June 23rd, 2012, 08:44 PM
Has m43 finally lived up to the promise?
When Micro Four Thirds was announced a number of years ago, I was very excited as I thought that it heralded the convergence of still photography and video in a small and versatile package. At the time I was shooting with a Canon 30D, 17-55 f2.8 IS and the Canon G7 and G10, so I thought this would be a great way to combine all of them into something smaller and lighter than the 30D. I hoped that, in time, I could shoot DSLR quality stills and full HD video with the same camera.
Over the years the cameras have been improving, the lens lines have expanded, and finally the shooting performance and image quality rival mid level aps-c DSLR's. Depth of field control is not as good as full frame or even aps-c, but the tradeoff in terms of versatility and size may be worth it for many. With the Olympus OM-D and the upcoming Panasonic GH3, which ought to be a stupendous hybrid camera if the GH2 is anything to go by, Micro Four Thirds finally seems to be living up to the promise.
Does anyone else feel this way? Have you held off from m43 until recently? Are you now more confident in the m43 format now with the OM-D and current lens line up?
June 23rd, 2012, 08:58 PM
Thanks for starting this thread. I look forward to the answers you get. As for me i used m4/3 for a while but now with the small APS sensor cameras that is my choice.
June 23rd, 2012, 09:01 PM
I'd like to know more about what improvements have gone into noise reduction and dynamic range for 4/3 sensors. Mostly I see more megapixels rather than reduction in noise. The older M8 at ISO 160 gives far cleaner images than the EP2 at ISO 200, and does not blow highlights like the EP2. The M9 is even better. Until I see an m43 camera that can at least match the M8, I will be sticking with the EP2 as my only mirrorless camera. I don't think the answer is more megapixels in the same size sensor: that decreases the size of the individual detectors. Smaller detectors saturate more easily, less dynamic range. That points to larger detectors, APS-C and bigger. I've read reviews that the Olympus EVF-2 is still the best available among mirrorless cameras. That is the second feature that must be substantially improved to warrant an upgrade.
June 23rd, 2012, 10:46 PM
For me M43 has lived up to its promise from the start. When I bought my GF1 I at last had a small camera with IQ to print reasonably large, and good manual controls. That was the promise, and it has delivered.
June 24th, 2012, 12:42 AM
Micro 4/3 was always a compromise based on having a smaller sensor and based on Panasonic not being at the pointy end of sensor technology. That never made it impossible to take great images on an older Micro 4/3 camera, but it required more care to be taken to achieve that. As different sensors have come out, firstly the GH1, then GH2, and G3/GX1, the operating window became larger and allowed more latitude. The E-M5 has taken that a significant step further because the sensor is not inherently noisy, and it maintains shadow and highlight detail much better than previous sensors. For instance, the GH1 was measured as having the highest dynamic range of all Micro 4/3 cameras, but now I can easily shoot the E-M5 in situations where even the GH1 would have blown out the sky.
Combine a camera like the E-M5 with lenses like the 12/2, 25/1.4, or 45/1.8 (and with more higher end zooms and primes in the pipeline) and I don't see myself looking elsewhere because I'm dissatisfied with the IQ. Any other camera or system would be of interest mainly to provide something different.
Last edited by Luckypenguin; June 24th, 2012 at 12:46 AM.
Nic (Canonite, Olympian, Panasonian, Samsunite) ~flickr~
June 24th, 2012, 05:34 AM
Depends on what you see as its promise. The small size and convenience of the system is an obvious part that they've lived up to from day one. If it also includes the ultimate in performance too, they basically started living up to that in late 2010 with the GH2 and then more fully last year with the newest Oly Pens and the the G3, GX1, etc, only really lacking for great tracking in AFC with faster live view refresh. If yor definition includes IQ that will be as good as full frame and the best of APS cameras, it's not there and likely never will be, but it's gotten a lot closer - the differences are smaller than ever and won't matter to many but will to some.
For me, it lived up to its promise very VERY early, maybe from day one - every camera/system is about compromises and m43 has always been a set of compromises I could be happy with and there are fewer and fewer of them as it improves - in fact, for how and what I generally shoot, I'd say it makes no compromises in its current iteration. For people who demand the absolute best posssible IQ or AF reflexes capable of shooting an NFL game as a pro photo-journalist it may well never live up to that.
So, define its promise however you like and then judge from there... For me, yeah, waaaaay.
Last edited by Ray Sachs; June 24th, 2012 at 05:37 AM.
June 24th, 2012, 06:34 AM
My personal view, and review
I have used M43 for 3 plus years ........ I used my G1 and EP-1 more than any other system in the first year
I now use the G1 quite often and the EP-1 very occasionally
I mostly use the M43 lens although I bought about 6 different adaptors in year 1
I now hardly use legacy glass on the M43 system and if I do it is mostly rangefinder lens
I use my S95 more than the G1
I use my M8 and Nikon D300 most of the time
I find the physical size of the D300 far more easier to use than any M43 cam and the user interface on the Nikon is, for me, far superior and user friendly
DOF and IQ are certainly better with the APS-C sensor and at the longer end the availability of good lens is better with the DSLR
as far as the M8 is concerned it is my cam of choice if I want to go compact - I prefer the Leica simple UI to any M43 cam and I have always been happy with MF.
The 20 f1.7 still shines on the G1 as does the original 14 45 ........ if I use the G1 I carry those two lens
As far as upgrading is concerned, I'm really in no hurry but, because of my (now) preferred subjects, (nature and wildlife), I will go for the successor to the D300 as I would like better low light performance and like the crop factor of the APS_C sensor ....... if the D400 is not released soon maybe I'll give the D3200 a try because of it's reported better low light performance.
If I can find a used M9 at a good price I would buy one, but I reckon my next investment will be a used 300mm f2.8 VR or a similar used Nikon prime.
When I replace the S95, (soon, maybe,because it will get worn out), I will look around for something similar, but the Nikon V1 does appeal because of size, lens availability and as importantly the FT-1 adapter.
The last piece of kit I bought was a gimbal
Last edited by BillN; June 24th, 2012 at 06:38 AM.
June 24th, 2012, 06:38 AM
I was never interested in the m4/3 setup which I feel was a 'created' format-size right from it's film days. I didn't (and still don't) see the logic in the sensor size. To me it's a 'toy camera' for DSLR users who find lugging around their big cameras a bit of a chore. And everyone seems to be buying in to this marketing bullshit. It will always play catch up to the big DSLRs, and will always be second best when compared to a DSLRs in their current avatars.
To me (this is only my opinion) the only conversation that is worth having is on image quality. And mu43 is certainly not the answer now, nor will it ever be, because it's crippled itself in selected a limiting sensor size, that defines it's genre. Unless of course through some reversal of the laws of physics, having a bigger sensor that captures more light becomes a bad thing.
Sure, it might be "good enough" for most people. That's not much of a debate.
Last edited by Boid; June 24th, 2012 at 06:40 AM.
"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd" ~ Voltaire
June 24th, 2012, 06:39 AM
My main aim was to find a lighter alternative to a DSLR for taking Ground-to-Air shots.
Aviation has been my passion and occupation for all of my life so being able to shoot fast moving aircraft has always been important to me.
With the arrival of the fast focusing G3 and the Panasonic 100-300 lens I feel that m4/3 has reached a stage where it's good enough for action.
Improvements in continuous focusing speed are still needed but it's almost there
June 24th, 2012, 06:42 AM
great shot - but I bet you are annoyed because of the half wing on the top plane - with shots like that you only have micro seconds to get it right and as you say you need lightening AF and auto exposure ........... DSLR
As I said, "great shot" - my comment in no way is negative
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