Micro 4/3 What Do You Use MFT For?

Cederic

Rookie
Location
Nottingham
I use it for everything.

I use it for portraits, for pet photography, for days out, for videoing dance events, for photographing dance events, for holidays. My EM1.2 has been to six continents, photographed glow worms, seascapes, landscapes, street scenes, people, wild animals, zoo animals, birds, macro subjects and night skies.

Camera, three lenses, laptop and overnight clothes all in one padded messenger bag that protects, carries and lets me avoid trusting my camera gear to the luggage hold on aircraft? Sure, I can afford and could buy bigger cameras but they wouldn't be better. Just different, bigger, heavier and thus more restricted in their utility.

I researched and chose m43 carefully and feel thoroughly vindicated.
 

Briar

Hall of Famer
Location
Scotland
If I’m travelling overseas then MFT is usually in my bag because of the compact size of the bodies and lenses. Pre-pandemic I travelled a lot. Over the last couple of years not so much. I’ve been on this site since it was Serious Compacts so I’ve had more than my fair share of GAS over the years. MFT is just one of many different systems I own. They all have their pros and cons. At home I never really plan ahead and I’m not conscious of favouring any particular genre. Here if I decide I want to shoot photographs I’ll work with the first camera to hand that I’ve been able to match up with its battery and charger. That’s usually the Ricoh GRs - they are my go to for the “single in” or daily photo challenges.
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Location
New Mexico
Name
Larry
To be honest I rather fell into m43. I was shooting mostly 4x5 black and white with, some 35mm negs and slides using my OM-1 (the original). I've had 2 or 3 Hasselblads over the years, but didn't at the time. When I decided to get something digital , I naturally thought of Olympus because I'd been shooting Olympus 35mm cameras for years. So first I got into the 43 system and then, first with E-P1, quickly traded in for the EP-2 got into m43. Full frame was prohibitively expensive and I didn't see much difference between aps-c and 43, especially as after years of shooting large format 4x5, I usually cropped the sides of 35mm format images. With the original E-M5 and the Pen-F, along with a bunch of lenses, m43 is now my main system, but I feel no need to devote myself religiously to it to the exclusion of other cameras. The Leica X113 is one of my favorite shooters. The D-lux 109 is another, a terrific hang on my hip in a small bag alternative to the Pen F with the wonderful but sometimes big and heavy 12-40 f2.8 . m43 is a great primary system for me, but I also get itchy to try other things. I had a Sony a7II that died under warranty , and have a new one coming. Full frame does have some advantages, but for me they are not definitive; mostly the Sony lets me use my "legacy" lenses at the focal length and field of view they were manufactured for, and the experience of using a 35mm size sensor camera with manual focus lenses is irresistible for me. Also those old lenses do a better job than we are led to believe, as long as you can get beyond an obsession with capturing micro-contrast beyond what our eye naturally sees. Along with the one 24-70mm f4 Vario-Tessar, the manual lenses make up a complete full frame kit for me that is just a different experience not a replacement for my m43. My Pen-F is going nowhere, and I'm likely to get the new 20mm f1.4 for it when the price drops, as it inevitable will. (Have I mentioned that I love the 40mm fov). So, along with others, I'd say I use m43 to take photographs and am satisfied enough to make it my primary system, but it doesn't cure that itch to try other things. Only scratching the itch, giving in and trying them does that - when I have the budget to do so. My m43 cameras do everything I need, but a life-long inability to concentrate on one thing at a time leads me astray. So I make it fun.
 
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Dinobe

Rookie
Another (former) MU43 member here :)
MFT is my only system right now and I have no intentions to change to anything else in the near and far future. I started over 20 years ago with a small Nikon point-and-shoot, upgraded to a Canon 300D and then to a 7D. My wife and I like hiking and backpacking so I was looking for a lighter, more portable system. That led to getting a secondhand Olympus EP-1 in 2012. I always looked down on this EP-1 and always treated it as my secondary system, only to be taken with me when I really couldn't take my Canon setup. In 2015, after a 7 day hike in Norway and 3 years after getting it, I looked at the photos taken on this trip with the EP-1 and I had an epiphany. I suddenly realized how good the EP-1 actually can be.
This led to getting an EM5, mainly because it has a viewfinder. The EM5 is a camera that I highly enjoy. This caused conflicts, at times when I had my big Canon setup with me, I wished I had taken my lighter and less conspicuous EM5 and the other way around. The main reasons keeping my Canon were the better ergonomics, faster autofocus and a lens collection that I didn't have in my MFT collection.

When Olympus had this promo deal in 2020, buy an EM1 MkII and get a free 1.2 lens, I took the plunge, sold all my Canon gear and went fully MFT.

I like the flexibility of MFT, it can be from tiny like the Panasonic GM1 to large and hardcore like the EM1X, all with the same lens mount.
The overall compromise, size, weight, features, image quality, lens selection, etc etc just hits a sweet spot for me

Most of my photography is 'outdoor' landscape, woodland, flower, mushrooms, nature, mountains, hiking, some urbexing. I also like shooting portraits of my kids and family. I also like shooting aeroplanes and airshows, I just haven't done that much lately.

I'd love to do some street photography, I just don't have the guts. I almost never shoot sports.
 
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davidzvi

Hall of Famer
Location
Boston Burbs
Name
David
m4/3 is currently my only system and I use it for everything I shoot today.

I got into m4/3 as an alternative to my FF Nikon gear when my wife and I were planning a road trip. At the time the smallest kit I could put together was a D700 and old 28-105. So I picked up an E-PM1 kit (combined smaller and lighter than the 28-105). I was sold, I ended up having two systems while I was shooting events professionally. When I closed my studio I sold off all my Nikon gear and expanded my m4/3 kit.

I've tried Fuji a few times and even gave the Nikon Z a try, but I keep returning to m4/3.
I wanted m43 to be the next pro kit that I used. I tried several times to have it replace my Nikon kit for professional jobs, sports and events. It always fell a little short in a few areas like auto focus, low light/high ISO performance and shadow/highlight recovery.

I forgot about that dream and relegated the m43 stuff to a supplementary role with an EM1.2 and 12-100/4 as a one camera daytime street or hiking camera. I used to have a full compliment of prime m43 lenses...but now, just a P20/1.7 along with the aforementioned zoom.
I tried this, but only once. My Nikon setup was for work and they just did the job easier. Sure it would have been nice to lighten my load, but not if it made worker harder work.
 
Travel with mft gear can be more compact and lighter than FF gear. I have two kits.

Small kit

Kit - Small.jpg
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PEN-F or if I want it lighter a PEN E-PL5
M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 or if I want more flexibility a M.Zuiko 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ
M.Zuiko 40-150mm f4-5.6
Lowepro LX 140 Bag
Gorilla tripod


Large kit

Kit - Big.jpg
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OM D-EM5 Mark III
M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 ED Pro
M.Zuiko 8mm f1.8 Pro
Leica Lumix 100-400 or a M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 ED Pro with a MC-14
M.Zuiko 60mm f2.8 Macro ED MSC
MeFoto Backpacker tripod
Zecti single strap backpack

Some photos from the last 5 or 6 years

Austria

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Austria 03.jpg
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Cape Cod

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Chicago

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Chicago 04.jpg
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Costa Rica

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Germany

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Ireland

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Ireland 04.jpg
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St Petersburg


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St Petersburg.jpg
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Yosemite

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Yucatan

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Reached my 20 attachment limit. Hope it's not too boring!
 
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DeeJayK

Top Veteran
Location
Seattle, WA, USA
Name
Keith
Travel with mft gear can be more compact and lighter than FF gear. I have two kits.

Small kit

View attachment 309365

PEN-F or if I want it lighter a PEN E-PL5
M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 or if I want more flexibility a M.Zuiko 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ
M.Zuiko 40-150mm f4-5.6
Gorilla tripod


Large kit

View attachment 309367

OM D-EM5 Mark III
M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 ED Pro
M.Zuiko 8mm f1.8 Pro
Leica Lumix 100-400 or a M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 ED Pro with a MC-14
M.Zuiko 60mm f2.8 Macro ED MSC
MeFoto Backpacker tripod
Zecti single strap backpack

...
Good to see over here, Don.

- K
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Let's not get prickly, y'alls. I'm confident the initial comment, while not all that useful an answer to the OP, was meant as a joke rather than as snarky, and equally confident that the response was an effort to maintain the good atmosphere here from perceived snark - in other words, that everyone's intentions have been in the friendly spirit of Cameraderie.

As for m43, I never owned any, but it was probably the first ILC that was on my radar as a serious option and never stopped being there. So it's mostly been the yardstick I use to measure other systems or compacts against, offering such a fine blend of portability, ruggedness, controls and image quality. So far I've always gone for cameras (compacts) that do better in one or two of those four criteria, without offering the full balance of the m43 system. I have to admit that by now, the Nikon Z6 does an awful lot of what the E-M1 / O-M1 series does, so I'm not sure if I'll ever end up buying an m43 camera, although the aspect ratio really is very nice for vertical shots. And the E-M5 series still offers a clear size and weight benefit over the Z6. And while the Z6 body is probably as well sealed as the Olympus bodies, those higher end Zuiko zoom lenses with their fancy mesh to prevent the zoom action from pumping in dust and water are, AFAIK, still unique on the market. So m43 might still win me over in the end.
 
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M43 really does that for me. You can't get around physics - and that's much of photography. Bigger sensors require bigger lenses for the same amount of light. Add things like weather sealing necessarily add weight.

I'm not so old - only 52 - but I'm old enough that carrying too much weight for so long - hurts. And you'd be very hard-pressed to find any other platform with quality sensors, a wide range of lenses, and an amazing community. Great pictures and light!
 
Let's not get prickly, y'alls. I'm confident the initial comment, while not all that useful an answer to the OP, was meant as a joke rather than as snarky, and equally confident that the response was an effort to maintain the good atmosphere here from perceived snark - in other words, that everyone's intentions have been in the friendly spirit of Cameraderie.

As for m43, I never owned any, but it was probably the first ILC that was on my radar as a serious option and never stopped being there. So it's mostly been the yardstick I use to measure other systems or compacts against, offering such a fine blend of portability, ruggedness, controls and image quality. So far I've always gone for cameras (compacts) that do better in one or two of those four criteria, without offering the full balance of the m43 system. I have to admit that by now, the Nikon Z6 does an awful lot of what the E-M1 / O-M1 series does, so I'm not sure if I'll ever end up buying an m43 camera, although the aspect ratio really is very nice for vertical shots. And the E-M5 series still offers a clear size and weight benefit over the Z6. And while the Z6 body is probably as well sealed as the Olympus bodies, those higher end Zuiko zoom lenses with their fancy mesh to prevent the zoom action from pumping in dust and water are, AFAIK, still unique on the market. So m43 might still win me over in the end.
Your response is appreciated. It seemed like there were quite a few snarky responses from people who seemed excessively passive aggressive about what they perceived as a pointless post. To me it just makes sense to keep scrolling rather than post something of no value to the conversation, so I tried to suggest that in a friendly but firm sort of way. If, as the member above suggests, that indicates I’m not a good fit for the forum, I’m happy to show myself the door; life is way too short for me to care about trying to fit in absolutely perfectly to an online culture.

I do agree with you on the MFT as a benchmark idea. I started on Nikon FF DSLRs and quickly realized they were both insultingly expensive (in the lens department) and lacked portability. Having shot a lot of Olympus film gear, I’ve always bounced in and out of MFT since, loving the portability but not loving the AF, low light etc. I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that it’s still the best overall compromise for me, but I don’t see myself getting rid of my FF Sony gear anytime soon.
 
Location
Oregon Coast
Name
Andrew
Your response is appreciated. It seemed like there were quite a few snarky responses from people who seemed excessively passive aggressive about what they perceived as a pointless post. To me it just makes sense to keep scrolling rather than post something of no value to the conversation, so I tried to suggest that in a friendly but firm sort of way. If, as the member above suggests, that indicates I’m not a good fit for the forum, I’m happy to show myself the door; life is way too short for me to care about trying to fit in absolutely perfectly to an online culture.

I do agree with you on the MFT as a benchmark idea. I started on Nikon FF DSLRs and quickly realized they were both insultingly expensive (in the lens department) and lacked portability. Having shot a lot of Olympus film gear, I’ve always bounced in and out of MFT since, loving the portability but not loving the AF, low light etc. I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that it’s still the best overall compromise for me, but I don’t see myself getting rid of my FF Sony gear anytime soon.
I thought your response was perfectly alright, and actually a pretty pithy way to say much in few words. Generally I think when someone chooses to read something in a way that creates umbrage, while everyone else thought it was just fine, it might be a sign that it's that person (or, to put it correctly, the attitude with which they approached things) which isn't a good fit for this forum's atmosphere. But if there's anything to me learned from "cameraderie" it's that we can lay our prior differences on the doormat and just enjoy the journey. It's easily done.
 
Location
Gloucester, UK
Name
Mark
Planned photo taking = occasions when I set out deliberately to take pictures as opposed to just being out and about. Now that socialising is that much easier, I’m arranging meet ups with friends to meet up and take photos together. Any excuse for a walk and a coffee / pint.

Subject = pretty much anything and everything though I am drawn to shape and patterns in things.

Also not video at the moment. An initial play with the Oly M5.3 when I first had it left me underwhelmed with the video results particulalry the sound quality. (I am, perhaps, too used to my iPhone’s handiness and ease of operation.) However, I have every intention of trying video again but with my Oly voice recorder as the mic. And a tripod.
 

kae1

Top Veteran
Location
West Yorkshire
Name
Ken
M4/3 is the perfect system which allows me to photograph everything from landscapes to motorsport and generally moving things in between. Availability of a wide range of good quality second hand equipment means I can buy and try and sell if it doesn't suit.
The three bears would have been familiar with my set up -
1) The too small for big lenses - the Panasonic GX80 is just right for short walks/cities and perfect with my Panasonic 12-32 or fisheye.
2) The getting better for bigger lenses - the Panasonic G90 is used mainly with my 14-140 for longer walks when anything could take my eye. Also used as a back up for motorsport to allow walks round the paddock and a weatherproof kit when it's raining.
3) The just right for longer lenses - the Olympus EM1 mkII is only used for motorsports. Very good CAF and burst rate plus better balance with my longer telephoto lenses allows me to shoot fast moving cars/bikes between 40 and 400mm. Due to aging muscles I would struggle to lift the equivalent lenses with any other system.
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
As I tinker with different setups with my EM5.3, I figured I’d reach out for a quick sort of ShotKit type thread (not seeing one, please let me know if I’m missing it).

If you use MFT, what do you use it for? Is it your only system or do you couple it with other systems? What kit (bags, bodies, lenses, flashes, etc) do you use the most?

To answer my own question, I use MFT for travel, reportage, and closeup/macro. I currently shoot mostly with an EM5.3 and 12-45/4, though I also carry an 8-18/2.8-4 when needed and am acquiring some small primes to keep in my proverbial back pocket. It all goes into a moment Fanny sling, but im looking at a Wotancraft Pilot 7L for more long term stuff.

Looking forward to some replies/photos!

To answer your question, for quite a few years, I used MFT for pretty much all of my photography. Why? Because an MFT camera was not only my main one - but, on quite a few occasions, my only one. So...it was all I had. And the MFT cameras which I had, I found immensely satisfying. They all managed not only to 'get the job done' - but often to either 'realize' some surprisingly good (surprising to me, I mean) images, or to be good creative tools for translating either my mind's eye or the world around me, to images. Something I've been obsessed with for much of my life.

Over the past few years, I've branched out from MFT. For awhile, I used a handful of great Pentax DSLR's. More recently, I've become enamored of the color possibilities of some modern Fujifilm cameras, so much so that on occasion, my Fuji's have been my weapon of choice, so to speak. For colour images, at least. But I still use MFT for birds and wildlife (my E-M1 + some telephoto or telephoto-zoom lenses) - for travel (my GX9 is my favorite serious small travel camera, usually with a small prime) - and occasionally just for having a superb small camera which looks more like an innocuous point-and-shoot than a serious photographic device (my E-P5). They are all great cameras... still.

In no particular order, and with no rhyme or reason, here are a handful of some of the better (to my eyes, at least) photos I've taken over the years with MFT cameras. This first was taken with my old Lumix GX-1, and my dirt cheap Olympus BCL (BodyCap Lens) 15mm fixed f/8 plastic lens--

RailRoadSTOP-EKPortraXT1v4.jpg
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This portrait was taken at a local minor league baseball game of one of the fans - with my old GX8, and a wonderful lens, the PL 45mm macro--

BaseballFan-AnalogEfexPro2CC6.jpg
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A shot of plants growing inside the abandoned Volvo parts car of a good friend of mine, parked out in the middle of his farm (taken with my old GX7 and its humble kit lens)--

Volvo vines 4 (Velvia).jpg
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The tail end of a classic old Dodge sedan, taken with a classic old MFT camera, my former Olympus E-P1, and its underrated small 17mm pancake lens--

DodgeTail-AstiaCalibr+.jpg
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This is one of my favorites, taken at a Halloween parade in Ashland, Oregon, with the inexpensive but oh-so-sharp Rokinon fisheye on my ancient GX1--

CalaveraCouple-AnalogEfex.jpg
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Lastly, two of my more recent MFT shots, taken with the GX9 and the small 20mm Lumix lens, on a trip to Mexico City. First this street shrine, on a busy boulevard---

GX9_June10_22_street_shrine_CDMX.jpg
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And finally this ancient Renault that was parked on a quiet street--

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So... yeah, hard to say what I use MFT for. Probably the simplest answer, in all seriousness, is --- to take pictures with.
And no, that's not facetious. It's the truth.

Of course the problem with simple answers is, they can create other more complicated questions - including why a person takes or tries to take pictures in the first place. Which gets us into interesting but deeper waters...

But...thanks for asking the (initial) question, though... definitely made me think.
 
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