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TS-IOR
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Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Sun May 24, 2015 1:36 am

My next step in photo equipment will be a downgrade, at least in size. I discovered that carrying a DSLR, even if it's an entry level with two basic kit lenses is annoying... And recently I've been looking about the smaller mirrorless, and then discovered that the choice was huge and embarrassing. From high-end full frame to fixed lens pocket models... I'm getting lost. Sony A7 is a no. No need for a full frame. A6000 maybe or the Fuji XT10 or the Olympus OM-D EM10? The first two are APS-C and the latter is 4:3. My needs are for a prime like 40mm or a good kit lens like 16-50. That will be used for street and portraits. A second zoom lens will be used for aviation and other applications. The advantage with the 4/3 is that the focal is doubled, but is it worth and give a beautiful rendering? I feel more comfortable about APS-C with Sony and Fuji, and probably others providing larger sensors than Canon and Nikon. Your advices will be of a great help for me folks.
 
ckw
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Sun May 24, 2015 12:07 pm

I switched from Canon full frame to m4/3 fully about 10 months ago.

With regard to aviation photography, probably the biggest weakness is continuous focus. Obviously for static shots this won't matter, and you're probably OK with airliners on approach, but in general, fast jets coming towards you and the like, forget it. The possible exception to this is the EM-1 with latest firmware - while not as good as, say a 7DmkII it is pretty decent and should cope with most situations.

In terms of image quality, I really like the Oly sensors compared to Canon. Colour is better, and so is the dynamic range. However if you regularly shoot above 1600 ISO, you may not be so happy.

Probably the biggest thing to get used to is the switch from optical to electronic viewfinder. While getting better all the time, EVFs don't match a good OVF optically, BUT there are a lot of advantages, particularly exposure as what you see is what you get, and you can overlay histograms or blinkies - getting super accurate exposure everytime goes a long way to optimising image quality. Also, many models have a "focus peaking" feature. This makes manual focus a practical alternative to AF.

Lenses - like DSLRs there is great glass and not so great. In general you get what you pay for, but there is a huge choice at all price ranges for mFT.

In summary, I have no regrets switching, I'm definitely now getting more keepers and better IQ overall YMMV

Cheers,

Colin
 
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vishaljo
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Sun May 24, 2015 1:13 pm

What gear are u on now Colin?

I tried the Sony A7 II recently at a store in Dubai as i was quite sceptical about its EVF but, i have to say it was pretty nippy.
 
ckw
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Sun May 24, 2015 2:31 pm

Olympus OMD-EM1 with the Oly PRO range lenses which are stunning - just wish they'd hurry up with the rest of the range.

The EVF is pretty remarkable except with very highspeed bursts (the EM-1 can get up to 10fps) in which case the viewfinder tends to fall behind a bit ... but since I've never shot at high fps, not an issue for me BUT it wouldn't suit the machine gun approach to aircraft in flight.

Cheers,

Colin
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Sun May 24, 2015 4:37 pm

Olympus has also another argument... Price   the E-M10 namely for about $500 comparing to the others at +$1000. Of course Colin i guess you feel the loss of weight as if you went on diet right  
 
ckw
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Mon May 25, 2015 8:29 am

Yes - you can get some good prices on the EM10 but do try before you buy! The EM-1 is quite a lot more camera for the price, and you can sometimes find good deals on the Olympus refurb website.

I think the key benefits of the EM-1 over the EM-10 are continuous AF/tracking which is frankly pretty poor on the EM-10 (and for that matter the EM-5 and EM-5 mk2) and a better viewfinder.

Depending on your interests, you might also consider the EM-5 mk2. This has a neat little trick up its sleeve ... a sensor shift technology which allows you to create 40mp images. The catch is it only works for static subjects and should be used on a tripod, but the output is generally considered better than the Nikon 810.

Of course that's the beauty of m43 - lots of choices.

Cheers,

Colin
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Mon May 25, 2015 10:50 am

Thanks Colin   M4/3 is attracting me...

Anybody could feedback on the Fuji X-T and Sony a6000
 
apgphoto
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Mon May 25, 2015 2:15 pm

Another EM-1 user here and for airliners it works reasonably well once you are used to the way it works.

I swapped from Nikon to Oly because of the benefits of size. I carry out a lot of A2A work with hot air balloons I pilot one whilst also shooting the other balloon. For me being able to throw the little Oly in to my regular flight bag and not have to worry about a large DSLR+lens+bag in the basket is perfect.

As with Colin I love the image quality from the Oly
 
mjgbtv
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Tue May 26, 2015 1:07 am

I have been very happy with the Panasonic G5.
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Tue May 26, 2015 8:10 pm

I think am decided on the E-M10 with the 14-42 pancake kit. That will be fairly enough for street, portrait and closeups at airports. Still looking for a suitable telephoto though. Sigma maybe!
 
B747-4U3
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Fri May 29, 2015 3:47 am

I have a Fujifilm XT-1 and it is a fantastic replacement for a DSLR.

The EVF is fast, it has dials and buttons all over the place so you can quickly change the settings and image quality straight out of the camera is great.

There is a good range of lenses all of which get decent reviews.

The only downside of the Fujifilm X series is that compared to DSLRs the battery life isn't great and you would most likely need to invest in a second battery.
 
ckw
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Fri May 29, 2015 8:24 am

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 10):
The only downside of the Fujifilm X series is that compared to DSLRs the battery life isn't great and you would most likely need to invest in a second battery.

That's a fair point, and applies I think to all mirrorless designs - the EVF is a big drain that DSLRs don't have to deal with.

What I have found is a wide variation in experience from different users which seems to depend on settings, how they shoot etc. I think Olympus claim 350 shots per charge for the EM-1 I use, but in practice I've exceeded 1000 frames on a single charge. I suspect that with mirrorless frames per charge is much less significant than duration.

While both DSLRs and mirrorless draw power when the camera is turned on, the DSLR draws a lot more when shooting and processing a frame than when it's idle ... in comparison, mirrorless is eating up power just looking through the viewfinder.

Anyway spare batteries is a must. I have 5 in total, but have not yet used more than 3 in a full day shooting (2000+ frames). I think with Olympus 2 - 2.5 hours shooting (still or video) is a safe estimate.

Cheers,

Colin
 
scopedude
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RE: Mirrorless And Micro 4/3 For Aviation Photography

Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:50 am

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 10):
I have a Fujifilm XT-1 and it is a fantastic replacement for a DSLR.

The EVF is fast, it has dials and buttons all over the place so you can quickly change the settings and image quality straight out of the camera is great.

There is a good range of lenses all of which get decent reviews.

The only downside of the Fujifilm X series is that compared to DSLRs the battery life isn't great and you would most likely need to invest in a second battery.

Do you use your X-T1 for aviation photography? How about the continuous shooting? I have an X-T1 and 55-200, tried both cont. speed and the EVF lags prevent me to frame correctly. The IQ is of course excellent - if I can get the aircraft in the frame (well composed) which is difficult. I still use 70D for this reason though I like the Fuji IQ better despite less MP.

Also, the problem with FUji is that the older lenses tend to AF much slower than the new ones (16-55, 50-140). The 55-200 is probably the slowest of all which is a pity because it is very sharp.

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