(01-13-2024, 03:39 AM)JBradshaw Wrote: Firstly, hello, this is my first post here, I have found the site a wonderful resource for a while now. I am very much an amateur and make no claims to be much of a photographer but I do love taking photographs and it is a counter part to two other interests/passions of mine - aircraft and wildlife.
I have been thinking of MFT lately. My current camera is an old Fujifilm XE2 which owes me nothing, to rejuvenate it when I started taking a lot more pictures and needed longer reach after moving from Europe to Asia I bought a Tamron 18 - 300 lens, I know to serious enthusiasts the combination of an ancient XE2 and Tamron superzoom wouldn't be at all impressive (quite the opposite) but it has allowed me to take pictures I never imagined possible and the results have been very acceptable. My limitations as a photographer make more of an impact than the camera or lens. However, given how much I now use my camera (I travel a am surrounded by photo opportunities) I am planning to buy a new camera. I'm not that invested in the Fujifilm X system so am looking at all options.
For me, and my own needs and type of photography the MFT format is ideal. I need long reach, am because I travel a lot weight and volume matter (the big deal of the Tamron for me is that although it is heavy and bulky I can literally manage everything I do with just one lens), which are big attributes of MFT. OM-D and Panasonic/Leica make some superb lenses which are compact and if not cheap are pretty competitive with good APS-C lenses and which can be a lot cheaper than full frame equivalents. However I do worry about whether I'd be buying into an 'orphan' system which may fade away. The counter argument is that if I buy a nice body (something like the really rather wonderful OM-1 or a G9) and the lenses I need then does it matter if manufacturers move on? I'm not into quick rotation of gear and I plan to buy something nice without going silly to get plenty of use from it.
Given all the above I am looking at the OM-1, G9 and G9M2 with a view to jumping into MFT.
Well, first of all, welcome to Opticallimits.com, formerly photozone.de! This is a great site with a lot of very useful information indeed.
As to MFT, I am an avid user into the MFT-paradigm myself, and mostly for exactly the reasons you are looking into it. I own an Olympus E-M II, and a Pen-F, and love those little cameras, which are ergonomically shaped well indeed, and I can handle then easily, despite my big hands. I also own a slew of lenses, and when I carry an MFT-body, I often carry a couple of their smaller lenses in one of my jacket pockets.
Over the years, the MFT-market has become a bit of a niche market, although it wil endure for quite a while to come. I don't know whether you are familiar with the Sony Vaio laptops, which were excellent machines giving Apple a run for its money, but apparently they were not interesting enough for Windows users, fairly expensive and all that. They underwent a similar fate as Olympus OM1, the manufacture, production and rights were sold to a similar (if not the same) investment company as Olympus OM-1, and they still thrive, although really only in the Japanese market.
MFT is still manufactured by at least 3 companies for bodies, and a lot of lenses are available from other manufacturers besides Panasonic and Olympus. Personally I tend to stick with OEM equipment, but that is just me.
As to choice, as in, how and why and what, it depends a lot on preferences. I have a second camera setup, namely a Canon EOS R, with a few RF-lenses and some EF-lenses with adapters for use on my EOS R, and a few Speedboosters for use on my MFT-bodies. BTW, my choice for MFT over APS-C is two-fold. I hate the viewfinders on APS-C cameras,as they tend to provide a view through a tunnel to me, which I really hate, and secondly because they are as bulky as FF-cameras, IMO anyway. MFT cameras are a lot smaller, also have a nice ratio with regard to sensor size in comparison to FF (a factor 2, which is classic, also compared to lens line-ups), and have a classical image format, 4:3, which makes it interesting next to FF, 3:2, especially as I do tend to do frame filling photography, as an old-schooler.
My reason for choosing Olympus over Panasonic is first and foremost the rendering that the lenses and bodies provide, straight out of camera. Slightly warmer tones, and very good skin colour rendition, very similar to Canon bodies and lenses, and I just like it that way. Panasonic f.e. renders probably more neutral, very similar to the good old analog Pentaxes and their lenses I used to own, but I was really never extremely happy with the results, except for B&W, which I shot mostly in those days.
I started of with Panasonic, a GF2, and 5 lenses, as I could get a very good deal on the set, used, and I loved it, but migrated slowly towards Olympus when I realized, with the addition of my first Oly body, that it rendered very similarly to my Canon gear. The Canon gear I use when I have space enough to go around with the bulkier and heavier gear, basically when I am traveling by car. And occasionally I have both setups with me.
As to lens choice for MFT, personally I went for a dual type setup. I have both a set of lenses which are light and compact, but I also have a few Pro lenses which are heavier and brighter, and my choice of lenses depends a lot again on what I can carry at any given time and what I want to achieve. The Pro lenses tend to take up more space than the smaller ones, and are considerably heavier too, relatively speaking anyway.
My choices are also very specific as to what these lenses deliver in image quality. I really like lenses which render as well towards the corners as in the center of the images, so I tend to choose my lenses accordingly. With Oly Pro lenses you cannot go wrong in that regard, IME anyway, so for the heavier and more expensive stuff you cannot go wrong there, provided you go for the brighter versions of lenses (F/2.8 and above).
The smaller lenses I tend to pick more individually. F.e., although the Oly 45 F/18 is a good lens, I prefer the Panny 42.5 F/1.7, because it is better in the corners, and I use it mostly for B&W. I also like the Panny 20 F/1.7 a lot, and have that mounted as my standard lens on the E-M1, basically because it is compact and good. I also own the Panny 14 F/2.5, mainly because it s so compact, although I prefer the Oly 12 mm F/2. I also prefer the PL 45 F/2.8 Macro over the Oly 60 mm one, as it is much easier to control, but that is just me.
Another Panny lens I stil own is the 35-100 F/2.8, but that is mostly because Oly has no proper equivalent, and I find the Oly 40-150 F/2.8 Pro just a bit too heavy and bulky, and I do not like its bokeh either, where that of the Panny 35-100 F/2.8 is just great.
Anyway, I am getting a little long in the tooth right now, but if you have more questions I'll gladly answer them.
Kind regards, Wim
Gear: Canon EOS R with 3 primes and 2 zooms, 4 EF-R adapters, Canon EOS 5 (analog), 9 Canon EF primes, a lone Canon EF zoom, 2 extenders, 2 converters, tubes; Olympus OM-D 1 Mk II & Pen F with 12 primes, 6 zooms, and 3 Metabones EF-MFT adapters ....