Thursday, 3 June 2021

Olympus Rumours and the Other Road


Olympus OM-D E-M5II, m.Zuiko PRO 12-40mm f2.8

The first images of the upcoming m.Zuiko PRO 8-25mm f4 leaked today, along with the upcoming E-P7 body (the first new body in that line in years). 

The E-P7 doesn't much interest me, although it looks competent at what it is, especially if it gets the PDAF variant of the 20MP sensor and is priced in a sane manner.

But the 8-25/4 on the other hand is extremely interesting as I pretty much am the target market for a compact UWA to normal zoom. In full-frame terms it's a 16-50mm lens, it's weather sealed, f4 across the range, reasonably compact and a 72mm filter thread.

In practical matters that means it's an extremely viable foundation for a 1-lens kit, and it matches extremely well with the 40-150 f2.8 Pro as a 2 lens kit, especially since both use 72mm filters.

I could do a lot of work successfully pairing the 8-25 with a 60 macro, 75/1.8 or the 40-150 f2.8 PRO as needed. Nikon does offer an excellent 14-30/4, but that is much larger and uses more expensive 82mm filters vs the much less expensive 72mm filters. 

While I've been expecting this lens for a while, it's been on the roadmap since last year, getting some details means that the release should be soon and that means it should be out before I truly commit one way or another to m43 or Z as my future system.

I went over the hiking kits a couple posts ago, the 8-25 would let me drop a lens from that kit, the 8-25 would be the UWA and Normal zoom and could let me leave the 12-40 at home when I'm going really light, with a 2 body kit no lens changes at all would be needed when shooting, just switch bodies as I go. I wouldn't get rid of the 12-40, but I suspect it would get a lot less use.

The real gripping hand here is light carry. With m43 the E-M5 series fills that need very well, especially if paired with the ultra-compact primes available in the system. With Z, there is no really good option. The Z50 is not as small, Z has few to no small primes available and you're dealing with a split format system. 

The reality is that as much as I like Z, m43 is a far more mature system. Unsurprising as one has been around for 13 years and the other for 3. Nikon's done an amazing job so far with Z and you can cover the gaps with F glass (at a size/weight cost), but if I pick on maturity and flexibility, m43 delivers far more, and even more if I look at size and weight alongside that. I just need to do more work to get the same level of IQ for landscape work and I lose a decent amount of high ISO capability, offset by a better availability of fast glass for more reasonable cost.

When comparing costs, for the base hiking kit, Z makes more sense for sure, even if I go dual body I'm a lot closer to completion. 

However for a full kit, the m43 can get there quicker and cheaper, as pretty much everything except the 8-25 is already available and most of it is decidedly cheaper than the Z options. 

So yep, back in analysis paralysis.....If I could just stick to a system that would be nice....

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