Why the leading bleeding edge is not for the faint at heart

Started Feb 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: Performance is beginning to peak, but there are still advantages to be had.

TrapperJohn wrote:

Current sensors are starting to get beyond what most of us use, most of the time. (cue the urchin who shoots nothing but black cats in coal bins...) And it's a real problem for the camera makers, because they're running out of compelling reasons for people to buy the latest and greatest. You can see this in what they're offering - there are only two directions they can go to get big improvements, either a larger sensor in the dslr body, or a smaller overall size. Hence the two hot items today: the lower cost FF bodies, and the high end EM5.

Still, there are some improvements that one can't discern with the old standby's of ISO and MP. Let's take the EM5's sensor, as it's as good as a 4/3 sensor can be today.

The new sensor has both better DR and greatly improved PP headroom. You can take an average shot and make it dramatic with careful shadow and highlight manipulation, more so than with previous 4/3 sensors. The dreaded banding of the E3 is gone, as is it's propensity to show artifacts when bumping up sharpness. The EM5 sensor has done more for my pitiful PP skills than anything, because I can kick a shot around in PP without seeing it clog up with undesirable side effects. Before, I had trouble beating the Oly JPEGs with RAW. Now, I'm a devoted RAW type.

The newer sensor helps, for my work I have always worked from RAW... However for my personal photography I still use the OOC Jpegs for all my personal stuff, and they are hard to beat!

What's really amazing is what that sensor is connected to - an IBIS system that is very effective. That allows me to shoot the 50-200 at 200, down to 1/30, and get keepers, almost all the time.

Normally, I stay 1 to 2 years behind for the cost savings - more money for glass - and in the past, body upgrades never got me that much, going E1->E330->E3. Bought a used EP1 instead of a new E5, because the E5's price exceeded the gains over the E3 and the EP1 had the same sensor at a much lower price. But, the EP1 had weak glass, and ZD on EP1 was more an act of desperation than viable alternative. When the EM5 was announced, I saw the battery grip that made for decent handling with ZD lenses (albeit with sluggish AF) along with promised improvements in DR (yeah, right), and something clicked. I ordered one a week after it was announced, got it last April, and for once, a 'revolutionary new product' actually lived up to the billing. The DR and PP headroom really are a lot better, and the IBIS exceeds expectations.

I was int he same boat, owning the EP2 and EPL2 I couldnt see myself getting the E-5 for my work as I could get 99% of the way there with the m43rds bodies... Of course my professional photography is product based so the slow AF isnt a problem... The EM5 does a lot, and replaces a full DSLR for a lot of applications, however the large AF box creates problems in certain cases, it is simply too big. Combined with the CDAF, if the subject is standing in front of something higher contrast than themselves it will often pick the background to focus on.

I have said many times I dont see olympus taking a quantum leap from current on sensor AF to something that would keep pace with the E-5, that is why I suspect a traditional DSLR is on the way. Now I do have a hunch w will see a new AF system in the next flagship and there are a number of ways it could be done... So I am quite optimistic about the new body.

Doubt I'll do that again... unless the new body next fall turns out to be both 4/3 (if only my beloved ZD's would AF decently) and M43 (going ultra compact with no grip and some of those new fast primes is nice)...

I am on the fence here, I dont think a m43rds body will be ready for the expectations of the DSLR users AF experience with their ZD lenses... Now I would be happy to be proved wrong as I get to use all my lenses on one body, but I dont mind having m43rds and 43rds... It will be cheaper than rebuying 12-60, 50-200 50mm and 35mm lenses for m43rds

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“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” -Ansel Adams

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