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Micro Four Thirds: Trying A New System

I’ve decided to add another system to my photography mix.  I love playing around with and learning new cameras.  I’ve had my eye on micro four thirds for a while.  I borrowed an E-M5 II from Olympus at Out of Chicago 2018 for a photowalk with Joe Edelman and Manny Ortiz.  I must say that I was really, really impressed with it.  Check out this portrait below.

micro four thirds, olympus, e-m5 ii

 

Why Micro Four Thirds?

I’ll be the first to admit that I travel with way too much gear.  I guess you could say I’m one of those photographers who wants to have the gear to get any shot.  I’m not traveling with multiple bags of prime lenses, but with only three.  I’ll usually have my Nikon 24-70 for most shots, my Tamron 15-30 for wide angle shots, and my Tamron 100-400 for telephoto landscape shots.  It’s only three lenses, but these are three big and heavy lenses.  When you factor in a sturdy tripod to hold this gear, the weight adds up quickly.  

Then I added the Fujifilm system to my collection.  If you’ve been following my blog or Instagram you know that I love the Fujifilm system.  The cameras are a dream to use and the lens build quality and image quality are fantastic.  What I loved most, and why I bought in to Fuji in the first place, is the size.  I bring every lens I want to cover 10mm-200mm and fit it all in a little Lowepro ProTactic 250 backpack.

The Fuji is great for saving space and it’s now my main travel kit.  However, I wanted to see if I could lighten things up even more.  That’s where Micro Four-Thirds comes in.  While many of the pro micro four thirds camera bodies are no smaller (or even larger) than my Fuji X-T3, the lenses are the real space savers here.  Their pro 2.8 zoom lenses are extremely small.  Even the 35-100 2.8 from Panasonic is smaller than my Fuji 16-55.  If I can save that much size and space while traveling I will be happy.  

 

Elephant In The Room

There is micro four thirds elephant in the room.  How is the image quality going to be?  With a sensor so small will the high ISO noise be unbearable?  Will I be sacrificing image quality?

While I expect the image quality to be very good, I obviously don’t expect it to be on par with my Nikon D850.  It just won’t be that good and I know that.  What I am mainly going to be looking at is how much image quality I will be giving up in return for space savings.  Photography is all about trade offs and this will be one I will have to consider.

 

Panasonic GX85

Enter Panasonic and their Black Friday 2018 deal on the GX85.  For less than $500 (plus an extra 15% off eBay coupon), I could get a very well reviewed GX85 with it’s 12-32 kit lens plus a 45-150 lens.  This kit was going for over $700 just a few months ago so this was the perfect starter kit.

I really wanted to give this camera a fair shot and kit lenses are almost never any good.  I didn’t want to judge this camera or micro four thirds on the results from a kit lens.  So I also purchased the Panasonic 25mm and 12-60 f/2.8-4 lenses.  

I’ll probably write up a review of this camera after I use it more but

So far there are things I really like about this camera and there are also things I don’t like as much.  At this point I’m sure I just need to use it more as it takes a while to get used to the quirks of a new system.  I’ll definitely write up a proper post about this camera after I use it more.

panasonic, lumix, gx85, micro four thirds

 

I Can’t Wait to Know Micro Four-Thirds better

I am really excited about trying out the GX85 and micro four thirds.  If I can find that the IQ is acceptable this will definitely become a camera I will take along on trips where I won’t need maximum image quality but still want more than a smartphone.

Right now I am expecting this camera to be a good one to have around for family events, a walk around lens, or a travel companion.  A camera to have when I still want good photos but don’t need to bring the Nikon or even the Fuji.

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