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Sony or Olympus, or and

No points for guessing what I've done; you may have already noticed from images in the last few posts. Yes, I've bought a new camera! The title picture has nothing to do with the topic, but it was one of the very first images taken with the new camera.

I would like to thank the staff at Fotohaus in Basel for their help with the choice, I can heartily recommend this shop. I've been there more than a few times and always received great service from very knowledgeable staff. It's well worth a visit if you're looking for a new camera, lens, or equipment, or just simply advice.

After a lot of back and forth, and it really was a lot, four or five months of a lot, I now have an Olympus OM-D E-M1 mk2, with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12‑40mm 1:2.8 PRO and 40‑150mm 1:2.8 PRO, lenses with a 1.4x teleconverter. I was offered a very good price for all together.

I spent my time,

  • looking at the pros and cons of my Sony setup compared to the Olympus

  • trying to decide if it would make sense to change systems

  • reading reviews, lots of reviews

  • trying to decide if those reviews may be biased

  • comparing images from both cameras

  • adding up resale values of equipment, etc, etc, etc.

  • and then doing it all again

  • and again

I was stuck in a loop for a while because the clear answer was in a direction that I wasn't looking, and even though obvious in hindsight, still unexpected. Even after coming to the conclusion, the price of the system still made me think again. The answer is that there isn't a single camera system on the market that fits my requirements.

My interests are developing in Landscape, including Nightscapes and Wildlife. While the Sony A7 is excellent for Landscape and Nightscape, I don't think that it holds up for wildlife. Although the auto-focus on the A7 is fast, it's not as fast on non-native lenses and there are no native lenses with the reach I want. I use the Sigma 150-600mm on the A7 with the Sigma MC-11 adaptor, and I do like it a lot, but the auto-focus is not great and non-existent when used with the 1.4x teleconverter. I tend to rely on manual focus with focus peaking.

On the EM-1 I can use a native Panasonic 100-400mm which is equivalent to 200-800mm in full format, as well as being slightly more than 1 kg lighter. Due to the sensor size, MFT lenses are lighter and smaller. So I can save not only on weight but also size across the board.

It's also weatherproof, which is a great advantage, especially after my experiences last winter! The image is from the advertising, but from the tests that I've seen, it's not far off!

As I plan to spend more time in the mountains, the weight and size savings are important as I need to fit food, water, tent, etc into the bag too. I'm very attached to my Gitzo 2542LOS, so I can't save there!

I think that Sony is still superior in low light as it has a larger sensor, so for landscapes and nightscapes, I still have a need for it. At least it still looks that way.

It's now time to sell some lenses that I no longer need, or to look at it another way, bring in some money to buy new MFT lenses! I already have the next in view, it will have to be a choice of either the Olympus 300m or the Panasonic 100-400mm.

This has started the next set of research. Prime or Zoom for wildlife photography?


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