Question for Z6 shooters who have also used Olympus E-M1 Mk II

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Jan 12, 2018
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Puget Sound
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Ken
I enjoy shooting jazz club photos and have used my E-M1 for the past few years mostly for its quiet shutter and compact size. I have a good stable of glass for the system, but held off on upgrading to the Mk II body as I was doing some upgrades to my Nikon system over the past year or so. While I can use a body like the D500 or D750 for concert photography, both are too noisy for an intimate club setting and I do like to be respectful of patrons who came to hear the music and not my camera. I was recently post processing some images from a shoot at the Blue Note in NYC last year, and while there are a number of keepers, I was struggling a bit with the light levels and shutter speeds that worked for shots I wanted. I have not had a chance to try either the Z6 or the E-M1 Mk II, although I do believe that both might be able to give me 1-2 more stops without pushing their sensors (and the ISO settings) too far. I believe there are a couple of folks here who have shot with both or switched from one to the other, and I was wondering if you have shot with these bodies in low light situations like a jazz club (and I am assuming that the Z6's mechanical shutter is reasonably quieter than my current Nikon bodies mentioned above). I am not looking to bring on a GAS attack, but the holidays are not too far off, and that is when some good sales tend to appear, so I am trying to plan ahead if need be. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

--Ken
 
Joined
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Los Angeles, USA
I enjoy shooting jazz club photos and have used my E-M1 for the past few years mostly for its quiet shutter and compact size. I have a good stable of glass for the system, but held off on upgrading to the Mk II body as I was doing some upgrades to my Nikon system over the past year or so. While I can use a body like the D500 or D750 for concert photography, both are too noisy for an intimate club setting and I do like to be respectful of patrons who came to hear the music and not my camera. I was recently post processing some images from a shoot at the Blue Note in NYC last year, and while there are a number of keepers, I was struggling a bit with the light levels and shutter speeds that worked for shots I wanted. I have not had a chance to try either the Z6 or the E-M1 Mk II, although I do believe that both might be able to give me 1-2 more stops without pushing their sensors (and the ISO settings) too far. I believe there are a couple of folks here who have shot with both or switched from one to the other, and I was wondering if you have shot with these bodies in low light situations like a jazz club (and I am assuming that the Z6's mechanical shutter is reasonably quieter than my current Nikon bodies mentioned above). I am not looking to bring on a GAS attack, but the holidays are not too far off, and that is when some good sales tend to appear, so I am trying to plan ahead if need be. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

--Ken
If sound is your main concern both the Nikon Z6 and most newer generation Olympus bodies have fairly quiet shutters. I'd have no problem shooting photos with a Z6 in a concert or stage performance situation using the mechanical shutter. I've compared the Z6 shutter to the D750 and Sony A7III and the Z6 had the quietest shutter of the three cameras. Sony has THE worst sounding mechanical shutters BTW. Loud and clanky.
 
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Jul 25, 2017
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Pittsburgh, PA
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Ian
The mechanical shutter on the Z6 is pretty damn quiet, to the point where it wouldn’t be intrusive (like a DSLR’s would be). But the high ISO performance of the Z6 blows the Olympus out of the water. 6400, 12800 on the Z6 look really good with normal noise reduction processing. The same can’t be said for the Olympus (but if you’re converting to B&W, does it really matter?).

I switched from an E-M1 II to a Z6, and don’t regret it one bit. The Z6 is a fantastic camera (as is the E-M1 II, it just depends on what you’re looking to shoot, and what your expectations are).
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
450
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Puget Sound
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Ken
Thank you for the replies and the information. A quick update since I posted. Just after this post went up, I was thinking about places where I can bring a larger body and lens, like concerts in larger venues which I used to shoot for a charity that held the concerts for a fund raising event, and intimate jazz clubs where small, discrete and quiet equipment would be more in order. I did look up the dynamic ranges of the various bodies I own as well as the E-M1 MK II and Z6 and then thought about lens speed and focal lengths. I often use my 75mm f/1.8 with my current E-M1 and there really is no comparable Nikon lens of similar speed, so I started leaning a bit more to the Oly body. Then, Oly had a 20% off on refurbished bodies a few days later and I decided to take the plunge. I have not had a chance to use the body since I was out of town after I got the body, but in starting to set it up, I have to say that its shutter sounds a lot quieter than the Mk I body, and that was already pretty quiet. So, I am hoping to play around with it this weekend and see if it is a keeper, as Olympus allows 30 days for returns. I wish Nikon had something like the 75. The 85 f/1.8 is small, but it is still shy of what the 75 can deliver if one needs that reach. Still, I feel very fortunate to have bodies in both systems, and I suspect that I will some day have a Z body.

--Ken
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
450
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
Enjoy your new camera!!
I am looking forward to it. I held off on this body when it came out and ended up with a D500 for BIF and other action shooting instead. I like the D500, although it has has some moments that have frustrated me, but now that my beloved and I are attending more small jazz clubs for shows, I think that the Mk II will serve me well. I am looking forward to finally shooting with it this weekend if all goes well.

--Ken
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
450
Location
Puget Sound
Real Name
Ken
For similar equivalent focal length and low-light capability, Nikon has the 200mm f/2. It's both inexpensive and light.:ROFLMAO:
All joking aside, I think anyone who has used the Oly 75 knows it is very special. I don't plan to sell mine. Ever.
I remember when I bought my 75 years ago, as it had an amazing reputation for being quite sharp and having good bokeh. Unfortunately, I did not do a lot of portrait work and typically picked up the lens for low light telephoto shots. As it was not a fast focusing lens, it somehow never wowed me, but it was not really a fair judgement as I was using the lens in less than optimal conditions. Now, the lens is often used in jazz clubs, again not an optimal set of conditions, but I am happy with the results. Sometimes stage lighting can be bright enough that you are not fighting for every last bit of light from the camera and images just really shine.

--Ken
 

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