Does the Oly OM-D M-5 beat /equal D7000 at IQ / High ISO?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by gsbhasin, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. I posted a thread 2 days ago - why I stayed with Nikon. A D7000 +35/1.8 are en-route to me.
    I just reviewed the sample images that Dpreview has for the Olympus OM-D M-5. (Granted the Oly's ISO is a inflated by 1/3 of a stop as Dpreview admints but still it looks amazing)
    Holy *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#*! They look better than the D7000 or atleast as good (granted maybe a bit oversharpened) and the high ISO doesn't look bad either.
    Now I am wondering - did I make the wrong decision.
    If the AF is almost as good as the D7000, then there is really no reason to keep a heavier camera - plus the Oly is better weather sealed.
    I am surprised the M43 sensors have trounced the APS-C last generation. Maybe the D7100/D8000 will trounce it yet.
    But my D7000 is brand new. So... should i return it?
  2. That would be little consolation to a Nikon photographer who has a stable full of great lenses. I can't imagine switching to a system based on the current ISO quality.
  3. If you go chasing the best high ISO performance, the fastest AF, etc., you will be switching camera brands every few months as each manufacturer introduces their new models. Don't waste your time worrying about this stuff unless you're rich enough that the cost of a whole new camera system is your idea of pocket change. Whether or not the OM-D is better than the D7000, surely by the end of this year something else will be. The D7000 is a fine camera. Just enjoy what you have.
  4. Good point Michael,
    I don't have a stable of lenses. And the lightweight of the Oly is what has me doubt my decision from a few days ago.
    The Nikon probably does have a better DR though - since the Oly's image looks less contrasty.

    But they have good 24/35/50 equivalent lenses that don't break the bank and are light.
    For DX Nikon has a good 52.5 me equivalent but for 24-35 mm eq. range you need to buy big expensive zooms :(<br > I had never imagined M43 to have evolved this much!

    You are right too- My delivery is scheduled to be in the next few days and again I don't see buying another body for the next 10 years, just can't afford it. So this is the time to switch if I need to!
  5. Gurpreet, as I told you in that other thread, the OM-D is not some god-given masterpiece. It is basically Olympus' take on the GH2 and G3 style camera. There are already numerous comparisons on the micro 4/3 forums that show everyone's educated guesses: Olympus has not mastered some secret alien technology and released some amazingly-equipped camera. With regards to sensor performance, the E-M5 is identical or near-identical to the Panasonic cameras (GX1, G3, GH2). Olympus is a medical imaging company, not a sensor manufacturer like Sony or Canon, so they can't have some amazing sensor in development that no one else can know about. Overall, the high ISO performance is about HALF of the D7000's, while providing noticeably inferior dynamic range and color reproduction as well. Which doesn't matter anyway, because Olympus doesn't have phase detect autofocus, so it can't track running kids. And don't forget that the Olympus doesn't have a built-in flash.
    m4/3 has not trounced APS-C. m4/3's BEST cameras are ALMOST caught up to today's cheapest DSLRs such as the Canon T2i or Nikon D3100. At the end of the day, it doesn't even touch the current crop like D7000, 7D, and K-5. Last generation's cameras (I am not sure what you are calling last generation, but I am referring to cameras like the Canon 50D and Nikon D300) are just getting caught up to, but are still slightly ahead of micro 4/3 technology. Then, even if you consider that m4/3 is eventually able to fully catch up to the APS camera makers, remember that for the same exposure and shutter speed settings, an APS sensor has about 60% larger sensor area that is catching light.
    Also, where did you hear that the E-M5 has world-changing weather sealing? I don't believe it has anything far superior to the D7000, which again, is a completely moot point because, as I mentioned last time, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY WEATHER SEALED LENSES! The only Olympus weather sealed lens right now is the 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3, with the idea that the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro (which is just a mockup, with no release date) will also be weather sealed. Lack of weather sealing on a camera body is simple; I can't tell you how many times I've rubber-banded a plastic bag around a D60 or 10D while a 300mm f/4L or 70-200 f/2.8L stuck out and got hit by water. But, reverse the situation, and the camera can be a freaking submarine, but if the lens gets water in it, or lets water get into the mirror/shutter cavity, then what good is a weather-sealed body?
    Also, the m4/3 wide angle lenses that you mention are ridiculous. The 14mm and 17mm are absolute JOKES optically, when you consider that they're $300 primes. The 50mm equivalent is the $600 Panasonic 25mm f/1.4, which to me is breaking the bank, but maybe I haven't been smoking enough crack. I agree that Nikon is lacking in the lower-focal length prime lenses for DX cameras (no 24mm/28mm/35mm equivalent lenses, and the only choices for a normal lens are either the $200 35mm lens or the $2,000 35mm lens), but there is at least respectable image quality available. Once you factor out the crappy primes in m4/3 land, the edge goes to Nikon. Plus, if you really want, there are lenses like the Tamron or Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8, which are just as fast as the m4/3 primes, cost the same, and perform admirably for zoom lenses.
  6. maybe I haven't been smoking enough crack​
    LOL. candidate for rant of the month.
  7. The Nikon D7000 was shot at f9 (50mm f1.4 lens) while the Olympus was shot at f6.3 (50mm Macro f2 lens) - not a level playing field in lens choices or settings and perhaps not quite a fair test. Frankly, Nikon's 50mm f1.4 AF-S lens is a nice lens but would not be my 1st choice in any camera test unless I was using it on all cameras being tested.
    I like Olympus products - I current use an E-PL1. Should you return the D7000? Depends on what you want out of your camera. IMHO both bodies may possibly give you basically the same results under typical shooting conditions. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. If you want a really, really small body and can live without an optical viewfinder perhaps. A Nikon system offers many advantages (Olympus has its advantages too), but I would not base my decision on this (or any) one review.
    FWIW: from your previous post: "What am I missing ? I lose the ability to have a compact camera to carry with me all time... will grab the E-PL3 when they go down to $300" The E-PL1 is available now for under $170 - a real bargain for what you get. IQ is basically the same as the E-PL3. Are you aware you cannot change lenses with the E-PL3 and that it only has a 3x zoom? Also, keep in mind that any camera is only as good as its lens - you may not be happy with a kit lens on other Olympus products (I wasn't). I use my E-PL1 exclusively with the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens. The 20mm delivers exceptional IQ.
  8. Hi,
    It is said OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 use Sony sensor. So, Sony, Nikon, Pentax, also Olympus use Sony sensor. Colour difference is by maker's software difference. D7000 is released more than a year ago. Sony refined ISO technology using last one year. May be Sony refine more using coming one year. Simply said the latest sensor has better ISO. If you like EVF and higher ISO you should change your camera. Probably, Sony will release more better one in shortly. and Pentax will release light weight weather sealed model in Autumn. I think there is no much difference in photos.
  9. Are you aware you cannot change lenses with the E-PL3 and that it only has a 3xzoom?

    It is said OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 use Sony sensor​
    Funny, I have a EPL3 and I could change lenses on it...Is this what you get when you ask a m4/3rd question in a nikon dslr forum? And oly uses sony sensors, huh?
  10. Leslie, you are correct - I was looking at a photo of what I thought was the E-PL3 and it was not. Thanks for the correction and sorry for the error. Thought that was a bit strange... too early in the AM!!!
    The E-PL3 offers basically the same IQ (and probably features) as the E-PL1 with "FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF System is able to focus at an incredible speed". I obviously have not used the EPL-3...
  11. Hi,
    Do you know about sensor array. It is easy to change the sensor size and horizintal-vertical ratio. It is no problem to modify. Actually Sony making various sensor for Mobile phone to Full size DSLR.
  12. So here is what i am gonna do.

    I get the D7000 on Wed/Thu and will not open the box. Hopefully by next weekend Dpreview does the AF evaluation of the Oly for moving objects.

    For this price range the Nikon is the king of AF and that is the tie breaker. So if the Oly is any good (i am sceptical if it would come
    close to D7000) i will get the oly.

    If AF on Oly ain't good i will keep the d7000 since most pics i would take are of the kid and he doesn't stand still. Travel aint big and
    will grab an el-cheapo m43 kit a year down the line.

    (There are pros and cons to both. The big OVF on the Nikon , the lack of mirrorslap on Oly, better battery life on Nikon, lighter weight on Oly etc.)

    It is a good time to be a photographer with so many choices but also bad because the choices tempt you !
  13. I just reviewed the sample images ... They look better than the D7000 or at least as good​
    You cannot make any judgement by reviewing some sample images. Also, just because someone (like dpreview) can make a good photo with the camera does not mean you can too. It's like you see a fashion model wears something beautifully, does not mean it'd look good on you too. Funny I have the feeling that the sample photos on dpreview are all pretty much the same for many different cameras... as you said, you are not so sure if one looks better than the other or maybe they are about the same ("as good")
  14. The camera you choose will be more limited by your ability to use it than any inherent image quality features on it.
    You are chasing. Stop... Just take some photos...
  15. Gurpreet. I encourage you to REALLY list to the posters who are telling you not to focus on these numbers. Companies
    will confuse to release new cameras and the spec numbers will continue to improve. If you take this spec chasing
    approach, you will find it hard to stay happy with any current camera gear you have. Whether its Nikon or Olympus, a new
    one will come out and be better spec wise. Based on the capabilities of the D7000, a couple of number differences will be
    a moot point when compared to how well you shoot to achieve the image that you want to achieve. Go one way or the
    other isn't going to be the determining factor in whether you can shoot a successful image or not. The cameras settings
    are simply a part of it. The other part come down to your eye for the shot, positioning, lens, patience or quickness,
    lighting, creativity or technical skill, etc.

    I think your BIGGEST concern in this decision should be about what you feel comfortable holding and traveling as it
    relates to size. They both handle the weather well, but that doesn't mean leave it on the patio every night. You will and
    should still take care of a weather sealed camera. That feature is a great insurance policy if you happen to get caught.
    But that doesnt protect the lenses if they are not sealed like the camera body.

    Consider size, weight comfort that will make you want to shoot. Also how far do you want to go in photograpy? Nikon will
    always have a great assortment of lenses for you. But what it might come down to for you is overall comfort so that your
    focus is on taking photos.
  16. This is silly. You're on a web forum nitpicking a camera you haven't even got yet and trying to compare it to a camera nobody's got yet. Okay, if it really matters, here are the answers to your questions:
    -Of course the Nikon is better than the Olympus at high ISOs, because its sensor is much larger, but it doesn't matter because the field is evened by the Olympus's lack of mirror slap and ability to use sensor-shift VR with prime lenses.
    -Of course there are more primes, and lenses generally, available for Nikon. They've been making them for decades. Go look at Every lens in the Nikon auto- and manual-focus areas except for "non AI" lenses is fully compatible with a D7000. But this doesn't matter, because you're only going to have a limited number of lenses anyway.
    -Of course the Nikon has the better autofocus system. I don't need DPReview to tell me that.This does matter if you shoot moving subjects.
    If DPReview does a review where they appear to disagree with any of those points, either they are wrong or you're misunderstanding them. Like, maybe they write, "This Olympus has surprisingly good AF!" - they're comparing to other small cameras, not SLRs.
    Why are you putting so much stock in DPReview anyway? The site hasn't a thing to do with photography, it's a site for gear nuts to measurebate. It's only useful if you need to look up stats for a digital camera (because they have them all in one place) or occasionally a Google search will turn up some info you want in one of their forums, but only if it's on a gear question. The only real question is, what do you want, smaller or higher all-around performance? The Olympus is smaller, the Nikon performs better - and in a couple of years when you come back to the same question and want to know what you should get, a D7100S or an OM-D-M-6, that will still be true.
  17. Here's my 2 cents: One thing that I didn't see among your list of concerns is the quality and available selection of lenses. Oly makes some great lenses, but it doesn't make a lot of different types of them. Same for Panasonic. In M4/3, you can cross them over pretty seamlessly (I use a Pany 20mm f/1.7 on my E-P3 body). You can adapt all sorts of lenses to the M4/3 bodies, but with varying degrees of limitation. Features may "make or break" a body, but lenses can make or break a system for a certain application. The available list of lenses that work pretty seamlessly on a D7000 is much longer and more diverse than M4/3 offerings, especially if you include Sigma, Tokina, and Tamron alongside the Nikkors (now, that may not matter to you, depending on what you actually plan to shoot).
    Also, if you ever, ever plan on renting a lens for a particular shoot, you will find it trivial for obtain what you need for Nikon or Canon, but very hard (if not impossible) for most any other system. I rented a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 to shoot an indoor ice hockey game for a friend under available light. It cost me $50 for the day and I got great shots using my D300. I'm pretty sure that I would have had far fewer keepers even with the OM-D (I don't think M4/3s has a lens in that equivalent focal range at that speed).
    You obviously have some criteria you're working from (weight and compactness). Don't know if these others are of concern, but I thought I'd offer them.
  18. I currently own a D7000. Considered a technically superior camera to the D300, D5000, D2X, D3100 etc. Mainly because
    of its new technology over older cameras and functionality over lower end camera.

    However, there are beautiful shots many have taken on those cameras that I have yet to match because of everything
    else that goes into the shot. There are wedding photos take with a D200 that are much more inspiring to me that anything
    I've taken. Simply because they took a better photo with what they had. Its great to pay attention and learn from these
    specs, don't get me wrong. But I think you might consider your decision based on what you will feel comfortable shooting
    with and how much expansion each company allows in lenses and accessories.
  19. bms


    Keep the D7k....
    Agree with above - you cannot base the decision on ISO and some samples. Question No 1 should be: what do you use the camera for? There are a few scenarios where I prefer a smaller camera with good IQ: shooting street photography, shooting underwater, and when I have to travel light or have other stuff to schlepp around (like on a family vacation).
    Unless the majority of your images are taken at ISO 3200 or above, the D7000 will suit you fine. It has exceptional IQ, and I am pretty sure it will leave the Oly in the dust for action photos in terms of AF, you have a variety of excellent lenses to choose from going back to the 1970's etc etc.
    If you need a small camera, the OM may do fine but mind you that the lenses are quite protruding. I used to own a E-P2 and with the 14-42 it did not fit in my coat pocket easily. I actually prefer the Nikon V1, which is inferior in image quality (but pretty good), but with the 10 f2.8 VERY small. You could also look at a LX5, XZ-1 or other high end compact as a backup/small camera and keep your D7000.
    One more thing - despite all the hype about EVFs, I still prefer optical ones... maybe I am a dying breed. The hybrid VFs of the Fujis are attractive, but I think more geared towards someone who does not want to spend all that money for a Leica....
  20. Gurpreet,
    real world use with fast primes - how often do you NEED the very high ISOs? I have to push my D300 beyond ISO800 twice or three times a year. And more often, a flash is a more seinsible solution than f/2 with ISO6400. Sure, I'll like it if a future replacement body will be better at ISO1600 or 3200. But it won't be what I decide on.
    I'm not going to say the Nikon or the Olympus is better; I never used the olympus and I have too much Nikon lenses to even consider a switch. It looks an interesting body, for sure. But without having hold it in my hands, feeling whether that marketing-hyped build quality is actually real, I would not spend any money on it. The D7000 is a known quality camera. The Olympus - not yet.
  21. Is there any point in comparing JPEG images downloaded off the web?
    No camera gives its best in a JPEG and I'd at least want to see what a properly processed RAW file looks like, with the same parameters applied to files from each camera. Then you might be on a more level playing field for comparison.
    As an example; the attached image shows 100% crops from the same picture. The left half is part of the JPEG straight off the camera and the right half is taken from the RAW file processed in Capture One. Do they even look as if they were taken with the same camera and lens? Personally I don't think so.
  22. The d7000 does about one stop better at high ISO than the OM5. Oly cooks better jpegs. Oly does AF better than d7000 in video mode. Nikon has more better lenses. Oly does have a few great ones. Nikon tracks better while one shot AF is very similar, some give the oly a slight advantage (and I'm speaking of the older EPL-3/EP-3 here, not the OM-5). Oly has IBIS. Nikon has a more mature flash system. The Oly has a few unique neat features. And the Oly is smaller in weight, bulk and mirrorless, of course.
    FWIW your camera doesn't matter in most shooting situations. It's you, behind the lens...
  23. Thank you for the responses.

    Let me say I am (almost) a Nikon Fanboy - if I keep the D7000 it would be my 4th SLR purchase in 11 years - starting with the N90s, D70, D90 ( a family member bought it on my recommendations) and the D7000.
    So I am rooting for Nikon and that is the reason I posted in this forum. Having said that - I am open to change the platform if that makes more sense (Better AF in D7000 will likely keep it the keeper - see asks below)
    I have asked a few threads similar to this last year stating asks - there isn't a perfect camera to meet them all and I get that.
    Let me re-state my needs with order of importance:
    1. Fast AF for moving people
    2. Good image quality
    3. Light weight
    4. Under US $ 2,000 a body for a wide, normal and short telephoto
    5. Good view finder
    The whole theory that older lenses can be used on Nikon is for the most part a theory when applied to the newer DSLRs. Most film-era lenses suck on D7000 and newer bodies - the 20/2.8 and 24/2.8 don't have a stellar reputation on the D7000 - so what's the point?

    For the D800(e) (Beyond my mortal means) Nikon even recommends MLU - and only the finest glass. While D7000 is not a D800 - even it deserves newer digital glass - 35/1.8 (or 1.4 if you are loaded and don't mind the weight). M43 doesn't need MLU.

    The whole mirrorless market benefits from the smaller flange distance - leading to their lenses to be optimally designed so the Transmission loss is smaller - since they light has a shorter path to travel to the sensor- this is why Fuji X-1 Pro lenses appear to be so good. (But Fuji's Achilles heel is the AF - which sucks). Where I am going with this is that the M43 folks have good lenses with high MTF resolution due to smaller lenses on a smaller image circle coupled with shorter flange distances.

    Just read the reviews on or lenstip on the Oly/Pana M43 lenses.

    If image quality were the only reason - the Nikon would have a lead only with exotic glass - which I probably can't afford and would weigh a ton!
    The lack of mirror-slap, IBIS and optimized lenses even the field for Oly somewhat. The weight reduction is a HUGE factor once you travel with the family (as I have said this is not the major use case).

    So - far I am still not sold on the whole EVF things
    - the Nikon OVF is beautiful and the reason I didn't pick up the D5100 is because my D70's OVF is superior to it and the D7000 is better still compared to the D70.
    There is a joy to using a well designed machine and the D7000 is well designed - I haven't seen the Oly in person yet so can't say that.

    So why have I turned into a Doubting Thomas?

    It is the weight silly! If I could get the same results with a smaller body - why should I lug more weight?

    As I said above the D7000 would (Very likely) trounce the OM-D-M5 on AF by a margin and that would be the yard stick and I would end up buying a M43 for travel.

    As to using DPReview as a valid source - reading them for the last few years I have found them to be very fair and unbiased. Of course I would love the luxury of having camera makers to ship me their latest and greatest so I could test them for my needs :)

    Let us keep the conversation going and be objective. It is fun.
  24. The whole theory that older lenses can be used on Nikon is for the most part a theory when applied to the newer DSLRs. Most film-era lenses suck on D7000 and newer bodies - the 20/2.8 and 24/2.8 don't have a stellar reputation on the D7000 - so what's the point?​
    Yes, new high-resolution sensors are rough on lenses. That does not mean that the old lenses 'suck', it means their flaws become somewhat more visible, especially at high magnifications. But if these lenses met your needs 10 years ago for 4x6 prints, then they will do so today. At least, that's the conclusion I keep coming back to.
    I use the Ai 24 f/2.8 on my D300 very frequently. It's not the best lens I have at 24mm, but it's small, unobstrusive, light. I like using it. It's optically fine in the centre from f/2.8 on; in the corners it's not quite as good until it is stopped down significantly. Mine works well at night too, not too much flares etc. It does not suck; it's not the greatest either.
    But I admit, I never looked at the MTF charts of my lenses, never considered the role of the flange distance an important aspect. I liked how a Nikon felt in my hand, hence, got into the system and haven't left it. So, I have Nikon lenses with their specs as they are. I like having a modern convenient lens as the 16-85VR; I like being able to use an oldish 105 f/2.5 with its distinct different pictorial results. The MTF chart will not reveal how gorgeous that old lens renders.
    And, I genuinely like using my D300. It fits my hand, it fits how I feel a camera should be like. DPReview can't tell me that: only I can (by trial).

    No manufacterer has a lens line-up full of stars. Every system, you will see a compromise somewhere. You just have to find the compromise that hurts the least. The AF-D 24 f/2.8 is not that bad a compromise. The new 35 f/1.8G, 50 f/1.8G are really good, and none of those is heavy or big. The big ommission (and I'd love having it too) is a 16mm prime for DX.

    (Note: sending the D7000 back unopened to me, is just wrong. You bought it knowingly, and unknowingly how good it could be, you'd send it back in favour of a camera you never saw?)
  25. Let me re-state my needs with order of importance:
    1. Fast AF for moving people
    2. Good image quality
    3. Light weight
    4. Under US $ 2,000 a body for a wide, normal and short telephoto
    5. Good view finder
    I don't own either a D7000 or the OM-D, but I can make this easy for you :)
    1. The DSLR will have better autofocus, especially the D7000. Phase detect is just better than contrast detect for moving subjects. At best, the OM-D will be "almost as good".
    2. The D7000 will have better image quality. It's a bigger chip; that means less enlargement. Even if the OM-D sensor was perfect, it would be harder to get a decent size enlargement because every flaw at exposure (camera shake, focus error, diffraction) will get magnified. Less magnification is better. If image quality is a concern, buy the biggest chip you can afford.
    3. The OM-D will weigh less and be smaller.
    I'll leave out 4 & 5 since I assume both the D7000 & OM-D meet these criteria. Just based on 1&2, the D7000 is the clear winner. If the small form factor were more important than image quality to you, you would have listed it first. Also, you would have already bought a micro 4/3 or compact camera instead of the D7000.
    The OM-D changes nothing. The D7000 is still better for the criteria you list. Take it out of the box. Take lots of pictures. Stop reading camera reviews on the internet.
  26. - I don,t know how much been saying - ...say live to Nikon full frame to be quite all about and sure thing macro 4/3 belongs to Olympus !!! -And be fortune with someone who compare FF to m4/3 !!
  27. OK, this is the last post I'm going to make. It really seems that you want the E-M5; then go for it. No amount of facts are going to deter you. But your point:
    "1. Fast AF for moving people"
    If that is the most important thing to you, then this thread should have ended two pages ago, when I first told you: The E-M5 can't keep up with the D7000; not by a long shot. Actually, while in many other cases I would recommend a micro 4/3 camera (I have one, and I love it), moving subjects and motion tracking is the single biggest shortcoming of the system, and if this is your primary need then it is absolutely not for you. Even the D5100 and D3100, which take worlds better photos than your D70, use the AF system from a D200 and knock the pants off of the E-M5. All of these Nikons (and other DSLRs) use phase-detect autofocus. Even your D70, with the older system, beats the pants off of the E-M5. Last, if you don't like the OVF of the D5100, have fun with that EVF of the E-M5!
    Film-era lenses don't "suck" on DSLRs; they just are starting to show their shortcomings. Although, this doesn't matter, because as I already mentioned, and as you are free to verify yourself with any amount of google searching, the Panasonic 14mm and Olympus 17mm prime lenses are PATHETIC performers. Absolutely pathetic. Even the 20mm, optically better, has slow-as-molasses AF. Additionally, your understanding of the telecentricity of a mirrorless system is completely wrong. Micro 4/3 lenses have to apply a ton of behind-the-scenes image corrections; much more than SLR lenses need to product "good" results.
    Nikon's recommendation for mirror lockup is like their recommendation of "approved memory cards": to protect themselves from people with more money than experience and understanding. The D7000 is working wonderfully handheld, and without mirror lockup. The D800 has the same sensor density as the D7000, and will not have any greater requirement for mirror lockup. You are completely inventing falsehoods and making up stories to talk yourself out of a Nikon.
  28. You might just consider finding a way to get your hands on that Olympus when available. At this point really, you know all
    of the specs for both to make specific comparisons. You've heard all of our opinions and suggestions. You've concluded
    that the real battle is weight and your desire for a small camera wih some comparable features and quality. We know the
    Nikon most likely has better AF and overall image quality due to the sensor as well as more expansion with lenses,
    teleconverters, etc. Also the lens plays a MAJOR role in the image quality, focusing, light sensitivity, etc and you'd have
    more latitude with the Nikon. However, YOU eventually have totals all of this advice and learnings to determine your
    needs. Most of all you need to determine what will make you most happy so that you can simply shoot and enjoy
    producing the images you desire. At this point a split second AF difference or a stop or two light sensitivity may not be the
    difference makers you think they are.

    You need to get them in your hands first. Since you have owned Nikons before like the D90, it is especially important that
    you get the Olympus in your hands and shoot with it. We are not talking a Nikon D300 vs a D300s here. We are talking
    two different brands, that's two different menu systems, that's two different depth of support (company and other user
    support), it will become the difference between visiting loaded Nikon forums vs Olympus forums, that's two different
    levels of additional products/lenses, etc, these are two different sensors (larger on D7000), two different mechanics in
    controlling the body and settings, two different feels when holding. Basically two classes of camera.

    When I first saw this Olympus about 2 weeks ago, it captured my interest as a secondary, fun to play wih something new,
    travel camera. However I personally like the feel of a larger DSLR so it would not be a replacement for me. Either way, I
    wouldn't know how I like it and how it REALLY performs until I had it in my hand and clicked the shutter.

    You've learned about both. Now find a way to click them both and only then will you truly know.

  29. As I said above the D7000 would (Very likely) trounce the OM-D-M5 on AF by a margin and that would be the yard stick​
    This is plain false. They are quite similar, unless we talking *tracking* AF.
  30. If I could get the same results with a smaller body​
    hate to tell you, but no amount of restating will make this the case. i'd give the mirrorless cameras one maybe two more iterations before they can truly vanquish dslr's. hopefully by then they will have more and better lenses. IMO the OMD-M-5 (sounds like a British new wave group from the '80s btw) is more of a bone thrown at the m4/3 faithful who complained they didnt have a 'real' camera than anyone with serious investment into Nikon. in other words,it makes the most sense if you already have all the m 4/3 glass for it. if not, the d7000 makes the most sense, especially because AF is your top priority.
    IMO a d7000 with a 35/1.8 or similarly-tiny prime on it is fairly inobtrusive anyway. the problem with m4/3, NEX, or any of those type of MILC bodies is once you stick a decent zoom on there, you're practically in DSLR territory.
    bottom line is you cant have it all. sorry, but it's the law.
  31. i'd give the mirrorless cameras one maybe two more iterations before they can truly vanquish dslr's.​
    Maybe in 2 two more iterations we can have full frame mirror-less cameras about the size of a leica in the $1000-$2000 range. Then we will have high image quality with a small form factor. But unless there is some revolution in chip manufacturing technology, I'm not going to hold my breath for that quality in a reasonable price range.
  32. One area where the smaller M4/3rds cameras fall down, is dynamic range. DR is the Achilles Heel of digital photography IMHO, so when a digicam has a deficit over another digicam in this area, it can be a real issue.
    Having said that, the advantages of the M4/3rds cameras, such as small size (for discreet and unobtrusive photography), and better lenses (no need for big retrofocus SLR lenses), can make up for this shortfall.
    I also think that it is worth mentioning, that sometimes, when it gets too dark to shoot at high ISO, we can just put the camera away and enjoy the moment. We don't have to photograph everything, and there's always flash - it seemed to work for Weegee.
  33. "The Nikon probably does have a better DR though - since the Oly's image looks less contrasty."
    I wouldn't make assumptions like this. If anything, less DR might make something look more contrasty as the extremes clip to white and black. What you're seeing probably has more to do with image processing and probably not outside the range of what can be tweaked with contrast curves, etc.
    I keep seeing this reference to the horrible need for MLU on an SLR. First of all, this level of vibration really only becomes relevant once everything else is taken care of -- mounting on a solid tripod, tripping the shutter with remote or self-timer. Once you've done all that, what's the big deal about enabling MLU?
  34. Wrong camera Leslie, but if you navigate back to the top of his website there is some E-M5 info.
    Some of the responses here seem to verge on hysterical. The Oly E-M5 is a new camera and only preliminary reviews are out there now, so there is a lot of speculation mixed with marketing hype and a bit of actual data. There are some things that can be reasonably infer from past cameras and the current data on the E-M5.
    1) the m43 sensor is not tiny, once one extracts the differences caused by the 4:3 ratio vs 3:2 (ie crop the 3:2 to 4:3) it's about 30% smaller in surface area. Not an insignificant difference but much closer to APS-C than a P&S. The biggest issue that m43 has had is that the Pansonic sensors were weaker at higher ISO's than the APS-C competition. Oly won't say who makes the sensor in the E-M5 and there is at least the possibility that significant progress has been made in the sensor and image processing. Preliminary results are encouraging. Will the IQ beat the D7000? My sense is probably not, but it may give it a run for the money. At reasonable print sizes they may be indistinguishable for practical purposes.
    2)the m43 camera have dramatically improved their AF systems in the past few iterations and the E-M5 has promised additional inprovements. Reviewers have commented on the speed. For single AF function it may equal or beat the D7000 for speed and accuracy (the sensor based AF is inherently more accurate) . The weakness of the m43 AF is it's single AF speed doesn't translate into the same improvement in continuous/tracking AF. For tracking moving targets the D7000 probably is still noticably better.
    All in all, the E-M5 is promising camera, but with the OP's list of requirements the D7000 is still the better option.
  35. wrong link, my bad
  36. OK, I'll just drop back in to correct the facts :) Calvin, the ratio AT BEST is 40% with Nikon. I showed this back in an earlier thread:
    But, my claim of 60%, as you see in that above thread, is also true. It depends on which way you're dividing, and I was comparing the increased capability of APS to m4/3, all technology being equal (which it's not, because more research is being put into APS sensors than 4/3 sensors. Heck, the NEX-5n was just released and uses the same sensor as the D7000. It's still competitive today.
    Saying that you're accounting for the crop is rather closed-minded and individualistic. This applies to your shooting style, and there is no right answer. However, I can say that in today's world, of increasing 1080p displays (16:9) and graphics-designed displays (16:10) that aspect ratios are trending towards more stretched, not more square (4:3 displays existed like 15 years ago), so if you're shooting for online or more traditional formats, you get a bonus and the advantage leans towards APS. 3:2 has been a standard photographic format for a long time. It really depends on the shooter.
  37. Interestingly enough, I was at DPreview anyway looking for something else and ran by their image comparison mechanism.
    I have to say, that even though comparing side by side JPEGs/RAWs isn't the only factor when considering cameras, I appreciate the time and effort going into what they have. It's another tool that helps with decisions and concerns when you're not able to get your hands on each camera.
    With that said, I don't see where the Olympus has better or comparable quality at higher ISOs. I know we've kind of encouraged to consider other aspects of choosing a camera. But I was curious and still see the D7000 out shining the Olympus in this area. Don't forget that lenses play a huge role when it comes to quality, bokeh, ISO and auto focusing. Also it only means so much in the grander scheme of things. It depends on how much bank you're putting on spec hunting and comparison. Eventually the shot has to be caught and overall look nice. There are so many noise reduction applications out there that slight ISO differences (if there are no major differences) mean but a fraction of the decision.
    As I mentioned earlier, you know the specs of each, seen image comparisons, have all of our opinions, read reviews, etc. Now it's best for you to hold each camera, shoot with them and decide what feels to your liking.
    Get it in your hand!
  38. The beauty of being a life-long Nikon sycophant, like me, is that you never have to concern yourself with what other brands might or might not do ;-)
  39. Rather than appearing closed-minded and individualistic, Ariel I thought I'd better respond ;) . Of course, I realize that there are a number of different ways to compare the two sensor sizes, and there is no simple and 'correct' way, there's just too many other factors. What I was trying to say (apparently ineffectively) is that the sensor size alone isn't sufficient to account for the discrepancy in performance between the two sensors sizes, say in the E-PL1 and the D7000 (both 2010 releases). You've mentioned this in your response. The numbers I've seen quoted (but with out support) indicate that for a comparable level of sensor, FF bests APS-C by about 1 2/3 stops, and APS-C bests m43 by about 2/3 stop. While I can't vouch for the exact numbers this seems about right to me. Size wise, m43 is much closer to APS-C than APS-C is to FF and all other things equal, size is the important factor. Someone suggested that Oly would need to come up with a 'magic' sensor to match or beat the D7000. These numbers would suggest that this isn't so. The trouble that m43 has had to date is that the m43 sensors have been lagging behind technologically, as you would see by comparing the two 2010 bodies I mentioned. However, if this time Oly manages to match the technology in the D7000 sensor (2 years later), it would only miss the D7000 mark by about 2/3 stop. If Oly has managed to source a 'state-of-the-art' sensor for the E-M5 it's conceivable that the gap could be narrowed or bettered. I do suspect that this isn't the case, since much of what we are hearing now is marketing hype, not facts. However, if the E-M5 manages to pull up to a 2/3 stop disadvantage to the D7000, will this be visible in the majority of shots? Yes, the E-M5 shot would fall apart at smaller print sizes (but not much smaller) and quicker as the ISO is raised (but not much quicker). I suspect that at the sizes I can print (~13x19) and the ISO levels I tend to use, I would have a difficult time seeing a 2/3 stop advantage. Naturally YMMV.
  40. IMO, the real-world examples on robin wong's blog paint a much clearer picture than the DPreview studio shots of how the OM-D fares at high ISO. while her testing isnt completely objective--Oly's marketing department is almost assuredly paying her to make the camera look as good as possible and appeal to Oly m4/3 and 4/3 investees --if her results are basically SOOC as stated, then that body looks like a winner. ISO 3200 looks completely usable, and if i had to gauge that on the nikon scale it would be better than the d300/d90, not quite at the d3s level, and possibly about the same as a d7000 or possibly even d3/d700. that's quite good for a m4/3 body, possibly the best to-date.
    however, a couple caveats:
    • wong is mainly shooting with the 12/2 and 45/1.8, both of which are noticeably faster than the kit lens.
    • high-ISO results tend to look better with blurred backgrounds and wide apertures; whatever grain or noise there is tends to blend into the background.
    • if you're going to drop $2600 or so on a 12/20/45 three-prime set-up+body, the OM-D looks like a viable option for street and travel photography. nikon can't really match the 24/2 and 90/1.8 equivalents in APS-C. but then, that amount of $$ is starting to get close to d800 territory, which would have far better IQ than any m 4/3 body.
    • the OM-D would be considerably less exciting with the kit zoom and also less stealthy. but, as ariel notes, only the kit zoom is weather sealed.
    which brings us back to the OP's stated criteria, on which the OM-D only hits on 2 of the 4 requirements: lightweight and high-IQ. the d7000 still looks to be the winner in DR and AF performance with moving subjects. IMO a d7000 with a 35/1.8 and sigma 17-50/2.8 OS is a sensible kit for what the OP wants to do--and within the $2000 budget. IMO, the OM-D doesnt really make sense unless you want to blow your budget, and even then, you're looking at having to change lenses frequently and likely missing shots.

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