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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm curious if anyone else has switched to this system. For those that aren't familiar with it, it is a joint standard developed by Olympus and Panasonic. Among the most attractive features of the system are very compact size and greatly reduced flange to sensor distance (meaning many legacy lenses from other manufacturers can be used with a simple adapter).

The lenses from either company are fully interchangeable. Also, since the introduction of the system, many companies (including Leica, Zeiss, Tokina, Schneider-Kreuznach, and many others have adopted the standard and started producing lenses.

The latest Panasonic model (GH4) has the added ability to outperform many HD video cameras and is highly capable at 4K recording. A number of independent film makers have switched to this camera because it can accept a wide variety of cine lenses and is a lot less expensive than many other video camera with similar capabilities.

Finally, and this is important, all of the lenses of the system were designed for digital sensors. This is important because digital sensors are almost mirror like and light striking them at acute angles behaves much more differently than it would when striking a piece of film for which it was designed. These new lenses all were designed with ray paths to minimize reflection from the sensor surface.

Here's a link to the organization's site for the lens chart page. Note that not all lenses reveal the manufacturer. For example, the excellent Panasonic macro lens that I have is made by Leica for Panasonic. Enjoy.

http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/lens_chart.html

Here's a page explaining the standard.

http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/whitepaper.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, one more thing, lest you think the lens range is a bit odd, the lenses specified provide a field of view equivalent to a 35 mm lens of twice that focal length
 

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I don't plan to switch from Nikon/Canon full frame and aps-c, but I'm considering adding something like an Olympus E-M10 for the times I want better image quality and more advanced operational features than what a 1/1.7" pocket camera will provide. The Panasonic FZ1000 with a 1" sensor is also tempting even though it is a bit bigger than the E-M10. Photokina announcements are right around the corner - looking forward to the new mirrorless stuff.

http://www.43rumors.com/
 

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I don't see any advantage of 4/3 over Nikon/ Pentax/ Canon. I use Canon, started with a 350D / Xt, up to a pair of 40Ds and then a pair of 7Ds. If I could afford it I'd have a full frame. 5Ds used are coming down, I might yet if I live long enough

Frankly, the "not designed for digital" lenses have not been a problem except in one particular instance. I have a number of 35mm (old manual) glass that I've adapted to Canon, and only one has given me reflection problems, that was the Tamron Adaptall II 90mm

You can shoot it "wide open" but if you stop it down a ways, it produces a violet colored spot in the middle of the shot.

Here

http://forum.manualfocus.org/viewtopic.php?id=9245



There are many lenses I can adapt with simple cheap import adapter rings. Minolta, the old Canon FD / FL and Konica are among the ones I cannot
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I like the compact size. It really makes a big difference to me. I also like playing around with the older lenses because I have an older Konica 35mm system with 4 bodies and a ton of lenses. It's fun playing around with the different combos. I had always felt my Konicas were unnecessarily bulky given the film they were handling.

The Olympus you (dx_format) mention is nice with the stabilization built into the camera body. That's the only complaint I have with the Panasonic system since theirs is built into the lens...but since the lenses are interchangeable, I should just probably add an Olympus back to cover some of that.
 

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A friend of mine has one and he loves it. He has had Canon stuff for a long time, and mostly shoots astro stuff, but after he got the 4/3, he has been pretty much shooting with that exclusively. He said the light weight/compact size is great, and I believe it also has a built in intervelometer, and some other little bells and whistles that he uses too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A friend of mine has one and he loves it. He has had Canon stuff for a long time, and mostly shoots astro stuff, but after he got the 4/3, he has been pretty much shooting with that exclusively. He said the light weight/compact size is great, and I believe it also has a built in intervelometer, and some other little bells and whistles that he uses too.
Yeah, there are some things on it that surprised me since I really bought mine as a still camera. One cool thing is that the autofocus is pretty fast and they use it in clever ways. If you're shooting video using the view screen, you can tap an object of interest on the screen and the focus will follow it as it moves. I saw one video of a dog running around a yard...pretty cool, even though I've never used it.
 

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Wow, that's REALLY cool! I might have to look into one of those a little closer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
For those of you interested in video, and to see just a bit of the potential of Panasonic's latest still camera's video capability, have a look at this brief interview of a Panasonic representative with a GH4 model set up for professional video. If you look closely, you can see the small GH4 body buried in there. Zeiss has produced a whole series of video lenses for this camera. Enjoy.

http://vimeo.com/106364875

I'm interested in still photography so a lot of this is over my head. Amazing value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)

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I don't think that's a valid comparison. I have cheaper xx -- 300 mm zoom for my Canon system that's a "little bitty" thing, but the 300 mm f2.8 is a club. There's one thing you simply cannot "get." that is, the more quality you want, and the larger the aperture, the larger the lens has to be

The whole thing is, it's very difficult to actually compare sensors on "even ground." That's because "per square area" of sensor, the smaller ones can be / generally are denser and therefore can deliver better quality per size. There are advantages to both.

One BIG problem with tiny sensors is, getting wide enough angle when you want, and getting short enough depth of field when you want it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I get aperture and lens design. Aperture is only a function of focal length because it's a ratio of the diameter of the lens opening to the focal length of that particular lens. The focal length of a lens can be held nearly constant in physical length while the aperture increases or decreases. Increases in the lens physical length with aperture are usually only necessary because the increase in aperture sometimes requires the addition of extra elements to compensate for problems in manufacturing the larger diameter lenses. I have 35 mm lenses of the same focal length, both high and low aperture, that vary only slightly in physical length.

Also, delivering quality from a small sensor vs. a large one isn't nearly as important as as the pixel physical size. That's because pixel size is a major factor contributing to well capacity. Scientific sensors, where signal to noise is of the most importance, are usually high capacity well designs with large physical pixels.
 

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I have an old Olypmus 510 that I like. The thing is I think some of the Canons are faster frames per minute which is the only advantage I see. I think picture quality is as good as anything.
 
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