Dual System shooter again

Started Jul 8, 2017 | Discussions
John Mason
John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 5,775
Dual System shooter again

Any Olympus shooters also shooting the A9?  Here's a link to my post on the Sony forum.  Anyone here shooting with both system I welcome any helpful input or observations.
Any questions anyone has I'd be happy to answer if I can be of help.
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/59803159

-- hide signature --

John Mason - Battle Ground, Indiana

 John Mason's gear list:John Mason's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Sony a9 Sony Alpha a7R III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +9 more
Sony a9
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
john isaacs Senior Member • Posts: 2,849
Re: Dual System shooter again

You have lots of discussion about what you are getting rid of, and keeping, and using, with your Olympus gear.  On a Sony forum.  And say nothing on the Olympus forum.  Ho hum.

I have a hard time seeing how you will get any positive responses on either forum.

 john isaacs's gear list:john isaacs's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Nikon D7100 Olympus E-M1 +5 more
John Mason
OP John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 5,775
Re: Dual System shooter again

john isaacs wrote:

You have lots of discussion about what you are getting rid of, and keeping, and using, with your Olympus gear. On a Sony forum. And say nothing on the Olympus forum. Ho hum.

I have a hard time seeing how you will get any positive responses on either forum.

A positive response might be suggestions on the rationalization plans, reasons to keep the 1.2s, etc, comments or questions from peeps that have gone the same dual system route or are thinking of it.
I posted the link only on the Olympus forum since the sense of the post was positive towards the A9 so it would be in bad taste to post the whole thing here (imo).  But some here might be interested or have positive input so I posted just the link.  That way peeps that have no interest in the subject matter could easily just ignore it and go on with their life. 
I have many forum friends here and it'd be interesting to see how many others have feet in both ponds or have even made a full jump either direction as it's hard to tell from the individual forum posts.
Others here might have specific comparison questions I might be able to assist with so thought I'd pop a link here just in case.

-- hide signature --

John Mason - Battle Ground, Indiana USA

 John Mason's gear list:John Mason's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Sony a9 Sony Alpha a7R III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +9 more
CBR1100XX Contributing Member • Posts: 823
Re: Dual System shooter again

Reading that post my first question is what uses is the A9 going to be used for?  Maybe I missed it but the only specific example I saw was the the Olympus would be used for hiking or when you want something smaller... but there were no specifics on what your main type of shooting is. I'm assuming it's action photography based on your choice of the A9 but your only portfolio is of landscapes.  What those types of action photos are, what the final output will be, and if they're for clients would all give a better idea of your situation as well as your current thoughts on how you'd split up the workflow.

But I can give some general thoughts on it.  Since you seem to like primes I would (and did) move in that direction but with the smaller f1.8 lenses.  m4/3 for me is the system I use when I want a quality image but don't require all the technical abilities of my DSLRs.  So with that in mind I bought lenses with size, quality, and price all being concerns since this is a secondary system to me and m4/3 has a lot of great options.  So much so that they have been used in more and more gigs.  The other nice thing is that those lenses can be had for cheap used, and they're so small that carrying a multi lens kit isn't much of a burden.  My Tamron 70-300VC which isn't even that large of a FF lens won't fit in the bag that I carry 2 OM-D bodies and 5 lenses.  That's the strength of m4/3 and when you have the absolute in image quality covered by another system it let's you really go all out in making a still high quality but relatively tiny kit.

CBR1100XX Contributing Member • Posts: 823
Re: Dual System shooter again

John Mason wrote:

john isaacs wrote:

You have lots of discussion about what you are getting rid of, and keeping, and using, with your Olympus gear. On a Sony forum. And say nothing on the Olympus forum. Ho hum.

I have a hard time seeing how you will get any positive responses on either forum.

A positive response might be suggestions on the rationalization plans, reasons to keep the 1.2s, etc, comments or questions from peeps that have gone the same dual system route or are thinking of it.
I posted the link only on the Olympus forum since the sense of the post was positive towards the A9 so it would be in bad taste to post the whole thing here (imo). But some here might be interested or have positive input so I posted just the link. That way peeps that have no interest in the subject matter could easily just ignore it and go on with their life.
I have many forum friends here and it'd be interesting to see how many others have feet in both ponds or have even made a full jump either direction as it's hard to tell from the individual forum posts.
Others here might have specific comparison questions I might be able to assist with so thought I'd pop a link here just in case.

The question I'd ask about the 1.2's is that with them how much smaller is your E-M1 vs a A9 with say a 1.8 (or 1.4)?  If it would have you bring it to places where you'd leave the A9 at home then it's probably a keeper.  If it's not then that's a bit more complicated.

I can't comment on the quality of Sony lenses so that's another thing to look into and in either case with such a big decision I'd rent the Sony lens and try them out.  It's not too expensive and will tell you more than a hundred forum posts could.

John Mason
OP John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 5,775
Re: Dual System shooter again

CBR1100XX wrote:The question I'd ask about the 1.2's is that with them how much smaller is your E-M1 vs a A9 with say a 1.8 (or 1.4)? If it would have you bring it to places where you'd leave the A9 at home then it's probably a keeper. If it's not then that's a bit more complicated.

I'm finding it depends on the lens combination.  The 55 1.8 on the A9 is not much different than the EM1 with the 25 1.2 to the point where I'd always grab the A9 and have even thiner DOF on the A9.  I've not weighed these, but that was my impression at the store.
I did weigh the Em1 MK2 with 7-14 f2.8 compared to the A9 12-14 and the A9 combo is just 10 percent more weight.
The EM1 with 12-40 f2.8 is way smaller and lighter than the A9 with 24-70 f2.8 gm, but the lens to compare it to would be the 24-70 F4 on the Sony but the reviews of any of the other standard zooms show some real issues compared to the EM1 solution in terms of sample to sample consistency and clarity to the edges wide open.
If a good FE 12-70 F4 could be had, then the EM1 would have less reason to exist in the current kits.
But once you go long the EM1 advantage returns.

I can't comment on the quality of Sony lenses so that's another thing to look into and in either case with such a big decision I'd rent the Sony lens and try them out. It's not too expensive and will tell you more than a hundred forum posts could.

Mixed bag, depends on the lens.  The lack of consistent good lenses and the fact I didn't like the earlier A7 bodies, was one of the reasons I didn't consider sony till recently.

-- hide signature --

John Mason - Battle Ground, Indiana USA
http://finestimages.zenfolio.com

 John Mason's gear list:John Mason's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Sony a9 Sony Alpha a7R III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +9 more
John Mason
OP John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 5,775
Re: Dual System shooter again

CBR1100XX wrote:

Reading that post my first question is what uses is the A9 going to be used for? Maybe I missed it but the only specific example I saw was the the Olympus would be used for hiking or when you want something smaller... but there were no specifics on what your main type of shooting is. I'm assuming it's action photography based on your choice of the A9 but your only portfolio is of landscapes. What those types of action photos are, what the final output will be, and if they're for clients would all give a better idea of your situation as well as your current thoughts on how you'd split up the workflow.

But I can give some general thoughts on it. Since you seem to like primes I would (and did) move in that direction but with the smaller f1.8 lenses. m4/3 for me is the system I use when I want a quality image but don't require all the technical abilities of my DSLRs. So with that in mind I bought lenses with size, quality, and price all being concerns since this is a secondary system to me and m4/3 has a lot of great options. So much so that they have been used in more and more gigs. The other nice thing is that those lenses can be had for cheap used, and they're so small that carrying a multi lens kit isn't much of a burden. My Tamron 70-300VC which isn't even that large of a FF lens won't fit in the bag that I carry 2 OM-D bodies and 5 lenses. That's the strength of m4/3 and when you have the absolute in image quality covered by another system it let's you really go all out in making a still high quality but relatively tiny kit.

I do a lot of night photography and landscapes which was easy on the Canon side and always a challenge by comparison on the Olympus side though the differences lesson with each sensor generation.  I have not really done it since I went all in with Olympus.  Now I'm playing with the 12-24 and A9 and looking at the 18 f2.8 Batis to get back into that game again.

I'm on a trip right now where I'll be doing some evaluations of the night photography capability with the A9.   I'm assuming that at some point an A9r (70mp?) will come out to replace the long in the tooth A7 series for those that want the AF and ergonomics but are happy to trade FPS for resolution.

I was going to do a 12mm f2 hi rez shot mode panoramic today on this trip on the EM1 but somehow all the components of my nodal ninja setup didn't get back in the nodal ninja carrying case.  I was looking for an interesting comparison of using super resolution pp with the a9 on a single 12mm shot with the 12-24 f4 compared to stitching the more traditional way with Olympus 12mm f2 shots to redo a pano I did back in 2001 (with Canon D60 and 24 1.2 L (mk1).  But, at this point I don't get to play that way on this trip
In any case, I see nothing in the Sony side to match the 12-100 F4 on the Olympus side which makes the EM1 the perfect light do almost it all travel combo.
Playing with eye AF on the Sony side, my Oly primes for portraits (well, one is the Panasonic 42.5 1.2) are gone.  That's a scary amazing feature.   The Olympus version of the same feature is not in the same league yet.  (and it wasn't with the prior Sony cameras either)

-- hide signature --

John Mason - Battle Ground, Indiana USA

 John Mason's gear list:John Mason's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Sony a9 Sony Alpha a7R III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +9 more
MEDISN
MEDISN Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: Dual System shooter again

John Mason wrote:

Playing with eye AF on the Sony side, my Oly primes for portraits (well, one is the Panasonic 42.5 1.2) are gone. That's a scary amazing feature. The Olympus version of the same feature is not in the same league yet. (and it wasn't with the prior Sony cameras either)

John,

Did you find you were missing shots with eye-AF on the OMD?  I haven't used the A9 yet but even my E-M5 mk1 has great eye-AF (in S-AF mode).  I also shoot with a 5DIII and the little E-M5 gave me far higher keeper rate for kid portraits.   Granted my subjects aren't jumping around the viewfinder and I don't have Parkinson's yet!  The E-M1 mkII with tracking and eye-AF enabled I've found to be ridiculously accurate even with hats, glasses, animals, it just works.  Can't wait to try the A9.

-- hide signature --

| Oly E-M1 mkII | Canon 5D mkIII | Oly E-M5 | Oly E-1 |
http://www.mitropoulos.photography

John Mason
OP John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 5,775
Re: Dual System shooter again

Did you find you were missing shots with eye-AF on the OMD? I haven't used the A9 yet but even my E-M5 mk1 has great eye-AF (in S-AF mode). I also shoot with a 5DIII and the little E-M5 gave me far higher keeper rate for kid portraits. Granted my subjects aren't jumping around the viewfinder and I don't have Parkinson's yet! The E-M1 mkII with tracking and eye-AF enabled I've found to be ridiculously accurate even with hats, glasses, animals, it just works. Can't wait to try the A9.

I also had a 5d III and I love the closest eye feature on the EM1 and IS with primes.  I had the 85 1.2 and 50 1.2 on the Canon side but it was very hit and miss for indoor portraits for focus accuracy.  The EM1 makes that type of shooting easier.  The A9 gives me that same capability I love just like the EM1 over the 5d3 but  I get to shoot with a single 24-70 f2.8 zoom and get very nearly the same DOF 3d effect as with the 42.5 1.2 or 25 1.2 on the Olympus side.  So there is more flexibility on the A9 side.  I'll be adding some primes to the A9 which will allow for more 3d effect on the occasions I 'need' it.
There are some videos online of the A9 in eye tracking mode even with 20 fps sporting type events.  It's scary good!     
I just got back from vacation and the DR helped me get a couple of keeper shots to print that I don't think I would have been able to salvage on the EM1 (on the one pulled down the overexposed areas 3 stops) and I also got a great milky way shot I know I would not have gotten on the EM1.  But it is definitely at the margins where the A9 is useful.   For most shooting there is no practical difference in output.
For most shots the EM1 is great!  I also used my EM1 on this vacation on the all day hike including boat trip shuttle and got a bunch of fun shots with it too.  (with that wonderful 12-100 lens)
--
John Mason - Battle Ground, Indiana USA

 John Mason's gear list:John Mason's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Sony a9 Sony Alpha a7R III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +9 more
MEDISN
MEDISN Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: Dual System shooter again

John Mason wrote:

I had the 85 1.2 and 50 1.2 on the Canon side but it was very hit and miss for indoor portraits for focus accuracy. The EM1 makes that type of shooting easier.

Both in my kit too.  Indeed one of the limitations with 5D3.  The shallow DOF wide open doesn't help with those lenses either without eye-AF.

The A9 gives me that same capability I love just like the EM1 over the 5d3 but I get to shoot with a single 24-70 f2.8 zoom and get very nearly the same DOF 3d effect as with the 42.5 1.2 or 25 1.2 on the Olympus side.

Yes, at a price and weight penalty of course.  I sold my 24-70 f2.8 last year as it was my least used FF lens.  Now the 70-200 f2.8 for portraits I'm quite partial to.  All my favorite focal lengths and superb rendering.  I also love the Zuiko 35-100 f/2.  Just superb glass for portraits.  Both lenses weigh more than a small dog though.  

There are some videos online of the A9 in eye tracking mode even with 20 fps sporting type events. It's scary good!

Undoubtedly - they put a lot of effort into it.

I just got back from vacation and the DR helped me get a couple of keeper shots to print that I don't think I would have been able to salvage on the EM1 (on the one pulled down the overexposed areas 3 stops)

Now, now, a properly exposed image doesn't need "salvaging"   I used a D750 recently at an event and was quite impressed at the latitude present in post.  I still shoot with an E-1 which leaves next to zero room for shadow recovery (but does reward when you nail the exposure).  Modern sensors are amazing.  All eyes on the A7IIIR now and whatever this rumored Nikon mirrorless will be.

But it is definitely at the margins where the A9 is useful. For most shooting there is no practical difference in output.

Which is what I surmised.  I still want to play with an A9 but on paper it reminds me so much of the E-M1 mkII approach (sensor size aside).

For most shots the EM1 is great! I also used my EM1 on this vacation on the all day hike including boat trip shuttle and got a bunch of fun shots with it too. (with that wonderful 12-100 lens)

Yeah, I didn't need the 12-100 but the first time I used it, I realized how well it suits my style.  It is nearly a single lens do-it-all for m43.   If I broke mine tomorrow, I'd replace it in an instant.

-- hide signature --

| Oly E-M1 mkII | Canon 5D mkIII | Oly E-M5 | Oly E-1 |
http://www.mitropoulos.photography

John Mason
OP John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 5,775
Re: Dual System shooter again

MEDISN wrote:

Now, now, a properly exposed image doesn't need "salvaging" I used a D750 recently at an event and was quite impressed at the latitude present in post. I still shoot with an E-1 which leaves next to zero room for shadow recovery (but does reward when you nail the exposure). Modern sensors are amazing. All eyes on the A7IIIR now and whatever this rumored Nikon mirrorless will be.

Agreed - except I wasn't salvaging the whole image, the DR present in the image was more than the EM1 sensor would have handled.  I brought the blown out area down 3 stops (the sky) where the sun was poking out and was able to keep the rest of the cloudy image.  This was an HDR situation and I didn't have to use any HDR techniques (like the EM1 has with multiple shots) to pull it off.

Yes - I love the 12-100.  As a trail hiking companion, it's perfect and the 'macro-ish' ability of that lens is really good too.  At true do it all lens!

ok, the 'salvaged shot'.

-- hide signature --

John Mason - Battle Ground, Indiana USA

 John Mason's gear list:John Mason's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Sony a9 Sony Alpha a7R III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +9 more
MEDISN
MEDISN Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: Dual System shooter again

John Mason wrote:.

Agreed - except I wasn't salvaging the whole image, the DR present in the image was more than the EM1 sensor would have handled. I brought the blown out area down 3 stops (the sky) where the sun was poking out and was able to keep the rest of the cloudy image. This was an HDR situation and I didn't have to use any HDR techniques (like the EM1 has with multiple shots) to pull it off.

Nice shot.  I need to rent an A9 and shoot some side-by-sides.  My 5D3 DR isn't considerably different than my E-M5.  DxOMark lists landscape DR for the A9 at 13.3  and the EM1mkII at 12.8.  I wouldn't have thought a 4% difference would make much of a difference.

-- hide signature --

| Oly E-M1 mkII | Canon 5D mkIII | Oly E-M5 | Oly E-1 |
http://www.mitropoulos.photography

John Mason
OP John Mason Veteran Member • Posts: 5,775
Re: Dual System shooter again
1

MEDISN wrote:

Nice shot. I need to rent an A9 and shoot some side-by-sides. My 5D3 DR isn't considerably different than my E-M5. DxOMark lists landscape DR for the A9 at 13.3 and the EM1mkII at 12.8. I wouldn't have thought a 4% difference would make much of a difference.

I think it's the fact the noise rating on the same site is 3 to 1 in favor of the A9 meaning there is more DR of a practical nature you can use before you get artifacts.  I think the exposure determinations on the two cameras are different too.  On the Olympus they are protecting highlights more yet can't pull up the shadows as much do to noise.  On this shot on the A9 I just brought the highlights down a few stops while the rest stayed almost the same.  That's my subjective impression anyway of how the two cameras would have behaved in this lighting situation without manual intervention on the exposure.

-- hide signature --

John Mason - Battle Ground, Indiana USA

 John Mason's gear list:John Mason's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Sony a9 Sony Alpha a7R III Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +9 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads