Deciding between Z6 and E-M1 iii

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Dipan Shah
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Hello folks,

I am looking for suggestions and opinions from users, who use or used both setups, i.e. Z6/Z7 and E-M1 iii.

I'm not a professional photographer, I don't print and don't do pixel-peeping. Neither I am looking for a lot of technical, but trying to come out of confusion based on real-life scenarios.
I visit national parks frequently. At that time I would shot in the evening and if the night is good, then night photography too. I like to shoot pictures of family, my toddler son, sometimes in the evening, and sometimes inside the house. Being with toddler, I get enough opportunities to go to zoo. I am not exactly in BIF but one thing I would mention. Though the number of pictures of birds would be less but I would like to take the best (or you call sharp) of it. For example, a bird sitting between branches and leaves will not be visible very well, unless the background or unwanted area can't be blurred.

I have been reading a lot of past posts and trying to gather some information about differences.
Pros of E-M1 can be the best IBIS, few cheesy features, little advantage of overall weight and if I go on a longer lens, then it would save some cost too. For eg. Oly 300mm f/4 vs Nikon 500 PF.
Cons of E-M1 can be a little noisy in difficult ISO. Though it can be covered up to some extent by using a fast lens, like 25mm f/1.4? I am not sure, if we say bad noise, how bad.. in a room, post-sunset if I want to click pictures of the family. A smaller sensor will capture a smaller frame. Though I am not printing, but bigger frame with more subject in it, looks more impressive on FF. Even if I use 7-14mm, it won't compete with FF lens.

The pros of Z6 can be a bigger sensor, so less noise. But if I am not pixel-peeping, should this be a little worry? Some posters say IQ is clearly amazing than E-M1, probably they are talking in a bad light?
Cons of Z6 can be expensive if I go with a long lens, or quality will be reduced or weight will be increased. If I ignore some features like live composite, Starry Sky, ND exposure bracket, Pro Capture, can't see other disadvantages.

A good kit I can think of can be -
E-M1 iii + 12-40mm f/2.8 + 7-14mm f/2.8 + 25mm f/1.4 (+ telelens 100-400mm or 300mm f/4)
Z6 + 24-70 f/4 + 14-30mm f/4 + 50mm f/1.8 (+ telelens, don't know yet)

Thanks
 

nandbytes

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both are fine setups... just my 2p on the matters...

IBIS - useful for night time but considering you are shooting moving stuff like your toddler your shutter speed will be need to be high enough anyway.

having shot a toddler myself (and still shooting) especially in low light/indoors, I'd say both f4 and 24-70mm range is limiting. obviously you can't get a 24-200mm f2.8 but I'd go with a constant f2.8 zoom or 24-105mm type zoom and comprise on reach or light rather than both.

14-30mm can use standard filters while 7-14mm cannot, something to think about.

Also why stick with just nikon and Oly? there's other brands too.... fuji, sony, canon etc. worth looking at all the options and see which system provides the lenses you need.

For ISO performance alone I'd choose FF (and may be APS-C).

also alternatively think of getting two cameras like a sony RX10IV for outdoors family shooting at the zoo etc and a FF like Z6 with fast primes for indoors, low light and portraits. won't cost you much more in money infact may even be cheaper plus you have a back up body. when you are out and about you will definitely appreciate not having to juggle lenses and your child jumping into a lions den :p

Lastly for shooting moving humans, Canon and Sony seem to have slight upper hand in AF, especially eyeAF.
 
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Dipan Shah
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Hi Anand,

I travel a lot and mostly with family so keeping two systems can be troublesome for me. For the same reason, I want to keep weight reasonable, if not very light.
Currently, I have E-M1, 12-40mm f/2.8, 45mm f/1.8 40-150mm f/2.8. I have been with this kit for 5+ years.

Initially, I was focusing on upgrading from E-M1 to E-M1 iii, which is said to have many improvements. While searching more I found that the market has changed a lot in the past 5 years and in almost the same weight and (little more) price I can get FF system.
Fuji doesn't have Full-frame. After APS-C, they have medium format, too expensive for me.
Canon's mirrorless full-frame with equivalent features are also going beyond the budget.
Sony's tele lenses are heavy or long when I visited the store last week.
Nikon's Z6 is still reasonably priced and may come down a little due to release of Z6ii. That was the reason I was looking at these two options. Though I admit, I have not done extensive research on features, weight, price on all available systems.
 
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Jeff
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I would go for oly ,the new 100-400 lens makes it a dream to use and it takes t.c as well .. and a transition from a mk1 to a mk3 is easier than learning a new system , you also have to take prices into account oly lenses are invariably a lot lot cheaper than nikon or others ..
Noise well yes it is there ,but in this day and age programs like topaz de noise easily clean it up .
 
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Dipan Shah
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Hi Jeff, thanks for your advice.

IF I don't pick telephoto lens, prices are almost the same between both systems, or just a little more. So for now, the price factor is secondary.

If it has to Oly system, does 300mm f/4 makes more sense than Olympus 100-400mm, from sharpness point of view?
 

nandbytes

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Hi Anand,

I travel a lot and mostly with family so keeping two systems can be troublesome for me. For the same reason, I want to keep weight reasonable, if not very light.
Currently, I have E-M1, 12-40mm f/2.8, 45mm f/1.8 40-150mm f/2.8. I have been with this kit for 5+ years.

Initially, I was focusing on upgrading from E-M1 to E-M1 iii, which is said to have many improvements. While searching more I found that the market has changed a lot in the past 5 years and in almost the same weight and (little more) price I can get FF system.
Fuji doesn't have Full-frame. After APS-C, they have medium format, too expensive for me.
Canon's mirrorless full-frame with equivalent features are also going beyond the budget.
Sony's tele lenses are heavy or long when I visited the store last week.
Nikon's Z6 is still reasonably priced and may come down a little due to release of Z6ii. That was the reason I was looking at these two options. Though I admit, I have not done extensive research on features, weight, price on all available systems.
I'll address your points in order :)

I wouldn't say it's two systems since RX10IV is a bridge camera. Only annoyance is having to deal with two sets of batteries. And since you travel a lot and that too family I though you'd appreciate no lens changes. RX10IV has a 24-600mm f2.8-4 equivalent lens. It's also sharp. But up to of course, I was just thinking slightly outside the box :)

Upgrading on to E-M1iii is cheaper surely? Since you have some lenses. It's really a great system IMO. My only concern at this point is where M43 is going with Oly selling it and Panasonic focusing on FF. Otherwise since you already have M43 I'd give this serious consideration.

You don't have to go FF though :)
APS-C can be a step up.

Canon mirrorless can be expensive at the moment. They do have some cheaper smaller lenses but not many yet. And also some very interesting lenses like 600mm f11 and 800mm f11. May not the best for UK though lol. More to come...

Sony has the most lenses inc. light ones. In fact equivalent lenses from Sony are generally lighter and/or smaller than canon/Nikon equivalent. Not too mention you have 3rd party support for Sony which also means many cheaper really great lenses which are not available the canon/Nikon/Fuji. Just because a shop don't stock them doesn't mean they don't exist ;)

Only Nikon lens that's a bargain for the performance it provides is the 50mm f1.8. the rest are priced like any other system. It does have one lens Sony doesn't have i.e. the compact 14-30mm but it's not the sharpest tool in the box. I had a word with Nikon rep at the open day once and he said I should just treat it as a constant f5.6 zoom with f4 available only if I absolutely need it :D then again I shoot on high Res bodies so on a Z6 i.e. 24mp it may be ok.

If you want to minimise the weight and size your biggest heaviest lens will be the Telephoto. For the size and price of which you can just carry the RX10IV hence I suggested it. Alternatively the smallest telephoto FF zoom natively available is the new sigma 100-400mm which is available for Sony e-mount and L-mount only. The smallest prime is the canon RF 600mm f11. But these options are also pretty cheap.

Good luck on your hunt.
 
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I've had the Z7 and EM1-II and here's my thoughts.

The EM1-II and Panasonic 100-400mm were great for wildlife, more than fast enough for most things and IQ is excellent. Also it weights in about 1.5kg all in. The 300mm f4 is that bit better but you loose flexibility of focal length and it's a bit heavier. However, you get just over a stop light advantage. Noise wasn't that much of an issue tbh, although clearly it's more noticeable than FF.

IMO the AF of the Z7 wasn't as good for wildlife and native lenses are limited, however you do get cleaner images if light drops.

I recently ditched both and got the Sony A7RIV to have the best of both world. You get the benefits of FF (shallow DOF and noise handling) but with the effective reach of m4/3 due to the crop ability of the megapixels. I bought the Sony 100-400mm to go with it and in crop mode that gives me 600mm reach and still 26mp. It's 400g heavier than the Panny 100-400mm but it's a similar weight to the Olly 300mm f4. Yes you lose a stop of light to the Olly f4 but you've got the benefits of FF to negate this. Plus you get the flexibility of zoom. TBH the Sony 100-400mm is the best telephoto I've ever used, IQ is stunning.
 

nandbytes

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I've had the Z7 and EM1-II and here's my thoughts.

The EM1-II and Panasonic 100-400mm were great for wildlife, more than fast enough for most things and IQ is excellent. Also it weights in about 1.5kg all in. The 300mm f4 is that bit better but you loose flexibility of focal length and it's a bit heavier. However, you get just over a stop light advantage. Noise wasn't that much of an issue tbh, although clearly it's more noticeable than FF.

IMO the AF of the Z7 wasn't as good for wildlife and native lenses are limited, however you do get cleaner images if light drops.

I recently ditched both and got the Sony A7RIV to have the best of both world. You get the benefits of FF (shallow DOF and noise handling) but with the effective reach of m4/3 due to the crop ability of the megapixels. I bought the Sony 100-400mm to go with it and in crop mode that gives me 600mm reach and still 26mp. It's 400g heavier than the Panny 100-400mm but it's a similar weight to the Olly 300mm f4. Yes you lose a stop of light to the Olly f4 but you've got the benefits of FF to negate this. Plus you get the flexibility of zoom. TBH the Sony 100-400mm is the best telephoto I've ever used, IQ is stunning.
New Sigma 100-400mm is just as sharp as 100-400GM and around the same same size as Pana 100-400mm.
The options are there, just need to look ;)
 
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The key advantages of FF are low noise and control of depth of field. It sounds to me like you should upgrade your present body.
 
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Dipan Shah
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All excellent suggestions.
I have been learning more about all alternatives.

RX10IV - Very good range, but when I am looking at pictures they look soft. Especially if I compare with Olympus 75mm f/1.8 or 40-150mm f/2.8. Last week I visited the store, tested Olympus 300mm f/4. It was tack sharp. They don't have Olympus 100-400mm yet. Maybe I found bad examples so far for RX10IV. I will spend some more time on this option.

I am not concerned about Olympus Imaging moved to JIP. If I buy a system, I would keep it for at least 5+ years. The prices of my lenses are not much depreciated, but the camera did. So I will not be at a huge loss when I will sell lenses (if I choose this way). I have not decided to leave Olympus yet, but I am trying to compare all my options and narrow down. Below mentioned thought is still an option along with the Olympus system. Will consider price, weight, and my requirements before reaching to the final option. IQ of Olympus, Nikon and Sony would not much different in good light. Of course, a big sensor will help with noise, which can be a big or small factor to consider. DOF/Bokeh is important for me.

Then I also look at Sony systems now. A7RIII/IV is just 70/80g more than E-M1 iii which is reasonable. Price-wise also A7Riii is just $500 more ($2000) than the current price of E-M1 ($1500), which is good. I will need to pay $3000 to get A7Riv or less if I get a used body. Crop mode is one benefit to gey A7Riv, but other than that I can't see other strong reasons or I may need to study more carefully.
I am spoiled by the sharpness of Olympus Pro and Prime lenses, so in the new option also, I would expect to stay at the same or better level along with other benefits of a bigger sensor. I would try to make a kit with A7Riii with not very expensive but still comparable/better than my current system then I can think of UWA + regular zoom + tele lens (could be zoom or prime) + one prime for a small gathering of 1 to 5-6 people -

A7Riii + 12-24mm f/4 + 24-105mm f/4 (or shorter) + 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 + 55mm f/1.8 ZA (or 85mm f/1.8)

Please suggest and advise on this. I would study more about it but your opinions would help me to move in a good direction.

Also, do we see discounts during Thanksgiving on Sony, in the US? Or is it like Apple, with none to very less discount?
 
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I note you have toddler and like to shoot in the evening. Sony is made for you.
Confident and reliable eye af has been a game changer for me (I now shoot Sony previously Z6). The full frame high ISO performance of any system will produce cleaner files.
I’ve got a couple Tamron zooms and 3 primes. Nothing long though.
Seems the Sigma 100-400 will be worth a look.
 

nandbytes

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I would try to make a kit with A7Riii with not very expensive but still comparable/better than my current system then I can think of UWA + regular zoom + tele lens (could be zoom or prime) + one prime for a small gathering of 1 to 5-6 people -

A7Riii + 12-24mm f/4 + 24-105mm f/4 (or shorter) + 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 + 55mm f/1.8 ZA (or 85mm f/1.8)
Don't discount A7III or the new A7C if you want really compact. Z6 uses the same sensor as these.

As for options:
UWA - 12-24/4, 16-35mm (both f4 and f2.8 are excellent), tamron 17-28mm f2.8, sigma 14-24mm f2.8 (be careful to pickup the mirrorless 'DN' version). Also don't discount manual primes like laowa 15mm f2 for nighttime (laowa is also available in z-mount if you choose Nikon)

Regular zooms - Sony 24-105mm/4, tamron 28-75mm/2.8, sigma 24-70/2.8, tamron 28-200mm/2.8-5.6 (its f2.8-4.5 between 28-110mm so it's not slower than Sony, a it's pretty decent lens despite being a superzoom)

Telephoto - Sony 100-400mm, Sigma 100-400mm (once again look for the latest "DN" version i.e. mirrorless version).

Standard prime - samyang 45mm/1.8 (very small, light and sharp), Sony FE 50mm/1.8 (AF isn't the best though), Sony 55mm/1.8, samyang 50mm f1.4 (once again AF isn't great but rendering is just dreamy), samyang 75/1.8, Sony 85mm/1.8, new sigma 85mm/1.4 (it's pretty compact for a F1.4), and many more I am not going list them all lol :D
 
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Jeff
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Hi Jeff, thanks for your advice.

IF I don't pick telephoto lens, prices are almost the same between both systems, or just a little more. So for now, the price factor is secondary.

If it has to Oly system, does 300mm f/4 makes more sense than Olympus 100-400mm, from sharpness point of view?
have a look at my recent shots in the olympus thread in this section . the new 100-400 lens opens up a whole new ball park for olympus as well as the t.c compatibility it seems to have brought the camera to life , a lot of functions it can utilise are even new to me . its ultra sharp and copes with everything I throw at it . camera and lens weigh in at a really comfortable 2kg exactly .. every system as can be seen from the remarks on here has its own fan club .. does anyone these days make a bad camera or lens very few if any .. so at the end of the day its your choice and your money
 

nandbytes

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All excellent suggestions.
I have been learning more about all alternatives.

RX10IV - Very good range, but when I am looking at pictures they look soft. Especially if I compare with Olympus 75mm f/1.8 or 40-150mm f/2.8. Last week I visited the store, tested Olympus 300mm f/4.
You can't really compare it to a prime or a f2.8 zoom, obviously it'll lose out. But I wouldn't call it soft either. Since you said you don't print and pixel peep the RX10IV is plenty sharp.

View: https://youtu.be/m_1NxdJouE4


As he suggest with a bit of Topaz software magic you can get some really good results.
I am by no means suggesting that'll be as good as a FF body combo but you have a great flexibility.
Also remember in above comparison he is comparing with high resolution bodies which naturally provide more cropping room. So if he compared to say 20mp or 24mp body I don't think they will come out as massively on top.

Consider this setup:
RX10IV
A7C+Sony 12-24mm or tamron 17-28mm and samyang 45mm/1.8 (you could just fit this in your jacket pocket with the camera).

Again just thinking outside the box. Now that I think about it may be I should do the same lol :p
 
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I am spoiled by the sharpness of Olympus Pro and Prime lenses, so in the new option also, I would expect to stay at the same or better level along with other benefits of a bigger sensor. I would try to make a kit with A7Riii with not very expensive but still comparable/better than my current system then I can think of UWA + regular zoom + tele lens (could be zoom or prime) + one prime for a small gathering of 1 to 5-6 people -
Does this mean you have Olympus already? If so it wouldn't make sense to me to move systems if you are already invested. I'm not surprised that you are wowed by the Olympus with the pro lenses, they're incredible. That being said, try an A7RIII or A7RIV, or Z7 with a 'pro' lens and and images are even more detailed.

We're very lucky to have so many good systems and so much incredible kit available to us (y)
 
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New Sigma 100-400mm is just as sharp as 100-400GM and around the same same size as Pana 100-400mm.
The options are there, just need to look ;)
The Sigma is definitely a great lens to consider, I would have given it serious thought had it been available at the time. That being said, from images I've seen I still prefer the rendering of the Sony, has a bit more 'pop' to my eyes. Also there's reports of hunting from the Sigma at times.
 
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DOF/Bokeh is important for me.
If this is important to you when using more conventional lenses (i.e. 50mm, 85mm etc - not super-telephotos) then you need to ditch M43 as a format, because it simply can't give the kind of image control that full frame and larger formats can.

IF I did wildlife too, I'd probably run 2 systems, using M43 for the telephoto side & full frame for everything else.
 
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If this is important to you when using more conventional lenses (i.e. 50mm, 85mm etc - not super-telephotos) then you need to ditch M43 as a format, because it simply can't give the kind of image control that full frame and larger formats can.

IF I did wildlife too, I'd probably run 2 systems, using M43 for the telephoto side & full frame for everything else.
Yep. This.
 

nandbytes

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IF I did wildlife too, I'd probably run 2 systems, using M43 for the telephoto side & full frame for everything else.
M43 doesn't have must over FF in terms of reach either if you use high res bodies.
You'll save a bit of size though.
 
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IF I did wildlife too, I'd probably run 2 systems, using M43 for the telephoto side & full frame for everything else.
That’s what I did for ages, except I used m4/3 for travel too. Now with the A7RIV I kind of have a FF and m4/3 body all in one :woot:
 
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richard
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I am late to this discussion but fwiw:

I had the e-m1.1 and was thinking of getting the e-m1.2 a few years ago because of it’s superior AF and slightly better performance at higher iso. I got a pl 100-400 but had a bad experience with it ( and returned it ) and, since I also use a lot of nikon stuff, abandoned m43 for wildlife etc and just got a tamron 150-600 for my d500 ( which works very well )
With the oly 100-400 now out, if I had to make that decision I would probably have gone down the m43 route - the compactness of the system weighing against the low light capability. I suspect the af may still be a bit better on the d500 than on the em1.2++ though.
On the subject if the z6 - I have one for general photography and it’s a great camera but for wildlife the d500 ( and I think the e-m1.3 ) has a far better af system. ( I have tried long teles on the z6 and reverted to the d500 ).
In any case, for reach, I guess you would need a z7 or a7riii or iv to crop into a higher mpx.
 
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