Exploring new worlds! the MFT story

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I have been listening to and talking about smaller camera systems with my friends Rob Sheppard and Dan Cox for some time. Rob always kidded me that since we first started teaching digital photography together that our systems seemed to diverge, with Rob migrating to the smaller systems (like the MFT systems) and I migrated toward the Nikon Digital system (hey, I had a boat load of Nikon lenses,, I wasn’t about to jump ship!).

So schlepping my gear around various countries and many trails in this country, my back finally told me to listen to what these guys were saying. Over the past year Dan Cox has been expounding the virtues of Panasonic and I starting looking. First I bought a GX7 around Thanksgiving to test the waters (with the thought that it would make a great camera to use with a flying platform such as a larger version of my DJI Phantom). Then Dan told me about his experience with the Panasonic GH3 and that he had a chance to see a pre release Model of the GH4 while he was in Japan. Some of the things that he thought could be improved on with the GH3 have been incorporated into the GH4.

So I received my Panasonic GH4 about 3 weeks ago (thanks Gary: Hunt’s Photo and Video) and now have an assortment of lens, many based on the recommendations of Dan and his experience. My lenses include the 7-14 Wide angle, the 12-35, the 35-100 and the 100-300. I also have the Olympus 60 Macro that goes 1:1 in a tiny package and the Bowers 7.5 Fisheye. I may break down and get the Panasonic Fisheye, but the Bowers works fine for now. I also have the 360L flash, which Dan says works as well as the Nikon system flashes (I’ve always said that Nikon had the best flash system of any).

Is the quality as good as my Nikon D4 and D800? Not sure yet.. Depends on how you compare them. At some point, the larger sensor will equal better quality image.. But where and will most people see the difference? This is something Dan and I have been talking about for almost 2 years.

But you can’t beat the size and weight difference. My Gura Gear Uinta pack with all my Panasonic gear weighs 14 pounds while similar gear in my Gura Gear Bataflae 32L tips the scales at 30 pounds. And the Uinta will easily fit into any airline overhead compartment. Plus, if airlines start weighing carryon gear, I’ll be safe with the lighter system.

With several big trips planned this year around the world, this Panasonic system will be put to the test and I think that I’m going to like it. I know my back already does!

These are a few images shot this past week.. Biggest problem is having to go through Panasonic software to convert to TIFF and then import to Lightroom as Adobe Lightroom doesn’t recognize the GH4 RAW file yet.. I hope by the time I’m back from Ireland!

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