A study of extreme ISO shooting for m4/3 ... and a huge (unpleasant) surprise ...

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Kim Letkeman
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A study of extreme ISO shooting for m4/3 ... and a huge (unpleasant) surprise ...
9 months ago

So I've been pondering the next body for my stable. I have the GH2 -- my only manual video body -- the G5 -- my favourite stills camera by far -- my GX1 -- a portable phenom -- and a pair of GF3s -- lovely in good light and excellent cheap video for close ups (e.g. on the strings or the keys) ...

I don't need another weak video body, but I would like another strong one. This makes it Panasonic, again. I would like to be able to shoot two bodies indoors, with the G5 and GX1 both being adequate but suffering from being derived from first gen 16mp sensors.

Still, the G6 has some excellent features and in the hand it feels a lot more like a dSLR than even the G5, which does a good job of mimicking the feel of an entry Nikon dSLR. The G6 feels more like the D7100, which is simply amazing.

But would the G6 hold up against the other new sensors at high ISO? I like to be able to shoot indoors with impunity. That's a lot to ask for from m4/3 since I have happily shot the D700 and D7000 in the past and been very satisfied. The G5 comes up to that standard most of the time, but there are moments when I could wish for more.

And no, for the reasons above, the answer is not going to be the E-M5 or E-M1.

So which body ...

The GH3 is amazing in every way. The GX7 has a few nasty quirks (like the aspect ratio of the ill-thought EVF and the lack of mic input) and the GM1 has a very nasty flaw that I uncovered while doing this article. I have never seen it reported, so it is possible that I have the scoop on this one

Meanwhile, I show the D4 as the control subject and the E-M1 as the flagship of the entire fleet of m4/3. What is interesting is that the E-M1 asserts its dominance in some areas, but does not win all areas. The GX7 is surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly to those not drunk on Oly) competitive.

I am leaning now to the GX7 but may choose the GH3. The GM1 and G6 are fatally flawed in different ways that are well documented in the article.

Because the GM1's issue was so surprising to me, I really want you to have that experience and thus I am not letting the cat out of the bag early. It is too good ... and I realize that some of you will simply not click through. So just wait for the discussion, as I think people will want to tell me how I screwed up in no uncertain terms

http://kimletkeman.blogspot.ca/2014/01/extreme-as-in-insane-iso-12800-and.html

 Kim Letkeman's gear list:Kim Letkeman's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 990 Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 +16 more
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