Thursday 29 August 2019

Micro 43rds Take Four - One Month in

King of the Hill 
E-M5 II, 40-150 f4-5.6 R

Yes, this is my fourth entry into Micro 4/3rds. I had the G1 in 2009, the E-M5 in 2012, the G3/E-M1/GX7 in 2015/2016 and now I'm back again.

The above image is the sixth of seven images I've had hit Explore on Flickr this year, and the second of those shot with Oly kit. I'm still uploading from the Fuji archive every second day so the most recent Explore hit was a Fuji shot from the archive.

I'm now just over a month into my return to shooting micro 4/3rds and things are going very well. I've been able to acquire the 9-18 that helped drive my initial change as well as getting a second body (an E-M1) and the neat little 14-42 EZ pancake zoom, although the latter came solely because the seller wouldn't split it from the E-M1.

Frame counts are climbing steadily, I'm at 1750 on the E-M5 II and an additional 500 on the E-M1, for a total equal to what I shot on the X-T1 between February and July. That puts me just shy of 4900 images for the year and less than 2400 shy of my unofficial goal of 7220 images for 2019.

After acquiring the E-M1, I took the Fotodiox grip off the E-M5 II and with the 14-42 and 9-18 it's making a tiny but excellent everyday carry kit. I setup the E-M1 to be as close as I could to the E-M5 II's control layout and it's working nicely. I couldn't quite match the layouts due to the lack of one option on the older E-M1, but as it comes with a couple extra Fn buttons and the missing function put 2 controls on one button (one per wheel), it's a wash. I also came to the realization that as long as I don't use it as a bag camera (or put it back in a bag while turned on), the issue with changing settings from the left shoulder buttons becomes moot. As that was my primary UI issue with the E-M1 I owned back in 2015, things are going better now. Having the far more capable E-M5 II as an alternate choice as a bag camera, vs the Panasonic G3, helps as I have little incentive to try and haul the E-M1 around all the time. Yes, that makes the notionally higher-end body my backup for all intents & purposes, but hey, it works. The better base setup I've developed makes the Oly's work much better for me than they have in the past in terms of getting out of my way while shooting. Really wish I'd tried a similar setup back in 2015 on that E-M1, but I kept trying to set it up so everything was available rather than just making sure the few controls I actually use are directly available. It's not like I actually change more than a couple settings regularly.

One interesting note is that while the E-M1 is grossly superior in C-AF performance, the E-M5 II is noticeably better in S-AF performance, the E-M1 lags the E-M5 II in lockon speed.

In terms of shooting kits, the 9-18+14-42 set matches the E-M5 II most days, while the 9-18+12-50+40-150 forms the core of the E-M1 kit. The primes float as needed, and as I was able to acquire an MMF-3 adapter for 4/3rds lenses I can now use my Nikon->4/3rds adapters to give me a macro (55/3.5) and two telephoto options (200/4 and 300/4.5) on the rare occasion they are needed. They're pretty much E-M1 only for handling reasons, although the 300/4.5 can work with the E-M5 II on the tripod. Kinda would like to find a Sigma 150/2.8 macro one day, it's a unique lens in the system, the only AF macro longer than 60mm and the only one with real working distance.

In other goal-related notes, I'm now up to 3 of the 6 new locations that I was aiming for, with Sutton, Fenelon Falls and Coboconk added to the list. Should get a couple more this weekend. I'm well on track for both of my other goals for 2019.

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