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Olympus OM-D E-M1 The first Micro Four Thirds camera that offers phase detect focusing so you can use Four Thirds DSLR lenses normally as well a Micro Four Thirds lenses.

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Old 6th October 2013
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Middle-aged fuddy duddy

A lot of words have been written recently on the new EM-1. So far as I can see virtually all positive. I have thought quite hard about it as a camera since it was announced.

I didnít buy my E-5 when it came out, I waited a year just as I did with my E-3.
When I started using them I was delighted by the significant improvements over the model I was already using. (before the E-3 was the E-500) I am really pleased with the E-5. It is robust and offers a standard of photographic possibilities which I am still discovering. The glass and other bits I have to go with it have also pleased me greatly.

Then along came the E-P series. I certainly wasnít sure where that was going but now it is more obvious. I felt it was a step sideways. Perhaps not now, CSC cameras are occupying a significant part of the market. Nice to see that Olympus is a leader in it too. Then the E-M5 appeared. This looked to me like a good idea although it is also M.4/3 which I have not bought into.
And now the E-M1. All singing, all dancing or is it?

Let me take a wee step back.
I am now paid by my work to take photographs and for this I have been given a Nikon D800 and a system to go with it. Iíve used it for over a year now (which is why I have posted a lot fewer photos here) and I feel I can now make a comparison with my E-5.

The E-5 is more robust in Scottish weather, there is no problem with dust on the sensor, the remote operating system is far better at a simple level, a very agile rear screen (very important) and in respect of the zoom lenses, no lens creep as you walk.

The Nikon is better at low light capture, detail on battery life and because it is a market leader, better at sophisticated remote operation (through a laptop).

This is a bit simplistic but these are features I encounter, use or need on an almost daily basis. Overall I prefer my E-5.

To come back to the E-M1. I find a new camera that does not have a built in flash, a screen that is less flexible than its predecessors, and EVF (my old E-8080 viewfinder is now B&W!) a form which I am not convinced of, yet another set of batteries (I would need 4 min. as I like to use a battery holder) and remarkably if using the new battery holder, to replace the batteries the holder has to be removed (it doesnít on the E-5).

Olympus make a great virtue of the size of the E-M1 and 5 and have (successfully ) given them a retro look similar to the OM-1, 2, etc. just as the E-P series pays homage to the Pen. I have an OM-1 and 2 and for me their compactness works as there are many fewer things to do on those bodies compared to the modern digital camera. I find the compactness of the E-5 is as far as I would like to go in modern miniaturisation. (and I donít have big hands)

In conclusion, I will wait and see as I have done before. At the rate Olympus are now producing models, it may be that by the time I do decide to take the plunge, I may be buying the E-M2 or E-M3 but currently the E-M1 does not seem to me to be a significant step forward from what I have.
In the meantime, Iíll keep an eye open for another E-5 body (new or used) and may treat myself to some SHG glass. I rather like the 35-100.
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Old 6th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

That sums me up pretty well. Since starting a new job in the spring my 4/3 equipment is now for my personal work. Actually, all my HG and SHG glass has been gathering dust, I've been using manual focus primes for most of my personal work since I rounded them all up. I priced an E-5 this weekend hoping the price would have dropped with the launch of the E-M1 but it hasn't yet.
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Old 6th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

That makes sense, Duncan, you may as well continue to enjoy your E-5 and put any spare funds towards more lenses.
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Old 7th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

i agree with most of what you have said. I now have the E-M1 (just) and am on a learning curve again, but not so steep this time coming from an E-M5. Despite the obvious improvements in ergonomics I still don't think it will ever feel as comfortable to use as my E5 or even E30 come to that. The sensor is a different matter and is quite a bit better in all respects than the E5 and this is the main reason why I went down this road. Plus although I don't like EVF it is a boon when I need to MF legacy/non native primes which happens quite often.

It is a fact that progress is never as fast as we would like it to be and your natural reticence to buy into new technology is a good ploy, when you miss a rung on the ladder the next one always seems to be much higher than you expected. I imagine you will move on eventually and will be amazed with your new tool. But don't leave it too long, as we get older technological advances get harder to deal with.

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Old 7th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

Interesting comments guys. I'm usually in your camp Duncan when it comes to buying older established models but didn't make the E5 step due to size. However, I've just made the jump to an EM-1 from an old E510 and so far although it's very early days I'm loving it. Even having said that I'm sure that there will still be some things I'll prefer to do with the old soldier so it wont be a complete retirement for my E510. As David said the new tech is quite a learning curve and I've made a few jumps in one go but it's enjoyable so far, even if I couldn't for the life of me find the hdr setting yesterday when I needed it
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Old 7th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

Yesterday I took the E-5 out (both ONE batteries on charge).

I do love the E-5 its so "robust" and feels more "right".

The ONE is too light and too small, for me! It does not "feel" the powerful kit it is.

Time will tell . . .
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Old 7th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

I can't help feeling that Olympus have missed a significant opportunity to rethink the ergonomics of camera design. Back in the film/SLR days there were obvious constraints on lens/viewfinder/mirror/filmplane/winder layout (that's why all cameras had that same basic layout) - but with digital (and EVF) that surely changes. We really don't need to have a layout that squishes our noses into the camera body so that we can peer into a teeny viewfinder plonked in the top middle of the body.

And - to hold - the EM-1/5 just feel "alien" (spent most of yesterday wandering around with E-1 and E-3/grip - they just sit in the hand, bulging/curving to fit).

But I suspect that there's another old fogey bias to be played to here - if it doesn't look like "a camera" people turn up their noses (witness the reaction to the E300/330 styling, for example).

I really would like someone to step back and say "this is what a camera is for, this is what it needs to do, and here is a design which is a step forward in those respects". I don't think incrementalism will achieve that.
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Old 7th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevvyf1 View Post
Yesterday I took the E-5 out (both ONE batteries on charge).

I do love the E-5 its so "robust" and feels more "right".

The ONE is too light and too small, for me! It does not "feel" the powerful kit it is.

Time will tell . . .
Chevvy, from my experience of using the EM-5 for over a year the time may come when you pick up your old DSLR and find it no longer fits your hand but will feel like a great big lump! (I borrowed a friend's 5Dmk3 as an experiment and couldn't believe how cumbersome and large it felt in my hand)

It takes time to reset your mind (even more when you get old like me )
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Old 7th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Bowman View Post
I can't help feeling that Olympus have missed a significant opportunity to rethink the ergonomics of camera design. Back in the film/SLR days there were obvious constraints on lens/viewfinder/mirror/filmplane/winder layout (that's why all cameras had that same basic layout) - but with digital (and EVF) that surely changes. We really don't need to have a layout that squishes our noses into the camera body so that we can peer into a teeny viewfinder plonked in the top middle of the body.

And - to hold - the EM-1/5 just feel "alien" (spent most of yesterday wandering around with E-1 and E-3/grip - they just sit in the hand, bulging/curving to fit).

But I suspect that there's another old fogey bias to be played to here - if it doesn't look like "a camera" people turn up their noses (witness the reaction to the E300/330 styling, for example).

I really would like someone to step back and say "this is what a camera is for, this is what it needs to do, and here is a design which is a step forward in those respects". I don't think incrementalism will achieve that.
A very interesting and valid observation. It would be a challenge on the marketing front and therefore commercially but it would be a genuinely useful step in camera evolution. To sit back and go through the problem solving starting at "what's it for" would be a fascinating process.

For certain though the result would not find universal acceptance and hence my comments on the tricky commercial aspects. Perhaps Olympus shouild do a concept camera as car manufacturers do.

Hec
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

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Originally Posted by brian1208 View Post
Chevvy, from my experience of using the EM-5 for over a year the time may come when you pick up your old DSLR and find it no longer fits your hand but will feel like a great big lump! (I borrowed a friend's 5Dmk3 as an experiment and couldn't believe how cumbersome and large it felt in my hand)

It takes time to reset your mind (even more when you get old like me )

Brian, I am OLD ! ... Bus Pass too

But I do see what you mean ... Thank You for this ... I shall not put my ONE and lenses up for sale ... just yet then
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

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Originally Posted by Grumpy Hec View Post
A very interesting and valid observation. It would be a challenge on the marketing front and therefore commercially but it would be a genuinely useful step in camera evolution. To sit back and go through the problem solving starting at "what's it for" would be a fascinating process.

For certain though the result would not find universal acceptance and hence my comments on the tricky commercial aspects. Perhaps Olympus shoild do a concept camera as car manufacturers do.

Hec

a fold up 'telescope' style viewfinder (nose under it) on the side of an iPhone 5 ?

Actually, some interesting designs could be fruitful
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Old 7th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

Being used to the OM film cameras I never made the switch to DSLRs. To me they were always too big and bulky. That's why the E-M5 grip never comes with me when I take the camera out.

But there is scope for a new design of camera, after all camcorders took off in a big way.
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Old 7th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

Fortunately or unfortunately, no camera is right for everyone. I'll go so far as to say that no camera is perfect in every way for anyone. And for as long as mankind is made up of individuals, there never will be.
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

I am amazed at the tiny little cam corders motorcylists have mounted on helmets forward facing and rear facing these days to capture any accident esp. Hit & Run vehicle data - the IQ of the image and the amount of "film/images" is superb

I also use a USB Microscope - for the children to see more detail of their "captured objects, vis spider; fly or mushroom" that also takes a photo and again, IQ is so high.

Given the Olympus products for medical imaging the possibilities are ... next camera is matchbox size
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Old 7th October 2013
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Re: Middle-aged fuddy duddy

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morison View Post
.... as we get older technological advances get harder to deal with.

David
I don't buy into this statement.... I'm definitely getting older, and, having worked in tech companies for 30+ years, I still love new technology!

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