Anyone contemplating E-M5

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by pentaxke, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    first question in the forums section, after lurking here for a while.
    Q is really simple: do you like Olympus' new sibling?
    Me I don't know. I guess I will have to handle it first (that will be a long wait because it's due end of March.) I think IQ will be more than sufficient for me but I won't to know how it handles and how the EVF works out for me.
    Interested in reading what you guys (and gals) think about it...
  2. A: Yes.
  3. "Yes" for me as well. The built-in eye level viewfinder is the draw.
  4. Most likely yes. I want to see how it works, especially the viewfinder. In chrome trim it looks so much like my first OM-1 that I need one just for nostalgic reasons. That and the new 1.8/75 are on my shopping list for this year. I am starting to wish someone made a 1.4x or 1.7x extender for m4/3s.
  5. Another most likely yes. Have to size up my Pentax kit and mull over the "big decision". I was previously in 4/3's, loved my E-330. This OMD looks like the real deal, but only if I can get enough out of my Pentax kit to justify it.
  6. Txs for the answers thus far!
    The hands on on dpreview is quite positive, although I didn't like to read about the small buttons. I have an E-30 I want to replace it to, but before I do I want to know if ergonomics is on the same level, and especially the EVF (like I said already.)
    Another Q for those who answered yes: silver or black? ;-)
  7. I've never owned a Micro Four Thirds camera, though I borrowed an E-P1 from my father-in-law a while back and liked it. The OM-D has definitely got my attention. I like the basic idea of an E-P1-like camera with a built-in EVF and styling like the classic OM film cameras. I'll probably get the silver body if I get one. It looks more like my chrome OM-2N.
  8. Most likely, yes. The OM-D just might be the digital camera that lures this film user into the digital camera world.
  9. Yes; on pre-order. After weeks of rain rain rain and a bit of sleet, the weatherproofing beame quite attractive; along with the evf for the very rare bright day, and a better ( I hope!) sensor. Also the 12-50 with weatherproofing will be v useful as long as it is better a bit stopped down than the mtf on the Olympus site suggests. And still small and light enough to take on long hill days. Black.
  10. I will, eventually, when the price drops and there are user reviews which support the decision.
    I understand that the view you get through the viewfinder is the same as I do with my EP-2 through the VF-2. The problem with the VF-2 is that the grips to hold it down are too lose and eye pressure lifts it on the hinge, so the E-M5 would be better.
    There is a lot of interest amongst macro users where there was little interest in the EP and EPL series.
  11. Small camera has small buttons. There is just no way around that. Not a problem. They could have made the rear screen a bit smaller, but I suppose that is not politically correct. I have an E-3 but I much rather use the E-620 because it is smaller and lighter. I will get the silver one. Without handgrip to keep it small. I dont care for the new kit zoom. I sometimes use the old collapsible zoom just because it is small. But these cameras are best with fast fixed lenses.
  12. I think it's a good camera, and it's about time that Olympus stepped up, but I honestly don't see what the big deal is about this camera. Everyone is talking about it like it's revolutionizing photography. Save for weather sealing and in-body stabilization, Panasonic gave us all of this and more with the GH2 over a year ago. Feels ergonomic in your hand thanks to the grip and viewfinder, well-thought-out controls, tilt screen, great sensor performance, etc. In addition, it has a swivel screen, multi-aspect sensor, etc. It doesn't have weather sealing, but my only camera that has ever had it is my D200, and I've never destroyed a camera due to inclement weather, from point and shoots all the way to my medium format camera. So no, I will not be getting an E-M5. When the GH2 drops a bit more in price (it was available last holiday season from stores like Adorama for $700, with 14-42mm lens), and I'll probably jump on it to replace my current G2. I feel like Olympus has been behind the ball every step of the way in m4/3 land, but for some reason their products are being given more credence than Panasonic's. The E-P3 also had this kind of celebration, even though it's essentially the same camera as the GF1, just a few years late.
  13. @Ariel: it's not that Panasonic doesn't make good camera's, but the ergonomics (especially the user interface) are not the best. Too much oriented towards beginners, which leaves advanced users without the right controls. True, you can get used to it, but it leaves everything to be desired. No matter how good the GH2 (and LX5) are, that together with the lack of IBIS and the fact that Oly has the upper hand in JPG processing, was enough for me not wanting them and waiting for the right Oly to arrive...
    Seems that with the OM-D Oly ticks a lot (if not all) the boxes: EVF (if it's any good remains to be seen for me - I didn't like the NEX-7 either), good to excellent ergonomics, weather sealed, FAST AF, new IBIS, and some nice additions (like live Bulb) packed together in a very nice looking body (at least that is sth everyone seems to agree on.) True, it's not revolutionary but it has enough to draw attention... That's all.
  14. Thinking about it. We'll see how business does and how well I do at getting funds for my wedding/honeymoon next summer.
    As far as the camera goes, I like everything but one detail, the lack of a built in 3.5mm headphone jack. You have to add the module to the hotshoe, which then means I can't add a mic in there. Not so bad, if I was mounted on a rig of some sort, but bad if it's just me and the camera.
  15. While IBIS is a nice feature, I don't use image stabilization very often, and if people use it like it's supposed to, I don't think many others would either. Thom wrote a great article about it. His is specific to Nikon, but save for a few small points, the idea holds true for all mechanical image stabilization implementations.
    If I had to choose between IBIS and a multi-aspect sensor, I know which I'd choose 100 times out of 100. I also don't agree that the Panasonic menu and control system is tailored to beginners. Look at the GH2, or even my G2, and try to defend that statement. The only thing I have to go into a menu for is image stabilization mode and metering, one of which is always handy on my button. If I don't like using the touchscreen, there is heavy redundancy in the controls for you to not have to use it. Look at any reviews, and my feelings are backed up by others. Michael Reichmann, for example, is probably one of the biggest respected photographers that is a heavy proponent of m4/3:
    As far as JPEG processing, that's a red herring. Panasonic provides decent JPEG processing options in camera, but it's all a wash anyway if you shoot RAW. Lightroom 3 is currently on sale for $80-$130 at the various online stores right now, and for the price it will improve your photos more than any hardware. With Lightroom, I can shoot RAW, and thanks to its organizational features, batch processing, and quick menus, I spend LESS time handling my RAW files in-computer than someone without an image editing program spends organizing and uploading their JPEGs. And Photoshop Elements 10 is $50 right now some places, which makes sense to pick up whether you're a JPEG or RAW shooter.
    Overall, I think that these arguments are more about brand loyalty and making up excuses after the fact than an objective look at both companies.
  16. As far as JPEG processing, that's a red herring.​
    A typical boundless arrogance statement that reflects, "every one does, or should think like me". Some of us can actually decide what works best for what we shoot, how we shoot and what we do with what we shoot without looking for approval and justification from a bunch of internet pundits.
  17. I personally like olympus better than panasonic's m4/3rd offerings but I agree with Ariel's assessment. And I have both a olympus and a panasonic m4/3rd.
    FWIW Ariel, Thom Hogan uses Oly himself.
  18. I don't use image stabilization very often, and if people use it like it's supposed to, I don't think many others would either.​
    Peronally I find that very disputable. Thom Hogan's assertion is true when talking about optical image stabilization, but doesn't hold true for In body IS. He talks i.e. about the longevity of a lens with IS/VR being shorter and, while that is true you don't have those problems with IBIS (which I think is as durable as a non moving sensor YMMV.)
    Anyway, while I have steady hands, IBIS has been a life saver for me various times, and OIS has three side effects which makes it a no go for me:
    a) OIS has a (minor) effect on optical quality
    b) it is more expensive (more so if you try to compensate for the loss of optical quality
    c) the shorter longevity as discussed above
  19. I should have said I agree mostly with Ariel's assessment. I do like oly's jpegs better, IBIS and a few other oly things. But I agree, just shoot raw if you don't want panny jpegs...really not a big deal. Panny cameras has builtin finders (if you are into that) and better AF usually (until the EP3)...
  20. I personally think it's pretty cool one has the option of either Olympus or Panasonic bodies to use the same set of lenses, and we have the option of using either in-lens or in-camera stabilization. The thing that takes Olympus stabilization to the next level with the E-M5 is, the stabilization now also stabilize the finder like the Mega OIS of the Panasonic in-lens stabilization always has, when used with a lens that has it. It's just now with Olympus, it is available with any lens, micro four-thirds or adapted.
  21. I am sure it will eventually find a place in my arsenal but am not an early adopter. I like to wait until a new model has been out for a while more or less as a principle. Maybe I am just a beard stroker when it comes to laying down 1500.00 -w grips etc- for one more camera when I have several already and a number of HG lenses and multi size batteries and chargers galore to keep track of. I bought my E-3 as a refurb and it is doing just fine. I have gear lust, but try to keep it rational....
    I am still getting used to the many novel qualities of my GH2, no cheapie that one (which is fairly well built you know, but not as apparently slick as the OM-D construction of knobs etc) so first I buy another micro lens, likely the well regarded 45mm 1.8 from Olympus.
    No, micro 4/3 will not supplant my 4/3 kit, but it certainly gets at least as much use as adjunct tool for grab and go.
    I do not shoot at settings that require stabilization, but I can see why it has merits too. The OM-D looks like a well thought out camera and a handsome one. Best thing is that it says the company is not sliding into product purgatory like some of our good buddies of PN have predicted. (We can take down the 'black crepe'maybe.)
  22. Contemplating? Yes, definitely. I can't afford it right now, and I try to avoid buying the first model of any new product line (whether it's cameras, cars, computers, or anything else)... but this is the first camera I've been truly EXCITED about in a very long time.
    The main thing I'm hesitant about, at this point, is moving from APS-C to a smaller sensor. I'm satisfied with the shallow depth of field I can get with an APS-C sensor and 3.5-5.6 lenses, but I'm concerned about whether or not I'll be able to do that with Micro Four Thirds. I realize that Olympus and Panasonic make some faster glass that would give me similar results to what I'm getting now, but it's mostly out of my price range. Being able to use a variety of old (and fast) manual focus lenses with adapters would be nice... but the crop factor is a concern. My Pentax 50/1.7 would make a great "100/1.7" portrait lens on MFT... but I don't do a lot of portraits, so I'm not sure how useful that would be for me. My Nikkor 28/2.8 would become a "56/2.8" and I'm not sure how useful that would be either. Lenses wider than that go beyond my price range, even the used ones. My Tamron 70-300 would become a "140-600" which would be very cool, but it's an AF lens and not very easy to focus manually.
    I'd like to see how the new Olympus 12-50 lens performs. I'm disappointed by how slow it is at the long end (6.3), but I could get past that if the image quality is really good.
  23. One obvious reason, if you use raw capture, for not buying right out of the gate is, early adopters wind up waiting weeks or even a couple of months or longer before most third-party software makers issue updates that allow you to work raw files, and Olympus Viewer software is not, on any level, a substitute for Adobe Camera RAW. or really any other capable raw converter.
    At this point, I expect Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6 could well be out by the time the E-M5 hits the shelves, so chances are, the Adobe Camera RAW software in my Photoshop CS5 program will not get updated to support the E-M5, so that's another $200 upgrade (which I would do anyway) that I will have to do before I can use it to process E-M5 files.
    Using the Micro 75-300 zoom handheld at 300mm, a stabilized finder would be a nice thing to have, whether you fundamentally think image stabilization for still capture is a good idea or not. It sure would make composition easier.
  24. ILKKA ...I just added an OLY TCON x1.7 to my G3 with a just arrived 62>55 step down ring.
    This is on my 014140 lens. In hand held tests I found it vignetted a bit but since usually one is after more rather than less reach I will live with that and crop a bit ... so x1.7 280 AoV gives me about 500mm plus AoV without buying more than the stepping ring ...I have the TCON from earlier.
    I also have a Raynox 2020 but this didn't give so good results although it is a direct fit on the 014140 ... close anyway 62/63 thread. Next job is to find a lenshood for the TCON, found the 2020's one in a plumbing wholesaler's store ... a plastic pipe connector :)
    Both adaptors loose about 4/3 stops when testing against a nice clear blue sky compared to about half a stop when used on my FZ50 which is already quite fast, f/3.2 at full zoom. instead of the 014140's f/5.8. "swings and roundabouts" :)
    Since I am not a deprived Olympus owner without built-in EVF I can wait awhile to see what Panasonic bring out instead of rushing for the E-M5 :) Though IBIS is attractive.
  25. No Bruce, I don't think that everyone should think or shoot like me. But choosing one camera over another based solely on JPEG processing is like choosing a transatlantic airline based on what brand of soft drinks they serve. As I said, the G2 and GH2 have various JPEG modes, and within those options one may also tweak contrast, saturation, noise reduction, and sharpening. If one is still unhappy with those, and someone loved everything about the "mini-DSLR" style camera, and the only thing that kept the GH2 from being a shining star was the JPEG processing, but one year later this E-M5 is a product brought down from the messiah from up on high, then there was a quick and simple solution to it, especially when RAW processing takes little to no more time than uploading and tagging today. Especially with m4/3, a.k.a. the land of $300 kit lenses, for $130 (peanuts, in the scheme of things) right now you can buy a program that will not only save you time organizing your photos, but will allow you to sort through and output all those RAW photos as if they were JPEG. When that Lightroom workflow also leads to nondestructive editing, greater colors, more powerful and varied JPEG processing and filters, adjustable white balance, increased resolution, lens profiles, etc. then a blanket "Olympus is better than Panasonic" statement because of JPEG is post-loyalty justification. Especially when so far, Olympus and Panasonic have used the same sensor (we'll see if the E-M5's sensor turns out to be Panasonic's "lesser" sensor from the G3 or not).
  26. " choosing a transatlantic airline based on what brand of soft drinks they serve."
    If I was going to be on a long flight and all they served were 7-Up products, I would probably choose a different airline. ;-)
    A more photography-oriented analogy might be that choosing a camera based on its JPEG engine is like buying a house based on which photo lab it's near. (This analogy will go over the heads of the folks who have never shot film, but the old-timers will get it.) Obviously that's a bit extreme, but if you don't like a particular JPEG engine and you're not interested in dealing with RAW, it's a bit similar to being forced to use a photo lab that you don't like, or processing the film in your bathroom. For some people that's fine; for others it's enough of a hassle (real or perceived) to choose a different camera.
    Your points about the advantages of RAW are well taken (and well known), but some people simply don't want to deal with it, no matter how easy it may actually be, and no matter how well you make the point.
    As far as the sensors are concerned, that's only half of the story. Even if the sensors are 100% identical, there are other components in the camera that determine what the RAW file will look like... the AA filter and the image processing engine being the best-known examples. (My favorite analogy is that GM used to use their high-performance 5.7L V8 engine in a lot of different vehicles, ranging from small sporty cars to large sedans to pickup trucks. Identical engines, vastly different performance.)
  27. I think I remember in the interview* with Panasonic's marketing manager that the GH2 sensor is not the best that Pany is doing and that was put into the G1X or something. A reason why I'm waiting for the GH3 or maybe it will be the GH2X since everybody is adding an X to their model names:)
    *In the Oly 4/3 forum there is a link to it.
  28. It's trivial but I read that the EM5 is not a PEN. Are not all oly m4/3rd a PEN? If not, what's the deal?
  29. JC Uknz. I was talking about a tele extender that fits inbetween body and lens and works with all lenses (maybe not wideangles). Loses 1-2 stops light but not all that much image quality. I have never been a fan of front mounted lens adapters though they can be good if dedicated to a lens, like the Ricoh GRD one for example.
    Pen was the old Olympus half frame system that had a streamlined body with no mirror hump. The digital PENs imitate that design. OM series was traditional full frame SLR system with the usual mirror hump in the middle of the body. This new OM-D line imitates that with an electronic viewfinder taking the place of the pentaprism. This is the deal.
  30. For me, the E-M5 is an entirely new system requiring that I purchase all new lenses and accessories. I don't see it. Perhaps this could be for someone starting afresh. I've shot several years with the E-3 and E-30... and for the most part the E-series met my basic needs. But now that I've ventured into the professional element, having to shoot weddings and portraits, I had to honestly investigate all the pro's and con's of going with another DSLR system, one of which will meet or exceed my needs for greater resolution, low-light photography, and far less digital noise.
    I found that system, and it wasn't Olympus. This was my first break away from Olympus since I purchased an OM-2 back in the late 70's, nearly 35 years ago. I don't regret making the move. The new system is far better than anything Olympus has put out in the past year or two. Sure, it's cost me, but that's the price of doing business.
    I see the E-M5 as a camera for the traveler who doesn't want to lug around a ton of lenses and other equipment. I don't consider it a professional camera by all means. One who already has m4/3 lenses or one who is starting out, the E-M5 may fit their needs.
    ~ Selah
  31. I hate it when the term "professional" gets thrown out there. What is professional? If a Nikon D90 is used in professional situations, is it not a professional camera? Not everyone needs 100,000+ shutter life and full weather proofing. Not everyone needs 50 ISO. Not everyone needs 6400 ISO. Honestly, I could easily use this system in a professional situation, enough so that it is making me consider dumping my D7000 (however unlikely that is). Oh, and I shoot that D7000 semi-professionally, does that mean it is now a semi-pro camera?
    And the only reason I see that the E-M5 doesn't have a pro label is the shutter rating. Other than that, it looks like the foundation of an amazing system.
  32. "Professional" should include a good standard of build i.e. built like a tank an reliability. This is because a professional would be expected to work their camera harder. In film days this meant that the film advance lever would be as solid in action after several years of use as when new.
    Higher fps ratings would normally be a requirement for a professional body. Presumably, professional lenses are better-corrected. Fill-in flash, now widely available, might once have been for the pro. Low light photography with film would have been mainly the province of the pro.
    Thus, a "professional" kit might now be more difficult to define than was the case several decades ago.
  33. It's trivial but I read that the EM5 is not a PEN. Are not all oly m4/3rd a PEN? If not, what's the deal?​
    The EM5 is part of a new line of m4/3 cameras for Olympus, the OM-D line. The PEN line is separate.
  34. Well, for the record, the E-M5 is NOT labeled professional.
    Built like a tank is about the only one that mostly makes sense. But as you look through the multitude of different type of pro cameras, I don't think even that one holds true. A 4x5 on a massive stand doesn't need to be as much a tank as it does a precision camera. Mind you, it still needs to hold up to the amount of use, just doesn't need to be like the all metal body of a D3.
    The lenses one is an interesting paradigm shift from the bodies as a fundamental question now arises. If you get the same quality shot after software modification, does the optical quality matter as much, or should it only be based on final output.
  35. I think most folks know that a "professional photographer" is one who derives a majority of their income from his/her legitimate business as a photographer. This is a person who is forced to learn marketing strategy, person-to-person skills, sales, and all other aspects of generating income. High quality Photographic equipment and post-production software isn't taken lightly as one wants the best results for their clients.
    A "serious amateur" may be one who has a regular full-time non-photographer job and yet may supplement his/her income. And, he/she takes a serious stand in learning photography for such endeavors and for show. He/she may have a solid foundation in the area of photography but may not have the business savvy and/or the faith to take the leap into an already saturated market.
    That's my take on "professional"
    ~ Selah
  36. Marc D, could you expound on your dislikes about Nex 7 EVF?
  37. A "serious amateur" may be one who has a regular full-time non-photographer job and yet may supplement his/her income. And, he/she takes a serious stand in learning photography for such endeavors and for show. He/she may have a solid foundation in the area of photography but may not have the business savvy and/or the faith to take the leap into an already saturated market.

    That to me is more a semi-pro than a serious amateur. Serious amateur would be someone who knows what they are doing, but doesn't get ANY money from it on a regular basis.

    Personally, I call myself semi-pro because my primary income is web design/development and I do more video work professionally than photo. In my area, photo work is so saturated there just isn't a point, but video has lots of room to grab market share. And fyi, I have a degree in photography, not that having one really means all that much....
  38. Marc D, could you expound on your dislikes about Nex 7 EVF?​
    Sure I could. The main problem wit it is that it can't cope with high contrast scenes and as such doesn't display what the actual picture will be like. Moreover, it has a colorcast which again makes it difficult to see how the picture will be. The dynamic range of the EVF is a lot smaller than that of the sensor. So in short you can't rely on it.
    I am afraid it will be the same thing with the EVF of the OM-D. One thing that I think manufacturers should do is, at least for their (semi) pro models having a color calibration tool for the EVF as well as the display, like the K-5 already has (the LCD can be calibrated.)
    So I am still holding my breath...
  39. Thanks Marc. I had not read about the color cast problem before.

    As Sony Nex 7 viewfinder said to be same as on Sony A77, on a related note from ...

    "The EVF types differ in the A55 showing more shadow detail with lower contrast, and lower colour saturation so the noise does not look bad. Bottom line, the A55 is half way to night vision; the A77 is like turning on an old UHF analogue colour TV, no signal, just noise.


    Using the A900 alongside the A77, I was struck by the way the A900 puts you in touch with texture, colour, subtle light, and fine details. The A77 reduces the world to simpler tones and connects you to shapes, composition and impact."

    (Sony A900, with 35.9 x 24 mm sensor, has an optical viewfinder.)
  40. "It's trivial but I read that the EM5 is not a PEN. Are not all oly m4/3rd a PEN? If not, what's the deal?"

    There's not really much to figure out. They've started another line that uses the same mount and lenses. Olympus spells it out pretty clearly if you look at the product lineup on their page..
    All new series. Same mount, just a different name. Panasonic has the G, GH, GF and GX series. Olympus has always had the Pen, now they have the OM-D series. They all use the same mount. Seems pretty easy to me.
  41. "The EVF types differ in the A55 showing more shadow detail with lower contrast, and lower colour saturation so the noise does not look bad. Bottom line, the A55 is half way to night vision; the A77 is like turning on an old UHF analogue colour TV, no signal, just noise.​
    Then I surely hope they mean the EVF of the A55 is better in color/tones regard, which, considering the EvF of the OMD is LCD technology as regard to the A77 being OLED technology, gives me hopes again that it could be good.
    The proof will be, as always in the pudding...
  42. Greg, I can understand their confusion. The OM cameras were originally 35mm, which shot in a different format from the PEN cameras. In addition, in that link you posted, Olympus called the OM-D lineup a new system, so at first it's pretty confusing that it's still another m4/3 body. They don't do a great job of clarifying that the "OM-D system" and the "PEN system" are use the same lenses. Even on the E-M5 product page, there is no clear description that mentions it as a micro 4/3 camera, which technically is the system.
  43. And to expand on Ariel's point, the E-M5 uses almost all the same accessories as the PENs. Honestly, I would consider them all part of the same "ecosystem", just maybe different lines in it.
  44. Yep, you can even use the VF-2 electronic finder with the E-M5. I already have one I use with my Pens. If I am outdoors and the flip up LCD cannot be seen well due to bright light and I cannot get down low enough to use the eyelevel finder built into the E-M5, I can plug the VF-2 into the hot shoe and accessory port and use it like a right-angle finder since the VF-2 will flip up.
  45. Ariel wrote:
    Save for weather sealing and in-body stabilization, Panasonic gave us all of this and more with the GH2 over a year ago.​
    Not quite! The E-M5 has something the GH2 doesn't: TWO control wheels!
    For some this might not be a big deal, in which case, yes, a Panny G3/2 or GH2 could make you happy. But I've been annoyed for years at the lack of 2-wheel mirrorless options, which is why I wouldn't buy a GH2 (or G2, even though I think it's a good camera) but I am considering the E-M5. Different strokes, etc.
  46. R.T. Dowling wrote:
    I'd like to see how the new Olympus 12-50 lens performs. I'm disappointed by how slow it is at the long end (6.3), but I could get past that if the image quality is really good.​
    In practical terms, f/6.3 is only 1/3 of a stop slower than f/5.6, so you probably won't even notice it (especially with the improved high ISO performance of the E-M5).
    What lets me down about this lens is that it isn't a constant f/4. It just doesn't seem like an appropriate kit zoom for this level of camera; it's like bundling a Nikon D300s with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 consumer zoom.
  47. Constant f/4 would have been very nice. Or even a variable 3.5 to 4.5. When I look at the (non-Micro) Four Thirds lens lineup, almost all of the lenses are faster than their Micro Four Thirds cousins. Even though the constantly-improving high ISO performance makes us less dependent on fast glass in terms of light gathering, what about those of us who want shallow depth of field? It's kind of hard to isolate subject from background on a MFT camera with a maximum aperture of 6.3. To be honest, that's one of the main concerns that's holding me back from switching from APS-C to MFT. (I know they have some fast primes like the 45/1.8, 25/1.4, etc., but those are out of my price range.)

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