Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    233
    Post Thanks / Like

    In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    I have only used a G1 with MF, but was curious what others felt about MF usability and the different M 4/3 bodies.

    There are various factors that influence ease of MF-
    -LCD resolution and visibility
    -EVF capability and resolution
    -Ease of screen magnification (i.e. how many button presses)
    -Etc.

    I'm hoping for some subjective impressions rather than just arguing bullet points, because actual usage often turns out to be different than anticipated.

    For example, even in-body IS could have an effect I think. If you use the LCD on an EP-1 at arm's length to MF, perhaps the built-in IS helps in terms of keeping the camera stable. Or maybe you are happy with using the LCD on a GF-1, because it has higher resolution, etc. Or maybe resolution doesn't matter that much, since you need to magnify anyway to get sharp focus...these are the sorts of things that you figure out after extensive real-life usage.

    So I'm not hoping for some sort of final conclusion about which is best, I'm wondering about what people like better and why. I think the G1 is pretty versatile for MF, my only wish is that you could set a single button to magnify the screen (for me magnification is necessary for consistently good focus, YMMV.)

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    1,309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    To me the G1 and GH1 are the only options. I'm too old to learn to hold the camera in front of me. My arms are also too short to give me a sharp image of LCD screens unless I put reading glasses on. Aging is interesting and I don't mind really, but there are some actual drawbacks (besides of LCD screens not really visible in the sun and so on).

    So, having access to a real viewfinder is essential. Then, when that doesn't work the swivel LCD is of great value. With my 5DMkII (with the best LiveView system I tried) the fixed LCD sometimes was a problem.

    For situations where critical focusing is importantone needs to magnify the view. The absolute pixel count hasn't been of great importance but a screen with more pixels is always more pleasing to the eyes.

    IBIS is great for many. After having used the Pentax and Olympus systems I'm not that convinced. I like the fact the sensor is bolted to the camera--> the tripod. I like that there aren't any moving elements in the lens. Age again I guess, cause I don't mind some noise for everyday use. The 5Ds (original and MkII 2) were great delivering detailed noise free images that could take some PP without getting ugly.

    So, I guess I can live with IBIS or without IBIS, but not without a viewfinder, and life is easier with a swivel LCD. Something like that.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    233
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Thanks for the reply. I find that I use both the screen and EVF a lot, as I can get better, more natural candids of my kids without the camera stuck to my face (and that's what I probably shoot the most.) But I do agree with you- using the hi-res G1/GH1 EVF is great for MF.

    If one mostly uses magnification to get sharp MF, I wonder if there is then much difference between the Panasonic and Olympus LCD's.

  4. #4
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,601
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    I am not sure how old Jonas is but I refuse to hold a camera at arm's length to frame or focus.

    I do agree that the G1 is the best there is for still photography.

    Amazingly, the first camera that showed in a brand new system still is the best.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    North Carolina western foothills
    Posts
    1,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    I would also choose the G1. I also have the GF1 and do use an MF lens some on it, but prefer using my MF lenses on the G1. I can but usually don't use the LCD for MF focusing. I much prefer using the EVF and the G1 has the best.

  6. #6
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Godfrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Near San Jose, California
    Posts
    7,928
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    G1/GH1 ... for manual focus, these cameras' EVF is near to perfect. All of them are about the same if you're intending to use the LCD ... there's very little difference in LCD quality ... although the articulated LCDs on the G1/GH1 make them easier to work with, and the focus magnification is less fussy to enable (two button press, all the time, rather than having to be in the right display mode and then pressing the right button).

    The E-P2's EVF is likely similar in quality to the G1/GH1. The GF1's EVF is a lower rez unit: it works ok but isn't any competition to the G1/GH1 EVF.

    IS in the E-P1/2 helps a little with longer lenses, but only up to a degree.

  7. #7
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Hi

    The G1 .... although I have not used a Pen for more than 5 minutes and "can I borrow that" ... but compared to the rear screen of the G1 it seemed lesser quality.

    If you are not inlove with the Pen look then:

    * the EVF, this provides all that a rear screen can, with diopter adjustment and light sheilding for me this means no more chimping and I don't have to have my glasses on or fiddle with them.

    * using the EVF I can see a zoomed view in full daylight using the magnifiyer. I use this technique for focusing on things too ... I move the focus zoom frame to my desired focus location, frame up, press button to zoom, focus accuratly and simply take. Sounds more complex than it is, and certainly faster than using manual focus on my film camera (which has a bigger and brighter focus screen than any APS SLR I've ever held, especially 4/3)

    * articulated screen ... when the Coolpix 950 first came into my hands in 2001 I loved the articulating body, an articulated screen is just as good ... and sometimes better!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    233
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    I guess nothing beats the G1/GH1. It's amazing that the first M 4/3 camera offers both the best-ever EVF and articulating, hi-res screen, yet people were complaining about the size. I think the GF1 and EP-1 didn't actually shrink any parts compared to the G1, just had a different mix of parts to end up with smaller body.

    I think this camera (G1) will be an even better value a year from now when it is discontinued. I have a feeling it will be a great user body for years to come.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by madmaxmedia View Post
    I think this camera (G1) will be an even better value a year from now when it is discontinued.

    Ahhhhh ....don't say that.

    Angels and ministers of grace defend us
    If we shadows have offended
    Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    347
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    I have the Olympus E-P1. I wear glasses these days and haven't found a camera with a viewfinder that I am happy with. Even if I did, having to put on glasses to adjust the controls (assuming I am using dioptre correction on the eyepice) is just a complete pain.

    I like the in-body stabilisation and the camera does a good job with old manual focus lenses. MFT has allowed me to use my old Robot Schneider lens which has a 28mm flange to sensor distance.

    I would like to see mechanical focus rings on the MFT lenses, but I guess it is a lot cheaper to build a micro switch than to create a precision focusing helicord and a means of decoupling the AF motor.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Pete makes a good point here, and its worth discussing glasses a little. My wife and I both have cause to wear glasses. In her case she can focus nicely closely without glasses but needs them for distance. I used to be able to get by without them at all, but as I passed "that age" I can't see things closely.

    Now for her the G1 viewfinder is not as useful as her glasses are on most of the time, and she can see well to use the rear screen, while I need to put them on only for fiddling with the camera ... preferring to not need them at all. Thus for me the EVF needs almost no diopter correction and as I can adjust all camera functions via the viewfinder (memorizing the positions of the buttons which are unreadable to me without stepping away from the camera on the tripod)

    In fact it is with my wife in mind that I've been considering the EP | GF series as our second camera (she hates picking up the camera to find that its in manual everything and she blows shots, so one would be "her" camera)

    :-)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Posts
    1,809
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I do agree that the G1 is the best there is for still photography.

    Amazingly, the first camera that showed in a brand new system still is the best.
    I don't know about "best", but with each new camera release (GH1, E-P1, GF1, E-P2), I think it has become more and more evident how well designed (and well priced) the G1 really was/is.

    Here's a scaled comparison of the G1 and E-P2-EVF combo:



    Sorry for the poor quality of the E-P2 top view. It was the only one I could find.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    North Carolina western foothills
    Posts
    1,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    In fact it is with my wife in mind that I've been considering the EP | GF series as our second camera (she hates picking up the camera to find that its in manual everything and she blows shots, so one would be "her" camera)

    :-)
    She needs her own.

    I do wear glasses for distance and must wear reading glasses to use the LCDs--having passed that 'point' years ago ). I don't have to wear them, though, with a VF or EVF--the diopter makes them quite good for me. I generally just keep reading glasses on a 'string' while shooting and my glasses on my head (if at all) and hate to take glasses off/on while using an LCD (plus I have light issues in many conditions with an LCD).

    So--the EVF makes my shooting much nicer. I expect I wouldn't keep the GF1 without it--or use it a lot less--with the Voigtlander 35mm finder for composition in difficult light.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,581
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    118

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    G1! I have owned G1, EP1 and GF1. The G1 is the clear winner when it comes to manually focusing my Pen-F and M lenses on micro 4/3 bodies.
    That said, I love the GF1 for my ability to carry it everywhere and I feel that the EVF (which never leaves it) does a very capable job.
    Yes, Pellicle, I agree with Diane. Your wife needs her own camera.

  15. #15
    Coveted Pixel
    Guest

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    I have the GH1, the GF1 and the E-P1. I recently sold my G1 to a friend. (had them all at once for about 3 days)

    So out of all those. I'd say:
    1..E-P1 with the Hoodman Hoodloupe attached, I like the IBIS of the E-P1.
    (my nitpick is that in enlarged view, you have to press a button again to return to normal view, where as the Pannys do that when you touch the shutter release, my other nitpick is that it is hard to hold the camera and focus as my thumb keeps accidentally pressing buttons and turning dials)

    2..GH1 and G1 (tie, but nod to GH1 for video and what I think is slightly better IQ and ISO), #2 because of the EVF, and the ease of getting the cam into enlarged view, and because of the bulk and grip of the camera and when gripping the camera, the buttons are more comfortably reached.

    3.. GF1, doesn't have the viewfinder of the GH1, G1, and don't get me started on the accessory EVF! (as far as MF goes, no, sorry not like using the G1) It has similar but not as bad ergonomics holding the cam while MF'ing as the Pen, at least there isn't that scroll-wheel thingy in the way, but you lose IS, and the final raw picture, while retaining more detail, doesn't have the image of the Pen, which I like a lot.

    Now with the Pen2, perhaps if that EVF is indeed that new epson panel, or even a similar quality and turns out to be better than the EVF of the G1 and GH1, (it is bigger at least) then this cam might go into slot #1 (for me) and then I can get a nicely made custom made half-case with a better grip and a thumb rest on the back, and perhaps then I will slide back into 2 cams, that and the GH1 (for faster AF, and video)

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    1,309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I am not sure how old Jonas is but I refuse to hold a camera at arm's length to frame or focus.
    (...)
    Amazingly, the first camera that showed in a brand new system still is the best.
    I have been taking images for nearly 40 years, more or less laid back.

    Maybe I should have put it your way. I can't even imagine myself looking at the back of the camera from a distance (for normal use) for handling it.

    Amazingly.... maybe. OTOH it has only been a year with the 4/3 cameras this far and we'll soon have another model with a similar viewfinder coming.

    It will be very interesting to see what Samsung and others come up with. The G1 viewfinder is very good. Still, I can see room for improvements; no darkening when enlarging the focusing area, keep the outer frame when enlarging the focusing area, eye controlled focusing area movement, better contrast and DR, better performance in very bright light with colors less washed out, RGB histogram read from raw data and more.

    The above may sound harsh - but the G1 viewfinder is still the best for a slow shooter at my age not wanting to put the readng glasses on and off all the time when using the camera.

  17. #17
    Senior Member JBurnett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    530
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
    The above may sound harsh - but the G1 viewfinder is still the best for a slow shooter at my age not wanting to put the readng glasses on and off all the time when using the camera.
    Another "reading-glasses-needed-deliberate(i.e. slow)-shooter" here. LCD viewing and earlier-generation EVF's didn't work for me, but the G1 EVF does. Improvements to the EVF would be welcome, but my main wish would be for a one-button focus assist toggle. I'd love to be able to reprogram the AF/AE lock button, as this position would suit me fine. I don't use the film mode button, so that could become the AE/AF lock.
    Best regards,
    John.
    http://jburnett.ca

  18. #18
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,601
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    OK, Jonas, you seem considerably many years wiser than me.

    I have hopes for Sony delivering a great mirrorless cam. Bigger the sensor, the better.

  19. #19
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Just to add to this discussion, I'd be interested to hear others' experiences with MF without magnification. I have the G1, the GH1 and the GF1 with the EVF. I find I can get sharp focus with MF lenses at 100% almost 9 times out of ten. With the GF1 and its EVF, it is definitely harder to do so and I need the magnification.

    For me either the G1 or GH1 are the easiest to use form MF.

    Cheers,

  20. #20
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,601
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Simon, That depends on the lens and the light.

    With a contrasty lens or a lens with a moderately contrasty lens under contrasty light, no problems, even at fast apertures when the display settings are conducive.

    Mine are always "Dynamic B&W", Sharpness -2 and Contrast +2.

  21. #21
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Godfrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Near San Jose, California
    Posts
    7,928
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas View Post
    I have been taking images for nearly 40 years...
    I have a few years on you then. I've been fascinated with photography since I was eight, consider my freshman year of high school the start of my real "shooting" ... and that was more than forty years ago!

    ... a sudden chill runs down my spine ...

    Damn truculent dwarves stepping on my grave again. ]'-)

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    1,309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    OK, Jonas, you seem considerably many years wiser than me.

    I have hopes for Sony delivering a great mirrorless cam. Bigger the sensor, the better.
    In my case age and increased wisdom is not really related. I wish it was, but...

    Sony, Canon... whatever. I am all for a bigger sensor. But I need a good EVF, and I sometimes like to use the swivel LCD (then I am seen wearing both a beard and reading glasses).

    I have recently finished a documentary project and so I sold my 5DMkII. I loved the DOF control and I loved the low noise and possibility to shot at faster shutter times in relative dark situations. I'll just adopt to the G1 again and see what may enter the market. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see LIVE cameras with bigger sensors, and then not only the Samsung project.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,394
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    17

    Re: In your actual usage, which M 4/3 camera is best for MF?

    The G1 is the more precise option, but IBIS has a lot of value for legacy lens shooting and I can work with the E-P1 quite happily.

    I tend to frame the shot, move the 10x MF assist zoom square to an 'anchor point' in the frame where I want critical focus, and then zoom in to focus... I don't always want to switch back to full view - so having the zoom view cancelled on half button depressed can sometimes be an irritation for me with the G1.

    Cheers

    Brian

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •