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  1. #1
    @adelorenzo
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    Micro four-thirds cameras

    Anyone got a micro four-thirds? Would love to hear about your experiences, tips, lenses etc.

    We just picked up a Panasonic DMC-GF2 with the 14mm/F2.5 pancake lens. Nice compact camera, very steep learning curve for the controls (most of them are menu-based) but I'm starting to take some decent pics.

    The touch screen is pretty cool. You can do some neat things like use it to focus on a subject or manually set depth of field. I'm used to shooting with an LCD screen from previous cameras, so the lack of a viewfinder doesn't bother me as much as it might others.

    Eventually would like to get a good zoom lens and one day a fisheye.

    Also hoping to shoot some HD video with this as well, haven't tried that yet.

  2. #2
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    I have one. But i have the previous GF1 with the 20mm lens. I like it alot. I wasnt expecting to get into photography in the way that I did but this camera gave me some room to grow and do neat things. At one point I wanted to upgrade to "regular" dslr but I decided to work with what I had and Im happy with it. I think its an awesome and practical camera as it takes great pictures without being heavy and obnoxiously large. I think youre more likely to take great shots with a camera you can have on you.....

    I've done some portrait photography with off camera flash and the manual controls allow you do most of what you need to do. I like the setting which grids the screen up into thirds which allows you to work on your "rule of thirds"
    shots.

    I had the 14-140mm zoom lens and it was nice. I ended up selling it to buy bike stuff so now I have to zoom with my legs. I kinda wish i still had it to do "Bike Magazine" type shots but alas.

    All of the pics in my flickr were taken with the GF1 Flickr: KneerunA's Photostream
    Im hoping to expand into more mtn bike stuff soon.

    Here's the flickr of pro photog Bert Stephani who uses the micro 4/3 cameras in quite a lot of his pictures. Flickr: Bert Stephani's Photostream

  3. #3
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    Oh and I also have one of these hand straps so that the thing doesnt slide out of my hand. Amazon.com: Opteka Professional Wrist Grip Strap for Digital & Film SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo

    And a leatherette skin kit Leatherette kits for Panasonic GF1 and Olympus E-Px series...

    Both of which I would strongly recommend.

  4. #4
    @adelorenzo
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    Cool, thanks for the info. The 14-140 was the lens I was thinking about for a second option. I'll probably stick with the 20mm for now though, makes the camera very portable.

    Nice pics!

  5. #5
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    I've got an Olympus E-PL2, great camera. I could do with better range than the stock 14-42, but a superzoom is a bit out of my price range at the moment.

    I would love to take it out on the trails, but I'm kinda worried about breaking it if (when) I crash. Trails out here arn't too rocky, more roots and gravel, but I do take a fair number of (small) drops and jumps.
    Any suggestions to this end would be great.

  6. #6
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    I have the GF1 (20mm lens), bought the 45-200mm zoom. Great lens, very good value. I was worried about the size etc too but its really not much of an issue. If I want small and light I just take the 20mm, but the whole kit is still much smaller and lighter than any DSLR kit out there. To be honest I, more often than not, take both lenses on every camping and cycling trip. Only day trips on the MTB really would I find the 45-200 too big to worry about... Even then I often consider it.
    From what I remember the 45-200 is actually lighter than the 14-140, by quite a bit.

    HD vid is good fun, but the pancake lens lack of stabilization makes hand held stuff a little difficult. The bigger lenses can help here.

    For extra gear, I recommend a water proof carry bag, I went to a camping shop and tried all the ones they had till I found something suitable. I have no idea of were you plan to take the GF2 but my waterproof bag has been the best thing I have ever bought for photography, being able to have it at the ready in all weathers/places has given me some great photo opportunities.
    And a gorilla pod (tripod), dont mess around with the lightweight slr version, go straight for the SLR "zoom" model. I have used both and the bigger one is much more stable, much much more.

    The cameras are very tough. Mine has been bumped against rocks, stood on by an 8 year old (in its bag), and I always have it on me for my fun mtbike riding (not with the club). Crashing is a potential problem but protect it well (hard container with padding in your backpack?) or just suck it up and think the thousands of photos that you get before that unlucky day are worth it. I figure the photos I miss from not taking it or (to a lesser extent) putting it in cotton wool are much more valuable to me, or to put it another way, to get the best/memorable shots your camera will be in harms way because thats when the best things happen... right?

  7. #7
    @adelorenzo
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    We have a Pelican case for ours, I carry it in my pack and that's a pretty secure set up but a total PITA to get the camera out to shoot.

    When I am using the camera a lot I also have a Lowe belt pouch, it fits the camera really snugly and offers some protection. That being said, if I landed right on it there is a good chance I would toast it, but it seems like a pretty decent compromise for when we're starting and stopping a lot to shoot pics.



    Lowepro - Santiago 20

  8. #8
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    I sold my EOS 60D and a bunch of lenses and bought a Olympus E-P2 with the 40-150 mm and the 14-42 mm Mk 2 lens instead. The 9-18 mm wideangle zoon is also on its way. A nice small system.

    Mostly I will use my LowePro Slingshot 102 AW bag for it when going out riding, but I would also want to have a small camera bag in the front in case I'm riding/walking/skiing with a backpack.

    Any good options? I check out the LowePro Toploader Zoom bags today, but since they are made for DSLR:s they are a little too big. I would like the bag to not stick out so much from the body.
    My bike blog: www.yetirides.com

  9. #9
    Enjoyin' life....
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    I use a Oly E-PL2 with 17mm 2.8, 14-42mm zoom and 40-150mm zoom. I mostly just take this on longer rides and trips. On the trail I shoot with a Panasonic LX5 using Panny's wide angle lens attachment often and electronic viewfinder always. I like the viewfinder because it swivels 90 deg plus I just prefer a viewfinder for many shots.
    I also have larger Nikon DSLR's and close to a dozen lenses but those never hit the trails - too heavy.

    The LX5 works well if you are careful about ISO range and stay in it's exposure sweet spot. I use Adobe Lightroom 60% of the time or so to touch up and add some effect to a pic. The size of the LX5 allows me to shoot while on the bike moving due it's size and control layout. I haven't really mastered that technique with the E-PL2 but I'm working on it.

    I use a smallish Lowepro pouch I found on Amazon rigged with an elastic cord and some small carabiners on my chest to hold the camera while riding. I sometimes use the Revelate Gas Tank too.

    You guys might have seen his blog but if you want to see some awesome bicycling photo's check out my friend Gnat's site: Gnat Likes - Gnat Likes Bikes Blog

    He really knows what he is doing and has been at it for a long time. Good luck all!
    Wally

  10. #10
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    Its cool to see that the micro 4/3rds format has caught on with people who can appreciate the lightweightness and compactness of these cameras without sacrificing picture quality.

    I was looking thru that blog and noticed the mountain feedbag storage bag. This could be a good solution for quick draw shooting while riding.......Mountain Feedbag Storage Bag Review | Mountain Bike Review

    Otherwise I would think that a bag of some sort that you could wear on the front of your body would protect the camera the most in the event of a crash.

  11. #11
    Enjoyin' life....
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    A "chest bag" does work but can be tedious under certain conditions or in the rain. The Mountain Feedbag works according to my friend. I just haven't had the time to order one up and try it yet.

    m43 systems are catching on. Nikon is rumored to be coming out with their mirrorless system soon and there are a few more 3rd party lens manufacturers with offerings, companies besides Sigma. There are flash units designed to support the m43's systems in TTL mode, units besides those offered by the manufacturers that are currently wanting. All good stuff and I think more to come.
    Wally

  12. #12
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    Earlier this year I brought myself an Olympus EP2. I am not new to the world of photography but newish to digital stuff.. in my heart I am still old school film but digital is here to stay now so I had to get in line..

    Kit wise I find that you can pick up a host of old OM lenses, fit an appropriate adaptor and away you go, to this end you can get some seriously good bargains if you don’t mind losing some of the automated functions, which for me, coming down from a place where nearly everything was manual, is not a problem.

    You can also many of the seriously good quality Olympus Zuiko Digital SWD lenses (with an adaptor).

    I got rid of my original 14-42mm as for me, it was just not what I wanted, neither ascetically or practically, so I brought the following –

    1: Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm SWD (with Lumix M4/3 adaptor) very, very nice lens – big but beautiful.

    2: Carl Zeiss OM 35-200mm (with macro) – also another very nice lens with M4/3 adaptor.

    3: Sigma 600mm mirror lens with M4/3 adaptor – and a Tamron SP 2x convertor – again a great combination for my astrological interest..

    I do a lot of landscape and wedding photography and the Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm SWD dos an amazing job. Weight is not an issue for me, so I hook this up to a Metz 45 flashgun and a home made power pack (good for about 2000 flashes per charge).

    When I choose my camera I wanted that almost retro look that old school SLR’s always had..

    The above kit was reasonably priced, the Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm SWD was selling for almost £1000 when I found one in London for under £400 (used).. well I say used but to be honest I think it was originally brought, used once and then put away because it was mint.. same to for the mirror lens. The Carl Zeiss OM lens has wear but at £40, boy ohh boy, CZ lenses in almost any format are worth having and having come down from a Contax 645 which had CZ lenses, I know how good they can be.

    For me, M4/3 cameras have won me over as I was a bit stuck in my ways before and still remember when I was studying photography back in the early 80’s, saying to another student – “that digital photography would never catch on”.. talk about eat my words..

  13. #13
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    Anyone using the Olympus EP3 or PEN series experiencing over sharpened images? Possibly due to image stabilization?

  14. #14
    offroader
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIruZ View Post
    Anyone using the Olympus EP3 or PEN series experiencing over sharpened images? Possibly due to image stabilization?
    Over sharpened due to image stabilization? Doesn't make any sense to me. IS is intended to minimize motion blur. It does not sharpen the images at all.

  15. #15
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    olympus elp3

    I have an olympus elp3. You can go to picture mode and change the default settings for sharpness,contrast and saturation for all the settings like natural, vivid etc. I had to change several of them to get the pictures I wanted. I am guessing the ep3 has the same settings. The camera takes great pictures 80% of the time out of the camera. Only have to change exposure in some lighting.

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