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My Story Why I switched to Micro Four Thirds

Photo Moment - March 05, 2021

This is the story of how I started shooting Micro Four Thirds (aka MFT or M43) for all of my work — including commercial work. This is a re-edit of a LIVE show originally broadcast in February 2017, telling a story from 2013. This is a much shorter version, with a new intro and “where we are today”. Don't miss the end!

The cameras I'm shooting with today…

The Story of My Switch to Micro Four Thirds…

Let me tell you the story of how I started shooting micro four thirds for all of my work – not just personal photography, but also commercial photography and video work. It all started when a friend of mine shipped me a box full of cameras to play with (pretty good friend, huh?!!). In it was a Leica S3 (the medium format Leica), a Fuji something-or-other, and an Olympus OM-D… hmm, whatever model was current in 2013. Probably the OM-D EM-1 or OM-D EM-5? Anyway, I had toys to play with. They Leica was amazing, of course. The Fuji was quite nice. But I hadn't touched the small-sensor Olympus camera. He called to ask how I was getting along with them, and when I told him I wasn't playing with the micro four thirds, he told me I needed to. Fine. So I did. And boy, was I impressed! SO much so that I used it for a small party I was hired to shoot, and then used it on a low budget commercial shoot where I was able to transfer the JPEGs from the camera to my iPhone or iPad, treat them in Snapseed or some other app, and send them to the client — all from the car, outside of the venue, before I went home! This was a game changing moment for me.

Then I was invited to join some friends doing a commercial social media project for Mercedes Benz. We had a garage-full of brand new Mercedes Benz cars to drive around New York City and Los Angeles for a few days in each city, shooting photos and posting to their instagram account! I decided to shoot it all on MFT, giving me the opportunity to not only shoot natively in square format (this was back when Instagram was square only), but more importantly, wifi transfer the photos to my iPad as I shot them, treating and posting the photos immediately! It was a huge advantage and made the journey a ton of fun for me. 

For my favorite shot of the journey, I needed to reach waaaay out over a ledge to get the shot I wanted of a gorgeous Mercedes Benz SLS that I was only able to get because I could tilt up the LCD on the camera (back then, very few cameras had this feature) and see the view as I was composing it! It was a remarkable adventure. 

Can you believe… when we were on the job, the  @Mercedes-Benz  instagram account had under 500,000 followers. It was our goal to push it past half a million — and we did it! Today, the account has over 31 million followers. Wow.

Some of the original Instagram posts…


Some More Photos from the Mercedes-Benz Shoot…

Mercedes-Benz SLS overhead photo in Los Angeles, shot on a Micro four thirds camera

Mercedes-Benz photo in New York going over the George Washington bridge, shot on a Micro four thirds camera

Mercedes-Benz photo with the Los Angeles skyline, shot on a Micro four thirds camera

Other Videos Mentioned

(this is the original long-form live show from 2017)

🔗 More links you seek

🔴 Don't miss the LIVE shows!

📄 Full Video Transcript

Leave a comment on YouTube

Comments from YouTube

Did you enjoy this story? It's not over! Be sure to subscribe so you hear… as Paul Harvey used to say… "the REST of the story"
So, got a follow up video coming out on Friday at all? ;)
Thanks. I just remembered I'm almost 50... and my dad liked that guy.
Good job, I still rewatch this video time to time
Just wondering what lens/ses you used to take the portraits at 1:24-1:30? Zuiko 75mm?
Metadata says… “OLYMPUS M.45mm F1.8”
@PhotoJoseph love it
I use vpn. I watch, "zundi khi khi le" chocolate ad. I don't skip ad to support the creator.

Dear Singapore please use better name for chocolates!
An example of mouth diarrhea?
I should ask what is actually wrong with you, but I'm afraid you might answer. So charming.
Gerner Little Troll! Stop vomiting!
Using A7c Sony which is very small. Lenses are amazing but I still think about that EP2 with Panasonic 7-14 I had 11 years ago. Thinking about PEN f or EM5 III for lightweight travel.
In love with my new G9 🖤❤️
I have mostly panasonic lenses they work great on my g9
its a shame 12mm 42.5mm 100-400mm panasonic lenses won't do pro capture low. On my Olympus em1x
The 12-100mm is awesome
what do you mean, "won't do pro capture low"?
and now I have a Mercedes looking for this camera 🤣
sadly M43 has had its day
@PhotoJoseph GH6 No such thing.
@Elephant Grass 🤨
@PhotoJoseph Haven't seen one yet, so as far as the market is concerned.... it doesn't exist. In the 90's, Microsoft would do the same thing and it was called "vaporware". Microsoft would announce a tool that was going to be a game changer, people would hold off buying the software tool from anyone else, making all the other small companies building the same thing go out of business. Then Microsoft would swoop in and buy the dying sofware company for pennies on the dollar. I'm not saying Lumix is doing this, but it just seems like m43 is on a lifeline and trying to keep it alive for that extra squeeze of revenue left.

If they don't let ambassadors like you say anything, then it's the dumbest marketing move in the history of camera. I love you PhotoJoseph, but your word of "m43 is going to have a huge future" (actually, I don't know if you've said that or not) still doesn't instill enough faith that this is a platform worth sticking with at this point. I was excited earlier in the year as per my posts from this video, but me specifically, have run out of patience. And my feelings are the same with most who are in a point where they're looking towards which platform they should invest in. Sorry Lumix, unfortunately you've cried wolf too many times and you don't care that I think this of your brand.

But I do appreciate the content that PhotoJoseph puts out.
@Elephant Grass ok, I hear you, but let me respond. The announcement was made at the end of May, saying, and I’m quoting, “Expected by End of Year”. The announcement was made simultaneous to the GH5 II, and not long after the BGH1. One entirely new system for LUMIX (box), and one solid update to their flagship GH5. The GH6 announcement specifically uses the words “Expected by End of Year”… EXPECTED. So the potential for delays were built into the announcement, if you want to read it that way. And, it’s currently mid November. There’s still six weeks in 2021. There’s isn’t anything about the announcement of GH6 that is vaporware; everything is as was said and implied by the press release. It’s happening. Be patient.
@PhotoJoseph The word expected means just that. We expect it to happen by the end of the year. Yes we’re 6 weeks away so nothing can be said just yet. But no updates at all? LUMIX isn’t Apple. I don’t think they’re in a good position to keep quiet like Apple does. Unless the GH6 has innovation that we can’t even think of (which Apple has done many times... you should know, you’ve worked there) then all the GH6 will be is a camera late to the party. Panasonic would have to pull a Henry Ford about what the market says. Ford would ask people “What would you like me to make?”. People would respond “Build me a faster horse”. The camera industry is trying to build faster horses (cameras) while Apple is low key developing the Model T (computational cameras disguised as phones).
I am still wiating for the point of this video. It was just a high speed ramble!
It’s a story, dude.
Great look back at your switch to Micro 4/3. And I agree with you, I made the switch back than also.
So many people fall in to the trap of buying the latest and greatest camera gear thinking it will make them a better photographer. I certainly did. I now regret the expensive gear swapping mistakes I made in the past. I’ve now settled on an old em1 and 3 low price lenses, and my photography has never been better.
I just bought a GX9 recently.
Now to get some lenses.
I’m subscribed… but I want to see a GH6 LOL I just don’t understand, Lumix has a HUGE following for their GH5 users and I think the longer they wait the more likely some people might jump ship. If you have a GH5 let’s say and it breaks today you have to think long and hard about replacing it this late in the game with another GH5 IF a gh6 is around the corner. But not knowing if there is a GH6 officially around the corner do you buy another GH5 or do you take this time to buy into another system? I mean really Lumix has waited so long I think they are shrinking their easy money base, they could have put together a really good GH6 and it would have sold like crazy instead they put out these more niche full frame cameras that are good but if you gotta buy new lenses too the wise shopper always shops around, the goal of a company should be for their consumer base to NOT be looking around. I hope that makes sense. It’s like that with anything, if apple didn’t release anymore new iPhones for 4 or 5 years when people broke their old iPhone do you think they would buy another old iPhone or make the switch to android? I think that paints the picture better. Apple knows better and is very successful, they keep their products fresh for new consumers and the old consumers that may be needing a new phone and for those just looking to throw money out and upgrade.
Joseph how to make transition @0:30?
"The micro 4/3rds story is far from over," he says with a glint in his eye. Does Photo Joseph know something about an upcoming GH6?...
I noticed you use an Apple laptop. A question. Why doesn‘t Apple IOS and BigSur support OMD EM1mk3 and OMD EM5 mk3 raw files? Many thanks!
That’s still a fairly new camera but I am surprised. Sometimes apple takes a while to support new cameras. I haven’t worked there for over a decade so that’s the best I got. Here’s a page that shows what is supported:
Welcome to the future
Why thank you, I think I like it here
GH6 I bet!
A GH6 in the summer with improved AF and crazy specs would be perfect right now
I was looking for more Affinity photo iPad videos... Did you stop those? :(
It's been a while, but here's all the ones I did. I did a 13 part series, plus several additional ones:
Love your story! Thanks for sharing. Also from a fellow joe!
haha awesome! Thank you!
For me, for video, Wildlife, travel and Macro, the m43 system is PERFECT!!! Fun factor!!!! For other and rare situations I can use my Nikon apsc and FF.
so u got them all lol what would u keep it u can only keep one
@fmtoussant I would choose the e-m1 mark iii
I love micro 4 thirds... please NEVER DIE......
Still waffling.....
I prefer pancakes.
@PhotoJoseph very good, I take it all back....respect for a top reply.
I remember that video!
Oldie but goodie :-)
Ah, but you've since become a full-framer have you not?
Did you watch to the end?
@PhotoJoseph Fair enough. Let us pray for a GH6.
I think you are wrong there, at 6:10, Canon has a flip out screen since or before 2010.
oh cool. At least ,no one had one on this shoot!
Like many M4/3 users, I got tired waiting for the gh6 to replace my 4 year old gh5 and stepped up to the S1, I love it and have never regretted the move (although I loved the gh5)
I know quite a few gh5 users are now buying the S5, and surely that is now the obvious upgrade path NOT the gh6, especially now Panasonic are the only major company selling the format.
I can’t help thinking, what could the gh6 possibly have, that would tempt people away from the S5 with its 5.9k, full frame body with ibis and great low light performance?
time will tell
Great work.
Thank you! Cheers!
Why bother to release this 4 years later? In 2021, M43 is at the end of the tunnel just like DSLR.
Because it's not the end of the tunnel
I'm shooting on micro 4/3 to and love this i buy recently the 14-140mm Panasonic and i love him!
Now i want to buy Lumix g9 to replace my gx80
m4/3 is dead. the industry doesnt support it anymore. i only see full frames coming all the time. bad mount to invest in
or, you could be wrong. There's always that. May I remind you that a brand new camera, the BGH1, was just released. Totally new form factor, and an absolutely amazing camera.
I used to like your chanel until I realised you are payed to defend a clearly dying system. The one company was shamelessly sold and is essentially dead (Olympus). Panasonic moved to Full frame. Everyone is milking the cow of M43 for as long as possible before moving away from the system. RIP.
It’s “paid”, not “payed”, and I’ve always stated that I’m a LUMIX Ambassador. The MFT system is certainly not dying or dead. The most recent MFT camera from Panasonic is the BGH1 which is only a few months old. You’re entitled to your opinion, but you’re wrong.
"It's far from over.." I love the sound of that. ✨
me too ;-)
Hmmm...for some reason I'd lost track of you for awhile. Glad to see you alive and well. GH5 has been my workhorse video camera, but a few months ago I needed a B cam and decided on the GX85. Wonderful little camera with some limitations, of course, but shoots great video and is so compact. I've been a Panasonic video shooter since 1988 when I bought a 200 CLE early 3-chip video camera!
Hey, I’m glad I’m alive and well, too!! 😂 Thanks for sticking around, and cool history! I’m not familiar with that old camera.
@PhotoJoseph The 200CLE was a full-sized, 3-chip(2/3" chips), shoulder-held video cam with a thick, umbilical cable that connected to a fairly large, bulky and heavy, shoulder-slung, S-VHS recording deck. "Portable", but a bit of a bear to lug on shoots.
Oh yeah, I love my m43 Panasonic cameras!
Haha that’s amazing. To think how far we’ve come.
I agree! ;-)
This is the 3rd reference to MFT in the last week I hear from different sources. Panasonic is shipping a demo version of the GH6 imminently. I wonder if the camera will come up on time for the Olympics hoping those will actually take place!
I own a Lumix micro 4/3.
Hope to shoot my Short-Film on it.
When you are so good otherwise, theese days 😉 Why did you release this video again... 😘 "Love you anyway" Now days we are hopefully waiting for a new upgraded micro 4/3. I think 🤔
im switching from micr4thirds for phots its too weak I have the Lumix g9, for video I love it but for photos its mad weak, if anyone wants a g9 to purchase hit me up
Can I ask what are the photo weaknesses in your opinion?
@Bing Bong so pixel wise the g9 photos are on the same level as my iphone 12, i did a shoot where i was shooting vid but i took some snaps and my friend was using a canon eos r with a sigma 35mm and i was using a sigma 16mm which is 32 mm on the g9 and our photos had such a contrast the dynamic range in her pics was crazy. Like u can get great pics from the g9 but u have to work extra hard and the lighting has to be impeccable 👌🏽 i am looking to move to the s5 next as i want to be photo capable and still get amazing video. I thought i g9 could do that but it falls short with photographs
@yanic barrett Thanks. The comparison with IP12 and EOSR are a bit confusing and misleading in my opinion. I watch Matti Happoja vid comparing the IP12 to the EOSR and he struggled to tell the difference between the two sets of pics, but then I think this test only applies to certain types of pics/test conditions. And of course the 'real' camera will always beat the phone in the practical and professional use (weather sealing/lens choices/zoom/ frame rate/ergonomics/viewfinder/attachments etc) Ref the 20mp G9 vs the 30mp FF EOSR it's understandable that the newer expensive Canon will have a better dynamic range. I guess the G9 falls short when compared to something more expensive, but generally, considering the many features and ability it's pretty amazing for the price I think.
@Bing Bong trust me bro there is a difference there when shooting a subject the separation from background and dynamic look is marginally different trust me
@yanic barrett The Full frame look should not be expected from m43 or you'll just be disappointed. Also phone computational processing is great, which is why they cost so much, but they have their limits like I mentioned before. I'm just making the point for someone who may be looking at m43, that the G9 and similar m43 cameras are great cameras and not mad weak. Like you wouldn't say an EOS R is a poor camera because it's not as good as the R5. Good luck selling the G9, I'm sure someone will be very happy with it. :)
Where is that commercial actually, I want to check it out
is it the case for most ambassadors when all they do now is full frame S1/S5 ?, I still love the form factor but I feel having some of the fast primes they neglect the size advantage vs some of the newer Full frame stuff, great content though
I’m not sure I understand your question… as Ambassadors, we are actively promoting the latest gear, depending on our areas of expertise. For me this means I am working with both MFT and FF but I show more FF like the S5 and S1H right now. Fast primes in full frame are big — especially when you add things like autofocus, stabilization, and/or extremely high quality optics. It takes size and space to do some of the things these lenses are capable of.
@PhotoJoseph what I thought, sometimes is hard to resist the urge to leave MFT (as someone new to it), when everyone talks mostly about Full Frame, and we don't get nearly (if at all) content about MFT in general, but I guess photography as a whole applies to all systems, I'm happy just jealous :P
Ah I see. In general more people talk about FF, yes. But within the LUMIX world, the S Series are the newest cameras, so that's what's being talked about tat the moment. That's all.
Great review. Still can't decide between G9 with 12-60mm and S5 with 20-60mm, 90% Stills and 10% video.. please help 🙏 Thank you
@dadi 1212 For what it's worth I have a G9, which is great. I do love the mobility that I can go anywhere rough and ready with the G9 with three tiny cheap lenses in my jacket pocket. (12-60/ 40-150/25mm)No tripod/bag required.I wouldn't try that with expensive full frame lenses even though they are getting smaller. I would love an S5 if i had the money. I shot a couple weddings with the same combo. An S5 would have better in low light/bokeh etc but G9 still did the job. If you can afford and you don't mind the size difference of the L mount lenses then the S5 seems a good bet.
@Bing Bong Thank you for answer. bokeh is not my priority.
For low light and dynamic range, is it much different between S5 and G9?
So far, the low light that I use is only for sunrise and sunset, I don't really like photos at night.
yes I'm too lazy to bring a tripod, haha ​​..
By the way, I'm using the camera as hobbies not fot the job, only weekend camera for traveling, haha..
So, do you think G9 is worth for upgrade from G85 for me? Is it huge jump? Thank you Joseph 🙏
@dadi 1212 Hi, Nice to chat. Yeah i can't do the tripod thing. Too much effort :) The newer full frame S5 should be much more capable in low light and have better dynamic range, but it is all relative. In the same way the G9 will be a technically better camera than the G85 with a better 20 mp sensor and lots of more 'pro' features. As I remember Panny originally promoted the G9 as their greatest photo camera way back in 2017. The truth is the G85 is perfectly fine for what you need. If you want to stick to m43, I would suggest holding to the G85 and getting some awesome lenses. They make such a big difference. In the future you can always upgrade to the G9 or GH6 to match your awesome lenses. I bought my G9 with the standard lenses (which are fine) but I'm saving to buy better lenses now. In hindsight I would have probably bought the cheaper camera with nice lenses first, then saved for the expensive camera. If the G85 works for you, the G9 will do the same, maybe a little bit better, and with more technical features to keep you entertained. For ultimate technical image quality the S5/G9/G85 will be best in that order. That's just the nature of technological progress. But when it comes to capturing that great image, it will ultimately be down to your skill/craft and any of the cameras will be fine. By the way I'm not an expert like Photo Joseph so all of the above is only my subjective opinion :)
@Bing Bong Hi, Thank you so much for the answer. I think that's amazing opinion and open my mind. You're both are awesome! Thanks for helping.
The most important thing when considering a new camera is to check out the lenses and lens PRICES(!)
Do you get the lenses you will need for your field of photography? Can you handle the weight? And can you afford them? 1500 is not much for full frame lenses ...
I'm subscribed so I can see what happens next!
Micro 4/3 is the only system that allows me to carry a top quality wildlife kit in my bike's handlebar bag.
No doubt! That’s awesome.
Absolutely - and with high Image quality
For someone who doesn't make a living as a Photographer, M43 is perfect. Having said that, it's time for a New Sensor for M43 and may be affordable wide zoom lens with F1. 7!
I really hope the give the GH6 a super 35 sensor still with the m43 mount. JVC dud it a few years back. It would really solve a lot of the issues people have with m43. Poor low light, difficult to get shallow depth of field, and difficult to get wide lenses. With cameras like the canon c70, and the Sony alpha, and the bmpc6k pro, out or coming out, the gh6 really has to be great.
I remember this video 4 years ago, Joseph. I am not really into gear but when I saw MFT in 2015, I did some proper research and ended up with a Lumix GM5. I love photography and I always have my camera in my hand wherever I go. The cameras in this system are relatively smaller and lighter. The lenses, too, are magnitudes lighter than APS-C and small format. For me, the balance that MFT brings in terms of performance and portability cannot be matched by other system cameras. Cheers.
Awesome to hear, thanks!
It is the only format I have never even considered. Shooting APS-C in digital + analog 35mm. Dreaming of medium format in analog and digital :-)
All formats have their place!
Because you didn’t need it. It’s just a tool. Find a situation for it
My first "real" camera I bought(last autumn) is gx80. Previously I used to take a lot of pics with phone but felt limited by it. After it managed to get great deal on Olympus OM10 and OM2 but shooting film is bit expensive for me. Love the size of gx80 and lenses. Often I just take when I go somewhere lumix, small prime and stick it into jacket pocket. Fits perfectly
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