As many of you will know I have been a long time Micro 43 users all the way back to the original Olympus EM5 and Panasonic G3. In that time Micro 43 has gone from being what I considered a nice complementary system to my Canon 5D Mk II DSLR to now offering a fully fledged system capable of professional use.
I have personally owned many Micro 43 cameras including the Olympus OMD EM1 , EM1 II, EM5 and EM5 II as well as the Pen F, Panasonic GH4, GH5 and now for the second time the Panasonic G9.
In that time I have used lenses ranging from the basic kit zooms all the way through to the recent Olympus Pro primes like the 25mm 1.2 and 45mm 1.2.
This year was the first time in many years that I had a spell of not owning a single Micro 43 camera or lens as I again succumbed to the full frame temptation and bought both the Sony A7RII and Sony A7III. While these cameras are technical marvels the fact that I now own neither clearly indicates that while I appreciate their features and quality I just do not love using them as much as I do other systems.
I am writing this on New Year’s eve and as I sit here with a Nikon D850, Panasonic G9 and GX9 on my desk I am again drawn back to Micro 43 which for me seems to offer the perfect balance of image quality, handling and features. The D850 while capable of producing incredible image quality still suffers from the some times in-accurate focusing flaws inheritant with DSLR’s, no matter how good they are. When I nail the shot with the Nikon, the image quality, particularly the black and whites that this camera produces are stunning. However I sat down the other day testing the Panasonic GX9 and G9 alongside the D850 and the image quality was remarkably similar for everyday shots such as portraits. I was also able to nail the shot every time with the mirrorless cameras while a significant amount of shots from the Nikon were slightly out of focus thus rendering any IQ and resolution advantage it has as null and void. The Nikon will be going on Ebay in the new year and it will likely be my last ever dalliance with the DSLR format.
While I do envisage having a full frame system in my collection in the future I know it will be a mirrorless camera and I just don’t see it being a Sony. Part of the reason I took another look at the Nikon D850 was because of the cost of Sony lenses in comparison to other systems. Granted there are a few reasonably priced offerings in the Sony ecosystem such as the 50mm and 85mm 1.8s but they are few and far between.
I am just waiting for the postman to bring a Nikon Z6 + adapter which I will use with a couple of cheap Nikon 1.8G lenses. I’m hoping that the Nikon Z6 offers the same great handling, low light performance and subject separation as the D850 in a mirrorless package. I also have the Nocticron 42.5mm lens on its way to test on the Panasonic cameras. I’ll be closely comparing the results from that against the Nikon 85mm 1.8G on the Z6 to see if the Micro 43 combination can get close to the performance of full frame.
As for this website, my plan in 2019 is to update it regularly with content that will hopefully be useful to some of you. Instead of writing huge long reviews I’m going to post regular updates in the form of notes that I make about each camera almost as if I am making the notes for myself for future reference. I hope this will have several benefits, one being that I will be more inclined to update the website often as the task is less daunting and secondly the information will be concise and straight to the point which is how I prefer it.
I’m currently in the UK but will be returning to Asia in February and (wife permitting) will hopefully be able to dedicate more time to trips with the primary focus being on photography. Let’s see how that pans out.So for now I wish everyone a Happy New Year and a successful 2019 in all your endeavours.