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The Littlest MFT Camera... In The World


Two Monday’s ago a fortnight of digital agony began as I set about upgrading the Fotozones software. Usually the software upgrades run smoothly, but in this instance it was anything but smooth. More like a ride on one of those amusement park gravity modifying apparatuses. I am told it is because I didn’t upgrade for such a long time that I ran into problems. Because of previous issues with early upgrades I guess I am averse to major changes, so upgrading software isn’t something I rush into these days. My bad. 

 

Anyway, that episode of digital nausea has passed so today I thought I would take some time out for myself to go and play with a new, old camera I got recently, but because of all the software dramas of the past fortnight, has sat on my desk looking expectantly at me like a rescue puppy might. The camera in question is the late 2013 Panasonic GM1 and 12-32mm kit lens. This is a Micro Four Thirds camera. 

 

As those of you who follow my writings and videos will already know, I recently sold the Canon 200D I got last year. I don’t have any pressing need to make more videos, but browsing through the classifieds on a local forum I saw an Olympus E-PL5 up for sale at a really keen price. I decided to get it because I actually like the Pen cameras and that model has a flip up selfie screen that would come in quite handy if I wanted to make more videos. So I got it. The cost was less than $100, but it didn’t come with a lens, so I was on the lookout for something I could use for it. I had my eyes open for the Olympus 14-42mm EZ kit lens, which isn’t found used that often. In casual conversation about my lens quest my buddy Peter mentioned to me that he was selling his Panasonic GM1 with the Panasonic 12-32mm kit lens. I wanted the lens only, but Peter made me a really good price on the body too, so I couldn’t pass it up. There went another $180 or so. I should mention that I was still up from the sale of the 200D though.

 

What follows isn’t a review, so don’t expect any in-depth analysis, just some thoughts on cameras in general and how I got along with this particular one on my first outing with it. 

 

The GM1 is a really small camera. I mean, it’s ridiculously tiny. If I am out and about on a less than balmy day it will go into a jacket pocket without any issue. Today wasn’t exactly jacket weather, as you will see from the photos, so I put it into a larger bag (the ThinkTank Turn style 10) with some other camera stuff, just in case a Pulitzer Prize winning news moment presented itself to me, you know.

 

I’m of the firm opinion that almost all cameras made since 2013 are good cameras. If you can’t get a great result out of a camera made after that year there can only be one (or more) of 3 factors at play. One, you have a terrible lens; two, you have terrible technique; three, somewhere along the line the camera you bought was dropped and the innards are not operating as they should. 

 

The sensors we have been getting in most cameras made after 2013 are brilliant capturing devices. You just need to know what you’re doing with them to get a good result. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the future for camera testing outfits like Dpreview and various others who play in measurement based camera appraisal systems are probably superfluous to all but perhaps a handful of very discerning photographers these days. The attractiveness of cameras is, I think, going to come down to just how well you can integrate yourself with the way they work, not whether or not they have 18 stops of dynamic range or can blast off 100 frames in a second, or shoot at ISO values that exceed the bank balances of the average Monte Carlo resident. 

 

So, getting a good result out of your post 2013 camera is highly dependent on coming to know that camera and working with it on a regular basis. Like in my case I have been using the Olympus E-M1’s since I got my first one in late 2013 (about the time the GM1 got announced) and after nearly 5 years of professional and personal use I don’t even have to think much about it’s operation. I switch it on and if I need to make changes I know instantly where to make them. The once confusing Olympus menu system is second nature to me now. The only things I have to think about, settings-wise, are the advanced features that I have used maybe once or twice, such as the Live Time long exposure thing, or anything to do with JPG settings (which I never use).

 

I’ve only ever owned one other Panasonic camera, the GF1, which I liked, but ended up selling because at the time I had 2 Olympus Pen cameras that I thought were just a bit easier for me to work with. Whilst Panasonic and Olympus share the same Micro Four Thirds lens mount, their approach to operating the camera itself is very different. Kind of like the differences you’d find between Windows and macOS. They both do the same thing, just differently. 

 

The Panasonic interface is, I think, very intuitive and easy to learn unlike the Olympus, which admittedly took me a while to get used to coming from Nikon. That said, I do find some things on the GM1 a bit of a fiddle. Like this morning I was trying to change the aperture (in A mode), but kept changing the exposure compensation instead. Turns out that you need to press the command dial button for compensation again to toggle it off (there is only one dial on this tiny little camera). On the Olympus Pens it’s a similar process, just slightly different. You have to press the same button, but you can program the camera to move either the aperture value or the exposure compensation when turning the dial after that button is pressed. The GM1 doesn’t have that level of customisability so if you have burned a neural pathway into your brain from using your Olympus MFT camera a certain way, getting used to a Panasonic like the GM1 might test you a little. Fortunately it’s not an insurmountable hurdle. A bit of practice will make new neural pathways.  

 

Without an EVF I found using the rear LCD in this morning’s bright conditions not too difficult. The one thing I do struggle with is the amount of icons that Panasonic show on this LCD screen. Unlike the Olympus method of putting them along the side of the LCD screen, Panasonic have most of them along the top, which together with the row on the bottom can make the screen seem very crowded. It is easy to turn the top row off though by toggling the Info button, which leaves you with the bare bones of exposure settings on the bottom.

 

I think I will be getitng along quite nicely with the world's littlest MFT camera, in spite of the differences between it and my Olympus stable. That they use the same lenses makes it a perfect black sheep cousin. Different, but lovable all the same. 

 

Here’s some of the shots from this morning's outing. All with the 12-32mm lens, processed in Lr 7.2. 

 

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I'm usually showing you photos of my city from the piers we have, so today here's a shot from the North looking towards a couple of the many we have. 

 

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This is the designated fisherman's pier. It's usually inhabited by subsistence fishermen who spend most of the day (and night) with their lines in the water. 

 

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There is a space between the sand and the promenade that the city is trying to keep healthy with indigenous dune vegetation we get around these parts. 

 

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The beachcombers are always out there, scouring the sand for buried treasure. 

 

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The promenade is modeled on Rio's famous Copacabana beach. You are allowed to ride anything on wheels along there (except for motorcycles and cars). There is an outfit that offers Segway tours. Lazy! 

 

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This is one of many outdoor gyms that have sprung up around the city in the past few years. I don't know how effective those machines are, but they certainly do seem to keep the users happy. 

 

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After the beachfront I took a slow drive back home, stopping off at the marina. It was low tide, so I walked out a bit. Shooting almost into the sun here, so not the best result. 

 

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These tug boats appear to be chasing this Greek tanker out of the bay! 

 

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Four shot panorama of what was once a vibrant watering hole, but is now sadly neglected by the city's denizens. This was where my younger son played at the Durban Blues Festival. 

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Luc de Schepper

Posted

Dallas, excellent write-up on this little gem in the Micro Four Thirds family. Good images also and nice to get an impression of Durban beach and sea life.

 

I guess you've experienced that 12-32mm pancake lens is an excellent performing lens for its size and price. If necessary a balanced mix of a little extra contrast, clarity and detail sharpening in Lightroom can really make the images pop. This lens does have a reputation though of loose zoom rings due to faulty adhesive. Mine was also affected by this, I used some thin double-sided tape to carefully re-attach the zoom ring to the lens. The tiny 35-100mm f4-5.6 zoom I reviewed here Panasonic 35-100mm is a great companion and the GM1 plus the two lenses would make a fine, really compact holiday setup.

 

 

 

 

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Dallas

Posted

Thanks Luc. Somehow the 35-100mm Panasonic escaped my net, so I will definitely look into adding it as a companion for this great little camera. I now also really regret selling my Panasonic 45-175mm, which would also have been a good match for the GM1, albeit significantly larger than the one you mention. 

 

A problem I have with this little camera is finding a suitable carry case for it. I know there are some small Lowepro cases that would work well with it, but finding them isn't easy. Actually... a friend of mine makes bags. I think I'm going to ask him to make me a customised cover/case for this camera. :) 

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armando_m

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I agree with your comments about any camera sensor from 5yrs ago until today is beyond what is usually needed, and personal preferences is what makes the photographers choose a specific camera

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  • Similar Content

    • Dallas
      By Dallas
      In this new series of articles I am going to take you through the kit I would select from what’s available in the MFT system right now and explain why I would buy that particular item for a specific genre of photography. In this first segment I will be looking at the field of wedding and event photography. These are similar fields that overlap a little, but I will lean a bit more to the wedding side of things, since that will be of more interest to most readers.
       
      Please remember that the choices I put forward here are based on what I would choose personally, so they may not be right for everybody. Hopefully you’ll read my rationale for making a particular selection and understand that I put pragmatism above emotion when it comes to photography gear and I am also non-partisan when it comes to brands - I chose whatever I think is best for me, regardless of who makes it. I have also decided to keep my selections for these articles to native MFT lenses that are still available as new items.
       
      Let’s get started!
       
       
       
       
      Which MFT Camera Body?
       
      The first thing you will need to decide on if you are coming to Micro Four Thirds from a different system is which body type you will want to shoot with. There is variety of choice from the two main players, Olympus and Panasonic so you will have to examine the strengths and weaknesses of each model and decide which one is better suited for your needs.
       
      Traditionally Panasonic have leaned more to the video development side of things than stills, while Olympus is the other way around. If you are going to be splitting your output between stills and video, with video potentially becoming more important down the line, then I would say choosing a Panasonic body would make more sense and therefore you’d definitely want to look at the current flagship GH5 from that stable. On a different level for video you will find the Black Magic Pocket Cinema 4K, which is really only for serious film makers.
       
      I have noticed that at least in South Africa where I live, the demand for used video oriented Panasonic bodies going as far back as the GH-2 is much stronger than demand for older Olympus bodies, so this might be an important thing to consider when making your decision on which brand to get as your primary body. As an example the GH-4 can today still fetch prices here that are more than 50% of the original selling price in a heartbeat, whereas an older Olympus body like the E-M1 will likely sell for less than 25% of its original price after 3-4 years (that is if you actually get somebody interested in buying it). This is probably not the case in more established markets like Asia, US and Europe though, but is worth taking into account anyway.
       
      So getting into the meat of this body selection, let’s look at the current top end options available as at Feb 2020. On the Panasonic side there is the GH5 (video oriented) and the G9 (stills oriented) to consider, while on the Olympus side you have the OM-D E-M5 Mk III and the E-M1 Mk III as the current standouts, both of which have just been released this month (Feb 2020). There is also the gargantuan Olympus E-M1X to consider, but I don’t see that as anything other than a sports action camera, so I wouldn’t think about using it for weddings. Lighter is better.
       
      All these cameras will do amazing things for you on both stills and video and you will be able to swap MFT mount lenses between them without losing too much functionality. The only caveat in that regard is that if you are using lenses with built-in stabilisation, you won’t be able to use both the in-body-image-stabilsation (IBIS) of an Olympus body with the IS of a Panasonic lens. You’d have to choose which of the two you want to use in the camera’s menu. Same goes for Panasonic bodies and Olympus IS lenses. However, if you keep your lenses to the same brand as your camera body, both Panasonic and Olympus offer dual IS between lens and body that provides a claimed image stabilisation of up to 6 or 7 stops, depending on the body/lens combo.
       
      If I can just add an extra word or two on stabilisation here before I tell you which camera I would choose; if there has been one aspect of photography technology development in the modern era that has been crucial in improving my own photography, it has been the IBIS found in Olympus bodies. It is unrivalled. These days I am more focused on getting my compositions right without giving second thought to my technique simply because IBIS has freed me from those concerns. No matter how sloppy I get with the camera in hand, the IBIS has my back. So, with that said, in selecting my ideal camera body for weddings I would have to choose the new Olympus E-M1 Mk III. The other big selling point for me is that this new camera also has the hand-held hi-res mode that will give you the ability to push out 50MP images from a small sensor. That’s a pretty big deal if you are going to be offering big prints to your clients.
       
      I’d ideally want to buy two of the same bodies, but if one is all you can afford then adding an older body like the original E-M1 (available cheaply) would be a good option.
       
       
      Which Fast Prime Lens?
       
      I’m a zoom lens guy, so if I can get a great zoom lens that covers a variety of different angles, I would rather buy that than three prime lenses. However, when it comes to weddings and events, you are probably going to find yourself in tough lighting conditions more often than not, so the fast prime lens is definitely something that you should consider adding to your kit. In fact, I’d say that using MFT you should absolutely not go into a wedding with only f/2.8 zoom lenses. You need at least 1 or 2 fast primes with apertures of f/1.8 or more so that you don’t have to start creeping too far up the ISO range.
       
      I want to find a prime lens or two that will give me some versatility for weddings that you don’t get with a fixed aperture zoom. Ideally I want something that is useful for portraits and speakers, as well as a second lens with a moderate wide angle to use at the reception should flash photography prove too tricky (i.e. not possible to bounce it off any large surface). The maximum aperture of my primes must be at least f/2.0.
       
      Let’s see what MFT can currently offer us that fits the parameters.
       
       
      Panasonic Line-up
      Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 RRP $300
      Lumix Leica 12mm f/1.4 Summilux RRP $1300
      Lumix Leica 15mm f/1.7 Summilux RRP $600
      Lumix Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux RRP $630
      Lumix Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 Nocticron RRP $1600
      Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 OIS RRP $400
       
      Olympus Line-up
      M.Zuiko 12mm f/2.0 RRP $800
      M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 RRP $500
      M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.2 PRO RRP $1300
      M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 RRP $400
      M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.2 PRO RRP $1300
      M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 RRP $400
      M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.2 PRO RRP $1300
      M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 RRP $900
       
      Sigma Line-up
      16mm f/1.4 DC | Contemporary RRP $400
      30mm f/1.4 DC | Contemporary RRP $340
      56mm f/1.4 DC | Contemporary RRP $430
       
      Voigtlander Line-up
      10.5mm f/0.95 Nokton (MF) RRP $900
      17.5mm f/0.95 Nokton (MF) RRP $900
      25mm f/0.95 Nokton (MF) RRP $800
      42.5mm f/0.95 Nokton (MF) RRP $800
       
      Other Brands
      Laowa 17mm f/1.8 (MF) RRP $150
      Kowa Prominar 12mm f/1.8 (MF) RRP $800
      Kowa Prominar 25mm f/1.8 (MF) RRP $725
       
       
      Wow, 24 fast prime lenses to choose from! Not bad for a camera system that some are saying has no future.
       
      Ok, so as you can see there are some premium grade options and there are also some manual focus (MF) options. The price differentials are significant between these lenses so I need to refine my thinking about what is going to work best for me in this field of photography. As I said, I want a couple of specialist lenses that are going to be able to help me in very low light situations. I don’t want to rely entirely on these lenses for the whole event, because I am going to choose a few premium zooms later on in this exercise as my main lenses.
       
      The first options I am going to remove from consideration are the manual focus lenses. One of the main benefits of shooting with MFT is that the auto focus, specifically on my chosen Olympus bodies, is incredibly fast and accurate, which means I can spend less time worrying about focus and more time on my compositional awareness. While focus peaking is a great aid for manual focusing on mirrorless cameras, it will still slow you down. You cannot be a slow photographer at a wedding, so speed found anywhere is what you want.
       
      The next items I am going to cut from consideration are the prime lenses that cost over $1000. I have no doubt that these all offer amazing sharpness and bokeh, but at $1000+ a pop they will hurt my total spend and I want to get the best bang for buck in building this kit without approaching crazy money.
       
      For my portrait lens I need something that is fast, small and offers outstanding image quality with excellent bokeh. The options I am looking at are the Olympus 75/1.8, Sigma 56/1.4 and Panasonic 42.5/1.7.
       
      I know the Olympus 75/1.8 very well as it is one of the first lenses I bought for the system when I switched over and it is nothing short of fantastic for picking out people in groups. It is sharp, has excellent bokeh and is built entirely out of metal (except for the caps). It’s a strong contender, but the downside is that it is perhaps a shade too long which makes it awkward to work with if you are shooting couples in a restricted space, such as a chapel. It would be similar to working with a 150mm lens on the 135 sensor format. It’s also not cheap at around $900.
       
      The Panasonic 42.5/1.7 offers a more traditional portrait focal length and it also has an optical stabiliser built in, but it is an older generation MFT lens and as such the auto focus speed isn’t quite up to the current standards. It can be had pretty cheap though, usually coming in under $400.
       
      The final option I am considering for my fast portrait lens in this wedding kit is the Sigma 56/1.4 Contemporary. Sigma in recent years has become very well known for producing some of the most amazing lenses and all the now discontinued Sigma 2.8 DC lenses I have owned for MFT are incredible performers given their low prices. This 56/1.4 lens is just about perfect focal length wise for portraits, plus with the very fast aperture I can get great bokeh with it. In low light it will work really well and the cherry on top is that it can be had brand new for only $430.
       
      A lens I am not considering for this role is the Olympus 45mm 1.8. It’s a firm favourite with many Olympus users. I did own one once and I barely used it. The focal length and minimum focus distance I found didn’t work well together for portraits, so I didn’t use it much, preferring to use the much slower focusing Pan/Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit.
       
      So for me it’s a no brainer, the Sigma 56/1.4 Contemporary will be the first speciality lens in my wedding kit.
       
      Now I need to select another prime lens that is more suited for wider compositions, specifically in dimly lit chapels and for use on dance floors, should I find it difficult to use flash at the venue. I don’t want to spend a huge amount and because this is for wider, more reference type indoor shots, auto focus speed isn’t that critical (but I don’t want MF). For me the choice here is between the following three lenses; Panasonic 20/1.7, Olympus 17/1.8, Sigma 16/1.4.
       
      Of the three the image quality is probably on par, with the edge maybe going to the Sigma 16mm. Price wise the Panasonic 20mm certainly seems to make a lot of sense, however, having tried this lens once and hearing it focus it sounded not dissimilar to pupils dragging chairs across a classroom floor at the end of a school day! It’s really very noisy and the problem affects all of them. The Olympus is a great lens, solid, well built, sharp, etc, but if you compare it with the Sigma it loses out on price and maximum aperture. So, once again I would choose this brand as my second fast prime for weddings / events. The value offered by the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 Contemporary is perfect for this kit.
       
      If you’ve read this far you’re probably waiting to find out which of the premium range zoom lenses I am going to select for my ideal MFT kit. These are the work horse lenses for any camera system and of course they come in what some like to call the “trinity” of zooms. There’s always an ultra wide angle zoom, a general purpose zoom and a moderate telephoto zoom. Both Panasonic and Olympus offer lenses to fit these needs, with Panasonic having the wider range of high end lenses available, however not all of them have fixed apertures. Let’s take a look at all our options.
       
       
      Which Wide Angle Zoom Lens?
       
      Panasonic Wide Zoom Line-up
      Lumix Vario 7-14mm f/4.0 RRP $900
      Leica Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 RRP $1100
      Leica Vario-Sumilux 10-25mm f/1.7 RRP $1800
       
      Olympus Wide Zoom Line-up
      M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO RRP $1300
       
      As you can see from the above options this is not a cheap area to play in so you will want to make your money count and get maximum value here. That said, the ultra wide zoom, while useful for creative images at any event, isn’t an absolute must have. You can get away with the wide end of the medium range zoom lenses in most cases, so if you’re going to choose from any of the above you will need to know what you’re buying into and how it is going to help you.
       
      Of the four lenses above, the only one I haven’t tried is the new Leica 10-25mm f/1.7. It certainly looks like a beast of a lens and with that huge constant f/1.7 aperture comes the penalty of size and weight. At 690g you need to ask yourself if the juice is worth the squeeze for a lens that is only going to be used sparingly at weddings and events. I don’t think it is.
       
      At a far more sensible 300g is the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4.0. I had the opportunity to buy this one at a good price once upon a time, but let it slip away. They are good lenses, but as with the other older generation Panasonic glass, the AF is not up to modern standards and neither is the optical performance. Yes, it’s plenty sharp enough and it has found a lot of love from videographers, but there are issues with using it on an Olympus body. For some reason the built in lens profiles don’t play nicely with the Olympus bodies and there are complaints about weird purple flare spots from many users.
       
      Over on the Olympus side of the fence there is only the 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO on offer. This is a stunning lens, but it has a big problem with flare. If there is any bright light source in your frame you are going to have flare spots appear somewhere, even when shooting indoors. You can read more about my impressions of this lens here. Another issue with it is that it has no filter thread and a massive, bulbous front element that doesn’t get much protection from the built in lens hood. Such a pity because it’s a razor sharp lens. I do hope Olympus rethink the design on this one for a version II.
       
      The lens I did end up buying to fill this need in my own system is the newer Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 Vario-Elmarit. It ticks a lot more boxes than any of the others. Light, sharp, well made, has a filter thread, won’t cry if you get rain on it and is pretty sharp across the frame. I use it all the time in real estate and so for a wedding kit it will bring that ultra-wide dimension for creative shots. This is the lens that goes in my ideal wedding kit too.
       
       
      Which Standard Zoom Lens? 
       
      Moving on to the standard zoom range now, this is going to be your most used lens for weddings, so as with the wide size our decision needs to be pragmatic.
       
      Panasonic Standard Zoom Line-up
      Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 II G X Vario RRP $1000
      Leica Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 OIS RRP $1000
       
      Olympus Standard Zoom Line-up
      M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO RRP $850
      M.Zuiko 12-45mm f/4.0 PRO RRP $650
      M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4.0 IS PRO RRP $1200
       
      This is probably going to be the toughest decision to make in this exercise, because all these lenses are fantastic and apart from the ultra-zoom Olympus 12-100/4.0 they all cover a very similar zoom range.
       
      The oldest design among them is the Panasonic 12-35/2.8 which came out right near the start of when MFT became a viable option for professional photography. This lens has now been revised to version II and remains a staple for Panasonic users. I personally have no experience with it, but had I made the decision to go with a Panasonic body instead of an Olympus one, this would have been my #1 choice.
       
      But wait, not so fast, Batman! Why not the other 12-60mm Panasonic/Leica lens that has the much more versatile zoom range and OIS to boot? Good question. That lens would make a lot more sense if I wasn’t going to choose a medium telephoto zoom to add to my kit, but because I am, why choose a bigger, slower standard zoom lens where there is significant overlap with the next one up? It makes more sense to choose the smaller option here. You’re getting the benefit of sharper, faster optics and less mass to carry around.
       
      That’s the same reason why I would choose the Olympus 12-40/2.8 PRO over the Olympus 12-100/4.0 PRO for a wedding kit. While I already own both of these lenses, the one that I would use for events and weddings is the 12-40. It’s sharper, smaller and obviously faster. I’d leave the longer needs up to the telephoto zoom. My official review is here. 
       
      So, if you are using Panasonic, get the 12-35/2.8 and if you are using Olympus get the 12-40/2.8. You can’t go wrong with either - they are brilliant, must have lenses for any serious MFT kit. I’ve chosen Olympus so the 12-40 is my go to.
       
       
      Which Short Telephoto Zoom Lens?
       
      Next up is the final part of our lens selection, the quintessential short telephoto zoom.
       
      Panasonic Telephoto Zoom Line-up
      Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8 II GX Vario RRP $1100
      Leica 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 DG Vario-Elmarit OIS RRP $1700
       
      Olympus Telephoto Zoom Line-up
      M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO RRP $1500
       
      This selection conundrum is as hard a nut to crack as the standard zoom, because all these lenses are worthy contenders for any MTF photographer’s consideration. I haven’t used the Panasonic options, but I have used the Olympus 40-150/2.8 PRO. The 40-150/2.8 is a wonderful lens that has a really short close focusing distance which makes it quite useful for close ups. I actually did use this lens on a wedding once and it was a joy. My only gripe with it is that the bokeh is not as pleasing as other telephoto lenses I have and it also tends to lose sharpness with subjects more than 30m away (not that this would be a problem with wedding photography, but for wildlife I wouldn’t consider it).
       
      In my current kit I do have the older 4/3 Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD and while it is chunkier and clumsy looking compared to the newer generation, that 50-200mm zoom range is just about perfect as it gives you so much versatility to work every aspect of a wedding. Looking at all the gushing reviews the new Leica version gets I would have to make the Leica 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 Vario-Elmarit the lens I would select for this part of my kit. It costs $200 more than the Olympus but I think it is money worth spending.
       
       
      Which Portable Lighting For MFT?
       
      I’m now over 3000 words into this buyers guide and I haven’t even touched on portable lighting yet!
       
      The lighting discussion is basically a choice between the Olympus FL-series of speedlights or the Godox range. I won’t get into this in too much detail, the Godox system wins hands down, mainly because of the built-in 2.4GHz radio system it brings to the table. I have had 2 Olympus FL-600R flash units since my move to MFT and they have been great for indoor use, but when you use them wirelessly they rely on optical triggering which is not ideal. You can obviously use a radio trigger accessory (which I do from time to time) but then you lose TTL and High Speed Sync (HSS). Given that you are paying a premium for those OEM flash units it doesn’t make a lot of sense to incorporate them into a wedding kit if you want to use them wirelessly outdoors where optical triggering is a hit-and-miss business.
       
      From the Godox range I would choose a single AD200 Pro, which is a versatile and portable 200W strobe that can be fired and controlled remotely with the Godox X-Pro O radio transmitter unit. Not only does this light offer TTL, it also does HSS, so you can happily try to melt it outdoors as you use it to overpower the sun on creative shoots with your bridal couple. It has a range of interchangeable heads, including fresnel, bare bulb and an optional round head (for a softer spread of light). There are a lot of other accessories you can get for it too, including filter kits, snoots, Bowens speed-ring adapters, etc. It comes with a good capacity Lithium Ion battery and fast charger.
       
      To compliment it I would add 3 of the basic, but versatile Godox TT600 units. These traditional looking speedlights use the 2,4GHz Godox radio triggering system, so you can control the power of each one from the on-camera X-Pro O transmitter unit (which works with both Olympus and Panasonic bodies). You don’t get TTL with the TT600 units, but if you’re going to use them in a wedding reception just to light up the room by bouncing off the ceiling, use the “set it and forget it” approach by adjusting your aperture to match the power coming out of all your lights. I’m not a huge fan of TTL flash, to be honest.
       
      And that’s it! Let’s take a look at our completed wedding MFT kit.
       
      Cameras
      Olympus E-M1 Mk III x 2 @ $1800 ea = $3600
       
      Fast Prime Lenses
      Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DN Contemporary @ $400
      Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DN Contemporary @ $400
       
      Zoom Lenses
      Leica Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 @ $1100
      M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO @ $850
      Leica 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 DG Vario-Elmarit OIS @ $1700
       
      Lighting
      Godox AD200 PRO @ $350
      Godox X-Pro O Radio Controller @ $69
      Godox Thinklite TT600 x 3 @ $60 ea = $180
       
      Total cost = $8649
       
      So, to wrap up we have here a killer Micro Four Thirds system that will be able to tackle more than just weddings and events. The equipment in this kit is all top quality premium stuff and unless you’re one of the nay-sayers who don’t believe in the capability of a smaller sensor, you will probably never need to buy any other equipment to satisfy your photographic needs in the wedding industry.
       
      Do you agree with my choices for this wedding kit? Let me know in the comments what you would have chosen from the current MFT line-up and why.
       
      In the next article I will take a look at what’s best for Wildlife / Sports photography in the Micro Four Thirds World.
       
    • Dallas
      By Dallas
      I recently went through a period of gear FOMO brought about by discussions that were taking place on a couple of real estate photography groups that are dominated by Canon and Sony users.
       
      Basically the feeling expressed by the majority of participants on these groups is that if you aren’t using a 35mm sensor, you won’t be able to do architectural photography properly because you won’t be able to use tilt-shift lenses for other formats, such as APS-C, or in my case Micro Four Thirds.
       
      The two most widely talked about lenses in these circles are the Canon 17mm and 24mm T/S. These are both incredible pieces of glass, but they are also fairly expensive. The reason why they are so highly sought after has less to do with keystone correction than it has to do with being able to shift perspective without having to move the position of a camera. So, for example, if you are in a room and you set up your camera for a one point perspective shot, but decide that you would like to see less of the ceiling and more of the floor, simply shifting the lens downwards instead of re-positioning the camera will allow you to keep the same one point perspective height but obtain more floor than ceiling in your frame. It’s a great way to adjust things in-camera rather than in post.
       
      Sony A7 users are able to not only use the Canon EF lenses with an adapter, but some adapters made by Metabones will also provide you with full metering and auto focus support (down to eye-focus) on the whole Canon range of EF lenses. This means that you can get all the camera features of a Sony and the benefit of Canon’s best glass without really losing any functionality.
       
      This discovery had me really thinking about whether I should add a 35mm mirrorless camera from either Sony or Canon and the 17mm TS to my arsenal for architectural work (an area I am most comfortable working in). The costs would have been justifiable, in fact I would be able to purchase an EOS RP body and the lens for about the same money as an Olympus E-M1X. Alternatively I could buy a new old stock Sony A7ii with a kit lens for less than the price of the Canon RP and if I wanted to, I could build up a collection of 35mm glass that could include the Sony Zeiss range too.
       
      I had been thinking about doing this since midway through 2019. In fact, while on holiday in Cape Town last year I visited Orms camera store the day before Black Friday and got hands on with both Canon RP and Sony A7iii (they didn’t have the ii). The A7iii felt fantastic in hand compared to the RP, but it was quite a lot more expensive and they weren’t including the 28-70mm kit lens that the A7ii usually gets sold with.
       
      A part of my brain that I have never truly understood when it comes to rationalising gear purchases began sending an urgent pulse pressing me to buy the thing anyway and worry about the financial impact later. After all, I would be able to make it up quickly in work that would surely pour through the door the moment the world learned that I had upgraded my camera. This other conservative part of my brain was telling me to stop fooling myself about parting with such a large sum of money for something that would simply serve as a gateway to much more expense in the form of lenses I would not be able to resist if I added this new system to my gear.
       
      On the day the conservative brain won out and I breathlessly retreated back to my Airbnb to re-absorb our amazing view of Table Mountain (which tends to calm most people’s troubled minds). After returning from my Cape Town holiday to Durban I couldn’t get this potential system switch out of my mind and this wasn’t helped by commercial emails from suppliers landing in my inbox advising me of price drops on the Sony A7ii with the kit lens to levels that are mouth-wateringly tempting.
       
      I watched video after video on YouTube about the A7ii and it’s hard to find anybody not happy with that camera, even though it is now about 6 years old. I thought about my own carefully crafted MFT system and forced myself to truthfully evaluate what it was that I found lacking that would prompt me to go in a different direction.
       
      I thought long and hard about it and after doing a few more successful shoots in a variety of different fields, including real estate, product photography and (new to me) commercial lifestyle with real models and off camera flash in the field, I began to remember why I had moved across to MFT in the first place.
       
      I have been using two E-M1 bodies with a variety of different lenses since my move from Nikon FX in 2014. One of these bodies has had to have its shutter replaced, a process that wasn’t particularly bothersome, even though the camera had to be sent to Portugal for the work to be done. When it came back about 3 weeks later it looked like a brand new camera because they replaced all the rubbers, as well as the entire top plate. Well worth the expense.
       
      When I bring images into Lightroom from my Olympus E-M1 cameras I barely have to do anything to them before delivering to clients. I do have some presets that recover highlights and shadows and these days I can’t seem to stop myself from applying the dehaze filter by at least +10 on everything I shoot, but that’s really it as far as pixel massaging goes. I don’t ever sharpen and I don’t typically use noise reduction on client work either. Since my first jobs after moving to this system professionally (I have used MFT cameras personally since about 2011) I have not had a single client ever question the quality of my images. Not one. In fact I get compliments about my work all the time, even from other photographers.
       
      When I look at the 8 lenses I am presently using, apart from the “mandatory”  tilt shift lenses that architectural photographers wax lyrical over, I have everything I need, from 7.5mm fisheye, all the way up to 280mm telephoto (560mm angle of view in 35mm terms). All of the lenses I use are exceptional performers and honestly I could not wish for anything more from them. I know that if I was to move back to 35mm I would have to spend a huge amount of money to get the same as what I currently have in lenses.
       
      And what would I be gaining if I made that move? For sure, I would get better low light performance, shallower depth of field and maybe better AF-C, but how critical is that to what I do? Not very. A lot of the work I do actually requires more depth of field than can reliably be obtained by a 35mm system without engaging some trickery, such as focus stacking, especially in architectural and product photography. I would also have to carry much heavier equipment than is the case with my existing MFT system. Not to mention an entirely new camera support system with new tripods, heads and thicker Peak Design straps.
       
      Despite the click bait fringe elements you will find online who predict the impending demise of the MFT system, there appears to be more development going on with it right now than there is in most other systems. There is quite literally something for everybody in MFT, be it smaller compact camera bodies like the Panasonic GM or Olympus PEN series, giant action cameras like the Olympus E-M1X, serious video and film making capabilities with the Panasonic GH5 and Black Magic Pocket Cinema 4K, alternative lighting that offers HSS and TTL from Godox, plus scores of different lenses from a variety of makers ranging from ultra wide to super telephoto to enormous fast apertures from Voigtlander. It’s pretty much a honey pot for gadget freaks like me, so why would I want to pigeonhole myself with another camera system that is nowhere near as versatile?
       
      I’m sticking with Micro Four Thirds. It just makes a whole lot of sense in spite of that radical part of my brain that usually falls victim to the FOMO GAS.
    • Dallas
      By Dallas
      Olympus South Africa very kindly loaned me an E-M1X for my recent Photo Safari to Sabi Sabi and while I only had a few days before leaving on the trip to become accustomed to the camera, I did manage to produce some great images (by my standards) while using it in conjunction with the Olympus 300mm f/4.0 PRO.
       
      The first thing that struck me about this camera when taking it out of the box is the sheer size of it. It is huge. If you’ve been using Micro Four Thirds bodies to get away from the bulk of traditional DSLR’s then you will not want this camera. I was quite shocked at its size initially, especially when compared to my gripped E-M1 (original) which I have been shooting since 2014. The Nikon D5 is only 15mm bigger in terms of depth, height and width all around, so for a small sensor camera to be so close in size to a flagship 35mm camera begs some serious questioning of the makers.
       

      Side-by-side view of the E-M1X and the original E-M1 with its grip
       
      So why did Olympus make this camera so big? When you begin handling it the answer falls into place. It’s designed for sports and action photographers who are used to the speed and heft of cameras like the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D series. That’s the user market Olympus are targeting with this machine. It feels substantial in the hands and the ergonomics are such that if you’re used to a bigger camera, moving across to the E-M1X will be much easier for you to adapt to, especially since the Olympus is so highly customisable that you could easily set it up to pretty much emulate the ergonomics of your big DSLR. Well, maybe not the Canons which often require simultaneous button presses to activate certain things, but most certainly it would be easy for a Nikon shooter to make the change.
       

      Not much in it, dimension wise, is there? 
       
      So we now have a giant MFT camera that feels like a Nikon D5. Why didn’t they do what Panasonic has done and make a bigger sensor too? Good question. Why stick with MFT sensors if you want to attract the sports and wildlife shooters of the world? This is where the concept of MFT begins to make sense. The main advantage to be had when shooting this small format as opposed to 35mm is that MFT lenses are comparatively diminutive. For example, on my safari I packed in the Olympus 300/4.0 PRO as well as my older 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD and a third un-gripped body with the Olympus 12-100/4.0 PRO. I also had the Pan/Leica 8-18mm lens in my bag because I wanted to make some photos of the lodge while I was there. Those items I took as a carry on in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage roller and while the bag was not exactly light once my laptop and other peripherals were in it (about 15kg total), had I wanted a similar focal range shooting a 35mm system, I would have had to pack a 600mm f/4.0, 200-400mm f/4.0 and a regular camera with professional wide angle and ultra-zoom lenses. There is no way you could take that as a carry on with 35mm, so you’d have to bring a hard case and pay for the extra baggage. You then also have the added stress of wondering if your precious gear will make it to its destination. Having been in this exact situation many times before moving across to MFT from Nikon 35mm I know exactly what the challenges of travelling with large lenses and heavy gear are.
       

      This is the gear I took on the safari in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage.
       
      Conversely travelling with MFT is easy. Even with the giant E-M1X body, the space and weight savings of the incredible Olympus PRO and Panasonic/Leica lenses is a Godsend. Also consider the additional overhead of having to bring along a support system for your big 35mm glass because I doubt you’re going to want to hand hold a 600/4.0 lens if you’re going on a photography trip where such a lens is wanted. You’ll also need to pack a monopod and probably a gimbal head too. MFT systems like Olympus don’t require any support other than your hand, even when shooting the 300mm f/4 PRO. The IBIS and lens IS combine incredibly well.
       
      Given its considerable girth, for the E-M1X to make sense as a photographic tool that is intended to win over 35mm users it also needs to have some other things going for it. It will need to have seriously fast and accurate auto-focus, plus it will need to offer decent image quality in low light. This is where things get interesting. Read on!
       
       
      Auto Focus
       
      I’m not a back-button focus photographer. I can understand the principle behind this method and I have tried it a few times, but I have been using single point AF-S for so long that trying to change that deeply ingrained behaviour is really hard for me. I’ve also never set up any of the cameras I have ever owned to work in AF-C mode with any degree of success, so I tend to stab at the shutter button rapidly to keep slow moving things in focus (it’s very rarely that I will find myself photographing fast moving subjects). This method has worked for me for quite a long time now. So when I started reading the autofocus section in the E-M1X manual (which itself is a gargantuan 680-odd pages long in just English alone!) I was staggered by the array of setup options for the AF system of the E-M1X. I simply didn’t have enough time before my safari to comprehend all the options it offers, let alone try them out in practical situations.
       
      As mentioned I always set up AF to use a single point in AF-S mode and I recompose once I see the green dot. I don’t use the grouped points, so for me learning something as sophisticated as the AF system on the E-M1X is going to require a specific set of applications, which currently I don’t have in my work. For people who shoot birds in flight, aviation, motorsport and fast action sports such as soccer, ice-hockey and the like, this is probably going to be a winner, especially since they have built in subject recognition for certain things like cars, trains and planes. Apparently these subjects will be added to in firmware as they build up better data on new ones. I can imagine that leopard detection might be a thing in the future.
       
      One feature that I didn’t try but thought was interesting is the Len Focus Range. This setup allows you to define the distances that the AF system should work in. It basically allows you to tell the camera not to focus on objects that are a certain distance away from you. For example, if you are shooting a sport like boxing or ice hockey, you could set this up to avoid focusing on the ropes and/or plexiglass between you and what you’re trying to shoot. Some lenses will have these limits built in, but with the E-M1X you can specify exactly how many metres you want to work within.
       
      Another thing I liked about the X is that you can assign the Home position for the single AF point to be in a different position when shooting in the portrait orientation. This is really handy for events when I find myself having to shift the AF point between shooting people at a podium and then switching to the audience in landscape orientation. Very nice feature.
       
      What I can tell you about the AF system as I used it, is that it’s reassuringly lightning quick and accurate for the wildlife subjects I was photographing. There’s no hunting unless you miss a contrast point, like all cameras I have ever tried. Focus is almost instantaneous, even when subjects are not so close.
       
      In summary, I don’t think that anybody coming from 35mm will be disappointed with the AF capability of the E-M1X. If anything they might be pleasantly surprised given the sheer array of options available to control how the system works.
       
       

      Wildebeest in the misty morning, no problem with auto focus here in spite of the grass
       

      Using my "repeated stabbing" AF technique I managed to get a moderately sharp image, but I reckon had I used the camera's AF-S mode here the shot would have been better. 
       
       
      Speed
       
      One of the biggest advances Olympus made with this camera is the CPU speed. This is a very fast camera in terms of how quickly it processes and reads off data from the sensor. It’s so fast that you can do sensor shift high resolution images handheld. I didn’t really try this out properly, plus Lightroom can’t read the resulting .ORI files so the handful of shots I did take with this mode active, I have to process in Olympus Workspace, which I am completely new to. Sorry! As such I can’t formulate an opinion right now on how useful it is based on such a small sample of images, but what I can say is that on stationary subjects I think it can work quite well. I’d love to try it out in studio doing product photography, but I think there might be some issues syncing it with studio strobes.
       
      Getting back to the intended sports user of this camera, there is the not-so-insignificant Pro Capture mode to consider as a lure for the photographers who want to simplify their lives and get great action every time. Basically with the mode active the camera writes continuously to the buffer while you are holding the shutter button halfway down. As soon as your critical capture moment arrives you trip the shutter and the camera will record whatever it has currently in the buffer to the card(s). This is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel really, especially if you have the patience to sit with your finger on the trigger waiting for a bird to take flight. You can’t miss the shot. Unless you’re like me and you get tired of waiting and the bird chuckles at you as you put down the camera just before it flies away.
       

      I'll settle for stationary birds
       
      On the subject of Pro Capture, this mode is set by changing the drive mode in Super Control Panel (SCP). However, the thing is you may (like me) forget to switch this back to a regular drive mode after failing to record the wretched lilac breasted roller taking off, and then at your next sighting you will end up with dozens of images of a stationary buffalo. Or worse still, you’ll be wanting to shoot a sequence of something happening, but after you accidentally trigger Pro Capture you will have to wait for the camera to write its buffer onto your card. If you have a not-so-fast card like me this could be a few seconds, followed by several more trying to remember where to switch off the Pro Capture mode. Ideally I’d love to be able to have Pro Capture activate by holding down a custom function button together with the shutter button. A Fn button on the PRO lenses would be an ideal setup for this pretty cool feature. While I had the E-M1X I couldn’t see a way of being able to assign that particular feature to any of the custom function buttons, so hopefully Olympus’ engineers will read this criticism and work out a way of doing it in future firmware upgrades. I did manage to set up a quick switch between normal and Pro Capture by using the Custom Modes, but that requires remembering to change modes between sightings. Duh.
       
      Regarding Custom Modes there are four of these that are assignable to the PASM dial, so if your memory is better than mine you can set up each custom mode for a different type of shooting simply by changing the mode. However, you’re going to have to have a Gary Kasparov like mind because the sheer number of custom settings on a camera like the E-M1X is mind-boggling. There are pages and pages and more pages of custom settings in the menus and if you’re not used to the way Olympus does menus, you’re either going to go stir crazy or require a lot of patience (and batteries) to get the better of it all. It’s not insurmountable though and experienced Olympus users will probably be able to set up their custom modes quite easily after a few weeks with the camera in the field.
       
      One thing I really liked about the X is that there is a Custom Menu area where you can save up to 5 pages of menu items that you regularly need to access. Storing an item in there is as simple as pressing the Record video button while the item is selected in the menu. That’s a very big plus for me and goes a long way towards personalising the Olympus menu system.
       
       
      Stabilisation
       
      The IBIS and lens IS combine in the E-M1X to create an extraordinary amount of stabilisation. I was using the 300/4.0 PRO on this body almost exclusively for the duration of our 7 days in Sabi Sabi and occasionally I would shoot birds sitting on nearby branches. When I do my focus and recompose technique the subject does what I can only describe as a “moonwalk” glide from one part of the frame to the other. There is absolutely no camera shake at all handheld, which when you consider that you are using a 4.1˚ angle of view is bonkers! Olympus claim a 6 stop advantage in handheld photography and I have no doubt that this is true. Given my sloppy technique this is yet another Godsend to make my images look much better than they should.
       

       

      Stabilisation with long lenses is incredible.
       
       
      Battery
       
      Battery life was pretty decent. The camera comes with two batteries and typically I only exhausted about 50% of the one each day. Granted I don’t shoot as much as everybody else. On this safari I took a total of 1726 images with the E-M1X, averaging 288 per day. So, assuming I were to exhaust both batteries in a day I would be able to shoot over 1000 frames before having to recharge them.
       
      However, it is also possible to charge the camera via USB-C, so if you did get trigger happy enough to shoot that many in a day on safari, you could recharge from a  power bank between sightings. Or just buy more batteries.
       

       
       
      Low Light
       
      Right, this is where the rubber hits the road as far as getting 35mm power-users interested in switching to MFT. I’ll say it at the outset, I was disappointed in the low light performance of the E-M1X sensor.
       
      For starters, it doesn’t seem possible to be able to set Auto-ISO to go above 6400 on the X. None of the expanded ranges are available when using the auto mode while shooting RAW, which I think is just silly. This is how I shoot these days. I always use Auto-ISO. On the original E-M1 I sometimes let this go as high as 12800 and while the images may appear grainy they have a certain film-like charm to them. You can’t do that on the X. You have to set ISO 12800 or above manually.
       
      As far as graininess goes, 6400 on the E-M1X is very grainy and there is also a major loss of colour fidelity. To be honest I was expecting much better performance from the sensor at high ISO, so for me this is a deal breaker. Since the camera is intended to compete against the likes of the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D series (where higher ISO is a forte), it sadly falls well short in this area.
       
      Having said that, I think that if you buy this camera and invest some time in learning how to deal with the grain and colour issues in post production you could probably get some very good results.
       

      Shot at ISO 6400, you can see the grain in the background, plus there has been a general loss of colour saturation.
       

      But then in good light you'll get rewarded.
       

      Gorgeous colours from the Olympus. No adjustments in post.
       
       
      Cool Things I Liked
       
      The sound of the mechanical shutter is really soft. It’s a lot quieter than my old E-M1 and if you are in the business of shooting in quiet places (churches, meetings, etc) you may not even have to switch to electronic shutter and risk the rolling effects thereof. It’s nice and quiet.
       
      I really appreciated the built in GPS and weather sensor on the E-M1X. This camera will tell you what the barometric pressure, altitude and ambient temperature was on every shot you take. I wish Lightroom would pick up those EXIF fields, alas you have to use the Olympus Workspace software to read them.
       
       
      A Couple Of Nit Picks
       
      There are a couple of things that I didn’t like, most notably there is no loop for a grip strap in the base of the camera so you would have to put a plate onto there to accommodate one (I used the Peak Design Clutch with its little plate). That seems like a daft omission to me because the moment you have to put a plate on the grip you lose the comfort of shooting with it in portrait mode.
       
      I was also a bit disappointed with the EVF. The refresh rate and colour was all good, but it just seemed to lack a bit of bite. The EVF on my old original E-M1 seems sharper to my eyes, which is a little weird. I did try adjusting the diopter a few times, but it didn’t seem to improve things. It could have been a contrast setting in the menus that I missed?
       
      The one thing I really don’t like (and I have expressed my dislike of this before) is the flip out LCD screen. This is something video producers want, but as a stills photographer I truly don’t want this as it’s a very weak point of the camera just waiting to snap off in the right circumstances. I much prefer the tilting screen of the original OM-D’s. Olympus should make it an option for this kind of premium camera: which type of LCD screen would you prefer, Mr. Customer?
       
       
      Conclusion
       
      I wish that I could have kept the camera for just a little bit longer as there are many other areas I would have liked to explore its performance in, especially my daily bread and butter work of property and product photography. Alas, they are in short supply around here so it had to go back post haste.
       
      My overall impression is that it is quite an impressive machine. It offers the photographer a lot of very cool features, excellent customisability and ergonomics. It is a specialist camera, however, and as such I think that the intended market for it is going to be a hard nut for Olympus to crack, especially given its lack of high ISO performance, which is something the sports photographers demand.
       
      If you’re a day shooter or you shoot action in well lit arenas then the advances this machine brings in terms of auto-focus and customisability, plus the sheer plethora of outstanding MFT lenses available for the system makes it a very attractive option, especially for those who travel a lot for photography. You get the ruggedness, heft and weather proofing of a pro body and the lightness and compactness of much smaller lenses.
       
      For me personally I would love one, after all I got more keepers on this most recent safari than in all the 10 years of safaris preceding it, but… there is the matter of that eye-watering $3000 price tag to consider. With the recent firmware upgrade to the E-M1 Mk II now bringing its feature set closer to that of the X, it is going to be much harder for Olympus to pitch this camera at the wider market and existing MFT users with that price tag. If it were closer to $2000 I might be a lot more interested in buying one.
       
      My final advice? If you want the very best camera that MFT can currently offer you for stability, video features, ruggedness, crazy feature set and customisability, get the E-M1X. If you are expecting par performance with a 35mm pro camera for low light, rather save $1500, wait for the sensor technology to improve and get the E-M1 Mk II for now.
    • Dallas
      By Dallas
      Olympus South Africa has very kindly loaned me a new Olympus E-M1X for my safari starting next Monday, along with a 300mm f/4.0 PRO. I have to say ... this camera is way bigger than I thought it would be. It hearkens me back to my days of running around with a Nikon D2H. This is it next to my original E-M1. You can't really tell the depth of the grip from this image, but rest assured, it's considerably deeper than my camera. 
       
      I will be writing a field diary during the course of the safari and posting it here on Fotozones, so if you are thinking of getting an E-M1X I will impart all my feelings and impressions on the machine as I use it on safari.  
       

    • Dallas
      By Dallas
      There is no review for this lens yet. Please feel free to post your own review (or images taken with this lens) using the comments section below. The best review received will become the stub record and the author will be credited with the record. 
       
      Feel free to ask questions about the lens in the comments section, but please keep all comments on topic so as to avoid clutter. We especially invite members to share their images taken with the lens in the comments. 
       
      To get notifications of new posts to this lens review record please click the "Follow" button on the same line as the title. 
       
      These records will always be non-commercial and no affiliate links to sellers will be found here. 
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