12 questions on the Olympus OM-D/ Lumix GH3 - before I take the 4/3 plunge

Started Feb 23, 2013 | Questions thread
Vlad S
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Re: 12 questions on the Olympus OM-D/ Lumix GH3 - before I take the 4/3 plunge
In reply to ken henke, Feb 23, 2013

ken henke wrote:

As I seriously take a look at a 4/3 system,

Here's the first important thing. You are looking at micro 4/3 system. This distinction is important when you buy lenses. Regular 4/3 is a DSLR system, and the 4/3 lenses require an adapter to work on the micro 4/3 bodies. All micro 4/3 lenses and bodies are mutually compatible without any adapters.

1. Are they significant issues with sensor dust on the Oly and GH3?

The dust removal system is very good, but sometimes you can still get dust. But it's definitely less significant than in Canon and Nikon DSLRs.

2. If so, can one clean those sensors themselves?

I have wet-cleaned sensors in Panasonic cameras. It's the same as in regular DSLRs. I would not do it myself in an Olympus camera because the sensor is free floating, and I would be weary of damaging the IBIS mechanism.

3. For macro images, my technique is primarily focus stacking. Thus, I either use a focus rail or better yet, use very small incremental manual focus movements of the lens. Can anyone comment on their experience with focus stacking using one of the oly/gh3 macro lenses?

I have not done focus stacking myself, but the throw on the native macro lenses is variable (possible because of the fly-by-wire design). The slower your turn the longer the throw becomes. You can easily adjust focus in extremely fine increments.

You can also adapt a manual focus macro lens - the adapters are around $20-25.

5. I am still confused over the Oly lenses(Zuiko). Do they need an adaptor to fit onto the OM-D?

There are Zuiko lenses that have been developed for several mounts. Any micro 4/3 lens does not require an adapter. Regular 4/3 lenses do require an adaptor, but the AF functionality can be either full or limited, depending on the specific lens. The aperture will function though. Some people like to keep their old regular 4/3 lenses because they offer outstanding image quality, but it's probably not practical to buy them for a new camera.

6. I really like the idea of the articulating screen on the gh3, particularly as it relates to macro photography. However, for those with the oly, is their tilt screen sufficient or do you wish it had the same movement capability as the gh3?

I have had both Panasonic cameras and now the E-M5. No, the tilt is not sufficient. It's totally useless if your camera is in the portrait orientation.

9. I am assuming on all Zuiko and Lumix lens, one can utilize a manual focusing mode?

Yes. Together with the magnified view it works extremely well.

10. What are the experiences folks have on moving focus point via the rear screen? I believe both cameras have that ability?

Yes, both cameras do. Nevertheless, the E-M5 eye detector is extremely sensitive, and it will blank out your screen if you do not angle your hand. That aside, I am a huge fan of the touch selection. It's so much faster and more precise than selecting the focus points with wheels or buttons.

GH3 will have an advantage over E-M5 in smaller AF points, down to "pinpoint." E-M5 AF points are on a grid, and you are restricted to specific positions; GH3 AF points can be placed absolutely anywhere in the frame. I could imagine for focus stacking this could be a great use of the AF.

11. For landscape images, I am often confronted with high dynamic range scenes. Thus, HDR software or exposure blending is often used. I noticed both cameras have a nice range of multiple auto bracketing exposures available. In fact, more exposure range than my Nikon. Any experiences with auto bracketing you can relate?

Bracketing is more difficult to access on E-M5. It takes a lot of key presses, even if you record it as a preset. Another difference is that GH3 always does bracketing in a burst, E-M5 can do bracketing in either burst or single shot mode. The last option has confused me when after switching from burst to singles my bracketing was still on, and my exposures were all over the place.

12. With the HDR setting in the gh3, is that achieving decent results? I have seen very few examples.

Send PM to this guy: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50770146 for a personal experience.

Considering the questions and my general explanation on my photography, if anyone wants to chime in on either camera (plus or minus), it would be appreciated. I would particularly like to hear from folks who moved from a DLSR to a 4/3 system.

I think in your place I would go with GH3. The articulated screen is better, and its controls will be easier to use in the cold. The CA corrections are also wonderful on Panasonics - after switching to Olympus I was quite dismayed at having to fix them in PP. Of course if you shoot raw it is less important.

I have become quite used to printing 16x24 (3:2). Yea, no doubt I can crop, but that will be an adjustment.

You can use the 16x20 size, which is also pretty standard. It's only 1.3 inches shorter than the 4:3 aspect ratio, and gives an excellent frame utilization.

Good luck and write if you have any more questions.

Vlad

 Vlad S's gear list:Vlad S's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +2 more
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