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An EM5 vs G5 Dilemma

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dezignman, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. dezignman

    dezignman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Aug 4, 2012
    If I posted this on a forum like DPReview I would be bludgeoned to death.

    I want to upgrade my G3 and bought an EM5 a few weeks ago. I returned it because of specific reasons which I will mention, but at the time when it arrived I was leaving my other residence to travel back home and I wouldn't have the time to give full attention to these issues. They are: IBIS was a biggie for me, and I realized it is not like OIS that you either turn on or off, but it seems to be more temperamental in that it requires attention to shutter speeds with certain lenses. Some feel there is a shutter vibration on certain cameras, other swear by IBIS. There is an issue with the Panny 20mm f/1.7 lens where it locks up. There is a rattlesnake issue with the Panny 25mm. Both of these lenses are important reasons for me to want IBIS.

    So, I started looking at the G5. It seems that the DR is slightly higher than the G3, but not as high as the EM5. The one thing I hate about the G3 is the lack of auto switching from viewfinder to LCD; that alone is worth the price of the upgrade.

    My logic is to buy the G5 now because even if Panny announces something new in a month, we're not going to be able to buy it until the spring. Unless, of course, I'm not giving the EM5 a chance, and I was too hasty?

    Any opinions would help.
     
  2. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Sorry, but I don't understand what you didn't like about the EM-5--the IBIS was 'tempermental'? I don't have an EM-5, but I've used several Oly cameras with IBIS. In my experience the advantages offered by IBIS at low shutter speeds way more than offset any degradation it may introduce at higher shutter speeds (which, to be honest, I haven't seen but others have reported and I have no reason to doubt their observations).

    At any rate, if you're set on staying with Panny I'd wait a few weeks to see what new is announced. Given Panny's delivery woes you probably wouldn't be able to take advantage of a new camera any time soon, but the introduction of a new one might cause prices to drop on existing models, like the G5.

    Which, by all accounts, seems like a great camera.

    Good luck!
     
  3. dezignman

    dezignman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Aug 4, 2012
    I didn't really use the EM5: all these issues flooded me at a time when I was packing to move back home. But, I think that with the EM5 (and correct me if I'm wrong) I have slightly better DR and the issues I mentioned with the lenses. I said that whatever Panny announces won't be available to buy until the spring, and then Oly will have a new announcement. So, was I being too hasty with the EM5? Or, should I just buy a G5 which I am already used to the interface?
     
  4. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    The g5 is a great upgrade to the g3. It addresses many (or all) of the flaws like the smaller battery and grip and lack of eye sensor. Generally considered to be an IQ upgrade and is very close to the em5, and this is without adobe raw support. I wouldnt be surprised if this gap is closed even further with the next software update.

    The em5 is expensive, if you don't love it, then save a bunch and go with a g5.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
  5. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    You will lose almost nothing trying out the G5 (or the E-M5). Just buy from a supplier with a good return policy, don't exceed the limitation on actuations (I have heard that B&H and Kenmore have a 200 actuations limitation.) Order up and try the camera for a week. Can't go wrong doing this, really. I have both the E-M5 and G5 and I'm enjoying having them both. I do relate better to the Pany interface and menus, which are fantastic on the G5. I prefer the hand hold and feel in the hand with the Pany. IBIS can be helpful in some situations, but I have OIS on a number of Pany lenses, as well. IQ between the two is so close as to be pretty much a wash, except in extreme DR situations. However, in those cases, the built in HDR feature (or create your own HDR custom setting) on the G5 is wonderful and very easy initiate. Best way to pick the body is to see which one you just feel best with personally... they're both great cameras. I'd say order up a G5 and check it out. I love mine.
     
  6. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    328
    Jan 28, 2012
    I agree with these comments. Most of us are here to have fun taking pictures. I mostly love the E-M5. It has taken me a while to get comfortable with it. But the G5 looks like a great upgrade to the G3 and it's considerably less expensive. Go with what you're comfortable with and enjoy.
     
  7. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    I'd expect that you'd be happy with either camera. The "issues" with the EM5 are probably smaller than is implied by what you see at DPR. They've been thoroughly blown out of proportion.

    My take:
    IBIS is at least worth trying out. I've loved it with the EM5. It's been really useful and the chances are slim that the various "issues" will affect you much at all--I've never experienced a lock up or banding with my 20mm and the "rattlesnaking" has bee no louder on my EM5 than it was on my G2.m With that said, unless you're pushing shadows dramatically, the difference in DR isn't big enough that it'll really matter.

    Good luck with the decision!
     
  8. dezignman

    dezignman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Aug 4, 2012
    Thanks all for your help. With all due respect to the EM5 (it is a great camera) I went ahead and ordered a G5 today.
     
  9. spinyman

    spinyman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    603
    Nov 19, 2010
    San Diego
    I don't have any of the lens issues you noted.I think the differenses between the OMD and G5 come down less to picture quality and more to form factor and features.You can't lose with this choice.
     
  10. dezignman

    dezignman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Aug 4, 2012
    Well, there's always the possibility of me not being satisfied with the G5 and reordering the EM5. Or, keeping both: that's how torn I feel over this decision. I never before had such a difficult time deciding on a camera, and I've had a lot of them.
     
  11. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    What is wrong with your G3? I still use my E-P1. It takes the same great pictures it took when I bought it.
     
  12. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    895
    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    I bought an Om- D on pre order
    I tried it out for a day but sold it as it didn't set my world on fire
    For me the biggest issue was justifying the cost to myself which I decided I couldn't do compared to other camera bodies such as the E- P3 and G3 which are technically inferior but not leagues behind and less than half the cost in terms of current used values
    I ended up buying another mint used E-P3 (having sold my previous one) AND a near mint G3 which both together were far less than the O-MD
    I have taken delivery today of a Panny G5 which I am far more thrilled about - not because I prefer Panasonic to Olympus (which I dont - I love and have loved various cameras from both stables) but because I bought it on a superb deal at £423.00 and don't have to justify the cost to myself
    I know that the performance might be slightly inferior but it'll be close enough for me and I can genuinely and more thoroughly enjoy my purchase due to the much greater value in my eyes
    The O-MD is just not worth that much extra cash IMO (especially for those that need to purchase the additional grip just to get to where the G5 is near enough straight out of the box) for what is an incremental difference in image quality
    Regards
    Rob
     
  13. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    895
    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    PS How much are you guys in the US paying for your G5s ?
    They are about £599 body only in the UK at full price
    Rob
     
  14. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    IBIS was a biggie for me, and I realized it is not like OIS that you either turn on or off, but it seems to be more temperamental in that it requires attention to shutter speeds with certain lenses.

    Like many things in the E-M5 menu, the fact that there is a setting for focal length and IBIS is confusing. However, this setting is is only for manual focus lenses. With any regular autofocus lens, IBIS just works without attention to anything.


    Some feel there is a shutter vibration on certain cameras, other swear by IBIS.

    I don't know what you mean by this. The E-M5 has less shutter vibration than any other MFT camera. If you mean the slight vibration of the sensor suspension system, I have only heard of one person who ever cared about that. It's similar to OIS in many systems. A bigger issue has been the noise of that system, like a very quiet fan - some people care about that. I do not.


    There is an issue with the Panny 20mm f/1.7 lens where it locks up. There is a rattlesnake issue with the Panny 25mm. Both of these lenses are important reasons for me to want IBIS.

    I am not aware of any lock up issue with the P20. If that happens, it certainly hasn't affected many people or I would have heard about it. There is an issue with EM5 banding and the P20.

    The PL25 sometimes rattles. This is very infrequent in my experience, and when it happens, I turn the camera off, on, and it generally doesn't come back for another long time. It has been a non-issue to me although some people find it a nuisance.


    So, I started looking at the G5. It seems that the DR is slightly higher than the G3, but not as high as the EM5.

    My understanding (based on credible sources) is that the G5 actually uses the GH2 sensor (with multiaspect disabled). If so, then it's true that DR is in between G3 and EM5. I doubt that the difference between G5 and EM5 DR would matter to many people. They wouldn't matter to me.


    The one thing I hate about the G3 is the lack of auto switching from viewfinder to LCD; that alone is worth the price of the upgrade.

    My logic is to buy the G5 now because even if Panny announces something new in a month, we're not going to be able to buy it until the spring. Unless, of course, I'm not giving the EM5 a chance, and I was too hasty?


    I think the GH3 will be announced at Photokina and become available a few months later (end of 2012 or early 2013). It is likely to cost significantly more than the G5 and probably also more than the E-M5.


    Well, there's always the possibility of me not being satisfied with the G5 and reordering the EM5.

    The G5 looks like a great camera. I still think Panasonic AF is slightly better than Olympus AF. I honestly don't think there's a whole lot between those two cameras. My preference for the E-M5 is mostly based on the looks of the camera being like my old OM-2n :redface:, and to a lesser extent my fondness for IBIS, but I could be very happy with either camera.
     
  15. dezignman

    dezignman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Aug 4, 2012
    Amin

    I admit that I really didn't get to use IBIS, only read about it. So, it could be one of my greatest blunders by not trying it for myself. The shutter vibration was an independent "study" done on another forum by an individual who attributed intermittent blurry photos with IBIS to possible excessive shutter vibration. It was an extensive thread involving many posters. But, again it could be random, I don't know.

    Olympus did acknowledge a lockup issue with the 20mm Panny and is working on a fix. How many lenses were affected I don't know.

    I agree that the GH3 will probably be announced at Photokina but, if it's a big hit like the GH2 was I don't think availability in the US will begin until the end of 2012 for people who get on early (reliable) waiting lists, and the bulk of cameras won't show until spring 2013.

    I really like this site: everybody is so much more mellow–as it should be. I would have been torn to pieces for starting this thread at a forum like dpreview.

    Thanks for your reply.
     
  16. spinyman

    spinyman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    603
    Nov 19, 2010
    San Diego
    You have me confused now.You bought and returned the E-M5 without using it?
    This may be a case of too much information.Save yourself the frustration and go out and take wonderful pictures with the camera you have.
     
  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I didn't say that there was no lockup issue with the P20. I said that if it had affected a lot of people, I would be more aware of it. The E-M5 is in thousands of hands. The P20 is one of the most popular lenses in all of MFTdom. I read the forums regularly. My conclusion is that it's a non-issue for most people. Likewise with shutter vibration and blurry photos with IBIS - no way that is a prevalent, significant issue.

    The DPReview forums give people analysis paralysis after a while. All these cameras get tested extensively pre-release. When they get into the hands of thousands of people, small bugs and quirks surface, and little things get blown out of proportion over and over again. Many times it's nothing but user error. Many others there is a real issue which is of little or no practical concern.


    Examples:

    -Fuji X10 orbs - hardly every cause a bad photo, yet a great camera got completely slammed in DPR forums to the point where you can't say anything good about it without getting slammed

    -Olympus E-PL2 red sensor dots - common sensor phenomenon seen also with Sigma DP1, Sony RX100, and others - shows up rarely unless you purposely overexpose with the sun in the frame - made into a huge issue at DPR

    -Nikon D800 autofocus issues

    -Canon 5D III light leak

    -GH1 banding

    etc etc


    All of the gear I've every owned has had some flaws or limitations. DPR has a lot of people who are more concerned with being able to find a flaw than they are in being able to take good photos. Then once they find something, they obsess in public, other people join in, and a lot gets made of a little.


    I used to test my gear for decentering, dead pixels, etc. Then I realized that just about everything is imperfect. An EVF will often have a stuck pixel. Most lenses have internal dust and mild decentering. It's a pain in the neck exchanging gear. Now I just use the gear and if nothing bothers *me* during regular use during the return period, I'm good to go.
     
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  18. dezignman

    dezignman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Aug 4, 2012
    I guess that's a very good way to look at it. Before the web took off there didn't seem to be that many photo related problems. There might have been more than we have today but we didn't have such a convenient way for people to interact. I guess as with all things extensive communication can be good and bad.
     
  19. vantb

    vantb New to Mu-43

    1
    Oct 23, 2012
    I'm suffering from the same dilemma as you did between the G5 and EM5. So, after all this time are you happy with your purchase? Can you provide any insight on how I can make this decision? Thanks...
     
  20. dezignman

    dezignman Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Aug 4, 2012
    Update Summary

    I Tried to get one (EM-5) over the summer, but it arrived in August when I was packing to leave my other residence and I didn't have the time (wanted to check out possibilities of rattlesnaking, Panny 20mm 1.7 lockup, IBIS shutter shock issues, and other horror stories I read about, etc.) to check it out. So, I had to send that one back because I knew I would be tied up for a while.

    I finally decided to order another EM-5 in mid October as I never really gave the first one a full workout. The next EM5 arrived with a defective touch screen and had to be returned.

    I was a little discouraged as I had never had a defective camera on delivery but I went ahead and asked for another camera. It arrived and I installed the firmware update to 1.5. I've had and have M43 Pannys but this is my first Olympus and my initial reactions are:

    1. IBIS is incredible; I can't say enough good things about it.

    2. No problem with the interface. I am adapting to it without issue.

    3. I will keep my GH2 as I do use more than casual video, but I was impressed (haven't done extensive testing) with the footage on the EM5; it's much better than I expected, especially using IBIS.

    4. I have to do more testing, but the low light capabilities seem excellent. I do have to admit that I probably won't go over 1600 in normal usage, especial with the incredible IBIS.

    5. I don't have super large hands but larger than average for a man, and I have no problems with controlling the buttons and dials. I prefer the smaller size than any conveniences a larger camera would offer.

    I have to use it more to fully check out the DR and other features, but I really like this camera so far. It's almost like somebody put a pod under my bed (from the film, "The Body Snatchers") and turned me into an Oly boy. No, I'm not going to get into a comparison between Panasonic and Olympus–I couldn't care less about the companies–but this is one camera I will put to good use.