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

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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
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  • Bob b.

    Gettin better all the time!

  • Davonroe

    Trade-offs. That’s the magic term. Scott has decided the pluses override the minuses. Knowing exactly what he would be missing as it relates to his own shooting, he made the switch anyway. What could be fairer than that?

    • Mr. Reeee

      More than anything, the EM5 needs improved ergonomics.

      • Bob B.

        It is great with the ( albeit- overpriced) grip.
        Needs non-squishy buttons
        Needs new menu system (I prefer the Pany menus)
        Needs the GX1 touch screen interface (much more intuitive)
        (I don’t care about the video)
        That all being said…it is an incredible stills camera.
        The IBIS is just phenomenal .
        The lens selection closes the deal for mirrorless for me. Nothing comes close.
        I know everyone has there own take on the camera, tho.

  • Anonymous

    great review, I fully agree.
    I especially hope, that olympus addresses the cons 2,3 and 5, 3 is easy, 2 would be a huge improvement for some types of shoting, and 5 is what pros need. nr. 1 of cours would be cool, but it is very unlikely, that a small sensor will ever be better than a larger sensor of the same generation, but of course a general improvement in sensor quality can be expected. nr. 4 would be nice too of course, but not so very important for my kind of shooting at the moment.

    just imagine an om-d with a fast af-c!

    • Duarte Bruno

      Haven’t Sony sensors already shown PD-AF on sensor for some time? I believe this is a matter that could be solved any minute now.

  • http://lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com Lion of the Blogosphere

    What the author meant is that low-light performance isn’t as good as a FULL FRAME DSLR.

    • Miroslav

      +1

      Exactly. DSLR advocates put all of them in one basket when talking about their “advantages”. But fail to explain to people that there is significant difference in performance between 5D MK III and 650D for example.

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/jimd/ JimD

      He was talking about big expensive state of the art DSLRs. Not the things that most users purchase and then claim the dynamics and attributes of the top gear. The M43 equipment is better than most DSLRs in use already. Sometimes due to newer design and features sometimes because the DSLR was never a more than a basic model in the first place. Then there is the benefit of size weight and top glass with M43. Of course, there will always be better 135 cameras, at a price. Each to their own requirements. But, don’t feed the cheap DSLR makers and claim the best by a brand name.
      An E class Mercedes is above almost any vehicle, however owners of A class Mercs cannot claim the attributes of the E class when comparing to a BMW 5 series, but for use in a busy city the A class has many advantages over the 5 series.

      • Mike

        This argument only works for Canon because Canon DSLRs are shit.

        A D3200 is an entry-level camera and will blow away any MFT camera in terms of low light performance.

        • Martin Voelker

          Re: NIkon D3200 – it’s true, I “downgraded” from a D300s and D7000 to a D3200 and on the image quality side there’s nothing left to be desired, especially with low light. So I’ll probably keep the cheap D3200 along with an Oly and most likely the Panasonic GH3 for the best of two worlds for a while.

    • joe

      same case like GH3 vs 5D II in low light performance.
      but moire/alias 5D was knocked down by GH2 (^_^)
      Why do not test

      • Duarte Bruno

        You better be talking about video quality exclusively, otherwise your post is lacking a lot of substantiation.

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/amalric/ amalric

    There is the usual hypocrisy in the FF/Micro argument. The only difference an agency will notice is the size of the image. However they won’t notice a difference in resolution or DR, so what gives?

    In film times the only way to increase resolution was a better lens, but nobody ever complained that the IQ was bad. Now even my E-P2 is better than film. Most of the problems in film came from bad metering, now we have excellent metering by DEFAULT.

    Did you ever noticed that Robin Wong or Ming Thein were limited by their use of Micro 4/3?
    The big difference between them and the hordes of measturbators is that they have good CONTENT, that they *see* things photographically, and that unfortunately you cannot buy with all the ingots of Fort Knox.

    So stop making comparisons: the only time you’ll need FF is when you need shorter DOF which in film time was not considered an advantage, but a LIMITATION, LOL. People knew how to compose in depth, an art completely forgotten by the illiterates with wads of money.

    So stop mentioning FF, you are not even worth it :)

    • Le frog

      “shorter DOF which in film time was not considered an advantage, but a LIMITATION, LOL”

      A dinosaur after my heart, at last!

      When I started dabbling in photography, in high school, back in the 70ies, these were the first rules I was taught by a friend, who has later dropped economics to become a professional cinematographer: Rule no 1: you change lenses not in order to capture a wider of a closer scene, but in order to change perspective and, thus, change the feeling of space and 3-dimensionality of the picture. Rule No 2: why the hell would you want an uber-fast prime? If you shoot wide open you are losing depth of field”.

      Never forgot the lessons, I must say, although it is so much harder when you try to frame properly in 3 dimensions and multiple layers, instead of isolating a single subject and pretending to be artistic…

      • http://www.43rumors.com/members/amalric/ amalric

        “When I started dabbling in photography, in high school, back in the 70ies, these were the first rules I was taught by a friend, who has later dropped economics to become a professional cinematographer: Rule no 1: you change lenses not in order to capture a wider of a closer scene, but in order to change perspective and, thus, change the feeling of space and 3-dimensionality of the picture. Rule No 2: why the hell would you want an uber-fast prime? If you shoot wide open you are losing depth of field”.

        Yes these are fundamental rules.Abuse of zooms made people forget that first and foremost a camera is a perspective machine. So you chose your lens to vary your composition in depth.

        Overemphasis on bokeh hides the sad reality that many are not able to compose in depth.
        Fast primes in film were needed because emulsions were much less sensitive to light than a sensor.

        Again the race for fast primes and bokeh, is often but a cheap way to display how much money you can throw to the dogs. The day the Leading Country with a Trillion debt will be defaulting, and tax breaks will come to an end, perhaps we will come back to our senses.

        To me it’s no surprise that those who are still capable of composing in depth at flickr come from the former poor countries and often use film: the Vietnamese, the Chinese, the Malays – it should really teach a lesson in humility. Often they can do better wt a 100 $ of equipment than those wt 10,000!

    • balthier bunansa

      in this case i wish there was “like” button for your comment, amalric

      • Rutrem

        :) a big “like” from me to.
        …anyway what the hell means FF on digital?! Is Pentax 645D much bigger then a FF dSLR, is such a big problem for someone that his digital camera has to have the sensor of the same size as an standard old more then 100 years..
        Anyone crys about standards used to buil cars,telephones,ships, of 60-100 years ago?

        • Per K

          Pentax 645 is called a MF camera and 24×36 sensor cameras are FF – not very logical I agree. I film days 24×36 was called small image cameras!
          Don’t know what FF comes from, but my guess is it came from the days when DSLR went from APS format to 24×36 = back to same sensor format as during the film era.
          One thing is that I never have see MF digital camera owners complaining over “FF”.
          Those who complain over and over again are 100% mFT fanboys………. a bit of “smaller brother syndrome here? :-)
          To me the naming in not logical, and should be confusing to newcomers. Nikon for instance talk about FX, DX and CX which I think is better information to customers. (Of course they never mentions mFT :-) )

          • OMega

            I agree, FF is a CaNikon thing could be for Fat Face, no way should it be used to suggest it is the full size sensor as CaNikon users like to think it is, as you rightly say there is the Pentax and please don’t forget the Leaf or ‘blads, they all have larger sensors. An interesting aside here is that while on a Digitalcourse recently I was surprised to note that those who used CaNikon had never heard of the larger formats, believing thier 24×36 sensor was the maximum size you could get unless they reverted to film. I also noted those who had ‘FF’ bodies rarely used them with body set to maximum setting because of the restricted number of files that could be saved, almost reverting to the days of a sunny beach on frame one and a Xmas tree on frame 36.

            There is also the interesting side of things of file size and working with it on your PC, it is certainly more resource hungry than a smaller file, something no one talks about.

          • roger48

            Full Frame simply means you are using all of the sensor and that the sensor use is not cropped. So, strictly speaking, the use of the term FF means you are using all of the sensor, be it a m43, APSC, 5×4, 24×36 or whatever.

            People talk about 24×36 full frame as if it is some holy grail, but it is simply a format adopted in the 1930s (?) as the smallest that would allow the production of acceptable photographs. So a bit like today’s compacts then.

            • OMega

              I hear what you say Roger but have to disagree completely. As the Term FF is used completely in relationship to the 24x36mm frame size, there has been no discussion anywhere where I have heard it being used in relationship to APS-C, NEX, or the 4/3 u4/3 format; or any other come to that. I’d go as far as to say it has even been used when comparing 24×36 against some of the larger size sensors available. Yes, FF is virtualy used when speaking of the 24x36mm format.

              • Torstein

                FF or full frame is a completely useless term, must be from marketing. Back in 1977 or so when I got my first SLR, a Canon FTB, we used to call it 35mm.

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/bbking/ bbking

      What’s your problem? Is it that Lion guy or Scott Bourne?

      I, in fact, agree with you that DoF and “bokeh” is the in thing that a lot of people don’t understand how to use, or is over used but the “Lion” guy was only pointing out that DSLR can also mean APS-C, which has a closer size to 4/3 than it does to FF.

      Why the frustration?

      • http://www.43rumors.com/members/bbking/ bbking

        As a matter of fact, DSLR can also mean 4/3 but ask anyone out there and they won’t mention it.

        • hytik

          @bbking

          They don’t mention 43 DSLR because it is dead in the water and they where bit players even at best.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > only time you’ll need FF is when you need shorter DOF which in film time was not considered an advantage, but a LIMITATION
      Limiting also usefulness of big apertures for gathering more light in many uses.

      Bigger format has real light gathering advantage only when allowing shallower depth of field.
      Stopping down to same DOF negates all sensor area advantage of bigger format.

    • Bud

      I agree. You only have to look at some of the recent BBC dramas with their obsession with shallow depth of field, completely distracting and affected.

  • Bob B.

    Interesting that Mr. Bourne does not own the P/L 25mm f/1.4…?..

    • Duarte Bruno

      Crossed my mind too. He’s only got the Oly 17mm covering from 12mm to 45mm.

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/bbking/ bbking

      Or even the 20mm f1.7!

      I guess the 17mm is pretty close to it but still.

      • Bob B.

        I noticed after I made the comment…He is ALL Oly!
        I also think that the Pany Wide-Angle Zoom is a better choice for a workin photographer.

  • dau

    It is possible to shoot in low light on mft. I do it all the time on my g3. Just use a fast prime and adjust the shutter speed acordingly. Not rocket science!

    • peevee

      Exactly. 5D3 has only 1.29EV advantage in high ISO noise over E-PM2 etc. Take Canon 24/2.8, it loses 1EV over Oly 12/2 already wide open, but the thing is IT IS UNUSABLE WIDE OPEN, very unsharp, it is only ALMOST as sharp as 12/2 at f/2 by f/5.6! At which point the whole system loses by 1 2/3 EV to E-PM2 etc.

      OK, you have loads of money for Canon 24/1.4L II IS USM. At 1.4, 2, 2.8 it is still unsharp across the frame, OK by somewhere between f/3 and f/4, but again the system barely matches Oly 12/2!

      And indoors, in close quarters, shooting 24 at f/1.4 is simply unpractical as DoF will be too narrow, most of the room you shoot will be WAY out of DoF even if the 24/1.4 was tack sharp at 1.4 (which it is not by long shot).

  • MarcoSartoriPhoto on Flickr

    It always depends on what you need. I never take photos at birds or at running people, and I prefer the portability of this system. Add the fact that some glasses are simply gorgeous… http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcosartoriphoto/8293198393/in/photostream Here is a shot taken with Zuiko75mm. In my stream you can see also landscape pics taken with it. When I took that photo at Willem Defoe I wasn’t alone, there were at least 10 others pro photographers with their FF beasts. But none of them raised their cameras to capture the moment he turned again and smiled. Same thing here with actress Maria Hostätter. http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcosartoriphoto/8352655273/in/photostream/lightbox/

  • Mymaco on Instagram

    I try to post again my comment, if it appears two times, I apologize.
    To everyone each own, I say. Since I don’t take pictures at birds or running people, I found what I need in this format:portability and quality. These portraits, actress Maria Hofstätter http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcosartoriphoto/8352655273/in/photostream/lightbox/ and actor Willem Defoe http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcosartoriphoto/8293198393/in/photostream were candids I took with omd-em5 and zuiko75mm. I assure you that printed 1meter width, you can’t say that mines come from a small sensor camera. Mr Defoe pic is hanging near 20 other pics in Rome, and noone can say it has less resolution than a printed photo taken with a dx1. I’m not stupid to say that there’s no difference between an omd and a dx1, but I’m smart enough to think that it’s not that difference that can turn a photo in a nice photo or a beautiful photo.

  • nikku

    Compared to film, I can shoot in near darkness with my OMD. ISO 3200 and image stabilization? With a lens that is super sharp even wide open? Hell yes!

    • Rutrem

      I can shoot in low light with my Pana GH2 with a 20$ lens without going over 2000ISO… maybe the quality is not stellar but i can use 20$ lens and do the shoot!

  • http://alatchinphotography.com Abraham

    Another honest photographer finding m43rds a perfect balance for his photography… That is all that counts, whether you, me or the next guy enjoys the system and its benefits!

    Personally I sold my FF sony kit for a full m43rds (with 43rds glass) system, I love the lenses, I have the EP2, EPL2 and OMD and they are all excellent cameras. I am very, very excited to see the gradual build-up of a very modern, very competitive camera system for almost any user.

  • http://worldwitholympus.designbykl.com kl

    I just shot quite extensively for a wedding with the OM-D and coupled with the 25 1.4 and 45 1.8 and along E3, the speed of ACCURATE single focus is as good if not better then E3 and probably most APS-c cams (canon 5d, 20d, 350d, nikon D5100) I’ve used. The 9FPS is so incredibly fast that I had to switch to 4fps option so it doesn’t bust my 32GB memory card in 15mins. I’ve not use the 1-series from canon or nikon before so I reckon they must be better going at >$3000. But that said, when it comes to lower light levels, I still think the E3 has a slight edge over OM-D when it comes to acquiring focus.

    Also I encounter situations where the OM-D focus wasn’t sure and mis-focus often especially when shooting into scenes with many tiny light sources (eg, twinkling christmas tree lights).

    So like all real user reviews over extended period shooting different scenarios, the OM-D is not the magic pill that cures all, but it sure gives you the results if you learn its behaviour and quirks.

    And of course it’s still behind FF when it comes to outright IQ especially in low-light dark scenes, but Olympus has never claim it can match FF (not like Fuji with their x-pro press release)

  • Anonymous

    Dont forget the worst con for m43…the low iso’s are SHIT.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/j-f_leguen/ JF

      Lol !!! yes you are right and as E-M5 sensor is better than any canon APS-C, we can say that Canon APS-C are sub-shit…

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/amalric/ amalric

    If one excludes C&N FF overblown advantages because of ginormous size, the only true FF competitor left is Leica, which is v. compact.

    Not surprisingly there is or will be a gold rush towards mirrorless FF.

    Again I am not really convinced by the advantage. Steve Huff ran some of his Crazy Comparisons and I remember I couldn’t tell the difference between the E-P2 and the M8, or between the M9 and the E-M5.

    Allegedly Leica has the advantage in colour depth. It has also no AA filter, but that’s the case now with m4/3 too, so difference in resolution might be down to the lenses.

    Can you compare a Panny Summilux or an Oly 75mm to native Leica glass, which is 3 or 4 times more expensive? Again Huff showed that you can’t really tell the difference in resolution.

    Leica also means MF and mediocre performance in low light. Sony RX series is therefore the competitor to watch. But will it have the flexibility and the range of m4/3? Will the advantage be so great? Or will you end up breaking the bank for some imaginary feature you’ll hardly make use of? And end up with a few ultraexpensive BIG Zeiss glasses?

    That again brings up the question of how GAS anxiety is the other face of the camera operator’s lack of photog. skills. m4/3 allows a LOT of scope for those who set to improve them. Just look at the best blogs.

    • MarcoSartoriPhoto

      It was OMD-Em5 compared to Leica Monochrome. Since Mono needs some post production with LR, it’s really hard to notice differences from an omd shot that went through LR too. Even with ooc jpegs a lot of people could be fooled. Of course if someone counts pixels… But that’s a different story. Where are you from btw, if I can ask?

      • Anonymous

        Marco – the Dafoe portrait would have been a great picture even if you had used a smartphone – assuming you had managed to capture it, and despite the fact that you would not have captured the same amount of hair, skin, and wrinkle detail! But of course that’s the difference between gear obsession and photography as an art. Personally, In my film days, I had not even switched to auto-focus. My FE2 was perfectly sufficient, for almost all my needs and the real limitation was the weight I had to carry (and the pictures I missed all those times I could not carry a telephoto, or even a camera at all. Even with 1″ sensors we can do much more that we could in the film days. I am almost inclined to suspect that, depending on what kind of film we are talking about, even an XZ1 or LX3 would allow you to take more technically accomplished pictures and under many more circumstances than any professional film camera of the 20ies, 30ies, perhaps even 50ies – but this is not going to turn any of us into a latter day Robert Kapa! That’s just a conceit of gearheads who believe that technology can replace, rather than merely extend ability.

        I think Scott Bourne has got it exactly right: APS mirrorless do not offer any signigicant advantage over m4/3, APS-DSLR have an advantage only for sports and BIF and FF is really a specialist tool, for specific jobs, when you really need extreme detail (e.g. archeology, forensics, maybe architecture, extreme crops of distant wildlife etc) or extreme low light capabilities. Of course, professionals who have already invested heavily in a FF DSLR and specialist high quality lenses will not switch easily, and this is a perfectly rational business decision for them. Hell – I don’t think it would be rational for them to switch from nikon to canon and vice versa, either, just because the other brand has produced a new great body or a new great lens. But for someone building a new system it’s a totally different matter.

        On a different mood: APS sensors ARE, technically (or rather, by definition), “crop” sensors – when you use them with a lens designed for an FF camera, for the very simple reason that the lens covers a wider area than the sensor. That’s what “crop” really means.

    • http://www.43rumors.com/members/sneye/ sneye

      Mirrorless FF is a bad idea as the size of the lenses is dictated by the sensor rather than by the viewing mechanism. The NEX mount is a good example of how you can combine the worst attributes of reflex and mirrorless in one horrid monstrosity. Mirrorless FF should use a focus flange distance of at least 35mm to achieve reasonable operational balance between body and optics. The lenses themselves must be either retro-focal and physically long or telecentric with wide diameters. In either case such a system would not have much of a size advantage over your average FF DSLR. But then, rumor has it that Sony is planning to introduce a 36X24 sensor into its NEX mount. Absolutely ridiculous if you ask me, but then what do I know? It’s a matter of scale economics and if the unwashed demand it they should have it.

      • http://www.43rumors.com/members/amalric/ amalric

        I live in Rome, so perhaps we are not too faraway?

        • MarcoSartori

          Vicenza. Ero a Roma alla Casa del Cinema il mese scorso!

      • Anonymous

        Sneye – why should a mirrorless FF have a 35 mm flange distance? M mount lenses (the standard Leica film rangefinder) have a 27 mm flange distance. 35+ mm flange distance (with the concomitant need for retrofocus design and bigger lenses in general) is the bane of SLRs – because extra room is needed to accomodate the mirror. A mirrorless FF can make do with the same flange distance of film rangefinders – that’s what they are really, rangefinders with an electronic rather than optical rangefinder!

        • http://www.43rumors.com/members/sneye/ sneye

          Digital M’s have a special sensor architecture to allow for the sharper light angles typical of rangefinder lenses. I can’t imagine Sony or any other mass manufacturer using such an expensive, specialized sensor given that the motivation for a FF mirrorless is related to using adapted SLR glass (which is mostly retrofocal anyway).

          • Anonymous

            sneye – I see: so what you really try to say is that a longer flange distance is necessary in order to get telecentricity on the cheap, and, at the same time, avoid special sensor construction (non flat sensors or special microlenses or whatever) – and then you go back to the problem of retrofocus design for the wideangles – and in the meantime you gain nothing in terms of lens size? On the other hand, modern manufacturing techniques (CAD design, robots and automation, special mouldings) might make easier (although not necessarily cheaper, at least not until you get mass production and economies of scale) the construction of aspherical elements. Yes, I see your point, but I think it is more of a time-frame problem: I think it will happen, just not overnight and not tomorrow and there will be plenty of dead bodies on the side of the road – not every current lens manufacturer will have enough funds for R&D or for new manufacturing facilities… There is one thing that I refuse to believe though: I am convinced that the trend is towards more compact designs and I cannot see how camera makers can buck the trend and still survive. But that’s just me.

  • Dunne

    @admin: Off topic – rss feed doesn’t work anymore.

    • Miroslav

      And non moderated comments show up in “Flat View”, at least in Opera and Seamonkey. Still a lot of tiny bugs…

  • Pavlo

    So, there is still a big room for compact mirrorless FF ILC… Sooner or later someone will fill the gap.

  • RSS

    Admin, your RSS feed stopped working, and there are problems with comment display.

  • Drazick

    Tethering, better yet with WiFi, do you hear Olympus?!?!
    We want full WiFi control from our phones / tablets.

  • Per K

    The 24 x 36 sensors are more than twice as large and subsequently gathers a lot more light than a mFT sensor, that’s law of physics and leads to better IQ all else equal.
    Currently I do not own a mFT camera (used to), but I think about an mFT camera for two purposes: Macro (long DOF), and as second camera (lighter and easier to carry around) My first camera is a D800 – perfect when I go uot to make great photo (at least as great as I can) Then I bring tripod and a bunch of excellent lenses.
    What makes me hesitate is I also have a Sony RX100 – extremely lightweight extremely good lens at 28mm including macro. And sensor IQ is an par with the Pana G3 I used to own. Is a Oly EM-5 plus macro worth the investment???

    • Rchard

      And a Hassy HD4 sensor is more than twice as large as the sensor in a D880, so why not use a Hassy or doesn´t the law of physics apply here?

    • Mark

      Have you considering getting a Nikon 1 V2 body?
      At least you could use your FX lenses with a 2.7x crop factor.

    • MarcoSartoriPhoto on Flickr

      It depends on your needs, since you already own a heavy camera and smaller one as back up. I own an OMD-Em5. My camera bag weights maximum 5 kgs and inside there are: OMD, 12mm, 25mm, 12-50mm macro (kit), 45mm, 75mm and Voigtländer17.5mm. Sometimes I leave kit lens and put SRL Noktor50mm. These two last lenses weight more or less 400 grams each, but are f0.95 lenses. There’s an iPad, cables for iPad and iPhone, some ND filters. Since most primes are fast (or really fast) lenses I never use a tripod. I have a gorillapod but I use it for some macros and for infrared photography. To me portability is a must: that doesn’t mean I can’t lift heavy weights, simply that it’s not my style. Be it standing by a red carpet, or walking on snow, or dodging people in Venice, I prefer to move faster and lighter. BTW, zuiko60mm macro is really a good and extremely light lens, sharp, and with a good price. I don’t own it, but I tried it for a day from a friend.

    • http://worldwitholympus.designbykl.com kl

      Only if you wish to have an in-between system with much more versatility compare to RX100. A D800 with a bunch of excellent lens and tripod will add up pretty fast in terms of weight. I can pack an OM-D with 14,25,45,40-150 with 4 batteries for around 2kg in a sling bag.

  • OM-4

    All that talk about fast glass.
    People forget in the film days fast glass also meant a brighter OVF in darker venues.

    Not neccesary less dof but more the abillity to see in the dark and shoot stopped down with fast film.
    Oly was one of the first companies to have auto aperture on lenses.
    Anyone tried shooting legacy glass stopped down on digi body with OVF in low light?

    VF gets dark, right? EVF has compensated for that to some extend. Rangefinders have clear view all the time but other problems to go with it.

    Master the tools you got, find the stuff that suits you and be happy.
    The biggest, most expensive cookingrange doesn’t make you a chef.

  • Mark

    It depends on the type of photography, although I can think of a few more advantages for using an OM-D EM-5:
    – 5 axis Image Stabilisation in-Body.
    – Tiltable touch screen.
    – No mirror slap or internal vibrations.

  • OMega

    Off thread,

    Hi Admin, what is news regards family,time is moving, I’m beginning to think Admin junior has already mastered the use of a time delay device.

    OMega..

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/amalric/ amalric

    Now matter how clearly I try to put it, people will still rehash the FF advantage. If your camera is ‘good enough’ the advantage might be little or not at all. IBIS was mentioned: it allows me to shoot a small camera from the hip and get good pics down in the evening, which no big dSLR will allow me.

    I leave to Ming Thein the general case:

    ” Once a photographer has mastered the use of light, composition and perspective, identifying subjects, and I suppose the degree of postprocessing, it means that they are able to create magnificent images regardless of the equipment to hand. I remember personally going through this moment of liberation – a kind of ‘eureka!’ – after which I realized the camera really does not matter; any focal length or format is fair game. Light and composition take center stage, and all else is secondary.”

    “This austerity by necessity actually forced me to focus on improving the quality of my images through the strength of the compositions; more importantly, I learned the skill of previsualization of both composition and perspective even before bringing the camera to my eye. The were occasions, for instance social gatherings, where I felt the need for a smaller one nondescript camera. I landed up purchasing the smallest Canon point-and-shoot I could find. That IXUS SD780IS landed up following me everywhere, riding shotgun in a pocket – simply because it was so small and unobtrusive. However, I don’t think it was the camera or its size that did this; rather it was me applying the previsualization techniques learned with the Leica M8 to the smaller format. I was getting images I liked, and which were compositionally strong – regardless of the format or type of camera. For the first time in my work, the camera became transparent.
    Now, rather than buying something because the spec sheet looked good, or because it came with bragging rights, I bought equipment because it allowed me to achieve the specific look or feel I desired. Coupled with my postprocessing experience, I now felt completely in control of my images; I could create and share exactly what I saw in my mind’s eye.”

    http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/12/09/less-is-more/

    What is important here is that m4/3 is perhaps the most flexible system available today. For specialised tasks you might well elect another one, but never never your might be able to argue that the system doesn’t make up for your lack of photographic skills, for your lack of thinking, for your lack of training.

    Further no amount spent on gear fill fix that.
    So you might as well start to work now on honing your skills, and stop arguing that a FF would make a full blown artist.
    That is simply not how things work

  • dan

    Olympus has THE WORST support of any camera manufacturer… TRUE!

  • http://www.43rumors.com/members/amalric/ amalric

    Not true at all: I had a faulty E-PL1 exchanged for an E-PL3 across two countries, in only one month, FOR FREE.

    Let me add that always invoking FF135 as the yardstick is a dangerous game. It sunk 4/3 despite its excellent lenses. But now that we have superior sensors and scalable bodies the true worth of a (micro) 4/3 system appears. It will become even more apparent when those lenses will resurrect due to a Pro body.

    If you need a FF get it – and suffer the consequences. Surely no Pro will tie himself to a single format. It’s not like film: digital caters to a multiplicity of formats according to need.

    To think that only one system must fit all is just a mental illness of those who use cameras only to compare samples. Equivalence trolls who have wrecked many a forum.

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