08-13-2014, 12:02 PM
#1
  • CRAusmus
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I'm coming to the point in my savings plan where I can start thinking about my new camera, and I'm seriously considering taking the mirrorless path.

I'm only just starting the research part. In fact I'm so early in the process only 3 systems are currently on my list of "needing more research". Those three systems are:

1. Olympus OM-D Series (specifically the EM1 and EM10 interest me)
2. Sony Alpha Series (Specifically the A7R)
3. Panasonic Lumix DSLM Series More at the bottom as I haven't read a lot about this line, specifically the GM1 or GH3/4 on the high end are more interesting to me)

Currently the EM-1 is at the very top of my list, but do any of you guys that shoot a lot know of any mirrorless systems you think I'm leaving off my list that I should research, or should I forget about it and focus on a DSLR?

My only concern really with going mirrorless is battery life really. Should I have any other concerns? If you were upgrading in the next 6 months would you be upgrading to a mirrorless system?

Again, please keep in mind I'm really early in the research process of the high end mirrorless options. I do feel that it is the future of photography though and am seriously thinking that getting in now would be a good move for growth later. I'm reaching out to you guys so that I'm not spinning my wheels in the research process.

Thoughts?

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 08-17-2014, 01:33 AM
#2
  • Pudu
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I've been using a Fuji mirrorless for the past five months and I very much enjoy having full control in a light, relatively small package - while still having a wide assortment of superb lenses to choose from.

Carrying a second battery is still lighter and smaller than carrying a larger format camera.

The one other consideration is the speed - if you need a lot of fast action shots of sports or birds in flight you're likely better sticking to a DSLR. If you enjoy thinking and composing your shots a bit more, mirrorless offers a lot of advantages as an overall format.

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 08-17-2014, 04:25 AM
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I agree. The mirror less design lends itself to slower paced deliberate shooting.
I have a Pentax that I use inside on a tripod a lot.

The great thing is that there is no mirror slap so it is much quieter.

Of course AF speeds are slower and focusing manually out in bright sunlight can be a but of a bother sometimes though I have had less difficulty with that then I was lead to believe reading reviews.

More compact designs are easier to transport and carry. They also can accept a huge array of older lenses with proper adapters.

I've used a Sony Nex 5n and the Nex 7 along with the FujiX e1. I love the quality of photos from the X e1. Had I not ended up with the little Pentax box for almost nothing I would have purchased the Fuji.

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 08-17-2014, 05:23 AM
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  • CRAusmus
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Thanks for the response gentlemen.

The reason that I actually even started looking at mirrorless systems is because I've been reading up a lot lately on Chris Burkard. I honestly thought that mirrorless was reserved for point and shoot or an upgrade to point and shoot until I started reading about where he takes these cameras, in what conditions he is using them in, and how heavily he relies on the mirrorless systems he does use.

Granted he is a professional, I am not. Perhaps I am over thinking it and should just get a new DSLR since I am starting over pretty much. The DSLR that I am considering at the moment is the 7100.

For those that want to watch it, I found a just over 20 minute video of Chris packing for a trip to Norway. He runs down his kit and explains what he takes, how he gets it to where he's taking it and why he's chosen to take what he takes. For those of you that like these kinds of vids, you should love this one.

The camera gear actually starts around the 8:20 mark.


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 08-20-2014, 09:30 AM
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  • CRAusmus
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Through additional research, and reading reviews, I've begun to expand my options to the Fuji X series, and the Sony NEX 6 or 7.

Tons of good reviews of both these systems out there in addition to the impression that Eric left me with.

Here is a flickr stream that shows all the legacy glass this gentleman is using on his NEX7: https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldwidey...121482529/
Taken from a thread posted last year about "Why go mirror less?" I read extensively about a gentleman using a lot of manual focus lenses with his NEX7, and how powerful he felt it made this system. The stream goes quite the distance to display how powerful it can be. Link: http://photo.net/digital-camera-forum/00bipv?start=0

Here is an article written last year about one person's opinion on mirrorless technology and how the mirror may be going the way of film or the rangefinder and becoming more of a niche market item. Granted they put this out to ten years, but what are your thoughts? Is mirrorless the future of professional photography.

Article: http://laurphoto.blogspot.com/2012/12/mi...ology.html


Please feel free to discuss/debate the advantages/disadvantage of the DSLR over the latest Mirrorless technology.


There are a couple of things that I am absolutely requiring in any purchase I consider. One is price. The second is the EVF (electronic viewfinder).


I also found this site, http://camerasize.com/compare/#440,33, that directly compares size and weight of any two camera systems you choose. Kind of interesting to see the differences. I've got it set to the 7100 because that is the only DSLR that I am considering at the moment.

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 08-21-2014, 10:12 AM
#6
  • Mel S Meles
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(08-20-2014, 09:30 AM)CRAusmus Wrote: Please feel free to discuss/debate the advantages/disadvantage of the DSLR over the latest Mirrorless technology.


There are a couple of things that I am absolutely requiring in any purchase I consider. One is price. The second is the EVF (electronic viewfinder).


I also found this site, http://camerasize.com/compare/#440,33, that directly compares size and weight of any two camera systems you choose. Kind of interesting to see the differences. I've got it set to the 7100 because that is the only DSLR that I am considering at the moment.

Having hung around the forums of dpreview.com for eight years or so, I have learned that the YMMV mantra we read so frequently in regard to shaving brushes or soaps or DE blades applies in spades on the most elemental and basic matter of digital camera choice: size (and, concomitantly, weight).

My first "real" camera, almost 50 years ago was a mid-level 35mm SLR, which made it a high-end camera among the general consumer population at the time. I used only 35mm SLRs for 40 years, and I used only prime lenses on those SLRs, until the end of 2006. For the last quarter century of that time, my primary lens was an 85mm f/1.2, which is a very impressive hunk of glass, and I carried a 35mm f/2 lens with me for when I needed a wide angle lens. I considered myself very lucky and very elite to have such capable equipment that was capable of capturing high resolution images of subjects in light conditions that others could not do.

And there were too many times when I was in the presence of a once in a lifetime scene and the camera was at home. One does not casually carry a 35mm SLR with an 85mm f/1.2 lens mounted and a 35mm f/2 lens in its own separate case, and so when I went out, the camera stayed home too much.

When I went digital, I went in the other direction, and have been through what can only be classified as high-end point-and-shoots: very compact cameras with relatively fast zoom lenses. I learned the lesson for me (YMMV) that the very best camera in the world is the one that you have with you when the moment is there to be captured. I very much doubt that anyone could convince me ever again to purchase a camera so large and heavy that I would leave it at home when I "should" be carrying it; secondarily, it would be difficult to persuade me to go back to a camera where I had to swap lenses all the time, because (as I had learned with my SLRs) those perfect scenes rarely wait for the photographer to swap lenses.

At the level of competence you are looking at, then, between a DX size Nikon DSLR and a 4/3 size Olympus, I probably would go with the 4/3 system camera (though in the current market, probably a Panasonic GM1) -- which, however, still leaves one looking at a lens compromise between, on the one hand, fast/bright but big/bulky/limited tele range; or slower, smaller, lighter, but still probably limited tele range, on the other hand. Those are hard compromises.

So if, as you seem to be, I were migrating toward greater sensor size and brighter lens speed at this stage, I probably would be looking at a quality fixed-lens camera like the Sony DSC-RX10, review here, which is far from pocketable, but gives lens speed and moderate zoom and adequate sensor size at a huge savings in size and weight compared to even a diminutive 4/3 system camera like the GM1, after the latter's small light body has been fitted with relatively fast, moderately long glass, which is large and heavy. (Incidentally, DPReview likes the Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 better than the Sony DSC-RX10, but the Sony's lens is threaded for filters, while the Panasonic's is not -- apparently filters are not in Jeff Keller's workflow, because if he mentioned the lack of filter threading in his review of the Panasonic, I missed it. At that price level, a camera damn well better be able to fit a polarizer filter, IMHO.)

Have you considered the advantages of a fixed zoom lens camera with a sensor in thr 2/3" to 1" range and RAW capability?

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 08-21-2014, 11:13 AM
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Always great to read more on the different cameras available. Smile

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 08-21-2014, 11:57 AM
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(08-20-2014, 09:30 AM)CRAusmus Wrote: Through additional research, and reading reviews, I've begun to expand my options to the Fuji X series, and the Sony NEX 6 or 7.

Tons of good reviews of both these systems out there in addition to the impression that Eric left me with.

Here is a flickr stream that shows all the legacy glass this gentleman is using on his NEX7: https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldwidey...121482529/
Taken from a thread posted last year about "Why go mirror less?" I read extensively about a gentleman using a lot of manual focus lenses with his NEX7, and how powerful he felt it made this system. The stream goes quite the distance to display how powerful it can be. Link: http://photo.net/digital-camera-forum/00bipv?start=0

Here is an article written last year about one person's opinion on mirrorless technology and how the mirror may be going the way of film or the rangefinder and becoming more of a niche market item. Granted they put this out to ten years, but what are your thoughts? Is mirrorless the future of professional photography.

Article: http://laurphoto.blogspot.com/2012/12/mi...ology.html


Please feel free to discuss/debate the advantages/disadvantage of the DSLR over the latest Mirrorless technology.


There are a couple of things that I am absolutely requiring in any purchase I consider. One is price. The second is the EVF (electronic viewfinder).


I also found this site, http://camerasize.com/compare/#440,33, that directly compares size and weight of any two camera systems you choose. Kind of interesting to see the differences. I've got it set to the 7100 because that is the only DSLR that I am considering at the moment.
The ELectronic Viewfinder is something that I really liked.

It takes a little getting used to but I can see where somewhere in the not too distant future this feature will really come into its own. In good light this is just fantastic. You can zoom in to focus a MF lens and if the camera features "focus peaking" it helps even more.

Low light really is a downer as things slow down painfully but I have a feeling that will change dramatically in the near future.

I actually preferably the EVF to the viewfinders of APS-C sensored DSLRs.

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 08-22-2014, 08:40 AM
#9
  • CRAusmus
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(08-21-2014, 10:12 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote: Having hung around the forums of dpreview.com for eight years or so, I have learned that the YMMV mantra we read so frequently in regard to shaving brushes or soaps or DE blades applies in spades on the most elemental and basic matter of digital camera choice: size (and, concomitantly, weight).

The main things that I am battling with at the moment is whether or not mirrorless is the wave of the future. And within the mirrorless options I am battling which system better suits my needs. Which system will grow with me and even after I upgrade in the years to come, which system will I still return to again and again. Size and weight are a concern, only because I enjoy being in the back country, and when it's on your back with your house, kitchen, and bed every ounce counts.


(08-21-2014, 10:12 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote: My first "real" camera, almost 50 years ago was a mid-level 35mm SLR, which made it a high-end camera among the general consumer population at the time. I used only 35mm SLRs for 40 years, and I used only prime lenses on those SLRs, until the end of 2006. For the last quarter century of that time, my primary lens was an 85mm f/1.2, which is a very impressive hunk of glass, and I carried a 35mm f/2 lens with me for when I needed a wide angle lens. I considered myself very lucky and very elite to have such capable equipment that was capable of capturing high resolution images of subjects in light conditions that others could not do.

And there were too many times when I was in the presence of a once in a lifetime scene and the camera was at home. One does not casually carry a 35mm SLR with an 85mm f/1.2 lens mounted and a 35mm f/2 lens in its own separate case, and so when I went out, the camera stayed home too much.

When I went digital, I went in the other direction, and have been through what can only be classified as high-end point-and-shoots: very compact cameras with relatively fast zoom lenses. I learned the lesson for me (YMMV) that the very best camera in the world is the one that you have with you when the moment is there to be captured. I very much doubt that anyone could convince me ever again to purchase a camera so large and heavy that I would leave it at home when I "should" be carrying it; secondarily, it would be difficult to persuade me to go back to a camera where I had to swap lenses all the time, because (as I had learned with my SLRs) those perfect scenes rarely wait for the photographer to swap lenses.

My first camera was an Olympus OM SLR. I had the bag, a fixed focal and two massive zooms along with filters, note pads, tripod, film, etc. I looked like I was headed to a huge production every time I left the house with that bag, and damn if the thing didn't weigh 25 lbs all together. I moved from that to the Minlota Maxxum Series 7000i. I got a more powerful system, but the bag only got heavier.

This is precisely why I am looking at mirrorless. With one of these systems you slap a fast 35 on it and it'll fit comfortably in your front pocket. Especially if you are using one of the new 4/3 mounts (yet another internal battle I'm having, but more on that later in the post).

On your last point, I agree. The camera that you use is the best camera for you to own. I have owned countless point and shoots through out the years. Some provided a great deal of control, other's did not. Some were built more for snapshots, and others were built to give you better results. And some of my best shots have been with the snapshot cameras. However the versatility of lens choices is something I feel is a necessity. However, like most folks, I will have a favorite, and that is the one that will live most of the time on the camera.


(08-21-2014, 10:12 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote: At the level of competence you are looking at, then, between a DX size Nikon DSLR and a 4/3 size Olympus, I probably would go with the 4/3 system camera (though in the current market, probably a Panasonic GM1) -- which, however, still leaves one looking at a lens compromise between, on the one hand, fast/bright but big/bulky/limited tele range; or slower, smaller, lighter, but still probably limited tele range, on the other hand. Those are hard compromises.

Here in lies my biggest battle. I've all but decided to go mirrorless because of the power, package, price, and weight, but my biggest battle is with the 4/3 mount. I am very concerned that with out the support of the larger manufacturers that this system will fade and lose the war. It's kind of like the beta/VHS wars or the BluRay/HD DVD wars. Both Beta and HD lost and are no longer produced at all. And in this case, both losing formats had a lot of support behind them. So is 4/3 worth the investment? Will it survive? I love the Olympus OMD series cameras, but with only Panasonic and Olympus supporting this system, it worries me. However, 4/3 is the first designed for digital from the ground up lens system. So it's a huge positive for the system in my mind, but there are folks out there that say, Cannon and Nikon will never get behind this system....I'd really like some thoughts on this subject alone from you guys.


(08-21-2014, 10:12 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote: So if, as you seem to be, I were migrating toward greater sensor size and brighter lens speed at this stage, I probably would be looking at a quality fixed-lens camera like the Sony DSC-RX10, review here, which is far from pocketable, but gives lens speed and moderate zoom and adequate sensor size at a huge savings in size and weight compared to even a diminutive 4/3 system camera like the GM1, after the latter's small light body has been fitted with relatively fast, moderately long glass, which is large and heavy. (Incidentally, DPReview likes the Panasonic DMC-FZ1000 better than the Sony DSC-RX10, but the Sony's lens is threaded for filters, while the Panasonic's is not -- apparently filters are not in Jeff Keller's workflow, because if he mentioned the lack of filter threading in his review of the Panasonic, I missed it. At that price level, a camera damn well better be able to fit a polarizer filter, IMHO.)

Have you considered the advantages of a fixed zoom lens camera with a sensor in thr 2/3" to 1" range and RAW capability?

And to your last point. I have worked many times with the Sony DSC series cameras, and while offering the most control of any of the other fixed lens mount cameras I've worked with in the past, they still didn't give me everything I look for in a truly versatile system. Once you add in the fish-eye adapters, macro adapters, filter adapters, etc. You wind up with just as bulky a kit as you do otherwise.

Of course things could have gotten better with these systems in the last ten years, but as far as someone like me, in the creative industry that is looking to expand his freelance options, I think that I would quickly outgrow a system like this, so I have knocked them off my list.

Thanks for the responses Mel. You have definitely brought up some fine points.

(08-21-2014, 11:57 AM)Nickadermis Wrote: The ELectronic Viewfinder is something that I really liked.

It takes a little getting used to but I can see where somewhere in the not too distant future this feature will really come into its own. In good light this is just fantastic. You can zoom in to focus a MF lens and if the camera features "focus peaking" it helps even more.

Low light really is a downer as things slow down painfully but I have a feeling that will change dramatically in the near future.

I actually preferably the EVF to the viewfinders of APS-C sensored DSLRs.

I plan to go out to a local camera shop that deals in high end photography and put my hands on as many of these systems as I can this weekend.

I almost bought a NEX 6 outright last night because the price was so good, and I already have that amount saved up. In fact I did the math and at the end of my savings plan, I could purchase a NEX 6 with nice zoom, and a used a77 body and still have money for a great prime for the 77. However I feel that inevitably one of these would always be left behind at home, not getting used.

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 08-22-2014, 10:11 AM
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I have an Olympus E-P1, 2 in fact, and I love them. I shoot HDR and have no problem enlarging images to 20x30 and larger. I love the smaller size, especially when carrying my gear on my motorcycle. I can fit 3 bodies, 4 lenses, accessories and a tripod in a small bag that I can easily carry all day.

I would love to upgrade to a newer Olympus, but the money isn't there right now.

Another great thing about the Olympus system is that you can get adapters to use just about any lens, from any manufacturer, from any time period, on the camera. I have an older, MF lens that I use for macro work with no problems. I also use my 11-22mm lens that came off my E-600, on my E-P1. It's my go to lens.

I can't comment on the other brands, I'm partial to Olympus, but there are lots of great choices that will work.

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 08-22-2014, 02:02 PM
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  • u2u
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I went through the mirrorless camera decision making curve last December. My choice was the Sony A7R. Took it to New York City for a few days after Christmas. At the time I had only the 35mm F 2.8 and 55mm F1.8 lenses. I had read the reviews and comments about short battery life. The camera was fitted with the grip to get added battery capacity.

Well over 1,000 shots plus video over two and one half days. Never got into the second battery so I just topped up one each night. Shots taken indoors, outdoors, in bright sun, and under streetlights. Had a blast and got immense enjoyment out of the camera. I used it almost exclusively in aperture priority mode, manual focus. The grip was a nice accessory as it added considerable flexibility and convenience.

I have added the 24-70mm F4 zoom and engaging the steady shot feature does cut into battery life but two batteries will get one through a day unless you constantly leave the camera on.

The Sony lens adapter lets me use my collection of older lenses as well as the new FE series.

My A7R sees way more use than my DSLR for two reasons. First, I actually don't mind taking it out so it is available to use when unexpected subjects appear. Second, it gives more user control than any previous digital I have used. Very enjoyable to experiment with and perhaps, one day, I will master the art of photography as a result.

Were I doing it again I would still go A7R but the market is ever changing and prices are coming down. Mirrorless are solid products that are vastly more comfortable to carry, ready to shoot, than a DSLR. I would recommend trying to focus your deliberations by deciding if you want to go full frame or not, what type of photography you primarily do, then what feature set best supports your need. For Sony alone, in the A7 series, you have three very different sensors to choose from.

As a Sony user I found the user reports on DPReview somewhat more inline with my experiences, and more useful, than some of the other sites.

Now I need to stop spending on shave gear to save up for an A7S...

Good luck with your research and hope you don't get bogged down with information overload.

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 08-26-2014, 01:44 PM
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  • CRAusmus
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I appreciate all the responses thus far. We seem to have started a great conversations about the direction of Digital Photography and how happy we are with the equipment we are using. I love hearing about all your gear, as it is helping me tremendously as I move forward in my search.

For the time being I am focusing my search on two specific models, the Olympus OM-D EM-1, and the Sony A7. These two models are very close to each other in a lot of aspects. Many advantages the A7 has, are many features that I don't see myself having much use for at this time, but they do sound appealing over the long haul, like it's ability to download apps, that will increases it's ability to grow. Not to mention it's larger sensor which means better resolution at higher sensitivities. Both of these have sealed bodies, making them dust, freeze, and splash proof.

Both have focus peaking, wifi, and lots of control. However the EM-1 shoots faster and has a faster AF, and access to a larger assortment of native lenses, as well as the ability to detect the lens that is being mounted, even if it's an older 43 lens.

It's a tough decision to make, and I'm sure I'll flop back and forth on these two systems, and have the internal battle on whether 43 will hang around for the long haul. But I'm happy to at least be focussed on two very solid systems now, and can weigh the advantages of both systems agains each other.

As always, any input is greatly appreciated. Anyone foresee any issues with not having a built in flash, instead of having to have one on you that is?

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 08-26-2014, 08:14 PM
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  • Mel S Meles
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(08-22-2014, 08:40 AM)CRAusmus Wrote: So is 4/3 worth the investment? Will it survive? I love the Olympus OMD series cameras, but with only Panasonic and Olympus supporting this system, it worries me. However, 4/3 is the first designed for digital from the ground up lens system. So it's a huge positive for the system in my mind, but there are folks out there that say, Cannon and Nikon will never get behind this system....I'd really like some thoughts on this subject alone from you guys.


On that point, I can give you some guidance, based of real-life experience. Here it is: If you are looking to future-proof your investment, have NOTHING to do with Canon.

As I noted in an earlier post, my first serious camera was a Minolta SR-T101 that I bought very soon after I arrived in Japan. I purchased it with the fastest Rokkor lens, a 58 mm f/1.4, and soon after, I supplemented that set-up with a 135 mm f/3.5 telephote. That set-up lasted me for just about ten years. At the time I purchased the Minolta, there was a bit of a flap in the Canon world, because Canon, which employed a superior breech-lock lens mount system for its FL line of lenses, had got a bit caught out on the through-lens metering revolution: the Canon FL lenses metered only stopped down, and there were clear advantages to metering, focusing, and framing at full aperture.

Nikon and Minolta faced the same problem at the same time, and each solved it by adding an external cam around the circumference of the lenses close to the camera body. Nikon even had a program to retrofit existing lenses at a very nominal coat. Canon, however, decided to redesign the entire lens to camera coupling system, and, while the existing FL lenses would physically mount to the new Canon open-aperture metering bodies, the body and lens did not talk to each other; the FL lenses on an FD body were depressingly manual, and the newer FD lenses would not fit on an FL body at all; and Canon discontinued production of FL-mount lenses. Canon had been promoting its top of the line cameras as true professional system cameras, and there were a LOT of professionals who had thousands of dollars tied up in Canon FL bodies and Canon FL lenses who were singing (this was well before Aretha):

P - I - S - S - S - E - D !
Know what Canon did to me?

Ten years later, I had done enough photography to know that I wanted my primary lens to be an 85 mm to 90 mm fast lens, and at that time, Canon had probably the best 85 mm f/1.8 lens among Japanese camera makers. So I sold my Minolta and lenses and purchased a Canon A1 with an 85 mm f/1.8 lens. I was, of course, well aware of the FL-to-FD flap, and I was certain that Canon had learned its lesson and would not repeat that mistake again. In the meantime, I had acquired a bunch of accessories that fit the 55 mm filter thread of both of my old Minolta lenses, and most of the Canon line of FD lenses short of telephotos took the same 55 mm filters, so it was an easy upgrade path.

The next year, Canon -- for no discernible reason -- abandoned 55 mm as a standard filter size, and instead adopted 52 mm as its standard filter size. At the same time, it abandoned its superior breech-lock lens mounting system, which automatically adjusted for wear and lens play, for a new bayonet mounting system that was more fragile and trouble-prone. A burglar broke into our home shortly thereafter and stole my Canon and its tack-sharp 85 mm f/1.8 lens. My insurance company was willing to pay 100 cents of the dollar to replace the equipment with brand new equivalent . . . except in the meantime, Canon had decided that 85 mm f/1.8 was a specialty portrait lens, and had redesigned it to be intentionally soft around the edges, making it useless as a general purpose lens. That -- and a lot of dollars out of my own pocket -- was how I ended up having to get an 85 mm f?1.2 lens to replace a very sharp 85 mm f/1.8 lens.

Then came autofocus, and Canon abandoned the FD mount altogether; any current Canon user who wanted an autofocus Canon SLR might as well throw all of his lenses in the trash. At Canon, loyalty definitely does not go both ways.

In the meantime, Nikon and Minolta had adapted to each new industry trend -- open aperture through-lens metering, autofocus -- with tweaks to their existing lenses and mounts, etc. -- usually carrying a high degree of forward and backward compatibility into the future models.

That was when I did some abandoning on my own. Never again will I own any Canon camera. As system cameras, Canons are very bad investments.

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 08-26-2014, 10:11 PM
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I just did this decision process (again) this week. I've had both in the past, but this time went Olympus. To me, Sony's problem is the lenses. They have a lot of just okay lenses, and their few that are very good are usually around $1K!

Micro 4/3rds has vastly better lenses, many of which are not expensive. They have some that are up there in price, like the very nice 12-40 f2.8, but the better Sony zooms are still more expensive and they don't even have an f2.8 zoom.

It's a tradeoff either way. For me, the lens selection wins out. Sony has great bodies though.

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 08-29-2014, 09:16 AM
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  • CRAusmus
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After reading Jake's post above, I decided it was time to do a walk through and put together a kit for each body. Needless to say, it was quite the exercise, and even more eye opening as Jake pointed out.

To be fair I tried, I repeat tried, to stick to just one store to keep pricing fair and even instead of hunting for the best price available (which I will do when I decide on the system); that store was B&H.

Olympus OM-D EM-1 Body: $1399
Kit Lens: Olympus 14-42mm ƒ3.5-5.6: $349
Zoom: Olympus 40-150mm ƒ4.0-5.6: $199
Prime: Olympus 25mm ƒ1.8: $399
Grand Total (Lacking a Macro): $2346


Sony A7 Body & Kit Lens: $1798
Kit Lens: Sony 28-70mm ƒ3.5-5.6: Incl.
Zoom: Sony 55-210mm ƒ4.5-6.3: $350
Prime: Rokinon 35mm ƒ1.4: $499
Grand Total (Couldn't find Macro): $2647

I tried to match these kits as closely as possible, looking at reviews for each lens and trying to nail down as close as possible the same specs. As noted, I couldn't even find a Macro for the E-Mount full frame A7. Granted if that is my system, it is going to require a lot more research in what is available. I also tried to adhere to a brand loyalty perspective by going with what the manufacturer built for that body specifically for this exercise. However in trying to adhere to that perspective for the Sony resulted in an $800 dollar prime, so that's why I deviated there.

Clearly, at least in this exercise however, the Olympus and the M43 system is winning outright against the Sony A7 with E-Mount (Full Frame).

For informational purposes I have found an Olympus 60mm ƒ2.8 Macro for 499 that is not included in this price. And the Zoom, even though I could easily get by with out it, just got too good of reviews for the 199 price tag to be left out of the kit. In all fairness, I could easily get by with the 14-42 as a kit, and add only the 25 for a wonderful kit right off the bat for a very affordable price. However, how can you pass up the 199 zoom?

I also learned, during my continued research in the Micro 43, that the focal lengths all double due to the "crop factor". Having used 35mm for so long, this is something that I never even knew when I moved over to a DSLR, however the "crop factor" for DSLR is almost half that of the 43, so it's not nearly as noticeable I guess. That is why you see my prime as a 25mm, which is the equivalent of a 50mm. I may instead, buy a 17mm, the equivalent of a 35mm when/if the final purchase comes around and that would increase the over total by 50 bucks to go with the 17mm ƒ1.8 by costing 449 instead of 399.

Any thoughts on seeing these two systems side by side? Any lenses you feel I should add? There is, what they call a cap lens, in 15mm for 49 dollars for the Olympus. It's supposed to be pretty fun, but it has a fixed ƒ8 aperture. And a 9mm fisheye fixed at ƒ8 also for 99. Although probably more gimmick, these still have gotten great reviews, and could be quite fun just to have and play with.

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 08-29-2014, 01:19 PM
#16
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Wow, Clinton! This is valuable information for a novice like myself and I wish you luck with your endeavour! Smile

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 08-30-2014, 02:42 AM
#17
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(08-29-2014, 09:16 AM)CRAusmus Wrote: I also learned, during my continued research in the Micro 43, that the focal lengths all double due to the "crop factor". Having used 35mm for so long, this is something that I never even knew when I moved over to a DSLR, however the "crop factor" for DSLR is almost half that of the 43, so it's not nearly as noticeable I guess. That is why you see my prime as a 25mm, which is the equivalent of a 50mm. I may instead, buy a 17mm, the equivalent of a 35mm when/if the final purchase comes around and that would increase the over total by 50 bucks to go with the 17mm ƒ1.8 by costing 449 instead of 399.

I would do some research on how Depth of Field is affected by going to smaller sized sensors than full frame. Here is a handy chart for comparing http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html .

If you compare a 50mm lens @ f8 on full frame to a 25mm lens @ f8 on a 43 format camera you will find that the DOF is greatly increased at any given distance on the 43 format camera.

Stopping any lens down past it's particular best aperture performance will degrade due to diffraction. On a 43 format camera this will happen at a much lower f stop than on full frame. Again a 50mm lens on a full frame camera might become diffraction limited @ f8 but a 25mm lens on a 43 format camera may become diffraction limited @ f4/5.6. Some more info http://thelightweightphotographer.com/ta...-of-field/ .

Bob

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 08-30-2014, 06:57 AM
#18
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Bob is right. You're comparing full frame to 4/3, so there's a large DOF difference. If you like really shallow depth of field, the full frame will have a big advantage. On the other hand, if you like more of the picture in focus (like landscapes most of the time), a m43 will have the advantage of doing so with a wider aperture.

Which is not to say you can't get a nice blurry background with m43, but it will be difficult with any of those lenses you posted.

A few Olympus lens notes... first, you'd be foolish to pay $349 for that kit lens. It comes free with some of the cameras you can often get for around $200, and you can pick one up used on the m43 forum usually for $80 or less. Second, there are discounts right now if you buy lenses with a body, so that 25mm is actually $299 instead of $399. You can see the lenses on discount here: http://www.crutchfield.com/Product/Speci...rid=101461

Also, it's kind of weird to pair the top E-M1 body with the lesser kit lens (which is probably why they don't sell it as a bundle). Most people paying that much for the body will get the fantastic 12-40mm f2.8 zoom, which is pricey at $900 (although it's $700 with the camera, at least today) but is weather sealed and awesome, easily superior IMO to the $1K Sony zooms.

Alternatively, the E-M10 has identical image quality and comes with the kit lens for $749. The differences are it lacks weather sealing (but you don't have any weather-sealed lenses on your list anyway), has slightly worse but still excellent stabilization, a worse resolution EVF, and is smaller. That's the one I just bought.

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 08-30-2014, 08:56 AM
#19
  • CRAusmus
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Gentlemen, this is the kind of discussion and information I'm hoping to generate with this thread. I clearly have a bit more research to do on 4/3 and the disadvantages and advantages over the larger sensors in the mirrorless market.

I hope you choose to continue to follow this thread and offer up your assistance as freely as you have to this point. Thank you very much. I am reading up on the links that have been posted thus far to continue this research in 4/3 and whether it is right for me. As there are a lot of great cameras in the mirrorless market, like the Fuji X series as well as Sony's Alpha offerings.

I'm not planning to make a purchase until closer to the end of the year so I'm not in any hurry to jump on anything right now, so please, continue to feel free to share your expertise and experiences with the technology.

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 08-30-2014, 11:01 AM
#20
  • BobH
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  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Here is another consideration and that is noise in the digital image generated by a sensor. As a rule a full frame sensor will have less noise than a smaller sensor. The number of megapixels in a sensor also has an effect on noise. The more MPs the noisier a sensor is. Generally the worst case scenario is a small senor with a high MP number.

Consider what you want to do with the output from your camera. If it is for web use and possibly printing to 8x10 inches any of the old 5/6 MP cameras were good enough for the average user. The larger you want to print the more MPs you need and the larger the sensor you need to keep noise at bay.

Consider also what kind of light you normally will be shooting. If you shoot under good lighting sensor size and lens speed is less of an issue unless you want to isolate your subject. If you intend to shoot in poor light, evening, night and dawn the a full frame with fast glass and stabilization is likely what you are after.

Many choices to make to get the right combination of compromises to fit your needs. It really is a matter of picking the right compromises.

Bob

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