Blog     Photos   

Blog

Micro four thirds and 4k video – is it time to switch?

Micro four thirds and 4k video - is it time to switch?

I’ve mentioned micro four thirds, aka “mirrorless,” in previous posts. As fast and as far as technology has taken imagery, there still are trade-offs no matter the type of photography you choose. 35mm digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLR), along with crop sensor DSLR’s are used by most outdoor photographers due to their size, availability, quality construction, quality lenses, and finally, price. I guess one could say, DSLR’s today occupy the space on a graph where price and quality meet. Of course there are better cameras with bigger sensors that offer better results, but for most, me included, they are not important to my workflow.

photograph of the nikon aw-1 micro fourthirds camera

Nikon AW-1 mirrorless camera with rubber safety cover. The video screen of the Nikon AW-1 showing the composition grid, the internal digital compass, camera settings and elevation. This kind of technology is increasingly being included in mirrorless cameras. I take this camera EVERYWHERE! ©tonybynum.com

Outdoor sports and adventure photographers, wildlife photographers, and journalists are always looking for smaller, lighter, faster tools, while maintaining a minimal level image and product quality. That minimum level for image quality is today still largely based on the demands of magazine publications i.e., print.  So, while I don’t like to think I’m compromising on quality, I must in order to get my gear where I need to go – as mentioned, it’s a balance between size and quality output. I use full frame Nikon cameras, and large aperture lenses when I’d prefer to use a 50 mega pixel back on a medium format camera resulting in even better files, but that’s just not realistic for me, after all I’m a photographer first because I enjoy it!

Micro four thirds cameras offer that smaller size equivalent to DSLR’s. But the image quality is still not there for print. I have not found a regular place in my professional photographic workflow (although I do own and use a Nikon AW-1 – a small, interchangeable lens camera – but that’s for very specific purposes). The Nikon AW-1 while not a micro four thirds camera is a micro, mirrorless, interchangeable camera that fills a similar niche. The Nikon AW-1 is actually an eight to three ratio and not four thirds. I will go into more detail about this camera in a future post, but for now I’ll get back to micro four thirds.

I’ve spent dozens of hours using the Panasonic Gh 3 and a good selection of prime as well as zoom lenses. For video, I doubt you can find a better set up, for the price, than the new Gh4. But for stills, mainly because I shoot a lot of low iso in low light, the micro four thirds, like the Gh3 still don’t produce the quality of files I need for still photography.

I’ve heard people like Dan Cox say that micro four thirds are good enough for his work and I know there are other’s that would agree. Just take a look at Dan’s camera bag and read his blog posts about micro four thirds. I love the photo of his camera bag, makes me get scared of photography. In fairness, I like Dan, we are friends, so I’m not ripping on him, I’m pointing out that he’s a fantastic, successful photographer and use’s four thirds systems.  Here’s the link to Dan’s blog.

Simply put, imagine if you need the quality of a full size DSLR with wide aperture lenses and yet you have the occasion to use a smaller, lighter micro four thirds camera. If size and portability are part of the equation, packing two systems does not make any more sense than leaving the DSLR at home altogether. So, I’m not sure how it helps anyone in my business to support four thirds when it’s only marginally useful and if you do any amount of travel, it’s nearly useless to try to stuff both systems (or more) into your carry-on. . .  If you have a different view, or a real solution to this dilemma please share your thoughts by commenting below, we all would love to hear them.

On January 10, 2015, I’m not ready to change over to micro four thirds as my primary, commercial photography tool.  It’s not time for me to switch, but it is time to take notice and work one into to my photography business more completely.

If you are interested in learning more about 4k video, and micro four thirds photography, the following video does a great job of showing the benefits of 4k and the weight and ergonomics of micro four thirds.  If you’re a photographer and have been considering some video work, this video may help you make the move to owning at least one small micro four thirds camera system. 4k might well be the intersection of quality and price when it comes to high quality video.  I suggest you take a closer look.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you’re on social media, lets continue the learning and the discussion – twitter: @tonybynum, Instagram: @huntphotos, and Facebook: @Tony Bynum Photography


The Ansel Adams Act- “to restore the first amendment rights of photographers”

The Ansel Adams Act- "to restore the first amendment rights of photographers"

The Ansel Adams Act of 2015.  H. R. 5893. To restore the First Amendment Rights of Photographers. Man photographing Glacier National Park winter scene. The Ansel Adams Act would return restore first amendment rights to photographers on public lands.  ©tonybynum.com Exert from the bill: “Prohibition on Fees, Permits, or Insurance.–No Federal Government agency shall require fees, permits […]


2014 – What Makes a Great Outdoor Photography Year?

2014 -  What Makes a Great Outdoor Photography Year?

2014 is history. It’s been a great outdoor photography year – I’m blessed. What makes a great outdoor photography year? To start, both myself and my family all are happy and healthy. Beyond that, the rest was about the experience of the adventure and living life to it’s fullest. In brief, here are a few […]


Photography Quotes – 10 photography quotes that you should read

Photography Quotes - 10 photography quotes that you should read

Photography quotes help to remind us of the most important aspects of photography. I’m always trying to distill photography down to as simple a terms as I can. Having rules and remembering small anecdotes and quotes helps me stay focused. There is one quote that stands out to me, more than any other. I”ll share it […]


Breaking my own photography rules pays off with this Montana photograph

Breaking my own photography rules pays off with this Montana photograph

I arrived at the lake. Calm morning, no wind, perfect reflection, great light, nice color, no people, just what makes my office so desirable! But wait. The clouds. The clouds were covering the peak of Sinopah Mountain. Oh shit, now what? I was ready to pack it in and go home. I’m one for breaking photography […]


Drones, Photography, get your footage before it’s too late!

Drones, Photography, get your footage before it's too late!

I have to share an article about drones and photography, but before I do, I’ll make a comment or two. After using drones on and off for about a year now, I can say that they offer an amazing new way of capturing a scene or event that before was only the domain of the most […]


Why we are Photographers – dedication, passion, purpose

Why we are Photographers - dedication, passion, purpose

We are photographers because it is who we are. I have run across few things that explain the details as well as Dave Black, Robert Beck, George Karbus do in this video by Cory Rich. If you are a photographer, you might not be able to get through this without sharing Dave’s reaction yourself. Don’t blame […]


Two Days with Montana Photographer Tony Bynum – once in a lifetime opportunity

Two Days with Montana Photographer Tony Bynum - once in a lifetime opportunity

You have until Friday evening to get your bids in for two days of private photography with Montana Photographer, Tony Bynum. Tony Bynum is donating two days of private, one-on-one photography to the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Anyone can bid. Better hurry, winner awarded Friday night, […]


The Crown of the Continent – “The Crown” roundtable video

The Crown of the Continent - "The Crown" roundtable video

People from around the “The Crown of the Continent,” gather once a year to share their stories of conservation, life, and the challenges facing the geographic region. The Crown of the Continent, called by the Blackfeet, “the backbone of the world,” is locationd in Northwest Montana, and Southwest Alberta, Canada. People come from all parts […]


Winter on the Edge – Glacier National Park – East Glacier Park, Montana

Winter on the Edge - Glacier National Park - East Glacier Park, Montana

Winter on the eastern edge of Glacier National Park, in the small town of East Glacier Park, Montana, is known mainly to the few people that make this place their home, and a few travelers. Life in East Glacier Park is nothing like life in the more well known and often cited West Glacier (the […]


Simple tips to improve your outdoor photography – take more outdoor photographs – 5 tips

The secret to good outdoor photographs starts by taking more of them!  Consistently good outdoor photographs are the results of practice, hard work, and a commitment to a goal. Make this years goal be, take more outdoor photographs! Outdoor photography to most means nature photography. Wildlife, landscapes, etc. But, outdoor photography can be any photograph […]


Professional Outdoor Photographer – is there a future for professionals?

Professional Outdoor Photographer - is there a future for professionals?

Is there a future as a professional outdoor photographer? As a professional outdoor photographer, I think about the future of outdoor photography, and where the art or profession is headed as a way to make a living.  I’m asked questions like, “aren’t you afraid that you wont be able to make money,” and “what about […]


Montana Photographer Tony Bynum Interview – Exhibitions without Walls – “images should stand on their own.”

Montana Photographer Tony Bynum Interview - Exhibitions without Walls - "images should stand on their own."

Montana Photographer, Tony Bynum sat down recently with Ed Wedman, creator of “Exhibitions without Walls,” a website dedicated to showcasing unique digital talent from around the world, for a short interview. Exhibitions without Walls, also operates a fantastic juried competition with some great prizes! Here’s the link to the Tony Bynum interview  http://www.exhibitionswithoutwalls.com/tony-bynum-2/  


Adventure, Outdoor Camera – Nikon does it first! – Nikon 1 AW1

Adventure, Outdoor Camera - Nikon does it first! - Nikon 1 AW1

It looks like the day has finally come, an adventure, outdoor camera with interchangeable lenses and RAW file format!  Are you kidding me? Nope –  according to Nikon, it’s on the way. The Nikon 1 AW1 is the first waterproof, dustproof, freeze rated, interchangeable lens digital camera ever made. I’m excited.  I’ve been waiting for […]


Mindshift Rotation 180, Photography Backpack – Thoughts From the Field. . .

Mindshift Rotation 180, Photography Backpack - Thoughts From the Field. . .

While I was home briefly, I made some time to take the MindShift Rotation 180 photography backpack to the field for an authentic, live test. The Mindshift Rotation 180 backpack was developed though a crowd soured model – very cool concept!  Think Tank is the parent company to MindShift and the Rotation 180 is really […]


Are you Stealing Photographs? – top 10 lame responses – photography, copyright, social media & the internet

Are you Stealing Photographs? - top 10 lame responses - photography, copyright, social media & the internet

Are you stealing photographs for a blog or facebook page? Is your employee stealing photographs? You don’t know? Well, if you don’t know where the photograph or image came from, or you don’t have written permission from it’s owner to use it, DON’T – period! Every week, for the past several months someone emails me […]


Nature Photographs – 10 musts for consistently good Nature Photographs

Nature Photographs - 10 musts for consistently good Nature Photographs

If you want to consistently capture great nature photographs, the following rules apply. . . 1. Great Nature Photographs come from getting up early and/or staying late – not even Photoshop can make this rule go away; 2. you must use good technique and quality lenses; 3. great Nature Photographs mean you can’t be afraid […]


Wildlife Photography – Glacier National Park New Wildlife Photography and Viewing Policy is Unrealistic

Wildlife Photography - Glacier National Park New Wildlife Photography and Viewing Policy is Unrealistic

Most people enjoy wildlife photography. In fact, the chance to see and maybe photograph wildlife is among the top reasons people go to Glacier National Park. Are you aware that there are new viewing rules in place than may surprise you? Today, wildlife viewing and wildlife photography may be a bit more challenging based on […]


Great Outdoor Photography – you just need a little luck sometimes

Great Outdoor Photography - you just need a little luck sometimes

Ring, ring, ring – “hello.”  “Hi, my name is Harry, I love your photographs, I’m planning a trip in July to photograph wildlife, can you tell me where is a good place to find mountain goats?”  My first reaction is usually a deep sigh, followed by, “July is not a good time to photograph mountain […]


Nature, Wildlife and Outdoor Photography – who inspired you?

Nature, Wildlife and Outdoor Photography - who inspired you?

My answer, a true legend in the outdoor media world. Marty Stouffer is at least partly responsible for inspiring me to become a nature, wildlife, conservation and commercial outdoor photographer! As much as I like to think that my inspiration came completely from the heart, I must admit it did not. The passion, commitment and motivation comes from there, but the inspiration […]


Montana Nature Photographer Tony Bynum and Science Teacher Stacy Dolderer Dive Deep into the Montana Prairie in Search of Wilderness Characteristics

When Erin Madison, (@GFT_EMadison) outdoor writer for the Great Falls Tribune (@GFTribue) called us to do an interview about the Montana prairie project we worked on recently, we were happy to say yes!  As many of you know, my partner Stacy Dolderer and I spent several months bouncing around the prairie lands of Montana last summer. […]


The Holy Grail of Photography In one Quote – Antonin Kratochvil changed my mind. . .

I finally found what I think is the holly grail of photography in the words of Antonin Kratochvil – “You should never use camera to make your pictures. You use yourself, your experience, to make the pictures with the camera. Not the other way around.” For years I’ve been trying to put this concept into words.  I’ve […]


How to Ruin an Outdoor Photography Career with One Email

“My photographs have better colors than the one’s you’re using on the covers of your magazines. . . when you’re ready to work with a real professional, give me a call” – source: unnamed “professional” photographer. Those are the paraphrased words from a real freelance photographer to a magazine editor asking if the editor would […]


It’s not the photograph I went looking for, it’s better!

It's not the photograph I went looking for, it's better!

I always try to have a plan for my photography adventures. Part of my plan is to always have a backup plan because when you’re dealing with mother nature, you never know what she’s going to hand you from one day to the next. Sunday morning my plan was to search for some unique landscape photos that […]