Response to Anders W and a few comments re E-M1 and A7

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Clayton1985
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Response to Anders W and a few comments re E-M1 and A7
9 months ago

Anders - Fortunately or unfortunately.. the other thread reached the limit . Don't worry, I'm not going to cut and paste the whole thread and keep going back and forth. I don't think we're getting anywhere and as I said I'm willing to agree to disagree. But I did want to reply to your question about m4/3.

Well, I certainly have the impression that you don't think highly about MFT. So what's the reason why you don't sell your MFT gear now that you have the A7? If WA/UWA are weak spots for MFT, what are, in your opinion, its strong sides compared to what the A7 has to offer?

First, I have both the E-M1 and the A7. I used Nikon DSLRs for years, switched to Sony SLTs (A77, A99) a while back. Along the way I've tried several mirrorless systems as a 2nd system, travel, etc. For me, it wasn't the AF or buffer or fps that prevented me from giving up my DSLR - it was the features. I didn't want to go backwards when it came to bracketing options, timelapse features, external controls, etc. None of the systems that I tried could match the DSLR feature set - not NEX, Fuji, etc.

So, when the A7 was announced I considered replacing the A99 with the A7 and then keep the NEX 7 as a backup. But then I tried the E-M1 and realized that it would be complement the A7 since many of the strengths of the E-M1 are weaknesses of the A7 and vice-versa.

Here, in my opinion are the strong sides to the E-M1 vs the A7

Better build quality The A7's is actually quite good but it doesn't compare to the E-M1 especially when paired with the 12-40. I feel like I can take this combination anywhere in any conditions.

Features This is a big one for me. The bracketing, HDR, mysets, timelapse, touch screen, and the overall level of customization. You can't find all of this in one package without going to one of the higher end DSLRs and even then the E-M1 might still have more. The A7 is average. It has quite a few great features but then Sony leaves out several of the features that I consider pretty basic for cameras at this level.

Zoom lens quality The E-M1 is great but for me it's the 12-40 that completes the package - especially for how I use and plan to use the E-M1.

Autofocus The AF system is great. The A7 AF is just fine for 80% of what I do. It's actually a lot better than many of the other mirrorless systems IMO. But for the times that I am going to push the AF system I will more often take the E-M1.

Telephoto I don't use telephoto lenses that often so I really like the flexibility that I have to bring along a small lens like the 40-150. And I might add another lens with longer reach at some point.

Easier to get good results The E-M1 is actually not so easy to use because of the customization and extensive features. But I'm talking about the format just being more forgiving. You can make more mistakes and the larger DoF and IBIS can at times save you. That combined with the excellent AF and you have a camera that is easier to use and get good results out of.

And here are a few of the things that I consider to be advantages of the A7

Effortless The A7 is extremely customizable but it's a lot more subtle than the E-M1. It makes the A7 more fun to use. If I'm just grabbing a camera and lens to just go out and play I'll probably grab the A7 more often.

Size and weight First, I'm only talking about my specific setup. I fully realize that m4/3 in general will win the size and weight contest in most situations. But for my needs I'm not trading in the E-M1 for a smaller camera and I'm not trading in the 12-40 for a smaller lens. That being said, when I want a small and light setup with a 35mm lens I prefer the A7. I could use the E-M1 with the 17 or 20 but I prefer the size, feel and results that I get from the A7 in this situation. Also, keep in mind that I don't need any longer lenses for the A7 - others will and that would quickly swing the advantage to the E-M1.

Low light The A7 is better. I understand that there are scenarios that can mitigate some of the advantage but I'm basing this on how I use the cameras and I prefer the A7. But I don't think I'll be too worried using the E-M1 either.

Resolution/UWAI lumped these together because they go hand in hand for me. I will use the A7 as my main landscape camera and I see these as advantages of the A7 (It is noted here that Anders disagrees with me about the wide angle advantage ).

Overall IQ I'm not saying that you will realize the IQ advantage in every situation or even that you need it but it is there.

So, in a nutshell, I'll use the A7 for low light, landscapes, and my one lens walk around camera. I'll use the E-M1 for telephoto, situations that push the AF system, conditions where the better weather sealing is needed, and when I need the most versatility.

In reality I spend most of my time on landscape photography and for those trips I'll have both systems. IMO, I'll be packing a lot of punch in a ridiculously small package.

Olympus E-M1 Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A99
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