DSLR to 4/3

Started Jan 10, 2013 | Questions thread
Entropius Veteran Member • Posts: 4,221
Re: DSLR to 4/3

howielenny wrote:

Hi all,

I'm currently shooting with a Nikon D7000 and various lenses. I'm a hobbyist photographer that does the occasional photo shoot for family and friends. I met up with a professional photographer the other day and he let me have a play with his Olympus Om-d Em-5 and wow I loved the camera. So fast to focus, so light. He had the 75mm f2.8 lens on. I asked him several questions about the system and he said as he was a professional photographer he would still use his DSLR gear for his work but he loved to use his Olympus for fun and family days out. I would have liked to have spent more time playing with his camera and asking more question but unfortunately I run out of time.
I'm wondering are there many people who have changed from a DSLR system to a 4/3 system and what's their view on the change?

I went from a DSLR system (the "ordinary" 4/3 system, which is just a standard DSLR) to Micro Four Thirds (what you're talking about), and liked it very much. The E-M5 really does just do so many things right. I rented one for a week for a project, and haven't really shot much since then, but when I get back into it I'm going to likely buy one.

You lose: battery life, AF tracking performance (it works on the E-M5, but not as well), and an optical viewfinder (if that's important to you), along with the ergonomic comfort that comes from a larger camera. You'll lose a little high-ISO performance, but make it up with the fact that Micro Four Thirds lenses tend to be fast and sharp wide open. I had to do some low-light unposed portraits with a rented E-M5, and just pegged the 45/1.8 wide open and cranked up the ISO. They came out beautifully.

You gain: an EVF (if you like EVF's), the 100% focus accuracy from contrast AF, AF speed with some lenses (the E-M5's AF with the 45/1.8 is the absolute fastest autofocus I have seen from anything ever), a smaller camera, smaller lenses (especially normal and wide ones), and *better* lenses, depending. You gain in-body IS if you're coming from Nikon; don't underestimate the difference this makes. You gain AF that works in movie mode. You gain a quieter shutter (the E-M5's is very, very quiet).

I'm not getting any younger (47 this year) and if I go on a shoot with all my DSLR gear (not to mention my medium format film gear) it's really getting heavy. I'm now loving the thought and idea of having a small light system especially having played with the Om-d Em-5.
I'm hoping to get an Epl-5 shortly with the possibility of me moving completely over to 4/3. Having looked at sample photo's from the epl-5 (I've not found loads) the image quality looks very good. How does something like the epl-5 compare to images from my D7000 or other similar cameras in the DX range?

Very similar to the D7000, except you will see a little more noise at high ISO. It's very comparable, though, including the high "malleability" of the files: the D7000 is unique in that you can shoot at high ISO in weird WB without getting smashed by shadow noise. The E-M5 (or E-PL5, same sensor) have the same property. In short, IQ is excellent. In JPEG, set Noise Filter Off, Sharpness -1 for best results.

One other question more to the Olympus 4/3 users, how is the flash system with something like the Epl-5. I currently have a Nikon SB-910 which is a fantastic flash unit on or off camera so I'm also hoping that there is a good camera flash for the Olympus 4/3 system.

There are lots of good flashes. I have a Metz brand one that does wireless TTL and all of the goodies; you can get the FL-50R or FL-600R Olympus brand ones that will do the same. I have no complaints about mine -- it does what I tell it to do with a minimum of fuss. I've only used it on my 4/3 DSLR, but it should work the same on Micro Four Thirds. (Olympus does a good job with compatibility, in general).

Note that you can't use an accessory EVF and flash at the same time on the E-PL5; if you want a VF and flash your option is the E-M5.

Any help or advice will be very much appreciated.

Keep in mind that you can use the Panasonic lenses too, with no loss of function; ones you might want to think about are the 7-14/4, 25/1.4, 100-300/4-5.6, and 20/1.7.



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