Do I stay or do I go? (with my current system).

Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
First things first, no there really isn't a "right answer" to the question. Second, it's nice that a question like this can be asked here and not generate flame attacks as you would in too many forums.

I keep trying to formulate a detailed post and just haven't been able to. But here goes, sorry if it's a little rambling,

I have enough reserves to pick up the O12-45 Pro and the just released O100-400 (or the PL100-400 or PL50-200). With those two I'd end up having a pretty complete system for my needs. And when I decided to sell off my event gear it was partially with the knowledge that many of my favorite (non event) images were taken with cameras MUCH less capable than what I have now*.

If I were to switch at this point I think it would be to Nikon. I do really like the direction they're going with the Z system. But it would be a while before everything I'd want is available and probably longer before I'd be able to afford / justify getting them.

*Part of that is I was much less interested in taking pictures for fun whan I was shooting 1k-2k images every weekend and trying to process them during the week.
 

jyc860923

Veteran
Aug 29, 2018
Shenyang, China
贾一川
If you don't mind me saying this, m4/3 is kind of a dead end, there are plenty of good, affordable glasses and bodies to choose from and they are capable of delivering good results in the right conditions, but in terms of technology developments and resale value, m4/3 is at its end IMO.

There are situations m4/3 can be more practical than larger format systems with its advantages like very accurate single AF in extremely low light, higher magnifications than APS-C and FF counterparts, fun lenses like the 8mm 1.8 Fisheye, and 2nd-to-none stabilisation.

If that's all you ever want, you wouldn't have been thinking about switching I guess, the lenses to complete your m4/3 system aren't the cheapest either, and since you haven't made that commitment I'd say now is not a bad time for a change.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
and since you haven't made that commitment I'd say now is not a bad time for a change.
...but exactly how much are those FF equivalents going to cost and weigh? That is, when Nikon eventually comes up with Z mount superteles.

You're right, M4/3 is probably diminishing before our eyes. Sadly that doesn't erase the system's benefits it offers. If today one prefers m4/3 overall, the next day when the system is "gone" one is simply worse off.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
David, if you're not thinking about the Z50 (and I guess you are not), the real question isn't one of utility (though I'll come back to that in a minute) but of size and portability. I own both :mu43: gear and a developing Z system (it's, as they say, where it's at for me at the moment).

As a Nikonian (it's the "sophisticated" camera system I've owned ever since acquiring the F-801 (N8008) in 1989; I still own a F-801s (N8008S)), the Z6 feels just right, and it's a very capable camera; for a mirrorless FF system, it *is* portable. However ... the Z6 with 24-70mm f/4 S (a very compelling lens, btw. - especially for a kit zoom) is 20% bulkier and 40% heavier than the Olympus E-M5 III with 12-45mm f/4 PRO. While I prefer the usability of the Nikon body, the 12-45mm is a revelation - small, light and optically very good. I consider the 12-45mm the much more desirable lens than the 24-70mm - not only because of its greater range, but because it delivers the goods in a very pleasing way.

The E-M5 III with 12-45mm fits nicely into a compartment in a small bag (ONA Bowery, in my case) with space to spare for whatever you need to take with you (if it's not a really big lens ...). This works well with the GX9, too, of course, though I do prefer using the lens on the E-M5 III. The Z6 with 24-70mm *doesn't* really fit that bag well at all; I can sort of put it in by sticking it in lens-down, but it's much more bulky, and the bag won't close properly. Of course, I can take out the divider, but then, the camera fills more or less the whole bag with little space left. As a result, in day-to-day scenarios, I rarely carry the Z6; :mu43: gear is much more likely to get picked.

Yet ... the Z6, though feeling rather heavy, is a great camera to walk around with *in hand* - in spite of its smaller size and weight; the E-M5 III isn't that much better because the grip is still a bit on the small side. I think I remember you owning the Pen-F, David, so you'll probably find it even more of a conundrum than I do: small and light against highly comfortable, but clearly heavier. One of the reasons I got the 12-45mm was that the 12-40mm felt a tad awkward even on the E-M5 III (less so than on all previous bodies I tried it on without an additional grip, though). Weight distribution with the 12-45mm on the E-M5 III is almost perfect, not nose-heavy in any way. The 24-70mm f/4 S, as small as it is, does pull the front down noticeably - though the Z6 counters that with its much better grip. It's nit-picking when compared to other systems (Sony ... :shakehead: - though their latest bodies *are* better in that respect), but you'll feel it on long outings. If you're a "stow-away" kind of person, this won't matter, of course.

If you intend to shoot in low light often, the Z6 delivers clean images down to ISO 6400; the E-M5 III, I cap at ISO 1600, and even then, (chroma) noise is already visible. With the Z primes, you get amazing low light shooting prowess. The E-M5 III has superior I.B.I.S.; the Z6 has very, very good stabilisation, though - I presume, better than most older :mu43: bodies, safe for the E-M1 series.

So, if you're not aiming high (for a Z7), the whole question is (mainly) one of handling. If you opt for the Z5, this holds even more true. I still consider the Z6 the goldilocks solution. But I *am* glad that I held on to the D750 to use my longer (and all older!) lenses on, especially the 70-200mm f/4G and the old screwdriver primes. I'll get the 24-200mm f/4-6.3 next - if that lens performs well, things may change. By all accounts, it looks as if this lens was real step ahead compared to older ones of its kind.

Anyhow, I think it's quite a big step to take to move *over* to the Z system from :mu43: - I'm glad I have both systems available.

M.
 
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
David
Thanks for the replies @jyc860923, @mike3996, @MoonMind

M4/3 dead or not? I'm cautiously optimist. No I don't think things are going to continue as before, but I think it will continue.

Currently Olympus meets my needs better than any other system. Lens options, camera options/features, size, weight, and quality. Fuji is the closest to have all the boxes check with their current lens lineup. I have no real interest in Sony or Canon. Nikon does look interesting, though I admit I may be a bit biased.

Size and weight are concerns, they're why I got into m4/3 in the first place. So I'd probably end up with two systems again.

I tend to buy and sell often, I think that may be a big part of my musing. The ever present GAS. My head is telling my to buy the parts I'm missing and maybe try to actually sit back and enjoy it.

But that's also part of the problem. While I do think that Olympus Imaging (for lack of a better name) will continue. I'm not sure the lens I actually want will ever be released now. So do I settle for less or more than I want? And sadly it's the check box every other system is also missing. Pro level optics / features zoom to 450-500mm EQ in a nice tidy package. Something in that range is on the roadmap, but since the specs have not been released ......

@MoonMind interesting, I figured I'd be able to put a Z + 24-70 and 14-30 in an ONA Bowery. Every now and then I put my D750 and 24-120 f/4 in the Bowery. And yes not the Z50, actually I was thinking about the Z7. It's the upcoming rumored "s" versions of the Z6/Z7 and just HOW BIG the Olympus 100-400 is that has me thinking, figure there would probably be some no "s" bodies on the market.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
Steve
I don't know whether u43 is dead or not. It's kind of up to Panasonic - unless the Chinese come in big time. But I'll tell you what...

I was going through my camera gear today with an eye toward rationalizing my kit. One box I hadn't opened in a while contained my Pentax Q-S1 and four lenses - three zooms and a prime. All very good, all very compact... and all jewel-like in their construction.

And suddenly... it came to me. I really think all of my big, heavy Zuiko PRO glass is the antithesis of the original u43 mission. Oh, it is excellent - don't get me wrong. But it's just so far from what I'm looking for these days. I'm really not happy carrying them around.

I believe I am going to sell off my E-M1 and E-M1 II... and all of my PRO glass with the exception of the 12-45mm f/4. I will use it on my Pen F's along with all the compact, fast Oly primes. Perhaps I'll pick up an E-M5 III on sale or refurbished.

I also plan to pare back my Fuji kit to either one or two cameras.

The Nikon Z system is very interesting... even if it's a bit troubling to me how large many of the system's lenses are. But that's just me.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
I figured I'd be able to put a Z + 24-70 and 14-30 in an ONA Bowery.
David, I think that should work. You may have to lose tthe divider and carry the lens in its (thin) pouch, but space should be sufficient. The real reason for the less-than-ideal fit of the Z6 is the EVF - it's bigger than one would think. Ah, and the flaring hood of the 24-70mm is a nuisance, too - though in all fairness, that lens doesn't really need it. I have a screw-on filter for scratch protection (so that I can put the camera in the bag without the cap on) instead. With the divider out, the camera fits with space to spare, though the bag bulges a bit - but it's bearable.

The Z6 or Z7 are great cameras for out-and-about work - I took the Z6 with the 24-70mm out in moderate rain for over an hour on Monday (yes, camera in hand!). Most surfaces got uniformly wet. No issues whatsoever - however, that's when the hood *did* come in handy (no droplets on the front lens). I dried the camera off when I got home - that was it, no other measures taken.

And the 14-30mm is on my list - maybe even together with the 24-200mm (which will be next).

Ah ... and since you mention the Z7s: Precisely the body that might pull me over the high-megapixel line, pending other improvements. As it is, the Z6 does supremely well, but I'm ready to try high megapixel sensors one of these days. The only other such camera that tickles my fancy in that realm would necessitate a complete system change and entail serious investments, so I doubt it'll be any real competition (I'm talking about the Leica SL2 - but I'd have to get out of Nikon completely to justify that, and I can't see that happening).

All that said, let's see what Panasonic and Sony come up with in the next couple of months. I have a love-hate relationship with the old Sony A7 II - it's very small, with benefits and downsides to that fact, but for such a dated camera, it still holds its own. However, I'm just not happy with Sony's handling paradigm - it feels cramped even for me, and even compared to the certainly smaller E-M5 III. I know the new cameras have a bigger grip, but that's only part of the equation. I also know the newer cameras have done away with all those moments of hesitation that plague the A7 II ... So, a rangefinder-style Sony body with an EVF (if that's going to happen) or a small, rangefinder-style Panasonic body that finally gives access to the L mount without having to sign up with a gym as well ... that might change things for me (and no, the modular system behind the Sigma fp isn't an option for me, nor is that camera).

But as it is, Nikon offers the most comfortable *compact* mirrorless bodies, and they're impressive performers as well. Very compelling, :mu43:'s size advantages notwithstanding.

M.
 
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ggweci

Veteran
Feb 2, 2013
Toronto, Canada
Craig
All that said, let's see what Panasonic and Sony come up with in the next couple of months. I have a love-hate relationship with the old Sony A7 II - it's very small, with benefits and downsides to that fact, but for such a dated camera, it still holds its own. However, I'm just not happy with Sony's handling paradigm - it feels cramped even for me, and even compared to the certainly smaller E-M5 III. I know the new cameras have a bigger grip, but that's only part of the equation. I also know the newer cameras have done away with all those moments of hesitation that plague the A7 II ... So, a rangefinder-style Sony body with an EVF (if that's going to happen) or a small, rangefinder-style Panasonic body that finally gives access to the L mount without having to sign up with a gym as well ... that might change things for me (and no, the modular system behind the Sigma fp isn't an option for me, nor is that camera).

But as it is, Nikon offers the most comfortable *compact* mirrorless bodies, and they're impressive performers as well. Very compelling, :mu43:'s size advantages notwithstanding.

M.
I also use the A7ii (currently my only camera) and am eagerly awaiting what Sony introduces in the coming month. Would love an A6xxx series rangefinder style camera without the EVF hump (still want an EVF though).

Sony definitely has its weak areas and are not the most fun to use, but I find they just “work” for my needs. Even the aging A7ii with its slow operation tends to perform adequately in a variety of situations. I can only imagine how much I’d like an A7iii or something from their current generation. Also, some people complain about their menus, but I’ve found with the amount of custom buttons and after the initial setup, I hardly go into the menus. Plus, newer models have MyMenu or will have the revamped new Sony menus which are supposed to be better.

But, having said all that, the MAIN draw for me is that NO other manufacture has a full frame option with high quality glass that is also very compact (save Leica).

David, to your inquiry and your comfort with m43, that may be something that interests you. I own the Sony 28/35/55/85 lenses which fit this criteria and then there’s the Samyang 1.8 & 2.8 lineup, plus the Sigma 45. All great, affordable lenses.

For zooms, you have the Tamrons - 17-28, 28-75, 70-180, and newly released 28-200. All fairly compact with excellent IQ.

Matt, I agree with you, in terms of handling, there’s no doubt the Z series is lovely, with Sony being just ok. I’ve considered the Nikons, as I used their DSLRs in the past, but the lenses are the issue. Yes, the 1.8 S lineup have excellent IQ, but they are much larger that the equivalent Sonys and as mentioned, compact size with top IQ is my main requirement.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
I also use the A7ii (currently my only camera) and am eagerly awaiting what Sony introduces in the coming month. Would love an A6xxx series rangefinder style camera without the EVF hump (still want an EVF though).

Sony definitely has its weak areas and are not the most fun to use, but I find they just “work” for my needs. Even the aging A7ii with its slow operation tends to perform adequately in a variety of situations. I can only imagine how much I’d like an A7iii or something from their current generation. Also, some people complain about their menus, but I’ve found with the amount of custom buttons and after the initial setup, I hardly go into the menus. Plus, newer models have MyMenu or will have the revamped new Sony menus which are supposed to be better.

But, having said all that, the MAIN draw for me is that NO other manufacture has a full frame option with high quality glass that is also very compact (save Leica).

David, to your inquiry and your comfort with m43, that may be something that interests you. I own the Sony 28/35/55/85 lenses which fit this criteria and then there’s the Samyang 1.8 & 2.8 lineup, plus the Sigma 45. All great, affordable lenses.

For zooms, you have the Tamrons - 17-28, 28-75, 70-180, and newly released 28-200. All fairly compact with excellent IQ.

Matt, I agree with you, in terms of handling, there’s no doubt the Z series is lovely, with Sony being just ok. I’ve considered the Nikons, as I used their DSLRs in the past, but the lenses are the issue. Yes, the 1.8 S lineup have excellent IQ, but they are much larger that the equivalent Sonys and as mentioned, compact size with top IQ is my main requirement.
I agree, I agree - that's why I'm still hanging on to the Sony ... The Sigma 45mm is my favourite AF prime at the moment, though the 50mm Z is a close second, and the 35mm Z is lovely, too. But the small (and affordable) options are plentiful for FE ... and non-existent for Z mount. I even tried the TechartPro TZE-01 to bridge this - but it's not convincing at all (YMMV - I saw and read nice reviews ...). But it looks as if it might change over the next couple of years - the roadmap looks very solid to me (*very* small 28mm and 40mm primes on there ... yummy, if their IQ is good enough).

Anyhow, for me, as someone who is definitely system-ecclectic and will basically try everything that looks interesting enough, shooting experience is key - and that's where the Z6 really shines. It does what it does in a way I feel very comfortable with. Only my view, of course ... but I'd say that for old Nikonians/Nikonites, the Z series cameras hold a lot(!) of appeal.

And just to mention it, the files are lovely, too - definitely best-of-class (I still tend to prefer what my Leicas produce - but in technical terms, the Z6 is miles ahead, there's no two ways about it). Recently, I shot at ISO 6400, and there was no chroma noise to speak of, even in the deep shadows ... really impressive, even better than the D750. Highlight recovery potential is very good as well ... All in all, just great to work with.

M.
 

ggweci

Veteran
Feb 2, 2013
Toronto, Canada
Craig
@MoonMind if NIkon does bring out 28 and 40 mm very small, pancake-like options, I’d definitely be interested! Those, plus their compact 24-70 f4 lens would be a nice little system.

Or they could open the Z-mount to Samyang.;)
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Aug 21, 2011
Los Angeles, USA
I like the Z system, but I'm invested in the Sony system right now due to cheaper used gear and more third party options. Sony's flash system is actually my mainly deterrent from making a full Sony move. Nothing satisfies me more than using Nikon's CLS system. I still have my Nikon DSLR work kit, but I'm not sure which direction I want to go just yet. This whole pandemic has changed things up for me. I'm starting to lean more towards super zooms and other gear I normally wouldn't have looked at in the past. One thing that bugs me about mirrorless is the lack of instant response. Even with my recently acquired Sony A9, despite being ridiculously fast to AF, it's still ridiculously slow to turn-on (1-2 seconds)! Then I realize I can also take amazing photos with my pocket Nikon J5 and it just takes the nicest videos!

Come to think about it, don't listen to me. I'm a guy who shoots with everything from the exotic to the cheap beaters...the only thing consistent is my raw workflow! :roflmao:
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
@MoonMind if NIkon does bring out 28 and 40 mm very small, pancake-like options, I’d definitely be interested! Those, plus their compact 24-70 f4 lens would be a nice little system.

Or they could open the Z-mount to Samyang.;)
All this proprietary nonsense really slows down those systems ... But I'm biased; I've advocated Open Source software for a long time ...

The Samyang 35mm f/2.8 on the Z6 - that would be a fantastic start! It's a neat little lens - sharp, though a bit harsh in terms of its rendering, and colours could be more reliable. Still, good for reportage, superb for carry-around.

But the lens that'd "make" the Z system once and for all (at least for me) would be the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 C. More to the point: If Sigma starts releasing their mirrorless lenses for Z mount, the Sony FE stuff's gone ... Even if I have to re-buy my adapter collection ... Come to think of it, I'd appreciate Tamron's line-up as well ... But the Sigma 45mm would do.

M.
 

ggweci

Veteran
Feb 2, 2013
Toronto, Canada
Craig
@Jonathan F/2 Oh, Nikon’s CLS system was great - it’s what got me into off camera flash.

I have since moved to Godox for the simplicity and price. Works very well for my needs and they have options for all the major brands.
 

agentlossing

Top Veteran
The jury is still out on whether M4/3 is a dead end, to my mind they simply have to get on board with higher megapixel sensors and some of the multi-exposure wizardry that smartphones have been refining for years. The sensor size could still be a sweet spot if power consumption is more manageable than it would be with a larger sensor. We are stuck in a wait-and-see mode, as we have been for quite a while unfortunately.
 

Tilman Paulin

All-Pro
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
Yeah, it's a tough decision right now...
Sony would be my least favorite choice right now camera-wise, but looking at lens options (especially in the more affordable range) they come out as winners...

For myself I'm sitting this one out... What's holding me back right now is not my gear... And I've been "window-browsing" enough lately, there's just not a "clear winner" for me yet :)
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
Switzerland
Matt
Here's a recent take by Alik Griffin on this subject

I know that camera makers instinctively think they protect their own sales when not cooperating with third party providers. But the opposite is true: People change the system altogether or don't consider it. That's how it is. Heck, even *I* (as someone who has a *very* weak spot for Nikon) considered switching to Sony. Thankfully, the Z6 is the great camera it is, or I actually would have done that about a year ago. Thankfully, the Nikon Z primes are really good and very pleasing, and though they're bigger than I'd wish them to be, they're not too bulky, and the solid weather-resistance is confidence-inspiring, too. As long as Nikon lenses remain this good, they'll always be an option. Case in point: The next two lenses I'll buy (new) will most probably be two Nikon Z zooms, the 24-200mm travel zoom, and the 14-30mm (a lens I should have bought way sooner). Reason? Very competitive, with unique selling points (size, weight, features). That's how you sell lenses - not by "protecting" a market with very mobile buyers who just look elsewhere if you don't provide for their needs. Yes, the money and the decisive options are in the lenses - but if I can put those third party lenses on my preferred body, I'll still get that body and stick with it (and maybe buy a second one - and a couple of brand lenses). If I'm not given access to my desired options, I may wel get fed up and move over to a system that lets me shoot with what I like. That's how I ended up with that Sony A7 II in the first place - some stuff was available for it that I definitely wanted to try (the Samyang 35mm f/2.8 at the time).

So, all in all, Mr. Griffin's analysis is pretty accurate in my eyes - however, his link the Christopher Frost's review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN has me dizzy with GAS again ... (not really, but it sure has the potential to make me salivate ...). It's not only the quality, it's the size (again) that makes me want this lens ... :rolleyes:

But I'll hold out. The Z6 and the Z lenses are too good. And if Nikon believed a little more in their own achievements and showed a bit more graciousness as a consequence, their system could certainly regain serious traction in the market, even against the fiercest competition. But they'll have to let go of outmoded concepts - and there's no telling if they can achieve that in time. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt - for maybe another two years (at the most). If they don't see sense (or give me what I want - tough call!), I'll reconsider. Not out of some impulse - but because they don't do the right thing!

M.
 

ggweci

Veteran
Feb 2, 2013
Toronto, Canada
Craig
Agree with Matt 100% on this. I’d also rather be with Nikon, but am with Sony because of their compact first party glass and all the 3rd party native glass available. It just provides some many options to the user, especially for a new system like Nikon is working on. And, if you glass is good, users that have your bodies will buy it as well.

As for that new Sigma 85 1.4 DN lens, I’d love to see them so the same with the 35 and 50 variants!
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
I'm so sad about m43. One new generation of sensor could give us a solid 5-7 years. The system is really fully matured, but there just isn't enough market, and with Oly, etc. etc. etc.

I'm trying the RP, and don't like it frankly. I've also evaluated the M. It's interesting, but not complete (not just the lenses).

I've evaluated Nikon, and I love the body, but not so much the lenses for a variety of reasons. I'm even rethinking Fuji (just because it seems like the last of the "enthusiast" affordable kits) or Sony (almost solely on their rumored, upcoming compact FF body and the number of third party lenses, but I just can't abide Sony handling).

So sad on m43. It's hard to even put it into words. I'm seriously considering getting a G9 w/PL12-60 and GX9 for more compact, and ride that for 3-4 years fully understanding there is likely no new sensor likely coming, and system production finishing up during that 3-4 year time frame :(
 
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