Why returned sony A7r for Oly em1?

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MikeStern
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Why returned sony A7r for Oly em1?
5 months ago

I sent back my A7r with CZ 55mm f1.8 to amazon and bought the oly em1 with 12-40 pro lens f2.8 constant, 75mm f1.8 and recently Rokinon fisheye.
I am very content.

I have been an avid sony guy since f707. I followed f828 then nex 5, 5n, 6.

A few reasons I sent back the sony a7r.
Dpreview and a few other websites chose both the oly em1 and em5 (last year) as the best products of the year.
So I wanted to find out what's so cool about them.

My experience with olympus is fantastic in terms of making pictures. Image quality is not as good as a7r.
Em1 gave me a great user interface. I can stay on the EVF and everything I need is under my right hand. I shoot manual mode. The lever option that gives me the chance of combining shutter speed, aperture, white balance and ISO all handled easily.
And customization is overwhelmingly, positively complex. Easy to get used to it.

A7r failed on me in terms of shutter speed and shake issues. My CZ 55mm didn't have IS. So I couldn't take sharp images below 1/50th of a second. Had to carry around my tripod. I spent thousands of dollars for the combination and had to walk around with a tripod. In my workflow this maddened me. Your workflow might be different. 36mp resolution gave me the chance of cropping. But later realized that also made me lazy properly composing in camera. I have 16mp now and I make sure to use it all. Sony 55mm lens is tested as almost perfect lens. But giant sensor on the a7r gave purple cast on the corners. Many people don't talk about this. This something when you edit on ACR to be found after challenging the image. Cast is there and you can avoid seeing it with proper exposure without editing the image further. Other than the native few ef lenses, most of the other lenses, (more on the 3rd party) will suffer from that problem in different levels.

With the oly em1 I can take sharp pictures as low as 1/2 of a second. I am not kidding. 5 axis stabilizer is a magic.
I safely comedown to 1/6 of a second. My good nex6 with the OSS 35mm f1.8 Lens used to give me 1/8 without issues.

This 5 axis stabilization is also helping me during videos. I can pull it off easily hand held. Dof is larger on m4/3 so focusing is easier during video recording. 12-40 f2.8 lens is spectacular.

Lenses for m4/3 are much lighter. A7r body being small doesn't mean the full frame lenses will be small. I can't carry all that weight and don't have enough space in my bag.

About dof. We craved for it as apsc shooters. I also tried the speed booster to get the f/1.2 etc. played with all that. A7r had that certainly going on with it. Fun. But in order to take sharper pictures in depth, I had to squeeze to f/8 and above. Then in indoors shooting that comes with hi ISO requirement since no OSS to come down to slow shutter speeds. I realized owning the em1, larger dof is an advantage. To me more important than being able to have shallow dof. My 75mm f/1.8 on em1 is highly satisfactory with shallow dof and bokeh. Shallower dof means more sharpness overall the frame in 3 dimensional space.

Here is the cool thing I have been playing nowadays. This may work with a7r as well. But here is what I do with my oly em1:
I bought a cheap used, clean canon speed light 430ex MII flash for $200. Bought phottix transmitters $45. I put my camera far away, operate it on my iPhone with oly app as a remote control. Have all the options, previewing, delay shutter release, shutter speed, aperture, ISO and focusing. Then fire my flash with the transmitters. So I can keep the flash off body bouncing from a wall.

Fantastic results. I am a happy photographer. Oly em1 inspired me to do more pictures and watch all the adorama TV episodes about flash and reflector photography. Already did a nice wedding session in hawaii this month. This counts more than anything right? I love doing photography more than ever now.

M

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