Nikon DX vs FX vs Olympus OMD-EM5

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kylebybee, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. I'm curious how some of you might feel about this. There are people in the Olympus forum who are glad that they have sold their Nikon cameras and gone to the 4/3 format namely Olympus OMD-EM5. Here I was thinking of moving to FX for the broader range of lens availability better low light IQ. I shoot with the D7000. Now others are saying that this Olympus camera is the cats meow. Thoughts, opinions? This is just for fun, not looking for any right or wrong answers.
  2. If you are a full time pro and shoot weddings in dim churches, the OMD won't do the job. However, the more experienced I've become, the less importance photo gear seems to have for me. I've been thinking of moving to something like the OMD eventually as it improves even further. I just don't need heavy camera bags to get the results I want. (And keep in mind I'm a night time photographer.) The idea of something light, compact, quick to use, and very "efficient" has great appeal to me. Right now my camera of choice is either my Nikon D5100, or my Leica IIIc. Small, capable, efficient.

    Kent in SD
  3. The OM-D E-M5 would be "better" than FX for you only if size and weight was a critical consideration. It is for me, which is why I seldom use my D2H any more. If I could afford the OM-D I'd definitely grab one.
    However the D600 is a very appealing camera that would probably suit that niche demographic of folks who want the advantages of FX in a reasonably compact camera. Since you've specified low light IQ as an important factor for your photography, the D600 is probably a better choice for you.
    BTW, while you're pondering the question, be sure to view some maximum resolution JPEGs from the OM-D. There are samples on dpreview and Flickr. Those photos look fine to me, but some folks have noted the fairly typical Olympus "look" - a little heavy on the smoothing, presumably due to luminance noise reduction in-camera. I rarely print larger than 8x10 so it wouldn't matter to me. If you print larger it might matter.
  4. Sure, the Olympus is a fascinating camera, and I'm sure it delivers. But to me, frankly, it has no appeal: I prefer an optical viewfinder, I like handling larger cameras (so the weigth/size argument is reverse for me), and I want f/1.4 to be really shallow, not just f/2.8-like shallowish. In short, I'm really happy with my D700 and the D300 before, these cameras suit me perfectly fine.
    And I can completely understand Kent's and Lex' point to, in wanting something lighter, smaller. The Olympus might well be one of the cameras that gets a lot of things very right (I never used one, so I really can't tell).
    There is no right and wrong. I read frequently that light and small are advantages, but to me, this is simply not the case. I dislike small buttons and fiddly controls.And I like external controls - so I'll end up with a relatively large camera.
    The good thing is having choice. There are cameras fitting almost any kind of need; each format, sensor-size and brand with their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. One can (and should) only compare them in the context of a defined set of needs and wants.
  5. Keep in mind if you go full frame you will want to spend some cash on some quality glass. The only reason I use a nikon d800 is so I can make somewhat large landscape prints. If I were to travel, I would not want a full frame, because I rarely print those images. Also keep in mind that in a year or two the OMD will no longer be so popular.
  6. Also keep in mind that in a year or two the OMD will no longer be so popular.​

    Nor will the D7000, D600 etc...

    As for the switch out from the D7000, it really boils down to how you shoot, what you shoot, and what you want as the results. To be honest, I shoot my lesser E-PM1 with the 45mm f1.8 a lot more than I do my D7000. And with the E-M5, your IQ is probably nearly identical if you use the right lenses. If you like compact and primes, I would say go to the OM-D. If you want fast zooms, thinner DOF, bulkier, and more expensive, go FX.

    All the systems are capable of amazing IQ, you just have to use it right. Low light, well, FX does have an advantage in that, but the E-M5 should have (haven't really tried it out) one of the best stabilization on the market.

    Personally, I am probably dumping my Nikon and switching to either an EM-5 or GH3 in the next month or so. M43 has proven to be a more versatile system for me, and I don't really shoots sports all that much anymore.
  7. Also keep in mind that in a year or two the OMD will no longer be so popular​
    Keep in mind that this isn't a popular contest. It is mostly a tool, and one should find the correct tool for the correct job. As a nikon FX/DX/M43rd user, I seriously think one ought to play around with them before committing to each. The OMD is much more different than the difference between FX and DX, of course. If you are just talking about high ISO noise, the cameras are so good that I doubt you could tell which is which in a blind test, unless you are above 3200.
    The bigger differences are size, VF, LiveView and tracking AF. Do you prefer big/small? EVF/OVF? Do you shoot fast action sport? And what type of photography do you shoot mostly?
  8. lwg


    I switched to a D800E from the D7000. I did this mainly for the larger selection of prime lenses. But the dynamic range of the images is my favorite feature of this camera.
    I tried the OM-D in the store and I didn't care for it in use. The viewfinder was good for an EVF, but I still don't think it's good. The sensor stabilization is also nice. The size is nice. But it's not that much smaller than my DSLR kit. There aren't many fast lenses, and combined with the smaller sensor there really aren't any lenses to compete with the f/1.4 FX lenses as far as focus/DOF flexibility. All in all I think it would be best as a secondary camera system for me. But it might be ideal for your uses.
  9. My wife also shoots with the D7000, but she has a bad back and can't lug around a tripod, bend over to get unique shots and cary several lenses because of the weight. So my initial reason for the post, other than I think its fun to discuss things like this, was for her benefit. We drive around looking for landscape shots old abandoned farm houses, etc.. She recently tried a monopod to see if images would get sharper, but had the opposite effect. If I can convince her to switch I think she would enjoy our outings more, she doesn't like change. As for me, I'm leaning to the D600 and keep my D7000 for back up.
  10. The viewfinder was good for an EVF, but I still don't think it's good.​
    Probably because you are so used to OVF. And please do note that a FX OVF is much different than a DX OVF. Furthermore, the VF between, say, a d3100 is way different than, say, a d4 VF. People talk, as if all OVF (or EVF) are the same...
  11. One thing to note about the EM-5 is that it appears that Olympus is cheating with exposure. According to DxOMark, ISO200 is actually ISO100. Normally, this is not cheating...when the measured ISO is lower than the rating, it usually means that there's some amplification being performed by the camera. This isn't cheating because you get noise from the amplification, so nothing is being's just processing decisions.
    Olympus, on the other hand, appears to be exposing ISO200 as ISO100. Now THAT is cheating because now they're gathering more light than the competition at ISO200. When you compare the DxOMark SNR of APS-C cameras, at ISO100, to the EM-5 at ISO200, the difference is exactly what the math says it should be for the difference in sensor size. And when you compare test images from the EM-5 at places like Imaging Resource, the exposure for ISO200 samples seems to always be one EV more than other cameras at ISO200.
    Ultimately, as DxOMark indicates, you'll get better IQ out of APS-C at ISO100 than you'll get from the EM-5. Also, with 4/3 you need expensive lenses to get the shallow DOF that you get from larger sensors. And of course, FX gives you even better IQ and even more shallow DOF.
  12. lwg


    Leslie, no that's not it. I was saying I don't think it's a good view finder when looking at the features that I like in a viewfinder. I'm sure EVFs will eventually be good, but I don't think they've reach the point where they are truly "good" yet. I think the FX Nikon OVFs are good, but the DX cameras' OVFs are mediocre at best. It's hard to manually focus on the D7000, but I have a much higher success rate on the D800. Add in that things are very clear and bright on the D800 makes it a pretty decent view finder. But I have seen better. My Hasselblad is brighter and focus snaps nicely across the image. And it's much larger feeling.
    Of course getting additional info in the viewfinder can be nice. For that the EVFs excel.
  13. I wish some company would stimulate an F3HP VF in an EVF...
  14. gdw


    If UPS would ever get it here I'd be glad to share. Went from the D200 to the D700 probably three years ago. Love it. Ordered the EM5 becuase I am tired of carrying the weight. May not like it, don't know. If I don't I may go to the Fuji, may go to the D600. If I do i've got a couple of lenses on the want list and an adapter so I can use my Leica lenses and maybe my Nikon. I'm ready for small, lightweight and quiet.
  15. Now others are saying that this Olympus camera is the cats meow.​
    Holds zero appeal for me. Too small, EVF, and 2x crop factor add up to 3 strikes against. To me, DX is the best compromise - currently, the additional price paid for FX isn't worth it for me.
  16. Lex - speaking of weight - I know you have a hard time with heavier cameras now and are considering the Nikon 1. Have you considered the D3200? I was at a local retailer last week and for the first time handled a D3200 and a J1. The price of the 3200 is right. I realize the lenses are still quite a bit larger than the 1 lenses.
    My D300 with battery grip and 70-200 f/2.8 with hood was a tank compared to both the 32000 and the J1.
  17. I see lots of praise for m4/3 cameras but not often have I seen absolute quality comparisons to DX or FX cameras. I'm not giving up the great results from my D7000 unless it's to go to full frame. Low light performance and dynamic range are important to me.
  18. The cameras are good for different reasons. The Olympus is good because it's small and, as small cameras go, has controls and features that make it suited to SLR replacement. The FX cameras are good because they don't have a crop factor, have large sensors for image quality and low light performance and have SLR speed and AF performance. As nice as the OM-D is, it doesn't come with the Nikon lens selection and isn't in the same league as a D800, D600 or even D700 in high ISO imaging. Its closest comparable in Nikon for image quality and high ISO would be a D90 - which puts it ahead of older M4/3 models by a respectable margin.
  19. I see lots of praise for m4/3 cameras but not often have I seen absolute quality comparisons to DX or FX cameras.​
    Just curious, what would you consider an "absolute quality" comparison?
  20. Mark, I began considering a smaller dSLR back when the D90 was introduced. It was an impressive camera for the money, size and weight.
    But most of what I do can be handled with a good compact digicam. And the smaller sensor better suits my preferences for DOF. Looking back over my photos since getting the D2H in 2005, I was surprised to discover how seldom I shot wide open for shallow DOF. The last time I consciously used fast lenses wide open to isolate subjects using shallow DOF was 2010. Most of the time I use the hyperfocal setting, which with a tiny sensor digicam can be f/2.8.
  21. I own the OM-D, the Nikon D600, and a few APS-C DSLRs. The OM-D is a marvelous camera, no bones about it. I am quite often amazed (there's no other word for it) at what that little jewel of a camera can do. The D600 is also an amazing machine. I take the OM-D when I want light weight. That's the biggest draw it has, for me. The D600 is my work camera, I use it for real estate interiors where you need as wide a lens as possible. I can't say, from my experience, that for what I shoot outside of real estate, there's a measurable difference between these two cameras, nor my elder APS-C cameras.
    Ultimately, and always, it comes down to what you want for an output. Sharing on the web? Either camera is grand. Low light? They both shine. Price? The D600 costs more but has more wide angle lenses available. And if you don't have either, what you currently own is probably good too. The DSLR revolution (since the EOS Rebel broke the $1000 price point) has been a boon to great photography worldwide. The latest cameras merely extend, not eclipse, what are already a slew of great cameras out there.
  22. Willy, first off, I don't have a great deal of confidence in anything that DxO says, but more importantly, ISO was originally a standard created for film; for digital, it has to be simulated, and there are different methologies that may be chosen for the simulation, and different ways of measuring the result. Every camera maker has their own ideas on this subject, none of them fully in agreement with the others.
    Since you mentioned the sample images on The Imaging Resource, I made a quick comparison between ISO 200 test images on that site from the OM-D and the Nikon D7000. It is true that the OM-D gave one more stop of exposure (1/20 sec. vs 1/40 for the Nikon) at the same nominal aperture (f/8), but it also produced a noticeably brighter image with better deep shadow detail. Both cameras were set to use matrix metering, but there is no guarantee that the matrix metering implementations in two different cameras (even from the same manufacturer) will produce equivalent results. Also, since different lenses were used, we can't simply assume that the amount of light reaching the sensor was equal in both cases. What a lens reports as f/X usually isn't exactly f/X -- it could be off by as much as a third of a stop. And the glass of the two lenses may not transmit light equally well. There are enough variables here to collectively account for a one-stop difference in exposure times. Then there's also the fact that both cameras were in manual mode, so we don't actually know that the meters were reporting correct exposure when the images were shot. Had they been in aperture-priority mode with no exposure compensation or AE lock in effect, at least we would know that the camera decided for itself what shutter speed to use.
    It might be possible to come up with a really convincing comparison of the ISO behavior of two cameras, but you can't extract such a comparison from any of the sample images I've seen online, and I'm not convinced DxO would know how to do it if they wanted to.
  23. Since you mentioned the sample images on The Imaging Resource, I made a quick comparison between ISO 200 test images on that site from the OM-D and the Nikon D7000. It is true that the OM-D gave one more stop of exposure (1/20 sec. vs 1/40 for the Nikon) at the same nominal aperture (f/8), but it also produced a noticeably brighter image with better deep shadow detail.​
    Are you referring to the JPEGs or the RAW images? I would expect the JPEG images to be similar because, as I mentioned, most cameras will underexpose slightly (that is, have a lower actual ISO) and then amplify to get the correct exposure. I would expect the RAW images to differ by one EV, because the EM-5 captured an EV more of light.
    Between the Still Life JPEGs at ISO200, the EM-5 shots appears to be less than 1/3 EV brighter (the "WhiBal" white is around 212 RGB values on the Nikon D7000 shot and 222 RGB on the EM-5 shot, and the background near the center differs by 167 to 178.) To me, that's expected. I didn't look at the EM-5 RAW, but being a Nikon person I already know that the D7000 RAW, demosaiced with no processing, renders darker than its out-of-camera JPEG.
    As for lenses, prime macro lenses were used of similar construction, with the EM-5 having the more expensive lens.
    The metering and processing of each camera produced JPEGs that were very close. But regardless of the internal computation of their respective multi-segment metering systems, it is clear that at ISO200, the EM-5 requires one EV more exposure to get the same apparent brightness from its JPEG engine as the D7000 when comparing out-of-camera JPEGs.
    ISO was originally a standard created for film; for digital, it has to be simulated, and there are different methologies that may be chosen for the simulation, and different ways of measuring the result. Every camera maker has their own ideas on this subject, none of them fully in agreement with the others.​
    ISO is not simulated for digital. ISO means exactly the same thing with digital and it does with film. ISO defines the reaction (film) or the response (digital) to light. The latest ISO standards on digital ISO have made ISO more consistent across cameras. The CIPA DC-004 standard, from which the latest ISO standard is based, describes the purpose of REI...
    "Recommend Exposure Index is an exposure index corresponding to the average exposure in a focal plane recommended by camera (imaging system) vendors (manufacturers etc.) for the purpose of reference to the setting [of] an exposure index (film ISO speed value) when using a separate exposure meter or accessory strobe etc.."
    And from the "Explanation" section (not officially part of the standard...)
    "In recent years, various methods have become available to process luminance information, using partial photometry information taken from multiple parts of the subject, including Pattern Photometry or Peak Photometry.
    On the other hand, when the aperture or shutter speed is to be obtained by using a reflective stand-alone exposure meter or accessory strobe, the average photometry values are used. Adequate preset value of film sensitivity (exposure index) must be adapted to such equipment during photography, in which case the recommend value preset by the maker (in other words, the value to obtain the 'standard exposure' mentioned above) is the 'Recommend Exposure Index."
    So the purpose of the latest ISO standards is to ensure that handheld meters provide Standard Exposure values that work correctly in digital cameras. It would be interesting to see the results from an EM-5 with exposure values set from a handheld reflective meter instead of its own meter.
  24. there is no right answer but i dont think you'll get better low-light performance from an OM-D than from an FX camera. the OM-D appeals to me because of its compactness and high level of performance, particularly with AF speed. but i wouldn't view it as an equivalent to FX or even APS-C. i wouldn't sell my D3s or d300s for one, but i might sell my d90.
    the OM-D seems like it would be good for photojournalism, street shooting, and travel -- not so good for fast action and large prints. seeing that there are some really good fast primes out there for m4/3 is also appealing, however, the only thing really stopping me is my investment in nikon lenses, and the realization that i'd have to spend a fair amount on glass to get the setup i wanted (12/25/45 primes + 12-50 kit). i'm also considering the fuji XE1 which does have an APS-C-sized sensor, with which i would probably just go with the acclaimed 35/1.4.
    in either case, i would be augmenting my DSLR kit, not replacing it. for me that makes more sense than jumping on a d600 or d800 right now, as resolution isn't a huge need to me and i already have a D3s and pro lenses for critical shooting. what i dont have is a super-compact body with better IQ than a point and shoot which takes interchangeable lenses.
  25. I liked the idea of compact MFT. So, I decided to sell my D7000 and bought EPL2 (not omd though). It's fun, small, fast and makes me want to take pictures more. I also bought nice lenses for it. I enjoyed it for a while.
    Then D600 was sold at a great price, so I pulled the trigger. When I saw the results from the D600, I realize how very different they are. Nothing can match FX pictures in my opinion. Not even my D7000 pictures. I'm glad I did not sell all my nikon lenses. Note: I use it mainly for portrait of my family so I cannot say for other use (i.e. landscape, etc). So, for IQ I like FX the most and I don't mind the size/weight.
    Anyway, I keep my Olympus because it's a lot of fun but for sure not for IQ. If omd is sold for $500, I will get it for travel or street photography. At $1000, I think it's too expensive and I much prefer the D7000 or better yet the D600.
  26. I don't personally own an FX camera, but I've gotten some serious use out of them, and I can tell you that the D800 produces images that enlarge as well as most 120 film cameras. The D600, not so much.
    Here's what I can tell you: if you're willing to invest in really nice MF glass, like Leica, Zeiss, etc., then the OM-D (and other top-tier mirrorless cameras) will produce images that will blow away a DX camera from any brand, provided you keep the ISO fairly low. This is not because the camera is that good; it is because you can't put a Leica lens on a Canon or Nikon. Y'know, unless you're talking about the really old Nikon mount Leica lenses that aren't exactly competitive with the ones you'd buy today. In this case, your photos are better because the lenses are better, and the camera just happens to be the price of admission to use those lenses.
    If you're using AF lenses, you're going to be extremely hard-pressed to come up with an Olympus or Panasonic lens that is any better than a comparable Nikon, except in terms of size, and possibly price. The Olympus lenses are all amazing for their size - I REALLY like the 17mm and the 45mm lenses. But the 45mm isn't any cheaper than Nikon's 85mm f/1.8, and the 17mm pancake isn't a fantastic lens either; it just works incredibly well for its size.
    As far as DX vs. FX ... well, that's pretty much beaten to death by now. If you print big, or have a lot of near-black or near-white areas in a given picture, FX makes a difference. If you don't, then it doesn't.
    If you need to pack light, or if you know that your ISO is almost always going to be low, than the OM-D and other similar cameras are an absolute godsend. I have an NEX-7 that I use with various German lenses, and I tout the merits of that all the time. On the other hand ... every time I have a wedding, a sporting event, or anything else where I suspect my ISO will need to go over 400, I always leave it at home and bring the D7000. I don't like using it as much, but it never disappoints.
    I've thought about buying a D800E, but the fact is that when I need to print big, I need to print REALLY big. I have a 4x5 for that :)
  27. Willy Lorenzo , Dec 24, 2012; 11:34 a.m.
    One thing to note about the EM-5 is that it appears that Olympus is cheating with exposure...
    A different point of view here:
    "That's why DxOMark gives you a plot of camera ISO vs. sensor ISO. It doesn't reveal that a camera manufacturer is "fudging" or "lying." It tells you how the two different kinds of ISO, which are legitimately determined in very different ways, compare. That's all."
  28. Songtsen Kampo, Dec 25, 2012; 03:58 a.m.
    A different point of view here:​
    The article you linked to is general in nature, and I already addressed that point in my post by saying that lowered ISO is normally not cheating. But what Olympus is doing is unique because it appears that they're also changing exposure...which is something that DxOMark doesn't account for. You can only see this by researching test images and comparing the camera settings use by the EM-5 to other cameras in the same lighting conditions.
    Also, that article is wrong on several points, the first being that it does not take more light to saturate a sensor with larger pixels. Even DxOMark says that. This is so because larger pixels are only wider/taller...not deeper. Noise is fixed by the sensor size. This is why the Nikon D800, with its 36 MP, has practically the same SNR as the Nikon D4 and its 16 MP. The second incorrect point is the characterization of how ISO is determined. As explained in my second post, the latest digital ISO standards are meant to normalize results across imaging systems so that the camera meters and handheld meters produce the same results. Clearly, with such a mandate, camera makers are not assigning ISO values willy-nilly across their camera models.
    But it seems like Olympus thinks no one will be using handheld meters to set their cameras. Or maybe they’re depending on the proliferation of articles like the one linked to, where people have this idea that there are no standards in the standards. The bottom line is that I feel one needs to view the supposedly exceptional performance of the EM-5 sensor with some skepticism...especially since they use Sony sensors. (oh...and now according to DxOMark, the latest Olympus PEN models perform just as well.)
  29. For myself, it's been DX or FX. I have looked at various mirrorless systems, the Sony, the Nikon and the Canon M. The Canon's slower AF doesn't bother me, has a APC sensor, quite small, a few M lenses with the ability to use EF lenses or might even be EF-S but it does make it truly goofy. I basically haven't really considered mirrorless system b/c I won't use adapters to use standard Nikon or Canon lenses. So that means I have to also buy new lenses as well .... It is also about strealining as well, I don't want a couple of cameras for my "hobby".
    I just go with DX myself simply b/c I don't shoot much high ISO, the wide angle primes is nice b/c I like to shoot small cameras with still the manual controls but the DX lenses would be abandoned and it's also that the WA primes are not exactly that small for those faster than f/2.8 at least in the AF dept.
  30. >>>This is so because larger pixels are only wider/taller...not deeper. Noise is fixed by the sensor size. This is why the Nikon D800, with its 36 MP, has practically the same SNR as the Nikon D4 and its 16 MPThere's context, or this is wrong, particularly sensor size fixes noise level.
  31. Leslie Cheung [​IMG], Dec 25, 2012; 02:29 p.m.
    There's context, or this is wrong, particularly sensor size fixes noise level.​
    I apologize but I don't understand what this means.
    When SNR is compared between sensors of different sizes but the same generation, there are clear steps between the various sizes, which are commensurate with the difference in size between the sensors. Pixel count makes no difference.
    Despite the EM-5 sensor’s "stellar" performance, it only goes down to ISO 200. All current APS-C cameras go down to ISO 100. The difference between the best SNR of APS-C sensors, and the best SNR of the EM-5 sensor, is commensurate with the difference in sensor size...once again demonstrating that it is sensor size that limits noise performance between sensors of similar tech.
    The EM-5 has a great sensor (for its size.) But it does fall about .7 stop short of the best that APS-C sensors can produce. But I'm more concerned about the EM-5's exposure. The point of my posts has been that Olympus may be trying to pull the wool over our eyes by shifting the camera's exposure so that ISO 200 images are actually being exposed as if they were ISO 100 images.
  32. One reason to move to the OM-D might be to take advantage of the fun one can have with lenses such as various c-mount lenses. I have a 75mm 1.8 Kern Switar that is amazing glass. The ability to use a lot of different glass is something you just cannot do with a Nikon. If you are into that, it would be a factor.
  33. all I know is that I have had more fun shooting since I got my OMD this spring than any other digital camera I have purchased. My FX cameras are rarely pulled out. I simply like the fact that I can carry almost everything in a small shoulder bag. I like the flexibility in shooting options in the camera. I like the fact that every adjustment I make is shown in the camera. I don't chimp as much as a DSLR because of the live histogram and live shadow/highlight blinkies. I find I prefer 4:3 over 3:2. Oh, while out doing some comparison shooting recently with an OMD/12-35 and a D600/24-85 VR, at the same ISO, same aperture , I ended up with the same shutter speed while shooting an approximate same scene. I was wondering about that.
  34. Years ago when I first became interested in photography, my first good camera was an Olympus OM4. I loved the way that camera handled, all the controls just where you needed them and nothing more than you needed. I've had lots of cameras since then, most sadly bigger and heavier than that OM4, bloated with features that I neither want nor need. If Olympus had brought out a full frame version of the OM4 I would have been very interested or even an APS sensor version. Micro four thirds I tried when I bought a Panasonic GF1, I wanted to like the camera because of all the good reviews that it had but when it came down to it my small Panasonic TZ6 gave me images virtually as good as the GF1 ( even as jpegs compared to GF raw files) and my Nikon D90 blew them both out of the water. After that I sold the GF1 and am not keen to revisit that format again, even though the OMD is a newer design with a better sensor than the GF1.
    I'm now using a Nikon D800, which is bigger and heavier than most DSLR cameras but it just gives me so much better quality images with incredible dynamic range. I've still got a Panasonic point and shoot, this time a TZ30, which actually is in many ways a poorer camera than the TZ6 funnily enough, with to my eyes poorer quality images. I will probably get a small Nikon camera such as the D5100 or maybe the D5200 if they come down in price as a lighter weight alternative to the D800, with the benefit that lenses are interchangable.
    Whatever camera you use when it comes down to it what matters most is that you actually have the camera with you when you see something interesting. If your main camera is too heavy for you or you are out for a walk with photography as an incidental, then a good light weight camera that you can carry with you without having to think about it could make all the difference. For many people that camera is the OMD, for others it is something different. By this time next year there will be fresh options available, don't worry too much, just find the best camera that suits your needs and take plenty of photographs.
  35. Kent: If you are a full time pro and shoot weddings in dim churches, the OMD won't do the job. However, the more experienced I've become, the less importance photo gear seems to have for me.​
    I agree with Kent here. Classifying myself as a prosumer, I wouldn't dream of getting rid of my Nikon D300 when shooting dance competitions or when on my nature photo treks, but as a camera on vacation, when with my family, and on the daily commute to work, I find my little Leica D-Lux 5 quite sufficient. "Horses for courses" as the English say.
  36. I wonder how many "I would never use an OM-D for weddings or X" folks have actually used an OM-D. I own one, and repeat, the camera is amazing. I wouldn't hesitate to use it for weddings and it especially shines in low light. Where it fails is action. Any EVF camera I have tried (up to Sony's A65) is simply, totally outclassed by any OVF camera in that area. I'd be curious to hear from any non-fanboy if Sony's A99 is up to snuff in that regard.
  37. Patrick S [​IMG][​IMG], Dec 26, 2012; 11:53 a.m.
    I wonder how many "I would never use an OM-D for weddings or X" folks have actually used an OM-D. [...] Where it fails is action.​
    Because things never happen quickly at a wedding, and you're never going to have to take a photo of someone throwing something, followed by another photo 15 feet away a split-second later. And it will never be dark when you're doing this.
    Also, weddings are never about appearances, and I'm sure that not a single client will ever see a little tiny camera, and think that you look like an amateur, and people will get out of your way just as well as if you were using a giant camera with a huge lens.
    I've never tried to use an A99 for a wedding, but there's no way I'd use an A77, unless it was my only camera. Since the A99 is the same pixel count and the sensor is twice as big, I'm assuming that the ISO is one stop better/cleaner. That would put it roughly on par with my D7000, which still has better AF performance in low light, due to seeing all of the image with the AF sensors, instead of some of it. And it costs a third the price.
    It's not about whether or not a certain camera is capable of taking nice photos, Patrick. It's about whether or not something else that costs a similar amount is better for the same purpose. We've all seen some beautiful iPhone wedding photography, and a Google search will bring up great photos of every type from every camera. I can even show you some nice 6x6s and 4x5s I've shot for weddings. But it's a pain in the but, it's neither consistent nor practical, and there are better choices. I only do that stuff for friends, really.
  38. This must be like the discussion that took place when "Full Frame" 35mm began to replace medium format as the format of choice.
  39. Where it fails is action. Any EVF camera I have tried (up to Sony's A65) is simply, totally outclassed by any OVF camera in that area. I'd be curious to hear from any non-fanboy if Sony's A99 is up to snuff in that regard.​
    Ha, what rubbish!...Sony SLTs have phased based AF just like any DSLR. You just used a low end AF module SLT in the A65...
  40. Leslie Cheung [​IMG], Dec 26, 2012; 01:47 p.m.
    Where it fails is action. Any EVF camera I have tried (up to Sony's A65) is simply, totally outclassed by any OVF camera in that area. I'd be curious to hear from any non-fanboy if Sony's A99 is up to snuff in that regard.​
    Ha, what rubbish!...Sony SLTs have phased based AF just like any DSLR. You just used a low end AF module SLT in the A65...​
    You misunderstand, I'm not talking about AF speed. I'm talking about the EVF's ability to track subjects and take the pictures quickly. I'd much rather watch a play than a TV show, personally. The EVFs are simply not real-time enough. Not for me. YMMV. Ever watch Max Headroom? :)
    And as far as weddings go, yeah, when you expect action you use an action camera. You don't grab your OM-D for the bouquet toss or even the first dance. When you're doing group shots or formals or the ceremony, it doesn't matter.
  41. Hmm... what exactly are you shooting? It must be *very* fast action sports. State of the art EVFs refresh damn fast these days, but I do see your point.
  42. The EVF is just a display, and has nothing to do with tracking. That, in the case of the of a contrast system, is all in the
    sensor's rate to capture data, and the software's ability to make sense of that data.

    As for real life speeds, on a D7000 vs E-PM1, I have found the E-PM1 to be faster at initial acquisition in any light (haven't
    tried really dim), but the D7000 to be better at tracking. So, for a wedding, I bet an OM-D E-M5 would be just fine. Action
    sports, or something moving fast towards you, I'm sure the Nikon would do better.
  43. mjk


    I'm in the Nikon DSLR camp, owning the D70, D40 and D300. I wanted to move to an FX camera, but was too late with the D700 last
    sales and wasn't excited about the D600 or D800. I have the Panasonic GF3 and was really pleased with the size of the camera and the
    quality of photos I could produce. Great camera.... So I bit on and invested in the OMD EM5, and a few lenses....

    The transition from optical to electronic viewfinder shouldn't be underestimated. It took hundreds of photos for me to adjust and even now
    I prefer optical. But that aside, the OMD Is a great camera and it is my everyday walk-around that takes great pictures. It's fun, small and
    very capable. It has a 9fps burst with a 5-axis stabilizer that's perfect for hand held bracketing for HDR. It's very solid in the hands and
    feels professional.

    It's expensive... And will evolve. If you are ok without a built in EVF, then there are equally capable and less expensive m43 cameras
    available. Panasonic has the G5, which is a few hundred US dollars cheaper.

    I still use the Nikon DSLR's and prefer them for the bokeh and resolution. But now, even the D40 feels big in my hands.........

    I can't imagine many enthusiasts or pro's or hobbyists will completely leave their DSLR cameras for m43. Not yet... For those who can
    afford the OMD, they most likely see this as a nice addition to taking great photos with less weight....

    That aside, I think DX is a great format and hope Nikon keeps it alive. But I really hope for a D700 replacement....a D800 with the D4
  44. lwg


    What is the lag time like on the OMD? When I tried it out in the store I didn't think to test it. What I mean is assuming both cameras are set to manual focus how long is it from when an event happened to when the image gets recorded. In an SLR the light effectively reaches your eyes instantaneously. But there's your reaction time and the time for the mirror to flip up once the shutter is pressed. In an electronic viewfinder the image must be read off the chip processed and displayed on the internal screen. But there's no mirror. Has anyone measured this for different cameras?
  45. I think it comes down to shutter lag. I was trying to capture my cat's meow last night using a Sony a37, which I know has a lesser EVF than the better bodies. Maybe my reflexes are slow but I couldn't catch it, and I know I have caught it with film cameras and their clunky ol' OVFs - see my images for one I caught with my Konica Autoreflex T3.
  46. I own a D7000 and a OM-D both.
    i get better pictures from OM-D. Not saying its a better camera, but i get more keepers from it. I use 14 and 45 primes on it.
  47. mjk


    The EM5 is vey quick to focus and shoot. Not sure of the specifics, as lag is measured in milliseconds, but responds quickly to me...I wouldn't replace a DSLR with this unless you don't need a DSLR quality camera. But this will give you high quality pics with the controls and low-light capabilities of a DSLR....without carrying around the large be honest, I still use my LX3 and in the right light, it takes great photos...not best in low light, but small and lots of controls.
  48. mjk


    Lag and other info for OMD EM5
  49. This is very interesting to read, and I never thought it would go on this long. Thank you for the thoughts and opinions.
  50. Right now the OMD is quite expensive. Why not just buy a cheap consumer nikon DX camera. They are fairly small and light weight. They have a larger sensor and they are half the price. Just my 2 cents.
  51. I own a D800 and the EM-5. I prefer the EM-5 if I need gear with a small footprint like being a wedding guest or for light travel when doing a lot of walking. It also comes in handy with it's 2x crop @ 16P compared to a 1.5x crop @ 16MP with my D800 set for DX with supe-tele shots using a 600/4 AFS and TC-20E III. DxO also rated the EM-5 as the best micro 4/3 camera, so given the physical limitations of it's smaller sensor, APS sensor sized cameras will naturally perform better in some areas, all things being equal in state of art technology of sensor production.
  52. I've got a d7000, and use it for traveling the world and around my streets. Since I'm lazy and use a 18-200mm zoom, I'm looking for a
    similar setup for a potential omd. I was thinking about the fast Panasonic zooms ($ouch$). Like the 12-35 and 35-100. ( want something
    fast for low light and better focusing. I don't take tripods with me on traveling )
    I'd prefer not to carry a bunch of primes (could be convinced maybe) since I do a lot of street candids and may do an across the street
    and then swing around and shoot something a block or 2 away).
    So anyone have these kinds of lenses ? Seems like the majority are using only primes.

  53. I own a D800 and love it, amazing camera with awesome detail and just brilliant, wouldn't give it up for anything. Buying a new 70-200/2.8 VR2 soon
    I also own an OM-D, amazing camera and a lot better than most peoples give credit for. The image quality is truly amazing with decent glass, I use Olympus fast primes and a Voigtlander f/0.95 lens which blows your mind.
    i have used both cameras on the street, in the studio, for sports and landscapes. My D800 has an edge in most cases but the OM-D isn't as far behind as you all think. I would buy an OM-D over any DX camera in all honestly
  54. You know, sometimes people say things that don't make any sense. Being I shot weddings and auto racing for years with an E-1, and it worked fine. I don't see why an OM-D, which has clean 1600 ISO, would really be that problematic. In the end, any wedding photographer knows its about technique and eye, and has very little to do with equipment (outside of reliability).
  55. Willy Lorenzo: One thing to note about the EM-5 is that it appears that Olympus is cheating with exposure.​
    The appearance, however, is not correct. I'd argue that it's also not an appearance, with one exception - a set of misleading datasets that you also alluded to, and that I'll address shortly.
    Willy Lorenzo: According to DxOMark, ISO200 is actually ISO100. Normally, this is not cheating...​
    That's correct. Normally this is not cheating, and it's also not cheating in the case of the E-M5.
    Willy Lorenzo: And when you compare test images from the EM-5 at places like Imaging Resource, the exposure for ISO200 samples seems to always be one EV more than other cameras at ISO200.​
    And here the set of misleading datasets. Let me be clear, Willy, I'm not accusing you of trying to mislead here. Believe it or not, the EXIF data you're comparing from these images is lying to you, and I am not aware of images from any source other than that back up your statement.

    I know, it sounds crazy, but it's true, and has specifically called out the problem in a number of its reviews - unfortunately, in a way that's often overlooked by people who drop into DPReview quickly to grab a couple of RAWs from two different cameras for comparison purposes.

    Specifically, uses a Sigma 70mm f2.8 lens as its standard lens for testing Nikons. This lens has a known problem which, in combination with some Nikon bodies at some settings, results in EXIF data that significantly underreports an image's exposure.

    When one sets this lens to f8.0 on certain Nikon bodies, the aperture is actually significantly wider than f8.0, but it still reports f8.0 in the EXIF data of the image.

    You will find that the large discrepancy between, for instance, the D800 and E-M5 test images at exists in images taken at f8.0 but practically disappears at images taken at f2.8.

    You can have a look at IR's statement on this issue on their D800 review - specifically, it's on the Exposure page of the review in the Sensor section - the second paragraph under the bank of 4 images in this section. Here an excerpt:
    These shots were captured with a Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro lens, one of the sharpest lenses we've ever tested on We use Sigma 70mm lenses in most of our studio test shots because they are so sharp and are available for most major platforms. For some reason, though, on some (but not all) Nikon bodies, the Sigma causes the camera's exposure system to overexpose by somewhere between one third of a stop and a full stop depending on the aperture.
    This issue is also discussed in more detail in several threads on the DPReview forms, this one, for example. Here an excerpt:
    I also e-mailed Imaging-Resource about this issue where Nikon cameras are getting 50% more light than Canon ones and they are aware of it. Imaging resources put forward that the the Sigma 70mm Macro has a software bug which causes it to overexpose on most Nikon bodies. On newer Nikon cameras the Sigma reports the aperture incorrectly and lower than it actually is. So if you tell the lens to go to f/8.0 it's actually going to f/7.0.

    I believe this should be enough information to put this erroneous claim to rest. And note, Willy, I don't blame you at all - you simply believed the EXIF data from, something I usually do, as well. It took me a while to figure this all out, because I simply assumed the IR EXIF values were correct. A couple of things that motivated me to dig deeper were that I haven't seen this claim (of hugely different exposure values) made anywhere else (not even in the review, for instance), and I also found it very strange that the f8.0 test images showed a full stop of discrepancy, whereas the f2.8 images only showed around 1/5th of a stop of discrepancy.
    Hope that's all clear. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns! :)
  56. dedupe - it feels like I'm stepping back into the 90's when I try to interact with this forum :D
    Only this time, I have a 27" HDMI monitor and am running a modern browser. is anachronistic, but not necessarily in a charming way :)
  57. And the OM-D also overreports ISO more than some other cameras. You can see the same results from other sites that do tests using other lenses. For example, go to DXOMark and compare the Olympus to the D7000 and D800 and look at the chart for ISO measurement.
  58. Andy,
    What DxOMark measures is a different thing, altogether, and, as Willy wrote in his first post, "this is not cheating."

    He's absolutely right. See this DxOMark article on ISO for more info. Here an excerpt (emphasis mine, my comments in square brackets):
    The RAW ISO measured value [a type of Saturation-based Sensitivity measure] is almost always inferior to [lower than]* the ISO [aka Exposure Index or EI] that you decided to use with your camera. Take a Canon EOS 60D, for instance. When you select ISO 200, the measured RAW ISO sensitivity is 160. At ISO 800, the measured value is 632.
    In fact, it is precisely the JPEG ISO value [aka Exposure Index or EI] that all the manufacturers publish. They do so because JPEG (or any RGB) output is the visible output that photographers use. So when you select ISO 800 on your camera, you’ll have a JPEG ISO at 800, but the RAW ISO will be at (for instance) 550. The JPEG results are achieved by playing with the tone curve shape. This is absolutely legitimate: the ISO standard allows manufacturers to use this JPEG value. They are not cheating.

    * Regarding DxOMark's use of the phrase 'inferior to' here - DxOMark is a French company, and I believe the use of 'inferior to' in this sentence is due to a false translation - what some translators call a 'false friend'. 'Inferior to' implies a value judgement, but I believe the actual English phrase the DxOMark writers were looking for was the value-neutral 'lower than'. In other words, they were simply trying to say that the Saturation-based Sensitivity is almost always lower than whatever ISO Setting one might choose. Note also that this passage is not specific to the E-M5 or to Olympus cameras. It is a generalized statement applying to the world of digital cameras with no brand or model specificity implied.


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