OMD em5 as secondary camera for Nikon D700 user?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by wm, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. WM


    Just checking if anyone who uses a Nikon D700, also use the OMD em5? Or even compared to the fuji x-pro?
    Are you happy with the oly performance in terms of AF, Noise and outright performance?

    How does it compare at ISO 6400 or 12800? (some websites say its better some say it's worse so I'm confused! )

    How does the AF speed compare?

    How well does it work shooting kids running around?

    Thanks a million for your help.
  2. I used to have the D700 and now use an OMD(among others) Hi ISO I can't help you with. No comparison in AF speed and accuracy - D700 hands down, OMD not even on the same playing field in my opinion. And I sometimes shoot beasties as well as people.
  3. We are talking about one camera with a sensor twice the size and a phase detection AF system, so the sensor performance, from noise to resolution is going to be better and an AF system, especially for anything moving, that's going to be superior to something with a sensor half the size, with few fast options zoom-wise.
    If you need a secondary camera for a D700, get another D700 or the D7000, or the D800 and make the D700 your secondary camera. Don't buy an E-M5. It ain't the same thing.
    As something to use INSTEAD of the D700, the E-M5 would work great, but as a secondary/backup camera? I'd be looking to buy a backup that actually worked with the stuff I was using on my primary camera.
  4. Greg, the D700 has 4 times the sensor size. Wee-Ming, those high ISOs are pretty tough for micro 4/3 cameras, and the E-M5 from what I've seen is not substantially night-and-day better than cameras like the GX1, for example. I agree with Greg about AF speed; you see the contrast-detect of the E-M5 is being touted as "fast" because the E-P1 and E-P2 were so unbelievably slow. You still run into then same limitations of the camera being unable to follow moving subjects. In fact, if you want that, you may consider the new Sony NEX-5R, which is "only" $750 with lens, and is mirrorless, but has phase detect. Another option, again agreeing with Greg, is to get yourself a lesser Nikon DSLR. The D3200 or D5100 is relatively small, especially when paired with a tinier lens, like the 18-105mm or even 35mm f/1.8G. You get to retain the full compatibility with your current lenses and flashes as well, which is a bonus. The Olympus is also relatively expensive for what you get, $1,000 is Nikon D7000 territory, not to mention the price of many of the lenses. The downside compared to the E-M5 is weathersealing and size.
  5. I have both, having owned the D700 from just after it was released along with some decent lenses, like the Big Three 2.8 zooms. I've owned the OMD for a few months now. I have the 12-50 kit lens, the 14/2.8, 20/1.7, 45/1.7, Samyang 7.5FE and the 100-300.
    The D700 kit is like handling a bunch of stage weights after using the OMD for a while. Obviously the D700's sensor and AF performance is superior, resolution aside. But it's a huge, heavy lump and for non-commercial use where there's walking involved (ie recreational hiking, which is the majority of my photography) it's a no-brainer to use the OMD. I've hardly picked up the D700 since buying it.
    If it weren't for the absurd depreciation and the periodic need for extremely low light use - where it's marginally superior - I'd dump the Nikon gear and buy some of the higher end m43 lenses. With a bit of pp shooting RAW even the low light performance is pretty acceptable. From the lenses I've used you need to shoot RAW as the CA is fairly heavy. LR4 takes care of it effortlessly.
    The OMD is a brilliant little camera, not without its faults, but the sheer compactness of the system is a joy.
  6. Having bought into M4/3 and owning both FF and APS-C Canon, my view is you get into M4/3 for the fun of being able to carry a whole system in small bag. In this sense it is great to use. Quality is acceptable once you have mastered the leanring curve of the system and know how to get good results. However, if you are after quality FF wins hands down.
  7. Roy +1.
    With care, and at risk of exciting some Nikon fans, I reckon I can get quality out of the OM D and a good lens similar to my old D200.The weight, or lack of it, is a joy.
  8. John
    Whilst the D200 (which I also have) can still produce decent pictures in good light I would rate the OMD as vastly better on all counts. You can certainly use an OMD up to - and some would say beyond - iso 3200 with a bit of nr in pp.
    For me the live histogram is one of the most useful developments, even if the implementation is a bit odd on the OMD.
  9. Roy
    I bow to your experience at high ISO - my landscapes are at base ISO, and there the two seem to me similar. The larger sensor of the 200 trades off against the newer sensor technology of the OMD. In DR and ability to pull up shadow detail without noise, and digital edge effects when sharpening, I'd not put a lot between them. It may be very subject-dependent; closeish intimate landscapes are a real strength of the OM D. And it is definitely lenses that rule! Sufficve it to say, I use the OM D more and more.
  10. WM


    Thanks folks. So, are we pretty much saying that the IQ of the OMD is about the same as the D200? If it is, then as the IQ of the D200 is quite far from the D700, logic states that the IQ of the OMD is also quite far from the D700 !
    Having said that though, the sensor technology of the D700 is about 4 years older than the OMD. Obviously the sensor technology over 4 years still cannot compete with a 4-year old FF sensor?
    I apologise for the large number of questions...........
  11. And you still choose to ignore the size difference of the two sensors?
    This looks to be a lost cause....
  12. Because the size of the sensor is the most important thing:
  13. Had a D200 and have an E-PM1, and I have to say, the E-PM1 is a better sensor than the D200. The E-M5 is a much better sensor than the D200.
    As for sensor size, without looking at the OP's work (yes, I am being lazy), I would say it is an issue depending on what you shoot. To my eyes, portraits shot in studio or large amounts of light tend to be better with larger sensors, or rather, the larger lenses that accompany those sensors. That said, if I was shooting available light at f1.8, smaller sensors have a slight advantage in the depth of field (there is such a thing as too shallow).
    Also, if you tend to shoot at smaller aperture (i.e. f22), diffraction will affect the image less with larger sensors. So there is another advantage.
    But that's just my thought.
  14. Most reviews compare the OMD image quality favorably with its current APS-C competition (NEX). Since both use current generation Sony imaging chips this is not that much of a surprise. Before investing significant amounts, perhaps it makes sense to rent an OMD and a lens or 2 (high quality primes and/or the new Panny 12-35 f2.8) in see if the camera makes sense for you.

    I am still using a 12mp Oly m43 and 2 kit lenses, but have not touched my Canon 5D and L lenses in over a year.
  15. "So, are we pretty much saying that the IQ of the OMD is about the same as the D200? If it is, then as the IQ of the D200 is quite far from the D700, logic states that the IQ of the OMD is also quite far from the D700 !"
    In short the OMD is far superior to the D200 on all counts. To the limited extent that it falls short of the D700 its other benefits more than compensate: particularly if you also have a D700 for the times it's better suited!
    I have PMd you.
  16. The OMD is the first M4/3 camera with a sensor and image quality that wows me. AF is very fast and as well but certainly won't track like a D700. Overall an impressive camera.
  17. And you still choose to ignore the size difference of the two sensors?​
    He's right to ignore it. After all, would you say the larger Canon EOS D30 sensor performs better than that of the smaller sensor in the OM-D? Of course not, because the D30 sensor is as old as the hills. When considering image quality, the size of a sensor should only be taken into account if both sensors are from the same generation. The D700 and OM-D are at least 4 years apart.
  18. When considering image quality, the size of a sensor should only be taken into account if both sensors are from the same generation.​
    This approach might be of interest to engineers but for photogrpahers what matters is absolute IQ regardless of the generation. My 8 year old 5D whips my EP-L2 from last year. That doesn't mean the EP-L2 sensor hasn't made some advances on 8 year old sensor technology. The OP is looking for a comparison that he is familiar with to gauge the IQ of the OMD.
  19. I have both the D700 and the OM-D EM-5. I am happy with the performance of both, but they are for somewhat different purposes. I use the D700 mainly to shoot salsa dancing and some to shoot action tennis. Salsa is in dimly lit club atmospheres, and I use a Tamron 28-75/2.8 with SB-600 or SB-800 flash, typically shooting at ISO 2000 or so. I am beginning to experiment with the OM-D for salsa- it did pretty well in a few shots at around ISO 5000 using the supplied, very small flash: Note, though that I have not been able to do a one-for-one comparison in Camera Raw yet (have to update my CS4 to CS6)- one thing that is impressive about the D700 is the ability to manipulate the raw images without much damage, pulling a lot of background out of the shadows with the fill slider; I hope to see this come true with the Olympus, but must wait...
    As far as other applications, I have been playing with some legacy lenses on the OM-D and doing strictly manual focus. It is a real pleasure to use in this way and will get me a lot of reach over the D700 when shooting tennis tournaments at public courts, where there are often courts I can't reach easily with the 70-200/2.8.
    While playing with a Rokkor 35 mm/f2.8 lens indoors (because the weather was so bad), I pushed the ISO all the way to 10,000 for the available light, took advantage of the in-body stabilization and pulled off this handheld shot at f/5.6, 1/30 second: This is a JPEG directly from the OM-D. I have the noise filter turned off in the OM-D and the sharpening turned all the way down. As a result, I applied two layers of high-pass sharpening at a radius of about 2.1, 100% opacity. There is minimal noise in the shadows, which could be filtered very easily if it were critical.
    Although the OM-D's weakest capability is continuous auto-focus, AF-S works quite well in moderate-to-good light. In the club shot above, the built-in focus assist light had no trouble at ranges of 15-20 feet; although I was using the 14mm/2.5 at about f/5.6, so I probably had quite a lot of DOF to work with. The few shots I made in the club were relatively snappy (responsive); note that even the D700 struggles to get off shots in this lighting from time to time.
    Personally I am very pleased to have both cameras at hand. The Olympus is portable, and I have a whole handful of inexpensive, high quality second-hand lenses to use with it, along with the 12-50, Panasonic 14/2.5 and Panasonic 100-300. High ISO performance is quite good and responsiveness is far better than the GH1 I just retired.
    Best regards, Bob
  20. Hi Wee-Ming. The autofocus of the Olympus EM-5 is fast and accurate and at least as good as a Nikon D700. Autofocus tracking is not very usable though. I haven't tried it, but with the right technique, I think the EM-5 is fast enough for photographing kids on the move. The EM-5 is a responsive and highly configurable camera that doesn't get in your way. The shutter sound is soft and there's no mirror slap like the D700 has. The EM-5 is a rather silent camera and with firmware 1.5 the soft humming sound of the image stabilization is almost completely gone too. Although the high ISO image quality is not as good as the D700, it's amazing to see what the engineers have managed to squeeze out of the much smaller micro 4/3 sensor. Personally I would have no problems using the EM-5 with ISO settings up to 1600 in most cases. Other people say the EM-5 gives them acceptable results up to ISO6400. I wouldn't use either camera at settings above ISO1600 for larger prints unless you have no choice. In terms of resolution the EM-5 beats the D700. More pixels and with good glass it just rocks. I think the dynamic range of the EM-5 is better too. Then there's the size and weight issue. Well, in case you haven't noticed, the EM-5 camera system is compact and lightweight. Unlike a D700 with several Nikon lenses, you can comfortably carry it everywhere all day. I don't own both, but I think the Olympus EM-5 is a more then capable secondary camera. In fact, I think it's so good, it might become your primary system.

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