Come over from Mu-43 (m4/3)?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by imahawki, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. imahawki

    imahawki New to TalkEmount

    Mar 12, 2017
    I've been making serious considerations about coming over from m4/3. I'll get out of the way, that I understand that its the photographer, not the camera that matters. But I feel somewhat limited and have been mulling the change for a while so this isn't an impulse.

    A little history, I currently shoot an E-M5 II. Prior to that I always shot Canon. I started with a Rebel, then a 50D, then a 5D II, then for some reason I ended up regretting, I moved to a 7D. Then I sold all the Canon gear and bought into Olympus. The downside of this conversion would be I have a TON of Oly lenses. 17/45/75 f/1.8, 12-40 PRO, 40-150 and 14-150, kit lens and the powered EZ lens.

    The switch to Olympus was primarily due to kit size so that still is a concern. I don't think the A7 II is a lot larger than my E-M5 but the lenses will for sure be larger.

    My negatives on MFT are really low light performance and DOF. Neither of which can really be fixed. I can get DOF going long, but I still have to deal with low light issues in a lot of cases and you can end up with some awkward working distances e.g. 75mm f/1.8 is like shooting a full frame 150mm f/3.5.

    I've looked at the E mount FF lenses and there definitely is a dearth. Nothing small and nothing inexpensive. So that's probably the big negative. There are some options on the E mount APS-C side but APS-C mode on the A7II is 10MP if I understand. If lens size is a big deal maybe I should also consider the A6xxx series?

    So if I put together a FF kit what would I get?
    1. A7 II or wait for A7III since I have a system and am not in a huge hurry.
    2. Kit lens: 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 - $300 if purchased with body. I know this is a weird comparison but I've spent years thinking like this. So this would be like a 14-35mm f/1.8-2.8 in MFT terms, right? So that would be equal or better to my 12-40 PRO but with just a bit less zoom. My understanding is also that this lens rates pretty well objectively, even though it is a kit lens. I don't think this combo would be huge compared to my E-M5 II and 12-40 PRO combo.
    3. Portrait lens: FE 85mm f/1.8 - $600. This would be like if I had an MFT 42.5mm f/0.95 (right?) which would be insane.
    4. Standard prime: Either the 28mm f/2 for $450 or the 35mm f/2.8 for $799 or the 50mm f/1.8 for $250. The 28 seems too wide considering I had some regrets going from the 25mm to 17mm Oly. Therefore, the 50 seems like a no brainer.
    5. Finally, I might buy a longer zoom for utility and portraits. Again, considering f/5.6 in FF is equivalent to f/2.8 in MFT, I could get a 70-200 f/4 or 70-300 f/4.5-5.6.
    So starting out conservatively I could get into the Sony ecosystem for what, $2700 if I held off on a long zoom.

    I'm sure I'm not the first person to post a similar thread but I wanted to give my own story. Sorry if it is redundant. Has anyone made the switch and regretted it due to lens selection or system size? Who has made the switch and never looked back?
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Me. Admittedly, my last m4/3 camera was the Panasonic GH2, so most of the better sensors and lenses were still on the horizon when I switched to the NEX-6. But what I get from my current A7II is a definite step up in IQ, and there's no getting around the DOF and wide-angle limitations of the m4/3 platform.

    I'm afraid I have no good answer to the cost (and size) of good FF lenses. There are plenty of good legacy lenses, if you are OK with manually focusing. But I'm afraid there's no getting around the cost and size limitations of the FF platform.
  3. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    Lens selection is never a problem, if you're willing to go the adapted/legacy route. In fact, I have too many lenses, and I only have two native lenses.

    Admittedly, it's not for everybody.
  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Welcome to the "dark" side :D

    1. I would wait to see what new the A7III brings to the table personally...
    2. I have the kit lens FE 28-70 and its not a good lens IMHO - your 12-40 PRO is probably a better lens IQ wise...
    Also I can't help noticing that you're multiplying (or dividing) the f-stop of the lenses but that's only to DOF purposes, not light gathering purposes - I'm sure you know that :) An MFT f/1.8 lens will gather more light that a FF f/4 lens - only the DOF will differ

    Sony surely has some excellent lenses (some more budget friendly lenses too lately) but the cost is definitely on the expensive side :(
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  5. imahawki

    imahawki New to TalkEmount

    Mar 12, 2017
    Yeah, I think the platform has definitely matured in that time but as we all know, there are inherent limitations. Pixel density is really capping out the sensors, noise is a problem, and DOF as we all agree.

    I'm not interested in adapting legacy lenses and manual focus. Obviously there are some opportunities there but I'm simply not willing and interested. So that needs to be factored in.

    As noted, I'm not interested or willing to use legacy lenses.

    I think waiting for the A7III is probably a given at this point. Maybe there will be more MP which would result in crop mode being higher resolution which would solve some lens size and cost problems if I could mix in some APS-C lenses. We'll see. I'll probably wait.

    Good to know on the FE 28-70... what's the "standard" walk around zoom then?

    As far as light gathering, I've seen more arguments on this topic than I can shake a stick at. Many credible sources say that light gathering IS impacted because the surface area is smaller. Just like if you had a 1ft by 1ft solar panel vs a 2ft by 2ft.

    Thanks all for the responses. I don't want to rush into this. I'm in a little bit of a shooting lull that typically happens over winter in Nebraska. I want to make sure any change isn't just boredom.
  6. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I shoot both the E-M5 II and A7 II. I'm constantly trying to push each system to their limits. My take, the A7 II takes the better photos, but my E-M5 II allows me take photos that are otherwise impossible.

    The A7 II wins with DOF control even with just using cheap MF lenses like a Helios 44-3 or Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens (using a Techart Pro adapter allowing for AF with MF glass):
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    The E-M5 II allows for photos that are impossible abiding to normal rules of photography when using IBIS and other M43 strengths:
    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    by Jonathan Friolo, on Flickr

    Honestly, it really depends on what kind of shooter you are. ;)
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  7. imahawki

    imahawki New to TalkEmount

    Mar 12, 2017
    Regarding IBIS, doesn't the A7 II have in body stabilization? I get that its a different flavor but both have 5 axis stabilization, correct?
  8. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    Yes, but the Sony 5-axis IBIS is nowhere as effective as the 5-axis IBIS on M43. The E-M5 II handles smoothly, is more responsive and has a much better EVF. Olympus image processing is also nicer in my opinion with richer colors and skin tones, even when processing in raw.

    I also prefer Olympus glass and I just adapt lenses on the A7 II because none of the Sony native glass appeals to me.
  9. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    I think @imahawki@imahawki is right when you're considering noise behaviour: in terms of light-gathering you'll need 2 stops faster glass for µ4/3 because the sensor's surface is only 1/4 of that of a 24x36mm sensor, and that means you'll have to lower the ISO by 2 stops (4x) to get to the same noise level. In other words: µ4/3 needs ISO 100, 25mm, f/1.4 to get the same depth-of-field, noise level and angle-of-view as 24x36mm (FF) with ISO 400, 50mm and f/2.8. If there'd be a µ4/3 camera with a state-of-the-art 42 MP sensor that would offer ISO 25, there would be no reason to prefer FF over µ4/3 in this regard. Of course, Sony offers f/1.4 lenses like the FE 1.4/50 and there's no such thing as a µ4/3 0.7/25mm...

    A remarkable outcome is that the diameter of the front lens has to be the same for both systems for equivalence in depth-of-field, noise and field-of-view. That means that both systems will be equally large and heavy as soon as the lens starts determining the size of the gear. Which is elaborated upon by Thom Hogan in a recent post of his.
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  10. imahawki

    imahawki New to TalkEmount

    Mar 12, 2017
    Well, both of these statements are disheartening. Maybe the A7 III will have better stabilization.

    I have noticed that the native lens image threads are pretty light here compared to over at and many of the images in the camera body threads are adapted lenses. So what's Sony on about then? They can't make lenses?

    Agree on your first point, that's my understanding as well. Regarding the blog post, this jumps out at me as well.
    Not sure there's really anything to be gained technologically on m4/3. I'm not on a 20MP sensor yet. I could just hold out for a E-M5 III and see what that brings but it won't improve noise and DOF. We already know what the 20MP sensor does in the cameras it already exists in. He also mentions the idea that Sony seems to be releasing bodies with more and more features but their lens releases border on negligence. That is the charge I hear leveled from the m4/3 community against Sony most often... enough the bodies, make some damn lenses!

    Maybe I'll look more into APS-C mirrorless. That opens up the Sony 6xxx series as well as Fuji.
  11. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Sony has filled out the full-frame lens line-up quite a bit, and if you include 3rd-party emount glass there are lenses for most shooter's needs. It's not Canikon-wide, but there is a selection there. The problem - in my opinion - is that they cost an arm, a leg, and your first-born child. At least I cannot afford most of them, which is one reason I have mostly legacy lenses. I'd not be so quick to dismiss legacy lenses, though. If MF is not your thing, some autofocus adapters focus a manual lens about as fast as native lenses, so even formerly all-manual lenses from almost any mount can be an AF lenses. But admittedly as somebody said earlier, adapting lenses is not for everybody.

    If size is important, you might want to lean to the A6xxx series. In some respects, they are a bit more advanced technology wise. I just updated my body last week to an A7ii from an A6000. I gotta say that though it seems small on paper, there is a definite difference in body size and also weight. This can actually be a plus ergonomically, but now I am not sure I will be selling my A6000 as I had originally planned. With the right lens, or by carrying body/lens separately, you can put it in a large pocket, which comes in handy. And of course APS-C lenses will be smaller, but you can use FF lenses on them if you like. An A6xxx is also less noticeable, if you want to be discreet.
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  12. imahawki

    imahawki New to TalkEmount

    Mar 12, 2017
    Yeah, affordability is key too. I'd still say the lens lineup is not even Oly/Pany wide. Most of my lenses were well under $1000 with only the 75mm and 12-40 PRO being outliers. A few others crept up there but I have some of the nicest lenses in the system. Looking at some of the nicest lenses in the FF Sony system, they're $1,500 - $2,000 in a lot of cases. And I wonder if I'll be disappointed in the "middling step up" of an APS-C. Like is it FF or just sit tight?

    Adapters really don't appeal to me. I had the first generation Canon EOS M and having a tiny compact little body + adapter + 85mm f/1.8 was a damn nightmare. I will NOT use adapted lenses.

    I really don't want to give up 5 axis so that limits me to the A7II and A6500 right?
  13. Mus Aziz

    Mus Aziz TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 3, 2015
    Sony can make lenses's just that they're more expensive than the equivalent Canikons :(

    I've just acquired the excellent Sigma 20mm and 35mm Art lenses adapted to my A7Rii with the Sigma MC-11 adapter. AF and Eye AF work fine. No issues. My recent pics posted in Pic a Day thread were taken from these combo.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  14. robbie36

    robbie36 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Nov 21, 2014
  15. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    I wasn't referring to noise gathering ;)
    But nevertheless, that's great info Ad ;)
  16. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    Just realize that there is no free lunch when switching systems. Each system has their strength and weaknesses. I'm constantly shooting both. I'm now down to 3 M43 lenses and a handful of adapted lenses on the Sony A7 II. I feel I have a very good mirrorless kit that covers it all, but in order to cover all my bases, it requires having my toes in two formats! There's nothing wrong with having multiple formats. I also feel that my kit is cost effective this way versus buying top tier glass from either system.
  17. sesser

    sesser TalkEmount Veteran

    May 21, 2016
    I, too (half way) abandoned m4/3 for an A7II. I like the A7II for what it *can* do, but it's not a silver bullet. Noise is better, but not that much better and it's different than Olympus' (which I find pleasing in some scenarios). At base ISO, the Sony sensor beats m4/3 all day long, but at higher ISOs, 800+ the noise can be a factor when recovering detail in shadows... although, unless your printing rather large, you probably wouldn't notice.

    I also only own ONE native lens (the kit) but I get better images using old lenses with the TechArt Pro. Don't discount the TAP AF adapter for old glass. It's surprisingly snappy and fairly accurate. It is a bit fidgety to deal with, but works well enough. Legacy zoom lenses probably don't fair too well using the TAP however so if you're partial to zooms, it's not the best solution.

    Here's a straight out of camera JPG with no adjustments (other than resizing). OM Zuiko 50/1.4 @f2 w/the TAP 7EAA8E81-ECEE-401D-A1DA-7A3413DB7AD6.jpg
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  18. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    I moved over from a very complete m43 (EM5 Mk2 etc) setup to the Sony setup in my signature.
    I'm glad I moved, I don't find the Sony kit cumbersome at all, it all fits into a very compact backpack.
    I use all Native lenses (the 10mm is a Voigtlander but is still E mount) and I'm very happy with the IQ and performance.
    I bought a lot of my kit used so saved money that way.
    I have the A7R2 and when used with crop lenses still achieves around 17-18Mp so no issues there, but I pretty much always use in as a FF camera.
    I don't think the native e-mount lens selection is that bad, I have everything I want and cover all the focal lengths I need.
    The Sony FF primes are excellent, particularly the 35 f2.8, 55 f1.8 and 90 macro f2.8.
    Overall I find the IQ from my Sony system superior to what I was getting with m43, particularly w.r.t noise and dynamic range.
  19. Chris Munden

    Chris Munden TalkEmount Regular

    May 13, 2016
    Peter Bower
    Lovely black n white, I'm in a reverse situation to the original post on this thread. 2 main reasons I'm dumping my A6000 in favour of Olympus, first, the lens choice and price for E mount lenses whether it be FF or APS-C, is poor and price/performance is average unless you spend a fortune on Zeiss glass which I can't afford let alone an A7xxx, there is no IBIS unless you buy the over priced A6500, and I do not like Sony colours, their Jpegs are in my view bad. See the Jpeg shoot out on the web, Sony and Pentax came last. On the other hand, Olympus Jpegs are some of the best colours you will see, including Canon, Fuji and Nikon and not much PP is required. As for a CSC, Olympus have a good and affordable lens line up as do Panasonic and both work well on each camera. I am not in the 'pixel race' as its meaningless for my needs and I also think some of the lower pixel count cameras gave better IQ, a good case in point is the Canon 18-mp vs 24-mp, to me the 18-mp was Superior. If I wanted great Jpegs on an APS-C sensor, I would opt for Canon, 18-mp that is with the added bonus that there is a vast used market for lenses and bodies. You could build a great system just from second hand gear.
  20. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Funny that natural true to life colors are considered bad :confused-69:
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