Loving Micro Four Thirds! (long, preaching to the choir?)

Started Apr 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Travis
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Loving Micro Four Thirds! (long, preaching to the choir?)
Apr 25, 2012

I still have my Canon 20d/T2i and some "L" lenses like the Canon 35mm F1.4L and the Canon 24-105 F4L. They are things of beauty (especially the lenses since they don't get outdated). But I rarely use them anymore, and I'm serious thinking about selling them.

Yes, Micro Four Thirds has come of age - at least for me, it has! Oh, I've been using the mirrorless system for a couple of years now, but I'd still creep back to my Canon gear for "serious" photography for situations where I found m43 limiting. However, with the OMD E-M5 and a respectable lens selection now, I finally feel as though I can let go. The GH1 and GF1 were a great introduction to MFT for me, but I never felt the image quality was up to par. Lenses like the 20mm pancake went a long way to improving things, but I'd still go back to my 35mm L for a lot of low-light photography. On the other hand, I started shooting all of my video on MFT because of the ease of use for autofocus and because of the GH1's excellent video capabilities.

The GH2 and G3 stepped things up a bit, the former improving video even further and the latter stepping up the image quality. I was starting to appreciate the form factor of MFT, especially when I'd go back to my Canon gear and realize that it was more than double the size and weight! It was still worth it when my shooting demanded the best, but I was starting to see my Canon gear as a burden.

Finally, with the OMD, I am ready to cut ties with my Canon gear altogether. The image quality is superb, the video is excellent and stabilized, and the build quality feels professional. Aside from the desire for more variety of lenses (which is getting better all the time), there's nothing I'm lacking:

  • Great high-ISO image quality. Check.

  • Fast and accurate focusing. Check.

  • Smooth, steady, 1080p video. Check.

  • Compact, lightweight (comparatively speaking) form factor. Check.

  • Good lens selection. Check.

  • Plethora of manual/advanced features. Check.

Now, instead of lugging around a Canon DSLR with the very large and heavy 35mm F1.4L, I can instead carry the compact OMD E-M5 with the Panasonic 25mm F1.4. And for an "everyday" walkabout zoom, I can use either my Panasonic 14-140 or the 14-42 kit - both of which are less bright than my Canon 24-105 F4L, but the extra leeway in ISO makes up for that. I've got a good macro/portrait lens in the Panasonic 45mm F2.8. Still missing is a fast, long telephoto zoom or prime for sports and/or wildlife, but they might be coming?

What I am saying is that Micro Four Thirds has reinvigorated my love of photography! Not because it somehow makes me a better photographer, but because it makes it easier and more convenient to carry around a MFT kit. And the advantages of a mirrorless system are plentiful:

  • CDAF. I really can't say enough about the superb contrast-detection autofocus on the latest MFT cameras! They have really leapfrogged the entry-level and prosumer DSLR's imo. Sure, the DSLR's are fast, but I'm more impressed by the accuracy of CDAF. On my DSLR's, I'd have a much higher percentage of missed shots due to autofocus error or calibration problems with the lenses. On MFT, it's very rare to have an oof shot, and typically it's because of something I did wrong.

  • Live View. I know the DSLR's have made some strides in this area, but the mirrorless cameras still have a big advantage here. It's easier to compose and evaluate shots, autofocus in video works much better, and the EVF's are getting so good that I don't really miss the optical viewfinder anymore.

  • The MFT format (though this isn't a mirrorless advantage per say) is a great compromise for sensor size: it's a big enough sensor to maintain good high-ISO image quality and shallow depth of field, but it's small enough that lenses and bodies can still be compact.

All in all, I'm proud to be a MFT owner!

Travis
--
http://travisimo.smugmug.com/

 Travis's gear list:Travis's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Canon EOS 550D Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +5 more
Canon EOS 20D Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
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