Surprising Micro 4/3 Rave

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by justin_stott, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. I recently acquired a micro 4/3 Oly camera and a couple of lenses to suite a fairly wide range, from a fast normal prime, to a super telephoto adapted from 4/3, as well as the kit zoom.
    While practicing with my new toy I had photographed all sorts of the usual suspects, family members, pets, nature and the like. The camera performed very well on the trip abroad for which I had purchased it, so much so that there were very few situations that required my FF DSLR and fast lenses.
    The real shocker was when I was asked to print a few photos for a family member's first birthday, so we're talking kid shots, fast moving, natural light...fairly difficult circumstances, usually the territory of the FF DSLR, but the photo that wound up enlarged the most, (11 X 14) was taken with the M 4/3 (Oly E-P1 w/ Panisonic 20mm 1.7). The print at that size was amazing, super sharp catch lights, every single eyelash in focus (at f2.5), absolutely no noise or distortion. (in the final print MINIMAL noise reduction in ACR, photo shot in RAW format)
    I was incredibly impressed with the ability of this rig! Will it replace the FF DSLR kit? Absolutely not, two different animals, however I was blown away by its ability to produce such high quality images from such a small package!
    I am now firmly convinced that micro 4/3 is a totally viable format capable of reasonably professional results (if you can live with a little slower AF speed) in a kit that will not make you schedule an appointment with a Chiropractor, as well as being available as a kit for less than one L series lens!
    Just my 2 cents...YMMV
  2. I've had a similar experience. I'm going to sell my entry level dSLR now that I have a GF1. I don't see a need for both, and given the choice, I prefer the GF1 under most circumstances. Its not that I don't see advantages to dSLRs, but I don't see that there's much much of an upgrade until you get above the entry level stuff. In my case, I'll get a 7D or 5D when finances permit.
    Enjoy your camera, I love mine. The 20mm f/1.7 is superb.
  3. Any chance of seeing a large(ish) sample picture?
  4. "Any chance of seeing a large(ish) sample picture?"
    Michael is right, it's time for 4/3 photographers to stop talking and start posting. Pictures that is...
  5. I can agree that the Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 pancake is a superb lens on an m4/3 body, in my case, the Panny
    G2. I've made a few custom enlargements up to 16x22 that look very nice. For travel, this system is excellent, due to
    the small size, Quality, and weight of its components. However, I still admire a good DSLR for studio work, and look forward to test results of the Nikon D7000, for example. For video work, the new Panny GH-2 sounds promising as well. For sample m4/3 jpegs, please see Total Quality Photo.
  6. it's time for 4/3 photographers to stop talking and start posting. Pictures that is...​
    All taken with Olympus E330 and 14-54 Zuiko lens. I've already sold my 4/3's kit in preparation for buying either an EP-2 or a G-2, I'm waffling bacck and forth on this one. I do a lot of hiking, and while the E330 was smallish and not too bad to carry, I love the smaller size of the m4/3's. I've held both of the mentioned cameras, and I'm leaning towards the G-2, but the EP-2 feels so nice in the hands...
  7. That 20mm f1.7 Panasonic is a superb lens. I use it on an E-PL1 with the eyelevel VF-2 electronic finder. The combination is a whiz-bang outfit for shooting in places like museums where anything much bigger is often not allowed..
    It is also amazingly easy to manually focus with the eyelevel finder. Easier than even any rangefinder I ever used, and I've tried some very nice ones in the M4, M6, Super Ikonta's, etc.
  8. Here's one I took with the 20mm f/1.7:
    EXIF info:
  9. I can post images as well but don't have an online account that supports large files. I can set it up tho.
    In the meantime, dpreview compared the GF1 to the T1i and concluded a couple of things:
    in RAW, it's hard to tell the difference between the two cameras in terms of color rendition and noise until you're at about 800 ISO, where the T1i starts to look better than the GF1. Not surprising. The JPG files are noisier on the GF1 at any ISO, a function of the compression algorithm presumably.
    By my eye, the GF1 images look quite comparable to the T1i when I manually do my own workflow (color balance and conversion to JPG) at or below ISO 800. Of course some of the IQ is lens dependant and I've never put a Canon lens on the GF1.
    I think the only caveat with noise is that they're showing images at the camera's default settings, which may be more or less pleasing to each individual's eye. I personally don't like Panasonic's JPG compression algorithm, so I shoot JPG + RAW and manually convert images I want to print.
    In the real world, I think using Canon's L lenses would blow away some of the m43 lenses. However the 20mm f/1.7 can probably hold its own nicely against other lenses. The 14-45 kit lens... not so much, although it's not a bad lens by any stretch.
    I think you have to go to a 60D or 7D or 5D II (or Nikon equivalent) to get a measurable improvement in IQ versus the m43 cameras at low or medium ISO.
  10. DPreview gives an unfair advantage to the T1i (500D) by using a 50/1.4 lens for most tests. Compare the DCresource galleries, which use the 18-55 and 14-45 kit lenses, respectively. In most cases I would choose the GF1 image, and often the choice is easy. Several factors account for this, including in-camera correction for color fringing, and excellence of the 14-45 lens.
  11. That's ALWAYS the problem viewing test images at DPReview. They use default settings for JPEG's and use default across the board ACR settings in processing RAW files to try and keep things "even" for comparison purposes when the reality of real-world use is, we process files for best possible results. You always have to take what you see in test images at DPReview with a grain of salt knowing it's never the best effort in terms of post processing, or even in-camera JPEG parameters.
  12. Can anyone suggest how I can upload TIF files somewhere? Flickr seems to max at 1024x768 which may be adequate but I'd prefer to post uncompressed TIFs.
  13. Greg, one of the other advantages of my own GF-1 -- it's pink. People think a pink camera can't possibly be serious, so I find that people are more willing to let me photograph.
    It's not a feature I'd planned on, but I don't think I'll get another black camera....
  14. LOL, Deirdre. Then there is this excellent comparison of the Canon 7D with the (pinkish) Barbie Video Girl.
  15. Bill, that's hilarious, thank you!
  16. Keith you don't need to upload tiff files full res high quality (10 in photoshop) JPGs are perfectly fine.
  17. Keith, Stuart is correct...For the image sizes typically viewed in a browser, any perceived quality differences between
    tifs and jpegs are negated by the huge file size of the former. I think tifs really come into play when printing large. As
    for jpegs, there are a number of sites, including smugmug, flickr, dreamstime, dpreview, istockphoto, to name a few.
  18. I posted these some time ago, they're not huge tho. Shot with my Kiron 100mm f/2.8 macro, purchased on eBay. Love that little beauty of a lens!
    Critiques are welcomed. I can browse and add more m43 photos as well if the macro shots don't give a decent impression of the capabilities.

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