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Olympus E-M5 and Panasonic GF5 news…


Panasonic GF5: I just learned who was the person leaking the GF5 picture. It was the Hong Kong model Angela Baby showed! She is very likely shooting a commercial for the new GF5 and made the big mistake to post the picture of the camera on her instagram profile :)

Olympus E-M5: Robin Wong (Click here) tested the E-M5 effectiveness of the 5-Axis IS and continuous autofocus with 3D tracking with the 75-300mm lens. And your reaction after seeing the studio samples form Dpreview has been impressive. Over 81% liked the image quality of the E-M5 (Click here to see the poll).

NEX-7 versus X PRO 1 versus E-M5 USA sales: Finally the two highest quality mirrorless cameras are shipping. The X PRO 1 (Click here) and the NEX-7 (CLick here). But the E-M5 still sells well and is right behind the two at Amazon US rankings (Click here). My guess is that the E-M5 will sell better than the other two cameras. Let’ see in a few months if I am right!

E-M5 preorders (Click on the names of the stores to see the product page):
Black E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, Digitalrev and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, and Amazon Japan.
Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto , Digitalrev and J&R.
Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland , Digitalrev and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.

  • bli

    Oh, baby angel — no salary/no more jobs for Panasonic? :-|

  • achiinto

    Angelababy is a pretty girl. But I am amazed that she could made such stupid mistake…. Anyway, she did a job well done for us who wanted to see the camera.

    • anonymous

      Angela Yeung is a very naive gal. Probably cares too much about her own career and publicity but neglects NDA which is just as important. Definitely no good deed.

      Let’s see if she will be reprimanded when someone decides to rat on her……

  • Brod1er

    The continuous AF really doesn’t seem to work on the OMD although the sensor is great. I really want a mft camera that can do CAF in order to get the most put of compact tele lenses such as the 100-300 and the forthcoming Oly 75f1.8. If the Nikon 1 can do it then it surely is possible.

  • Narretz

    “mistake” haha

  • Well, accurate 3D tracking is perhaps still too demanding a challenge for CDAF, but there are other reasons I like Mr. Wong’s report. High ISO indeed seems like a solved issue and if that’s not enough the new stabilizer is rather impressive.
    I have to think quite hard to find reasons why I should not pre-order an E-M5. For a change, this one seems a reasonable choice.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > accurate 3D tracking is perhaps still too demanding a challenge for CDAF
      There’s no real 3D tracking with CDAF except for static objects.
      CDAF always needs trial and error to be even able to do any kind rough estimate how much focus is amiss which is possible with static target giving time for necessary multiple focus samples but if target keeps moving doing that estimate would be like you needing to do some calculation but every time you look for next value in equation to put into calculator all values have changed.

      Of course if you could move and sample focus at infinite speed and pigs had wings…

      • Esa, actually that´s not the whole case any more. The Achilles´ heel of CDAF is starting point. CDAF system does not know in which direction to drive if focus is wrong. It´s totally clueless. If the subject does not move the system has to do something, guess. If the subject moves the system is able to know what´s happening.

        This “only” needs advanced pattern, face and color recognition and lots of computing power. E-M5 is a step in this direction and I think we will see rapid advancement in upcoming models. It is possible to drive CDAF into focus on the fly by calculating the pace of contrast change. There is no need to re-check if focusing spot reaches pre-set minimum.

        To lessen the remaining problem of drive direction they can only make driving fast, AFAIK

      • caver3d

        Sounds exactly like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

        • GreyOwl

          Are you certain? :-)

          • caver3d

            Touche! Okay, “almost” like the HUP. Good catch, by the way -smile-

  • Boooo!

    Thanks mr. Wong for stating the obvious:

    “I remember when I was reviewing the E-P3 last year, I brought the E-P3 with 75-300mm to shoot at various locations: 1) Zoo Negara and 2) Traditional Malay Cultural Dance. In both scenarios, I strained my left wrist and came home with stiff right elbow, handling the 75-300mm on E-P3. The lens was obviously too long, and heavy to be used on such a small body like E-P3, which did not provide sufficient counter weight and balance. The strain was actually worse than shooting with my DSLR E-5 and larger lenses such as the 50-200mm.”

    This is why proper lenses require bigger bodies with a larger grip, and this is why the E-3/5 are much easier and much more comfortable to use with the grip, the wrist strap and a lens like the 50-200, compared to a m4/3 body with a low-end telephoto lens.

    I’ll write this in caps, for all those who still don’t understand: YOU GET HAND/WRIST INJURIES WITHOUT PROPER CAMERA/LENS ERGONOMY. You are going to get crippled eventually and end up requiring physical therapy, possibly a full surgery.

    And thanks mr. Wong for stating another obvious thing:

    “I have tried my best to make the continuous focusing with 3D tracking, and believe me I tried and tried and I shot over 300 images in total (probably half of the shots were done with the continuous 3D autofocus, shot in burst mode). I did not manage to get any good image at all, honestly, none of them come out usable.”

    This is why CDAF cameras cannot be used for anything that moves and why PDAF is absolutely mandatory, hence why Olympus needs to produce the E-7 for anyone who doesn’t only shoot static subjects, which is a great deal of people.

    I tried the E-M5 yesterday, and indeed, it can’t track moving subjects worth a damn (plus it’s horrible to hold and strains the fingers and the wrist).

    • spam

      If Wong is stating the obvious, then why repeat it?

      • Boooo!

        Because it’s needed. Too many people are crazy about tiny, uncomfortable cameras – and those cameras will create a lot of injuries in time.

        • Milt

          M43rds, particularly the GF, X1, and PEN series cameras are a new kind of camera that combines small bodies with interchangeable lenses, particularly small and light lenses. These lenses can be primes or zooms. The leaked picture of the GF5 with its X 14-42 lens is an good example. This new capacity, combined with image quality to challenge less than full frame DSLRs, is the strength of this kind of m43rds camera.

          But m43rds also produces DSLR-like bodies with bigger grips for those who prefer longer and heavier lenses. These lenses are of course shorter and lighter relative to other systems. But they are longer and heavier than is practical for the GF, GX1 etc., and they don’t fit with the advantages of those cameras.

          In short, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try to combine the bodies of the former variety of m43rds cameras with the lenses of the latter – and less sense to complain about it. It is not expensive to have two kinds of m43rds bodies, one for portability and the new camera culture, and the other for the older approach but with a goldilocks size and weight advantage.

          • Esa Tuunanen

            > But m43rds also produces DSLR-like bodies with bigger grips
            GH2’s tiny grip is plain shitty lipstick on a pig compared to even bottom of the barrel Canon 600D especially when later has proper space for thumb instead of tiny buttons in too tight left over space after installing oversize travel TV into camera’s arse.

            And neither did E-M5’s horizontal grip impress in anything because whole camera being so small makes also that grip smaller than what pictures make it look like.

            • Parci

              you might want to try one before making such strong statements about handling… or did you?

            • twoomy

              While I’m a Nikon fanboi eagerly awaiting my new D800, I still love m43 and shoot with a Panasonic GH2, often with the big 100-300mm lens. While the grip is not as secure in the hand as a dSLR, I can deal with it just fine. Pig in a blanket or not, the GH2 is a fine tool that takes great images and my wrist is doing just fine.

              • Brod1er

                That’s my experience too. The 100-300 is big on mft terms but pretty small and light by most others. It works fine on the GH cameras apart from being susceptible to shutter vibration – bring on electronic shutter.

            • Feeding on hyperbole aren’t you?

              Got GH2 and have been using the excellent D90. Yes there is a noticeable difference. That said GH2 is a far cry from being uncomfortable to the point of getting in the way of its task, which is taking pictures.

            • you also have to consider that lots of people have hands which fit perfectly with the om-d plus grip.

        • Tropical Yeti

          > Because it’s needed. Too many people are
          > crazy about tiny, uncomfortable cameras
          > – and those cameras will create a lot
          > of injuries in time.

          Well. I suppose governmental health authorities should force Olympus to label boxes with OM-Ds with a warning message like “WARNING – USING THIS CAMERA CAN DAMAGE YOUR WRIST, WHICH IS NOT COVERED BY YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE”

      • Chris K

        Yes, you’ll be injured if you overload yourself. But unless your wrists are extremely weak, an EP3 and 75-300 won’t do it.

        I did racing photography for a while with my 5D and 100-400. You think the 75-300 creates a lens-heavy camera? Try this kit! At 400mm you’ve got 2lbs of glass more than a foot from the viewfinder. You know how I coped? I didn’t carry it like an idiot. I supported my right arm on my chest, I used a hand strap on the camera so I didn’t need a death grip on the camera to carry it, and I supported the camera on a shoulder sling so I didn’t have to carry it with both hands all the time.

        More recently I’ve handheld a 7D and 300/2.8IS for day-long shoots. When I first started using this kit I started getting a little pain in my wrist. That should be expected, considering the vertical hand grip and very heavy lens element at the end of a very long lever. You know how I fixed that problem? I grabbed some 25lbs weights and did some wrist exercises. Within a couple weeks the lens felt as light as my 100-400 did.

        And shooting now with my EP3 and 100-300 is like shooting with my phone. Can someone HONESTLY get sore wrists shooting with such a featherweight setup? This isn’t machismo, I’m just stupefied.

        I suggest if you can’t handle this M43 setup you grab some weights, because the problem isn’t the camera.

        • Well said. I have always thought that talk of a heavy body balancing a heavy lens was idiotic. The fulcrum is the palm of the hand. ALL of the weight is ahead of the palm. The camera body and the lens. If you routinely held your camera perched on one finger just ahead of the lens mount then the body might well balance out the lens. As it is, a heavy body is just more weight the lever, abeit close to the fulcrum.
          A BIG TALL body might give you more leverage to fight the against the lens but the weight of it is working against you.
          How anyone can claim to have induced cramp in a little time with an E-M5 is beyond me. It weighs next to nothing, and YES I have used one. Particularly with the landscape grip it’s a delight.

          • Esa Tuunanen

            > How anyone can claim to have induced cramp in a little time with an E-M5 is beyond me.
            Fingertip grip from too small camera bodies is anything else than comfortable.
            Natural relaxed position for fingers is roughly one third to middle of their movement range from fingers straight to fully bent. The farther to either direction you have to keep fingers from that position the more it needs using muscles unless the thing you’re holding in hand is feather light.

            Even couple hundred grams heavier weight of body doesn’t mean anything if it gives good size grip with fingers naturally bending over it instead of keeping camera in fingertips. (body would be already lighter than similar construction DSLR because of lack of mirror chamber and OVF stuff)

            • Charlie

              Gym? Weights? Camera geeks? Puleeease. :D

              I injured myself the other day putting my shoes on. ;)

            • DrWu

              To Esa. Luckily a fairly simple accessory called “neck strap” has been invented and photographers normally don´t have to squeeze the camera tightly with aching pale fingers for hours and hours to get injuries. I thought E-M5 felt surprisingly nice with landscape grip attached, but obviously I was wrong. I had chance to handle it only twice and had it in hands maybe just 4-6 minutes in total. You have probably tested it for a longer time and certainly know better. Funny still that quite a many reviewers have expressed mostly positive (some button/wheel placements of course might be better) opinions about E-M5 ergonomics. Maybe people´s hands differ in size and fingers in lenght and what feels good for one person does not feel good for another.

              • I is agree but, problem coming up by Wong work long day by photography, and he use one hand on camera and flash in other hand, this is not easy.

                • achiinto

                  That is why he should have used a flash bracket for macro….. Even if I shot macro using my e-3 with flag bracket, I felt tired too. And have anyone complained using telephoto lens on an E-4xx camera?

                • Anonymous

                  Eventually there will be a better, stronger photographer available. One with an extra-long, fully articulated and double-jointed arm. ;)

          • Chris K

            The most extreme case I’ve ever experienced is a 1DMk2 with a Canon 50/1.8 on it. That felt kind of strange… it felt more like holding a brick than a camera. But it wasn’t difficult to use ergonomically. In fact, the light weight of the lens was nice to temper the weight of the 1D!

      • Blinkered

        And you didn’t notice all the photos Robin Wong took throughout his multi part reviews of moving subjects? C-AF does not work well with CDAF… S-AF is fast enough with CDAF for many moving subjects.

    • BLI

      And what if you hold the lens with your left hand, balancing the camera + lens while focusing/zooming? Instead of trying to hold it with the right hand around the camera body in a crampy grip? I thought that was the standard way of holding a camera with lens, especially with a long/heavy lens. By balancing the weight this way and not trying to use the grip muscles of the right hand to counterbalance the torque of a long lens, I think it is possible to use a light body with a long lens without straining your right hand muscles.

      • BLI

        Ok — the straining of the left wrist — due to lots of focusing/zooming? It should help with a fixed focus length lens with AF…?

    • Atle

      Why is it obvious that C-AF will be bad on CDAF? Its not more than a year or so ago it was “obvious” that CDAF would be much slower than PDAF sor S-AF too. That changed in quite a short while

    • Liitle Jerk Kid

      >>Of course if you could move and sample focus at infinite speed and pigs had wings…<<

      There is this thing called predictive heuristics.

    • @Boooo!
      the GH1, GH2 and E-M5(with grip attached) handles just fine with ALL micro four thirds telephotos lenses as well as the the Four Thirds 70-300mm which is relatively light and contrast focuses……. there is no weight issue with these 3 cameras.

    • achiinto

      @booo! Are you sure, the CAF with my E-3 never really that useful with the 12-60 swd and 50-200 swd. I always find that my CMF skill is better. Lucky, that’s means my CMF skill maybe used consistently well with CDAF lens and EM5

  • safaridon

    Admin – Many want to see pictures of the GF5, G5, and GH3 but exposing the leakers does not encourage getting any more?

    • Milt

      Admin does a good job, but I agree. Why disclose sources? – unless their cover is already blown.

  • rUY

    Panny always asking artist to accidentially leak while they shooting commercial.

  • Chris K

    Eric Wong says he strained his left wrist using the EP3+75-300? That’s hyperbole, right?

    I’d write him off as more a marketer than a reviewer, but later he wrote that he couldn’t get a good shot out of the continuous AF, which is clearly not something you’d say if you were selling cameras. I’ll give him a big thumbs up for not just glossing over that one.

  • safaridon

    Very good tele wildlife pictures by Wong but I think he was a bit over critical of the EM5 IBIS system given the pictures he did post using slower shutter speed than 1 over focal length.

    What these tele pictures do show is that with the very good high ISO performance of the EM5 we really do not have to rely on IS as we can use a higher shutter speed instead.

    The primary advantage of the Oly new IBIS is for use with legacy and Oly lenses.

  • Paul

    I have an OM4ti, which is small, no grip (not needed)and some long lenses, never needed a physio, never had wrist problems, never injured myself holding a camera. I did learn how to hold it correctly though!

    • The Real Stig


      Have a 4Ti also and a 180mm f2, which weighs a bit. Guess what? With heavy lenses there is usually a tripod mount/handle on the lens to support it with a monopod/tripod or anything else convenient.

      Boooo! Continually posts negative comments about this camera. So many as to raise questions as to what his/her motives really are. Seems to have conveniently ignored the availability of a wrist strap for the E-M5.

      Oh, and the Instagram link doesn’t work for me so has it been removed or do you need to have an account?

      • Boooo!

        I don’t post negative comments about “this camera” – I post realistic comments about all m4/3 cameras. My wife is also a physio. I’ve mentioned what Robin Wong said a couple of times in the comments here, but everyone just plainly refuses to listen and thinks that tiny cameras are the bee’s knees.

        I have also used the E-M5, unlike a lot of people here, and I know how it behaves.

        • 43shot

          I like small cameras and I have no complaints about using my GF1 with a long lens. If it does not work for you then don’t buy it or buy a larger camera. This seems like a silly point to me. Let’s ruin a key benefit about the format so some people are ok with the way they use a long lens. Buy a grip or get a grip. What next. sue Olympus for injuries.

        • mahler

          It seems that a lot of the uncritical EM-5 fanboys here can’t digest even the slightest critic of the EM-5. I totally agree with you that a naked EM-5 has not enough grip. A GH2 seems still the more ergonomic body. The need to buy an expensive grip accessory to get a better hold of a camera is ridiculous and bad design.

          • This is not about grip. Cameras should be supported by the left hand, not the right one. It’s about reaching the shutter button (and other controls) comfortably. Yes, the right hand ergonomics of the E-M5 could be better (according to my experience with some Pens), but it’s hardly a serious flaw, let alone “ridiculous and bad design”.
            Relax. Life is sweet.

            • mahler

              A good grip on the right side is essential for picking up and holding the camera while I am not shooting. During shooting one stabilizes the camera with the grip on the right and the left hand holding the lens. So a good ergonomic grip is an essential aspect of a good camera design. I have no sympathy for camera designs with not enough grip, and as such the design of the naked EM-5 is flawed. Why couldn’t they make it with a decent grip from the beginning? Because everything needs to be retro.
              Only with the attached grip it becomes attractive (but this makes the camera more expensive).

              I am very relaxed, much more than all the EM-5 fanboys, which write pages of enthusiastic comments about a camera, which they have never seen. I try to put a bit of salt in this all too rosy picture, which I think is quite adequate.

        • I started with the Kodak DCS 520/760 and later Canon 1Ds camera..better balance beside and all the possible injuries with small bodies. If you shoot for long periods with big/heavy bodies/grips, you can experience muscle spasms because your hand or arm get tired of the weight.

        • @Boooo!
          the E-M5 with the 70-300mm shot at 300mm by me

          • bitmatt

            You’re lucky you weren’t crippled! The awkward balance between that very tiny camera and only somewhat tiny lens must have been treacherous and brutal. You are brave indeed.

            I just hope the children don’t follow in your reckless footsteps.

        • The Real Stig

          Which makes you a perfect fit for the definition of a troll then.

        • bitmatt

          I’m amazed that there are so many experts on the shortcomings of the E-M5’s ergonomics, even though there are just a small handful of people in the whole wide world who have even touched one for more than a few minutes. Of those few lucky bloggers and reviewers who I know for a fact have handled the new Olympus camera for more than a quick grope while being eyed by a sales clerk on the other side of a counter, I don’t recall even one of them making much of an issue of their wrist being severely harmed while snapping pictures of bicycles using the pop art filter. I would assume if this camera were mangling people at the rate at which you report that someone would mention it.

          Maybe that will be in the next snippet of review that the dpreview folks will post.

      • Ross

        “Seems to have conveniently ignored the availability of a wrist strap for the E-M5.”

        The wrist strap is a necessity for myself as I have arthritis in thumb joints & I’m sure others would too & as good as the thumb ledge may be (on the E-M5), it would be painful for me to just use that without a grip for the fingers & a strap. My fingers do most of the gripping on my E30 with battery grip.

    • ShatteredSky

      Because people are so stooopid to shoot 10 kg bricks trying to hold them with one hand. Of course that is murder on the wrist. I’ve stated this ad nauseum, but why oh why do people not hold the whole combo by the lens. Problem solved … I truly dislike overdone grips on cameras. The best is about the E-420/620 feeling.


      • GreyOwl

        +1. It’s all about the centre (center in USA)of gravity of the particular camera/lens combination and even weight distribution, so as to avoid repetitive strain injury of the wrist.

      • Ross

        I prefer the larger E30 grip & battery grip but will be trying the E-M5 (& with grip) as soon as I’m able to see how nice that would be for me, but I would also want to add a strap too (to help avoid painful thumb joints). The quality output that this camera produces will certainly be what I’m looking forward to though.

  • Freddy

    I’m a little worried about the CAF performance, I guess I’ll keep my E-30 for a little longer.

  • C-AF is half decent, a 75% hit rate with a rapidly approaching target. C-AF TR sucks.

    • Freddy

      So the one not “working correctly” is the 3D one?
      What is the difference between CAF-TR and CAF.
      Wouldn’t CAF on E-M5 and E-30 work the same?
      I know one is phase and the other is contrast, but from a user standpoint, are they kind of the same?
      If so, what is the big diffidence in 3D or TRK?

      • rrr_hhh

        Not absolutely sure of it, but I think that CAF is when the target cross the frame in the same plane, like a bike going from left to right. 3D tracking as the name implies add a third dimension to that : aka the target comes toward you from the back of the frame; this is mre difficult, because the only difference is that the target’s size is increasing, especially if there is few lateral mvement.

        • C-TR tries to define an object in the frame and follow it wherever it moves; left, right, forward, back. The point of focus within the frame is changing constantly. C-AF just focuses repeatedly as fast as possible on the chosen focus point.

  • Looks like my canon 7D is going to be sold for this new OM-D :-)

    does some one know more or less when it will be available in france ? :-)

    Thank you

  • hiplnsdrftr

    She doesnt appear to mention it on her blog…

    • Milt

      Couldn’t find the camera gear section.

  • ag

    This curvy GF body style is a fail and Panasonic needs to stop producing it !

    • hlbt

      Panasonic rarely maintains the same basic appearance from one model to another, so they must have decided that the design choice was a success. If the product is selling well, good for them! :-)

  • Leo

    Not sure if this had been posted here before… the 60mm f2.8 with E-M5, something special.

    • Nawaf

      When will they release it? I can’t wait! Looks like an all metal construction from what I see in this pic. Hope so.

    • DonTom

      Nice pic, thank you for the link. A very tempting lens indeed! It’s to be weatherproof, is it not?

      • Nawaf

        Yes, as stated in the interviews by Terada-San.

    • bert
      • E-1

        Where do you see this? The two new ones on the map seem to be the 60 and the 75.

      • Agent00soul

        Sorry, the ones marked new on that presentation are the 60 mm macro and the 75 mm tele.

        • bert

          oh, sorry, don´t saw the 2 points.. ;-( you are right, unfortunately…

  • Anonymous
    • Nawaf

      Thank you who ever you are!

  • leonedolci

    The 5-axis IS really looks amazing.

    As to 3D tracking, I think it will have to wait for next-gen sensor with phase detect on-board. The Nikon V1 is the 1st step in the right direction.

  • Stabilazit0r

    I always turned IS off on my pen cameras, always felt pics are blurrier than without IS, the 5 axis thingy sounds good for video though…

  • Its look nice. :)

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