Begrudgingly considering digital... which M43?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by patrick j dempsey, May 20, 2012.

  1. First off, does anyone know of a single site that lists all of the Olympus/Panny M43's cameras and offers comparisons? I stopped reading about these things for a year and now there's a dozen models with confusingly similar names.

    Secondly, any recommendations for a VERY old-fashioned film photographer who only owns one camera with a working meter and doesn't have any patience for the kinds of confusing and horribly designed interfaces of the Canikon dSLR's?

    - Affordable: If money was no object to me I would buy an OM-D without even thinking about it.
    - Retro lens metering: Also A.P. auto-exposure with retro lenses. Since I have an army of OM lenses, I would be buying an adapter and using those as much as possible.
    - Simple controls: If it takes 5 button presses to do exposure compensation.... no good. Scroll wheel that does aperture settings is probably the most important control.
    - Durable: The more metal and the less plastic the better.
    - High IQ at night: I almost shoot more at night than in the day... seriously.
    - Viewfinder: may be the hardest qualification :(

    - Art filters: don't/won't use them.
    - On-board flash: meh.
    - Image stabilization: whatever.
    - Movable screen: I could see myself using this rarely.
    - Hand grip: I have smallish hands for a guy, bulky grips just don't feel right to me.
    - Olympus v. Panasonic: I love my Oly camera collection but the Panny's I've seen are nice and well-built.
    - All black: The idea that "pros" shoot with black cameras is such a tired lame 80's fashion statement.
    - Kit lens: it would be nice to have AF for actiony type shots, but not a deal breaker.
  2. The answer to the first question is
    The answer to the second question is OM-D, but if that on is too expensive, a second hand GH1 is a great alternatives, and even offers a few features that the OM-D doesn't have. They are not dirt cheap, but $3-400 should get you there, and if you're lucky, you can even find a new-in-box or one that is hardly used. The G3 is nice too, and not too expensive new, but the ergonomics are much better with the GH1. I often use a GH1 alongside an OM-2 or 3.
    Be aware that the Panasonics don't have IBIS.
  3. The G3 does look nice and simple. In the past I had seriously considered the e420, which is now very affordable, but 4 years old and probably well out-of-date in terms of sensor quality... and of course, a part of a system that may die at any moment. And of course those bigger e cameras won't accept my Pen F lenses!
  4. Must-have's:
    - Affordable: If money was no object to me I would buy an OM-D without even thinking about it.
    - Retro lens metering: Also A.P. auto-exposure with retro lenses. Since I have an army of OM lenses, I would be buying an adapter and using those as much as possible.
    - Simple controls: If it takes 5 button presses to do exposure compensation.... no good. Scroll wheel that does aperture settings is probably the most important control.
    - Durable: The more metal and the less plastic the better.
    - High IQ at night: I almost shoot more at night than in the day... seriously.
    - Viewfinder: may be the hardest qualification :(
    Everybody wants a Leica M9 for $300. Seriously, get real...The G3 is your best bet.
  5. Well *I* don't want a Leica M9, or any other overpriced Jaguar camera. What I want is something practical, that comes close to meeting my basic requirements, which are the features that used to come stock on every camera made in every price range for 50 years.
  6. If you want an excellent EVF camera with great high ISO IQ made with durable metal with good ergo...You are looking at Nex-7, OMD EP5, Pro X-1. They are all $1k or over. Maybe you ought to lower your expectation, even dslrs under 1k are mostly plastic and all have decent, but not great VF...
  7. If you have nothing of actual substance to say, please feel free to not respond anymore. I'm NOT asking about which advanced range camera meets my requirements, I'm well aware that most of them easily accomplish these, I'm also aware that most of them are packed with junk features and dedicated buttons for junk features that IMO are a lame excuse for the extra cost.

    I'm not a child, this post wasn't made on a whim because I'm too lazy to look into it... it's just a ton of confusing information to digest and I haven't been keeping up with it. I've looked around and have yet to find any site that catalogs the differences, pros/cons/features of these cameras or even one that just explains how the names of the cameras relate to their tiers. The site Jorgen posted unfortunately lacks real meat. A good old-fashioned chart would really come in really handy and I'm really surprised with as much discussion there is about this and as many different models as there are to choose from that there isn't something like that yet.
  8. Patrick, you ask people for free advice. Take it for what it's worth. Telling people to not respond after they took their time to help you out is not coming across very gentle, to say the least.
    doesn't have any patience for the kinds of confusing and horribly designed interfaces of the Canikon dSLR's?​
    Most m4/3rd cameras are about as bad, if not worse, in my view. Less external buttons means even more diving into menus. Some of them "simplify" matters by offering mainly only a mode-dial, with relatively complicated ways of setting manual exposure. So, I am not quite sure on what you base your assumptions the m4/3rd cameras are better suited to what you are looking for, because to me they don't seem to achieve that at all.
    Add in the want for a decent viewfinder, and it leaves me only thinking you should put aside your assumptions on DSLRs and start looking at one instead. They tend to tick all the boxes on your wishlist.
  9. rdm


  10. Links to lots of µ43 gear here:
    Secondly, any recommendations for a VERY old-fashioned film photographer who only owns one camera with a working meter and doesn't have any patience for the kinds of confusing and horribly designed interfaces of the Canikon dSLR's?​
    I'm in my late 50's and I really like µ4/3, but I doubt that you will. All the Olympus Pen cameras have P&S type controls. The Panasonic SLR cameras may do it for you. None of the cameras with 12mp sensors are particularly good at high ISO.
  11. Sigma DP-1 or DP=2 series. No zoom, not many bells and whistles but do have a larger APS-C sensor which should give better IQ. Will need an auxiliary viewfinder.
  12. Nothing substitutes for handling a camera. The charts are confusing and the instruction manuals are not very good either. A used camera is a good option, but I would still advise handling one first. You may change your mind about some of your qualifications even in a store. Best advice I can offer. Compromise is necessary, but one has to get one's feet wet with the digital world. I started with an Olympus C 5050 point and shoot, only five megapixels, but still quite usable. A Panasonic GH 2 or G-anything with a built in EVF, with an adapter would give option to use the old lenses,that is true.
  13. One other thought, Patrick. I still think the rock solid Olympus E-1 is a knockout of a camera for its used price. And it has adapters for the OM lenses. Well designed machine. Hardly shows its age too. But not small, and not light. Feels good in the hand. Controls are easy to find and operate... Five megapixels may do the trick, if good colors and good JPEG is what you are after. Good luck.., aloha,gs
  14. Forget simple, even the most basic digital camera can have a 300 page manual. I too am, or was, an old school photographer, learning on a meterless Leica IIIF, shooting slide film and guessing at exposure. With digital all that changes. Now we see what we will get before the exposure and what we got after the exposure. I can leave my camera in "P" mode and adjust my exposure using the "+/-" button or "AEL Lock" button. I favor Panasonic Lumix and have the G2 and a GF1. I recently purchased a Olympus EP2 for $230 so if you are willing to use a last generation camera you can save a pile of dough, last generation being less than a year ago in the case of Olympus. BTW, I think the Panasonics are a little better than the Oly up to this point.
  15. FWIW you must first get to use a digital camera..All digitals, no matter how simple "they" appear are needing a dreaded menu plus a book of notes! You learnt your photography over a period of years and experiences. Digital is faster in every way. You will see what you are doing almost immediately! Better than Polaroid. Way better and cheaper. Note cheaper not free. Computers are required and drives to handle more and more images..
    I felt that way as you do now! A few hours shooting with a lowly Pentax Optio made me aware of the full potential. It was like having the keys to Kodak's warehouse..
    I would suggest spending a $100 or less on a basic digital. Get your feet wet. Then become aware of the dreaded Photoshop, Picassa or similar. It really is easy! It is fun.
    I have decided not to spend on a "higher" quality digital camera, as the point and shoot almost replaces my M3!I print 4x6 at local drugstore as gifts to friends and subjects. I also have printed larger 8 x 11 and in books of 8 x 10. The last book contained (by error) a small file 480 x 640 for e-mails. It printed fine, not noticeable..
    Batteries. Ah! Where you carried extra film, you need extra batteries esp. in the frigid months. I live in Toronto, Canada. Good Luck.
  16. Patrick, another valuable, real world user 's personal opinion and data on various model Olympus SLR's site that talks in plain English, pluses and minuses, -not up to date, (hard to do that) true,- but still some good stuff to check out before the plunge into shopping:
  17. I hope you're going to buy a cheap, used DSLR to try digital. That's the best way to get your feet wet, without spending much. Then you can sell that on Craigslist and get a new camera. Once you go digital, you will see all the things that you really want in a new digital camera. Until you've tried it and have some experience with it, you won't know. Maybe you're afraid of changing systems or something. Try not to be. New stuff is amazing. I used to shoot with Canon FD. Now I shoot with whatever is handy. I'm shooting with a Sigma SD14 and a Sony A55 for now.
    The fold-out screen on the Sony cameras is something you will find yourself using all the time . . . if you have one. If not, you won't miss it, of course, because you won't know what you're missing.
    My suggestion for the ultimate digital camera in an affordable package is the Sony A65 with the Sony 16-105 lens. If you just HAVE to have f2.8 capability, then get it with the 16-50mm f2.8 lens. Yes . . . it has plastic on it. So did the Canon T-90. That thing was amazing and it lasted for many years of abuse. The newest, most expensive cameras have plastic on them. Plastic really does work! They even use it in the space program! The M-16 is made with plastic, and some of them have been around for 40 years now, still working fine. Yes, I would prefer Titanium myself, but plastic seems to work fine for every camera I have ever had. Your digital camera will be long obsolete, and you will have traded up to a better one a few years from now, before the plastic goes bad, no doubt.
    The new Nikon D800 is great too. Forget about all that BS about wanting your old lenses to work with your camera. You can get adapters to put your lenses on your new camera, whatever you get. There are adapters of all sorts (Nikon to Sigma SA mount, Leica to Nikon, Pentax to Sony, etc.). Just search eBay. If you're shooting with a tripod, you don't have to worry about the aperture. Just change it, when you're ready to shoot. Of course
  18. I've shot digital quite a bit... I've used a PNS for my own purposes and to help out others more times than I can count and I've handled and shot with many Canons (mostly in the lowest tier, a few in the prosumer tier) and a few Nikons. I have no problems with PNS cameras for their own sake as long as they do what they do well and without question, and have an easy way to disable the flash.

    Unfortunately, I live in an area without access to any kind of major electronics or modern camera store and I haven't seen any m43's in Best Buy, although admittedly it's not a place I go by choice very often. I may need to stop in one day and see if they have anything. Before I spend any money on a camera I *can* drive to Charlotte or Atlanta and get my hands on some floor models. But if there's something one generation old that meets my needs, it probably won't be on hand in a Best Buy.

    Menus themselves aren't as problematic to me as really bad menu design. If important features are near the top or have dedicated/programmable buttons it's OK, if they are buried deep in sub-menus it's no good. By important features I mean: ISO, aperture, exposure compensation/shutter speed. Virtually everything else to me trivial fluff.

    Thanks for the links... I'll look into them.
  19. By important features I mean: ISO, aperture, exposure compensation/shutter speed.​
    None of those things are buried in menus of any DSLR or advanced P&S or µ4/3 camera. The control paradigm may be different that what you are used to, so you think it's bad design. Maybe, but it is what it is. It will take more than 5 minutes to figure out the camera controls and have them become second nature. It may take weeks of use before you can work a camera without thinking about it. It's like picking up a violin and saying it's design is bad because it doesn't work like the saxophone that you're used to. You have to come to grips that not everything works like a saxophone, and if it has to for you, you better stick to saxophones.
  20. If you have at least a passing familiarity with digital P&S and dSLR cameras, you've got a massive head start over the place I was in about 5 years ago when I bought my first digital camera. I forced myself to buy one and forced myself to learn how to use it. Since then I've bought and used several digital cameras and every one of them had a learning curve but none of them was that different from any of the others as far as standard features are concerned.
    I own three Olympus and one Panasonic micro 4/3 cameras. Both of them require some fiddling around to get through the menus and know what all the features do. The Panasonic menu is a little easier to navigate but I prefer using the Olympus cameras--just my personal preference. Olympus menus are initially difficult to navigate and can be frustrating to those unfamiliar with them but there is a simplified menu available at the touch of a button that gives you access to all the important controls. Once you get the camera set up the way you want, you will seldom need to delve into the menus again.
    As to which of the two brands to buy, the best advice I can give you is to forget taking anyone's advice on what camera to buy. I'm pretty adaptable so I generally can get used to any camera in time but I know some people cannot abide the way some cameras must be utilized. If you already like and have familiarity with a certain brand of camera, film or digital, you will probably find it easier to adapt to another model of that brand. I sympathize with your inability to have hands-on contact with a lot of cameras. Here where I live there are now zero camera stores and Walmart, Target and Best Buy photo counters are pretty much only tethered cameras with no instructions and usually with no batteries installed. Don't even ask the sales staff anything and expect correct information.
  21. The simplest way of controlling aperture/shutter is on my Panasonic FZ50 [ s/h $250<$400] with two knurled wheels for forefinger and thumb to adjust, front and back of camera. But I added the Pany G3 for other reasons and now one knurled wheel which does each job with alternate presses of it... after all ... how many times do you want to adjust both at the same time :)
    The trouble with digital cameras is that to try and please everybody they can and do pack a lot into them but the advantage is that though it is there you don't have to use it ...I just use what I need for the photo coming up. But I realised recently that I've been using digital cameras for over a decade now and I guess I'm used to them.
    I am a confirmed bridge camera user and now with M4/3 I have my desire, a large sensored bridge camera which doesn't weigh a ton as if I organised similar with a DSLR. So my choice, not cheap by any means is the G3 with the 14-140 lens [ 28-280 AoV ] which is about the size and weight of my SLR with its 50mm lens, "what a camera should weigh :)" . You pay for the tool you want.
    The main thing against the G3 is the useless manual unlike those for FZ cameras I have been used to. A short hard copy and a longer pdf file ... how many take a computer with them into the field?
  22. Why begrudgingly? If you don't want to do something, don't do it.
  23. Steve, it's either get a digital camera or quit photography. There's not a single local lab I can trust with my negatives, and my attempt to do mail order ended in me being frustrated with their confusing price scales and them loosing a few rolls of my negatives. To say that my luck with film over the last few years has been flat out BAD wouldn't be overstating it.

    I'll probably end up doing some B&W darkroom stuff, especially 120... but that's a hobby. I need to shoot color to document my paintings and murals and the second-hand 4MP P-N-S with the burned out sensor just isn't cutting it.
  24. For me, if it was get a digital camera or quit photography, it would be the latter choice.
    Having said that , I only do black and white and process and print it myself.
  25. Patrick, for evaluating comparable cameras it's still hard to beat for their interactive comparison widget. This lets you compare results side by side for up to four cameras.
    It's very handy for comparing, say, 10-12mp small sensor or Micro 4/3 cameras in the same class against each other. Since dpreview uses fairly standard, consistent methodology it's about as good as it gets for real world evaluations.
    Since you shoot at night, be sure to check both the high ISO results. That's a priority for me as well - I do a lot of handheld available light shooting in dim light. It's not unusual for the Micro 4/3 and smaller sensor cameras to impose a lot of noise reduction on JPEGs, even if the owner chooses to disable the noise reduction options. This can smear some fine details. But the raw files usually preserve those details.
    With good noise reduction software you can control it with more finesse. I usually prefer to reduce the chroma noise a lot, but go easy on the luminance noise to preserve more detail. Noise Ninja, Noiseware and Lightroom handle that pretty well.
  26. I had a similar problem with my local lab. They still do film, but the quality went down. Too many errors on their part lead me to try my own hand at color film, processing, scanning and wet printing.
    Let me say this first off: anyone who says color printing is simple is just plain lying. :) Developing though, and scanning, are relatively easy. I wouldn't abandon film if I were you, but I do understand not everyone can invest the time and effort into color film developing. When it comes to digital, most cameras are pretty decent now. Buy any of them that are within your budget. I'd recommend you get one that has a hot shoe so you can use a bounce flash and get nice soft lighting on your paintings.
  27. Lex, thanks for the advice... I often look at dpreview for their reviews but didn't know about the comparison thingy, I'll check that out. It's that or build a spread sheet. *face palm*
  28. Patrick---Here is a link to the dpreview side-by-side comparison chart:
    Good luck. I know you'll find something you'll like eventually.
  29. rdm


    I too felt like the OK.
    I begrudgingly Went to digital. I was told that i could take every photography course at the community college using film.
    However the way the instructor instructed the Lighting Class was geared to Digital enthusiasts. He would make studio setups during class and have people shoot it and then at the end we would compare our results.. Not something that a film shooter can do. Even tho in the beginning of the semester i made sure with him that he knew i was a film only shooter and he said there would be no problem. For those unique assignments i was left out of, he would always tell me i could just practice on my own with film.
    So i would not get left behind I picked up a cheep digital body and Chinese adapter that allowed me to use all my Manual Legacy lenses. I got a used G1, and it was/is fantastic.. In-fact others in the class were impressed at how Huge the view Finder was compared to the DSLR cameras they were using. My professor said it was like looking through his Canon D1.
    Personally i did not see any difference from what I was use to. My previous SLR camera system was the Minolta. Primarily the Minolta x700 & x9 .
    I was OK with the field of view being halved. I expected the equivalent doubling of focal length using my legacy lenses. My widest lens was already a 17mm and my other fast primes became fast portrait and fast short telephotos . I found myself using my 35mm 1.8 lens more often than I ever had before.
    It was almost a year before I could afford to picked up a native lens for it, in the form of a M.Zuiko 14-42mm MKII kit lens. I bought it for two reasons. One was because sometimes, and only sometimes I needed something a little wider than what I had to use. The Second reason was because it was Way more compact than the pana equivalent. OIS be dammed because for a wide to normal lens one would hardly need it in my opinion; being only more useful for telephoto lenses.
    So with that combination it became more street friendly a camera set, and i tend to use the pair for walking around with more.
    What ever you decide I think you would be very happy with the Pana G series of cameras and it's controls if you are coming from manual film cameras like me. (yea the G1 was the first AF camera body i ever owned)
    If your interested in an inexpensive G1 body let me know (message me), I was thinking of moving up to a GH1 for the video. The G1 cannot record video.
  30. mizore

    mizore A Gringa in Nicaragua

    I sold all my gear except for a point and shoot when I left the US. I've since acquired a used GF1 and some lenses. The GF1 is not a high ISO camera. The GX1 might be better, but I don't think high ISO is micro 43rd's strong point. What is its strong point is being a lighter weight camera than a full-frame Canon or Nikon with a nice range of lenses.
  31. Patrick, there are several good "used" dSLRs that one can acquire to meet your needs. If you want ot stay in the Olympus brand, then I would recommend any of the latest E-series. You can then get some digital lenses or go after the legacy OM lenses.
    The Canon and Nikons may have some confusing menu structures, but it's something you can easily get acquainted with. There again, there are several used dSLRs within these brands. I switched from Olympus E-series to the Canon EOS. And at first, the menu structure took only about a full weekend to get acquainted, after shooting various modes, HDR, and changes in white-balance. I never had to read the 300-page manual, and I'm not that astute.
    Shop around the website for used dSLRs, You can purchase camera bodies or go for the combination body/lens. You don't neccessarily have to purchase m4/3... unless of course that's your intention. You can even find non-black bodies! Good luck to ya!
  32. I noticed that the GH 2 model by Panasonic is creeping down in new price as the company is poised to upgrade that model. Frankly it has about every feature one can want in a versatile camera and I am no doubt biased because I selected it over the Olympus models available at the time. It has the light weight feel that I like but fits my hand well, and a bright finder that I can tweak adjust focus with. Its video capabilties are cleverly designed in and can do some fun things if you fancy ever getting HD into video clips on a trip.
    And that in the same micro 4/3 package as a good still camera like its mates the G-1 to G3.
    I think this Amazon review sorted of seduced me at the time a year ago:
    There is also a strong user fan who wrote a pretty good personalized helper manual too on the features of the GH 2:
    Yes, understanding the features takes some learning but I still get a wow feel when I look at what Panasonic packed into this baby. Can't judge it against the OM D because I don't expect to handle one for some time out here. And I doubt if I need another thousand buck body quite yet.
    With digital EVF the camera increases the gain so you can focus well, and preview light balance and special effect buttons. As you press the stop down button you see the true DOF and with a bright upgained finder. Nice huh?
    I think you would enjoy the GH 2 if you can find one in your price range or wait till it gets closer to your budget. With any lens, you pick. I have only the 20mm 1.7 and it is a superduper one.... And use your OM lenses with a hundred dollar adapter. You know, I just realized there I have to accept the idea that my cameras are now going to be triple the prices I used to pay. Rats, What gives? Lenses too... Never mind. Let us know what you eventually go for, am truly interested, Patrick. Gerry
  33. Gerry, the knock-off adapters are $20. I just came into a little extra money from doing a side-job and may actually spring for the G3 body and the adapter. I really like the fact that it's got a slimmer grip than the older G and GH series cameras... I have small hands and have never been a fan of those huge Canikon grips.

    I don't mind that they've stripped many of the buttons off of the G3, because quite frankly I don't think I would ever remember how to use all of them.

    My next step is to find a store locally where I can handle one.
  34. I finally decided to spend a few hours scouring Dpreview to get the comparative data I wanted. Not a single website out there really offered anything in the way of real comparisons. In doing that I discovered a camera that I hadn't even read about before (exactly why I was asking about this) that is priced similar to the G3 but offers a higher ISO at the same resolution and real controls instead of touch, and is made out of metal: the GX1. If I ever get a chance to take a screenshot I'll upload my chart for the benefit of others.
  35. Here's that chart I promised:
    After reading a bunch and looking at stats, I was able to put each camera model into it's respective "rank" in terms of the tiers, something that isn't obvious or well-documented. The interesting thing I've discovered is that there really isn't much to quantify to separate these cameras. The real distinguishing stuff is in the design and handling, which is of course virtually impossible to get a feeling for from unscaled images.
  36. If you buy used, you can sell used and get a different camera Patrick. If you buy new, you will take more of a hit, but you can do the same, after a few weeks, or you can just buy new and return the camera for an upgrade to something else after a few days. Just make sure the seller (I suggest B&H or Adorama) is o.k. with the fact that you may do that and will credit you for the full purchase price. You will be paying for some shipping and insurance, but it will be inexpensive to try a few cameras this way (probably about the same as the cost of the gas you might spend driving around to various camera shops).
    Good luck!
  37. Well, I put in an order for a GX1 last week... should be arriving this week. I know people do that swapping thing Scott, but typically things in my possession do not stay anywhere near pristine enough to be returned for very long. I USE my toys and tools and I use them hard. This is why plastic stuff just doesn't fly for me. I'll see how the GX1 is, but based on everything I've read and heard about it, if I don't like this camera I won't like any other as it seems to be the closest to what an old-fashioned shooter like myself could tolerate.
  38. Something that is not said very often:
    Be very careful about integrity of your images on cards. In recent weeks I have had a software plugin make several cards unreadable and removing a card/reader from a computer wiithout going through the "safe to remove hardware" procedure can have a similar effect.
    Before someone chips in with the usual advioce about back-ups, a recent attempt to make such a backup cost me dozens of unrepeatable images. There was a problem with "seeing" the reader to close it down.
    I shoot anything really important on film and will continue to do so.
  39. Despite being a luddite when it comes to digital photography, I'm very knowledgeable about computers and the fragility of digital media is actually one of the reasons I've never seriously considered a digital camera until now that memory is super cheap and terabyte drives are common-place.

    The GX-1 with the Pen F 38mm f/1.8 is working out very well. There are many excellent features of this camera that were not covered in reviews. For instance in P mode with a manual focus lens, the rear scroll wheel is setup to do exposure compensation and push in on it does focus zoom. The default settings are not great, but the menu is well-designed and it doesn't take long to disable all of the junk and buttons I never press, and then you are in business. The lens that shipped with it wasn't the super cute collapsing lens that was released with this camera, but the larger older kit lens. I've discovered no problems manually focusing against the rear screen and focus zoom is really only used to confirm this. Am considering one of those cute Cmount wide lenses which seem to be a dime a dozen these days.
  40. Thanks for the info. Patrick. Hey, unless you are shooting hundreds of thousands of images, a pair of 1 terabyte external hard drives should do you just fine. They cost less than $100 each. Besides, film takes up more space than that!
    Oh, and if you want, you can just buy cheap 8 GB micro-SD cards and keep the photos on them. You can shoot hundreds of photos on one of those new class 10 micro-SD cards, and they take up like NO space! If you're wondering why you would do that, just consider the $12 cost like three rolls of film, but since you can shoot hundreds of photos, you are still saving more than half the cost of film, and you don't need to pay for (and take the risk of) having film developed (and scanned, for use in Photoshop, for editing and printing, or your cataloging program). You would end up with dozens or hundreds of little micro-SD cards, rather than envelopes full of negatives. Both would probably degrade over time, but my bet is that the micro-SD cards will last longer than the film would. The only old film I have that is any good is Kodachrome. The rest has faded. Of course, I do not keep my film in a hermetically sealed, cold storage container. I just keep it in a drawer, in a pile of envelopes (dry, dark, and relatively cool - about 78 degrees).
  41. Scott recommends 8GB cards. I use class 10 32GB cards which will hold over 1000 RAW files, about right for a week's shooting on a dedicated trip, if you edit out (in the camera) the really duff ones daily. Be careful when removing cards from the camera. There seems to be an update of the mechanism of the electric toaster in the spring-loaded design and they can travel quite a distance!
    Scott's remarks about colour dye stability in films is valid for old Ektachrome and suchlike but modern e.g Fujifilm, such as Provia, is good for decades. Check out the data sheets on any film stock before using it. My films back to the 1980s, stored in this room at ambient, look as good as the day they were processed.
  42. Yeah I'm using a 32g card and having no problem shooting 1000 images (JPG+RAW) on one battery charge. Probably because I am exclusively using manual focus lenses and have a ton of features disabled.
  43. Good choice Patrick :)
    I've got the X lens but wish I'd had the option of the standard lens- the std lens is less dinky but reviewed to be sharper and it does not have the shutter-doubling problem which makes the folding zoom effectively a 14-35mm handheld lens, not 14-42. I just stay away from full extension as it's simply given me blurry shots too often...unless it's sitting on something sturdy and I'm using the self-timer, at which point it seems to work. Really looking forward to putting the 25mm f/1.4 DG Summilux through it's paces on this body.
    Can I ask why you're using manual focus? The AF on the GX1 is simply brilliant and combined with the touch-screen focus point feature it has all become so natural I've found myself tapping the screen on my D5100 and being very disappointed when nothing happens.
    I have only had this camera for a couple of weeks but at no point have I missed a viewfinder or tilting screen- I feel these would detract from the sturdy, rangefinder-style operation. To get a couple of shots I've simply laid on the ground or laid the camera on the ground on a tissue, or just set it to 28mm equiv. and given myself a lot of room. More than half the time there has been no need to even look at the LCD.
    One aspect of MFT models which is I feel quite telling, is that the processing power is there. My D5100 (almost exactly the same price with the kit lens but a year older) is noticeably slower at doing most things. OK, the larger sensor means ultimate IQ is a bit better, but the ease and fluidity of use of the GX1 more than makes up for it in all but the most careful of shooting environments. And I like Silkypix.
  44. I only put the kit lens on the camera when I need 14mm. I would never even consider it for 42mm. I would have preferred the X lens because of that. I've got dozens of old lenses including OM's and Pen F lenses that are the fraction of the size and MUCH better for manual focus. The kit lens is entirely too slow, too big, and too contrasty for practical use at the long end. It's not a lens I can slap on the camera and just walk around with. My Pen F 38mm f/1.8 is. It's tiny, fast, and has an equivalent of 76mm which is nice for portraits as I walk about. In fact, I SPECIFICALLY bought this camera to shoot manual focus lenses. For better quality portraits I slap on the OM 50mm f/1.4. The only problem is finding wide-angle MF lenses that are wide enough to accommodate and don't cost more than the camera.... makes me wish I had invested in a super-wide years ago.
    Basically, I'm a mechanical camera user who is perfectly comfortable and happy with that style of shooting. I would have never bought a digital camera if it hadn't become basically impossible to not have my film ruined in the local labs. I abhor automation and gimmicks and have disabled touch and a bunch of other "stuff". I have small hands but I've found that my thumb rests on the upper right of the screen and then settings magically change themselves... that's silly. I wish I could disable the DISP button and just lock the display on the lowest feedback setting. It's too close to other buttons and I keep accidentally hitting it. I did go ahead and disable as many of the buttons and fancy features as I could.

    I've heard many people complaining about softness in these lenses at the long end. I think I know why. The GX1 likes to set it shutter at 1/60th. This is entirely too slow for shooting a slow long lens. You really can't use this lens indoors at the baseline settings. You need to adjust your aperture and ISO and put it into program or manual mode so you are in the drivers seat and then I'm sure that lens will be entirely too sharp. ;) For shooting people, you should consider a shutter-speed of at least 1/125th.

    I really do miss the viewfinder. Take your GX1 out into bright daylight and see what happens. You can't see a dang thing. Now imagine trying to manually focus in that situation. It also sucks that the adapters out there don't allow old lenses to perfectly focus. This means you can't use the scale focus, although I'm considering recalibrating and taping a scale to my favorite walk-around lenses.

    The OM 50mm f/1.4... it's a design from the 70's that's not over-corrected, over-sharpened, or overly constrasty... I actually used to consider it too much of a mess to use on film, but on the smaller sensor it really shines:

  45. Another thing I had to to as soon as I started shooting was adjust the screen to the lowest saturation and reduce the brightness. I don't know what's up with people's obsession with saturation on digital screens is, but I think it looks terrible when you can't see any details in reds for instance. If color is bleeding across the screen and there is no detail, then that's the wrong setting. I understand Panasonic builds many of these cameras as bridges between PNS and SLR, but the GX1 is otherwise so solidly about mechanical camera shooters that this detail, as well as the lack of an old-fashioned metered-manual mode has really surprised me.
  46. rdm


    Patric, it is nice to see that you are enjoying your µ4/3 camera.
    I really do miss the viewfinder. Take your GX1 out into bright daylight and see what happens. You can't see a dang thing. Now imagine trying to manually focus in that situation. It also sucks that the adapters out there don't allow old lenses to perfectly focus. This means you can't use the scale focus, although I'm considering recalibrating and taping a scale to my favorite walk-around lenses.​
    Those are concerns which I too had, before switching over to digital, and reasons why I opted for the µ4/3 camera with a Built in viewfinder (not just a clip on one so I can have an available Hot shoe), and I later paid for a little more for a better adapter so the scale on my manual lenses would be more accurate (novoflex).
  47. I have no problems with most of my shooting situations. But I've got a very simple solution for shooting in bright daylight: shoot film!

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