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Olympus E-5 E-5 specific discussion.

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Old 9th March 2012
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Question dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

Hi Folks,

I'd like to have a decent camera body that sort of doesn't freak me out from ISO 800 and above with all the noise. I have an E-600 and I love it very much though I think it really sucks indoors because it cannot handle low light situations too well. The AF is really slow even with the lights on (most probably that's because of the dodgy kit lens).

I'm entertaining the idea of dropping the whole Olympus system and switch over to Nikon due to the advantages of ISO performance and the full frame sensor. But at the same time I have already invested a lot of money in lenses and if I switch, they have to go out of window too and I really don't want to throw away around 1000, that I've so far spent on lenses.

My other issue with Olympus is that their lenses are super expensive compared to CaNikon and there isn't much of a choice. This variable aperture thing is really annoying me (try shooting a toddler and be a ninja with your finger and mind to remember the 3rd stops all the time), so most of the time I have my kit lenses set to f5.6 but that doesn't give me the desired effect at all and basically Olympus only offers 2 fast primes. I have the 25mm f2.8 which is alright but it still doesn't give me a shallow enough DOF that you can easily achieve with its CaNikon counter part at fraction of the price. I've tested the 50mm f2 and I loved it to bits. That's more of the kind of thing I'd be after in my photography, so if I want only eyes in focus, I just go to my Lensbaby.

So what's your thought? I don't want to pay over 700 for a lens that's practically an f4 or over 900 which is an f3.5 at best and I still can't get a shallow DOF. I don't even want to go down the so called "Top Pro Lenses" lane as they're 2000 each!! At the moment they're way out of my league. Seems like Olympus is not really going to come out with anything else because they're very much focused on the micro 4/3s stuff these days.

I suppose my question is, how do you overcome the dodgy ISO performance (would the E-5 solve this?) and not being able to achieve shallow enough DOF (I do go close now that I've watched Zack Arias's workshop recently, but that's still not enough).

Thanks very much
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

Dare I suggest you wait to try the OM-D E-M5? All the tests I have seen suggest fast focus and good high ISO performance. Plus there are some cracking good fast primes in m4/3 fitting.

Don't forget that by going Nikon or Canon full-frame, you are moving to large bodies, which may or may not bother you, but the sheer weight can sometimes slow down your reactions!
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

As at least 90% of the image quality is determined by the lens - the body just being an accessory, I'm sticking with Olympus because of the incomparable quality of their lenses. FWIW I found this quote on the net (The Online Photographer):

"A good family friend - sadly departed from this vale of tears - was the patent attorney (and glass physicist) for Carl Zeiss. Before that, he worked for Leica in Solms, designing new glass types.

In both cases he said that the only Japanese company that Leica or Zeiss regarding as being serious competitors (in terms of coming close to being in the same class, quality-wise) was Olympus. Nikon and Canon, meh. Pentax, double meh. Olympus: hmmmm."

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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

I have recently got Lightroom...havent got the hang of it fully but the noise reduction is very good... happily shooting at ISO 1600 raw... and if you can get a 12-60 SWD focussing is much improved in low light...
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

If you don't want to spend over 700 on a lens then there is little point in spending 1400 on a camera with pretty much the same sensor as your E-600. Glass is the way forward if you stick with Olympus, which by the sound of it means the 50mm f2 which is ay-may-zing in terms of quality and would suit you well, although it is quite slow to focus.

I don't know much about other systems but you could probably replicate the kit you currently have easily within the cost of an E5 if you stay on small sensors with a prime lens and you are not that heavily invested in the E-System.

From your Flickr pictures you are doing a good job with the kit you have - I would love to get shots of my family like yours.

Nick
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crimbo View Post
I have recently got Lightroom...havent got the hang of it fully but the noise reduction is very good... happily shooting at ISO 1600 raw... and if you can get a 12-60 SWD focussing is much improved in low light...
I would take the above comments to heart and maybe get a E5, yes its heavier but its going to drop in price and with the 12-60 lens its very good
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

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Originally Posted by yorky View Post
I would take the above comments to heart and maybe get a E5, yes its heavier but its going to drop in price and with the 12-60 lens its very good
I'm running the E620 so the body could come last in an upgrade...and if I was going to system change then it would be the OM-D
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

I do not think you will be any happier switching as you will have the same problems with dof if going to APC sensor, there's not much difference in dof believe me and there kit lenses are not as good.

A Nikon D700 full frame will cost you about 1800 then a decent standard lens anywhere between 450-1200.

If you wish to stay with Olympus and portraits are your interest then I suggest the 50mm macro f2 which allows very shallow dof on head and shoulder shots.

50mm macro @ f2



I'd also learn more about the relation of F stops ,focal length and subject distance as this has a great bearing on how to throw backgrounds out of focus and is the cheaper option.

If you can pick up the old mark1 40-150 as it is a far better portrait lens than the mk2 and is half a stop faster.

mk1 40- 150mm at f4.5 at 150mm



E-30 and 70-300mm f5.6 ISO640 at 300mm



As you can see you can throw background out of focus with Olympus equipment.

By the way I also have Pentax and although the ISO seems better it comes at the cost of some smearing of the detail than is exceptable to me.
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

The 12-60 SWD lens was suggested & as good as it is, that comes at a price whereas the 14-54 II lens is almost down to half the price of the above lens & still very good quality. It operates from f2.8-3.5 & is optimised to work with contrast focus which would also work very well on a micro 4/3's body (with adapter) & for the best ISO performance todate, the OM-D E-M5, especially with the grip, would (or should) be a great combination for indoor photos. From that I am suggesting moving up from the kit lens (which is still good quality optics) to something better but not too expensive & the body can be updated later if & when you're ready.

If you're thinking of another system (brand), it usually comes with a kit lens that are not necessarily as good as Olympus's kit lenses & the better lenses available are not cheaper than Olympus except from 3rd party manufacturers (Sigma, Tamron etc.), but again, the better the quality, the higher the price.
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  #10  
Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

I was in much the same position as you ... but had an awful lot invested in Olympus lenses, including the f2 SHG ones. I had these to overcome the lack of shallow DOF in the system, and to get the absolute maximum IQ in my photos for exhibition needs. Fortunately I could afford them at the time. But times have changed, and last year the time had come to re-think (divorce in process).

I couldn't consider C or Nikon, and started looking seriously at the Pentax K5, and looked at many sample images on various sites. Its often said to be the true successor to the E1, and found it had all the attributes I wanted. Smaller body than E30, very high build quality & handling, WR, IBIS, exceptional SONY sensor giving noise free at 1600 ISO, best DR available etc etc. Body price much lower, and you have access to stunning small primes, as well as quality zooms.

Believe me when I say that

Its taken me maybe 6-8 months to do the system change, and I still have some lenses and 4/3 bodies to sell. I'll keep the EPL2 though.

I used Oly for many, many years, and have been one of its biggest fans / supporters. But the forced need to change - financial and health reasons, (I have serious breathing difficulties as well, which means that heavy 1.6kg f2 lenses are non starters, also heavy E5 body) has now given me access to the capabilities of the K5 which I otherwise would never have come across. I have even sold the Leica R lenses that I used on the E3 and E30, since the Pentax Limited primes are AF, are nothing short of stunning.

If anyone thinks I am trolling or something ... I'm not. Just giving my reasons for having to switch from Oly to Pentax, and sharing what I have found. I now have many more "weapons" in my armoury ... that's how I look at it. Huge DR, very high ISO usable, lovely lenses and so on. And the number of "keepers" have increased too.

Apart from the K5 body, and the 16-50 & 50-135 zooms, I have bought second hand, mainly through forums, and so the cost of the switch has actually been very modest.

I have the GH2 as well, but have decided that it too has to be is to be sold to raise funds. Not only that, but the the difference between it and the K5 in IQ and handling terms is so substantial. Having just the one kit simplifies so much, and its all very liberating I have to say!

Cheers
Rich S

PS to the OP, please PM me for any detailed info, as I don't feel this forum is the appropriate place to discuss the Pentax system I now have, and I have high regard for the Oly users, and wouldn't wish to cause any ripples!
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

Hi Orsi,

I've got an E-600 with kit lenses and like you got frustrated with the AF indoors in low light ! Adding a flash and using the focus beam (with a Metz 36 AF4 and upwards or Oly flash) helps but what you really need is faster glass.

For indoor use a Sigma 30mm f1.4 works well and with the focus adjust/calibration on the E-600 you can use it wide open. It's a nice balance with the E-600 as it's not too big. (Panaleica 25mm f1.4 is better still but more money)

For portraits the Oly 50mm f2 is great and like Paul i've had some good results with the 40-150 mm Mk1. Have got good results with the 50-200 SWD as well.

If you don't mind manual focus then you can use legacy olympus OM 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 with an adaptor. For thinner depth of field but with more working distance you can buy a Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f1.4 for 4/3rds but again is manual focus only. (A larger viewfinder in E1/3/30/5 would make this easier)

For brighter conditions indoors or using flash then the Oly 14-54mm Mk 1/2 or Sigma 18-50 f2.8 could be options for you too.

If you fancy micro 4/3 then the new OM-D with 45mm f1.8 looks very promising . (There are other fast primes too)

If you really want wafer thin depth of field then full frame with fast glass is the way to go but of course that is a lot more money !!


Cheers,
Mark
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

I get wafer thin DOF using the K5 ... no need to go FF and its weight / bulk.
The Pentax kit is very affordable for AF fast lenses eg 50mm f1.4, or 1.7, or even the 35mm f2.4 budget lens, which is excellent.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Hi Orsi,

If you really want wafer thin depth of field then full frame with fast glass is the way to go but of course that is a lot more money !!


Cheers,
Mark
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Old 9th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

How shallow do you want your DoF ? This was done at f/5.6

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Old 10th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rich s View Post
I was in much the same position as you ... but had an awful lot invested in Olympus lenses, including the f2 SHG ones. I had these to overcome the lack of shallow DOF in the system, and to get the absolute maximum IQ in my photos for exhibition needs. Fortunately I could afford them at the time. But times have changed, and last year the time had come to re-think (divorce in process).

I couldn't consider C or Nikon, and started looking seriously at the Pentax K5, and looked at many sample images on various sites. Its often said to be the true successor to the E1, and found it had all the attributes I wanted. Smaller body than E30, very high build quality & handling, WR, IBIS, exceptional SONY sensor giving noise free at 1600 ISO, best DR available etc etc. Body price much lower, and you have access to stunning small primes, as well as quality zooms.

Believe me when I say that

Its taken me maybe 6-8 months to do the system change, and I still have some lenses and 4/3 bodies to sell. I'll keep the EPL2 though.

I used Oly for many, many years, and have been one of its biggest fans / supporters. But the forced need to change - financial and health reasons, (I have serious breathing difficulties as well, which means that heavy 1.6kg f2 lenses are non starters, also heavy E5 body) has now given me access to the capabilities of the K5 which I otherwise would never have come across. I have even sold the Leica R lenses that I used on the E3 and E30, since the Pentax Limited primes are AF, are nothing short of stunning.

If anyone thinks I am trolling or something ... I'm not. Just giving my reasons for having to switch from Oly to Pentax, and sharing what I have found. I now have many more "weapons" in my armoury ... that's how I look at it. Huge DR, very high ISO usable, lovely lenses and so on. And the number of "keepers" have increased too.

Apart from the K5 body, and the 16-50 & 50-135 zooms, I have bought second hand, mainly through forums, and so the cost of the switch has actually been very modest.

I have the GH2 as well, but have decided that it too has to be is to be sold to raise funds. Not only that, but the the difference between it and the K5 in IQ and handling terms is so substantial. Having just the one kit simplifies so much, and its all very liberating I have to say!

Cheers
Rich S

PS to the OP, please PM me for any detailed info, as I don't feel this forum is the appropriate place to discuss the Pentax system I now have, and I have high regard for the Oly users, and wouldn't wish to cause any ripples!
No worries, we're mature enough here to have a reasoned discussion that involves other brands, even though we share Canikon jokes from time to time. Each of us has different needs and preferences and Olympus won't suit everyone. If we are able to help someone find the right system and that happens to be non-Olympus then so be it. I think it is healty for the OP to look at all the options, including other brands as well as different Olympus bodies, glass and MFT.
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Old 10th March 2012
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Re: dodgy ISO and lack of shallow DOF - upgrade to E-5 or just drop Oly altogether?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenL View Post
Dare I suggest you wait to try the OM-D E-M5? All the tests I have seen suggest fast focus and good high ISO performance. Plus there are some cracking good fast primes in m4/3 fitting.

Don't forget that by going Nikon or Canon full-frame, you are moving to large bodies, which may or may not bother you, but the sheer weight can sometimes slow down your reactions!
I do realize they do get bulkier if I went for full frame sensors.

I've heard about the OM-D coming out soon. Have to wait and see the high ISO performance. That's my only complaint about my camera body, otherwise I have no probs with it. I'm just trying to weigh whether it's a new camera body that will work for me better in low light or the fast glass with shallow DOF.
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