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pdk42
19th March 2017, 06:09 PM
so I bought a Mark II. I don't have too many vices and I have the cash so I thought - hell, I'm a long time dead!

My initial thoughts:

- It's bloody fast. Amazing really.

- IBIS is stunning. Another step up from the Pen (which was a step up from the E-M1)

- Slightly bigger and heavier than the mk i. I prefer the older model in this respect.

- Battery life big improvement (but another new battery type)

- Fully articulated screen - still adjusting to these. I prefer the tilt only, but I'm slowly learning to live with the new config.

- IQ similar to the Pen-F. Some say the high ISO is better, but I don't shoot high ISO too often so it's not important to me. I'm keen to see how the DR holds up on landscape. ISO 64 looks very detailed but the blinkies on the display definitely show that it clips more readily than at ISO 200.

- No long exposure noise as on the E-M1 (important to me).

- New menu system is IMHO cosmetically worse than the old version, although I do accept that it's more logically laid out.

- Why are there only 3 custom modes (C1-C3) when the Pen has 4? Odd.

- Ability to save/recall custom settings - at last!!

- Lots of little new features which are nice - e.g. pre-set focus (very useful for landscape), focus limiter (very useful for 50-200 to stop it hunting over the whole range).

- Build looks excellent, except for the memory card door which seems a bit flimsy (and I'm not 100% convinced by its water resistance).

- CAF looks like a big improvement. I don't use CAF too often (mainly because it's traditionally been pretty poor), but I might seek out more action-oriented stuff now. I used to do a lot of aviation shooting so I might do a bit more of that. The 50-200 (non SWD) seems to focus faster and more accurately than it does on the E-M1. Here's one I took many moons ago at Duxford on a Canon 5dii + 100-400:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5198/5842925141_97f6e3b484_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/9Ujw5D)
IMG_1522_1280 (https://flic.kr/p/9Ujw5D) by Paul Kaye (https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_kaye/), on Flickr

More here if you're interested: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_kaye/albums/72157626984638034

I think the Oly will be at least up to this sort of performance since the 5dii AF was pants (worse than the E-M1 I reckon) and the 100-400 was a really heavy piece of kit with that awful push/pull zoom action.

Here's one of the first with the camera. ISO 64. Detail when pixel peeking is fantastic:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3899/33356211292_8418277a20_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/SPzivf)
Daffodil (https://flic.kr/p/SPzivf) by Paul Kaye (https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_kaye/), on Flickr

Wee man
19th March 2017, 08:52 PM
Fader, hope you enjoy. Typical the year I do not go they have a good offer.

Wee Man

Phill D
19th March 2017, 09:34 PM
I haven't tried mine out enough yet to know if I agree it all your points Paul but I think that's a pretty good summary. I like the grip better actually and even my m4/3 Lumix 14-140 seems faster and more assured. I also agree with the memory card comment on initial feel but time will tell I guess.

Phill D
19th March 2017, 09:35 PM
Ed there is still time for you to get a flight :)

drmarkf
19th March 2017, 09:47 PM
Yes, I've just spent an hour playing with the menus of mine. The next time, I'll make sure I'm better caffeinated!

Having listened to Tesni Ward's talk today, illustrated with fantastic wildlife images, I'm going to be starting with single point CAF, 'tight' AF, and tracking turned off for much wildlife shooting. It has the virtue of simplicity, plus it's how I have used the mki.

Set up like that, she said it was the equal of any DSLR she's used, while with tracking it was a bit 'queasy' for anything except clean backgrounds (e.g. BIF against the sky, for which she had found it good).

wornish
19th March 2017, 10:25 PM
I am still getting used to mine 2 or so weeks after moving from the em5mk2.
The C-AF is way better and the focus tracking really works well.

Menu system - yes its different but its a case of getting used to it. It is way more logical.
Muscle memory cuts in after a while.

IBIS - hand holding long lenses is just amazing.

When you try it for the first time it blows you away. Someone said its like a giant hand that gets hold of your camera to steady it, and they are right- it just works.

Best camera I have ever owned, I have now sold my Nikon D810 and FF lenses, for what I want the EM1mk2 and Oly glass delivers.

Did I say - I like it?

Phill D
20th March 2017, 05:56 AM
Yes I guess you did Dave :)
For me the first surprise was how quiet the shutter is. And the whole camera itself really for that matter. None of the rattling the mk1 does on switching on and off. Or is my dust removal system not working properly?

drmarkf
20th March 2017, 06:11 AM
Yes I guess you did Dave :)
For me the first surprise was how quiet the shutter is. And the whole camera itself really for that matter. None of the rattling the mk1 does on switching on and off. Or is my dust removal system not working properly?

Well mine's the same!
I don't find the shutter quite as nice sounding as that in the E-M5ii, which reminds me of an old Voigtlander Bessa rangefinder I had decades ago, but it is pretty classy. The quietness I find very useful in those shops, galleries and museums where I can't use the electronic shutter for candid shots because of LED lighting.

Contrary to what I'd thought a few weeks ago, I'm going to be replacing the M5ii with the M1ii and not my venerable M1. The new body does everything I bought the 5ii for (principally, to cope with long exposures and offer another rear screen option) except be small, and I can cope with that since the difference isn't great. I've found the CAF of the 5ii to be significantly worse than that of the 1 at several sporting events recently, and I intend to be doing more of these (usually with the 40-150 on one body and the 300 on the other). I assume the same will be true for wildlife, and it will be nice to try some birding again, with some decent hope of success :-)

drmarkf
20th March 2017, 06:32 AM
>> Why are there only 3 custom modes (C1-C3) when the Pen has 4? <<

Yes, there may be ways round this that I haven't yet discovered, but I suspect this is going to be a step back for me as well.

I certainly need one set for 'silent shutter street' and one for landscape on a tripod, and I assume I'll need the third to reset back to general use with mechanical shutter? I'm forever switching between silent and mechanical shutter and it's useful to have a number of other settings change at the same time, such as ISO.

So, I'm surely going to need a fourth now for 'sports and wildlife', and maybe several.

It's irritating when there are various other 'hard' options like iAuto which I'll never use.

Phill D
20th March 2017, 06:43 AM
That's great to know Mark thank you. Definitely reassured about the quietness now, this forum is brilliant, 16 minutes for a response :)
As for the 3 custom modes well that's two more than I currently use so no probs for me :D I can see why they'd be useful and may well set them up in the future but so far I've just changed things when I needed them.

Ross the fiddler
20th March 2017, 11:08 AM
Paul, your weakness can give a guy some real GAS! :rolleyes: :D

*chr

Wee man
20th March 2017, 12:29 PM
Phil believe me I did try all flights booked up. Contacted LCE re price continuing after show and told as far as they know show only!*cry

Phill D
20th March 2017, 01:39 PM
Why not try SRS they may do a show equivalent offer.

pdk42
20th March 2017, 06:27 PM
Just got back from the show. Great meeting a bunch of you there! The show offer was pretty good actually and I saw a good few people taking advantage. The leather bag looks of very high quality and the people who make them were selling them at a special sale price of 220, so to get that, the camera and the grip for 1699 is actually quite a deal (assuming you need the bag and the grip of course!).

I dragged a friend along and was bragging about the IS on the E-M1ii with the 12-100 and said that I had taken shots at 8s handheld at 12mm. He didn't believe me. So I went along to the Oly stand and grabbed just that combo, set the ISO to low and aperture to f22 and it indicated a 6s exposure. So, I held it firmly and went ahead - pin sharp on the first attempt. Voodoo!

Also had a long chat with Tesni Ward (a lovely lady and clearly a talented wildlife photographer). She recommends the following setup for the best CAF:

- Single point (mostly)
- Not tracking mode
- AF scanner mode 2
- C-AF Lock max "Tight"

Greytop
20th March 2017, 06:43 PM
Good to hear you caved in too Paul :D

How are you finding the 12-100 with the MkII, I bet it balances nicely.
I'm wondering whether to go for one.

drmarkf
20th March 2017, 07:03 PM
...

I dragged a friend along and was bragging about the IS on the E-M1ii with the 12-100 and said that I had taken shots at 8s handheld at 12mm. He didn't believe me. So I went along to the Oly stand and grabbed just that combo, set the ISO to low and aperture to f22 and it indicated a 6s exposure. So, I held it firmly and went ahead - pin sharp on the first attempt. Voodoo!

Also had a long chat with Tesni Ward (a lovely lady and clearly a talented wildlife photographer). She recommends the following setup for the best CAF:

- Single point (mostly)
- Not tracking mode
- AF scanner mode 2
- C-AF Lock max "Tight"

Great! I've managed pin sharp images reasonably reliably at 10 - 12mm at 2s with the M5ii, but 6 is ridiculous!

She said tracking worked well when there was good contrast between subject and background (e.g. BIF against the sky), but it wandered for other subjects. Talking to my local Canikon owning semi-professional BIF merchants I think you need a 1DXii or a D5 to do that reliably, anyway: even the new D500 struggles to hold a lock-on for long.

She's planning to run some workshops both in the UK and abroad and I think that would work well - she's clearly an excellent teacher, and having Oly-specific training would be great.

BTW I really like the ergonomics of the grip: I think I shall actually use this sometimes with the 300.

It was Steve Gosling who convinced me to get the 12-100 (the b*****d!).

I thought his images had really stepped-up from a year ago, and as a landscape lens when hiking without a tripod it'll be a winner. It reminds me of the old 12-60 Zuiko.

Previously I couldn't see the point of an f4 'travel' lens that weighed that much (i.e. for use in cities), but for landscape shooting without the encumbrance of other accessories and with excellent weather sealing it makes a huge amount of sense.

pdk42
20th March 2017, 07:13 PM
Good to hear you caved in to Paul :D

How are you finding the 12-100 with the MkII, I bet it balances nicely.
I'm wondering whether to go for one.

It's a very nice combo Hew. It's a bigger u43 setup than I've been running so far, but the balance of the two is fine and the Sync IS stabilisation is quite remarkable. The lens is also superb optically. It'll never make a good indoor lens, but for landscape, cityscape and general walkabout it's pretty good. No complaints really.

pdk42
20th March 2017, 07:17 PM
It was Steve Gosling who convinced me to get the 12-100 (the b*****d!).

I thought his images had really stepped-up from a year ago, and as a landscape lens when hiking without a tripod it'll be a winner. It reminds me of the old 12-60 Zuiko.

Previously I couldn't see the point of an f4 'travel' lens that weighed that much (i.e. for use in cities), but for landscape shooting without the encumbrance of other accessories and with excellent weather sealing it makes a huge amount of sense.

That's exactly my logic. I used to take the Panasonic 7-14, 12-35 and 35-100 trio plus a small prime as my go-to landscape kit. I rarely shot anything under f5.6. Replacing the 12-35 and 35-100 by the 12-100 means there's now room for the Samyang 7.5 FE too. It often got left at home which is a shame because it can give a really alternative view.

drmarkf
20th March 2017, 07:57 PM
Yes, like many people I'm reluctant to change lenses in the hills, which means that the 35-100 often stayed unused in the backpack. When it was wet and windy there was even less incentive!

The mkii and 12-100 on a sling strap is fine, although I wouldn't like to hold it in the hand all day. So, I shall certainly keep the 12-35 because it's such a good, small 'street' lens in crowded, narrow, medieval cities. In that sort of environment I use a wrist strap with the camera ready all the time.

I'm leaving the decision on getting rid of the 35-100 for a little while. The mkII versions are out and will have reduced their value a bit.

drmarkf
20th March 2017, 08:02 PM
... I rarely shot anything under f5.6. ...

As I've said before, I've been going to the Landscape Photographer of the Year for maybe the past 5 years and I always note the aperture at which the 100 or so images were taken.

Barely any have ever been taken wider than f5.6, which means that there's a huge amount of f2.8 full-frame DSLR glass being humped up and down hills needlessly! Not by us, I'm glad to say.

David M
20th March 2017, 09:22 PM
Paul, your weakness can give a guy some real GAS! :rolleyes: :D

*chr

I'm weak, I've found a 20 year old Tenba bag that's seriously tempting me. It's three or four hours drive away and will probably cost as much in petrol as the guy wants for the bag but it's so tempting.

Bengeo
20th March 2017, 10:02 PM
Just got back from the show. Great meeting a bunch of you there!


It was good to meet you and everyone else.


Also had a long chat with Tesni Ward (a lovely lady and clearly a talented wildlife photographer). She recommends the following setup for the best CAF:

- Single point (mostly)
- Not tracking mode
- AF scanner mode 2
- C-AF Lock max "Tight"

Her presentation was very good and I did forget to ask her about the C-AF Lock setting. That is interesting as many are using it on the looser settings, but it does depend on what you are taking, so I guess with mountain hares close up then tight could be best.