Things I really love about our Micro 4/3.
The screen. Love the articulation, I wish my Hasselblad had one.
The touch screen. So clever, love how I can focus by touch.
The EVF. Love how it lets me see into pitch black ruins before I get the real camera out.
Things I really hate.
The screen. Hopeless in Mediterranean light, but there again so is any screen.
The touch screen. See above.
The EVF. Needs a few years.
Things I'm indifferent about.
The sensor, particularly the size. Nothing to get excited about.
I think we are less forgiving in the digital world than we were with analog.
In analog, film cameras, were film cameras. If we looked at epr and it was grainy, despite it's asa of 64 we accepted it, used the film for the look and moved on.
If we wanted tighter imagery, we could move to provia, or before that Kodachrome, or larger formats, but even then if an image had grain, a certain lack of detail or only offered 8 or 10 stops of latitude, we worked around it, learned how to make the most of it, actually learned how to make the limitations work for us and produce something unique.
I firmly believe low key, crushed shadow film photography was a result of transparency films lack of latitude, which to me was fine.
Today, we look at a computer and compare grain, sharpness, detail until our eyes bleed.
Maybe it's the genres I work in, but I personally don't care about seeing perfect, pin sharp detail from the front of the lens to the horizon line of the planet. It means nothing to me.
In fact the some styles of photography that bore me shitless are over produced imagery. Cosmetics, cars some product photography falls into this.
To me they all look the same, over retouched, over sharp, over detailed, with zero amount of humanity left in the image.
I assume the people that shoot this dream of 2 billion megapixels and 20 stops of dr and if these segments move to complete cg I don't think any consumer would know the difference.BTW: I'm not dissing anyone's work, because I've shot a warehouse full of over retouched imagery
that may be the standard, may have pleased the client, but is as believable as a lobbyist for the NRA.
Anyway, I went off topic.
These little 4/3's cameras amaze me. The evf takes some getting use to and may be a work in progress, but compared to most modern dslrs with there tiny little viewfinders and over bright ground plastic are a huge liability.
Actually I would rather use these evfs than the current crop of dslr optical viewfinders.
The only digital camera I've owned with a good optical finder was the kodak dcs 760 based on an F5 Nikon.
After that they all got small and goofy.
With 4/3's manual focus is pin sharp and though at first it throws you to turn a ring and see a full length person zoomed in at eyeball detail, you can manually focus them, even without the zoom function.
The autofocus points are anywhere on the frame. Anywhere . . . and that I love. I
They'll shoot 25 still frames at 5 to 9 fps, switch immediately to video, or not and if someone doesn't like the video function, they don't have to hit the button, though if you work in art or commerce, the ability to have one multimedia camera in a small package is something that all camera makers should address.
The GH3 is virtually not hobbled. It's not a medium format back (good), it's not a RED Epic (even better), because both of those systems are single purpose items that require a lot of light, a lot of support and a lot of post time.
Your not bogged down in $10,000 fluid heads, or a dit station that must be hooked to you every time you shoot.
In regards to the sensor I can make it work. It's not a ccd, but it's not a generic cmos look either. It does take some thought in post processing because of noise and it's size, but I've got the gh3 to the point I can make 4 very pretty films, that the client can see directly to an ipad when I shoot.
The OMD I'll know a lot more about when it comes in Friday.
I don't think anyone should underestimate the wireless functions to an ipad and the in camera settings these cameras allow.
You can get so close to the final look of the image in the jpeg that's send to a tablet, while having the flexibility of a raw file that can be altered anyway you wish.
Now, these cameras are not perfect and are not made for the nose on the screen crowd, but then again, I don't think anyone should view a photograph were their nose on it, though if your adept at post processing,
sharpening layers with different channels I can get a very close resemblance to a non AA ccd camera.
Now back to the original topic, the Sony and the Leica. The Sony shoots a little better still file, but leaves me cold, the Leica warms my heart, but it is a very limited single purpose camera.
I would buy both for different reasons, but they would get 1/10th of the use of my new 4/3's cameras. Of that I'm sure.
Things I would like from 4/3's. More primes that are longer and fast, like the Olympus original 4/3 150 F2.
Also more robust wireless. The eyefy card is more stable than the in camera wi-fi, but a little slower.
I'd also like the OMD to be 20% physically larger. It's not too small but almost too small. The size of the original olympus om series was perfect.
The new Olympus range finder style camera is amazing and actually offers more than the omd. The only problem with it is it's tiny, tiny. I like smaller cameras, but not that fit in the palm of the hand.
One thing to note. Today in commerce getting work is not hard, turning a profit is. Numbers are slashed and every creative brief almost doubles in scope from estimate to delivery and clients are adamant in holding you to the original estimate.
Smaller cameras cost less, use less power, cost less to ship, support, replace.
I hate to sacrifice quality for money, but when you get to a 5% difference to less than full frame 35mm, 15% difference from most FF dslrs, it adds up.
What you can shoot with still and video on these cameras is bloody amazing.
This month we are shooting in 5 U.S. cities, next month, 3 european. then later Asia. Carrying 3,000 lbs of equipment is a money suck.
With 4/3's I can shoot the project with one camera bag, one case of constant leds, one grip case with some air stands and supports and rent on the road the few things like Kinos or HMI;'s if they are really needed.
Actually we've added L plates to all these cameras, converted our video friction/hydraulic heads to work as still and motion supports.
The best thing is after shooting commerce in Paris and London, I can take this small kit, line up some editorial or personal work and not break the bank shooting it.
All I can say is if you approach these 4/3's cameras as serious equipment and not a b camera or afterthought I think most people will be amazed the freedom they offer.
Sorry if this sounds like a commercial, because that's not my plan.
P.S. since I've rambled on so long I might as well add this.
These cameras won't replace my RED's or medium format, even some of the larger dslrs for everything. I'm not that stuck with any system, but they will do a lot more than most people think, at least in the genre's I work.