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M43—seeing through the hype.
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Feb 6, 2018 15:50:14   #
JBruce
 
Hi Guys,
First, let me say I own some M43 gear, an Olympus EM5-2, the 12-40 f2.8 Pro and the 40-150 f2.8 Pro. I also own Canon 70d, 80d and FF 5dMark 3 and a lot of quality L lenses. So I can speak with at least a bit of authority.

Last September, I was looking for an EF24-70 f2.8 IS lens for the Canons, so decided I’d check out (at Roberts Camera) a used Olympus with a 12-40 f2.8 Pro and discovered the pair was just a bit more in cost than was an EF24-70 f2.8, and lighter. So I pulled the trigger, knowing I could send it back if not what I wanted. Nice setup, but too small in my big hands. So, I had to get an add-on grip—that helped. I next bought the 40-150 f2.8 Pro lens from Robert’s (good folks, by the way). But as I became more familiar with the mirrorless concept, I began to see some deficiencies. As you may have read, the learning curve is steep, but I learned enough to become fairly proficient for basic landscape type shooting. And the 24-80 f2.8 is useful for the indoor usage as I envisioned.

The biggest single problem for me is the very slow startup time when you initiate the shutter button. Mine is about 3 seconds before the viewfinder comes up and ready to compose, etc. That is fine for landscape use, but sadly lacking for spontaneous shooting of kids and wildlife. I find I can only shoot perched birds. Battery life is notoriously less than most Canon or Nikon cameras, but batteries are not that expensive, so I can live with it. Picture quality is OK, and except for higher ISO, is typically no better or worse than either crop or FF cameras. I also belatedly failed to realize I could simulate and see if I liked mirrorless, by just attaching a viewfinder hood loupe.

The next thing I discovered, which I should have checked before purchase, is the small weight saving between the better mirrorless cameras and my 80d. With similar lens setups, there is really not a significant difference, basically only onces. Examples follow in pounds, and with fractional ounces rounded off:

Canon 80d body = 1# -10 oz. 1.6 crop, built in flash
With Canon 24-70 f4 L IS = 2# -15 (38 – 112 cropped value)
With Canon 70-200 f4 L IS = 3# - 7 (112-320 cropped value)

Oly EM 5 Mk 2 body w/grip = 1# - 3oz. 2.0 crop, separate flash
With 12-40 f2.8 Pro = 2# - 2 (24- 80 cropped value)
With 40-150 f2.8 Pro = 3# - 3 (80-300 cropped value)

The Canon 5d3 in combination with L lenses is appropriately heavier, but not unduly so.

So what am I trying to explain; namely this. The M43 concept is nice in many respects, but is not the “end-all”, and has drawbacks. The weight savings is not all that significant, and likely could be made up by leaving a few pounds of “stuff” behind, and probably should also include losing a few unhealthy pounds of your, (and my) excess body weight. Just carry the gear you REALLY need.

Bottom line, I’d suggest doing your research before selling off all of your treasured current gear; I kept all of mine. And will until it, or I fail, and the widow’s sale happens. But, I’ll also keep the Oly gear as it makes a somewhat overall lighter landscape package for certain special applications. Also, losing a few pounds and inches is high on my priorities, and that’s a good thing.

There, I’ve stated my personal, informed opinion; I expect you will as well—have at it!

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Feb 6, 2018 16:21:15   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
Regardless of your write up, I've never given mirrorless a second thought, probably not even 1/2 a first thought.
--Bob

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Feb 6, 2018 16:26:17   #
JBruce
 
Bob,
Not an attempt to convince anyone either way, but I see a lot of guys selling off their other gear to buy mirrorless without knowing the negatives, and I'm glad I didn't do that without getting my feet wet first.
John

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Feb 6, 2018 16:32:49   #
tdekany
 
It is important to research the product one is about to invest in. Sounds like you didn’t really do your home work. If I were to read about the D500 and it’s amazing CAF/tracking but I purchase a d5600 and not being happy with the results, is that the fault of DSLRs or mine?

The em5 mark2 is a mid tear camera. If you want the best m4/3 has to offer, (very fast startup time for example) play around with an EM1/gh5/g9.

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Feb 6, 2018 17:04:59   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
Bruce, I'm not one to inform someone what they should or shouldn't buy. That is unless I know personally that something has definite performance, quality, or functional issues.

To me, the lag in time between what is happening in front of the camera and when one sees it in the view finder was the issue. That mere fraction of a second can mean missing that shot.
--Bob
JBruce wrote:
Bob,
Not an attempt to convince anyone either way, but I see a lot of guys selling off their other gear to buy mirrorless without knowing the negatives, and I'm glad I didn't do that without getting my feet wet first.
John

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Feb 6, 2018 17:23:38   #
tdekany
 
rmalarz wrote:
Bruce, I'm not one to inform someone what they should or shouldn't buy. That is unless I know personally that something has definite performance, quality, or functional issues.

To me, the lag in time between what is happening in front of the camera and when one sees it in the view finder was the issue. That mere fraction of a second can mean missing that shot.
--Bob


Hey Bob, somehow that fraction of a second is not an issue for millions of mirrorless users. Not to mention that you can set the camera to never turn off. And as a ps, that one picture of you carrying that case, which I assume is your gear in it, how would you be ready to take that one shot? It certainly would take a lot more time than turning on even the EM5.

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Feb 6, 2018 17:51:39   #
JBruce
 
tdekany wrote:
It is important to research the product one is about to invest in. Sounds like you didn’t really do your home work. If I were to read about the D500 and it’s amazing CAF/tracking but I purchase a d5600 and not being happy with the results, is that the fault of DSLRs or mine?

The em5 mark2 is a mid tear camera. If you want the best m4/3 has to offer, (very fast startup time for example) play around with an EM1/gh5/g9.




I'm not unhappy with the camera, per se. I use it pretty much as I envisioned. I carry both the Oly w/ the 12-40 as my wide lens camera, and the 80d w/70-200 as the tele component, switching as needed, works perfectly. I'm more concerned about cautioning guys who are selling their gear to go mirrorless before THEY properly research it.

John

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Feb 6, 2018 18:18:19   #
Cdouthitt
 
I don’t own the 40-150...but I don’t see the draw to this lens. It’s fairly big and heavy for what is is. I’d rather carry/shoot my 75mm f1.8 along side of the 12-40. That combo (em1, 12-40 and 75) fits nicely in a tamarac velocity 6 sling.

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Feb 6, 2018 19:13:26   #
tdekany
 
Cdouthitt wrote:
I don’t own the 40-150...but I don’t see the draw to this lens. It’s fairly big and heavy for what is is. I’d rather carry/shoot my 75mm f1.8 along side of the 12-40. That combo (em1, 12-40 and 75) fits nicely in a tamarac velocity 6 sling.


It is an amazing lens, but if you don’t need the reach, even the 75mm is a waste.

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Feb 6, 2018 19:15:31   #
tdekany
 
JBruce wrote:
I'm not unhappy with the camera, per se. I use it pretty much as I envisioned. I carry both the Oly w/ the 12-40 as my wide lens camera, and the 80d w/70-200 as the tele component, switching as needed, works perfectly. I'm more concerned about cautioning guys who are selling their gear to go mirrorless before THEY properly research it.John


That is true, but people should do all the research prior to purchasing any format, not just mirrorless.

In any case, have you taken the em1 for a test drive before getting the em5?

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Feb 6, 2018 19:16:19   #
Cdouthitt
 
tdekany wrote:
It is an amazing lens, but if you don’t need the reach, even the 75mm is a waste.


I already have the 150 f2...so I can’t see using a 40-150 that often.

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Feb 6, 2018 19:19:20   #
rook2c4 (a regular here)
 
A 3-second start up time doesn't seem all that bad; that's about how long it takes to activate my pocket camera. One simply needs to get into the habit of switching on the camera before the viewfinder has reached one's eye, such that it is ready by the time it is in position. With a little practice this maneuver can be executed automatically and effectively. And then of course leaving the camera turned on until it is no longer needed and ready to be put away.

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Feb 6, 2018 19:19:32   #
tdekany
 
Cdouthitt wrote:
I already have the 150 f2...so I can’t see using a 40-150 that often.


What is the size and weight of “THAT” lens?

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Feb 6, 2018 19:24:10   #
tdekany
 
rook2c4 wrote:
A 3-second start up time doesn't seem all that bad; that's about how long it takes to activate my pocket camera. One simply needs to get into the habit of switching on the camera before the viewfinder has reached one's eye, such that it is ready by the time it is in position. With a little practice this maneuver can be executed automatically and effectively. And then of course leaving the camera turned on until it is no longer needed and ready to be put away.


I use both the em1 and em5 cameras side by side and the slight delay compared to the em1 is not an issue. And as I said, you can have the camera stay on at all times, so if you needs every split second, that is an option.

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Feb 6, 2018 20:09:25   #
Cdouthitt
 
tdekany wrote:
What is the size and weight of “THAT” lens?


It’s a bruiser. But with the ec14 and ec20 I get a 210 f2.8 and 300 f4.

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