Originally Posted by timallenphoto
I admire your enthusiasm but I'm not sure why you're comparing it to a 5D? Surely the only thing in common is the focal length of 50mm? It's not true f1.4 and image quality is a long way behind, or am I missing something?
First off, just want to say I love your work. Visited your gallery, etc. I could get lost in there pretty easily!
You bring up a fair point/question, but I think for my use, it's a comparison I intentionally made.
It's replaced for my usage the 5D + 50mm 1.8 that I shot with most. I'm a 50mm FOV shooter, which is why I don't use the Fuji X100 (35mm FOV) or NEX (no fast 50 equivalent, in terms of FOV), and why I never got along with the Panny 20/1.7 much.
IQ, as you know, is not a single score or parameter. It's a mix of variables, with some variables having meaning for certain folks, and other variables weighing heavier for other folks. For me, this combo hits most of the variables that I look for, at least out of all the combos that are currently available in any CSC.
In my review, I think I already pointed out that the Oly sensor is about 2 stops behind NEX, which is pretty close to a 5D. So, for high ISO, it's lagging. But as I shoot mainly in brighter conditions, that's not as much an issue to me. In darker conditions, and for family/fun photos, the jpg engine and WB have improved. There is some loss of detail to NR and jpg smoothing, but if you aren't cropping much, and doing basic sized printing, you won't notice it really. I didn't notice it in full screen viewing, until I zoomed into 100% view.
DOF wise, the 25/1.4 behaves similarly to a 50/2.8, which is pretty darn useful. I never did shoot much at 50/1.4 (when I had a 50/1.4) or even 50/1.8. I was usually at 50/2 and higher.
The PanLeica lens renders colors and contrast very nicely. IMO, better than any other m43 lens I've tested. To the level of L glass on a 5D? No. But pretty close to my old 50/1.8 on my 5D. And pixel sharpness is fairly comparable.
Can the EPM1 + 25/1.4 replicate the entire 5D & 50/1.8 experience? Not entirely. But I couldn't stick the 5D in my jacket pocket, either (or take movies for that matter).
A good used 5D is about $1,000 + 50/1.8 $100 = $1,100. EPM1 (if you sell the kit lens) $300 + ~$500 for the PL25/1.4 = $800. Cheaper and smaller, and close enough for family/fun shooting. I don't do paid gigs anymore, but if I did, I would use a 5Dii + L glass (if we're talking e.g. portrait/wedding), but just for me? I'll take this little kit.
So, for personal purposes, I think this is highly comparable to how I shot and used my 5D, and it has quenched my desire for a 5D -- which I have bought and resold over the last 3 years, thinking "I want my 5D back" then "ugh, I don't want to lug this around anymore". I can only talk about my experience and use, though. Other folks will have other needs, approaches, tendencies and desires. I hope this posting helped someone better evaluate this fine little camera.