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Size Matters


Dallas

One of the things you’ll hear hardened DSLR users mention when the subject of mirrorless cameras comes up in conversation is how “bigger is better” when it comes to cameras and that small sensors can’t compete with bigger sensors, ergo mirrorless cameras are not worth using because they (mostly) have smaller sensors.

 

There are all sorts of scientific justifications for this line of reason, but they all point to the same competitive parameter: image quality, but more importantly image quality in extreme situations, such as high ISO use or dynamic range in high contrast scenes. There’s never any mention of the disadvantages of using a bigger camera and lenses in normal photographic situations.

 

If we look at some other important factors involved in the making of photographs and weigh them up against the ostensibly scientific advantage in image quality between big and small sensors, a different picture begins to emerge. Because in reality unless I am being particularly pedantic about things like dynamic range and high ISO capabilities (and have some esoteric means of measuring these things) I’m probably not going to be able to tell what type of camera sensor has taken whatever photo I might be looking at. Especially on the web, which is where the vast majority of digital photographs end up being seen these days.

 

So, what other factors are there that we should be looking at before we make a decision on what camera is best for our needs? Here are a few of the areas I decided were far more important to me than larger sensor size, depth of field and it’s claimed advantages for what I do with a camera.

 

Weight

Regular readers of my articles will know how I feel about this. After years and years of carrying heavy camera bags around, last year my right shoulder finally said, “Enough” and I had to put all my physical activities on hold while I went for chiropractic treatment over a period of a month to cure some chronic shoulder pain I was having.

 

Basically what happened is that my right shoulder’s muscles were so over-taxed in comparison to the rest of my body that I had become entirely reliant on the supporting muscle groups, located all around my core and back, to deal with the loads I was carrying. This put everything out of kilter with my upper body muscular system. My muscle fascia had developed in such an abnormal way that it impeded my movement - which explained why doing some types of physical exercise was almost impossible for me. I was literally fighting my own muscles whenever I tried to do any overhead lifting. Not to mention that I couldn’t sleep on my right side without waking up in pain throughout the night. Not a cool place to be and I could lay the blame squarely at the feet of my DSLR’s and their big heavy lenses and big heavy bags that I'd been lugging around since Y2K.

My chiropractor spent about 12 hours literally breaking apart my muscle fascia, all the way from my abdomen right up to my neck (and even parts of my face!) allowing them to move more freely and alleviate the tension I was experiencing in my right shoulder. This was an excruciating course of treatment but along with a period of rest it helped my shoulder to recover from the years of abuse I had subjected it to. The treatment cured my shoulder issues, but in order to prevent it from recurring I had to cure my other problem, namely carrying around too much weight in camera gear.

The problem with photographers, especially those who are somewhat new to the craft, is that we want to take everything with us whenever we go shooting in case we encounter that once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. We buy these massive backpacks and shoulder bags, load them up with all sorts of lenses, bodies and whatever else we might have some obscure justification for bringing with us.

 

I remember the first year I covered the A1GP motor sport series here in my hometown, I had this 20L camera backpack of mine literally filled to bursting point with just about every piece of photographic equipment I owned at the time. Which was a lot. It was ridiculous what I was carrying around in the hottest part of our already disgustingly humid Durban summer. All in the name of being prepared for any photo opportunity.

Granted, I did get some great shots at those events, but man, that camera bag sucked.

 

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Don't even think about lying something down on the track around racing cars.

 

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Or in the pitlane

We are very fortunate right now to be living in a time where we can get incredibly good image quality out of very small cameras, like the micro four thirds and Fujifilm mirrorless systems. It is difficult for the die hard DSLR user to wrap their heads around just how good this image quality is. Sometimes all it takes is a little demo, maybe an hour or two for them to realise that these new cameras aren’t the same as the junky bridge cameras they’ve often been likened to and then their prejudice abates. I see this revelation happening regularly all over the place as photographers come to realise that they aren’t giving up much at all image quality wise when they use this kind camera. Maybe a stop or two at high ISO (depending on the camera), or maybe if you run a loupe over an image at 100% you might find something where you say “Ah, but look, the bokeh isn’t the same and there's less detail in the shadows!”. So what? Is your photography so important that to sacrifice some barely evident image quality justifies carrying around all that extra weight? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I know that for some people the pleasure of photography is in the small detail, but for me the pleasure is in the final image viewed as a whole, not under a loupe. I don't miss a thing about those FX sized DSLR's I used to own. Not a thing.

 

Having a smaller kit, like the top end mirrorless stuff out now, means that you can actually take a lot of gear with you and not kill yourself doing it. Micro four thirds gear is tiny in comparison to DSLR lenses and unless you’re that pedantic pixel inspector I mentioned earlier there is no discernible loss of quality to be concerned about. The images I see my contemporaries producing with Fujifilm cameras are also eye-popping. I have seen some incredible images made in all areas of photography with small sensor cameras. Nobody will ever be able to convince me that I need a medium format camera or a DSLR with 100 billion pixels to take a decent photograph ever again. I’m as free from that BS as my muscles are free from the years of abuse I subjected them to. And you know what? I’m more prepared now for that once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity than I ever was before because I can take more stuff with me without over-taxing my body. That advantage by far outweighs whatever the DSLR advantages are.

 

Working Space

 

When you’re working photographically in confined spaces, like theatres or in shooting pits at sports events, having personal space to lay down a backpack to change lenses or simply free yourself of the burden is quite important. As I mentioned in the previous point, when I was shooting the A1GP I often found myself in places where I couldn’t just lay down my bag and whip out a specialist lens. Put something on the ground in the pitlane or on the grid of a racetrack and you’re likely to get ejected from the track faster than you can say “I was just looking for my fisheye lens”. Those track marshals were born without the humour gene, trust me on this one.

 

But it’s not just motor sport events where keeping things on your person is important. I present photo safaris here in Africa and over the years I have found myself in very cramped quarters on game drives, both as a passenger and as a driver. On our Ultimate Big 5 Safari I usually sit in the passenger seat next to the ranger driving the Land Rover and that’s a pretty cramped location! When I was shooting DSLR’s on those trips I had room for my main camera and lens and maybe one other thing. Putting my big 20L backpack in the footwell was simply not possible, so every game drive meant I had to rationalise what I was taking with me, especially if I didn’t want to wear a photographer’s vest (which I hate, incidentally). For our guests it isn’t so much of an issue, especially if they are alone in the suite as that gives them a full row of 3 seats in the Land Rover. However, it’s still less than ideal to be having a big camera bag with you because the bag still has to go somewhere and you still have to hold onto it when we’re going off-road, which can get a tad bumpy. The less you have to hold onto during game drives the easier your life on safari becomes.

 

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Having smaller gear in smaller spaces just makes a lot of sense.

 

Public Attention

 

Have you ever been out in public with a DSLR and perhaps a large pro lens? Notice how people notice you immediately as soon as you bring your camera out of the bag? What’s he shooting? What’s going on? Am I missing something? Am I going to be on TV? A big pro cam/lens is an instant mood changer for people in public spaces. Most people don't bat an eyelid when you point a mirrorless camera at them. As photographers we don’t often realise just how ignorant the general public is when it comes to camera equipment. The badges, lenses and form factor of a camera don’t mean anything to them. Most people don’t even know the difference between a TV camera and a DSLR. I can’t recall how often I was asked by kids (and adults) when I was photographing Super 14 rugby matches if I could put them on the big screen. There was always this quizzical look on their faces when I told them I was only shooting stills. They were like, “Why are you carrying all that stuff only to make still photos?” They just see a big camera and immediately think that there is something important going on that they may or may not need to be a part of.

 

I’m a very self-conscious person. I hate being the centre of attention and carrying around a DSLR always made me feel like there were eyes on me. When I have had to do photographic coverage of events where I am asked to take candid photos of people doing stuff, as soon as I raised my eye to the DSLR viewfinder they noticed me (if they didn’t already see me coming first). Body language changed perceptibly and I had to deal with somebody who either didn’t want their photo taken or hadn’t quite registered what I was up to yet and therefore had this “deer in the headlights” look in their faces. The resulting images were almost always far from ideal. With the smaller cameras I am using now this issue has been pretty much negated.

 

Something else that used to happen a lot but happens less often now is that I don’t get the enthusiastic wannabe pro photographers coming up to me during an event and bending my ear about what lens I’m using or giving me advice on how to set up my camera. Yeah, that always happens at events. There’s always a guy…

 

Real Image Quality vs Pixel Quality

 

We can post 100% crops all day and all night to prove a point about science or whatever, but at the end of the day I don’t know of any non-photographers who look at photos with loupes. They absorb them in their totality and whatever they see will hopefully elicit a reaction in them, maybe to buy a product, or smile at a newborn grandchild, or perhaps recall the day they were married. Those are the people I make photographs for. They either like the image or they don't. Not one client has ever turned around and said to me that my images are too noisy or they haven't got enough tonality or dynamic range. Not one. Granted, I'm not a commercial photographer shooting ad campaigns, but then I'm willing to bet my offspring that neither are 99% of the people who are making a federal case about sensor size being the holy grail of photography.

 

Whatever the reason for taking the photo is in the first place, as a photographer you need to think less about the pixels and more about the picture. Why make it harder than it already is by over-burdening yourself with equipment that doesn’t really make that much of a difference to the reaction you’re looking to get in the first place?

 

The advances that have been made in mirrorless IQ in the past two years alone, coupled with the growing voices in the greater blogosphere about these advances (the likes of Zack Arias, Steve Huff and David duChemin spring to mind) should be sending giant shockwaves through the boardrooms of all the major camera companies of the world. Yet they continue to pump out DSLR after DSLR with more and more pixels onboard and hardly anything different from the model that preceded it. I honestly don’t know who’s buying them all. I’m not suggesting with this article that DSLR’s are not good photographic tools or that it’s foolish to use them. What I’m suggesting is that the advantages in image quality a DSLR may once have given us have been erased by the convenience of much smaller equipment that bites hard on the heels of that DSLR’s one-time advantage. I mean really hard. Enough to fell a runner kind of hard.

 

I will never be a DSLR customer again. I’ve not only seen the light, I’ve felt it and it’s that lightness that has cemented my future in the mirrorless world. It's this philosophy that is driving me to develop this website into the best place for those interested to know more about these new cameras and how they can be used in all aspects of photography. I'm quite proud of the fact that over the past three safaris I have hosted, three of my guests have added Olympus OM-D cameras to their system, or replaced their DSLR's entirely, not through any urging on my part, but simply because they got hands on with my E-M5 and could see how it works. If anybody here is joining (or wants to join) our two adventures this year I will be only too happy to get you hands on with both my OM-D cameras and the lenses I have.

 

Join Our Forum

 

If you have a story to tell about how you've added or converted to mirrorless, please post about in on our forum. As you've no doubt gathered by now I'm an Olympus m43 user and am happy to answer any question you might have about the system if you're thinking about getting into it. There are many Fuji X-trans users present here also who are happy to impart their knowledge of that system. And as we grow I am sure other mirrorless systems will take off and their users will help the movement grow. It's an exciting time to be a photographer.

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There’s never any mention of the disadvantages of using a bigger camera and lenses in normal photographic situations.

That goes both ways. ;)

 

I use my OM-D EM-5 with joy and think it's an excellent camera. But living in the north where the temperature is below zero degrees Celsius for several months a year means I have to use gloves to keep my hands from becoming icicles. There's no way I can operate the tiny buttons of the Olympus in those conditions. I need big buttons on a camera that's possible to handle with thick gloves.

 

Small does not always equal good handling.

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Fair enough, Johnny, but the E-M5 is not the only small mirrorless camera out there these days. You might want to look at the E-M1, which has significantly improved button pressing capabilities. Or the Fujifilm X-trans cameras. I don't know much about the Sony's but they are there too. 

 

The point I'm hoping to drive home is that image quality from bigger sensors is not as big an advantage as it's made out to be. The advantages of using smaller kit (for me) outweigh whatever the big sensors have to offer. 

 

I should add that using the camera in extremely cold temps is one of the fringe areas that most of us don't have to endure. :)

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Big-sized cameras and small-sized cameras have their benefits and I use both as the need arises.  Having only one-size whether big or small means at times giving up on the benefits of the other at a time when this would have been of considerable impact and effect.  

 

For example, where getting the absolute best image quality is of primary importance and where travel arrangement allows for an easy carry of big and heavier cameras, lenses, and tripod(s), I do not mind bringing my D800E or D3s and the bigger and heavier lenses this requires.  Here, image quality predominates and portability secondary.  I have seen the quality difference between what the D800E and the E-M1 can take.  The cumulated difference in terms of image resolution, noise, color and tonality for certain photos totally justifies the added bulk and weight using the dSLR entails.  The absence of a wide-angle native m4/3 tilt and shift or perspective control lens is still another reason to use a CaNikon dSLR.             

 

On the other hand, traveling to sites where big size and heavy weight would be a primary concern or even an issue (as when one has to carry these uphill for extended distances), the option of using the GH3 and the E-M1 and its smaller lighter lenses (compared to dSLR gears) would be heaven sent.  Here, portability predominates and image quality secondary.

 

Even among the small m4/3 system, I actually prefer a "big" m4/3 camera like the GH3 as this is easier to use for extended times without need of a hand-grip.  I use the GH3 a lot for video so a handgrip for vertical oriented shooting would be of little benefit.  

 

It is far easier to choose a camera size that fits one hand than the other way around.  Most "serious" cameras are also generally bigger than the entry level cameras made by the same manufacturer, e.g., E-M1 vs E-M10.

 

I have used the E-M1 and like it a lot  That said, the slightly bigger GH3 is still more comfortable to handhold for extended length of use.  I find the E-M1 rear controls cramped and would have preferred a slightly taller E-M1 if only to have a bigger rear control panel to make selecting AF points easier and faster.  While adding a battery pack will make handholding more comfortable, it will not improve what for me is this cramped area for selecting AF point.

 

A wish list of my part is for Olympus to make an E-M1 alike camera but with an integrated grip (like the Nikon D3/D4) and thus have a bigger area to spread out the camera buttons and controls while at the same time allow an effortless transition to vertical shooting.  The bigger size would allow room for a GPS, bluetooth, and higher battery capacity for extended use even while using WiFi/BT for wireless tethering / GPS logging.  The battery capacity can be increased by accommodating a bigger battery or possibly two of the E-M1 battery.  All these benefits are possible only by making a slightly bigger camera than the E-M1, a camera that some might already consider as a "big" m4/3 camera.

 

In sum, size matters ... but more importantly, it is the right size that matters most.

Edited by Larry

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Larry, if you were only allowed to use one camera for a year to cover as many eventualities as you are likely to encounter, which one would you chose? All things considered. 

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Larry, if you were only allowed to use one camera for a year to cover as many eventualities as you are likely to encounter, which one would you chose? All things considered. 

 

I typically bring at least two cameras.  So, my answer would be a Nikon 24mp successor camera to the D700+MB-D10 combo for stills ... and a GH3 (or GH4) camera for video. 

 

Note that I did not specify dSLR so the Nikon successor camera could very well be an EVF-mirrorless camera.

Edited by Larry

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Jyda, the OM-D E-M1 is the only camera I know of, specified by the manufacturer to operate in -10 degrees Celsius. That's at least something for those of us living in the Nordic countries.

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I typically bring at least two cameras.  So, my answer would be a Nikon 24mp successor camera to the D700+MB-D10 combo for stills ... and a GH3 (or GH4) camera for video. 

 

Note that I did not specify dSLR so the Nikon successor camera could very well be an EVF-mirrorless camera.

 

Only one camera, Larry! :) And it has to exist, it can't be some mythical thing. 

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My reason for the same move to small was army knees and limited panniers on the motorcycle.

 

Two years ago I bought a V1, bought an FT1, lenses and even a couple of toys to try to reach its potential. At times there were some good results, but I could never imagine it as a replacement for a DSLR body. And I began thinking of your challenge Dallas, but in earnest. One camera. I couldn't continue owning two independent systems, with corresponding sets of lenses, speedlights, software etc. Life is too short.

 

So I am about to give up on the Nikon 1 system. It is too quirky, the lenses are not great, speedlights equally so, and the system is irritating in its interface with any of the 20 highly capable Nikkors and SBs in my case. I bought an X-E1 last Saturday. The deal was sweet, with camera, lens and another lens on its way for £689. I already know it is not a perfect fit for my needs, but I wanted a low cost entry before committing to an XT1 and a new system. And those lenses are just so good!      ...and that means the Nikon F collection is on the block too.

Edited by PatrickO

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Only one camera, Larry! :) And it has to exist, it can't be some mythical thing. 

 

That will likely be an E-M1 because of the m4/3 prime lenses and the f/2.8 zoom lenses despite the E-M1's limited video capabilities.  As a stills camera, the E-M1 is better than the GH3 and the E-M1 can do video.  I will likely add an optional battery grip to make holding the E-M1 more comfortable for extended use.  I will likely also replace my Olympus 45mm f/1.8 with the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.2 to make up for the unavailability of the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G.

 

Why the E-M1?  Because I can carry a small and light camera system (m4/3 system) even when carrying a bigger and heavier camera system is convenient and possible but I could never reduce the bulk and weight of my Nikon dSLR and lenses when I absolutely need something smaller and lighter.

 

The Fuji XT-1 would have been a very good option but the absence of f/2.8 zoom lenses in the 35mm FOV 24-200mm range plus the E-M1's ability to optically stabilize all my prime lenses tilts the balance in favor of the m4/3 system.

Edited by Larry

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Larry, I think you will find the grip, HLD-7, to be an excellent addition to the OM-D E-M1. You will in particular find that it is actually deeper than the grip on the D800, when it comes to space allocated for your fingertips. Since it's still a lot lighter than your D800 the total package will be better ergonomically speaking.

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Larry, I think you will find the grip, HLD-7, to be an excellent addition to the OM-D E-M1. You will in particular find that it is actually deeper than the grip on the D800, when it comes to space allocated for your fingertips. Since it's still a lot lighter than your D800 the total package will be better ergonomically speaking.

 

Thank you for this heads up. That's reassuring to know.  I will likely need to get an HLD-7 when Olympus releases the 40-150mm f/2.8.

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This was actually a bit baffling for me, when I first time experienced it, since the advantage of cameras like the Nikon D4 has been touted to be ergonomical, but that simply doesn't hold true. I think that the short flange to sensor distance has allowed Olympus to make this crucial extra space for the fingers, and it is actually a primary reason why I think that the DSLR mounts will be abandoned in the coming few years. Since you want a tiltable screen on the back of the camera, a camera like the Nikon Df becomes unreasonably "fat". Keeping the mirrorbox will thus become a problem, and an empty mirrorbox in an F-mount camera with an EVF may one day be perceived by many as an obstacle. Wait and see when Sony gets more native prime wide angles for the FE-mount and compare sizes for lenses and camera + lens on the wide angle side.

Have you bought the E-M1 already, Larry? If so you should get the HLD-7 grip ASAP. It's great even with small lenses and the camera just melts together eith your hand.

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This was actually a bit baffling for me, when I first time experienced it, since the advantage of cameras like the Nikon D4 has been touted to be ergonomical, but that simply doesn't hold true. I think that the short flange to sensor distance has allowed Olympus to make this crucial extra space for the fingers, and it is actually a primary reason why I think that the DSLR mounts will be abandoned in the coming few years. Since you want a tiltable screen on the back of the camera, a camera like the Nikon Df becomes unreasonably "fat". Keeping the mirrorbox will thus become a problem, and an empty mirrorbox in an F-mount camera with an EVF may one day be perceived by many as an obstacle. Wait and see when Sony gets more native prime wide angles for the FE-mount and compare sizes for lenses and camera + lens on the wide angle side.

Have you bought the E-M1 already, Larry? If so you should get the HLD-7 grip ASAP. It's great even with small lenses and the camera just melts together eith your hand.

 

I received the E-M1 with an Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 in November last year.  These are with my brother right now so as not to exceed my self-imposed quota of camera bodies.  My brother will be going to Japan at the end of this month so I will ask him to get an HLD-7.  He hasn't used his D3s and D800E much since he started using the E-M1.

Edited by Larry

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I have the grips on both my OM-D's and I don't think I will take them off. The great thing about them is that they give you the feel of a larger body without being larger. 

 

The important thing to remember though is that the small m43 lenses are the key to the low overall weight of the system. Right now I have the 4/3rds lenses for 7-14mm f/4 and 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 and they are just as big as any DSLR lens I had. Well, maybe not the 50-200m, but it's pretty big nonetheless. Looking at the size of the m43 PRO versions that are coming, the absence of that mirrorbox makes a massive difference. 

 

I'm contemplating selling the E-M5 and getting a second E-M1, but I'm very attached to the E-M5. It's still a great little camera. 

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The Panasonic 7-14 is really small on the OM-D E-M1, so small it's almost unbelievable. The 12-60 is definitely bigger, so I have actually contemplated the 12-40/2.8 as well, since that's a Pro 2.8 zoom weighing only around 350 grams. It will be a big plus when Olympus gets out the 7-14/2.8.


 

(This I posted in the "Wish list" thread, but it belongs here)

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The CIPA statistics can be found here: http://www.cipa.jp/stats/dc_e.html

The statistics for January 2014 are here: http://www.cipa.jp/stats/documents/e/d-201401_e.pdf

 

I looked at the column labelled 3), which compares the production and shipment from Japan for January 2014 to January 2013. Note that production figure in units is down for both DSLR and mirrorless compared to January a year ago, but for value it increased. Now, look at the shipments in column 3). For DSLR it is down both in value and units compared to January a year ago. For mirrorless it's up, both in units and in value compared to January a year ago. If we look at destination, we see that "Americas" again in column 3) increased much compared to January a year ago. What will be interesting to follow is column 3) and particualrly 4), where 4) is year to data compared to the previous year. 

 

Just looking at shipment for only one month January 2014 vs 2013, things look promising for mirrorless. It may be just a straw, but it will be interesting to follow. It could be an emptying of inventories or something is actually happening in the market. I'm sure Thom Hogan follows this! ;)

 

Over a longer period there should be a correlation between production and shipment, where we see that production has gone down, compared to shipment, comparing January 2014 vs 2013.

Edited by bjornthun

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I was actually looking at those same sheets a couple of days ago and came to the same conclusion, Bjørn. But then I see the stats of this website too and as I have mentioned before, the majority of visitors come from the USA, so there is definitely interest in mirrorless there. The paradigm is shifting. Maybe slowly, but it's shifting. 

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Fair enough, Johnny, but the E-M5 is not the only small mirrorless camera out there these days. You might want to look at the E-M1, which has significantly improved button pressing capabilities. Or the Fujifilm X-trans cameras. I don't know much about the Sony's but they are there too. 

 

The point I'm hoping to drive home is that image quality from bigger sensors is not as big an advantage as it's made out to be. The advantages of using smaller kit (for me) outweigh whatever the big sensors have to offer. 

 

I should add that using the camera in extremely cold temps is one of the fringe areas that most of us don't have to endure. :)

 

I have tried out the E-M1 and am quite tempted by it. Especially the larger EVF. I think I will sit that one out though as I am satisfied with the E-M5 for now. The Fuji cameras are also very interesting.

 

I really like the small size of the mirrorless cameras but unlike in the film days we now also need/want all these buttons to control all functionality. The need for gloves isn't really a fringe case and it's neigh impossible (for me at least) to use for example the tiny 4-way controller on small cameras. Try pressing the OK button on the E-M5 with a gloved thumb without messing things up. :)

 

I get the point about image quality and think mirrorless is satisfactorily for most uses by now. Maybe one can look at FF DSLR's as the new medium format and the smaller sensors as the "35mm" format of our age.

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I knew I'd enjoy this article from the title, so I read it slowly and appreciated your points, Dallas.  I'm tall but have smallish wrists.  I prefer to carry my camera in my hand or with a wrist strap.  This was possible with my D700 and short prime lens, but the torque on my wrist was bad.  I'd get pain in my forearm tissue, too. Surprisingly, the EM-1 is light enough that I have no arm/wrist pain at all when walking about holding it.  That's a pleasant surprise.  I'm really having a love affair with the EM-1.  Photography has become accessible to me again, and it's like the old days when I first got into the activity.

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Cowardly Lion (Wizard of Oz): Read what my medal says: "Courage". Ain't it the truth? Ain't it the truth?

 

Yes sizes and weight do matter.  And indeed it takes courage to say so.   Touting M43 is bound to get a few thunderbolts tossed your way by the DSLR Fanboys and 35mm Full Frame Janissaries.  The best camera and lens you can own is the one you can/will routine carry and use.  If equipment is truly a burden, the fun and excitement of photography starts to die.

 

We purchased 150-600 Tamron bazookas and realized.....we ain't gonna carry these anywhere.  The proverbial lightbulb when on and we realized we had to do a reality check.  We are not getting younger, stronger, or more flexible.  Bottom line...all my Canon gear is at the consignment table of our local shot.  When my stuff sells, the wife's collection goes to the table.   We are going MFT with Olympus E-M1 and loving every minute of having a camera kit that does not require a rolling suitcase...or a very sore right shoulder.

Edited by mcasan

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Yesterday my son and I went to Durban's central beaches to watch some aerobatics and other stuff happening down there. Because it was a free event finding parking was just not happening, so we ended up having to park about 2km away from where needed to be and then walk the rest of the way. 

 

In my ThinkTank Retrospective 7 I had packed both OM-D's, plus Olympus 75-300mm, Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 and some food and my two small m43 wide angles. The bag was way lighter than I have had in the past, but the big 50-200mm lens is the first thing I will be selling when the PRO m43 teles come out. It made the bag really heavy! 

 

As for the photos... who knew that photographing small fast moving planes would be so difficult? My word... trying to find the little things in the viewfinder was next to impossible, especially when using the full zoom extension. I managed to lock onto a few of them and track, but it was heavy going. Probably the most difficult thing I ever tried to photograph. Plus the sky was overcast, so conditions were awful. I might go down again today and see if I can do better as its sunny, but the thought of carrying that big lens for another 4km round trip doesn't appeal much. :) 

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I'm not a 100% sure that the Olympus 40-150/2.8 will be very much smaller or lighter than the 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD. A Nikon 70-200/4 weighs 800 grams and the Olympus 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD weighs 995 grams. My guess is that the coming Olympus 40-150/2.8 will be in the same ballpark.The Sigma 50-150/2.8 without image stabilizer in Nikon mount weighs 770 grams.

 

I hope Olympus will make a really good 1.4x teleconverter for the 40-150/2.8 by the way.

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Well there's hope. The mockups I've seen don't show it as being quite as big as the 50-200mm, so if it's say about twice the length as the 75/1.8 that would be good. 

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On 43rumours there is a size comparison: http://www.43rumors.com/the-big-olympus-pro-lens-size-comparison/

 

My guess is that the 40-150/2.8 won't be under 800 grams, but not as much as a kilogram either. It will be a bit more than double the 12-40/2.8, since the front element has to be bigger and the lens will have more glass. On the other hand there is no waste of weight or optical performance on a VR mechanism.  :)

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There are a lot of different size cameras from mobile phones all the way up to large format film view cameras.  All of them have a place and a use.  A characteristic that may seem to be a disadvantage can be turned into an advantage, or it can work the other way around.  There are a lot of different personal styles and different gear suits different styles.

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