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  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Some Micro Four Thirds Mountain Bike Action

    A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the recently announced Panasonic Lumix G3 Micro Four Thirds camera. In that article I expressed some interest in the camera's new touchscreen LCD and claimed improved auto focus performance. I said - and I still say - that auto focus performance is the main weakness of mirrorless cameras and that I wouldn't choose a mirrorless camera for serious action shooting because the continuous auto focus isn't up to snuff. One of our members, Asmarlak, challenged me (article and comments, here)and I've been thinking about it ever since. I think he was either trying to stir things up or misunderstood me because anyone who is a serious sports shooter knows that the continuous auto focus on a mirrorless camera won't keep up. However, that's not to say that you can't successfully shoot action with an EVIL camera. It's just not the best tool for the job.

    So - I've got a trip to Italy coming up (honeymoon) and I like the idea of traveling really light. Last year I took the Olympus E-PL1 with me on a trip to Mexico (my Olympus E-PL1 review) and it was wonderful not having to lug around my big camera backpack. I'd love to have that same simplicity when I'm in Italy. The big difference is that in Mexico I wasn't shooting any sports and the Italy trip is going to feature some serious mountain biking. So I've been going back and forth about it in my mind. Like I said, you can do good sports photography with a mirrorless camera - I actually do it all the time. You just have to change your technique. Basically - no continuous-auto-focus-spray-and-pray. All shots have to be carefully planned and pre-focused. With that in mind, I took the Olympus E-PL2 out yesterday for some serious mountain bike shooting. And based on the photos below I'm pretty pleased. I'm going to do some more rides like this before I commit, but right now I'm really leaning towards taking the E-PL2 camera, 9-18mm, 14-150mm, 17mm and 75-300mm Micro Four Thirds lenses to Italy and leaving the Canon 7D at home. That whole Olympus Micro Four Thirds kit will take up about as much space and weight as my Canon, the 18-200mm IS lens and a flash.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Some Micro Four Thirds Mountain Bike Action-_6120619.jpg   Some Micro Four Thirds Mountain Bike Action-_6120594.jpg   Some Micro Four Thirds Mountain Bike Action-_6120552.jpg  
    Last edited by Photo-John; 06-15-2011 at 02:16 PM.
    Photo-John

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  2. #2
    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: Some Micro Four Thirds Mountain Bike Action

    John,
    At this size everything seems in focus on 1 and 3 ... in 2 only the closest branches are out of focus ...
    Seems to me that as long as there is enough light for a good shooter speed, manual focus will reduce that burden from the camera, and action shots should be attainable with the m4/3 camera

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Some Micro Four Thirds Mountain Bike Action

    Quote Originally Posted by armando_m View Post
    John,
    At this size everything seems in focus on 1 and 3 ... in 2 only the closest branches are out of focus ...
    Seems to me that as long as there is enough light for a good shooter speed, manual focus will reduce that burden from the camera, and action shots should be attainable with the m4/3 camera
    They have to be good enough for print for me to bother. And these all are. I won't say I never post anything on the Web that isn't good enough to print - but almost never

    I don't know if you really meant *manual* focus or pre focus. Pre focusing is fine but manual focus is just too time consuming for me. The focus in image 2 was a bit tricky because the focus point on the E-PL2 isn't that accurate. One trick is to get the subject to stand where I want to focus so I can get it right, then hold the focus for the shot. The one thing I can't do though, is use continuous auto focus. It's just not fast enough with these cameras to keep up with a mountain biker going downhill. But that's ok - pre-focusing does work. And it would make my trip a lot more comfortable.
    Photo-John

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  4. #4
    Liz
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    Moderator Emeritus Liz's Avatar
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    Re: Some Micro Four Thirds Mountain Bike Action

    Hi John,

    Wow! Italy - how AWESOME! I'm sooooooooo happy for you and Jenni! :thumbsup:

    As an E-PL2 owner, I can say that I think you will do just fine with this camera - I also have the 9-18 along with the micro 40-150. I'm always happily surprised at the IQ that I get. And that 9-18 lens is one of my all-time favorites.

    The images above look good - and I will look forward to seeing what you capture in Italy.

    BTW, when is the date? Are you giving out that info?

    Liz

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