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Olympus OM-D E-M5 The first Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus with an integrated Electronic Viewfinder

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Old 3rd July 2013
josephlck josephlck is offline
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E-M5 now or wait?

So I'm going to Malaysia next week and camera equipment is much cheaper there. I'm looking to replace my ageing E520 at some point so the question is, should I get the E-M5 while I'm there (about 600-700 I think) or wait for it's successor (apparently to be announced in September).

My main concern with the EM5 is manual focusing with the EVF. I'm not keen on using magnification and the new OM-D should have a much higher resolution EVF and focus peaking. On the other hand, it would probably be twice the price. What are peoples' thoughts? And how do you find manual focusing on the EM5?
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Old 3rd July 2013
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

Focus peaking is only on the Pen E-P5. The E-M5 viewfinder is basically the same as the VF-2 optional finder for Pens and has an 800x600 pixel (1.44 million dots) resolution. The latest VF-4 has a 1024x768 pixel resolution (2.36 million dots) and has a slightly larger (greater magnification) view. Focusing is very much down to individuals and I don't have problems using the E-M5's finder for manual focusing. I do usually use the automatic manual focus magnify view (when you move the focus ring the view in the finder zooms temporarily so you can focus very precisely.

Ian
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Old 3rd July 2013
brian1208 brian1208 is offline
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

I do a lot of manual focusing using the EVF Joseph, always at 120 fps and Live view boost on or off depending on the subject / lighting.

It took a while to get as comfortable with it as I was with the OVF on my canons (5dmk2 + 60D) but now do it without thinking about it and can spot the eyes of a fly / bee popping in and out of focus with no problem in macro, ditto with birds in flight etc)

As to waiting on the (rumoured) replacement only you can judge, for me it was always a case of having the best gear I could at the time I needed it so I never waited on any new body to come out but purchased what was available at the time I was ready to but
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Old 3rd July 2013
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

I can't comment on manual focusing because I don't do that, or feel the need.

Just a word of caution about buying abroad, it may affect your warranty in the UK. Plus, at the moment Olympus UK are running a free grip deal.
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Old 3rd July 2013
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

I think you summed up the arguments succinctly yourself. The E-M5 now or the OM-D+ for plus the price.

My only gripe about manual focussing is that I often want the zoom box at 14x for auto focus but at 7x for actual zoomed in manual focussing (14x is a bit much and you often end up staring at an uniform patch on your target with no detail). I know its only a twiddle of the dial to change but its still a nuisance.
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Old 3rd July 2013
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

OK, I got confused - 'New OM-D' - you mean the new camera we're expecting to be properly compatible with Four Thirds lenses? The current OM-D E-M5 is now nearly 18 months old - shock horror! I think you are sticking your neck out in assuming it will be a direct development of the current E-M5 and therefore be branded an OM-D. But I have no privileged knowledge!

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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

The problem with today's fast paced developments is that when a new camera is introduced, almost immediately it is considered obsolete because of rumours about even better cameras just around the corner. At whatever point you buy, you are always at risk of missing out on the next best thing, which could have been yours if only you had waited. The trouble is, you could forever be waiting and how much enjoyment and how many great shots do you forego in the meantime?

It is far from clear what exactly the next cameras from Olympus will be. One rumour I saw recently (and it is only a rumour) is that the next OM-D will be an entry level model that sits below the E-M5 (which will continue). The very big question is will there also be a new "professional" camera, capable of PDAF focus with traditional Four Thirds lenses? There are suggestions that if and when this camera materializes it could be the start of a new range running alongside the OM-D series. The only certainty is that it will be expensive!
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

Olympus hints over the last year suggest that a Four Thirds 'solution' camera will be announced this autumn. What we don't know is whether it will be a conventional DSLR, like an modernised E-5, or whether it will be a Micro Four Thirds camera (capable of taking MFT lenses) that has been developed enough to make the use of Four Thirds lenses uncompromised. I personally think it would be a mistake if such a camera was as small as an E-M5. I do hope that the next OM-D will be a more affordable model aimed at a high volume of potential buyers.

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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

By the way, are you certain that cameras are cheaper in Malaysia? Last time I was in Japan there weren't any great bargains to be had. I had a similar experience in Singapore. The one place that did have big savings to offer if you knew where to go was Hong Kong.

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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Olympus hints over the last year suggest that a Four Thirds 'solution' camera will be announced this autumn. What we don't know is whether it will be a conventional DSLR, like an modernised E-5, or whether it will be a Micro Four Thirds camera (capable of taking MFT lenses) that has been developed enough to make the use of Four Thirds lenses uncompromised. I personally think it would be a mistake if such a camera was as small as an E-M5. I do hope that the next OM-D will be a more affordable model aimed at a high volume of potential buyers.

Ian
I hope so also, i wonder how many people have moved over to Panasonic because Olympus brought the E-M5 but with no lower end models. And before it is mentioned a lot of people like the feel and size of a DSLR style camera rather than a PEN. I still only use an E-600 but when she finally dies I would like to stay with Olympus, but at the moment only Panasonic seem to have models within my price range. I want to stay with a 4/3 system.

Steve
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

Thanks for the views everyone.

I take your point that technology is always moving on and todays top of the range is tomorrows 'meh' so I suppose the question really is, is the OM-D EM-5's EVF good enough? Or wait for a model with a higher resolution EVF (presumably the 2.36m dot of the VF4) and focus peaking.

Do you think it's fair to say that magnification is required for focusing on the EM-5?

I did consider the P5 with VF4 but it ends up being more expensive than the EM-5 and I feel the wifi at least is a bit gimmicky with little practical use. Plus, I would miss a permanently attached viewfinder.

I wouldn't want to end up in a situation where I buy a new camera then feel the need to upgrade it in a year's time...

My "perfect" camera would be:
Good dynamic range
5 axis IS
High resolution EVF
Focus peaking
Less than £1000 with a lens
(EDIT: + small and portable)

Everything else (weather sealing, wifi, movie mode) is pretty much icing. Ultimately I expect compromises will have to be made over the last 3 points. The only question is where...

As for warranty, I think my E520 had an international warranty and I have family in Malaysia. Plus, I tend to find warranties not all that useful (now that I've said that, I'm sure I will need it if I buy something). Price-wise, it's sad but most local businesses in Asian countries will try and cheat whitemen. The price on display is rarely the actual price. Plus, my dad has a few "regular" camera shops he goes too. At the very least, there isn't a 20% VAT (no electronic tax in Malaysia I believe).
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Old 3rd July 2013
Ulfric M Douglas Ulfric M Douglas is offline
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

Depending on your eyes : manual focusing with the E-M5's EVF (in my opinion equivalent to the VF-2 and even the ancient Lumix G1) is easy, quick and often doesn't need magnification, let alone peaking.

Shock news : the NEW VF-4 might not improve unmagnified human focus speed or accuracy for many users.
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulfric M Douglas View Post
Depending on your eyes : manual focusing with the E-M5's EVF (in my opinion equivalent to the VF-2 and even the ancient Lumix G1) is easy, quick and often doesn't need magnification, let alone peaking.

Shock news : the NEW VF-4 might not improve unmagnified human focus speed or accuracy for many users.
It's a valid point that ability to focus manually varies greatly from one individual to another. With that in mind it's almost impossible to answer how easy it is to focus the E-M5, the only sure way is to try one out.
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Old 3rd July 2013
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by josephlck View Post

As for warranty, I think my E520 had an international warranty and I have family in Malaysia. Plus, I tend to find warranties not all that useful (now that I've said that, I'm sure I will need it if I buy something). Price-wise, it's sad but most local businesses in Asian countries will try and cheat whitemen. The price on display is rarely the actual price. Plus, my dad has a few "regular" camera shops he goes too. At the very least, there isn't a 20% VAT (no electronic tax in Malaysia I believe).
Two points.

The standard worldwide warranty for Olympus products is one year. The warranty for products imported into the UK by Olympus Europe is two years.

There may be no VAT in Malaysia but you will have to pay UK VAT and possibly Import Duty when you bring the item into the UK. HM Customs have lists of serial numbers of all cameras legally imported-into the UK and they will check. I understand they may also ask to see proof of purchase even for a camera you have bought in the UK and taken out with you. I would not recommend trying to fool with HM customs, it can prove very expensive.

Regards.
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Old 3rd July 2013
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Re: E-M5 now or wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterBirder View Post
Two points.

The standard worldwide warranty for Olympus products is one year. The warranty for products imported into the UK by Olympus Europe is two years.

There may be no VAT in Malaysia but you will have to pay UK VAT and possibly Import Duty when you bring the item into the UK. HM Customs have lists of serial numbers of all cameras legally imported-into the UK and they will check. I understand they may also ask to see proof of purchase even for a camera you have bought in the UK and taken out with you. I would not recommend trying to fool with HM customs, it can prove very expensive.

Regards.
That's an interesting point actually. I'm not too fussed about the 2nd year warranty. I think it's because of EU consumer protection law. But if electronics fail, they tend to fail within the first few months which is why is almost always a loss (on average) buying extended warranties.

As for import duty and VAT, technically I am Malaysian with a working visa to the UK. Would that really count as "importing" it? How would it be different if I were coming to the UK for the first time and bought a camera just before. Or if I were a tourist to the UK. It's probably a bit of a grey area... I'll have a look at the HM R&C website to see if there's anything useful.

As for the EVF, I'm not sure how much time to test things as we have quite a packed schedule so I was hoping to see what people's experience of it were.
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