Need some M4/3 advice

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 19,015
Re: Need some M4/3 advice

Oldguysrule wrote:

The other day I posted in the Camera, Len and System Buying forum some questions- I’m not going to rehash the whole letter (Are the older 4/3s cameras worth picking up) but one of the respondents said it might be a good idea to post here as well.

Bottom line: Wife and I are going to Africa in November and I need a good camera for wildlife. A little background. I’m no stranger to photography. First camera was a 1964 Nikon F I picked up in high school. No Photomic top, just the pentaprism. Manual everything. Learned everything from that camera. My current digital camera is a Panasonic Leica LC1. Great piece of glass, old school camera body- have taken nice photos over the years.

Was looking at the older 4/3 bodies (Panny L1, Oly E-1/3/5) and was told not to bother- the differences of 10-15 years of tech advances has pretty much relegated them to the display shelf. Got it.

I tend to buy used equipment and I really don’t do a lot of post exposure modification/editing. I do spend time composing- a holdover from my Nikon days.

I’m now looking at the M4/3 (Olympus, Panasonic) systems. it seems there are plenty of lenses and camera bodies around, but I need some direction. Are the Oly Pens a good option or should I look for an OM-D M5 (or M10)? The M1 was recommended, but right now out of my budget range. I don’t need to be overwhelmed with features and the news and best, but I like good, solid reliable equipment- I grew up on Nikkor and Nikon. Lens choice in M4/3 looks like the longest I’d bring would be probably the 100-300 Panasonic unless I can convince the Mrs that the 100-400 would be better. Would like to have at least one fast lens with me. Has anyone rented lenses from the commercial outfits that do so? In the used market my budget is probably $500-600- I know that’s limiting, but most of the travel money is going to the actual trip.

Should I buy a body and get lenses, buy a package deal of used from someone selling off their gear, or pick up a lens and wait for the right body to come along? What models should be avoided and what would be desirable?

I still have my Nikkor lenses- has anyone used the Nikon F to M4/3s adapter to shoot with? I do plan on bringing the LC1 for all the small stuff but I will need another for reaching out.

Way too many choices nowadays. I have time to narrow down my choices- just need some solid advice. Thanks in advance.

Howdy, sounds like a fantastic trip you've planned.

A hard budget number would help, since it's easy to bust a budget putting together a safari kit. Very easy.

4/3 cameras are passe, even the E-5, which is the last high-end body. but some of the lenses are still relevant, such as the 50-200/2.8-3.5s, especially since you can combine them with an EC14 for 70-283mm. If you do this (or adapt any other lens), you must have an E-M1 series or E-M5iii.

The m4/3 300mm zooms seem okay for bright conditions but not so good for shade or dawn/dusk. The two 100-400 zooms would fit the bill, but aren't cheap. The Panny is available used.

Myself, I'd get a used E-M1ii or G9 and possibly a used PL 100-400. You'll also want a standard 12-something zoom for landscapes, portraits and the like. With just two lenses you can do most things with few worries about swapping on the go and the bodies and lenses will be sealed against dust and rain.

Good luck!


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