PDA

View Full Version : Oh My Dilemma


Zuiko
12th February 2012, 11:49 PM
I visited Hatfield Forest today (see separate thread (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?p=150748#post150748)), one of my favourite locations and took my E-P3 which has definite size and weight advantages over my E-3. It has other advantages too, such as far superior Live View (which I often like to use on the E-3 despite its excellent optical viewfinder), electronic level and touch screen focus point selection, all of which I find really useful when using a tripod.

What the Pen does lack is a built in EVF and weather sealing. The first is not too much of a problem as I will hopefully be able to buy one eventually but the weatherproofing can be an issue. This was reinforced today firstly when I set the camera on a tripod beneath a tree constantly dripping with thawing snow. The drips seemed to have an uncanny ability to target the three buttons and dial on the top plate and I was constantly wiping them with a hanky. Later, persistent drizzle set in. It didn't seem very much must nevertheless it had to ability to coat the camera with a concentration of very fine droplets within minutes of taking it from its bag. With the E-3 it would not have been a concern.

So, considering much of my photography is outdoor based, should I sell the Pen and revert to the E-3, despite the problems I experience with its weight and bulk these days? Or should I consider the E-M5? The big problem with the E-M5 is, of course, the cost. I can't afford it.

But wait a minute, what if I sold my E-3 and E-P3 on the basis that the E-M5 would replace both? At a rough guess I should be able to get about 350 for the E-3, 180 for my 14-54mm, 300 for my 9-18mm and 500 for the E-P3, 14-42mm kit lens and optional large grip. That's around 1330, which would get me the E-M5 with 12-50mm with a bit to spare, plus now would be a great time to pre-order, as it would include the free grip. It would mean losing some of my wide angle coverage with the loss of the 9-18mm, but this is partly mitigated by having a standard zoom that starts at 12mm instead of 14mm.

One concern, however, is that the quality of the 12-50mm is still unknown; the few reports I've seen hint at corner softness at 12mm and overall softness at 50mm, but would Olympus supply a poor performing lens with their new flagship camera? The relatively slow apertures is not such a concern as for landscapes I invariably stop down anyway and I can eventually add a fast prime if I feel the need. The close focusing is a real attraction of the 12-50mm. Such a move would also make me completely mirrorless, which is quite a big step to take.

I am also apprehensive about buying a camera without handling it first - what if it doesn't suit me? Will the extra size of the built-in EVF tip the balance away from what the Pen concept is all about? Maybe it would be better to wait until it is available and forego the free grip? There are bound to be a few early adopters who are unhappy anyway, so I might get a used bargain if I wait.

How to finance it is also a conundrum. If I pre-order should I sell my existing kit now to be sure of raising enough (I can always borrow my E-510 back from my wife temporarily to fill the gap) or should I pay the deposit, and eventually the balance, by credit card and hope my existing kit sells fairly quickly for what I anticipate?

Questions, questions! there's obviously a lot of serious thought to be done and I'm really just thinking out loud to identify the issues that need to be considered.

sponner
13th February 2012, 12:37 AM
I think you have answered your own questions really, it would be a big gamble without seeing the real world image quality.

AlecN
13th February 2012, 01:19 AM
Speaking as one who uses an E 1, and a non expert, I would stick to what you have, I was advised a long while ago on this forum that its easy to chop and change bodies with little advantage, only after several years am I begining to get the best out of my E 1 and do not intend to change.

Grumpy Hec
13th February 2012, 08:00 AM
Very interesting dilema and one that I share albeit coming from a different direction.

I am at the point when I want to upgrade from the kit lenses which came with my E520 plus the body itself.. The latter is my priority for handling reasons connected with being a glasses wearer and the strong desire for a swivel/tilt rear screen as well as some more specific needs around IQ.

So my plan was 12-60/50-200 SWD with, ideally, an E5 and maybe EC14 and/or ec20. I have Sigma macro and long tele.

Then along comes OMD. This looks very good indeed as it has much that appeals.

It only has a tilt screen rather that swivel, which I find very odd I might add, but the big issue is the m4/3 glass. How good is it compared to the aforementioned lenses? Bearing in mind that with the 4/3 convertor that could be partly addressed but some of the OMD advantages, AF especially, will not be available to my understanding.

Handling is a open question but I hope to get a feel for that at Focus. An E5 still appeals for it's size and associated preferred handling in advance of that experience.

So that still leaves the question of glass.

Is m4/3 glass as good as 4/3?

Will Olympus address full 4/3 compatability with the OMD series? By that I mean full AF and not just the basic ability to use the lenses.

Ian - it might be an impossible question for you to answer so apologies upfront on that but do you have any information on the 4/3 compatability with OMD in its fuller sense.

Plus, again a nasty question with associated apologies, is this the end of E series 4/3 camera's or will we see an E7 OM enthusiast/pro camera with the mirrorless technology in the OMD and the high quality sensor but for 4/3 glass?

Personally that is what I want and I ackowledge my selfishness on this and the fact that I have not yet handled an OMD.

Hec

crimbo
13th February 2012, 08:26 AM
Difficult to answer...is weight that important? How much do you need the technological advantages of m43?
Can you fund the OM-D with a bit of saving and the sale of the bodies only?

Ulfric M Douglas
13th February 2012, 08:48 AM
Apart from weathersealing your e-P3 seems ideal, and wasn't a cheap purchase!
Stick with e-P3 but try some anti-drizzle ideas.
I'd see what forum denizens do in other systems too.

I don't think this is the time to sell in order to buy, the e-M5 is unproven.

timg
13th February 2012, 09:29 AM
You're not the only one who's had similar thoughts! :D

I did a price check a while ago when the EP3 came out and worked out it would cost me several hundred pounds to effectively end up with the same kit in MFT flavours as I currently have in FT.

I then went back over some of my old photos and asked "how much better would these have been with the EP3" and I came to the conclusion not that much... yes, the EM-5 is a drool-worth piece of kit and if it lives up to the promises even more so, and as such could be the camera that gets me converted to MFT, but I'd definitely like a bit more confirmation on the specs and performance.

Kiwi Paul
13th February 2012, 09:45 AM
I've had no regrets moving to m4/3s only. The G3 (the OM-D is much the same size) is still much smaller and lighter than the E3 so still carries the benefits of m4/3s light weight and compactness.
The thing is, you are buying the OM-D for its weather proofing which is fine but the only m4/3 lens available at the moment is the 12-50 (and the 60mm macro when it is released) so to take advantage of the weather proofing you either have to use 4/3 lenses via the new adapter or get the 12-50.
Spring then summer is coming soon so hopefully your wet weather concerns may be alleviated for a while allowing you to keep using the E-P3 and wait for reviews etc of the OM-D.
I'm happy with my G3 and have no immediate plans to get the OM-D.

Paul

jamie allan
13th February 2012, 09:56 AM
John,
I agree with Sponner I really could never see myself buying something of that value without handling it at some length. I work at airports so all my Olympus purchases to date have seen me playing with the kit at Dixons. It also put me off the Panasonic G series as I just felt they were too small in my hands. My problem is that since there are now no Olympus stockists here - apart from PENS at Dixons/Jessops I don't know how I'll get a feel for new Olympus DSLR kit in future - assuming I would have funds to buy it:rolleyes:

OlyPaul
13th February 2012, 10:29 AM
Just came across this and I'm guessing the E-M5 was not designed with FT SHG glass in mind.

Even with the grip and my small hands I could not see me getting my finger around it for the lack of room.;)

http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography/image/141482969.jpg

timg
13th February 2012, 10:35 AM
I'm guessing the E-M5 was not designed with FT SHG glass in mind.

Looks just like an NEX camera to me! :D

E-P1 fan
13th February 2012, 10:48 AM
or like me maybe people are looking for reasons to buy the OM-D :)

Olybirder
13th February 2012, 11:10 AM
I think that photo makes a very good case for the 'hump'. Imagine trying to use a built-in flash or even a separate flash unit mounted lower on the body, especially with the lens hood in place. The hump should lift the flash unit high enough to give it a fighting chance of working.

Ron

Ian
13th February 2012, 11:10 AM
I visited Hatfield Forest today (see separate thread (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?p=150748#post150748)), one of my favourite locations and took my E-P3 which has definite size and weight advantages over my E-3. It has other advantages too, such as far superior Live View (which I often like to use on the E-3 despite its excellent optical viewfinder), electronic level and touch screen focus point selection, all of which I find really useful when using a tripod.

What the Pen does lack is a built in EVF and weather sealing. The first is not too much of a problem as I will hopefully be able to buy one eventually but the weatherproofing can be an issue. This was reinforced today firstly when I set the camera on a tripod beneath a tree constantly dripping with thawing snow. The drips seemed to have an uncanny ability to target the three buttons and dial on the top plate and I was constantly wiping them with a hanky. Later, persistent drizzle set in. It didn't seem very much must nevertheless it had to ability to coat the camera with a concentration of very fine droplets within minutes of taking it from its bag. With the E-3 it would not have been a concern.

So, considering much of my photography is outdoor based, should I sell the Pen and revert to the E-3, despite the problems I experience with its weight and bulk these days? Or should I consider the E-M5? The big problem with the E-M5 is, of course, the cost. I can't afford it.

But wait a minute, what if I sold my E-3 and E-P3 on the basis that the E-M5 would replace both? At a rough guess I should be able to get about 350 for the E-3, 180 for my 14-54mm, 300 for my 9-18mm and 500 for the E-P3, 14-42mm kit lens and optional large grip. That's around 1330, which would get me the E-M5 with 12-50mm with a bit to spare, plus now would be a great time to pre-order, as it would include the free grip. It would mean losing some of my wide angle coverage with the loss of the 9-18mm, but this is partly mitigated by having a standard zoom that starts at 12mm instead of 14mm.

One concern, however, is that the quality of the 12-50mm is still unknown; the few reports I've seen hint at corner softness at 12mm and overall softness at 50mm, but would Olympus supply a poor performing lens with their new flagship camera? The relatively slow apertures is not such a concern as for landscapes I invariably stop down anyway and I can eventually add a fast prime if I feel the need. The close focusing is a real attraction of the 12-50mm. Such a move would also make me completely mirrorless, which is quite a big step to take.

I am also apprehensive about buying a camera without handling it first - what if it doesn't suit me? Will the extra size of the built-in EVF tip the balance away from what the Pen concept is all about? Maybe it would be better to wait until it is available and forego the free grip? There are bound to be a few early adopters who are unhappy anyway, so I might get a used bargain if I wait.

How to finance it is also a conundrum. If I pre-order should I sell my existing kit now to be sure of raising enough (I can always borrow my E-510 back from my wife temporarily to fill the gap) or should I pay the deposit, and eventually the balance, by credit card and hope my existing kit sells fairly quickly for what I anticipate?

Questions, questions! there's obviously a lot of serious thought to be done and I'm really just thinking out loud to identify the issues that need to be considered.

I will put some 12-50 samples up on FTU later today, John.

Ian

Ian
13th February 2012, 11:12 AM
John,
I agree with Sponner I really could never see myself buying something of that value without handling it at some length. I work at airports so all my Olympus purchases to date have seen me playing with the kit at Dixons. It also put me off the Panasonic G series as I just felt they were too small in my hands. My problem is that since there are now no Olympus stockists here - apart from PENS at Dixons/Jessops I don't know how I'll get a feel for new Olympus DSLR kit in future - assuming I would have funds to buy it:rolleyes:

Dixons and Jessops are likely to stock it.

Ian

Ian
13th February 2012, 11:13 AM
Just came across this and I'm guessing the E-M5 was not designed with FT SHG glass in mind.

Even with the grip and my small hands I could not see me getting my finger around it for the lack of room.;)

http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography/image/141482969.jpg

I think that is probably the worst case scenario :D

Ian

Ian
13th February 2012, 11:15 AM
I think you have answered your own questions really, it would be a big gamble without seeing the real world image quality.

Any questions about image quality will be answered well before John (or any of us) has to make a decision.

Ian

Ian
13th February 2012, 11:25 AM
Very interesting dilema and one that I share albeit coming from a different direction.

I am at the point when I want to upgrade from the kit lenses which came with my E520 plus the body itself.. The latter is my priority for handling reasons connected with being a glasses wearer and the strong desire for a swivel/tilt rear screen as well as some more specific needs around IQ.

So my plan was 12-60/50-200 SWD with, ideally, an E5 and maybe EC14 and/or ec20. I have Sigma macro and long tele.

Then along comes OMD. This looks very good indeed as it has much that appeals.

It only has a tilt screen rather that swivel, which I find very odd I might add, but the big issue is the m4/3 glass. How good is it compared to the aforementioned lenses? Bearing in mind that with the 4/3 convertor that could be partly addressed but some of the OMD advantages, AF especially, will not be available to my understanding.

Handling is a open question but I hope to get a feel for that at Focus. An E5 still appeals for it's size and associated preferred handling in advance of that experience.

So that still leaves the question of glass.

Is m4/3 glass as good as 4/3?

Will Olympus address full 4/3 compatability with the OMD series? By that I mean full AF and not just the basic ability to use the lenses.

Ian - it might be an impossible question for you to answer so apologies upfront on that but do you have any information on the 4/3 compatability with OMD in its fuller sense.

Plus, again a nasty question with associated apologies, is this the end of E series 4/3 camera's or will we see an E7 OM enthusiast/pro camera with the mirrorless technology in the OMD and the high quality sensor but for 4/3 glass?

Personally that is what I want and I ackowledge my selfishness on this and the fact that I have not yet handled an OMD.

Hec

The only Micro Four Thirds lens that I have been unenthusiastic about from an image quality perspective is the 17mm pancake - and yet this lens has many fans.

Lenses like the Panasonic 7-14, 25mm f/1.4, m.Zuiko 12mm f/2.0, 45mm f/1.8, 9-18mm, and others are really excellent performers. Where I think there is a gap is fast telephotos because these will always be relatively large lenses. The 75-300 is optically very good but not very bright. This is an issue for DSLRs but less so with mirror-less cameras because EVFs/screens can compensate for viewfinder darkness and contrast detect AF works better with darker lenses.

For absolute technical perfection the top end Four Thirds Zuikos will have an edge.

As I have said before, I think an adapter with phase detect AF will eventually be available for MFT users to use FT lenses without AF performance compromise but I have no idea if this is really true or when it would appear.

Ian

David M
13th February 2012, 11:34 AM
I think that is probably the worst case scenario :D

Ian

I don't know, the 150mm is tiny compared to the legacy OM 350mm.

timg
13th February 2012, 11:39 AM
As I have said before, I think an adapter with phase detect AF will eventually be available for MFT users to use FT lenses without AF performance compromise but I have no idea if this is really true or when it would appear.

I think this is the thing that's annoying a few people simply because there are real-life solution available from other manufacturers, the Nikon 1 series has PDAF on chip while Sony have the transparent mirror adaptor solution for the NEX range... there are some pretty wild expectations on rumour forums but this one is certainly within the realms of possibility.

JerryE-1
13th February 2012, 11:44 AM
I'd suggest you have a read of Kirk Tuck's Visual Science Lab blog:

http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/

I find his opinions and insights very even handed and useful, especially regarding the likely direction photography is taking from both a professional and enthusiast viewpoint. He has some interesting comments on the micro4/3 system which he uses for much of his work.

Jerry

Ian
13th February 2012, 12:09 PM
I don't know, the 150mm is tiny compared to the legacy OM 350mm.

I haven't seen one of those, but compared to the 150mm f/2 and the 14-35 f/2, the lens mount end of a 300mm f/2.8 is very slim :)

Ian

Ian
13th February 2012, 12:17 PM
I think this is the thing that's annoying a few people simply because there are real-life solution available from other manufacturers, the Nikon 1 series has PDAF on chip while Sony have the transparent mirror adaptor solution for the NEX range... there are some pretty wild expectations on rumour forums but this one is certainly within the realms of possibility.

I still haven't worked out what the benefit of PDAF on the sensor is for the Nikon 1. Overall Nikon 1 AF performance doesn't seem to be better than Micro Four Thirds. As the sensor on an Nikon 1 is very small the attraction of using Nikkor DSLR lenses is limited. While you can autofocus with Nikkor DSLR AF lenses there are quite severe limitations:

Autofocus compatibility: if you use AF-S NIKKOR lenses, you can still make use of the Nikon 1 autofocus system. Focus mode must be set to AF-S (Single AF) and AF-area mode is fixed at Single-point, with only the center focus point used. (From the Nikon website).

The Sony system, which I would expect Olympus to emulate, is much better.

Ian

timg
13th February 2012, 12:34 PM
I still haven't worked out what the benefit of PDAF on the sensor is for the Nikon 1. Overall Nikon 1 AF performance doesn't seem to be better than Micro Four Thirds. As the sensor on an Nikon 1 is very small the attraction of using Nikkor DSLR lenses is limited. While you can autofocus with Nikkor DSLR AF lenses there are quite severe limitations:

Autofocus compatibility: if you use AF-S NIKKOR lenses, you can still make use of the Nikon 1 autofocus system. Focus mode must be set to AF-S (Single AF) and AF-area mode is fixed at Single-point, with only the center focus point used. (From the Nikon website).

The Sony system, which I would expect Olympus to emulate, is much better.

I thought the on-chip PDAF on the Nikon 1 was used to improve continuous autofocus of the native lenses? This hasn't really been a strong point of CDAF so far and I'll be interested to see how the EM-5 copes with moving subjects, even though it's not really that necessary for the type of things I shoot (apart from my daughter!). I've not tried one myself but I was under the impression the CAF was pretty accurate on them.

I presume the single-point only limitation is due to where the PDAF points are on the chip... maybe this is why Olympus hasn't implemented it like this, you'd lose too many pixels to the AF system...

The only downside to the transparent mirror solution is the amount of light lost at the sensor, but if the high ISOs are as clean on the EM-5 as we're led to believe this shouldn't be so much of an issue.

Olybirder
13th February 2012, 01:21 PM
Just came across this and I'm guessing the E-M5 was not designed with FT SHG glass in mind.

Even with the grip and my small hands I could not see me getting my finger around it for the lack of room.;)

http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography/image/141482969.jpg
Don't forget, the top plate of the handgrip is considerably wider than the rest of it, so there might be more space than it appears in the photo.

http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/om-d-camera_om-d_25494_accessory_hld-6_25552.htm

Ron

StephenL
13th February 2012, 03:58 PM
In the real world, neither Olympus nor Panasonic make bad lenses. Unless you're a pixel-peeper. Corner softness? How often do you place your point of interest right in the corner of a shot? :D

Kiwi Paul
13th February 2012, 04:28 PM
I echo his findings on the PL 25mm 1.4 lens, oddly enough I got the lens the same day as him!!

Paul

Ian
13th February 2012, 04:35 PM
I thought the on-chip PDAF on the Nikon 1 was used to improve continuous autofocus of the native lenses? This hasn't really been a strong point of CDAF so far and I'll be interested to see how the EM-5 copes with moving subjects, even though it's not really that necessary for the type of things I shoot (apart from my daughter!). I've not tried one myself but I was under the impression the CAF was pretty accurate on them.

I presume the single-point only limitation is due to where the PDAF points are on the chip... maybe this is why Olympus hasn't implemented it like this, you'd lose too many pixels to the AF system...

The only downside to the transparent mirror solution is the amount of light lost at the sensor, but if the high ISOs are as clean on the EM-5 as we're led to believe this shouldn't be so much of an issue.

A single point for C-AF is very limiting and the latest MFT cameras seem to have improved this a lot without that limitation. Fujifilm has on-sensor PDAF for the X100 but they ditched it for the X-Pro1. So I'm not sure it's actually that useful.

How about a quick return mirror just for the AF sensors in a FT/MFT adapter?! :D

Ian

StephenL
13th February 2012, 05:00 PM
Don't forget, John, that pre-ordering does not commit you to purchase, and you WILL get your deposit back if you decide against purchase. At SRS the deposit is only 20. And this guarantees you the grip if you do proceed.

Zuiko
13th February 2012, 07:22 PM
Thanks for all your thoughts and opinions. I'm now veering towards the wait and see option, after all it's a bit of a risk putting all my eggs in one basket when I don't even know what the basket is like! Also, I do like the Pen design, with an EVF available but not fixed. Maybe I will just sell the E-3 plus 14-54mm and get a VF2 and possibly a 12-50mm instead. Weatherproofing would be nice but I used to cope before having it by using a plastic bag! Thinking about the attraction of the free grip, I'm not sure it's something I would use much anyway, so it's hardly worth making a rash or impulsive decision just to get one. :)

timg
13th February 2012, 08:34 PM
Don't forget, John, that pre-ordering does not commit you to purchase, and you WILL get your deposit back if you decide against purchase. At SRS the deposit is only 20. And this guarantees you the grip if you do proceed.

Has there been any news on the pricing of the grip if bought separately?

Grumpy Hec
13th February 2012, 09:09 PM
The only Micro Four Thirds lens that I have been unenthusiastic about from an image quality perspective is the 17mm pancake - and yet this lens has many fans.

Lenses like the Panasonic 7-14, 25mm f/1.4, m.Zuiko 12mm f/2.0, 45mm f/1.8, 9-18mm, and others are really excellent performers. Where I think there is a gap is fast telephotos because these will always be relatively large lenses. The 75-300 is optically very good but not very bright. This is an issue for DSLRs but less so with mirror-less cameras because EVFs/screens can compensate for viewfinder darkness and contrast detect AF works better with darker lenses.

For absolute technical perfection the top end Four Thirds Zuikos will have an edge.

As I have said before, I think an adapter with phase detect AF will eventually be available for MFT users to use FT lenses without AF performance compromise but I have no idea if this is really true or when it would appear.

Ian

Thanks Ian. Definitely need to go Focus to have a good look and read reviews on m4/3.

Hec

Olybirder
13th February 2012, 09:20 PM
Has there been any news on the pricing of the grip if bought separately?
The SSP for the grip is 230, give or take a penny.

Ron

timg
13th February 2012, 10:18 PM
The SSP for the grip is 230, give or take a penny.

Ron

Thanks Ron, it is a fairly substantial freebie for the pre-orderers then...

David M
13th February 2012, 10:44 PM
I haven't seen one of those, but compared to the 150mm f/2 and the 14-35 f/2, the lens mount end of a 300mm f/2.8 is very slim :)

Ian

The 350mm starts growing quite quickly, that's an E-410 rear lens cap;

http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/500/3070727.jpg (http://fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/9472)

drmarkf
15th February 2012, 12:25 PM
I echo his findings on the PL 25mm 1.4 lens, oddly enough I got the lens the same day as him!!

Paul

Yes, so do I. It's very rapidly become my favourite lens. I don't care about the random creaks and groans it makes to itself on an Oly body, particularly with the speed of focus and crispness of the images.
The only thing I miss about the FT 25mm Pan-Leica is the delightfully solid 'cerl-ick' sound the diaphragm used to make. I suspect the mFT version's got a wider zone of sharpness wide open, but I haven't done anything to check scientifically.
I can't wait to use this on an OM-D, which should match its solidity.

drmarkf
15th February 2012, 12:40 PM
Any insight on whether the forthcoming Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 might be weather resistant? I'm thinking that will be a much better match for my needs than the 12-50...

StephenL
15th February 2012, 12:44 PM
Any insight on whether the forthcoming Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 might be weather resistant? I'm thinking that will be a much better match for my needs than the 12-50...

Unless Panasonic are also planning a new, weather-sealed, body, then I would doubt it.