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  1. #1
    No longer a hardtailkid.
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    Four thirds/mirrorless sytem cameras anybody?

    I have a Canon 50D, but I'm a smaller dude and I really don't like carrying it in my Camelbak (or any other bag while riding, for that matter). I just saw these mirrorless cameras on B&H and thought they looked pretty neat and compact, while not as bad as your average point and shoot.

    If you have one, tell me what you think and maybe post a picture or 5 that you've taken with it.

    Thanks,
    Andy
    Last edited by hardtailkid; 01-02-2012 at 02:54 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonys
    Its still just the push of a button away...
    I am no longer a hardtailkid. 2012 Trek Remedy 9!

  2. #2
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    I switched my Canon EOS 60D system against a m43 system in August. In my opinion you give up very little in image quality (mainly in high ISO) but save a lot of space and weight. With these cameras the optics is the most important thing and not the sensor and there is a good choice of lenses with the m43 system.

    Another alternative is the Sony NEX series. It has a larger and better sensor, but is lacking in good lenses. Also, except for the pancake lens you won't save much weight with a NEX camera system. While the cameras are small and light the lenses are not. BlackCanoeDog has excellent pictures with a NEX camera on the fatbike forum and has this summary of the NEX 5.

    A few examples taken with the Olympus E-P2 and various lenses can be found on my blog:
    Another overnighter with the kids
    A short one
    State of the winter







    My bike blog: www.yetirides.com

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I'm really interested in picking one up.
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonys
    Its still just the push of a button away...
    I am no longer a hardtailkid. 2012 Trek Remedy 9!

  4. #4
    offroader
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    Olympus E-P2. The newer EP-3 supposedly has much faster autofocus which is the major weakness of my EP2




  5. #5
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    I've used all of the systems except the Samsung. My favorite, partly because I've used it the most, is the Olympus. The Olympus E-P3 is my favorite camera of 2011. I actually left the DSLR at home when I went to Europe for my honeymoon this summer - something I wouldn't have done a couple of years ago. And I have no regrets. Here's my full Olympus E-P3 review: Olympus E-P3 Review | Camera News & Reviews

    The main thing you're going to give up with a compact system camera is continuous auto focus. If you pre-focus everything, then that won't matter one bit. But if you use the continuous auto focus on your 50D (or another DSLR) then you're going to have to adjust your technique with the mirrorless cameras because they just don't cut it. Except for the new Nikon 1 System (my Nikon 1 J1 review). It has excellent continuous auto focus and I think it's a great backpack camera for any action sports folks. The tradeoff with the Nikon is that the sensor is smaller than the M/43 sensor and the image quality isn't as good. But in good light, and for video, it's great. The other issue with the Nikon is that the lens selection is crappy right now.

    I need to write a full compact system cameras guide and it's one of the top things on my to-do list. I just returned a Sony NEX-5N I had for review (awesome camera) and when I get that review published I'll get to work on the compact system camera guide. In the meantime, I am happy to answer more questions. You could also check in to the EVIL & Micro Four Thirds Cameras Forum on PhotographyREVIEW.com. There's tons of information on the mirrorless cameras there

    The photo below is my wife riding in the Dolomites in Northern Italy. It was taken with the Olympus E-P3 and 9-18mm zoom lens.

    Back of the camera, back of the pack.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CupOfJava View Post
    Olympus E-P2. The newer EP-3 supposedly has much faster autofocus which is the major weakness of my EP2
    The E-P3 has much faster *single shot* auto focus. The continuous AF is still pretty much worthless. That is the case with pretty much all of the compact system cameras except the new Nikon 1 cameras. The contrast detect auto focus systems just aren't any good at continuous auto focus. But as long as you set up your shot and pre-focus, that won't be a problem
    Back of the camera, back of the pack.

  7. #7
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    Any experience with the Lumix GF-2 (I think it is)?
    Quote Originally Posted by anthonys
    Its still just the push of a button away...
    I am no longer a hardtailkid. 2012 Trek Remedy 9!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardtailkid View Post
    Any experience with the Lumix GF-2 (I think it is)?
    i bought the lumix gf3 with kit lens, and ended up returning it after a few hours of playing with it around the house. i think it is similar to the gf2.

    i did not like the touch screen and the very minimal physical controls... hated having to go into a menu to change things. in use i would keep mashing the touch screen and selecting things i didn't want - so probably operator error on my end. and i didn't feel comfortable with a touch screen to be used in all sorts of weather. don't know if there is a setting for turning it off, but it just 'felt' wrong to me.

    i ended up going to a canon g12. (always been intrigued with them since not getting a g9/10 years ago when i was in the market).

    its not a 4/3, but compact, knobs and dials, fixed lens, and can be shot 'on the go' one handed from a mountain feed bag with a handstrap.

    i'm eyeing a kit with interchangeable lenses, but will have to save my pennies, and i want to see where canon takes the new g1x, although i'd like a wider angle on the lens. the recently released fuji xpro(?) looks really nice too, but is $$. i like the looks of the sony and oly system. will wait a year, abuse what i have, and see how things mature. love the idea of carrying a pancake wide angle, or maybe something on the wide side with minimal zoom.

    *note, i haven't shot an slr since my slide / film days in grad school, and the g12 i picked up on sale is the first 'real**' camera other than a blackberry, evo, iphone, or canon sd?? in a long time.

    **subjective, i know.

  9. #9
    bay area CA
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    we got a lumix GF-1 back in 2010 and we love it. ive seen the GF's that have come out since and in my opinion the GF-1 is still the better camera and you cna get it for cheaper. the user interface on the 3 is too jumbled up in my opinion. i would equate the GF-1 quality to be on par with the nikon D-40 and similar SLR's, but not nearly as bulky.the only drawback to the GF-1 is that the viewfinder is sold separately.

  10. #10
    Candlestick Maker
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardtailkid View Post
    I have a Canon 50D, but I'm a smaller dude and I really don't like carrying it in my Camelbak (or any other bag while riding, for that matter). I just saw these mirrorless cameras on B&H and thought they looked pretty neat and compact, while not as bad as your average point and shoot.

    If you have one, tell me what you think and maybe post a picture or 5 that you've taken with it.

    Thanks,
    Andy
    I just got an Olympus E-PM1 for Christmas. So far, I'm really liking it. The compact size, along with the supposed image quality is what won me over. I haven't taken too many cycling photos yet, but am very happy with the results so far.

    I need to find a better way to carry the camera while riding. Right now I'm stashing it in my hydration pack, which makes it hard to get to. Somewhere, I have a Mountain Feedbag, which seems like a great solution for non-rainy rides. Just gotta find it....

    Here are some pics:


    P1210688 by bbaker22, on Flickr


    Sunrise by bbaker22, on Flickr


    Lauren on Black Pearl by bbaker22, on Flickr


    3rdflat by bbaker22, on Flickr


    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA by bbaker22, on Flickr


    A couple shots with the Holga 25mm lens:


    P1080338 by bbaker22, on Flickr


    P1080330 by bbaker22, on Flickr
    baker

  11. #11
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    i like the idea of the mt feedbag for my g12. tried it out on a few rides, and in the spring, summer and fall (without rain) i think it will be great. i added a handstrap to it for easy retrieval from pack / bag / mt feedbag, and love that piece of kit. can reach in, put my hand through the loop, and operate 1 handed, without fear of losing the camera.

    not sure how the cams with the larger lenses will fit in the feedbag.


    currently i need lobster mitts - so i keep it stowed in a lowe case or in my wingnut gear pack.

  12. #12
    saddlemeat
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    ^^^An appropriate seatpack can work well also, easy to get out when you stop, out of the way, and well protected in case of a crash.

    Bike Seat Pack - Timbuk2 Bags
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  13. #13
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    From an ease of access perspective, it does seem like the seat bag is better than a hydration pack, but worse than a Feedbag.

    With the trails I ride, I'd be afraid that my camera would get the snot beaten out of it in a seat bag. The camera would need to be in something soft (like a thick wool sock).

    Thanks
    baker

  14. #14
    saddlemeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    From an ease of access perspective, it does seem like the seat bag is better than a hydration pack, but worse than a Feedbag.

    With the trails I ride, I'd be afraid that my camera would get the snot beaten out of it in a seat bag. The camera would need to be in something soft (like a thick wool sock).

    Thanks
    I lined mine with the top of an old fleece sock sewed shut on one end, but some may come with a soft lining. Never had a problem with vibration other than edge wear on the camera body, which is why I added the fleece bag. Have used mine for ten years, starting with a Coolpix 950, it's gentler on the camera than you would think. The feedbag would be better if you draw and shoot without stopping I guess but I have not had much success with that.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    I lined mine with the top of an old fleece sock sewed shut on one end, but some may come with a soft lining. Never had a problem with vibration other than edge wear on the camera body, which is why I added the fleece bag. Have used mine for ten years, starting with a Coolpix 950, it's gentler on the camera than you would think. The feedbag would be better if you draw and shoot without stopping I guess but I have not had much success with that.
    Cool idea on the fleece sock lining. And, good to hear it's worked for you for 10 years. The constant vibration is what concerned me most.
    baker

  16. #16
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    I have the Nex 5 and it takes pretty good pictures but they aren't quite as sharp as I'd like. I'm just an amateur don't feel this is the easiest camera to learn on. It will do most things a DSLR will do but sometimes in a slightly more complicated fashion. I don't really use the zoom lens much. I seem to get better results with the 2.8 although it doesn't seem to do well in low light conditions. I'm sure more my fault than the camera's.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John View Post
    I've used all of the systems except the Samsung. My favorite, partly because I've used it the most, is the Olympus. The Olympus E-P3 is my favorite camera of 2011. I actually left the DSLR at home when I went to Europe for my honeymoon this summer - something I wouldn't have done a couple of years ago. And I have no regrets. Here's my full Olympus E-P3 review: Olympus E-P3 Review | Camera News & Reviews

    The photo below is my wife riding in the Dolomites in Northern Italy. It was taken with the Olympus E-P3 and 9-18mm zoom lens.

    You're a brave man, Photo-John, leaving the DSLR at home. That to me is the most telling thing you could say in praise of the E-P3.

    I'm looking forward to the new Canon G1X. A sensor larger than 4/3 but still a bit smaller than APS-C, fixed 4x optical zoom, kinda looks like a G12.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  18. #18
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    Canon G1 X

    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    You're a brave man, Photo-John, leaving the DSLR at home. That to me is the most telling thing you could say in praise of the E-P3.

    I'm looking forward to the new Canon G1X. A sensor larger than 4/3 but still a bit smaller than APS-C, fixed 4x optical zoom, kinda looks like a G12.
    I didn't just do it on a whim. I thought it would make for good review material, committing to the E-P3. Plus, I'd already taken the E-PL1 on a non-mtb vacation to Mexico and it worked great. To make sure I wasn't completely blowing it, I also took the E-PL2 and E-P3 out on a bunch of mountain bike rides here in Salt Lake before totally committing to taking it to Europe. When I was sure I knew how well it was going to work, then I committed. And I have no regrets. The E-P3 was so much better for traveling than the full EOS 7D kit would have been

    I am also curious about and pleased with the Canon G1 X. Here's my G1 X announcement article: Canon PowerShot G1 X Brings Mirrorless Image Quality To G-Series | Camera News & Reviews

    I would love to see Canon use this sensor to build their own compact system camera. There are a lot of rumors about that right now but most of them say Canon wants to use an APS-C size sensor for current lens compatibility. I'd rather see them make a new, smaller lens mount and use the new sensor. One of the reasons I really like the Olympus Pen cameras is the smaller size of the whole system - lenses included. I'm not that interested in a Canon system that uses the same lenses. I don't see the benefit for me there.
    Back of the camera, back of the pack.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    i bought the lumix gf3 with kit lens, and ended up returning it after a few hours of playing with it around the house. i think it is similar to the gf2.

    i did not like the touch screen and the very minimal physical controls... hated having to go into a menu to change things. in use i would keep mashing the touch screen and selecting things i didn't want - so probably operator error on my end.
    Not operator error - unless you mean not turning off the touch screen. I had the exact same experience with the Olympus E-P3, which also has a touch screen display. I love the E-P3 but I was very annoyed by all the pictures I took with my belly while it has hanging around my neck
    Back of the camera, back of the pack.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John View Post
    Not operator error - unless you mean not turning off the touch screen. I had the exact same experience with the Olympus E-P3, which also has a touch screen display. I love the E-P3 but I was very annoyed by all the pictures I took with my belly while it has hanging around my neck
    glad it isnt just me.
    give me knobs and buttons that i can work with thin gloves on while standing on a cold job site (or on the side of a trail!). touch screens are epic fails as soon as they get wet, you have gloves on, or both.

    loved the size and the form factor of the lumix. loved the price too - open box at best buy for like $399 after xmas!

    but i've been using canon's P&S forever, and just couldn't see working most of the options with the menu system. went g12, figuring a g13 (now the g1x) was just around the corner. wanted to get my feet wet again with something more than a point and shoot. will likely wait until next fall to pick up another piece of kit.

    the g1x is on my list, along with the new fuji stuff. would love a rangefinder style, but have come to like the variable screen on the canon. so, with the tech changing so much, i'll have to wait and see.

    i really hope we see a fast camera from canon with that new sensor. body size of the old G series, interchangeable lenses, a 24-100something kit on it would be perfect for me - as i also want to use it for documenting my work (architectural / timber / design).

    i'll have a read of your g1x stuff.

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