For British readers, saying that Micro Four Thirds cameras are like Marmite will be well understood, ie they divide opinion.
As a Canon-guy, and a Canon-guy that only uses Magic Lantern or CHDK augmented cameras (5D3, EOSM(Vis), EOSM(IR), EOSM3, G1X, G5X, G7X, S95) I have been reluctant to explore other camera manufactures; although I did‘play around’ with the Sony S6000 a couple of years ago; but sold it on.
However, a recent travel experience has led me to explore the Medium Format sensor option, with a crop of 2; and,specifically, the Olympus brand.
My recent experience pivoted around having to carrying all my 5D3-based infrastructure with me on a tour of Scotland, iein and out of hotels and out shooting day and night. A lot of heavy ‘stuff’, when you factor in the camera, the lenses, the (large) tripod, the gear head, the laptop etc etc etc.
I was drawn to the Olympus MFT cameras for five reasons: their size, relative to the 5D3; their mirrorless advantage that allows me to use ‘specialist’ lens adapters, such as the ND Throttle; their ‘button re-programmability’, but I won’t say much about their menus; their focus bracketing; and their Live Time feature, that allows one to see the exposure (and histogram) evolving in real time.
As this is an experiment for me, I decided to ‘go cheap, and buy into a ‘last gen’ Olympus. Thus, I bought a second-hand OM-D M5 Mk II, rather than get a MkIII. I also ‘went cheap’ on dedicated lenses and decided to buy at the ‘kit end’ rather than the ‘pro end’: Olympus 14-42mm, 40-150mm, plus a Samyang 7.5mm Fish Eye.
In addition to the (dumb) ND Throttle, which is there for Long Exposure capture, I purchased a basic ‘dumb’ adapter for my Canon EOS lenses; as the OM-D M5-II has great focus peaking, I think this will be OK for my type of photography. I don’t do sports or bird photography, that would require fast acting AF tracking; ‘all’ I do is put a camera on a tripod and try and slow down.
To complete my ‘new’, lightweight travel set up, I will likely throw in my CHDK G7X or G5X, and, of course, my newly acquired Peak Design Travel Tripod: an incredible piece of engineering design.
Finally, to complete the downsizing, no more laptops for me when I’m on the road. In future I’ll simply use my existingiPad Pro 10.5, loaded with Lightroom and Affinity Photo (£16, one off purchase), as my Photoshop substitute, as Adobe need to do a lot more with the iPad-based Photoshop before I consider it useable.
I’m looking forward to trying out my new, old stuff, and will write about my ‘on the road’ MFT experiences in future posts.