Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II versus Nikon Z6

Having spent more time with Nikon cameras than any other brand, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted by the new Z system and for my needs, specifically the Nikon Z6.

This is not a side by side comparison or comparative review, simply my thoughts on the temptation of the Nikon speaking as a happy micro four thirds user with a long history using Nikon.

I have been seriously close to purchasing the Olympus 17mm f/1.2 PRO lens, the only concerns being size and value - how often will I be using the lens wide open? As I have said previously the 35mm equivalent focal length is my favourite but the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 is the one prime lens I am not delighted with.

Size and weight has always been the core advantage of micro four thirds systems, but once you look closely at the PRO lens range on my preferred camera body, the E-M1ii, things are closer than you might think.

Nikon Z6 with 24-70 f4 (1175g) - Olympus OM-D E-M1ii with 12-40 f2.8 (956g)

Nikon Z6 with 35 f1.8 (1045g) - Olympus OM-D E-M1ii with 17 f1.2 (964g)

Images from camerasize.com24-70mm comparison35mm comparison

The differences - With longer lenses, there is no doubt of the portability advantage of Micro Four Thirds. I feel there is also an advantage in functionality, better IBIS, live compose, etc. - it feels very refined. Of course the Z6 has the larger sensor and a significantly better EVF.

The Olympus has done me so well over the last 2 years and has reinvigorated my photography. The image quality is easily good enough for most of what I do. Not wanting to give up the option to use the small unobtrusive primes is what is keeping me there for now, in other words for my street photography I feel the 17mm 1.8 compromise is more acceptable than the size and weight compromise of moving.

Ultimately the Olympus gives me the option to go small.

When the Z system matures, it may well be a more compelling argument, in fact a Z7 alongside the EM1 would make more sense, but would be an extravagance. At the moment an upgraded 17mm 1.8 would be ideal, but I think it’s unlikely.

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