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Is micro four thirds still worth investing into? (from a beginners-ish perspective)

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The Ultra Contrast 3 is great. I have it in the 77mm flavor, so that I can adapt it with rings to just about any diameter lens. Haven't actually thought about using it with an Olympus... I've mainly used it with Panasonic, to take the edge off the modern look footage tends to have. Olympus already renders quite organicly by nature.

Concerning camera body and lens, that sounds like a fine idea. In the recent EOSHD video quality charts – 2015/2016 the E-M5II comes out in 2nd place for Ergonomics & Shooting Feel with the note 'superb stabilisation, wonderful body design especially with the Olympus battery grip' and 'This model features absolutely the best built in stabilisation by a mile, far better than the current Sony system in the A7S II and A7R II. You will obtain almost completely locked down tripod shots without a tripod, so a very good handheld choice for discrete documentary work. Image quality however is very mediocre with moire issues'. I also know other users (hi fuzzy) like it especially for the stabilization and although it's not 4K or killer at 1080p (it's ranked last in Andrew's charts), it does a more than fine job if you're not planning to shoot Hollywood productions on one and have realistic expectations. They've recently added new firmware which opens up some nice possibilities: http://www.getolympus.com/upgrade .

Concerning the SLR Magic lens you want to use with it. You can try sending an inquiry directly to support/at\slrmagic.com. That's how I got mine back in 2013. Directly from them. Was one of the 1st 100 to receive theirs (with step-up ring and lens cloth as a bonus). Wouldn't make much sense having to buy it from the US when you're in Japan (sort of speak close to the fire (Hong Kong). Did you check Amazon.jp and Rakuten.jp as well?

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Concerning the SLR Magic lens you want to use with it. You can try sending an inquiry directly to support/at\slrmagic.com. That's how I got mine back in 2013. Directly from them. Was one of the 1st 100 to receive theirs (with step-up ring and lens cloth as a bonus). Wouldn't make much sense having to buy it from the US when you're in Japan (sort of speak close to the fire (Hong Kong). Did you check Amazon.jp and Rakuten.jp as well?

I might try that! Amazon Japan doesn't list it and Rakuten here sells it for 155.000 JPY which is roughly 1300 dollars. A bit much for that lens. I found that bhphotovideo ships to japan with $40 shipping so roughly $600 in total, even cheaper than the one on the SLR website here - http://www.slrmagic.co.uk/slr-magic-25mm-t0-95-hyperprime-ii-cine-lens.html

Looking forward to receiving my gear and will definitely post my experiences with it!

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I checked a little on the tiffen filters but couldn't find a good comparison between the contrast levels. I only want to pick up one and would have gone with the 3 or is there a other one that you would recommend me more? 

edit: stupid... i did not create a comparison vido when i had 3 & 5 but i found 3 overall working a bit better because 5 was just too much.

 

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It's entirely subjective which is the right strength of filter for you personally, but I think unless you want your final footage to look pretty washed-out the 5 is far too much. I really recommend staying away from it. As with V-Log on the GH4 and CineStyle on the Canon's, it's too flat for the 8bit codec so you see macroblocking, banding and compression in the flattest areas. I'd go for a 2 if you want a noticeable 'organic' effect that can be brought back to contrasty in post, and a 3 at maximum if you want a strong effect. The "No More False Alarms" video above looks good with the 5 filter, but was shot in extremely bright sunlight. 

The other thing to consider is getting a Tiffen HDTVFX filter instead. It's basically a combination of their Ultra Contrast filter with their Digital Diffusion filter - so as well as lowering contrast it takes the edge of digital sharpness (without really loosing detail). It's basically a way of turning a sharp modern lens into an old vintage lens (in a good way).

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The other thing to consider is getting a Tiffen HDTVFX filter instead. It's basically a combination of their Ultra Contrast filter with their Digital Diffusion filter - so as well as lowering contrast it takes the edge of digital sharpness (without really loosing detail). It's basically a way of turning a sharp modern lens into an old vintage lens (in a good way).

Interesting! which type would you recommend?

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Interesting! which type would you recommend?

I'd just go with whatever your preference for the Ultra contrast is. But I'd stay away from the 4 and 5 as they do start to lower resolution a little I think. I have a number 2, which I like a lot.

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Yeah, according Tiffen there's 'Black Pro-Mist 1/Ultra Contrast 1, HDTV/FX' for 'Film Look On Video'. According a broshure found here , what they help to do is...

ULTRA CONTRAST
Recognized with a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy
of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, this filter redistributes ambient
light to capture details that would be lost in shadows. Lowers con-
trast evenly throughout image with no flare or halation
.

BLACK PRO-MIST
Similar characteristics to Pro-Mist*, providing a more
subtle effect. Less lightening of shadows and reduction
of contrast.

(* PRO-MIST Most popular motion picture effect. Creates special "atmosphere" by softening excess sharpness and contrast; creates pearlescent glow around highlights. Great for portraits and landscapes)

HDTV/FX
Addresses both contrast and sharpness issues associ-
ated with HD.
Creates "film look" and provides subtle
improvements in shadow detail
.

So... I guess you'd get the Ultra Contrast for evening out exposure, ups the shadows and reduces contrast. The Black Pro-Mist does the same, but softens the sharpness and creates glowy highlights. The HDTV/FX does it without the blooming highlights. I actually don't get overly sharp images, depending on what lenses I use, so the Ultra Contrast works for me.

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Short feedback - received the camera and love it so far. The menu is a little bit more confusing than I thought but honestly saying - I still prefer the handling a lot over the a7s that I had before. ISO wise I need to get used to "pulling it a bit back" because the a7s allowed for much higher ISO without any noise. 

Now if someone can tell me how I can bind ISO to the front dial in mode1 in aperture priority mode, I would be a lot more happy :) ? Switching to mode2 just to change ISO then switching back to change aperture is the thing I found the most annoying. 

Sadly my SLR Magic lens from bhphotovideo seems to have some serious quality problems with little scratches, peeled off metal and notches everywhere (I think I might have received a used one?). The aperture and focus rings seem oddly inconsistent with some parts of the way being smooth, the other feeling like I'm grinding something inside the lens. Will try to get a replacement before making an assessment of that. 

In general on the first day of usage - I really like the EM5II. It seems like a better fitting companion to me. Now let's see what sony will come up with at the end of February (and Olympus with the PEN-F. Fingers crossed this one is worse than my baby). 

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Now if someone can tell me how I can bind ISO to the front dial in mode1 in aperture priority mode, I would be a lot more happy :) ? Switching to mode2 just to change ISO then switching back to change aperture is the thing I found the most annoying. 

I'm not sure how best to modify ISO on the fly either.  I often just shoot in "S" mode set to 1/50 shutter with auto-ISO and vary the aperture or ND to get the right exposure.  Unfortunately you can't change the aperture or shutter using dials when recording.  I hope they fix that.

I use the 1/2 switch to go between stills/video and a function button to enter ISO/WB mode.  I've got one button to switch peaking on (which removes the histogram for some reason), the front button for one-touch WB, and the fn button near the shutter set to "off" as this will engage S-AF when you are in S-AF + Manual focus in video mode.  This is cool as you can quickly get back into focus before and during shooting automatically while still being in manual mode.  With my Panasonic cameras (and I think with Sony too) I can only use S-AF before recording starts.

A couple more things that I like about the E-M5II

- I find the colours, especially skin tones better than Panasonic straight out of camera

- The stabilisation is so good, and now with the new firmware there is no crop in IS-2 (sensor stabilisation only) mode.  I mainly switched from my Gx7 to EM-5II as I couldn't stand the jittery OIS on my 35-100/2.8 lens, and with the Olympus it is solid.

- I find the focus peaking and the histogram much better on the olympus.

I haven't spent a lot of time with the still side of things, but the high-res images, live composite, live time, time-lapse, face detect functionality is all really cool and useful.  I was thinking of using the E-M5II to do tripod-less hyper lapses as with the great IBIS you can use really slow shutter speeds to get motion blur without camera shake.

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- APS-C sensor. I am nowhere close to call myself experienced in the field but I know the math: Bigger image sensor = better quality and low light performance. I would assume that this translates very well into video

By that logic just get a medium format camera. The Pentax 645Z is waiting for you. There, settled.
(well... until the large format fans come along and tell you off for using the "tiny" medium format digital sensors!!)

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Sorry to bring up an old thread but with panny releasing the S1 and S1R FF L-mount what is to become of MFT?  I'm looking into investing into some good lenses but dont want to buy something that looks like it might be on the way out or am I wrong?  I was all set on getting a GH5 as well but I think I will sit on the sideline a bit and wait and see. 

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Your butt will probably fall off from sitting before we know that answer LoL. If and when that happens there will be m4/3 cameras that make the GH5 look bad. If you want a GH5 buy one. It won't just stop working like they say the day If they stop m4/3 camera production. It will take a Long time if and when it ever happens.

And for Video I am not too fond of really good lenses to be honest.  I guess it depends on what you like to shoot. Newer lenses to me are too good. Most of them benefit Photography more than Video. But if you want Razor sharp 4K newer is the way to go. A lot of younger people like that look. The only thing they have known to be honest.

If you want newer I would lean toward the Olympus ones with the Manual Clutch in them. Nice to have for Video. But they don't play as nice for the 5 Axis Panny IBIS on the GH5.

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2 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Your butt will probably fall off from sitting before we know that answer LoL. If and when that happens there will be m4/3 cameras that make the GH5 look bad. If you want a GH5 buy one. It won't just stop working like they say the day If they stop m4/3 camera production. It will take a Long time if and when it ever happens.

And for Video I am not too fond of really good lenses to be honest.  I guess it depends on what you like to shoot. Newer lenses to me are too good. Most of them benefit Photography more than Video. But if you want Razor sharp 4K newer is the way to go. A lot of younger people like that look. The only thing they have known to be honest.

If you want newer I would lean toward the Olympus ones with the Manual Clutch in them. Nice to have for Video. But they don't play as nice for the 5 Axis Panny IBIS on the GH5.

Yeah I was sort of drooling over the Leica Nocticron 42.5mm F1.2 at about $1K more than the Lumix 42.5mm F1.7.  My brain says Lumix, my heart says Leica.  

My goals are music/vlogs (Mlogs??) in the nature up in the mountains and also some campfire storytelling.  I do think the FF S1 would be perfect for those low light campfire stories plus the wide angle and panorama views of the mountains but I need some help here.  I'm just getting back into shooting after taking a few years off to raise two hellions, lol.  

I still have an assortment of compact cams, gopro 1, and a 500D thats not the greatist for videos but it takes decent photos.  I also still have a Canon AE-1 (film will make a comeback, am I right?? No? Ok) and a few lenses but nothing too special.  Just need to figure out this whole GH5 vs S1 thing.  Project starts in April or so.  The S1 should be out by then and until then I have enough to get the feeling back before I start buying.  This new tech is over my head ATM but I will catch up.    So, in my situation, whats better for ME?  MFT or FF?  

Many thanks. 

Oh, and I do plan to use the new camera to take photos as well. 

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About cameras: had the E-M5II and now recently got a E-M10 III (have a GX85 too) - did not have much time to play with it (2 month baby in house...), but I can already say that the E-M10 III video is far superior; not only is 4K, but do not have the previous Olympus codec problems (when shooting  very busy image, like a bunch of trees with leaves blown by the wind, the codec breaks - very visible in the E-M5 I and sometimes on the II). And the 4k is not cropped, as Andrew noted in its review (and I can confirm it).

For stills, it have some limitations (some resources dumbed in firmware), but for video, except not having highlights / shadows limits alert on screen in video mode, it's a VERY good camera.

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13 hours ago, Thatguy said:

Sorry to bring up an old thread but with panny releasing the S1 and S1R FF L-mount what is to become of MFT?  I'm looking into investing into some good lenses but dont want to buy something that looks like it might be on the way out or am I wrong?  I was all set on getting a GH5 as well but I think I will sit on the sideline a bit and wait and see. 

The GH5 is one of those cameras where far more people own one (or more) than are visible from forum posts and YT reviews etc.  They are workhorses.  Even if no more MFT cameras or lenses are released ever again there will still be many thousands of users making millions of videos per year for the next 5+ years.  4K 10-bit isn't going anywhere soon.  There are major networks in the US who still shoot 1080 and broadcast 720, and people watch YT on their phones.

My recommendation is to work out exactly what features you require in a camera system, to review your options and then go buy what you need.  If you aren't sure about a GH5 vs something newer then that means the GH5 already meets your requirements and so you're just tempted by shiny toys of new cameras.

At the end of the day, a camera is a tool to make stuff.  Either buy a GH5 and stop worrying about what's around the corner and go make stuff, or keep what you have and stop worrying about what's around the corner and go make stuff.  If you're worried about the resale value of the camera then maybe stick with the camera you already own and go buy stocks instead - tech is the worst investment possible :)

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17 hours ago, Thatguy said:

Sorry to bring up an old thread but with panny releasing the S1 and S1R FF L-mount what is to become of MFT?  I'm looking into investing into some good lenses but dont want to buy something that looks like it might be on the way out or am I wrong?  I was all set on getting a GH5 as well but I think I will sit on the sideline a bit and wait and see. 

I think the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K goes a long way in keeping the MFT system as a relevant system for filmmakers for the foreseeable future. Maybe not for vloggers, but as far as narrative filmmakers and documentary filmmakers go, it's hard to argue against the BMPCC4K overall IMO.

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The GH5 is getting on a bit now but is still delivering top notch image quality due to it's internal ( and external at 60p) 4k 4.2.2 10 bit codec. If you can't get excellent footage with this then your problems is not with the camera. Add to this the superb IBS and general ergonomic usability other manufacturers are still playing catchup. If anyone is worried about getting stuck in an M43 lens system then just get a speedbooster and use  APS-C/ s35 or full frame glass. A BMPCC4k is a cheap addition to any GH5 based system as it adds RAW, 60p internal and low light capability but it's not IMO a replacement.

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