Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Dilemma

A picture comparison between Sony and Olympus. Crazy: the same size, both with a 35mm equivalent! Now one is a FF 24x36, the other a half frame. And yet prices are not  v. different with lenses, perhaps a 2-300 € difference.

This picture in a way begged the question of why I should stay with my precious m4/3.
Yes Sony FF lenses are bigger but not in this case. Yes they cost about the double, but perhaps I could get this Zeiss, and then use legacy lenses, my Zeiss Jena 50mm and the Jupiter 85mm. Note that they would both be stabilised by the new Sony A7II.

Check these early reviews:
- the Photoblog
- this serious Ming Thein's review

My problem however with mirrorless FF is that it is almost impossible to find an old UWA that does not make a colour shift and/or a resolution loss, due to the short register of the Sony, that causes steep angles of the light rays falling on the sensor.
This while I still have my 4/3 9-18 which is truly excellent, with none of the above defects.
Some will say get yourself a native Sony UWA, but then I expect to break the bank with a 1000 $ lens!
So why don't give a chance to the E-M5 II with its sensor shifted 40 Mpx instead? Much depends on how practical and fast is the process, and we can't say at the moment.
One thing is likely however: at low ISO,  FF 24x36 doesn't give you a resolution advantage.
Just check this review- comparison between aSony A7 and an a6000, that is between a FF and and APS-C, both 24 Mpx, at Admiring Light
and especially its magnified samples: no resolution difference! Between a FF, and an APS-C shot, that is. Same should apply to an Olympus, which is APS rated in resolution.

Photo of falls.

 A7II on the left, a6000 on the right, 24 Mpx for both, 100 ISO each (Courtesy Admiring Light)

The result perhaps would have been different at higher ISO or with the A7r 36 Mpx, but then it is a more difficult to handle camera, which has no IBIS yet.
So why don't give a chance to the coming Olympus 40 Mpx? Contrary to many young customers I can't care less for the FF's DOF. Just the opposite. For instant shooting, snaps if you prefer, I prefer to have everything in focus: more visual information, more theatre!

Financially by sticking with Olympus I'd have no need to change for a new series of lenses.
In fact as I get older I am on a gear-reducing trip. My worry is rather to keep or recover the faculty of seeing which I had lost lately. I might write about it in the following months, because that's all a photog. might ever need. Meanwhile you can consult this interesting article at diyphotography on gear avoidance, and its positive effects on photography.

I tell myself: don't squander your money. You don't need a studio camera, just a good enough one :) You might think differently, having more money than me... I do have some lovely lenses, among the best the inexpensive 19 and 30 Sigmas, and from my 4/3 past the 40-150 and the 9-18, both supersharp, At the most the Sony would be a nice *addition* with one or two lenses, and my legacy ones, back to the original focal.


I must go back to Hospital for  bladder surgery. I suspect that full recovery will take a month. That is when  we'll know for sure how the sensor shift works. So be patient, and I'll write again about 'the Dilemma' Those to me are the most interesting mirrorless cameras, so worth a follow on.


  1. Same size but one lens is 1 ,5 stop faster...I think a 35mm f1,8 FF will be much bigger then the olympus ...

  2. I am very much tempted by the Sony A7II for the sake of finding out how my manual lenses render on a 35mm equivalent sensor. However, camera handling is important to me, and the Sony just feels more unwieldy than my wonderful E-P5. And I still crave an RX1 for that lens and sensor combination. Then again - for my current street photography, three lenses go in a compact and light bag that I take everywhere in town. And interestingly, adapted prime lenses are a breeze to change.

  3. My son has the A7ii. He loves it. I have the E-M1. I love it. I can tell you that junior's A7ii loses its compactness the minute you start adding lenses. Only a few compact lenses that are not crazy expensive. For me, I'm sticking with the E-M1. I'll be happy to wait until E-M1ii and keep my orig E-M1 as a backup.

  4. Hope your surgery went well, and looking forward to the follow on post.

  5. our dear amalric is dead in Rome, on the 5th of february
    rest in peace

    1. I am very sorry to hear about Amalric's passing. Thank you dajo for letting us loyal readers of his blog know. I will miss his detailed and well-founded excursions into photographic and artistic fields less trodden.