Micro Four Thirds keeps GAS under control (for now)

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Alex Notpro
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Micro Four Thirds keeps GAS under control (for now)
4 months ago

WARNING: this post is somewhat pointless, and contains criticism of other camera systems. If you can't stomach that, please move along.

I have an E-M1 and E-PM2.

The other day I was wondering if I had "GAS" (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and after some Googling, found the excellent article "7 stages of Gear Acquisition Syndrome" by bloggers Rob Power and Matt Parker. These guys are into music gear but I'm convinced what they wrote applies equally to photography. The seven stages are:

  1. Dissatisfaction
  2. Desire
  3. Research
  4. Purchase
  5. Guilt
  6. Acceptance
  7. Relapse

This was very illuminating. I realized my MFT system currently has me perpetually stuck somewhere between stages 2 and 3.

I've been dissatisfied with the MFT's ability to shoot "the last 5%". MFT is adequate for about 95% of what I shoot. The "last 5%" are those photos where some shallower DOF or extra megapixels or higher ISO could have turned a Great image into an Absolutely Perfect image, or perhaps make the image a candidate for enlargement rather than being forever relegated to Facebook or small print.

So I heard about the Sony A7 / A7R and Fuji X, and Nikon D610 (I own Nikkor lenses) and that is how I got into Stage 2 and almost immediately into Stage 3 - research mode.

Here are the results of my research, and the issues that have prevented me from progressing to Stage 4:

Sony A7/A7R - full-frame mirrorless

  • Only 4 native lenses. Other lenses require an expensive and bulky adapter.
  • Only two primes: 55/1.8 and 35/2.8.
  • No pancake lens.
  • No f/2.8 zoom.
  • No IBIS and none of the full-frame primes have OIS
  • Lacks automatic eye-priority AF (requires a button press, and loss of a customizable button)
  • RAW files reportedly use lossy compression. Others may not care, I do.
  • Real-world continuous shooting speed (not the fake "speed priority mode" which drops AF and AE) is barely over 1 fps
  • System lacks a pocketable body that can use the same lenses at same FL.

Fuji X - APS-C mirrorless

  • The only pancake lens is an f/4.2 equivalent, vs. MFT f/3.4 equivalent.
  • System lacks a pocketable body
  • The only UWA is not quite as wide (15mm vs 14mm) - not sure if true on horizontal AOV
  • No all-purpose daytime travel zoom (28-300 equivalent)
  • No 600mm equivalent lens
  • Lacks IBIS and none of the primes are stabilized

D610 - full-frame DSLR

  • I previously owned D600 and D700, was hoping the D610 would be a meaningful update. No such luck. AF is just as limited as the other DSLRs. Focus-and-recompose is not for me, and shoot-and-crop negates the benefits of the larger sensor.
  • The Nikon system does have a pocketable body (Nikon 1) but unfortunately it does not share lenses at the same focal lengths. The 2.7x crop means you need two full sets of lenses in order to use FF and N1 side-by-side.
  • My older Nikkor motor-driven lenses autofocus very slowly, so I don't think I'll be keeping them -- the fast focus of the E-M1 has raised my standards
  • Oh yeah, it's big and heavy, I sometimes forget that when researching cameras online

So now I'm stuck in research and keep monitoring these forums waiting for a better camera to come along

That's all I had to say. I'd be glad to hear others' stories and ideas on the topic. There isn't really a specific point to my post, it's a sort of open discussion.

 Alex Notpro's gear list:Alex Notpro's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM2 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Apple iPhone 5s +14 more
Nikon D600 Nikon D610 Nikon D700 Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha 7R
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