Olympus OM-D EM-5 Review By Scott Bourne (and refurbished E-M5 deal)

Scott Bourne, who recently sold all of his professional Canon gear and switched to Micro Four Thirds (see what is in his bag now) wrote a long term review of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera (refurbished here for $829). He started using the E-M5 because “[he] wanted a light-weight, low-profile, small, compact camera system that is easy to carry and provides professional-quality images“. What about the image quality? Scott writes:

But what about image quality? Can that small sensor deliver professional images? Absolutely! As long as the camera is operated by someone who knows how to properly use it.

There are obviously also some drwabacks. Mainly…:

I can’t shoot in pre-dawn light and expect the same results I got from a Canon 5D MK III. These smaller sensors suffer when there’s low light. So I simply wait for good light or make my own. The biggest difference for me is in the lack of ability to capture moving subjects. The Canon 1DX has the best autofocus in the world. It can track anything in almost any light, going fast or slow, near or far, coming at you or flying by. The Olympus cannot. The OM-D EM-5 is pretty good at panning subjects. It’s amazing at static objects. The AF on a static object is as fast as there is. Once you try to shoot moving objects the Olympus (and all other MFT cameras I’ve tried) stumbles.

But then…:

One big advantage of the MFT cameras and the Olympus system specifically is the quality of the primes. The very fast, 12mm, 45mm and 75mm Zuiko lenses are spectacular. They are as sharp as anything I’ve used ever. Especially the 75. It may be the sharpest lens I’ve ever tested. With an effective focal length (EFL) of 150mm at f/1.8, it would be an impossible lens to get for a big full-frame DSLR. So here the trade-off is in the plus column. The glass is fast, sharp, contrasty and incredibly reliable.

Scott Bourne sums up the pros and cons of the E-M5 (and the MFT system in general) as follows:

The biggest pros to using the MFT system

1. Stealth
2. Small size
3. Low weight
4. Easy to pack and carry
5. Amazing glass
6. Lower overall cost
7. Options not available to DSLR users

The biggest cons to using the MFT system

1. Low-light performance isn’t as good as DSLR
2. AF on moving subjects is sub-par
3. Can’t tether
4. Short battery life
5. Minimal support system

Read Scott Bourne’s review here, sample images are provided.

More Olympus OM-D E-M5 deals on Amazon clicking here.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 price check: [shopcountry 29074]

Shot with the E-M5 – Image credit: Scott Bourne

New GH3 tests and reviews.


Lumix GH3 vs Canon 5D Mk2

Time for a new GH3 roundup:

Lumix GH3 and Canon 5D Mk2: ISO noise comparison via Discovermirrorless. GH3 test at Mynavi (translation here). A nice french video to test the GH3 at Vimeo. The next “home made” GH3 ISO test at Vimeo. GH3 versus top video cameras like the RED at Vimeo. PictureStyle Setting and ETC Mode Test at Vimeo. GH3 EVF and Screen at Soundimagesplus.

Check the GH3 price and in Stock status at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

Olympus 40-150mm review at Photozone. 60mm macro at SLRgear.


Image courtesy: Photozone

The Olympus 40-150mm has been tested by Photozone (Click here). The lens has no spectacular specs but “it is a quite good entry-level telephoto zoom lens. It may not be a cracker in terms of delivered resolution but it is no show-stopper either. The image quality is quite impressive in the low to mid portion of the zoom range. At 150mm it is somewhat weaker but not terribly so.
Welld odne Olympus…and now give us some f/2.8 Zuiko! :)

More new reviews:
Winterimpressionen – Sigma 19 mm F2.8 EX DN (PenAndTell).
Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 zoom at 100mm – GH3 EVF and Screen (Soundimagesplus).
Olympus 75mm f/1.8 compared to Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 at Soundimagesplus.
60mm macro test at SLRgear.
Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8 sharpness evaluation (M43blogspot).

Toyo Optics 12.5-75mm review.

We are all waiting for the day that Olympus will introduce their famous f/2.0 zooms in native Micro Four Thirds mount. But maybe you were not aware that there is already a cheaper and faster zoom lens out there. It is the Toyo Optics 12.5-75mm. A reader sent me this link to an one year old review of the lens tested on the GH2. Anyway, while this may be a good solution for a few of you I still hope that Olympus will do some f/2.0 zooms too. Does it make sense for the MFT system? I think the answer is yes!

Some Toyo lenses can be found on eBay (Click here).

The two superb Zuiko f/2.0 zooms:
14-35mm f/2.0 on eBay (Click here) and via Slidoo eBay.
35-100mm f/2.0 on eBay (Click here) and via Slidoo eBay.

The new Panasonic GH3 videos and tests roundup!

Barcelona 2012 test Panasonic gh3 from The Windcharger on Vimeo.

For now only European can find the GH3 in Stock and shipping. For example at Wex UK and Wex DE or on eBay (via Slidoo). Amazon Japan should have the camera in Stock for the first time tomorrow. US and Canadian readers have to wait a bit before the camera will arrive massively in their stores. Some auctions can be found one Bay (via Slidoo) while GH3 accessories like battery grip and mic are alreayd in Stock on eBay (via Slidoo) .Let’s check some of the latest video mostly shot by regular 43rumors readers that were lucky enough to get the camera before Christmas. Enjoy!

A GH3 Codec Test on Vimeo.
A first GH3 audio test by FrugalFilmmakers on Vimeo.
GH3 vs Hacked GH2 vs Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera vs 5DMKIII shootout on Vimeo. And you have to guess which camera is which!
Another GH3 flies on an Cinestar 6 multirotor (Vimeo).
A first GH3 test by Jon Bryant on Vimeo.
Nice video of Bragg Creek on Vimeo.
GH3 and snow on Vimeo.
GH3 50p slow motion test on Vimeo.

Panasonic GH3 in Stock status and price check: Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.