Trying to pick a mirrorless system...

Started Oct 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,486
Look at published photos

I don't place that much faith in DxO... they go to great lengths to distill a complex formula down to a couple of simple, gearhead digestable, easily quotable numbers, and it doesn't necessarily work well outside of a dpr spec debate thread. In the process of developing those numbers, they make assumptions that may not fit your situation. Same goes for standard studio tests, they tell you something but they don't necessarily reflect what you'll see in the real world.

In reality, you won't know the truth until you use the gear, but as second best, study photos published in the various fora here, that approxamate the situations you face. See what real people have done in real situations with what you're contemplating - substitute the XPro1 for the upcoming XE1, because it uses the same glass and sensor performance supposedly is the same. When I've contemplated a lens addition, published photos are my best guide, as the most realistic reflection of what I might get. Haven't seen a lens test yet that could quantify the 'oh wow' factor that some exquisite lenses can deliver.

I've had an OM-D since last April, and have been delighted with it. Bags of PP headroom, quite clean past ISO3200, 6400 is cleanable, and it's a tiny little thing. You just about have to hit someone over the head with it to get them to notice it. It doesn't drag on you the way a dslr rig will. Smaller, lighter, a lot slimmer, doesn't stick out as far when you have it looped over a shoulder. It's most of the capability without most of the burden. The 45 1.8 lens is about the size of a 35mm film can, same length, slightly thicker.

About the only real low light work I've done with it is night sky shots with a UWA lens. There, I find that the OMD begins to show a bit of purple banding at ISO3200, none below that, but that's the night sky, a very tough subject that can bring out noise in any sensor. Haven't seen any banding up to 6400 in decent light, never really found a reason to go beyond 6400 other than test shots, things start getting a bit fuzzy and bland at 12800. I'm a low ISO kind of person, I guess. I find a way to keep ISO down, and DR up.

A real plus is the killer IBIS system, it is a step above any sort of IS I've used in the past, in body or in lens. That is one case where the product did live up to the hype, maybe even exceeds it.

The fast primes: 12 2.0, 17 .95, 20 1.7, 25 1.4, 25 .95, 45 1.8, 75 1.8. In particular, the 25 1.4, 45 1.8 and 75 1.8 are very sharp lenses, and fairly small for their capabilities.

One that you might be familiar with: I have an old Nikkor 400 3.5 that I use on the OMD on occasion. MF and manual exposure, but that venerable old tank of a lens has a reach and aperture like none other. That lens and the OMD's 16mp make for some terrific moon shots.

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