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I tried a Micro Four Thirds Camera For The First Time, & I Didn't Hate It.

Updated: Mar 24

If you've read the title, you know exactly what this blog post is all about.

That's right, I tried an M/43 camera for the first time ever, & I didn't hate it.

This is not something that I ever thought that I'd try, let alone actually enjoy using...

I'm a long-time DSLR full-frame type of guy, I enjoy the extra weight and size of a DSLR, it makes me feel like I'm actually holding a camera, and not a toy.

I'm primarily a sole user of vintage & manual focus lenses, I do not like autofocus lenses, in any way shape or form.

I've been told maybe a million times in the past that "mirrorless is the future" and "you can adapt all of your vintage glass, not just certain mounts" The thing with this is that I know what I like, I know what lenses I like to use and I know what mounts that I like to use. I like M42 glass and I like OM glass. I'm not an FD glass fan, like a lot of vintage lens collectors/users.

So, anyway, recently I got a mirrorless M/43 camera body in stock, so I thought "what the hell, I'll try it and see what it's like" I wasn't expecting anything spectacular, especially with the 2x crop factor to think about... Still not a fan of that, but that's a story for another day.

The camera that I got in stock was this one:

An Olympus OM-D EM-10, which by the way, (shameless plug) you can buy HERE

So I borrowed an M42 - M/43 adapter and slapped my Helios 40-2 85mm F/1.5 onto it, which by the way, looked ridiculous when the lens is double the size of the camera, but off I went out back to take some test shots with this tiny camera.

And here is what I got:

(I was surprised with this one, that I still managed to get a little bit of the Helios swirl)

Now let's look at the comparison shots on a Canon 5D mark 2 full-frame camera:

Aside from the 2X crop factor, I was impressed with what came out of this tiny mirrorless M/43 camera.

When you really start cropping in is when you start to notice the big differences. Here's a comparison of both, cropped to 100%:

As you'd expect, the tiny M/43 sensor doesn't handle this as well, and you really start to see the grain, but presumably, if you're using a camera with a sensor of this size, you're not really going to be looking to crop this close, so it's really not a dealbreaker.

Another thing to note about this camera's size, it literally fits into your pocket! And I really don't know how I feel about that. If like a lot of people, the size and weight of your camera gear is an issue for you, then this is perfect, and you might not even have to take a bag. (some people would call that a pro point)

This camera also has built-in EIS with its 3-axis gimbal, another pro point if, like me, you use vintage and manual focus lenses that have no image stabilisation, I did enjoy this feature, as it allowed me to hand hold at slower shutter speeds.

This camera also shoots video, although I feel like this was an afterthought by Olympus, as it's a bit "meh" and there are better options available if video is your main focus. It's really a stills camera.

The EVF I, unfortunately, can't comment on this because the one on this camera doesn't work properly.

This camera features a 16MP sensor, which is nothing mind-blowing by today's standards, but unless you're blowing images up to the size of billboards, 16MP is plenty for what the majority of people will use this camera for. (MORE PIXELS DON'T MAKE YOU A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER)

it has built-in WIFI, which allows you to connect it straight to a mobile phone or tablet, great to use as a larger screen or as a remote shutter.

You should be able to manage around 320 shots to a full battery (maybe carry a spare or 2 if you're going to be shooting for a while)

This camera is very much aimed towards amateur and beginner photographers and is quite simplified, but that's not to say that it can't be enjoyed by the more experienced and professional photographers, or even people who like me are DSLR shooters and just want to try a mirrorless camera to see if it's for them.

Overall I actually really enjoyed using my vintage lenses on this camera, so much so that I have ordered an OM-D EM-1 for myself, just to carry with me as a spare in my camera bag, for use with my vintage lenses when I'm on a paid job and want to use something different...

Of course, this is never going to replace my DSLRs, I'm always going to be a DSLR guy, just because I prefer the size and weight of a DSLR, but it's certainly going to sit in my bag as a just-in-case camera.

For paid work, my camera bag is quite full, with my 2 main Canon bodies being a Canon 5D mark 2 & a Canon 1DS mark 3 as well as a Rolleiflex Medium Format TLR (Because yes, I still shoot film) but there's always room for one more... But that's a conversation for another day.

Would I recommend this camera?

Yes, yes I would.

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