Constantly coming back to Micro Four Thirds.

Test Shots - Panasonic Lumix GH1 + Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Biogon M Mount lens

The previous thread is an illustration of how despite all my reservations I constantly keep coming back to m4/3. Despite having many other things to do I spent yesterday working with my GH1 to see if I could come up with a solution to a couple of my criticisms of the system. i.e. Burnt out highlights and an often less than punchy rendition.

Test Shots - Panasonic Lumix GH1 + Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Biogon M Mount lens

After much commuting between the garden and the computer screen I may have come up with a solution. Under-exposing on the GH1 by 2/3 or 1 stop helps with both the highlight problem and increases the colour saturation. It doesn't seem to produce much more noise when the files are lightened. It does allow a dynamic range that doesn't eliminate all detail in the whites and still allows for a reasonably contrasty image.

Test Shots - Panasonic Lumix GH1 + Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Biogon M Mount lens

I also went through many of the film mode jpg options seeing if I could produce an out of camera jpg that was punchy yet clean. The closer that I can get the jpgs from any camera looking like the "finished product" the shorter time I have to spend processing and the quicker I can get images on stock photography websites. I was pleased with the results and settled on a customised version of the standard jpg setting with the contrast, colour and sharpness turned right up. Not to everybody's liking I'm sure but a very popular look with picture buyers.

A look very reminiscent of what I get with the Samsung NX10. Which leads to the obvious question of why not use that camera? Its a question I really do find difficult to answer. I am unsure as to why I like using m4/3 so much. Despite having bouts when I think I'm done with it I keep on returning over and over again. None of this is rational or sensible, but I've never rated either of those too highly!! Its very much a gut feeling. I've always liked a challenge. In this case the challenge is to produce top quality results from a small sensor. But thats not the whole story. Despite being able to use a Leica M9 and having used pretty much all the top of the range Nikons and Canons I keep getting drawn back to these little cameras from Panasonic & Olympus.

Because of the results I've been getting from the Zeiss 21mm and Nikon 50mm I'm even getting enthusiastic for the Manual Focus/Legacy lens method again. I have a suspicion that some of this is an attempt to re-live the unbelievable excitement that I had when I dived headlong into photography all those years ago. With m4/3 + MF lenses I'm very much into the territory that I occupied when I started. Learning how to use the hyperfocal distance, estimating depth of field, working with a lot of manual settings. Its partly the pleasure of using the knowledge that you have accumulated as opposed to just relying on automation all the time.

None of this gives me the complete answer. One day it may become obvious. I do know that my enjoyment of the process has always defined my photography and I will always let my heart rule my head when it comes to the equipment I use. I constantly try to fight this and try to apply some common sense and "professionalism" to what is after all, the way I make a living. However I do sometimes think that I am fighting a loosing battle and should just give in and stop denying what appear to be my natural instincts.

Time will tell.

D