How to overcome fears using Micro 4/3rds cameras in a professional environment

Switching systems for me was a challenging process mainly because of fears I had both real and imaginary. I hope this post helps anyone who is considering moving to Micro 4/3rds from a larger camera system. Although Micro 4/3rds began life in the consumer market, the system has matured into one that can serve the needs of most working professionals. The day of the big camera wearing photographer with a large beard and photo vest is over. With shoot budgets getting smaller and smaller, fast and efficient is in.

Fear #1 – What will my clients think?
One of my fears, probably my biggest fear and one that most pros will share when considering switching systems is “what will my clients think?”  It’s a legitimate fear.

If I show up to a job and the client is expecting X and they get Y then I could lose any further jobs from them in the future. 

Since photography sales is a long-term relationship based sale, not a one time retail based sale, you want to be sure that your client is confident that you will do the job right.

Since often times my client’s job is on the line if they don’t put on a good show for their company or client, looking professional needs to be a priority. If I show up looking like something they were not expecting and make them look unprofessional, then I not only risk losing a client, I could risk my client losing their job or client as well.

So how did I address this gear fear? Since photography is a “show me” business not a “tell me” business I set off to show what I could do with a small camera. In December during Art Basel Miami I shot street portraits of artists and art lovers. The shots came out great and I told all my clients about it. They already knew that I had the Pen but it was kept in my case while I was shooting their jobs with the 5DMKII.

My clients’ reactions to the Art Basel Street Portraits were very positive, so when I told them I did the project with the tiny Pen they were really impressed. What I communicated to them is this -

  • The camera is fast and small, with a large chip so the quality is very high.
  • Since the camera is small, the subjects were more relaxed than if I shot with a large SLR and since it was also very fast I was able to capture the moment quickly and move on.

When I asked them how they felt about me shooting for them with a small camera The reaction was positive. Here’s an actual email -

Having a camera that people are used to as being “professional” does play a role at least in an environment when your career is on the line. It takes a lot of work and resources to earn a client’s trust but it’s so easy to lose a client if you don’t handle the challenges in a professional manner.

Fear #2 – Not enough megapixels
The marketers are so good at what they do. They really sold the idea for megapixels and we bought it. When digital cameras we’re 2 megapixels (1200 x 1600) every pixel counted but in reality anything over 8 megapixels for editorial print work is icing on the cake. Most magazines interior print image area for a full page are just over 8×10” which @ 240dpi is 1920 x 2400 or 4.6 megapixels.

In 2005 I was shooting with an Olympus E1 which was 1920 x 2560 or roughly 5 megapixels and my clients loved the quality. I was shooting about 3 magazine covers and about 8 interior editorial assignments a month without a complaint.

Editorial in 2012 and beyond is a whole new world. Now you should be thinking about shooting for iPad and other tablet devices which currently need at most a 3 megapixel file. Are you starting to see the the smoke and mirrors of the megapixel myth?

Let’s look at the current generation of Micro 4/3rds sensors which are 12 and 16 megapixels and see how they compare to a larger sized print magazine.

Large Print Magazine Cover
11”x14” at 240dpi needs a file just under 9 megapixels

Print Magazine Cover
8.5”x11” at 240dpi needs a file just over 5 megapixels

Print Magazine Interior
8”x10” at 240dpi needs a file just over 4.6 megapixels

iPad 3 (Retina Display)
9.7” wide at 264dpi needs a file just over 3 megapixel

Olympus Pen cameras
12.6”x16.8” at 240dpi creates a 12 megapixel file

Olympus OMD cameras
14.4”x19.2” at 240dpi creates a 16 megapixel file

As you can tell by the information presented, 12 megapixels is plenty of resolution for most any print publication and plenty for the next generation of magazines such as the iPad.

Fear #3 – Micro 4/3 have more noise then APS sized sensors
Yes, up until the Panasonic GX1 and the Olympus OMD EM5 there was a bit of gap between the noise levels of the 4/3rds sensors and the APS sized sensors. However with the latest generation of camera that difference is very slight and in practice is not going to be very noticeable.

Even with my Pen Mini the noise levels are useable. When I shot with my Olympus E1 the files were more grainy then the noise levels I get from my Pen andy my clients did not complain. The problem is there are so many gear heads that examine the noise levels at the images magnified beyond 100% and there you will see a difference. In addition, most gear heads are looking at jpegs which only make matters worse by the time they get to the web compressed yet again.

In reality, by the time the image gets to print you don’t see much noise at all except in the most extreme situations. The solution I found is to use fast glass. Since you get more depth of field with the 4/3rds sensor compared to an APS sized chip at the same focal length and f-stop you can shoot with lower ISO and open up the lens to get more light.

In addition I’m not one to compare one camera to another in the endless quest as to what camera is best. I’m more interested in how to take the best photo I can with the gear I own and I think of the noise levels in any camera as I do with the color response of the processor which is to say its simply the character of the camera.

I think of the noise levels in any camera as I do with the color response of the processor which is to say its simply the character of the camera.

Noise levels was a fear of mine but not a large one and not one that you should concern your self with much if at all.

Fear #4 – It’s not full frame
I laugh every time I hear this because it’s just not true. Micro 4/3rds IS full frame. It is a full 4/3rds size frame. Same goes with any other sensor. The only time I don’t shoot full frame is when I set the aspect ratio to be something different such as 1:1 (square) then the image displayed is no longer full frame however the raw capture that is saved is a full 4/3rds full frame.

The argument can be said about cameras that use a 35mm film sized frame. They are not full frame if to you full frame is a 6×4.5 frame or a 6×7 frame.

The full frame argument applied in film when you were shooting with a half-frame 35mm camera such as the original Olympus Pen.

Don’t concern your self with this pointless argument. For me this fear was easy to get past.

Fear #5 – My colleagues will think I’m nuts.

In 2006 I caved into peer pressure fueled by some camera forums and sold off my Olympus gear which I loved and went with Canon. Expecting that my clients would love the “higher quality” I was getting I eagerly awaited the complimentary emails…nothing. Not one. In addition to missing my Olympus gear I had to deal with all the new challenges that came with shooting Canon at the time like cleaning a sensor, front and back focusing and soft lenses. So glad I had a reality check and am shooting 4/3rds again.

The opinion that matters is that of your clients and before any drastic change like moving to a new camera system its best to have a conversation with your regular clients. I also suggest you purchase a 4/3rds camera and test for your self. You’re going to find that there are unique challenges and many advantages such as size and speed that could help you in creating photography in new and different ways for you.

Because I am in the business of visual communication I feel that to move past all my fears I needed to be in communication with my clients and take action. Strangely enough being in clear, open communication with one’s clients is contrary to how many in visual communications operate. This has always puzzled me since we are in the business to communicate. For years I’ve been an open book, which is now called “being transparent” and it worked against me. The photography world has been one of secrets and mystery. I’m here to blow the lid of that idea and to help you create the best photography of your life.

Overcoming your fears in a professional manner will build trust and strengthen the relationships with your clients, opening doors to larger and more exciting projects. As with change in any area of life there are fears. Addressing your fears and taking action is the only way to move past them, allowing areas of new opportunity to enter your life.

Photography is a beautiful art filled with endless challenges. Like any photographic system using Micro 4/3rds has its advantages and presents some challenges. I have been documenting solutions to the challenges I find and will be posting the results here.

Let us know in the comments what creative fears have you have overcome in your photography and what fears are stoping you from taking action.

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About Giulio Sciorio

Since 2009, Hybrid Photography pioneer Giulio Sciorio has been blending still + motion & sound with his photography. Giulio is a Lumix Luminary, commercial photographer and founder of SmallCameraBigPicture.com - the resource for everything Hybrid. A portfolio of Giulio’s hybrid work can be found at GiulioSciorio.com.

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137 Responses to How to overcome fears using Micro 4/3rds cameras in a professional environment

  1. Brad Calkins April 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Well done.  It is always refreshing to see someone cut through the marketing hype and just get out there shooting images you can be proud of !

    • Giulio Sciorio April 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      Thanks Brad. I’m 100% focused on photography creation first and tech second.

  2. ab April 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Great post, I use m43rds for a lot of my work and really feel that we have past any issue of image quality and have moved into areas where discussion of art will rise to the top again.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      So true! I enjoy tech but I love creating powerful photography.

  3. Thomas Hearne April 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Very refreshing take on an old…and evolving…subject.  We’re well into the ‘more than good enough’ realm for most applications.  Thanks!

    • Giulio Sciorio April 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      Agreed. I think we’re moving into a new era of photography. Excited!

  4. Acahaya April 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    100% agreed ;)

    one thing you forgot to mention is that you start to trust your m43 equpment to do tis specific e job right. If you fail here, here is no way to convince a client.
    But if you try to insist on m43 for situations when a 35mm sensor is clearly better suited or where fast and realiable C-AF tracking, you lost touch with reality.
    :) acahaya

    • Giulio Sciorio April 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Correct. For my work which is mainly editorial portraits the Micro 4/3rds system works beautifully. The C-AF with the OMD is a step in the right direction though.

  5. Mrmagoo April 24, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    ‘I also suggest you purchase a 4/3rds camera and test for your self.
    You’re going to find that there are unique challenges and many
    advantages such as size and speed ”

    I hope you’tre not trying to say 4/3 cameras had any real size advantage. All the HG and SHG lenses were big honkers. My E-5 was not exactly small either.

    m4/3 thats a different story.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      Definitely not talking about mirrored body 4/3 cameras which are pretty much the same size of every other SLR. The SHG lenses are super nice though!

      • Paco Vargas May 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

         Not when you compare focal length. For example Zuiko 300mm f2.8 vs Canon 600mm f4. Olympus’ is lighter and brighter.

        • Giulio Sciorio May 4, 2012 at 12:43 am #

          Good point Paco! Thanks for commenting and reading the blog. I appreciate it.

  6. Mark Carpenter April 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Well written post, G.  If I wasn’t already committed to M43, you would have convinced me to try it. I really like the magazine cover/sensor graphic.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      Thanks Mark! I try to put things into reality here not pixel peeping.

  7. Koch April 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    “Fear #4 – It’s not full frameI laugh every time I hear this because it’s just not true.”
    I think you are missing the point here. When photographers talk about sensor size that implies the ability to work with depth of field. You have a lot of room to work with on a 35mm type sensor, especially in wide angles. There is no 4/3 substitue for a fast 35mm f1.4 lens on a large sensor camera. The classic “fast 50″ turns into a 100m tele equivalent on FourThirds.

    I find that restricting for my type of work. Would like to hear your opinion on the matter.

    Best 

    • Giulio Sciorio April 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      Hi Koch. I don’t think that all photographers have the same definition of “full frame” but I get what you are saying. There are some options when shooting if you need fast glass but they are not going to be the same as a full 35mm frame shooting a 35mm 1.4. As is always the case when it comes to photography there are compromises that have to be made but with Micro 4/3rds the only thing they are missing is fast zooms. You could via adaptor use some of the 4/3rds Olympus fast glass but those lenses are large which negates one of the nice qualities of Micro 4/3rds, small size.

      One of the lenses I shoot with is the Olympus 12mm 2.0 which is equivalent to a 24mm on a 35mm sensor and is razor sharp.

      There are a two other native Micro 4/3 lenses you should look at -
      Voightlander 25mm f/0.95 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/754598-REG/Voigtlander_BA305A_Nokton_25mm_f_0_95_Lens.html

      Voightlander 17mm f/0.95 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/855215-REG/Voigtlander_BA175M_Nokton_17_5mm_f_0_95_Lens.html

      Both very bright hand made glass.

      Also consider that with Micro 4/3rds cameras the aliasing filter is not as strong as that with Canon or Nikon (not including the D800E) and I find myself not using any sharpening in Lightroom at all.

      If all else fails you could purchase any of the many lens adapters and get some nice vintage glass too but that depends on what you shoot and if you don’t mind manual focusing.

      • Isaac Lau April 26, 2012 at 10:13 am #

        I am an m4/3 user.  

        When people talking about “m4/3 is not full frame”, actually they want blurred background (small depth of field) that “full frame” (35mm format) can do, and that’s why they think that m4/3 is not good and they are reluctant to try.
        Aperture of f/2.8 is fast but in terms of DOF it performs like f/5.6 in 35mm format.  The Voigtlander 25/0.95 is great (equivalent to 50/1.9 in terms of DOF) but it’s a manual lens.

        What’s your opinion in this issue?

        • Horacio April 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

          Hi Isaac, I’m new into photography, looking for my first camera.You said ” Aperture of f/2.8 is fast but in terms of DOF it performs like f/5.6 in 35mm format.  The Voigtlander 25/0.95 is great (equivalent to 50/1.9 in terms of DOF) but it’s a manual lens. “Would you tell me if this is your appreciation from experience or a mathematical/phisics true. Thanks

          • Isaac Lau April 27, 2012 at 2:23 am #

            For DOF you can refer to this online DOF calculator:

            http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html 

            For m4/3, pick Oly E-P2 as example:
            25mm, f/1 and subject distance of 10m, the DOF is 5.08m

            For 35mm “full frame”, pick Canon 5D(II) as example:
            50mm, f/2 and subject distance of 10m, the DOF is 5.06m

            Picking the same distance because of same angle of view.

        • Giulio Sciorio April 26, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

          The super blurred out “bokeh” is a fad like the lens flare look and the tilt-shift look was a fad a few years ago. It’s popular because many kids shooting APSC cameras got a 35mm frame camera and discovered they can open up and get very shallow DOF.

          In a working environment few portraits are shot where the eyelashes of the subject are the only thing in focus. For proof just open up any established magazine like Vogue.

          As photographers grow onto other challenges with photography they will less and less pay attention to fads. Knowing trends are good to help create images that sell but a fad is a fad. Experiment with fads then move on.

          You can blur out the background quite well with the Panasonic 25mm 1.4 or the Olympus 45mm 1.8. If you’re shooting video you want to focus manually and the Voightlander lenses are fantastic for this.

          I like to shoot at f/4 or f/5.6 on my lenses. I find the sharpness is amazing and if I set my 14-42 to f/5.6 the aperture stays the same size throughout the zoom range. With the 12-50 OMD kit lens I set the aperture to f/8 but I’m still getting used to this lens.

          • Ed May 8, 2013 at 4:14 am #

            Giulio, I use a 14-45 Pana on my OM-D and that is a gorgeous match. Now I don’t shoot wide open (old skool photographer first camera was a Nikon F :-)) and never in the rain as well (raindroplets do nothing for image quality). Stopped down it can easily match the 12-35…..and the extra reach is also nice. Next stop will be a 60 mm Sigma….and for background blur an old Nikon 1.4 50 works great (use it as a portret lens as well).

            Greets, Ed.

    • Fred Schumacher April 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      For those of us who prefer the f64 school of photography, the greater depth of field of 4/3 is a great asset. I love shooting macro with my point and shoot because of its great depth of field. It allows me to place my subject in the context of its background. This is more like human vision, which has great depth of field.

      • trupix April 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

        Besides that it is more challenging and informative to compose a picture with a natural background, that´s the style questioned by the customers. Any kid can isolate an object on an undefineable smudged backcloth.

    • trupix April 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

      The need of a wider dof definitely dominates my work. Mostly more than one
      object or the surrounding is part of my composition, so the dof of the
      4/3-sensor becomes rather an advantage.

      Low-dof-shots are nice, but I´d consider the requirement of the market for
      such pictures as small. And when I´m doing regular portrait shots with the
      35-100 f2.0, I usually stop down to f2.8. Not because I need to do so like
      a 35mm-Kombo, to get crispy sharp pictures, but to get a reasonable dof
      that covers more than the range of the eyelashes…

      And you would´t like to miss that extra portion of dof when you shoot
      sports at 250mm (equiv. 500mm with a 35mm) with a razorsharp open f2.8 .
      Not mentioning the weight of the equivalent 35mm lens…

      Talking about wide angle – ever tried the FT 7-14?

  8. Christopher April 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    I mostly get frustrated over lack of tethering support. I shoot with an e-5 and even that is not supported.  my understanding it that is on olympus’s end.  I dont know.  what I do know is that i may have to switch to a machine that is supported in either LR4 or Capture1..  kind of crazy.  I would like to print larger print sizes as well.  Right now without interpolation 13×19 is about what I get at 240dpi.  That new olympus looks very sweet though.  tempting just for the size.  And I know the glass is great if the 4/3′s glass is any indication.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

      Yeah I understand completely. I shot tethered for years staring with the Olympus E1 and got used to it but now I shoot wirelessly to the iPad which you can do with the E-5.

      I’m working on a super cool workflow going from the Eye Fi wirelessly to the iPad as small jepgs then syncing up to Lightroom with your raw files. As soon as Adobe supports the OMD files I’ll finish it up and post it.

      Now if you need to shoot tethered in the sense that you can control the camera you might consider Olympus Studio 2. From what I found you can get a free license from Olympus. The only thing is that Studio 2 does not work with OSX Lion. Check out these links -

      http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=40525729

      Let me know what you find out.

    • Jan May 24, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

       Hello Christopher,
      Tethering with the E-5 work very well using the Olympus Studio 2.3 version though Olympus Hamburg informed that it would not be compatible. I use tethering with the E-5 and zuiko 20, 38 and 90 mm Micro/Macro lenses and a 27″ iMac. Another incorrectnes from Olympus is the 100% AC-1 power adapter compatibility with OM-D; you dont need to aquire a new AC-3.
      All the best,
      Jan

  9. DesireeBoom April 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    How did you know that’s exactly what I’m thinking right now? Like, ‘I can’t very well show up to that wedding with only my Pen… I’ll save it as back up, but will shoot with my E-620! Otherwise my clients will think I’m unprofessional…’
    But after reading this, I might just use my E-620 as back up, as I prefer working with my Pen.
    Thank you!

    • Giulio Sciorio July 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Hi Desiree,

      did you end up getting a Pen?

      • Desireeboom July 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

        Thanks for asking! I already had an E-PL1 (Pen Light 1). 
        I did my first wedding with my E-620, but my second I did with my Pen, and I really don’t think my clients noticed I had a small camera… And the results are of the same quality. So now I’m actually considering getting rid of my E-620 dSLR all together, and buy an E-P3 instead.

  10. Mick Deutsch April 26, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    All true the measurebators notice, the printers and clients mostly DON’T CARE which ‘male jewellery’ you’re sporting. (as it used to be called)  They care about the picture.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      LOL measurebators! Love it.

      • photohounds June 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

        Reprise … I got the EM-5 a few weeks ago.  Superb, portable and FUN!

        I’ve probably owned over 100 cameras (RFs to RB 67s).  I haven’t enjoyed photography this much since the 1970s.  I have NEVER before been able to produce such quality so easily.  It easily trounces my old RB67 and Hassie!I got the grip and an adaptor for the ZD lenses.  That 50/2 is still a superb lens – even measurbating :)   It IS even more cantankerous to focus than on an E5, but who cares?  MF (with EVF magnification) makes it VERY fast to get instant sharpness with ANY lens – focus right where you want it.  The 50-200 is pretty fast to focus (in good light), so all is not lost :)

        • Giulio Sciorio June 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

          Congrats! I’m happy to hear that you love the camera. I’d like to see what you shoot with it so when you can post some links here. Also any good shots of the E-M5 with the adapted lenses would be great.

          Thanks!

          • photohounds June 29, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

            Giulio, 

            That Olympus PenPal PP-1 dongle.  Does it actually limit transferable picture size as I’ve read? I presume Samsung phones and tablets support OBEX, necessary for it to work,so I’m keen to try one.

            I tried the 50-200 for sports, alas, too slow.  I’m not a great sports photog. anyway. The little 40-150 in the 2 lens kit works well, though – even on a heavily overcast day I got many keepers..

            I’m keen on the 12/2 and the new 75/1.8 which some say is stellar, maybe even better than the 50 macro!  And … it will focus fast :)

          • Giulio Sciorio July 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

            Unfortunately I don’t have any experience with the Pen Pal at this time. You might try the Resource Page on the site and look for a manual to download - http://www.smallcamerabigpicture.com/m43-resources/

            The 12 and 45 are awesome and from what I read the 75 is the sharpest 4/3 lens made. Can’t wait for that.

            Thanks for stoping by and for commenting!

          • M Macson September 2, 2013 at 3:49 am #

            TA-DAH! and now …

            The 12-40/2.8. In true Zuiko tradition I hope it is even sharper than the panny.
            NO FEAR HERE: Here are a few pics shot with an OMD … http://photohounds.smugmug.com

            I don’t HAVE to apologise for its size, because it is CAPABLE!
            You should have seen all the bazooka shooters with their monopods while I shot some of the live performance shots!

            No way THEY could lay down on the floor, in front of the performers like I did.
            Most shot with the 45 and 75, and > 90% keepers in environments where I cannot actually SEE without the camera. Their rate? Less than 10% – mostly because they were ANCHORED with their bulky gear.

            Loving the 12 and 17 too – no

  11. Joe Gunawan April 26, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Thanks Giulio for this! I totally agree with you in having mu4/3 being competitive in the professional world. I shoot fashion and commercial, and with the exception of the first picture on my website, which was shot with a Phase One 80MP IQ180, everything else is shot w/ mu4/3, half Panasonic GH2 and half Olympus E-PL2.

    Would love your opinion on it Giulio (and anyone else)!

    http://www.fotosiamo.com

    Cheers!

    Joe Gunawan | fotosiamo
    http://www.fotosiamo.com
    fotosiamo@gmail.com

    • Giulio Sciorio April 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      Nice work Joe. Lets chat soon as I’m looking to start a series of interviews with working pros that use m43 system cameras as their main camera or part of their system.

      • Joe Gunawan April 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

        Sure! Contact me anytime!

    • photohounds June 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Nice work mate – you’re gonna love the EM-5 :)

  12. Zac April 26, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Thanks for writing this article, I’m a student working towards becoming professional. I’ve been afraid that if I take on Micro Four Thirds then people won’t be able to take me seriously as a professional. This article has really helped settle these fears.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

      All depends on your body of work and how you present it Zac. Look at Terry Richardson and Miko Lim both shooting major campaigns. On Terrys tumbr most of his shots are either with a GF1 or an even smaller Ricoh.

      If you don’t already reas aphotoeditor.com they never talk gear. ;-)

  13. michele annunziata April 26, 2012 at 8:33 am #

     Dear collegue
    very nice article, but for many “pro” or high “amateur”  the count only is megapixel( that I more time write and if you remember italian sicilian language: minghia/pixel for analogy of human “member”) is a “truly job”. Viceversa your argument is exact, for people that don’t want “300″ magic and galactic Dpi.
    Sincerely
    Michele Annunziata

    http://www.manunzio.it

  14. Neil Buchan-Grant April 26, 2012 at 8:36 am #

    I have to agree with your conclusions here. I shoot travel commissions and my last one in Sicily was shot almost entirely using m43 gear. I also think you missed the point on “full frame” fear #4, and this is best tackled head on. APS DSLR shooters often think that m43 kit will not offer the thin depth of field associated with larger gear. I recently compared an m43 body using a Pana/Leica 25mm f1.4 (50mm equivalent) with an APS body using a 35mm f1.4 (52.5mm equivalent) lens and lastly a 35mm full frame body using a 50mm 1.4 lens. so essentially, 3 50mm 1.4 lenses on 3 different formats. I shot a model with head and shoulders framing to compare the backgrounds as much as the subject. Each shot taken wide open at f1.4. Where the full frame shots showed a distinctly more diffuse bokeh and subject isolation than the others, the difference between the m43 and the APS shots were negligeable, something that surprised everyone who saw them

    • Giulio Sciorio April 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

      Great work Neil! If you don’t mind I’m going to post to your site - http://buchangrant.com/blog/ Are you shooting with m43 as your main kit or to supplement your system?

      • Neil Buchan-Grant October 22, 2013 at 9:18 am #

        since the EM1 came out, its now my main system! selling my M9 this weekend in fact:)

  15. S. H. Lew April 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Thank you Giulio for this very informative and encouraging article. 
    After shooting with P & S cams for a couple of years, I decided to get serious and switched to a Lumix MFT GF-1 in November, 2009. Few months later, in March, 2010, I replaced it with the Lumix G-1 as I find that it handles like a dSLR cam. To date, I’m still shooting with the G-1. I shall be replacing the G-1 with the Oly EM-5 in a few week’s time. Although a novice, I feel that I’ve come a long way with pictures as sample below. Most people do not know what cam I use and so far, I’ve not receive any adverse comments about my pics and gear. I’m replacing because the G-1 has a lot of noise shooting long exposures of 25 seconds and above. Perhaps the processor is not so good.
    Regards.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

      Regardless of the G1s shortcomings you shoot well! Thanks for posting and nice photographs.

  16. Neil Gaudet April 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Great read, thanks for posting this.  Funny I went with Canon for my work and use Olympus for fun.  My heart solidly remains with Olympus so your post hit home.  

    • Giulio Sciorio April 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Thanks Neil. I’m glad to read your comment. I struggled switching back to Olympus from the moment I switched to Canon. I never loved my Canons but I love my Olympus cameras. Something about them and the files the render have such personality.

  17. Michael Rieger April 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I am a historical photographer for FEMA and I completely agree with your assessment of 4/3rds.  I started with the Olympus E-10/20 then the E-1 and now the E-3.  The smaller size of the cameras greatly help me with capturing the moment and putting the people I’m photographing at ease.  As for image quality I am often asked what camera I’m shooting on because they love the  quality of the files.  I look forward to tying out the OMD.  MichaelRieger.com

  18. Momentsfrozen April 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Thanks for this!!  I will have to show it to my better half who keeps telling me I can’t sell my E5 14-35mm and big flash as I won’t ‘look’ professional.
     
    I had an E5 and Pen’s P3 and PM1 on a job ‘interview’. I was shooting a dressed rehearsal at a theater with NO Flash. After the show I was asked to shoot the entire cast (about 35) on stage. I took my P3 / 25mm f1.4 camera and the PR Manager asked if I needed a tripod……. I said no. He asked if i wanted a latter and I of course said yes………  he was nervous.
    I am now shooting their entire seasons dressed rehearsals. So the proof is in the pictures…..
    Can’t wait to try the M5 in June for their next show!!  

    PS – I will admit that I did get the opportunity to shoot the theater because I was carrying the E5 at an event at a festival and was approached about the job……..

    • Giulio Sciorio April 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

      Well appearances do matter to an extent. I don’t show up at a shoot wearing shorts and a t-shirt…ok wait a second I do. But if you got the job because of the camera there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you educate your customers from square one that you are experienced and can shoot with anything. This is one of the reasons I pimped my Pen. I wanted a conversation started and its worked out great. I carry it and business cards ever where I go and I make sure to tell people to look at my site and see the work.

      I don’t often meet an art director or other potential client out and about but I have and it has led to work in the past. I find that if you shoot with the Eye Fi card to the iPad peoples attitude changes fast. I tell them that I’m at the forefront of tech, hand them the ipad and as I shoot they can see the images and rate the quickly. When the shoot is over I email them their selects and they can start working on comps with the images right away.

      After they make their picks I send them the finals. It’s such a smooth and futuristic workflow the sets are nothing but smiles and fun.

  19. Christopher Wheeler April 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Thank you for an excellent article. I am always hearing people throw around words like “professional” and “amateur” with respect to photographic equipment. Unfortunately, most commentators seem to be informed by product marketing rather than the use or potential usefulness of a given tool.

    Photography is a creative pursuit and I think the best practitioner will consider any tool a professional tool if it can be used productively or creatively to achieve a goal.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 26, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      Very true Christopher. One only needs to take a look at Terry Richardson or Miko Lim to see that you can shoot big jobs with small cameras. It’s how you present your work, the level of professionalism you operate at and your photographic vision that count.

      If you think about it for a moment all cameras made in the last three years are going to make an excellent exposure and focus. Years ago that was very difficult to do but now that challenge is removed what is left is your vision and personality.

      When you earn the trust and respect of your peers and clients you can shoot with anything. If you’re operating as a professional you are going to use the best gear within the given budget to accomplish the task of creating images that sell.

      At the end of the day if you made a powerful image no one cares what you shot it with.

      Thank for reading and commenting.

  20. Benoît April 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    Interesting stuff… I’m curious to learn more on how being an open book has worked against you…

    • Giulio Sciorio April 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      Being an open book did not work so well when I first started out. I was surrounded with some very ego-centric people and some clients that judged a photographer based on their gear. These were also the same clients that would say stuff like “thats a nice camera, you must take good photos” but these were also the clients I fired first.

      Firing a client has a whole other set of challenges to deal with though. Maybe I’ll go into that subject in the future.

  21. alan halfhill April 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    I could not agree more.  I have been using my GH2 for professional work since I bought it.  I could not use my Canon system anymore so I eBayed it.  The m4/3rds lenses are wonderful.  I also like the weight reduction.  I now carry 6 lenses and 2 bodies in a smaller bag.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      We’re speaking the same language Alan. So happy to find others shooting with m43 kits.

  22. Nalien April 26, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    Enjoyed your post very much, and applaud your notes on sensor size.  I used 4 X 5″ and 6 X 6 cm film for fifty years.  When I moved warily to digital, it was because I finally found one that didn’t require me to use a “pseudo-35mm slr” — I prefer waist level, and a flexible screen gave me that option.  Expecting little, I was very pleasantly surprised by the m43 images — really on a par with my film cameras.,  But I had to get over the idea that I was still doing “photography” — I do make simulated photographs, but I do it with a remarkable computer chip and a very able sensor.  I suspect that, give good lenses and a decent chip, the most important variable may be the processing unit.  Anyway, I certainly feel no urge to carry around my (very expensive) film cameras just to look “professional” — competent will do.  Thanks you your insight.

  23. Chris Boar April 27, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    Nice article. As a full time wedding photographer ive been seriously considering adding the OM-D during a shoot, for the simple reason of weight. It gets really tiring carrying around a D3, D3s + lenses all day. I’ll be using it for non critical stuff to start with. i would miss the redundancy that i currently have with my dual slot cameras. The other downside to the non full frame is you lose the small depth of field on fast lenses wide open. I would also need to test just how large a print i can get out of them. I currently print upto 30×40 off my Nikon files.

    However these are not pro cameras. The lenses are not weather sealed, there is no rated shutter life. Would they stand up to the rigours of week in week out shooting with 50 weddings a year? But i guess for the price, 1 D3s= 6 EM5s it wont be an issue to replace a busted body.

    However we have it easy nowadays, compared to the Canon 10D i was shooting weddings with 8 years ago the EM5 is miles ahead.

    Chris Boar

    • Giulio Sciorio April 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      Thanks for your comments Chris. You make a good point about the cost of the Nikon vs the Olympus. I shot weddings in 2005 with my E1 while my friend shot with the 10D both were similar in quality but its a different world now. I think you could shoot weddings with the OMD but you have the right idea to try it out first. One thing I must say is that it is SMALL. Check out this size comparison - http://j.mp/Ii3wQG now you can add the grip which I plan to when I can find one but were still talking a small camera.

      As far as reliability I can’t comment on that. I think wedding photographers shoot far more frames then a commercial photographer like me so I know the camera has to be tough. Believe me, if the camera craps out I’ll be posting that up too.

      You can also join the Olympus Pro Group which is similar to NPS. They helped me in the past.

  24. Photo1965 April 27, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    Great article! I shoot with nikon pro stuff, but find myself really enjoying my gh1 so much more. 
    I love the micro 4/3rds format & will buy more cameras in the future.

  25. Dean Forbes April 28, 2012 at 2:29 am #

     ”Since you get more depth of field with the 4/3rds sensor compared to an APS sized chip at the same focal length and f-stop . . . “ 
    Why is this? What is the mechanical/physics that creates this difference? It also makes me wonder how much you can drop the background when using m4/3 telezoom lenses, which are slow. Will 200-300mm focal length at f5.6 look more like f8 with a m4/3 camera versus an APS-C sensor? Thanks. 

    • Giulio Sciorio April 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      Great questions Dean. Although a detailed discussion of why the DOF of 4/3rds is different then a APS sized sensor goes beyond the scope of this article it is a valid discussion and one that should be addressed. Here’s some good reading on the subject - http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/tech/dof.html

  26. Rick Baumhauer April 28, 2012 at 4:45 am #

    Giulio – love what you’re doing here!

    I’ve been shooting professionally for a little over a year – started out shooting with a 5D2/7D combo and a few high-end lenses (85L, 35L, etc). Over time, it became clear that I was carrying a heavy bag of very expensive equipment to shoot jobs that, 98% of the time, ended up only on the web.

    I had been reading Kirk Tuck’s blog (http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com) for a while – he LOVES his m43 cameras – and he pointed people to a few other photographers’ blogs describing their experiences shooting with high-end compacts and mirrorless cameras, and it all got me thinking. (I thought Kirk would be all over the E-M5, but he’s jumped on the Sony SLT wagon instead.)

    Through a circuitous series of events, I found myself with an E-PM1 and first on the list for the E-M5 at my local shop. I sold off most of my Canon gear (only have the 5D2 and a few lenses left), and as soon as my E-M5 arrived last week, I started using it for my day-to-day jobs. I have the 5D2 in the trunk of my car, just in case I need it, but after a week, I’m starting to think that the rest of the Canon gear is going to get sold off in the near future, and I will probably add either another E-M5 or a GH3 (if it feels much better in the hand than the GH2) in the next few months.

    I’m finding the low-light performance of the E-M5 to be at least as good as the 5D2. The E-M5 IBIS is as good as any Canon IS lens, and better than most. I have lenses to cover just about everything I need – the lack of fast zooms doesn’t even bother me, since the 12-50 is f/3.5 at 12mm, and getting 2/3 of a stop isn’t worth the $1k+ that Panasonic is going to be asking for the 12-35 2.8. I have the 20 1.7 and 45 1.8 if I need faster glass at longer focal lengths, and will probably be adding the 75 1.8 when it arrives (though that will be used primarily for personal work, as my normal paying jobs don’t require anything that long).

    For my work, m43 is MUCH better than a traditional DSLR. The EVF (especially in Shadow/Highlight mode) makes everything so much easier and more predictable – I’m doing far less post-processing, since I know when I take the shot what the exposure looks like. Plus, I’m finding the Olympus FL600R in “Fill Flash” mode to be a big step up in predictability from the 430EX on my Canons.

    Yes, there are things that a DSLR with PDAF will certainly be better at, but those are things I rarely shoot these days, and I’m willing to work a bit harder and do them with m43 for all of the other benefits. I can carry two cameras, four lenses, two flashes and an LED ring light in a bag that could barely hold one DSLR and 2-3 lenses. My shoulder is much happier, I feel absolutely no lust for the new $3k+ DSLRs, and the clients don’t care as long as the work is up to snuff. True, you can’t get ultra-thin DOF effects on m43, but situations that really call for that are very rare. In all honesty, I think that photographers are the only people who really notice (and applaud) that sort of thing – in my experience, no client ever asks for just one eye in focus.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

      Thanks for being active on the blog Rick, “Over time, it became clear that I was carrying a heavy bag of very expensive equipment to shoot jobs that, 98% of the time, ended up only on the web.” So true!! I remember on more then a few occasions looking at my Canon system and wondering what the hell am I doing with it. Eventually I had to just sell it and go with what I loved to use, my Pen. Now that I got the OMD I got killer quality and small size and am VERY happy. Feel like I’m shooting a camera thats peaking into the future.

      I got a 50mm 1.4 Canon for sale on Ebay and I’m pretty much done with the system. That will be a good feeling. I owned a studio in Phoenix with 20+ lights and grip and everything else that goes with a studio and it was a pain in the ass. I’ve since become a minimalist and have been super happy plus my overhead is slashed and my stress levels lower. I am able to be more picky with my clients and also have time for a blog too! ;-)

      You hit the nail on the head with lenses and shallow DOF which I feel the latter is a fad like lens flare and tilt shift looks are. After the fads are over good photography remains.

      I’d love to hear more about your experiences with the FL600R. I got a FL300 as part of the promo Olympus is running and its a nice little flash which I have yet to really use but I do want three or four FL600s for location work.

      Right now I have a LED kit with two 1200 panels, 4 Z96 and one ring light. It works well for most shoots but outside I just stick to using bounce cards and diffusion panels.

      Keep in touch!

  27. Norm Thomas April 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi Giulio – this is a great article.   There’s so much misguided comment in the photo press nowadays about camera x having  more noise than camera y etc etc.  What matters is how much resolution/noise is really needed/acceptable for any given application. I liken the discussion to that of high-end hi-fi – where you need sophisticated meters to discern the difference between equipment that can have price gaps of hundreds or thousands of pounds/euros/dollars. I changed from a Canon EOS 5D mark 1 outfit to Olympus 4/3 a couple of years ago.  I love my E620 and the quality of its lenses.  I travel Transatlantically a lot and love the light weight and compact size of the Olympus equipment – even though I often carry the semi-pro lenses (12-60…. the most versatile lens I’ve had on any camera in 30 years of photography, and the 50-200).  Cheers.

    • Giulio Sciorio April 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

      Thanks for the comment Norm. If you got a link to your images online I’d love to see your work. I’m hoping that Olympus makes the lovely 12-60 in micro 4/3rds.

    • Tobias Weisserth May 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

      I also own the 12-60 and 50-200. While I always have the 12-60 on my E-5, the 50-200 only gets taken and carried if I know I absolutely need it. It’s just too heavy to carry it on suspicion. The E-5 with the 12-60 is already pretty heavy.

      I just got an OM-D and had it with me on my latest China trip during the last two and a half weeks. It’s a great camera. Is it going to replace my E-5? Certainly not. It may have better image quality, but there is replacement for the 12-60, the 50 and the 50-200 on the OM-D if you need the autofocus speed of the E-5 on those lenses which I do in many cases for my urban work.

      What bugs me the most about the E-M5 is the lack of usable ‘myset’ settings that can be assigned to a custom mode that’s easily reachable on the body and doesn’t require to hold down a tiny button crammed somewhere in between the other buttons while working in the custom mode. The way this has been solved in the E-5 is absolute genius. For that reason alone, I will keep using the E-5 in many of my standard shooting situations.

      Also, the battery life of the E-M5 is catastrophic. A brand new battery, even going through a couple of re-charging cycles, does not last longer than a day of shooting. I just had a single battery with me as no others were available when I got the camera and even now, I managed to get only one other genuine Olympus battery. The battery grip is on the shelves everywhere but it requires two additional batteries to make use of it. Not well thought out by Olympus, they should have packaged the battery grip with two batteries by default and they’d sold every single battery grip they produced in the last couple of weeks without a doubt.

      The attached image is one of the snapshots I got with the E-M5 and the 45mm. That’s a combination I like very much.

  28. Jamie A MacDonald May 18, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Bravo sir…Bravo.

       Loved reading this. And although I only do a dozen or so paid events a year I am one of those people who are giving serious consideration making a full blown transition to µ4/3. I have a healthy stable of E-series bodies and Zuiko HG lenses, but my one fear of showing up to a shoot packing a couple OM-D’s and some µ4/3 glass scares the hell out of me. Not because I’m afraid they won’t “get the job done”, but because a bride, or family may think “oh boy….he has a smaller camera than me!”

      I know my portfolio will hold its own, but it is scary to think I may have to start all over by proving myself because my gear got smaller.

    Sorry to ramble on, I was just very excited to come across your blog and find that you appear to be confident in making the transition I am considering. I DO have my OM-D ordered…Just have to wait for the darn thing to arrive!!

    Jamie.

     

    • Giulio Sciorio May 31, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks for reading and sharing Jamie. I know what you mean about fears of what a client thinks. It’s most important that you get good shots but its also important that a client sees you as an expert and if they hired you then you’re an expert in their eyes already.

      We use Micro 4/3rds because we’re different and we’re thinking different. It’s one thing to talk the talk but when you operate outside the herd you’re walking the walk and using a Micro 4/3rds camera is walking the walk.

  29. Lee Harris May 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Its like you have been reading my mind! I recently got the new EM-5 and it has been 20 years since I have loved a camera this much. I Recently did a theatre shoot and took it along as a second camera, the results were  excellent at 6400 using the 45mm lens, and the quiet shutter and size factor makes you so discrete, i would happily use these cameras all the time and the weight saving is awesome.

    http://leeharris.eu
    http://blog.leex.co.uk/

    Lee Harris

    • Giulio Sciorio May 31, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

      Happy to hear you like the blog Lee! I’m with you I LOVE my OMD and my Pen both are spectacular in operation and quality.

      Thanks for sharing your work and blog. Good stuff!

  30. Mark May 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    I’ve been on the fence about selling my Canon gear for so many of the same reasons you list above.  And, that OM-D is just calling me–such a compelling offering.  I love the idea of a more portable camera with less weight, but I didn’t want to trade image quality for that convenience.  With the newest Oly, not sure that’s the case at all, and the colors are amazing to my eye.  I think I am falling off the fence onto the OM-D side of things very soon…

    • Giulio Sciorio May 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

      Do it! Make the Jump Mark and you’ll love it. The system is new and exciting and I feel is the future of photography.

      I don’t see a major difference in quality with any 35mm sensored camera. The exception would be the Nikon D800 but I don’t feel the difference is worth three times the cost. There is a big difference in quality when you look at a Phase One system but that will cost about $20,000 to get started.

  31. Max Young May 29, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    G’day Giulio. I just stumbled upon your blog. Yep, my Canon 5DMkii and assorted L lenses are now sold and it’s full steam ahead for the OM-D line. Add some wonderful primes and I’m a happy snapper.

    The world is constantly changing, and photographically speaking, the world has changed in the last 6 months. The EM-5 is now unobtanium and will be so for a long time I suspect.

    I look forward to reading more of your material.

    Regards from Down Under,

    Max

    • Giulio Sciorio May 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      Congrats Max! Get the Zuiko 45mm 1.8 and the 12mm 2.0 both are awesome lenses. 

  32. Zipper Gooch June 6, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    Thank you so much for this article. I want a m4/3 camera because the smaller sensor is actually an advantage on my side of work. There are so many drawbacks when I shoot with a DSLR. Sure, IQ wise it’s better but what is that good for if you cant take a good photo with it. With a smaller camera + smaller lenses I would surely get more keepers.

    I think fear #1 gets to me the most because i’m new to the business. I don’t have a lot of clients and they’re all formed into a networking circle of friends. I’d love to get a m4/3 but I think I’ll stay with my DSLR until I get a lot more work with bigger pays.

    • Giulio Sciorio June 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

      Hey Zipper,

      No one wants to loose clients so I think keeping your DSLR is a good move for now. If the clients are paying enough per job for you to keep the gear do it. You might also consider purchasing the OMD kit and one prime to start and bring that with you on assignment and shoot a bit with it.

      Then as your current clients get used to seeing the camera and how you shoot with it you could start to work it in more and eventually sell off your DSLR gear while you can still get a decent amount of money for it.

      That’s pretty much what I did and it is what I recommend. Although I love using my OMD and Pen there’s no way I would just switch to any system without talking it over with the the people that hire me.

      Thanks for reading

  33. Liandro Siringoringo June 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Hello Giulio, this review really encourage me to buy m43 and to say “there are pointless fear out there due to the society”. You said that many people argue that m43 is not full frame, well I guess that is what DSLR with APS-C sensor had to deal in the past. I really have my eye on OM-D E-M5 and X-Pro1. I would want to ask whether you already had experience with the X-Pro1. I would like to know how would you say about this 2 system.

    Really glad you wrote this post man. Thank you very much.

    • Giulio Sciorio June 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      Hi Liandro,

      I’m happy you found inspiration in this article. I think a lot of people can identify with what I’m dealing with and I’m glad we’re not alone in this.

      You bring up a good point about APS sensor cameras. I remember there being a bit of a struggle for those wanting to shoot 35mm sensor cameras but could only afford APS sized cameras. I was one of those people! I can say though I don’t miss my 5DMKII one bit and wish I has sold it sooner.

      As far as the X-Pro 1 vs the E-M5 I can’t comment too much since I had not used the Fuji but I hear good things about the Fuji and some not good things about it as well. I guess it all depends on how you shoot.

      If you are looking to add an additional camera to your kit then you could use either but if you like to use one system then its M43 100%. I think if the X-Pro 1 was developed more it would be a good system but you’re looking at a first generation product. It’s great but there are some short comings which need to be looked at like RAW processing and the interface.

      I would do some research on what camera is best for you but you already know what camera is best for Giulio. :-)

  34. Brandon D'Silva June 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    Good read.

  35. Alvinksu June 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    what do you think of using OMD for interior photography? I read that you cannot tether OMD to a laptop. I use my 60D tethered to my laptop and control all settings there and I can see it result much clearer. Settings are also done on my laptop which means I don’t touch the camera for multiple shots layering. Is the Eye-Fi a solution? Love the OMD, i’m still waiting for my pre-order.

    • Giulio Sciorio June 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

      While there currently is no way to tether the E-M5 (or any m43 camera to my knowledge) via USB to a laptop there are some workarounds.

      I’ve been working on a lengthy article on workflow and will post that soon. I just did a complete field test shooting a magazine cover and everything worked out pretty well.

      Subscribe to the blog so you know the moment the article goes live. I think its going to be a very popular article.

      • Alvinksu June 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

        ok, thanks.

  36. Dawnleesy July 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    I am a lady wedding videographer. Weight of my equipment has always been my concern as i cant handle heavy camera for the whole day. The small size of the EM5 seem to suit me. i like to use it as a second camera to do some stedicam video and creative shallow DOF shots. I will really appreciate if you can advise me on a light weight stedicam and fast lens with Shallow DOF that i can buy to go with the EM5. My main camera is a videocam canon XF100. Everything is in focus and my video does not look so appealing compare to a lot of videographers who are using dslr to film video.

    • Giulio Sciorio July 3, 2012 at 1:12 am #

      Hi there. I recommend a Stedicam Merlin and the Olympus 12mm F/2.0 Trying to get shallow DOF while using a Stedicam is near impossible as you’re moving around without a wireless follow focus and a focus operator. If you’re doing static shots w/o a Stedicam then try the Olympus 45mm for more shallow DOF.

      Either way don’t expect the same DOF as you would get with a 35mm sensor. We’re talking about two very different formats.

      If you check around on the site you’ll see some example of video I made with the E-M5.

  37. Tyson Robichaud July 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Hey Giulio,

    Great article.  As you’ve so eloquently outlined, the proof truly is in the pudding.  Depending on the need, any current camera is capable as long as the eye and mind behind it are also.

    One thing I’ve found, for me, is that currently the micro 4/3 system just doesn’t have certain lenses that I need for certain shoots, namely UWA rectilinear and T/S lenses.  While I don’t do a whole lot of it, I do some interior architectural/design shooting for a couple clients and while there are a couple options in the proprietary m4/3 world, there are certain optical tools that just aren’t quite available yet.  While I have done some panoramic stitching, using the GF1, G3 and now the OMD EM5, it still wouldn’t quite account for certain situations where I don’t physically have the room (nor the 7-14 lens yet) to gain the wide enough angle of view, or where needing to account for situations where a T/S lens is needed.  That, and I have the workflow down with my other system so well, knowing it’s ins and outs so to speak.

    While, for most work, the optical options provided to us by the micro 4/3 system are good, or better than good, I still need, or at least greatly benefit, from my other system and the lenses available.

    While client perception can be a very real issue, in some scenarios more than others, I do feel that as long as you have the ability to outline this prior and have the ability to show (as you have) projects shot with what may be seen by someone not in the know as “lesser” cameras, it may be a non issue.  I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to sell off any gear currently and I still find my two systems to be complimentary in many ways allowing me to shoot with one or both systems if and when I feel one’s benefits outweigh the other at any given time.

    Thanks again and best regards

    Tyson

    • Giulio Sciorio July 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

      Well said Tyson. I do miss my T/S lenses which I used mainly for portraits (see my portfolio) but I do recall seeing a T/S adapter that you can use with any M43 body. Can’t recall where I saw it but it was in the last week or two.

      G

  38. Nickforweb August 4, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    I just did my first model shoot with micro 4/3. I was shooting a nice D700 set up. Prob 5k worth of Nikon stuff. Other than working shoots, I never brought my gear anywhere anymore. Photography was losing its fun factor for me. I would rather use my iPhone to take around the town pics than my Nikon. Its fun and I was getting great (not quality) moment shots with a stupid phone. I had to shake off all the forum chatter about pixels, FF, etc and remember that the best camera is the one you will use and feel like an extension of yourself. I picked up a used EP2 and have the 20 1.7 on it. I did my first real shoot with it and had to explain to my model that the pics that she loved from my port were with this small camera. She seemed more relaxed than intimidated by my normal set up. I plan on selling all my Nikon gear and go with the OM-D and add some more lenses and treat myself to a photo vacation with the difference. There comes a point in your career where you need to not worry about anyone else but yourself. It’s a creative field and ultimately it is about YOU in the end. M4/3 might not be for everyone, but it is certainly great for some.

  39. photogeek August 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    Great article. I used to use canon, and then I brought a Olympus evolt500 camera and I never looked back. My other photographer friends thought I lost my mind. I have other Olympus e system cameras, but I still do most of my work with that E500. Its only 8meg, so for portraits its all I need. When other photographers I know see my stuff and I tell them that it was done with an 8meg camera they can’t believe it. I always say don’t get wraped up in the bigger the megapixel the better the image game. Its not the camera that takes the photo its you.

  40. Anna September 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    I have currently been trying to decide between the omd and the d7000 to start doing paid work. I currently own a epm1 and have been worried about looks as well as focus speed. Can I use the omd to shoot children like 2 and 3 who move a lot?

    • Giulio Sciorio September 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      You can shoot anything with the OMD you could with the Nikon.

  41. Kevin Etter October 20, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    As a beginner photographer, I picked up a Micro 4/3 camera a couple months ago. I thought the DSLR was overkill for me, both in terms of price and performance. I knew I wanted something more powerful than a point n shoot, which I already have in an iPhone. Also an important factor in my decision was size and weight: my primary motivation for photography is to share the landscapes I hike.

    • Giulio Sciorio October 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      Great comment Kevin and very on point. You are truly ‘todays photographer’ and represent a majority of photo enthusiasts and pros.

      Yes smartphones have replaced small point-and-shoots and Micro 4/3rds are the next “dslr” cameras in photographers eyes.

      Thanks for reading and commenting and I hope to see you more around the web!

      G

  42. Susan November 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    I’m not a professional photographer–just someone who loves shooting and wishes she could be a professional photographer! I’ve had the Oly OMD for a little less than a month with the kit lens (18-50) and the Pany 20mm. I also have Nikon D7000 with a Macro (105mm), wide angle Tamron (11-16); all-purpose lens (18-200mm); a telephoto (80-400) and a pro lens (70-200). I am absolutely terrified to sell my Nikon stuff for the Oly even though I love the Oly and the images I’m getting are certainly comparable. I’m even impressed with the macros I’m able to get with the kit lens. But I’ve invested a lot in the Nikon. And I’m afraid that the minute I sell my luscious, but heavy 105mm macro lens I will regret it. How do you get over this fear?

    • Giulio Sciorio November 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      Hey Susan,

      The way I got over the fear of selling my DSLR was by just selling it. Once I decided to sell my 5DMKII system it took me another two months of thinking about while durring that time the price of the camera went down so all I did was waste about $300 waiting! lol

      That said you got to do what is good for you. Nice thing is that if you ever want a Nikon again you could go back on Ebay and get the stuff again and probably for less then what you sold it for.

      The Micro Nikkor 105 is one of the best lenses around. It’s a classic and will always be so. Maybe keep this one and try it with an adaptor on the OMD? I’m assuming its the one with an aperture ring. Without the aperture ring you’re not really going to be able to control the aperture of the lens.

      Another option is to sell it and get the killer Olympus 60mm macro.

      Either way switching systems is a tough process. As artists we can really become attached to our gear but if we take a moment to step away from the emotions tied to the gear and realize its our vision that makes the image, selling the gear becomes easier.

      Let me know what you end up doing and good luck!

      G

  43. Tomushashinkaman January 14, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Refreshing, brilliant! Death to the “gear heads”, long live the “photographers”.

    • Giulio Sciorio January 14, 2013 at 1:27 am #

      Right on homie thanks! Art is for the artists and SCBP is here to help those who want it to be the best artists they can be.

      G

  44. Ingo Sommer January 19, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    First, THANKS for this great blog Giulio! My switch to the OMD and 4/3′s is almost done. Canon Kit is in eBay and i wait that the OMD Power Kit arrive in my local store. This Blog and some other reports (Chase Jarvis – “Best camera …”) helped me to get over the “fear hill” to change. I will start with the 12-50 and Pana. 20 F1.7.
    I will stick to RAW (maybe RAW&Jpeg). Love to edit in LR myself. Would be nice if you can tell some about the HDR function of the OM-D. Not that i want super futuristic HRD, rather then get the light and contrast right in some situations :).
    Thanks for your know how transfer and nice reports!
    Regards

    • Giulio Sciorio January 20, 2013 at 4:06 am #

      My pleasure Ingo, I love shooting with hybrid cameras so much I had to talk about it. I feel proud to be one of the first professionals to move to the system and I have a feeling many more will in the future.

      Does the OMD have an HDR function built in? I know my Lumix G5 does (HDR video too!) but I’ve not seen one on my Olympus cameras.

      I still shoot RAW but I’m shooting JPEG more then ever before.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      G

  45. Louis Berk March 24, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    I must admit I am on the cusp of leaving m43rds. This is not a troll post just a concern. I mainly shoot MF film and my m43rds kit has grown over time mainly because the lenses are so cheap! My main concern is low light performance. The GH-2 I shoot with was a step up from my GF-1 but I really want the kind of perfomance for interior event-type work you get with Fuji, Nikon and Canon. If anyone can convince me the GH-3 will satisfy my demands then I’ll go for it. BTW, great post and website.

  46. Joe May 16, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    Thanks, Giulio, for the interesting, timely article. I am currently on the brink of buying new equipment. I have been using entry level Nikon equipment (D5000 and kit lenses) for the past 2-3 years and outgrew it almost immediately. The equipment has served me well, though, allowing me to win many prizes and to exhibit prints in Australia and internationally. So, the question now is – another DSLR, or M43. I do a lot of low light theatre photography and wonder if the M43 gear can hack those conditions. I would welcome any feedback, guidance. Thanks.

    • Giulio Sciorio May 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Joe,

      I’ve not used a D5000 but I can say that the low light performance of the EM5,GH3 and G6 would be on par with it if only because of the age difference of the cameras.

      For low light stills, a 35mm sensor is the way to go no doubt but if you want something smaller then a EM5/GH3/G6 would be a safe bet. If you plan on making your photos move then the GH3/G6 would be the easy choice.

  47. Shojib Ashrafi Na Ashrafi June 16, 2013 at 4:03 am #

    Limos are Custom Made.. who built this one and is it the same Company.. if it is they are at Fault. recall all that where made to inspect.

  48. rolfens April 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    I’m an amateur. I used to shoot on an old Canon EOS film SLR. Then I was mainly shooting on iPhone or whatever is available… now I wan to invest in a good camera and I the initial automatic response was to check out the DSLRs… yet I ended up researching 4/3 cameras. Anyway, I just want to say that I’ve researched all the technical stuff and know what to expect, and I don’t have much of a “reputation” concern, but my main fear is whether I’ll enjoy it and be at ease with it, or if I’ll miss the feeling of having a bulky SLR and the satisfying slap of the mirror :D , you see, I don’t really come from a rangefinder (Leica, etc.) background and it has never been my cup of tea…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. OM-D vs. Canon 5d ... hmmmm? - Page 9 - Micro Four Thirds User Forum - April 24, 2012

    [...] is interested the realities of working with the system in a professional environment check it out – How to overcome fears using Micro 4/3rds cameras in a professional environment | Giulio Sciorio Blog __________________ Professional Photographer using Olympus Micro 4/3 Gear. Find me online [...]

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    [...] a new article up on my blog. Check it out and spread the word. The 4/3rds system is fully capable. How to overcome fears using Micro 4/3rds cameras in a professional environment | Giulio Sciorio Blog __________________ Professional Photographer using Olympus Micro 4/3 Gear. Find me online [...]

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