Sick as a parrot. Need to downsize to Micro four thirds. Opinions appreciated

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Fotolopithecus
In reply to rtf, Mar 30, 2013

rtf wrote:

Hi there. I also have a D7000, which I rate highly, but the problem (not easy to describe) is brought on by the weight of the body + the lens weight/length. I have experienced the same problems with the D7000.

A co-worker has the Pentax K5, which uses essentially the same sensor as the D7000. While my OM-D EM-5 is indeed noisier across the board, you don't see much else different about their RAW output. Yes, D7000/K5 could print larger, but unless you are at the 20x30" range it's rather academic. Although the D7000 is slightly better, both it and the OM-D fall into the same "not FF but good enough for most uses" category.

The important thing is to get a m43 with the latest sensor technology, namely the Olympus E-PM2, E-PL5, OM-D EM-5 or the Panasonic GH3. The earlier m43 sensor performance would not satisfy you in any way, shape, or form. Not only is the high-ISO performance bad on the earlier stuff, but the dynamic range is limited as well.

The next thing to understand about m43 is that their are some outstanding prime lenses that are both short in barrel length and unstabilized. If you use the OM-D EM-5, they become wonderfully stabilized and that in combination with the short barrel length means super-slow shutter speeds are a reality and you can keep the ISO down and better match the D7000's output. The OMD's 5-axis stabilization is unique in this regard, that of the other Olys isn't nearly as good. The next best would be the in-lens stabilization of the 12-35 Panasonic - but of course most primes are and both UW zooms are not stabilized.

Also understand that C-AF is poor and tracking essentially non-existent on m43s. S-AF rocks because the contrast detect doesn't know what focus error is. Goodbye all manner of phase-detect foibles such as variation between lenses, focal lengths on the same lens, changes with shifts in color temperature, loss of accuracy in low-light, etc.

Battery life also sucks on m43. I used to get 1600 shots to a charge on my K20D Pentax; I get 400-500 on my OM-D. Pure loss there, but what can you do (other than carry two spares).

So in summary, I'd recommend an OM-D EM-5, and some prime goodness like the Olympus 12/2, Panasonic 25/1.4, Oly 45/1.8, and the supreme Oly 75/1.8. Oly 60 if you want macro, and Panasonic 7-14/4, 12-35/2.8 and 35-100/2.8 if you want zooms. Samyang 7.5 if you want a fish (and it's a really good one).

Make sure to handle the OM-D before purchase, as it is really small and the controls are somewhat needlessly compressed and lack tactile feedback. Build quality is dynamite, though, and it is as sharp a knife as m43 has yet produced and the stabilization is just amazing. There are a variety of add-on grips if you want more to hold onto, but I actually find I can hold just as long or longer shutter times with the body unadorned than I can with the full Oly battery grip. The GH3 has much more D7000-like ergonomics, but is also much more D7000-like in size.

By way of context, I shot 35mm film SLRs for 20 years, digital P&Ss for 5, APS-C DSLRs for 5, and the last 3 with m43s. Spinal-fusion back surgery 11 years ago. You can view my gear via the profile thing, but I've got an OM-D and most of the better m43 lenses.

 Steve_'s gear list:Steve_'s gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +9 more
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