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Draq

Are people leaving micro four thirds?

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I am beginning to get the impression that most people using the Olympus or Panasonic cameras are using Oly and Meikon housings with Inon ports. Does anyone besides me still use Nauticam or Aquatica along with glass domes and such?

 

For example, I have been amazed that even though the Olympus 8mm and 7-14 lenses have been out for several months, there have been very few reviews or dive-specific discussions of the lenses and ports/domes. Nauticam has come out with some new glass dome options for ultrawide (weitwinkel) lenses on those cameras and there have been few, if any, comments on that.

 

In years past, people would already have posted test shots and pool shots and dive images comparing various domes, discussing corner performance, best aperture, etc.

 

I am beginning to think there is a shift occurring and some (many?) of the folks using Micro four thirds have moved to another format and the micro four thirds format is sort of becoming the new "compact" camera format.

 

Just wondering.

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I can't speak to folks moving from MFT.

 

I'm sure I'm the "odd man out" as I have the E-M1 with the Oly PT-EP11 housing.

 

I found on the Oly Asia website, that Oly recommends using the E-series (non-MFT) glass dome port, PPO-E04 (176mm) (PAD-EP08 adapter req'd), the for the 8mm FE PRO. Also, use the same port & adapter with an extension ring (PER-E01, 26mm) for the 7-14 PRO.

 

I do believe that Phil Rudin has posted about Nauticam housing/ports. But that's all I've seen.

 

I'll be making a dive in late August, and will post feedback afterwards.

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I am beginning to get the impression that most people using the Olympus or Panasonic cameras are using Oly and Meikon housings with Inon ports. Does anyone besides me still use Nauticam or Aquatica along with glass domes and such?

 

For example, I have been amazed that even though the Olympus 8mm and 7-14 lenses have been out for several months, there have been very few reviews or dive-specific discussions of the lenses and ports/domes. Nauticam has come out with some new glass dome options for ultrawide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) lenses on those cameras and there have been few, if any, comments on that.

 

In years past, people would already have posted test shots and pool shots and dive images comparing various domes, discussing corner performance, best aperture, etc.

 

I am beginning to think there is a shift occurring and some (many?) of the folks using Micro four thirds have moved to another format and the micro four thirds format is sort of becoming the new "compact" camera format.

 

Just wondering.

I think you are over-interpreting very little data.

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You can use an olympus housing with a glass dome or port.

It came off to me that you were implying that using the oly housings and the ports available are optically inferior to the aluminum housings.

I don't think that's the case. Now, those housing have other advantages especially over the PEN housings.

 

I can't comment on the Meikon housing, but I would suggest that the oly housing solution is closer to the aluminum ones in quality than it is to Meikon.

Edited by chris_l

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I'm not leaving the format. The size, weight, and many advantages for macro photography will keep me here. I'm using an EM-5 / Nauticam and plan to upgrade to the EM-1 Mk II / Nauticam when it is released.

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I'm in the same situation as Tropoboro. What I think has changed is that the blitz of excitement from the release of first the EM-5 and then the EM-1 has died down, so there is less enthusiastic chatter but still a lot of happy users. I'm taking my EM-5 down to Egypt in May and unless the EM-1 Mk II has some major features of interest it may serve me for another 1 or 2 years. Both travel/size plus lens selection and cost keep the m43 system very attractive.

 

Bart

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My wife and I switched from DSLR to MFT (still have a Canon 700D in Nauticam though) and use our EM1 and EM10 most weekends. Most of our photography is macro as it's our favourite but we have an Olympus 8mm Pro and Panasonic 7-14 behind Nauticam domes for bigger subjects such as our trip to Ningaloo in June to photograph the whale sharks. About 75% of users in our local underwater photography club use MFT in Olympus and Nauticam housings, so I think it's alive and well.

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I've now had a couple of dive trips with my WWL-1 on the front of my 12-50 macro on my EM10 in a Nauticam housing. Great fun!! no vignetting from 16mm on, zooms to 50mm and gives a good picture, not sure of the equivalent power at full zoom. Less than 2x for sure.

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I think you are over-interpreting very little data.

 

I agree...sort of...it was more of an observation and question than any sort of conclusion or opinion. I am curious to see what people think about the topic. Maybe I should have said that I am beginning to wonder if people are switching instead of saying that I am beginning to think that. I still use micro four thirds and am looking forward to seeing what the EM1 replacement offers.

Edited by Draq

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I think Sony have seriously changed the game with the A7 series.

 

Full frame, 4K, 120fps, IBIS, amazing low light etc etc.

 

I think they have stolen a few m43 users who maybe would of considered a EM1 or GH4 if it was only Nikon or Canon still on FF.

 

Even thou the A7 bodies are of similar size to a M43 body, you still have the much larger lenses (and so housings)

 

For me, m43 still makes lots of sense for underwater with its much smaller size and weight - and features. Im staying!

 

As to the lack of excitement on the lens front, the new ones appear to not offer anything new, only 'improvements' same FoV etc just faster than existing lenses, so those who want an 8mm fisheye have it already.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Hi,
i still have the omd5 in a nauticam housing, but think about going back to aps-c.
Could be a sony 6300, for weight and size, or the nikon d500, for that i have all the lenses i need.
A7mkII is nice, but the housings are too heavy...
The reason is only the low light theme....
Regards,
Wolfgang

Edited by trimix125

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Hi,

i still have the omd5 in a nauticam housing, but think about going back to aps-c.

Could be a sony 6300, for weight and size, or the nikon d500, for that i have all the lenses i need.

A7mkII is nice, but the housings are too heavy...

The reason is only the low light theme....

Regards,

Wolfgang

 

I thought the Sony 6300 was roughly the same size as the A7 with the main difference being full frame vs aps-c ?

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I don't mean to be responding to my own post, but for me the size of micro four thirds is what keeps it as my dive camera choice. I see limited benefit in moving from m43 to aps and no aps system is going to travel as easily as m43. Full frame cameras lenses and domes are just not doable for me for size reasons. I wish they were. Even the Sony FF system offers small cameras but large to huge lenses.

 

Every time I dive I have to fly and often it requires two or more legs. I need to keep the camera gear size in check.

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Micro four thirds are essentially maxed out with 16 Megapixel sensor and no substantial evolution since some time now

New models have brought little to no image quality improvement so many people just stay with old models

 

I adopter a Panasonic GX7 very late and Panasonic has produced the GX8 and other cameras that are not actually any better for still images

The new 20 MP sensor does not seem to improve matters

The sensor in the Olympus camera has not changed since the OMD-EM5 why would you spend more money?

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I cannot agree with you, Interceptor121. For example I am just coming into the field, but because of the great price that I am getting for domes and housing for EM-5 MK1, I am investing in this setup. Plus the great offerings of pro wide angle lenses and cheap domes (inon, zen).

Why do you need better IQ than 16 Mpix? You don't need the the top dynamic range performance underwater, because of the lack of colors/light sources there. The f2.8 is quite fast with the Pro lenses available. So it is perfect for my case for average diver who doesn't make huge profit from photography.

So I bet you cannot show me any other affordable setup that can get you started for less than 1000euro underwater

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I think you misunderstood the point. What I said is that there is not a lot of buzz around new models because people don't upgrade easily. There is no major IQ difference between EM5 and newer models and people dont bother spending a lot of money for the new olympus lenses either. Am not saying the IQ is bad just that things have reached a saturation point with the 16 mp sensor. I believe lens selection is one of the strength of MFT compared to the Sony cropped range that are similar in size.

 

For what concerns the point you make on dynamic range unfortunately you are wrong there. MFT shots are sharp but they don't come close to the brilliance of a full frame camera on a wide angle shot.

For macro there is less gap but wide angle really is not comparable

Edited by Interceptor121

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I am a EM 5 user since 2012 and and I still very happy with it.

 

I'm not leaving this format !!!!!

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I figured it was time to upgrade my wife's Olympus E-410 DSLR. She likes the smaller system and thinks my Subal D800E is massive, I don't disagree.

So I got her an Olympus OMD EM 1 with an 8 mm, 60 mm and 12-50 mm lens with a Nauticam housing with the necessary ports.

Being compact the system required quite a bit of added buoyancy. We went on a 3 wk dive trip to Anilao.

My wife found the system frustrating with focusing, it would hunt and be slow to lock focus. We used a Sola Photo 1200 focus light, it helped some.

She could not feel the half shutter through the shutter leaver of the Nauticam.

But even for medium size stationary subjects like warty frog fish that have good contrast it would tend to hunt and be slow to focus lock.

Focused with the half shutter, back AFL, single, continuous modes. AFL in continuous AF worked the best, but still slow and hunts.

I replaced the EM1 and got my wife a Nikon D7200 in Dx format. The D7200 focus is almost instant.

She was able to feel half shutter with a Subal housing and is now a happy camper with her underwater photos.

Although larger then the EM1, the focus, dynamic range of the DX D7200 is way better than the EM 1 MFT.

I expect the D500 to be better yet, for focus, iso and dynamic range.

 

Elmer

Edited by eyu
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Hi,
@ ronscuba
the size of the camera is not the problem.
But the weight of the housing...
Nauticam for a6300 will not be much more than for the a6000 and that was ~ 1kg!
Nauticam housing for the A7 series 2,4kg......
And the lenses......
If i want it big and heavy, i would take a dslr.
Last february in Malapascua for tresher sharks, the oly was simple not fast enough, or the iso is not usably with mor then 640.......
Thats the reason for my to change!

Regards,
Wolfgang

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Hi,

@ ronscuba

the size of the camera is not the problem.

But the weight of the housing...

Nauticam for a6300 will not be much more than for the a6000 and that was ~ 1kg!

Nauticam housing for the A7 series 2,4kg......

And the lenses......

If i want it big and heavy, i would take a dslr.

Last february in Malapascua for tresher sharks, the oly was simple not fast enough, or the iso is not usably with mor then 640.......

Thats the reason for my to change!

 

Regards,

Wolfgang

 

Thanks, now I understand. I can see mirrorless FF and APS-C putting a big dent on 4/3. Bigger lens choice and existing DSLR owners can keep their lenses. Size is always a factor. FF low light capabilities, plus being able to switch to APS-C mode in camera are huge benefits.

 

Nice to have choices.

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If the sony A6000/6300 had decent lenses and ports I would not be wasting my time with MFT for sure

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If the sony A6000/6300 had decent lenses and ports I would not be wasting my time with MFT for sure

Can you elaborate on that ? There are several good e-mount lenses available now and adapters open up the choices to Canon and Nikon mounts.

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Several points and a few photos. First Olympus involvement in the 4/3 systems goes all the way back to the Olympus E-1 which was a DSLR as were the E-3 E-5 and a bunch of E-400 to 600 cameras. Olympus M/43 Mirrorless cameras and open platform allowed this format to begin to gain traction and evolve into what it is today. At the beginning no one gave the 4/3 system much of a chance for success but now everyone has mirrorless cameras and several new players have become involved. The system has had many growing pains including when Olympus dropped the 4/3 DSLR line completely. To the issue of people leaving M4/3 I think the answer is that their are simply many more systems to chose from and many manufacturers have found a niche within an ever growing market. Panasonic for instance became the go to for video. Now you can find a lot of excellent video choices beyond Panasonic.

 

I think a more accurate topic may be are people leaving DSLR for mirrorless camera systems. With the introduction of the Sony A7 lineup you now have a full lineup of mirrorless cameras that can compete at the very highest level of both image quality and video performance.

 

Regarding the size factor M4/3 and APS-C mirrorless bodies like EM-1 and Sony A6300 will always allow for a smaller and often cheaper overall system V. most DSLR's. Lens size however is a simple matter of physics and full frame lenses regardless of mirrorless or DSLR by their nature will always remain larger and more expensive.

 

I have included the front page from my review for uwpmag.com on the Sony A7R II and Ikelite housing, for the full review go to uwpmag.com for this FREE PDF download.

 

I have also included photos of the Nauticam NA-EM-1, NA-A7 and popular DSLR housings for size comparison. The Sony housing is clearly a "tweener" sitting between the M4/3 and DSLR. I also included a photo of the Sony NA-A7R II housing with the port configuration for the Sony FE 16-35mm F/4 zoom, while the lens is about as big as a 16-35 for DSLR housings it can be used with a much smaller 180mm port with results as acceptable as the 16-35 on DSLR with a 230mm port. This is a result of the shorter distance between lens and sensor in mirrorless cameras like A7R II. I also included a photo of the Sony A6300 with Zeiss 12mm and A7R II with Rokinon 12mm for a size comparison.

 

Regarding lens choices M43/ has a excellent set of lenses for U/W photography in verity of price ranges. Sony is catching up with both FF and APS-C lenses but at present M4/3 is still ahead in that area. The ability to adapt lenses to mirrorless cameras has also improved with excellent adapters like the Metabones.

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Great summary and nothing like pictures to see the size differences with your own eyes.

 

Seems like it is a good time to be a consumer since we have many quality choices.

 

I was shooting a compact camera for UW video. Canon 7d DSLR APS-C topside for photo & video. I wanted something better for UW and I wanted full frame for topside. I considered a GH4 and a Canon FF DSLR, but that meant 2 new cameras. Along comes the Sony A7s ii. Wow, I achieve both goals with 1 camera.

 

I think you are right that DSLR will take a hit. People like to keep their lenses and upgrade their camera bodies. DSLR owners now have the option of doing that with mirrorless.

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Full frame sensors not only need physically larger/heavier lenses. They also need longer actual focal length for the same FOV as a smaller sensor. In turn, minimum focus distance tends to increase with longer actual focal length. So m43 lenses tend to focus closer than their equivalent-FOV full frame lenses. In many cases that helps UW use by allowing you to get closer to your subject.

 

Bart

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