing to give up on DoF, maybe look at the 1" superzoom. The 1" sensor is not that much worst than the m43 so if you're willing to give up IQ for telephoto and weight savings, I'd recommend the Sony RX10 or Pana FZ2500. RX10 uses the same battery as Sony E/FE. RX10 for zoom + A7 for IQ makes sense.


Dec 27, 2016 at 08:58 PM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


The answer is obvious when you compare the size, weight, and cost of top level MFT lenses to those for APS-C or full frame cameras. The two shortcomings of MFT cameras, lack of optical stabilization in the lenses and lack of f/2.8 zoom lenses and fast primes, has been addressed completely by Olympus.

The 5-axis optical stabilization with the E-M5 Mark II and E-M1 cameras is excellent. I can hand hold a medium focal length lens and shoot at 1/15s with no problems. Even better is combining a optically stabilized lens with these cameras. I get sharp pictures hand held at 1/8s with the Olympus 300mm f/4 IS lens and that is like hand holding a 600mm f/4 (and 600mm weighs 5 lbs. more for the full frame cameras).

Olympus has great f/2.8 constant aperture zooms that are the full frame equivalent of 14-28mm, 24-80mm, and 80-300mm. Excellent MFT primes for Olympus cameras from Olympus, Zeiss, and Sigma. With MFT there is never a concern as to which lenses to leave behind on a trip.

The only reason I can see to go with Sony would be for shooting a great deal of video.



Dec 28, 2016 at 12:34 AM
notherenow
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


One thing that needs be said is that your A7 with 24-240 will NOT be significantly larger than some of the combinations you are considering.

The A7 is a little heavier/larger than some M4/3 cameras and a little lighter/smaller than others and that 24-240 is not a real lot larger than the 12-100 either (both have 72mm filters).

Your A7 is a fraction smaller overall and lighter than the E-M1, G85 and GX8 and a fraction heavier and larger than the E-M5ii.

Play around with side by side comparisons.

https://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=sony_a7&products=oly_em1&products=oly_em5ii&products=panasonic_dmcgx8&products=panasonic_dmcg85

https://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=olympus_12-100_4p0_is_pro&products=sony_fe_24-240_3p5-6p3_oss

The A7 with 24-240 will be about 200g give or take a few grams heavier than the M4/3 cameras under consideration with the 12-100.

Is 200g a big enough saving for you?

The 12-100 is slower at the short end but faster at the long end though doesn't go quite as long (depth of field will be more like using f8 with your A7).
For macro, an AF extension tube takes up almost no room and weighs almost nothing if that matters.
Then of course you also have a still fairly decent APSC crop mode with the A7 as well.

You CAN have significant size advantages with M4/3, I am just not so sure you will have with what you are currently looking at.



Dec 28, 2016 at 01:40 AM
sflxn
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


12-100/4 is equivalent to 24-200/6.3. RX10 III f2.8 lens is about the same equivalence. If OP just want to explore another system, then that's a valid reason. If the OP really is concerned about weight, the answer is obvious. The m43 sensor should be slightly better, but the RX10 sensor is a BSI, copper interconnect, dram stacked sensor, which is more advanced than any of their larger sensors. If lens focal length and not IQ is the determining factor, it's hard to argue against a 1" superzoom. If cost is a determining factor, the RX 10 with Zeiss lens cost close to the 12-100/4.


Dec 28, 2016 at 09:50 AM
bobbytan
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


Check out this video interview with Jay Dickman:

https://youtu.be/0LojM0DPIJ0



Dec 28, 2016 at 04:50 PM
flash
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


I was so disappointed by the Sony 24-240. I don't think I've used any m43 lens that's as poor as the FE Sony 24-240. I never use mine and I'll put it up for sale soon. If the 12-100 is any good I'll be interested but so far the superzooms from all systems haven't been satisfactory. The reports on the Olympus seem pretty good. So I'm somewhat hopeful. For size/weight the Panny 12-35/35-100 combo is pretty hard to beat though. Add a Pen F body and it's only just heavier than an A72 and 24-240 with excellent image quality.

DR is down a stop or so. You'll need to work around that. Better than 13 stops of soft and mushy though.

Gordon



Dec 28, 2016 at 07:48 PM
hosma
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


notherenow wrote:
...

Thanks. Personally I was fine with a7 images up to ISO 6400, I like to do some PP in LR and above 6400 there was too much noise and it felt like hardly any DR left.

bobbytan wrote:
...

My wife has EM10 mk2 and I was really impressed by the IS, but this camera is way too small for my hands and I don't particulary like the build quality, that's why I'm looking at the higher models, E-M1 can be found for about 550 Euro used.

sflxn wrote:
...

While on travels I'm looking for all in one solution, I want to be able to expand in the future if I feel like to. So I definitely want to stay in ILC system.

If I find a better system suited for my needs, I want to get rid of Sony FE all together.

notherenow wrote:
...

Exactly right, I was thinking the same - the setup of a7 + 24-240 will be roughly the same as the olympus + 12-200. But except the raw IQ (iso, dof, detail ...) the omd or panasonic cameras are much better at being cameras. a7, especialy the first one, is average camera around very good sensor.

Until recently I was sort of waiting for a7III but seeing how the photography equipment gets marginaly more expensive with every new release (EM1 mk2, sony lenses, canon lenses, fuji increasing prices), I gather (if they get the AF performance right) the new a7III will be about 2000$, which in europe will be like 2300 Euro and that's way more than I want to spend on the body alone.

Seeing all the praise for E-M1 I guess I will either try to rent it if available or just buy it used and see if I like it.



Dec 28, 2016 at 07:52 PM
RobCD
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?



Exactly right, I was thinking the same - the setup of a7 + 24-240 will be roughly the same as the olympus + 12-200.


Yeah but I wouldn't assume that the 24-240 lens is in the same league as the 12-100. The 12-100 is a pro lens with a pro price tag while the 24-240 appears to be a decent all in one travel lens. If you just want a decent travel lens then maybe something like the Olympus 14-150 II.



Dec 29, 2016 at 01:53 AM
notherenow
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Help me decide m4/3 or FE?


RobCD wrote:
Yeah but I wouldn't assume that the 24-240 lens is in the same league as the 12-100. The 12-100 is a pro lens with a pro price tag while the 24-240 appears to be a decent all in one travel lens. If you just want a decent travel lens then maybe something like the Olympus 14-150 II.


Swings and roundabouts!

The 12-100 would be a better lens but the A7 has a better sensor. Image quality will be ok with both. The 12-100 would be a very nice combination with the latest M4/3 cameras though.

Personally, I would prefer the A7 (now A7s) with primes mainly (and primes on my GX7 too where possible). I am not really a fan of that Sony lens but it seems ok.

If someone prefers M4/3 there is no need to justify it, get what you like.

I was just pointing out that those saying there was a significant size difference in some of these comparisons are wrong. The A7 and 24-240 would be a SHORTER combination than the 12-100 on some M4/3 cameras.

My GX7 with my Oly kit lens IS a fair bit smaller than my A7s (or A7 was) with FE kit lens.




Dec 29, 2016 at 03:25 AM
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