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Thread: 4/3 or FF

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    4/3 or FF

    Hi all
    I'll be traveling for a couple weeks in late February, a vacation which will included daily shooting of ruins in the rainforest. I'd really like to travel light, and yet, I may use the images later for a publishing project. I wanted to float the question here about using my M4/3 cameras for this trip, vs. hauling all the FF gear. I have a E-P1, and was considering a EPL1 (or EPL2 if available in time) to compliment it. If shooting carefully, watching the iso setting, using a tripod when under the dark canopy, will these cameras suffice for a book publishing project, where the image will not be enlarged significantly? I'm familiar with the E-P1 image quality to be just about convinced that it will do the job, and save me a lot of agony while traveling. Does the EPL1 improve on image quality at all over the E-P1? Noise in shadows any better?
    Shaun O'Boyle
    new.oboylephoto.com

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Hard to answer what you really should do. Going to the rainforest basically none of the M43 cameras would be trustful enough for me. WHat comes to my mind here immediately is to go rather with an E5 and 1 or 2 lenses. Best the 12-60 standard zoom.

    FF DSLR - only D700 comes to my mind which would be suitable for humid and rainy conditions. But given the fact that you probably would not like to change lenses too often I actually would not know which of the zooms to choose from. And any D700 combo with a good and weather resistant zoom will get heavy.

    Another option could be to go with a APSC DSLR like the D7000 or even the Pentax K5, which has one of the best weather sealing available today - including lenses if you choose the right ones. But I would be careful with the K5 as there are still number of issues and not sure if you get a fully working model.

    End of the day I would go for E5 and SWD 12-60.

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Quote Originally Posted by soboyle View Post
    Hi all
    I'll be traveling for a couple weeks in late February, a vacation which will included daily shooting of ruins in the rainforest. I'd really like to travel light, and yet, I may use the images later for a publishing project. I wanted to float the question here about using my M4/3 cameras for this trip, vs. hauling all the FF gear. I have a E-P1, and was considering a EPL1 (or EPL2 if available in time) to compliment it. If shooting carefully, watching the iso setting, using a tripod when under the dark canopy, will these cameras suffice for a book publishing project, where the image will not be enlarged significantly? I'm familiar with the E-P1 image quality to be just about convinced that it will do the job, and save me a lot of agony while traveling. Does the EPL1 improve on image quality at all over the E-P1? Noise in shadows any better?
    It'll be fine
    If you're really worried about environmental sealing then either the E5 Peter suggests or the much much smaller Pentax K5 are contenders.

    But if I were you I'd take what you know - you'll be shooting in daylight I assume, I really don't see an issue with the E-P1. What you gain from familiarity is more than anything you'll get from a new camera, and the E5 won't do you significantly better in low light.

    Stick to what you know . . . . maybe beg borrow or steal another body for security (and you can get another E-P1 pretty cheap).

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    I'm using the GH1 for commercial work and even stock photography all the time now. I easily print A3, and at low ISO, I wouldn't even worry at A2. My only worry is very wet conditions, but as has been mentioned before here, the E-5 or the K5 are the best bets when it comes to that. The E-5 is ideal combined with your EP-1, since you can use the 4/3 lenses on m4/3 with an adapter. The 12-60 is one of the best standard zooms available anywhere, and the 14-54/II likewise.

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    On the other hand a d700 has almost no noise issues in high contrast situations. In lighting conditions like that DR would be a concern. Joe

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I'm using the GH1 for commercial work and even stock photography all the time now. I easily print A3, and at low ISO, I wouldn't even worry at A2. My only worry is very wet conditions, but as has been mentioned before here, the E-5 or the K5 are the best bets when it comes to that. The E-5 is ideal combined with your EP-1, since you can use the 4/3 lenses on m4/3 with an adapter. The 12-60 is one of the best standard zooms available anywhere, and the 14-54/II likewise.
    +1.

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Thanks for the feedback. I should have been more accurate in describing the environment. Where I'll be heading is classified as sub-tropical moist forest, which is a type of rain forest - but it's the dry season, so rain and humidity shouldn't be a big issue. I have a pack with rain cover if necessary. So the issue really is IQ, vs. convenience. I usually haul the FF gear, and am leaning that way. If I do go with the M4/3, that means buying an extra body, and a wide angle, like the 7-14. On the other hand, it all fits into a Domke F-5XB, and weights 1/4 of the DSLR. And the IQ is not at all bad. Decisions decisions.
    Shaun O'Boyle
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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Having had the D700 and now working only with Panny & Oly m43 gear, I'd say go ahead use the smaller, lighter gear. I'm also finding that it gives me sufficient IQ for what you're needs are.

    Cheers,

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    You need a second body in case of breakdown, accidental damage or theft. Too risky with one.

    And do you have a 20mm Panasonic? Great lens.

    Think about using flash and multiple exposure/HDR for high contrast subjects.

    I have a GF1 which I find much easier to use and carry than my Pentax, and the MP aren’t far apart.

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    Re: Image Size

    Quote Originally Posted by soboyle View Post
    ../.. will these cameras suffice for a book publishing project, where the image will not be enlarged significantly?
    Quite frankly any camera from 6Mp onwards will do for this size of image. If you're considering working with a tripod, noise won't be a concern either, as you'll be setting low ISO's. If you're concerned about rough conditions or writing off a camera, get a second hand one for a couple of hundred dollars. If money is no object for new gear I'd go for the K5 and the 18-135 weather sealed lens.

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    Re: Image Size

    Quote Originally Posted by m3photo View Post
    Quite frankly any camera from 6Mp onwards will do for this size of image. If you're considering working with a tripod, noise won't be a concern either, as you'll be setting low ISO's. If you're concerned about rough conditions or writing off a camera, get a second hand one for a couple of hundred dollars. If money is no object for new gear I'd go for the K5 and the 18-135 weather sealed lens.
    HI Michael
    I quite agree - it's a splendid and flexible combo (the K5 and 18-135), and the lens is much better than it should be. The class leading dynamic range, small size and excellent high ISO really does the business.

    But I also agree that it's quite unnecessary - a second E_p1 body for backup will do the business.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Quote Originally Posted by soboyle View Post
    ... daily shooting of ruins in the rainforest.
    How high are the ruins? Shift lens, perhaps? Just to stir the pot.

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Hi

    I agree with the comments about the m4/3 (although I have G1 not the EPL)

    Quote Originally Posted by soboyle View Post
    If I do go with the M4/3, that means buying an extra body, and a wide angle, like the 7-14. On the other hand, it all fits into a Domke F-5XB, and weights 1/4 of the DSLR. And the IQ is not at all bad. Decisions decisions.
    as it happens I don't like the way that m4/3 wide 'looks' but only when shooting something close up, here I prefer the look of FF. But its only an issue when shooting in close with wide and using its shallow DoF sorts of images
    (some FF examples where you get better out of focus look on FF)


    or



    (sorry it was all I could find in a hurry)

    If on the other hand you want more DoF than less, then you'll be fine with the m4/3 lenses (for look and feel).

    I've found that the loss of clean high ISO is compensated for by the ability to shoot 2 stops wider (brighter) and still get good images and sufficient DoF when you want more of it.

    9-18mm wide open at 400ISO

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Rainforest... Well, if you decide on bringing the M4/3 don't forget to bring a tripod too. And hope that it's not windy so you can use multiple exposures to get the DR that such beauty usually deserves.

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Since I'm pretty well invested in FF gear, I decided to go that route, but to take a minimal kit. I'll also bring the E-P1 with the 20 1.7 and 14-42 as a carry around camera for all the time I'm not shooting ruins. This way I get the best DR for the darker ruins shooting, and am happy the rest of the time with the E-P1, which is an exceptional travel camera.
    I love the 20 1.7, just wish the zoom was closer in IQ. Suggestions for another zoom in similar range that betters the 14-42 Oly?
    Shaun O'Boyle
    new.oboylephoto.com

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Quote Originally Posted by soboyle View Post
    Suggestions for another zoom in similar range that betters the 14-42 Oly?
    Digital Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II, but you need the 4/3 to m4/3 adapter as well. The rumour is that Panasonic will launch a 12-50mm f/2.5-3.2(?) later this year, but a rumour isn't much more than that; a rumour.

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    If you have a good set of lenses (20mm, 7-14 and/or 100-200 would be a great set) to go with your m4/3 go for it...I routinely use my GF1 to print large images and it produces very usable images...You can either get a 2nd body or carry one of those Advanced P&S (S90,S95,G11, P7000 types)...

    I am only suggesting these because you said this is your "vacation". I never mix my vacation with work. If you are going there for publication as your main criteria - I would have suggested 2xD700 or D3 bodies plus whole lot of stuff to go with it, which is how I would have done it.

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    The micro 4/3 cameras are a lot sturdier than they appear. I would not trust them as my sole camera for a book illustration project, but they make a nice complement to what ever else you are bringing in country. I go through the same analysis when I have an expensive trip. Lately I have been rolling the dice. So I might take a GH-1 and lenses. And keep a G-1 in the hotel or tent as a backup. Have a great adventure. And bring lots of mosquito repellant. aloha, gerry

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    By coincidence, I'm planning my new travel setup at the moment. I've been using the GH1 with assorted lenses the last few months, but prefer to bring two bodies, so unless Olympus comes up with something really sensational, I'll add a GF2. The lenses will be Panasonic 7-14, Zuiko 14-54/II or the rumoured Panasonic 12-50 and the Panasonic 100-300. Primes will vary, but a Voigtländer 25/0.95 or the rumoured Panasonic 25/1.4 will probably part of the standard kit, as will the OM Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 (or, I'll buy the f/3.5 version in addition, just to have an ultralight alternative, or the Voigtländer 40/2.0, which comes with a close-up lens as standard).

    Being based in Southeast Asia, I often travel in surroundings similar to what the OP plan for, and my experience so far with the GH1 is that I can live very well with m43 for almost anything I do, both with regards to climate and image quality. But the real upside is that I can carry a much wider selection of lenses and still have less volume and weight than with a traditional SLR system.

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    Re: 4/3 or FF

    Quote Originally Posted by soboyle View Post
    Since I'm pretty well invested in FF gear, I decided to go that route, but to take a minimal kit.
    Ah, wisdom got the better of you?!?!

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