Dilemma: A99 vs new Olympus E-M1

Started Sep 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
EarthQuake Senior Member • Posts: 2,382
Re: Dilemma: A99 vs new Olympus E-M1

karmat63 wrote:

EarthQuake wrote:

karmat63 wrote:

Nikolai Vassiliev wrote:

Olympus looks very good, but it lacks Custom modes memory. Not big bug extremely useful feature.

Anyway, better to decide based on Lens system.

m43 is much lighter and compact.

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I've used and still use m43 system camera, based on GH2, for my video works.

Not so sure m43 is so much lighter then APS-C based Sony SLT system (looks like it's a more balanced option vs a full-frame SLT if you compare with a M43 system).

Here are some some basic calculations for 2 equivalent systems based on OMD_EM5 and Sony a58:

M43 (best option):

EM5 + Pan 12-35 + Pan 25 1,4 + Oly 75 1,8 + Pan 45-200: 1615g

M43 (cheaper option):

EM5 + Pan 12-35 + Pan 14 2,5 + Pan 20 1,7 + Oly 45 1,8 + Pan 45-200: 1381g

Sony SLT

Sony a58 + Tamron 17-50 + Sony DT35 1.8 + sony 50 1.8 + sony 85 2.8 + Tamron 55-200: 1736g

As you can see not a great difference fore same quality system, with the option to use both zoom or prime lenses for convenience use.

And the cost? Look for yourself; I can just say that the cheaper m43 system costs about 2000 € more then the Sony system (Amazon Italy prices)...

These were my consideration when I choose to (partially) change boat vs upgrade to OMD-EM5 camera...


You're not really comparing like for like here, try the Sony 16-50mm 2.8 (24-75 is more comparable to the 24-70mm equiv 12-35) and the Sigma 50-150/2.8 is more comparable to the 35-100. The Tamron 17-55 and 55-200 especially are cheap consumer options with poor build quality, while the Panasonic primes are high end weather sealed lenses. Apples to oranges.

Not to mention the M43 primes are significantly better lenses (aside from the pana 14) than the Sony 35/50/85 easy choice lenses (both build and optics, and I've used most of the lenses you've listed), but they do cost quite a bit more as well, which is a fair point. Now if you say, the Minolta 35/2, Sigma 50/1.4, or Minolta/Sigma 85/1.4, you're closer to comparing like quality (though with a DOF advantage for the lenses on APS-C, especially 85/1.4 vs 75/1.8 - though the 75mm is a really superb lens and narrow DOF isn't hard to get at this local length).

You could just as easily compare the Sigma 19/30/60 primes on M43 if you want the smallest, lightest, and cheapest system.

Sorry, I've both systems and do not completely agree:

1) Tamron 17-50 is 25,5 -75 mm , not so different from 24-70 eq panasonic zoom and with a better control of DOF; maybe it's a cheap lens, but optically it's no worse than pan 12-35 or Sony 16-50 (I'd prefer the last one only for silent motor, but IQ-wise isn't a substantial upgrade)

2) Never talked about pana 35-70. It's a very expensive lens and I've never had any opportunity to use it. I just mentioned the cheap (but good) Pana 45-200, and it is a good match to Tamron (or Sony) 55-200 (if you don't need the extra reach)

3) Ok pana 20 and 25 and Oly 45 and 75 are very nice lenses (the last one is really out of scale, but is a 900 €/$ lens). But I think that the cheap "easy choice" 35, 50 and 85 mm are not at all far behind in IQ department... Of course they're all plastic lenses, but, given the price, if one fail it's not a big problem to buy another one... Heresy? Maybe...

4) Remain the fact that building a nice m43 system is really expensive and the gain in weight/bulk not so essential; not a surprise that the OP compared an EM-1 based system directly with a99 full frame camera (apples to oranges to say with your words)

1. I own the Tamron 17-50/2.8, its a nice lens for the price. It is not in any way a pro-level lens like your 24-70/2.8 on FF, or equivalent apsc/m43 lens like the Sony 16-50 or Pana 12-35. The Tamron is a great value, with decent optics, but it is a not a pro built, weather sealed lens with fast USM type focusing like pretty much every other 24-70mm (or equiv) lens for every system is. The Tamron 17-50/2.8 is a nice midrange lens, there isn't really a comparable option in M43 land.

2. Sorry, I saw 12-35mm and glossed over the 45-200mm assuming you would mention the 35-100mm, that is a good comparison to the Tamron.

3. Yeah, the M43 primes are relatively expensive. The easy choice primes I've used (35/1.8 and 50/1.8) are ok optically but nothing impressive, they need to be stopped down a little to get sharp. The better M43rds primes are sharp wide open, which pretty much negates the DOF issue (I can shoot my 25/1.4 at 1.4, and I would probably stop down the 35/1.8 to f2 or smaller).

Though the af speed/noise, and AF accuracy are better pretty much across the board with M43rd primes, even the 20/1.7 which is "slow" by m43rds standards focuses faster than any DSLR prime I've ever used. Again, I just do not think they compare, this doesn't mean the easy choice lenses are crap, they are a very good value, they just generally are not in the same class of lens.

4. I don't have an argument for the price issue, M43rds stuff is generally more expensive, there are less 3rd party options and less mid-range choices, mostly cheap kit lenses and high end primes and zooms. There are issues like economies of scale with a more niche system, and the fact that people generally pay more for high quality, compact equipment. But I would certainly love it if the M43 stuff was cheaper.

Having started off with APS-C though I have to strongly disagree that you can build a system to a similar weight as a M43rds. Especially if you want to get into higher end lenses. Simply put, once you start getting higher end, or even mid range prime lenses, they are all going to be FF lenses in A mount. You want an aps-c prime lens wider than 35mm/52mm equiv? Tough, there are none. So what you end up with over time is expensive, heavy, fullframe lenses. If you're anything like me then you end up with an expensive, heavy FF camera to go with it and take advantage of those lenses as well (unless you do mostly wildlife/nature where the extra reach is a big benefit).

How about a pro grade 2.8 telezoom for APS-C? Sorry, none of those exsist either. Closest is the hard to find/discontinued Sigma 50-150/2.8.

Fast 35mm equiv prime? None. 35mm or 28mm prime period? none.

Ultra wide native AF lenses? None of those as either. (To be fair in M43rds land there is only the 12/2)

Plenty of ultra-wide zooms for APS-C.

So really, if you want to build a full lens system exclusively with APS-C gear for the size/weight advantage over FF, you're going to end up with holes, holes you will need to fill with FF lenses sooner or later, unless you can live with the plastic easy choice type lenses and kit tele zooms. This is true for pretty much all the APS-C DSLR systems, not just Sony A. When you start buying FF lenses for your APS-C camera, there is no size or weight advantage (except for extreme teles for wildlife/nature).

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