Europe with m43 - What worked what didn't retrospective

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 37,362
What might work better (more the pity of it ...)

Great feedback Martin.  Well worth the tips.

I agree that changing lenses is a bother.  Many overcome this with a single wide focal length range zoom.  That is a good idea but of course zooms tend to be a compromise - if not from just lenses speed but in physical size as well.  There can also be some issues in getting the image properly corrected from extreme to extreme.

But from one that has been prime-fixated I admit that zooms can be very useful.  The 7-14/4.0, 35-100/2.8 and 45-175/4.0-5.6 (all Panasonic) are compact lenses with internal focus and perform well.  The Olympus 12-100/4.0 IS is also an outstanding lens - but it does extend - which I forgive because of it capability.  I prefer internal focus zoom lenses as there is less chance of sucking dust.

But we always have the issue that if we collect a great bunch of lenses and go away then it seems a bit silly that we have acquired this collection and have to leave it at home because we cannot carry it all - or even a reasonable subset and just limit ourselves to one camera and one zoom that does it all.

I remember all to well my crazy days with dslr bodies and equally crazy-good EF lenses.  One camera many lenses and out there somewhere doing a swap.  Often nowhere safe to put the gear down and in a hurry juggling lenses and hoping that I was not gong to drop one of these large/expensive objects ....

So we have moved to M4/3 to make things more compact.  The general feeling has been that we can excuse larger bodies because they fit hands better / have better grip / have larger evf / have flip out lcd / are better balanced with large lenses (* cross out which don’t apply ).

In any case a camera body the size of a FF ML camera body is exactly that and even with smaller lenses it still takes up a fair bit of room.  This is made worse when we decide to take more than one camera body to save changing lenses in the field.

I find that I can fit just one of these larger camera bodies and one lens such as the 12-100/4.0 mentioned above in the same one bag which I can also fit three GM5 bodies each with lenses such as Nocticron 42.5/1.2 + Olympus 75/1.8 + Panasonic 35-100/2.8 in the same space. Or quite a few other combination of GM5 + lens - of course the Olympus 12-100/4.0 or 45-150/2.8 cannot do this not because of the camera body but because the lens itself is too large.

This is because the GM5 is only a pack of cards larger than the lens it is attached to.

Therefore the conundrum - the body + lens is the whole equation and we cannot rest on M4/3 laurels by saying smaller lenses make it all happen.  As the system matures we get larger and larger lenses of very high performance but almost insist on using a “regular size” camera body no matter what mount system or sensor size is used.

It is just a pity that the very compact GM series camera bodies are not still made.  The variety in camera body shapes and styles is one of the M4/3 system’s greatest strengths and losing compact size bodies as part of it has been a disappointment.

With the GM5 a serious tourist photographer could simply leave their super-power G9 at home and venture forth with three GM5 bodies in a very small bag - holster-like - each with a lens of selected choice attached and ready for “instant swap”.  One battery style backup set is all that is needed - and of course each of these bodies is set up in exactly the same way ....

Surely if the pros can use multiple dslr “cameras” slung about their person then the advanced amateur can emulate the same efficiency much more discreetly with 3 x GM5 “cameras” in what is effectively a “man-bag”.

Honestly I don’t really care if I am the only photographer in the world with such an effective “mini suite” of cameras.

Surely the G9 is Panasonic’s greatest current stills camera for M4/3 but the GM5 camera is still as good as it was when newly issued - compromises and all it is still a competitive product.  Whilst hardly “pocketable” it is very packable and possibly the best compact systems travel camera ever made - considering it has access to every M4/3 lens that has been made.

It is just a pity that the M4/3 system owners have never quite been able to come to terms with the necessary compromises of such a compact body style and driven it from the market.

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Tom Caldwell

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