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Another First Impression of EM5 coming from Panasonic Cameras

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dtchan, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010

    I just got my silver body yesterday and thought I would just share some of my brief impressions on it. I'll try not to repeat what others have already said. I have to say this is my first Olympus camera. I was using the GF1, and then a GH2. I sold the GH2 in the beginning of January anticipating that the GH3 or a new Olympus camera with a viewfinder would come out. Please correct me if my findings are not correct as the camera is still pretty new to me.

    1. It is a very well built camera, feels solid when holding it. The silver body looks amazing with pretty much all my lens.

    2. I like how you can choose between HFPS (9 frames) and a LFPS (3-4 frames).

    3. The EVF although smaller than my GH2 looks pretty nice. At first I was very worried about going back to a smaller magnification but the color from the evf is colorful and vibrant. I do wish is bigger though.

    1. I have small hands and I do feel the EM5 is a bit too small. I don't want to get the battery grip, but seems like you can't just get the normal grip without getting the battery one. Is basically same size as my GF1, but my GF1 with a case feels very comfortable to hold. I don't really want to get a case for the EM-5 either as it is a gorgeous looking camera as is. It is not that bad using the primes on it, but using the Voigtlander 25mm is a bit tiring after holding it a while.

    2. Missing dial for multiple exposure shot and missing custom C1, C2, etc. I kind of like the GF1, and GH2 dial that allow me to choose single shot, multiple shot, and multiple exposure shot. EM5 allows you to map a button which allows you to choose between HFPS, LFPS, timer, but just missing multiple exposure. With gakuranman's guide, I did what he suggested by mapping Fn1 to a MySet which is set to multiple exposure. What is wierd is that you have to hold on to Fn1 to activate it. It feels uncomfortable pressing fn1 and then pressing the shutter button together to get multiple exposure. It would be nicer if pressing fn1 will activate MySet, and pressing it again will go back to the original.

    3. I don't think you can adjust the iso for video which sucks. Very very limited options for video.

    4. I think it takes 2 button press to get to a magnify view versus just 1 button press on the GH2 and GF1.

    I definitely need to use more of it to see if the handling improves. It is certainly a very nice camera but I think I would be happier if I have a GH3 + EM5. For now I must say I enjoy the handling and control of the GH2 more.
    • Like Like x 10
  2. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Thanks for that.

    It's all info that I require to make a decision whether or not to go ahead with my pre-order or wait for for the GH3.....whenever that is.

    I do like my GH2 and the way it handles especially the external controls, and hopefully the GH3 would be a natural progression.

    :confused: :confused:  I'll never hang myself. :confused: :confused: 
    • Like Like x 1
  3. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I've had the GF1 and recently got the E-M5.

    Many of the points you covered I can echo. My biggest gripe is not having a switch to go from C1/C2, and drive mode.
  4. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    Yah... I mean I do really enjoy the camera. Since a lot of the pros have been mentioned already I didn't want to repeat them. Is just that these little annoyances I wish could have been implemented differently. Even some p&s have C1/C2.
  5. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    IMO, Oly's biggest miss on their body designs is a lack of C1/C2 on the mode dial. It wouldn't be hard to add, it seems to me, and it's really critical. One reason I love my little GRD iii.
  6. Way_Huspag

    Way_Huspag New to Mu-43

    Apr 25, 2012
    thanks for posting your pros and cons, I'll be coming (hopefully) from the GF1 to the EM5 too. Living out in the sticks I'll probably not be able to try one in the flesh before I buy... I'm thinking I might need the grip to make the camera better for me as I have quite large hands and the GF1 is just about as small as I like to go. Here in the UK the grip is 'free' with pre orders, though the camera is a lot more expensive than the US to start with... I only want the landscape part of the grip so am in two minds whether to pre-order before the end of the month or wait 'till the price drops and go with the grip later if I feel I need it... hmmmmm
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Thanks for the thoughts!

    It's very hard to beat the GH2 when it comes to ergonomics. It's got a dial or button or switch for just about every function that a photographer could ever want.

    What I'd like to see on the GH3 is an extra control dial. And keep everything else as it is now. Maybe allow the customization of the video button and full customization of the Fn1 button, as opposed to limiting the user to certain functions that can be assigned to Fn1.
  8. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    If I was stills only, I'd be looking hard at jumping ship from the GH2. As it is I have ambitions of video and it sounds like the M5 is poor in that respect. Too bad.
  9. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2011
    Just goes to show how much of ergonomics is up to preference! I prefer my EP3 to my GH1.

    The AF button works a lot better on Oly cameras than on Panasonic. I also greatly prefer how the manual focus ring works on Oly bodies. "S-AF + MF" is perfect for me. The camera is in S-AF mode, but you can focus manually instead just by turning the dial. To manually focus in S-AF mode on my GH1 I have to first acquire focus, THEN turn the focus dial.

    I use the C modes mostly for wildlife (ie: C1 = birds in flight, C2 = stationary wildlife), but I use my Canon gear for that, so I don't really care about Olympus' lack of C modes on the dial. Now, if they released a 500/5.6 zoom I might change my tune there...

    One thing I DO like about Panasonic bodies is that you can take all the gunk in the EVF and choose to overlay it over the live view or reduce the live view size. When shooting macro and other types of photos where I care a lot about the edge of the frame, EVF overlay is a giant pain. I'm amazed Olympus doesn't have that feature with my EP3+VF2.

    Thanks for your impressions dtchan! I've got an EM5 on order and the wait is killing me!
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    This is NOT true of the GH2. Just turn the focus ring and you're instantly in MF mode (if you've set that option in the menu).
  11. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    Hmm, unless I'm in MF mode on the small dial on the left, I can't seem to go to MF right away without first auto-focusing. Certainly can't turn on the Focus Assist w/o the AF too
  12. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2011
    My GH1 performs like Joe's GH2: if the dial is in AF-S the camera won't let me use the manual focus ring until I get AF confirmation. If the camera is in MF I can turn it all I want, but the AF button is then disabled.

    Meyerweb, are you saying that when your GH2 is in AF-S mode that you can just turn it on and crank the MF ring around for manual focus, not having pressed any other buttons? That's how my Olympus cameras behave, and that's what I like.
  13. jcurious

    jcurious Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 14, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    Ohhh! I'll have to lookup "S-AF + MF", that will free up my MF button!

  14. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Actually I turned that feature off on my Olys. I was always accidentally hitting the focus ring and activating MF mode. I use MF seldom enough that putting it as a button toggle served my needs better. YMMV.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
  16. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2011
    I sometimes turned it off with my 14-42 on my EP1 because it was easy to hit the ring accidentally, but most lenses aren't too much trouble.
  17. I did leave it turned on until I got the PL25, where the focus ring is so smooth and under-damped that I was forever triggering the MF with the slightest touch of the lens.
  18. Vyeow

    Vyeow Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 23, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Same here! Especially with manual focus assist where it would magnify the view made it more annoying than practical
  19. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    How are the ergonomics progressing?


    I'm wondering how those little annoyances are doing, especially #1. Have you gotten accustomed to holding the camera or is it still needing something like the grip? I have handled them twice, and thought the first time that it was very uncomfortable and then the second time that I might be able to work with it.
  20. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010

    Now that I have more time with it, I quite like it. As in regards to #1, I have no problems with it using the prime lenses - 12mm, 45mm, 7.5mm, or 9-18mm or even the canon FD 50mm. The only one that gets tiring is the Voigtlander 25mm. It is fine when using it but when walking and carrying it, it feels less comfortable than the GH2 cause of the pronounce grip. Overall I'm happy with it now. BTW, I don't have any big zoom lens to test. There is no turning back anyways since I already sold the GH2.

    Some recent pics with it:

    View attachment 203712
    Serenity by dtchan, on Flickr

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    Untitled by dtchan, on Flickr

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    Where's Danbo? by dtchan, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 6
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