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View Full Version : Decisions, decisions!


David Morison
30th June 2012, 07:46 AM
Having used my OMD EM-5 for some time now, I have come to a crossroads. With the steep learning curve now beginning to ease off and results improving beyond my expectations it means that I am coming close to a decision on whether to run both FT and MFT side by side or, some would say inevitably, go over to the latter configuration. I have a substantial investment in FT lenses and accessories so any decision needs to be well thought out. I am still thinking!
In the meantime I thought I would put some of my subjective observations on this forum. Bear in mind that these observations are based entirely on my experience and what I need from my equipment.

OMD:

1. Sensor : Superb with the greater DR and more pixels a substantial improvement over the E5. However the high ISO/low noise characteristics are the main advantage as it means that I can use Auto ISO most of the time without too much grief and with the result that I will almost never miss a shot.

2. EVF: Hated it initially and still miss some characteristics of the E5 OVF. The one sole advantage, for my purpose, is that I can view the final image before I fire. This is particularly important for getting the correct exposure for the subject. I have the front dial assigned to exposure compensation so I can set the level to portray the subject just as I want it to be recorded. This is also an added advantage for bracketing as I no longer have to stick to a pre-determined value for each exposure. However as I photograph a lot of fast-moving wildlife I find the momentary black-out of the view between shots a big disadvantage.

3. AF: Blindingly fast on the one MFT lens I have - the M.Zuiko 75-300mm, acceptable on the Leica 14-150mm and ZD 7-14mm, too slow for fast movers on the ZD 300mm f2.8 and 50mm f2 . The ZD 50-200mm I use only with the EC14 and in this combination the AF is almost unusable – if it does lock on then in most cases it proves to be inaccurate. With the small single point AF mode I mainly use I am finding the OMD generally less accurate than the E5, even with the MFT dedicated lens. This is one of the main problems I have in making the decision to go solely MFT, plus if I don’t have confidence in the outcome when using my existing FT lenses then where do I go for equivalent spec. lenses?

4. IS: Certainly more sensitive than the E5 but it can still work against me under certain circumstances, in fact when I use the Leica 14-150mm at the long end I get more consistent results using the Mega OIS with the IBIS switched off. If higher spec. (SHG) Panasonic lenses become available with Mega OIS then this would ease the decision-making process.

5. Usability: Beautifully compact and light with my sole MFT lens but a bit of a handful with the larger FT lenses. Not enough buttons compared with the E5, even with the HLD-6, and the inability to assign IS to any button is a major headache for me. The dodgy paint finish on my black version means I have to stick insulating tape over all the high-wear areas to try and preserve some residual value.

6. Flash system: The flash provided works well but it is a real ball-ache having to carry it separately and store all the little bits that result from fitting it. When fitted the whole outfit becomes far less robust and prone to accidental damage.

7. Battery life: Crap! But perhaps as much as can be expected from such a diminutive item.

To summarise: An excellent piece of kit but I believe that so much more thought could have been put into it before marketing, especially the compatibility with existing FT lenses etc. If an adaptor could be made available to enable PD AF to be used with existing lenses that would change the picture substantially, but also the availability of a range of SHG MFT lenses would be a major breakthrough - especially from Panasonic with their Mega OIS.

This assessment is entirely subjective and I realise many will disagree with some points raised here, but I look forward to hearing others’ points of view, from both users and non users.

Regards

David

P.S. Roll on the E7!

George Dorn
30th June 2012, 08:17 AM
If Olympus don't at least put the new sensor, some revised firmware and a new badge into, say, an E-5mkii then they're a bunch of nitwits.

Unless the process of organising this is not tenable due to logistical, marketing or technical resource restrictions. But in my simple world it would be. In any case, I'm reluctant to be rid of my 4/3 lenses.

OlyPaul
30th June 2012, 08:25 AM
David I think to much is expected from mft and mirrorless in general.

Everyone thought Lightroom was going to be the holy grail of one ring to rule them all, but it does not do everything well or some things you need, for some it does but others still use more than one piece of software.

And in my opinion CCS and DSLR's are the same and it will be a long time into the future before there will be one ring to rule them all for camera's.

After all just because you can knock a tack in with a 3lb engineers ball peen hammer does not mean you should when a tack hammer does it so much better.

Me I'd be quite happy to run two systems if that is what it takes.:)

Chevvyf1
30th June 2012, 09:43 AM
Having used my OMD EM-5 for some time now, I have come to a crossroads.


P.S. Roll on the E7!

All you stated before, well many are why I did not buy this marvellous kit! and frankly, if the paint is coming off the body NOW - well, what about the rest of the build quality ? I have always loved my Olympus kit for the BUILD QUALITY - buit to Engineering standards, not Marketing standards ! :eek:

ps have you now read ALL that manual, David ?

David Morison
30th June 2012, 09:49 AM
ps have you now read ALL that manual, David ?

No, but all I need to at the moment. However I may have missed something vital!

David

Chevvyf1
30th June 2012, 10:00 AM
VITAL ? like ? prey tell ??? how to maintain the black paint on your body *chr

Greytop
30th June 2012, 10:24 AM
Interesting post David, I agree with some of your points but have been impressed enough to make the change over to m4/3rds. However my priory list may be different to yours :)
In particular as it stands (at the moment) I have taken a slightly backward step in terms of long focal length capabilities but in other areas I'm certainly very content, especially with the arrival of the 12-35 and 35-100 from Panasonic.
Top of my list is portability, image quality and environmental sealing. I found I was tiring of taking the bulk of my E-5 and lenses on walks and treks....
Even with the initial issues I have had I'm now a happy camper :D

ringneck
30th June 2012, 05:06 PM
Having looked at all the varying types of images you OMD EM-5 users have posted I thought it was the death knell to traditional four thirds......now I know it is not !!!

If OLY do bring out a Mk 2 for the E5 will the E5 be sold at half price like Canon are doing with the 5D mk 2......maybe that's why it will be named the E7.

I was seriously thinking about changing to MFT with the OMD EM-5 - especially as it's a lot cheaper than the E5 but will now put ANY upgrade on hold to see what the future holds with either or both systems.

I know this will probably mean staying where I am as it will always be a wait and see scenario.

Loup Garou
30th June 2012, 05:37 PM
Flash system: The flash provided works well but it is a real ball-ache having to carry it separately and store all the little bits that result from fitting it. When fitted the whole outfit becomes far less robust and prone to accidental damage.


I agree with you about those little bits. The hotshoe cover can easily get losy and the clip covering the port is a bu**er to remove (unless I am missing something). One way to secure them is to put them in the little case that Olympus have provided for the flashpiece.

I have bought the FL-600R flashgun and use it if flash photography is required. Of course, if filling-in is required during daylight photography, I use the little flashpiece.

I don't think Olympus could have done it any other way with the OM-D. Not including a flash would have meant an additional cost for the buyer and so reduce its marketing appeal by a teeny bit. At the same time, they could not provide a pop-up flash and still maintain that retro look.

David M
30th June 2012, 05:53 PM
Still no internet so posting from SWMBO Blackberry. Having a collection of HG and SHG lenses plus 4/3 fit Samyang and a dozen OM lenses I'm holding out for an E-7.

RogerMac
30th June 2012, 07:26 PM
I have given a lot of thought to this and am sticking with my E5 for the foreseeable future.

I do not find the E5 plus 12-60 difficult to carry, and apart from that I see no major advantages in the M5 so I am sticking where I am and awaiting developments.

Roger

Ross the fiddler
1st July 2012, 04:56 AM
I still have my E30, but at the moment the new toy will get the most use. I got it to get a light kit & didn't want to enter M4/3's with a body without a built in EVF, but with the significant upgrade features (IS & sensor etc. & touch screen) of the E-M5, it was a very nice start to get into M4/3's. I intend to keep both (at this time) to have the best of both, although to buy more M4/3's lenses to add to it may not happen much (it all costs money :(). As it is now, the E-M5 helps me get more out of my 4/3's lenses like the ZD70-300 with higher ISO & the improved IS. Unfortunately, the Sigma 150mm is a bit frustrating with it not being usable in AF (not that it was great in a number situations on the E30 anyhow), but it work out OK in MF for this shot (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?p=174261#post174261).

birdboy
1st July 2012, 04:07 PM
First thanks to David Morrison for sharing his view of the OMD with the FT lenses this is what I have been waiting to see how these lenses perform. I was very disapointed in how the 6,000 lense peformed (particularly AF) and have seen many excellent shots David took with this lense and the E5.

OM lenses I'm holding out for an E-7.

I agree with David.

Imagine an E-7 with the new sensor and IBIS which is has even faster AFs with the likes of FT SWD and 300mm f2.8 SHG.

Of course what would make David Morrison's decision easily if Olympus came clean and stated their future plans either MFT or FT if its MFT when are the SGH 300mm f 2.8 of even a 400mm f 3.5 lenses coming out to give the AF performance one should expect?

I doubt David is alone in his decision making process. Please Olympus you have what seems a leader in the sensor department expand it to a new generation of FT bodies to use the SHG lenses or develope MFT fast MFT lenses.

John

Chevvyf1
1st July 2012, 04:21 PM
...

Imagine an E-7 with the new sensor and IBIS which is has even faster AFs with the likes of FT SWD and 300mm f2.8 SHG.

Of course what would make David Morrison's decision easily if Olympus came clean and stated their future plans either MFT or FT if its MFT when are the SGH 300mm f 2.8 of even a 400mm f 3.5 lenses coming out to give the AF performance one should expect?

I doubt David is alone in his decision making process. Please Olympus you have what seems a leader in the sensor department expand it to a new generation of FT bodies to use the SHG lenses or develope MFT fast MFT lenses.

John

If Olympus answer these Questions, they could have a deluge of 4/3rd For Sale and send the prices tumbling ... down ... down ... down ... as we all race for *anon*ikon :eek:

on the other hand ... they could have another Bestseller E-7 or E-5 upgraded

timg
1st July 2012, 05:20 PM
If Olympus answer these Questions, they could have a deluge of 4/3rd For Sale and send the prices tumbling ... down ... down ... down ... as we all race for *anon*ikon :eek:

on the other hand ... they could have another Bestseller E-7 or E-5 upgraded

The doom-sayers have been harping on that 43 is dead for years and I've been watching the price of second-hand gear on eBay hoping to pick up a bargain and so far the prices of lenses haven't really dropped that much... I'd originally planned to but the 50mm and 50-200mm when m43 was announced but here I am still playing the waiting game.

Would you run to Canikon? or would you just pick up the 'dead' lenses you've dreamed of owning?

Until they can come up with an improved solution for focusing the HG/SHG lenses on a m43 body I don't think they'll officially announce that 43 is dead for 2 reasons:


People still remember how they dropped OM and if they drop 43 they'll again be branded the company who drops formats.
I'm pretty sure they know how good the HG/SHG lenses are.

If they can solve the focusing speed of 43 on m43 bodies, the only aspect of 43 left is the OVF, but I don't think that will be enough to keep a separate line of 43 only bodies...

Although next year marks 10 years since the E1 was introduced and knowing how Oly like to look at the past for inspiration, perhaps an E1 mkII could be waiting in the wings! :D

Chevvyf1
1st July 2012, 05:32 PM
Would you run to Canikon? or would you just pick up the 'dead' lenses you've dreamed of owning?



People still remember how they dropped OM and if they drop 43 they'll again be branded the company who drops formats.
I'm pretty sure they know how good the HG/SHG lenses are.

If they can solve the focusing speed of 43 on m43 bodies, the only aspect of 43 left is the OVF, but I don't think that will be enough to keep a separate line of 43 only bodies...

Although next year marks 10 years since the E1 was introduced and knowing how Oly like to look at the past for inspiration, perhaps an E1 mkII could be waiting in the wings! :D

Very reluctantly I would leave Olympus - it would be a crying shame, as apart from my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic at age 11, all have been Olympus.

I enjoy Birds in Flight and the ONE lens I have held back on buying is the 300 :eek: I also enjoy Macro with the Z 50 and Sigma 150 - and I love my 14-54 as a general lens.

I LURVE my E-5 BUT ...

timg
1st July 2012, 07:56 PM
Very reluctantly I would leave Olympus - it would be a crying shame, as apart from my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic at age 11, all have been Olympus.

I enjoy Birds in Flight and the ONE lens I have held back on buying is the 300 :eek: I also enjoy Macro with the Z 50 and Sigma 150 - and I love my 14-54 as a general lens.

I LURVE my E-5 BUT ...

We'd better hope they pull their finger out then! *yes