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fredag 17. oktober 2014

Decided for the 2nd Time , Micro Four Thirds is Not for Me !

The first time I decided mFT was not for me was when I walked into a shop and picked up a PEN EP-1. I was a little captivated by the 1960s retro design, the 12mpx and the good quality lenses. However straight away it just did not feel right in the hand. I also looked at a G1 that day or another day, and decided nope, I wanted somethign a little bigger in my hand and with an OVF, like the old days.  I went for a well priced new FT Olympus E450.

Apart from the G/GH cameras, which I find a little small actually, mF T cameras are either retro or basic in ergonomics until you start adding grips or of course tout out for the OMD EM1 or GH4. The time for retro style selling is surely passed, there are only so many hipsters and does the asian market care if it looks like a 1972 Ricoh view finder 35mm cam'?  I just wanted something with substance, familiarity, critical mass in the hand.

After this as you know if you follow me, I built up the budget system many other entry level Oly users do, the 14/42 and 40.150 with the faster pretty much pro level 25mm pancake. I was going to go to the OM adapter ring and buy a couple of OM (my old OM stuff was stolen and the rest dissapated ) lenses but really the wide end is okay, no blur but the 14/150 saves the game and takes nearly all my family portrait keepers and nearly all I have published in print.

The problem is that it is all a bit combersome and a bit slow, added to no IBIS on the entry level Oly and piss poor mid ISO performance , with 400 not really being acceptable. It also has a really heavy mirror and shutter release movement which needs correcting for sub 125th sec with lock up delay for the mirror. ( try finding that, remote flash iradio trigger in camera, selectable curtain shutter, bracketing and WB preview and so on in other entry level cameras of 2010 or today for that matter!)  So now after almost five years of a lot of fun, much developing my photographic skills and artistic ability, and some notable frustration I am ready for a move.

However it will not be to mFT.

Why not? Well for a pocket sized camera I currently use my mobile phone like most all of us, so the body size is not so criticalI have big hands and like a feeling of weight and proportionality, substance as I say above, in my hand. mFt also has another huge negative and that is the gap between entry level glass and the fast glass. Due to the crop format, you are almost two stops down from APS-C, and this is a physical barrier. The big new pro zoom lenses show that in fact there is compromise and a high price to pay. They lack the range of the old queen and king of FT, the 12-60/50-200 Oly ED SWD glass and in fact are  not all that much smaller, they have to have the same diameter and apart  from the flange adapter, they need to go to their focal lengths too.

The alternative for me would be of course the wonderful 12-60/50-200 pair with an adapter ring and a....wait for it, only one Camera really works with these lenses and it is a big investment. It hardly can be compared to the D7100 for image output and the video is weaker than its panasonic cousins. (Video suddenly becomes a new hobby from this summer onwards!!!) Now this week actually there are two offers of well under 1000 euros for these lenses plus a 520 or a 630. Seems like a bargain? But wait I have to then still put up with low ISO on all but the E5 if that falls in price and no video, which is annoying because I am not interested in lugging my camcorder and having piles of SD cards to go through after a holiday. 

If olympus were to bring out an E50 or E700 type SLR mirrored with the new sony 16mpx and 4K vid and so on, then I would get this glass. Or an FT mirrorless, or a bigger mFT body in a mid range price. They are not going to do any of that, they are more interested in petite asian hands fondeling their wares in the shops than caucasian quarter backs fumbling with the small dials and touch screen.

The thing about mFT for me as an amateur is that the glass for the blur per dollar is just not worth it. In the wide to mid range where I want to throw the back ground then I have no way apart from post. Which is Doable. Okay there is a lot of second hand kit, but basically only the GH3 , 4 and OMD EM1 interest me and they are all pretty expensive compared to the D7100, and the pentax k50. I want weather proofing so that limits me again, and then I cannot use the SWD lenses on the GH cameras. Bummer

Back up here then, I have a nice little system for my daughter to use and to take on holiday.  If I did buy the glass and say an E520 or E630 then I would have a nicer system, and with the E5 I would have a pro system then for sailing and maritime photography (in clement weather that is!) I couuld do it all NEW with the K50 and get better DOF control. better high ISO, more MPX of course and then decent enough video, in a system arguably tougher than the e5 with the pro WR glass combi. Bigger yes.

Back up there also on affordable mFF and my need for a "glove compartment camera" Panasonic have indeed pulled it  off with the excellent little gem, the LX100 which takes near mFT quality image technically, but with that lovely fast glass , latest generation DR,  good mid to high iso performance and with great video. All for well under a grand, 699 pooonds in blighty. Short on the loing end? Well it opens up other things for me than my wonderful 40/150 plastic megatastic Oly lens. It will be with me much more often too which is the best camera to have, and it can take DSLR quality images for screen use at least, if not maybe being absolute pico peeking sharp when opened up lower than f8.

I would expect with wishful thinking that there would be some lenses like this in mFT which are then kit quality but with sub f 3 performance, but I am wishing again. It is more likely that there will be more mFT fixed lens cameras, especially in the bridge area which can then compete ...but with what? In effect they are competing with mFT in terms of the price point, but deliver better image value due to more DOF control.   These will though be from the main two or three manufacturers already in mFT of course and will compete with the next generation of larger sensor compacts, of which maybe two will use the FT sized sony 16mpx chip anyway.

I see that as the future, would like to see more mid range prices in mFT, there is though a good used market for the primes, but also I would like to see a new FT camera or mFT mid range camera optimised in ergonomics for the FT lenses and new big lenses from Oly in mFT (300mm inc next year)

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