So... I finally come to a decision to go with the OM-D... Is there any big hand users out there?

Started Mar 13, 2013 | Questions thread
jalywol
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Randell, here is a summary for you:
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 15, 2013

Randell Tober wrote:

I wanted to add… So it appears to me the OM-D/ GH3 have top end function, IQ etc… for a reasonable price. So I’m being steered back towards DSLR since size isn’t an issue. But, one of the reasons I went down the 4/3 road was quality and cost in comparison to dslr’s. Doesn’t one have to go to say a D600 or 6D to get the same level of function- quality? Both are nearly twice the price of the Oly or Pana. Or am I missing something? Thanks

The reason you are being steered in a couple of different directions is because your stated concerns are areas that are not M43s greatest strengths.

Here's the short analysis of pluses and minuses:

I agree that mirrorless is the future of much of photography.

1) As technology continues to advance, at some point the fast action tracking will reach an equivalent to current DSLR ability in that area.  It's gotten a LOT closer over the years already, and eventually will get there.  However, if you want to use continuous AF on very fast moving objects routinely, then it is not the right format right now.  It IS possible to get fast action shots with M43, but it requires more work and planning than with the better DSLRs at this point.  IF you plan to do occasional fast action work, and are willing to put in the effort, the results can be quite good, but it's not effortless as the DSLR CAF can be.

2) Much of the reason to go with M43 is the reduction in size and weight of the system (camera and lenses) that you get over comparable DSLRs.  If you find the size of the M43 cameras too diminutive for your grip, than that advantage loses its appeal.  Only you can make this judgement for yourself.

3) EVF vs OVF, and live view.  This is a more difficult area to compare.  One of the very nicest things about mirrorless cameras is the implementation of live view in the rear LCD.  Most DSLRs can do it at this point, but it is not as simple or as well done as on the M43s.  On the other hand, a number of people prefer DSLR optical viewfinders to the electronic viewfinders in the M43s cameras.  There is one caveat to this, however, and that is that the OVFs in entry level DSLRs are usually pentamirror type, and are fairly small and tunnel-like to look through.  You have to go up to a higher level DSLR to get a bigger and brighter viewfinder that compares in size to the ones in the M43s cameras.  Once you get used to being able to switch back and forth from LCD to EVF without effort, it's hard to go back to the DSLR way of doing things, IMO...

4) Weather sealing.  Both the OMD and the GH3 are weather sealed, and none of the entry level DSLRs are.  You are correct in saying that you have to go up to the more expensive mid-level (at least) bodies in DSLRs before you can get that feature.

5) Functionality:  You are also correct in saying that you have to go up a couple of step in DSLRs to get the level of functionality that the top of the line M43s have.  Both the OMD and the GH3 have multiple button and dial controls and significant layout programmability.  This puts them well above the entry level DSLRs, and enables significant customization for your purposes.

6) Lens selection:  There is a pretty good selection of native M43 lenses at this point, PLUS you have the added advantage of being able to use a generation's worth of MF legacy lenses with very cheap adapters.  You simply can't do that on a DSLR.

7) Sensor performance: With the GH3 and OMD, the performance of M43s moved into direct competition with APS-C cameras.  To really get significant improvments in sensor behavior, you would need to go to a FF camera.  Yes, there are smaller improvments in APS-C vs M43 sensor noise and DR, but things are really pretty close in most situations at this point.  Personally, if I was going to look at a DSLR at this point, I would be evaluating FF cameras and not APS-C...M43 performance meets my needs at the APS-C level.

8) Those of us who have chosen M43, in large part have gotten here because carrying around a larger system simply lost its appeal.  The bonus is that M43 has finally gotten to a point where the compromises in IQ that were made at the introduction of the format are no longer an issue, and people who have switched into the system seem to rarely go back.  (This does not mean that there are not more than a few here who have both FF and M43s, still, but for single format users, M43 is now a truly viable high quality option).

So, what should you do?  I would make a list of the factors that are most important to you.  If a match to M43's features are on the top of the list, then you should buy one and enjoy it.  If more DSLR features are on the top, then you should look to that format for the best results given your particular shooting parameters.

(PS...I moved completely to M43 from a Nikon APS-C (D90) system a year and a half ago and I would NEVER go back. If I had a lot of spare $, I would try a FF D800 for some specialty shooting for the heck of it, but I know I would never use that for day-to-day shooting due to the size and weight of the kit...and M43 would still be my primary system).

Hope this helps....

-J

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