Moving from m43 to Sony FF

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by nstelemark, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. nstelemark

    nstelemark TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 19, 2013
    I've noticed that a number of m43 forum contributors (MAubrey, Robbie, Amin etc) have moved to Sony FF as their full time camera. I am wondering what the motivators are?

    For me I can't see any significant reason to move from m43 for the kind of shooting I do a lot of. The primary reason is there seems to be no FE mount long telephotos and only one recommended APS-C Sony lens (SAL70400G 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM) which is A-mount. If I am going to use APS-C I don't see a big reason to move from m43.

    An example of the sort of images I would shoot:

    150f2 (300mm FF FOV)

    150f2+EC20 (600 FF FOV)


    For landscapes I see a real reason to move to FF (E-M5ii aside assuming it is really still), but I don't see other compelling reasons. What am I missing?
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    I still shoot MFTs alongside Sony. What I did give up recently, which I never thought I'd do, is sell my digital Leica M body. So I am back to shooting just the two digital systems (plus Leica film).
    • Like Like x 1
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    For the kind of shooting you do, almost nothing.

    I also moved here via µ4/3 (several Panasonics) and prefer shooting with much wider lenses than what you've shown here, so for me FF works great.

    But don't discount the much better dynamic range, ability to separate your subject from the background (in non-telephoto focal lengths), and less noise at higher ISOs. Those nice-to-have features add up.

    For me.

    Maybe not for you?
  4. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    I haven't left micro four thirds, but I've sold a few lenses:

    45mm f/1.8
    4/3 35mm f/3.5 Macro
    (trying to sell) Voigtlander 17.5mm f/.95 ($550 if anyone's interested)

    And I'm currently debating whether I should also sell:

    25mm f/1.4 (so useful and my only AF normal...)
    9-18mm f/4-5.6 (so incredibly tiny and so very nice for backpacking...)

    Those are hard calls. But I know that the fact of the matter is that I really only shoot micro four thirds with my 75mm f/1.8. For me, anything wider than 100mm equivalent is better with my A7. But my E-M5 is definitely superior for telephoto shooting. And actually, on that front, I just picked up the 150mm f/2, MMF-3, and the EC14 for what amounted to an incredible steal. It arrives tomorrow in the mail. I plan on keeping micro four thirds for telephotos most definitely. I'm not going anywhere, but I am re-evaluating what and how I shoot. Right now, I will likely try to keep the 9-18mm and sell the 25mm in the next couple weeks. I can't decide on the 9-18mm untili compare my current ultra-wide lenses (I think I have four) and then decide which lenses I should keep and which I should sell.

    Anyway, that's a rabbit trail. The larger point is that my inclination for what I want to keep micro four thirds for seems to already fit with what you shoot: telephoto subjects.
  5. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    (also: I think the 70-400mm is a FF lens)
    • Like Like x 1
  6. nstelemark

    nstelemark TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 19, 2013
    For me the DOF issue is pretty much moot. With faster m43 lenses (25 1.4, 42.5 1.2 & 75 f1.8) more often than not I want more DOF not less. To be completely fair I usually use the 75 as a portrait lens, so background separation is not hard, but it is not a super easy lens to shoot portraits with. Subject engagement is not easy and indoors it is a pain :wink:. The DR is a factor for sure, but up until the stabilized A7 bodies I think the high ISO argument was a red herring for the most part, assuming you could shoot with a slower shutter speed. With on sensor stabilisation the A7 bodies have some really compelling attributes.

    For tele shooting I think m43 is a real winner (but seemingly not marketed aggressively that way). The DOF argument almost works in reverse with telephoto lenses, and faster lenses are a huge win in longer FLs because maintaining a higher shutter speed is key to getting sharp images and freezing motion.

    I don't think I shoot enough WA at this point to want to invest in another body to complement m43. Mind you this may change since I picked up the 8mm 1.8 fisheye which I really like. More DR and pixels would be an advantage with this sort of FOV, no question.

    Even with the shrinking camera market the enthusiast range of choice is fantastic - Sony, Fuji, m43, Leica, and too a lesser degree Canikon - are all offering interesting models.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. nstelemark

    nstelemark TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 19, 2013
    This is certainly an image that could benefit from more DR and pixels (shot with the 8mm 1.8 - slight crop).

    P8020034 (1).jpg
    • Like Like x 5
  8. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    That's a beautiful shot with the 8mm f/1.8.

    It sort of feels like the size advantage for micro four thirds exists at the extremes--ultra wide angle and the telephoto end. There's never going to be a 14-28mm that's as small as either the Olympus f/2.8 or the Panasonic f/4 for FF. And the 9-18mm is truly the ultimate travel ultra-wide.

    I think the my A7 and my (hopefully in the mail soon) A7rII will really dominate the 24mm to 90mm range. At least, that's how I've rationalized my own choices! The fact that I rely so much on legacy glass also contributes. The Canon FD 85L look great on my E-M5, but it looks absolutely amazing on my A7 (and my 5Dc before it).

    Granted, I've been bitten by the "sensor size" bug and am currently lusting after 4x5 view cameras...and am considering building my own 16x20 (or at least 11x14)...particularly now that Ilford has brought back their Harman Direct Positive film.
  9. nstelemark

    nstelemark TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 19, 2013
    Well curiosity got the better of me today and I had a look at the A7II and the Fuji XT1.

    The A7 series has gotten quite a bit bigger, they are now decidedly chunky, I liked the older ones better in this regard. That did not endear me to the body. The EVF quality is a wash as well. It also did not have the built out of one piece that the EM-1 has (as does the XT1). The continuous AF is much better.

    The XT1 had a nice feel but the grip is ho-hum. The A7 has a better grip.

    Interestingly neither made me want to get out my card and buy one.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    I'm completely with you on this one. I much prefer the old version of the body.
  11. nstelemark

    nstelemark TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 19, 2013
    This makes me think a used A7 might be a good fit since I already have glass I can use (a pretty wide range of OM glass).
    • Like Like x 1
  12. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Well, I can tell you it will work well! I've used on my A7:

    OM 24mm f/2.8 MC
    OM 50mm f2 Auto-Macro
    OM 35-70mm f/4 Auto-Zoom

    And I'll in the market for the 100mm f/2 with next year's photography budget.

    Since I received my A7rII, I've been debating on whether or not I should sell the A7. I haven't decided yet (for the same reason you mentioned--size), but if you start looking for a used A7, do let me know.
  13. robbie36

    robbie36 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Nov 21, 2014
    I am not sure about this. As you rightly point out the ISO advantage of the A7 was something of a moot point until A7 ibis. M43 was my main system when I had the A7r. I certainly won't be buying an ILC without ibis again. This is especially true with adapted lenses.
  14. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    If you're using legacy glass, the advantage of the FF sensor for resolution is a huge advantage even without IBIS. Every accounting for the fact that smaller sensors use the center, best portion of the lens, none of my legacy lenses ever looked as good on my Panasonic G2 or Olympus E-M5 as they do on my A7. My E-M5 is relegated to telephoto use now for that very reason.
  15. nstelemark

    nstelemark TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 19, 2013

    My current list of OM lenses:

    24 f2.8
    35 f2.8 G
    50 f1.8 F
    135 f2.8 MC
    300 f4.5

    Which gives me pretty good coverage
    • Like Like x 1
  16. nstelemark

    nstelemark TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 19, 2013
    As we both know IBIS is not magic. Where possible higher shutter speeds can create better/crisper images. This is another situation where the equivalent aperture fun really gets in the way of rational discussion. If I have a f1.4 m43 lens and I can shoot at that aperture for the DOF I want, then I still have two stops faster shutter speed than FF at the same ISO (assuming f2.8 for FF). If you can get above safe handholding shutter speed then IBIS is a moot point.

    All that aside I did a little analysis on my images over the last couple of years. I have shot roughly 20,000 frames, and out of those 20,000 frames only 3100 are at less than 1/100 of a second, if I drop it to 1/60 the number goes to 2600. If I remove images with flash I get to 2100. So roughly 10% of my images really benefit from IBIS and since I can't tell from EXIF how many were on tripod that number is likely somewhat high. Interestingly a lot of these images are "snap shot" throwaway images from parties, dinner etc.

    Of course I do have to keep in mind that ISO has to rise two stops to be equivalent but in theory the A7 sensor should be quite capable of this. Really I have to decide to take the plunge to a larger sensor or wait for Oly's maybe delivery of handheld sensor shift (the E-M5II really being a novelty), and still take the hit in DR. Hmmm....
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Alex66

    Alex66 TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    I bought an A7 as it was a good price then bought the 55mm due to the near universal excellent reviews, I can say it was worth every penny. I would not get rid of the m43 cameras as the 45-200 is a good size for its reach and on FF its just going to be too big for the same reach, plus the GX7 is a joy to use. But the quality I get from the a7 55mm is just superb and the camera it self is very nice to use.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. devorama

    devorama New to TalkEmount

    Jun 5, 2015
    Chicago, IL
    I used to be pretty exclusively a Pentax APS-C shooter. I bought a Panasonic G2 back in the day to dabble in something smaller. I eventually sold it because I never really clicked with that camera. Then I tried an Olympus OMD E-M1. That camera has great ergonomics. I bought one from the Olympus outlet for a pretty good price. I got some nice primes. The Olympus 45mm F/1.8 and the Panasonic 20mm F/1.7. Then I got the 12-40mm F/2.8 for a flexible all-arounder and the 14-150 megazoom. I know, I went kinda crazy. Then I started shooting m43 more and found there were a few things I didn't care for. After shooting 24MP, going back to 16MP was kind of a bummer. In a few circumstances, I wanted to crop some pics heavily and the resolution was less than I was used to. Also, I am not always crazy about the out of camera exposure curves from this camera. I shot some outdoor shots at a pool party and I had to do a lot of negative adjustment of "whites" in Lightroom.

    Then I found a great price on a Sony A7. I have a bunch of legacy Pentax glass, so I though it would be fun to play with using adapters. It is, but I really miss having in-body image stabilization that my Pentax and Olympus had. I shot some candids and portraits at a party using the 55mm f/1.8 and man that lens really impresses. I recently found a great price on an A7 II, so I'll be moving up to that. Other than having better options for telephoto, I don't see a lot making need to keep my m43 gear. I mean, the E-M1 and the 20mm do make for a pretty compact setup. But then again so would the A7 II with the 35mm F/2.8. After buying the A7, I sold all my Pentax cameras and all my aps-c lenses. I'm still debating if I'll keep the E-M1 or not.