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CSC : Digital Compact System Cameras - This new category of digital Compact System Cameras with interchangeable lenses was mislabeled for a time as "Mirrorless Cameras" by those forgetting about "Mirrorless" Rangefinder cameras.  Such confusion is easily understandable, since interchangeable rangefinder cameras were only recently introduced in 1932.  hmm.    CSC or Compact System Camera is probably the best category description to date, although I am fond of the old RFF desigation of  CEVIL  indicating Compact Electronic Viewfidner Interchangeable Lens.   This forum is here at RFF because via adapters these cameras offer an inexpensive way to use rangefinder lenses on digital cameras -- in addition of just about every 35mm SLR lens you can think of.  All  offer the photo enthusiast an incredible array of adopted lenses which was not possible before these new digital formats.   This group continues to grow in popularity and new camera models! 

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Switching from NEX to Micro Four Thirds?
Old 06-08-2015   #1
Alowisney
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Switching from NEX to Micro Four Thirds?

Has anyone made the switch from Sony NEX to Micro Four Thirds and lived to tell the tale?

I'm really considering selling my NEX-5N and kit lens, 50mm f/1.8, 16mm f/2.8, and EVF to move over to an Olympus OM-D EM-5. I would hope to be able to sell everything to get me into one with a kit lens and then start building up more lenses later as money allows.
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Old 06-08-2015   #2
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Can't tell you much about a switch. But I'm using µFT since it exists (and FT before that). If you switch: I really recommend to get beyond the kit lenses. Most of them are crap, all 14-42-zooms are crap, do not get them.

On the other hand, the Pros are excellent (the 12-40 not so much, but the 40-150 is incredible).

The fixed focal lengths are all really impressive, with the 45mm being just unbelievable for its price. Even for twice the price it would be best bang for the buck. The 17mm/1,8 is a mixed experience, a really good lens sometimes, sometimes I hate it...

Generally, the higher priced Olympus-lenses are all stellar performers, the fixed focal length lenses also being very nice to use. With Panasonic lenses, I don't have so much experience, but I did not like the two, I had, so I avoid Panasonic now.
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Old 06-08-2015   #3
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If you use RAW, do you like 2:3 or 4:3 better?
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Old 06-08-2015   #4
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I do shoot in RAW but I haven't shot anything in 4:3 format.
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Old 06-28-2015   #5
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If u shoot 3:2 on a m43 camera, u will not get the whole 16mp. The 3:2 aspect ratio crops the top and bottom from being used. If I remember correctly u get about 12-14mp instead in 3:2 mode. The aspect ratio info is passed on even in the raw file.. Depending on the photo sw u have, the aspect ratio info in the raw may or may not be honored. The photo sw I use honors the aspect ratio info in the raw file. In a jpg, u will always loose the extra top and bottom mp.

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Old 06-28-2015   #6
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I have used m43, apsc and ff.. I tend to use my apsc cameras the most. I have used m43 mainly for situations that require tele work due to the 2x crop factor...the tele lens tend to be smaller and lighter than their counterparts in apsc and ff.

Olympus has the best implementation of ibis out there which helps a lot..the new Panasonic ibis is not too far behind.

Outside of tele work, I tend to prefer apsc cameras. The only reason I have a ff camera is really as a universal back for legacy slr and rf lenses.

I initially started out in mirrorless when Panasonic announced the GF1. Bought w/ the kit lens and added the 20f1.7 pancake. At the time my dslr was a Nikon d100.

The m43 lens selection beats the e-mount by a country mile... On the other hand, Sony has being doing better lately and third party is filling in a lot of the gaps. I always hated the nex menu system. The new alpha series w-mount cameras have a much better menu system. The Olympus menu system is the most complex of any camera system that I have used.

Good luck,
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Old 06-28-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alowisney View Post
I'm really considering selling my NEX-5N and kit lens, 50mm f/1.8, 16mm f/2.8, and EVF to move over to an Olympus OM-D EM-5.
I evaluated the OM-D after its release. I have also owned the NEX-5N pretty much since it came out. I don't have the external viewfinder for it.

My conclusion is that the OM-D is the better camera for still photography with native lenses. If that's what you want, try to get some of the better lenses. The basic zooms are usable, but they are not great. You certainly gain nothing with those. I prefer the NEX-5N for video and with adapted lenses both for the image quality and overall usability. The integrated viewfinder of the OM-D is pretty much the only advantage it has for use with adapted lenses.

I kept the Sony. It fit my needs much better considering my other gear, and it was also the more economical option with some realistic and interesting upgrade path expectations. The MFT system is mature but requires spending a fairly good chunk of money to really be competitive enough with the bigger boys. All in all, depends on your needs, wants, and preferences. I think it is a switch that can work for many people.
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Old 06-28-2015   #8
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I shoot FF, APSC and M4/3. You NEX 5 is APSC, I believe. I like m4/3 a lot; but, there is a clear difference in the look of an APSC camera and a m 4/3. Really good m4/3 lenses are expensive, and you want really good lenses in that format.

Have you shot with m4/3 before? If not, maybe borrow a camera and give it a try before you switch.

Oh, and I'll second that suggestion that the kit lenses just won't do it. My experience is that they have significant uncorrected oddly distributed distortion.
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Old 06-28-2015   #9
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I don't like 4:3 aspect ratio and the smaller sensor make me considering m43 a no go as a serious alternative to a NEX. I own the Sigma 19/2.8, Sony 35/1.8 OSS, Sony 50/1.8 OSS and recently added a 10-18/4 OSS - m43's has a better lens collection, but to be honest, these will do for me.

Why are you considering the switch?
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Old 06-28-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Owens View Post
Oh, and I'll second that suggestion that the kit lenses just won't do it. My experience is that they have significant uncorrected oddly distributed distortion.
Depends on the kit lens IMHO. Examples
- 12-50 kit lens that was originally on the Olympus em5 --> pretty soft
- 16-50 pancake zoom from Sony a6000 - sharp center, not great at edges, etc
- 12-32 kit from Panasonic Gm1 & 5, surprisingly good zoom will give the new f2.8 zooms from Panasonic and Olympus a run for your money..ain't gonna beat those f2.8 zooms except for weight and size...
- 18-55 kit from Fuji, could be the best kit zoom I have ever used

But again, a lot depends on how picky u are, especially at edges and corners. A lot of kit lenses can do a decent to good job in the center. Subject matter and what is important to u in the frame pretty much differs not only by person..

Gary
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Don't overlook the E-M10....
Old 06-28-2015   #11
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Don't overlook the E-M10....

I sold my E-M5.... liked it very much. Have been shooting 4/3 and micro 4/3 since the Olympus E-1Pro came out in 2003. My comparisons to APC have never found me favoring the larger sensor, given all the other things I like about 4/3, not the least of which is the 4:3 aspect ratio.

Now, why did I sell my E-M5. Well originally I was drawn to the E-M5 MkII for the new 40/64 Mp file size feature. I did however conclude that the feature has some limitations...tripod only, static subject for 2 full seconds, etc. So I decided to not spend the $1000 and let that feature mature a bit. I'll look at it again in a year.

So, I was going to buy another E-M5, when I discovered a couple of things making the E-M10 more attractive.

The E-M10 is a later model than the E-M5.

The only advantages of the E-M5 are the 5-axis IS and weatherproofing.

Advantages to the E-M10 ---Lower cost... Olympus has the reconditioned E-M10 body on their site right now at $359. In addition, they have been selling on special the E-M10 for fathers day and a lingering sale price of $499.95 NEW, with one kit lens, plus the 40-150 lens for an additional $99.00

That makes the E-M10 NEW less money than most used M5 camera's.

What else... The E-M10 has a one version newer processing engine.. the same one as in the EM1.

I shoot a lot on tripod, so I'm not concerned about only having the 3 axis IS on the EM-10, and I will NOT miss the weatherproofing. I am a fair weather shooter, indoor shooter, and I do not take my camera's in either the bathtub or the shower when I bathe.

So me for the E-M10 for the same or less money than most used E-M5s.

Since I plan to take another look at the 40/64 Mp file feature (maybe in the next E-M1 in 2016), I do not want to spend more money now, just to get a new M5, since I had one already.

It was an exceptional camera for me, and I am not drawn to APS-c sensor, and absolutely not for the money bite of full frame.

I have been very happy with the progress cycles of 4/3 for thirteen years now, and have considered Olympus to be one of the most progressive and creative companies in camera evolution since my first OM-1 in 1972. I just had one of my OM-1's out last week and exposed a few rolls of film.
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One more point re the 3:2 vs. 4:3 aspect ratio
Old 06-28-2015   #12
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One more point re the 3:2 vs. 4:3 aspect ratio

From a composition stand point 3:2 has surely been around a long time, as the film frame dictated. So we may see 3:2 as a controlling criteria.

However, the digital revolution re: printing is a push toward the 4:3 ratio. The print materials are more often 4:3 now, as are frames. 8X10 framing was never a good choice for 3:2, but is better on 4:3. Up from that frame/print size 4:3 has an advantage.

It's not like 3:2 is the only standard the eye can see, and 3:2 wastes more paper and ink in the print process of todays material sizes.

I never quite understand the "grouse" about 3:2 vs 4:3. Sounds like someone has blinders on when they raise that as a decisive argument.
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Old 06-28-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alowisney View Post
Has anyone made the switch from Sony NEX to Micro Four Thirds and lived to tell the tale?

I'm really considering selling my NEX-5N and kit lens, 50mm f/1.8, 16mm f/2.8, and EVF to move over to an Olympus OM-D EM-5. I would hope to be able to sell everything to get me into one with a kit lens and then start building up more lenses later as money allows.
I have gone back and forth between FT, APS-C, and FF formats since 2004. Each has its charm and advantage. All are good.

When it comes to brands, I'll take Olympus over Sony any time. I prefer their camera designs, and Olympus lenses are excellent quality, even the inexpensive ones.

G
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Old 06-28-2015   #14
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I love my (old) E-P2 and the cheap E-PL1. I also love my M8 and M9.
They all have a role in my photography.
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Old 06-28-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
From a composition stand point 3:2 has surely been around a long time, as the film frame dictated. So we may see 3:2 as a controlling criteria.

However, the digital revolution re: printing is a push toward the 4:3 ratio. The print materials are more often 4:3 now, as are frames. 8X10 framing was never a good choice for 3:2, but is better on 4:3. Up from that frame/print size 4:3 has an advantage.

It's not like 3:2 is the only standard the eye can see, and 3:2 wastes more paper and ink in the print process of todays material sizes.

I never quite understand the "grouse" about 3:2 vs 4:3. Sounds like someone has blinders on when they raise that as a decisive argument.
Huh? most larger frames are A4 or even A3 and smaller frames are 10x15 (cm, not inches). Also, all print material is available in 2:3. At least in Europe, it might be different state side.

I don't have "blinders on", I just prefer 2:3 and I just don't like 4:3. I can objectify my preference, but in the end, the only real decider is my personal preference.

Still wondering why the OP is considering switching.
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Old 06-28-2015   #16
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I've not used the NEX 5; but, because I'm interested in shooting video, I have followed the evolution of the NEX cameras. From what I've read, the NEX 5 series are considered better video cameras (despite the overheating problems) than still cameras by those who shoot them for both. Despite it being an older camera now, there are still a lot of people who still prefer them for video.

The OP seems to be more interested in still photography than video, so perhaps that is why he is looking to switch.
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Old 06-29-2015   #17
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I've shot m43 since December 2008 with the G1. I've learned that, for me, 4:3 is often the preferred aspect ratio. On occasion I will crop an image to 3:2 or even 16:9, but not often. For the kind of shooting I do, 3:2 is wasteful, as the extra wide frame is wasted pixel real estate, negating the theoretical APS-C advantage. Since shooting m43 I even have issues now shooting 35mm film cameras. Half-frame seems to fit my vision better.

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Old 06-29-2015   #18
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I was using a NEX-5n, then found it a great upgrade when I moved to the A6000.

For lenses, the 50 f/1.8 is good and has image stabilization, but the Sony/Zeiss 55 f/1.8 is a world beater. I'm very happy in the Sony system at this time.
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Old 06-29-2015   #19
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I've been using APS-C with the Fuji X system for the past few years. Nine months ago I added a Sony RX1 which is, of course, FF. Recently, as part of a large purchase of equipment, I wound up with a Panasonic DMC-G3 with a Leica 25mm f1.4 Summilux lens attached. Since I'd never used m43 I decided to play around with it.
I can't see any appreciable difference in output at 100% over the Fuji camera and it's getting pretty close to the Sony. Much of this is the lens, I think. The Panasonic and the Fuji are both 16mp and the Sony is 24mp. The Sony is a Zeiss lens and the Fuji uses the Fuji lenses. I think, when it reaches this level of parity you have to look at the ergonomics and the way the camera focuses as the image quality based on sensor isn't going to make much difference.
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Old 07-14-2015   #20
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Since the OP has e-mount lenses, i would suggest selling the 5N, kit lens, and the 16mm. Go for the a6000 upgrade route, which is a very worthy upgrade (EVF, 24mp, extra top dial, better video codec with new firmware, faster AF). And later on, save some $ to fund Zeiss 24/1.8.

The kit lens is crap and the 16 isn't that great, but 24 is a top performer, and the 50 is pretty good. That's the route that i would choose.

EM5 is great but the buttons are quite small-ish even for a small Asian hand like mine. I had one for roughly a year. Great sensor, great m.zuiko lenses to be paired with. The 17mm/1.8 is a must have for a 35mm equiv. The snapback manual focus is a great feature. The 60mm/2.8 macro has focus limiter + additional button and perform flawlessly. The 12mm is on the expensive side, but it's very compact and perform very well. I would rather get the 12-40 PRO for the price.

And then there's the sensor size difference. For macro work, m43 is actually an advantage over APSC. Wider DOF means a more manageable focus during macro with the same aperture. If extreme shallow DOF is what you're after, well this isn't the right tool.

There's also the aspect ratio difference. Whether you like 3:2 / 4:3, it's a matter of taste, really. 4:3 gives you extra vertical crop area if that's the workflow that you prefer, but it sacrifices resolution. A6000 gives you 24mp on 3:2, basically has a lot of room to play for crop as well.
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Old 07-14-2015   #21
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Another consideration might be depth of field. Or, what many people here actually mean to be shallowness of field. In much of my photography having the entire image field in adequate focus is important. This is in sharp disagreement with the recent trend for shallow DOF images. In this regard, even m43 can be too large of a format, and I've found the little Fujifilm X10 delivering consistently wider DOF images, even under dim light where apertures are more often used at wider openings.

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Old 07-20-2015   #22
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Why not have both?

I have the m4/3 camera in my car all the time. The system is really good and cannot be beaten when it comes to portability.
However, image quality is mediocre and the good lenses are neither smaller or much cheaper than APS-C/FF lenses. I'm using the 3:2 crop mode knowing well that IQ is never paramount when shooting m4/3. So losing a few pixels won't matter much. The m43 "gestalt" is not really compatible with studio or landscape photography, at least that's my feeling.

The NEX system (E-mount) is the safe bet in my opinion. You'll always get one of the best sensor/IQ in the business. You get compatibility with all the manual lenses ever created. You have a clear path towards the full-frame cameras.
However, it's true that the lenses department is lacking at the moment.
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Old 07-21-2015   #23
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I have both NEX and m4/3 cameras and of the two the NEX system is clearly better in terms of dynamic range and image quality. I can make shots on my NEX system that I can not contemplate in M4/3. Having said that my M4/3 cameras are slightly older than the OM-D and this will no doubt make some difference. However it is undeniably a smaller sensor with all that goes with that. On the other hand if natural light photography capability is not a particular concern for you the OM-D certainly looks like a jolly nice camera.

EDIT

I have just put this photo here to show what the NEX can do. It was shot a while back in a pub. Lit only by the meagre light from the musicians rostrum and shot at 1600 ISO. I believe could have never got this shot with an M4/3 as the smaller sensor would have introduced too much shadow noise. It shows why I prefer to use the NEX most times for this kind of work.

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Old 07-21-2015   #24
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Same here and fully agree. M43 is fine but APS-C Sony E is just better.
The reason why I am keeping m43 is usage of the long zooms, ie Panasonic 45-200mm.

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I have both NEX and m4/3 cameras and of the two the NEX system is clearly better in terms of dynamic range and image quality. I can make shots on my NEX system that I can not contemplate in M4/3. Having said that my M4/3 cameras are slightly older than the OM-D and this will no doubt make some difference. However it is undeniably a smaller sensor with all that goes with that. On the other hand if natural light photography capability is not a particular concern for you the OM-D certainly looks like a jolly nice camera.
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