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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 10th August 2013
Sisi Sisi is offline
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OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Hi,
I have just spent a week trying out the OMD with the 90 - 250. The big advantage for me is that it is so quiet which is crucial for covering live music performances.
However, I have a few issues and would welcome any of your feedback.

1. The focusing with the MMF adapter plus 90 -250 is frustrating. But once it finds the focus the results are very good. I just wonder if older lenses on a new body needs to be updated or firmware updated??

2. Because it takes ages to find focus the lens is buzzing in and out all the time.
Manual focus worked quite well with the added magnifier - very helpful.

3. I also tried the OMD with my 35-100 f2 - the focusing noise is unacceptable worse than with the 90 -250 - again any thoughts on the firmware updates perhaps???

So, here are some examples:-
1. Photo of Mariss Jansons - OMD EM5 plus MMF adapter and 90 -250 ISO 3200

2. Photo of Mitsuko Uchida - OMD plus MMF adapter and 90 - 250 ISO 3200

3.Photo of Nobuyuki Tsujii - Olympus E5 with 90 -250 ISO 3200

4. Photo of Louis Lortie -OMD plus MMF adapter 90 - 250 ISO 3200

5. Photo of Thomas Ades - Olympus E5 90 -250 ISO 3200

I would welcome any thoughts you have on image quality and if the OMD would be considered professional quality. The images from the OMD are certainly very sharp but for my liking they are almost over sharp! I tried taking the sharpness down -2 on the Mitsuko and Mariss Jansons images.

Looking forward to your replies!
Thanks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Mariss JansonsP8080119.jpg (27.2 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg Mitsuko UchidaP8080064.jpg (28.5 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg Nobuyuki Tsujii_7160220.jpg (29.2 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg Thomas Ades_7170742.jpg (23.0 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg Louis LortieP8070222.jpg (28.5 KB, 44 views)
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Old 10th August 2013
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Try to test the OM-D with the new m.Zuiko 75-300 Mkll and you will be impressed. Micro fourthirds cameras are not at their best with four thirds lenses.
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Old 10th August 2013
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_j View Post
Try to test the OM-D with the new m.Zuiko 75-300 Mkll and you will be impressed. Micro fourthirds cameras are not at their best with four thirds lenses.
Thanks Mike, However, I believe the 75 -300 is f4 - that's far too slow for me. I need lenses of f2 f2.8!
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Old 10th August 2013
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Thanks Sisi. No. 4 of the conductor against the dark background is a corker.

It's very had to tell much about sharpness, focus etc. at these small sizes (yes I did click on the thumbnails!) but you can tell for yourself by looking at them at 100%. A couple of observations:

1. You comment that the images from the E-M5 were almost "over sharp" and you took sharpening down to -2. Are you working with the JPEGs or the raw files? (JPEG in capitals because it is an abbreviation/acronym, raw in lower case because it is a word ). If ever there is a case for using raw it is with live performance. The light is so weird that you really need all the dynamic range you can get, and often the better handling of colour temperature is a big help as well. I have found that the E-M5's raw files are particularly good as there is an awful lot of detail at the top and bottom of the curve which careful raw processing can bring out.

2. With most of these, do you really need AF? Shooting the pianists sideways on, you must have a pretty good idea of where they will be so you could pre-focus manually. I appreciate that the conductors will move back and forward which makes life more difficult, but even there you could anticipate and wait for a spectacular lunge during an emotional bit of the music or something.

Mike - my understanding is that Sisi needs to use the big lenses to get the fast apertures. Even at professional events like the proms the lighting levels are lower than you think so f/2.8 or even f/2 (as on the gorgeous 150mm f/2 big43 lens) are a great help.

Ciao ... John
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Oops - sorry Sisi - crossed in the post!

John
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Old 10th August 2013
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

The file attachment option on the forum is not really suitable for evaluating photos - best to use the gallery or insert photo from external web space.

Ian
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

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Originally Posted by Sisi View Post
Thanks Mike, However, I believe the 75 -300 is f4 - that's far too slow for me. I need lenses of f2 f2.8!
It's actually 4.8-6.7 - no problem for outdoors use, but less so for the kind of work you do.

Ian
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Old 10th August 2013
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisi View Post
Thanks Mike, However, I believe the 75 -300 is f4 - that's far too slow for me. I need lenses of f2 f2.8!
Hard luck I'm afraid. If this is what you want then M4/3rds is not for you. However don't dismiss it without taking into account that the EM5 has such excellent noise characteristics at high ISO that smaller apertures aren't so much an issue - unless you also need small DoF.

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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morison View Post
Hard luck I'm afraid. If this is what you want then M4/3rds is not for you. However don't dismiss it without taking into account that the EM5 has such excellent noise characteristics at high ISO that smaller apertures aren't so much an issue - unless you also need small DoF.

David
Not sure that is necessarily correct in the long term. I am on record as saying for some time that the logical solution for Four Thirds lens users would be a Micro Four Thirds camera that could focus Four Thirds lenses properly. The recent poll on Four Thirds User also suggests that this is what most people would like to see.

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Old 10th August 2013
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sisi View Post
Hi,
I have just spent a week trying out the OMD with the 90 - 250. The big advantage for me is that it is so quiet which is crucial for covering live music performances.
However, I have a few issues and would welcome any of your feedback.

1. The focusing with the MMF adapter plus 90 -250 is frustrating. But once it finds the focus the results are very good. I just wonder if older lenses on a new body needs to be updated or firmware updated??

2. Because it takes ages to find focus the lens is buzzing in and out all the time.
Manual focus worked quite well with the added magnifier - very helpful.

3. I also tried the OMD with my 35-100 f2 - the focusing noise is unacceptable worse than with the 90 -250 - again any thoughts on the firmware updates perhaps???

I would welcome any thoughts you have on image quality and if the OMD would be considered professional quality.

Looking forward to your replies!
Thanks!
With what are essentially static subjects, I suggest manual focus would work far better and not make any noise. The use of Focus Assist magnification takes some getting used too but can be of great value.

The old school techniques of pre-focusing on a nearby static object and watching for the subject to move into the plane of focus worked for us for many many years, and still holds good today. Especially with the very high sequential shooting speed, a burst of frames as the subject moves through the focus plane often produces the required image.

Manual focus also improves on shutter lag, so that momentary action or expression can often be better captured.

I use f/2.0 lenses on my MFT bodies and often use fully manual mode to get what I want. As for "slow" lenses, I also use old "legacy" (600mm f/8) and with the IS tuned into the right mode, the results are acceptable.

I do like the subject you have worked on and think you have done well with that lens to get those shots.
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Old 10th August 2013
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

You may wish to wait for the new OMD that is supposed to be fully compatible with FT lenses.

Best guess is that it will have PDFA on the sensor and come with a MFT to FT adaptor.

Off course if it is up to the job or a compromise is another matter and only testing on it's release will reveal that.
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

I understand where you're coming from having been a violinist & violist in orchestras & then later trying to photograph them (my children), but I also love the #4 shot. A beautiful moment!

According to rumours, next month (middle of Sept) should be worth waiting for. I would suggest waiting till then (if you can) before making any hard decisions, but I do appreciate how light in those concert situations is not designed for photographers. Also, quiet shutter operation is very necessary too. I remember having (trying) to take photos during loud passages in our local orchestral concert a few years ago with my noisy E30 to avoid getting 'the look' from nearby patrons & I wished I had a brighter lens too. I hope there is a solution to this very soon (next month, I hope).

Here's one I took (not of my children) back in 2011 at our local orchestra's concert with the E30 + 70-300 lens at ISO 1600. The lighting in this hall was hopeless (it's in the process of being replaced).


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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Thanks for all your comments so far!

I have at last worked out how to upload the photos to the gallery! So here they are again hopefully a better size!

It seems that I will just have to hang on and wait to see what olympus bring out next!

The conductor in profile was taken with the E5 and 90-250.
The others are with the OMD plus 90 -250
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
With what are essentially static subjects, I suggest manual focus would work far better and not make any noise. The use of Focus Assist magnification takes some getting used too but can be of great value.

The old school techniques of pre-focusing on a nearby static object and watching for the subject to move into the plane of focus worked for us for many many years, and still holds good today. Especially with the very high sequential shooting speed, a burst of frames as the subject moves through the focus plane often produces the required image.

Manual focus also improves on shutter lag, so that momentary action or expression can often be better captured.

I use f/2.0 lenses on my MFT bodies and often use fully manual mode to get what I want. As for "slow" lenses, I also use old "legacy" (600mm f/8) and with the IS tuned into the right mode, the results are acceptable.

I do like the subject you have worked on and think you have done well with that lens to get those shots.
Well, musicians are not static subjects! Conductors and soloists move around quite a bit. I was able to use the manual focus some of the time with the help of the magnifier but it is still not ideal as I missed quite a few shots which were out of focus. So, auto focus which works smoothly and quietly would be a much better bet!
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Re: OMD EM5 with 90-250 versus Olympus E5

I can see why the E-5 struggles in IQ against the E-M5 in the one of the conductor in profile (that was taken with the E5 and 90-250) & why it would be nice to have the latest body that would work well with the 90-250 lens. Maybe next month we will know.

You could always offer to test out this new body & lens combination for Olympus. They should be pleased for the great opportunity to show how well it would perform.

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