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Rocknroll59
10th October 2017, 05:56 AM
Ok so after trawling through many of the comments and observations on here regarding the new Mk2 EM1 is it worth the change from a Mk1??

Whilst I am happy with the Mk1, I am aware that things move on, and so it appears the focus seems to be much improved is it enough to make the change. With the deals around at the moment for the Mk2 it may be a good time, but at 1300 (best online price around that figure) it would only make sense if the improvements are justified.

It will probably create a few opinions but that is what is best about this forum honest appraisal and debate.

Peter :D

MJ224
10th October 2017, 07:24 AM
Justify a new camera? All depends on your wants and needs photo wise.

The mk2 is definitely a better camera for stabilisation and continuous focus.

If those are important to you then its worth the punt.

The mk2 has many bells and whistles but am unsure whether they were on the mk1, as I am still on a learning curve. Those bells and whistles are only if at all used occasionally. Just depends on what you want and need as said. A 20m pixel sensor is slightly better, but not a deal breaker.

Personally, I do BIF and wildlife mainly, and thus reckon I can justify the better camera...............hic..*chr

pdk42
10th October 2017, 07:49 AM
I upgraded in about March this year and overall I'm very happy with the upgrade. I don't do a lot of photography involving things that move - whether that be birds, sports, planes or whatever - but I still think the mkii is a good upgrade:

- Image quality is slightly improved. It's not huge, but there is more DR (esp highlight recovery), better tonality and of course slightly higher resolution. ISO 64 is very nice and delivers files that will take a lot of PP (which I do).

- Long exposure noise is SIGNIFICANTLY better. As someone who does a lot of LE landscape shooting, this is important for me.

- Battery life is a big improvement.

- IBIS is better - in conjunction with a lens with IS (e.g. 12-100) it delivers unreal amounts of stabilisation.

- Electronic shutter is a big step up in terms of readout speed - I now basically use the camera on e-shutter all the time.

- Overall speed is improved. It's a very snappy camera now. With a high-speed UHS2 card, you can basically take raw images at high repeat rates without ever filling the buffer. Low repeat on e-shutter at 10fps gives full AF and almost no viewfinder blackout - it's excellent for sports, BIF etc

- AF is of course better. It certainly works in very low lighting as well as its improved ability to track moving subjects. It seems very good with older 4/3 lenses too if you have any of them.

- Touch-screen AF positioning - I love this.

- There is a decent list of minor features that are worth having - lens info settings for legacy lenses, focus limiter, pre-set focus distance, C1-C3 on mode dial, pro-capture, ...

Overall, it's without doubt the best camera I've owned from a features and handling point of view.

Apparently it's also good at video, but I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've even played with that feature.

My only negative is the fully swivelling screen - I'd much prefer a tilt screen like on the original E-M1.

At 1300 I think it's good value too - 2k is really over the top.

Ricoh
10th October 2017, 07:52 AM
Ok so after trawling through many of the comments and observations on here regarding the new Mk2 EM1 is it worth the change from a Mk1??

Whilst I am happy with the Mk1, I am aware that things move on, and so it appears the focus seems to be much improved is it enough to make the change. With the deals around at the moment for the Mk2 it may be a good time, but at 1300 (best online price around that figure) it would only make sense if the improvements are justified.

It will probably create a few opinions but that is what is best about this forum honest appraisal and debate.

Peter :D
The Mk1 has a 16MP sensor and the MK2 a 20MP, right(?), I'd want to know if there's an improved dynamic range. The photosites have to be smaller if there's 20/16 rammed into the same area. Smaller photosites generally mean less photon capacity between full and empty. I'm interested in the answer to this.

pdk42
10th October 2017, 08:35 AM
The Mk1 has a 16MP sensor and the MK2 a 20MP, right(?), I'd want to know if there's an improved dynamic range. The photosites have to be smaller if there's 20/16 rammed into the same area. Smaller photosites generally mean less photon capacity between full and empty. I'm interested in the answer to this.

DR is improved in the mark II Steve. Highlight recovery is a lot better and noise in shadows is much the same, or maybe only a very tiny bit worse. I've observed this improved DR myself and it's been measured by many testers. Look at DxO or Bill Claff's site:

http://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm

Graham_of_Rainham
10th October 2017, 08:36 AM
The Mk1 has a 16MP sensor and the MK2 a 20MP, right(?), I'd want to know if there's an improved dynamic range. The photosites have to be smaller if there's 20/16 rammed into the same area. Smaller photosites generally mean less photon capacity between full and empty. I'm interested in the answer to this.

DxO have rated the DR of the mk1 at 12.7 and the mk2 at 12.8 measured with the 17mm f/1.8

pdk42
10th October 2017, 08:49 AM
DxO have rated the DR of the mk1 at 12.7 and the mk2 at 12.8 measured with the 17mm f/1.8

According to Bill Claff's site, the improvement is nearer 1 stop:

http://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR.htm#Olympus%20OM-D%20E-M1,Olympus%20OM-D%20E-M1%20Mark%20II

I think that's probably an over estimate, but in my experience, it's certainly better than the 0.1 stop the DxO figures would suggest.

Bikie John
10th October 2017, 09:13 AM
I agree pretty much with Paul, although I use it for very different things - subjects that move around in bad light, mostly.

1. I think there is a general improvement in image quality, but the Mk I was pretty good anyway so any improvement is incremental. Still nice to have of course, and a few more pixels is useful if you need to crop.

2. I haven't tried to measure dynamic range in any scientific way. I do a lot of shooting at high ISO (musicians in badly-lit venues) and subjectively the Mk II's files seem to take more adjustment before falling apart and I can probably run at higher ISO.

3. Unlike Paul, I prefer the swivel screen. At least in part because I can turn it to face the body and in effect switch it off so I don't disturb people with it when photographing in dark concert venues. With the screen facing outwards you can't quite turn the blasted thing off (I've got a thread about this somewhere and an update request outstanding with Olympus, I'll find it if you're interested).

4. I'm sure using the screen to select focus point is nice, as Paul says, and I would like to try it. Unfortunately with the screen facing the body it's not available!

5. Battery life is a bit better (I only use Oly original batteries). Battery management is much MUCH better. This has been an Achilles heel with all the E-system cameras right back to the E-1 - the battery charge indicator goes from full to OK to FEED ME NOW!!! in random fashion ad the camera will sometimes keep shooting for ages while blinking orange, and other times will switch off almost immediately after you have just checked and seen a full charge. The Mk II has a percentage indicator which as far as I can see is pretty consistent, which makes it much easier to manage. (NB Apparently this only works with Oly original batteries)

Overall I think the Mk II's handling may be slightly better, but for this rugby season I have been using a Mk I and Mk II together and scarcely notice the differences. I don't regret getting it - whether it is worth it for you, only you can judge. Is there anywhere you could borrow one to try out?

Good luck whatever you decide .... John

Graham from Wirral
10th October 2017, 09:16 AM
I assume the 1,300 you have seen online is a grey import - having looked, I can't see any similar prices from the usual UK dealers - they're all around 1,850.

BTW, not very scientific, I know, but I think the Mark II is a brilliant camera, a good step up from the Mark I, and well worth it if you can get one at that price.

Ricoh
10th October 2017, 09:28 AM
DxO have rated the DR of the mk1 at 12.7 and the mk2 at 12.8 measured with the 17mm f/1.8
I'm interested to know how any camera designer/manufacturer can squeeze more DR whilst simultaneously increasing photosite density, unless there has been a revolution in semiconductor design and fabrication. Smaller and more closely packed have benefits in certain applications, but I'm not too sure when it comes to photon buckets. Unfortunately more MP is marketing hype, the average Joe-Bloggs customer makes buying decisions on such nonsense.

Edit: If 0.1 is real, I'm impressed. If the sign was negative, I'd believe it without hesitation.

pdk42
10th October 2017, 09:36 AM
I'm interested to know how any camera designer/manufacturer can squeeze more DR whilst simultaneously increasing photosite density, unless there has been a revolution in semiconductor design and fabrication. Smaller and more closely packed have benefits in certain applications, but I'm not too sure when it comes to photon buckets. Unfortunately more MP is marketing hype, the average Joe-Bloggs customer makes buying decisions on such nonsense.

Edit: If 0.1 is real, I'm impressed. If the sign was negative, I'd believe it without hesitation.

I'm pretty sure that the design process is pretty complex and that there are lots of factors beside pixel density that effect DR. Micro-lenses, charge well design, BSI, ... The Sony 1" sensors in things like the RX100IV offer noise pretty much the same as current u43 despite being 21Mp on a smaller sensor.

Graham_of_Rainham
10th October 2017, 12:25 PM
If 0.1 is real, I'm impressed. If the sign was negative, I'd believe it without hesitation.

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Olympus-OM-D-E-M1-Mark-II-versus-Olympus-OM-D-E-M1___1136_909

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Screenshot-2017-10-10_Olympus_OM-D_E-M1_Mark_II_vs_Olympus_OM-D_E-M1_DxOMark.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/95680)

*chr

Ross the fiddler
10th October 2017, 01:36 PM
I love the way quieter mechanical shutter on the Mk II, besides having Silent Shutter throughout the ISO range unlike the limited range of the Mk I. Pro Capture is another nice feature when trying to grab that moment a bird takes off, so long as focus was achieved on it to start with, resulting in (hopefully) a frame that is not likely achievable otherwise.

Gwyver
10th October 2017, 03:40 PM
I'm interested to know how any camera designer/manufacturer can squeeze more DR whilst simultaneously increasing photosite density, unless there has been a revolution in semiconductor design and fabrication. ...

Steve,
If the MkII sensor uses BSI (Back Side Interconnect) - which I believe to be the case, then because the sensor surface which collects the photons does not have wiring covering some of it's area each photocell will not have to shrink by 16/20 ratio as implied from the inreased pixel count. Hence the DR won't necessarily be diminished and,depending on the amount of front side interconnect area required by the MkI sensor, may actually be improved.

Ricoh
10th October 2017, 04:06 PM
Steve,
If the MkII sensor uses BSI (Back Side Interconnect) - which I believe to be the case, then because the sensor surface which collects the photons does not have wiring covering some of it's area each photocell will not have to shrink by 16/20 ratio as implied from the inreased pixel count. Hence the DR won't necessarily be diminished and,depending on the amount of front side interconnect area required by the MkI sensor, may actually be improved.
Good point. Looking at the DR of the Mk2 cf MK1 Graham posted above, not much between them at sensible ISO settings.

My curiosity got the better of me, the EM5 Mk1 has a DR of 12 at ISO 200.

Rocknroll59
10th October 2017, 04:50 PM
Well I thought it would open a whole can of worms and differing opinions..:eek:

Justifying the outlay is the thing...i've had the Mk1 since Feb 14 and i've been very pleased with it. I may not sell it but use it as a 2nd body if I need to be somewhere where I need a quick change of lens...if I value it out over the nearly 4 years i've had it, it works out at 325 pa...which is a lot less than some golf club membership so I take that as good value for money, the lenses are a different issue having now got 2 of the pro lenses I will not change those, the other 2 lenses I also would not part with, the little 45mm and 17mm are as good as you can get anywhere for the money.....so taking all the techie stuff that separates the dingles from the dangles :confused: it may be a step up for me when I take pictures at music venues, and the street pics....Paul if I can get close to your landscapes then I feel I may have cracked it..!! and many of the others that post on the forum (pics taken) and I want to get close to those if I can, but it takes practice and it is down the the photographer and not always the camera and whilst i'm not a big fan of post processing (a pic taken is a snippet of time and history) but understand that it is now part and parcel of digital photography, so is it worth it? Probably so I may just bite the bullet and get it, your only here on this journey once *yes and hey that's the beauty of this forum people are so helpful and friendly and that's just as important...

Peter

Bikie John
10th October 2017, 06:26 PM
Another thing that may tilt you towards it - related to the battery gauge.

With all the earlier bodies I found that because the battery display was such a lottery, using a grip was pretty much essential for event photography. I really didn't want it to die at an unexpected moment. With the Mark II I haven't felt the need for the grip at all, as the percentage display lets me manage it pretty well. This has saved money (the cost of the grip) and the Mark II without (edited - sorry - originally had "with" which was pretty daft!) grip is smaller and handles more nicely than the Mark I with it.

For going out with just one camera, the Mark II is definitely first choice now. Not for any single big reason, but for an accumulation of fairly small ones.

John

pdk42
10th October 2017, 08:27 PM
https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Olympus-OM-D-E-M1-Mark-II-versus-Olympus-OM-D-E-M1___1136_909

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Screenshot-2017-10-10_Olympus_OM-D_E-M1_Mark_II_vs_Olympus_OM-D_E-M1_DxOMark.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/95680)

*chr

Hard to know what to believe... this is Bill Claff's chart - quite different:

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/em1dr.jpg

Personally, I find highlights are handled better on the mkii and there is little, if any, penalty in shadow noise so I'm more persuaded by Bill's graph than DxO's. This review by Matthieu at Mirrorlessons reflects my own views on DR:

https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/olympus-vs-olympus/omd-em1-vs-omd-em1-ii/#Resolution-dynamic-range-and-metering

Graham_of_Rainham
10th October 2017, 09:44 PM
A quick trawl has results between 12.5 and 13.2 This ties in with DxO results, which are respected by many as a good bench mark.

Nawty
11th October 2017, 06:37 AM
The Mk1 has a 16MP sensor and the MK2 a 20MP, right(?), I'd want to know if there's an improved dynamic range. The photosites have to be smaller if there's 20/16 rammed into the same area. Smaller photosites generally mean less photon capacity between full and empty. I'm interested in the answer to this.

That assumes the same generation of technology, which these aren't.

My experience mirrors Pauls, the sensor is better and I also find slightly better colour retention in shadows on the mk2.

But, for me it isn't so much the headline features (20mp, better AF) that make the mk2 better, it's all the little things such as the e-shutter, better battery life, more control (focus limiter), deeper buffer, faster write speed etc that makes it a much nicer camera to use.

Ricoh
11th October 2017, 07:39 AM
I'm happy to learn the EM5 Mk1 is not too dissimilar, having a DR of 12 at ISO 200. That will do me.

Nawty
11th October 2017, 04:19 PM
The venerable Nikon D700 was 'only' 12.2 and that was lauded as the best sensor for a loooong time. It's funny, I remember at the time of getting a D700 it truly was amazing and my memories of it are just as that, however if I go back and compare images to the recent 16mp m43 sensor there isn't really anything in it.

Hoorah for progress!

MikeOxon
27th November 2017, 10:21 PM
I've just made the change to Mk ii and am very pleased with the improvement in tracking-AF. For me, that was the greatest failing in the M1, when compared with the Nikon D300s that I used before. Now, I can start tackling birds-in-flight again :)

BIF1_2017.jpg (https://e-group.uk.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=4509&stc=1&d=1511821194)

That aspect is important to me but may mean nothing to many people, so think about what you want from a camera.

Ross the fiddler
28th November 2017, 03:02 AM
I'm happy to learn the EM5 Mk1 is not too dissimilar, having a DR of 12 at ISO 200. That will do me.

I've picked up my E-M5 to take the occasional shot with it etc & it is 'positively' sluggish compared to the E-M1 Mk II. *yes

drmarkf
28th November 2017, 09:55 AM
The real game changers for my usage compared to the mki relate to the CAF capabilities plus the speed of throughput. My 4 main uses are street, birding, sports and landscape, and the mkii allows me to do things in the first three that I simply couldn’t do before (or, at least, hadn’t been able to do since I sold my D300 Nikon gear around 4 years ago.

For street I can now reliably get and hold focus at full aperture with the Pan-Leica 15 on a subject walking briskly past me on the pavement. There’s no way the mki would do that, so I had to zone focus at narrower aperture with resulting confusing backgrounds.

Birding we’ve heard about: with the 300 plus practice and decent light you get focusing performance as good as the average ‘serious amateur’ DSLR (but the critical sharpness hit rate for birds in flight isn’t as good as a D500, D5 or 1D mkii - but what else is?).

The main improvement for me with field sports like rugby is with the greatly reduced viewfinder blackout and never-ending buffer. I found the CAF perfectly adequate with the mki, but you could only shoot in relatively short bursts and very often some interesting action developed after a set piece just as it ground to a crawl.

There is noticeably better highlight recovery with the mkii at 200ASA with Capture One, but that’s about it for landscape. I tend now to expose further to the right than I used to. I do wonder if the photonstopixels/dxo differences are down to the way the test images are taken and handled, with the former perhaps testing exposure-independent ultimate DR while the latter tests it at some averaged exposure? Just a guess.

Subjectively I’d say there is around 2/3 stop more latitude with the mkii at 200ASA if you expose to the right, and I definitely need to do much less HDR and exposure blending than I used to (although I still quite commonly take HDR bursts of 3 or 5 at 2 stops). There is much less over-exposure latitude at 64ASA, by the way, and quite commonly I underexpose by 1/3 stop at that.