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.

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

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 elaborate and well funded productions. Today, we can film for about the cost of a mid range camera. But this new tool is creating a lot of controversy and there's a lot of questions being raised about their use. For the record, I'm all for using them in just about every legal application imaginable! The word legal though is where everything gets hung up. drone filming two men on beach

I've been watching carefully as the future of drones and photography becomes more evident.  It seems like just about the time something new and innovative comes a long the system finds a way to put binders on it. This is the case with drones and photography. I can honestly understand all the fuss, privacy issues, noise, liability, etc, but it seems like the future is to tell everyone, "NO" in order to protect everyone from what could be a hugely useful tool.

It seems to me that because no one can manage it, the system is trending toward, "no one should have it."  It's kind of like our freedoms.  It seems like we are moving farther from a free nation mainly because freedom is too dangerous.  I dislike very much the though of our freedoms being taken away due to the stupidity of a few.

On the other hand, we do have to protect the innocent, it's a fine line. As for drones more specifically, I say get out there and get filming before it's a crime. . .  Just so you know, it's already is a crime in some places, so be wise before you fly. I think Alaska has implemented some new rules, and I know the national parks are banning them as we speak.

I though you might like to read this NYT article about drones and photography.  I found it very interesting.

Before you go check it out, please let me know your thoughts on the use of Drones for photography and video capture and outdoor media!

Sincerely, Montana based outdoor photographer, Tony Bynum

If you want to make a difference in the outdoor media world, join the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA)!


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 BeckGeorge 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 me, I warned you.

DEDICATED from Corey Rich on Vimeo.


Tony Bynum

Montana Photographer

Fall Photography - my last photograph

Fall is always a crazy time of year for outdoor photographers who focus on nature, wildlife and commercial outdoor photography. The subjects change from one day to the next and sometimes from one hour to the next.  The perfect scenario is when the light, weather, and subject(s) all come together in the same image. That's more of a challenge than one might think. Now throw in video, like this short video clip of raging bull elk that came right into my lap, and the demands for motion in today's fast paces word, and things get complicated quickly! As I pack my gear for another trip I'm reminded of why I love this place and this profession so much. Change - it's about change and the real, raw truth that surrounds us every day. North America is full of opportunity. It's all out there, you just have to get after it!

This was my last fall photograph. Today it's snowing, time to go hunting and then break out the skis!  Bye, Bye fall, hello winter!

buffalo on the Blackfeet Reservation

I just beta tested a great new portfolio app and would like to know what you guys think. It's downloadable as an app if you have a mobile devise. Here, you can view a small portfolio of Tony Bynum Photographs. If you are interested in creating your own portfolio, use this link.


Tony Bynum

Remember, always be real, relevant  and right!