Brief thoughts: moving from E-PL5 to E-M5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by aidanw, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    I have had my E-PL5 for nearly a year. I originally wanted the E-M5 but the price initially was too high to be justifiable. I was coming from an E-PM1 which previously was used while I had large Canon gear.

    The E-PL5 was the camera that caused me to sell all my Canon gear it was that good.

    So here thoughts on E-PL5 vs. E-M5, and my motivation for changing.
    This has probably been re-hashed before, so if this isn't useful to you, move on.

    Why did I change?
    - New Zealand weather, particularly in Wellington the capital, is frequently rainy. I dislike worrying about electronics getting wet.
    - I am travelling to Europe for nearly a month and wanted something more weather resistant. I was in Singapore a couple of months ago. That place has serious rain. I was in Thailand last year. So I want a photographic companion that suits my travel needs for resilience.
    - While the E-PL5's controls were amazing given it's size, I did find my photos had less user involvement because the manual controls were difficult.
    - The E-PL5 feels delicate. I have a 3 yr old and am often on the go. I have a bag for the E-PL5 but I am very precious about my gear and I found it a hassle to be super careful of the E-PL5 which does scratch a bit too easily.

    My thoughts so far. Pros of the E-M5:
    - I love the feel. It sits in your hand better.
    - The controls are definitely superior for more involvement.
    - I like the EVF far more than I expected. I hadn't thought I would take to it.
    - The rear screen is significantly better in resolution and size than the E-PL5's 16:9 low res screen. Colours appear more true-to-picture as well.
    - The shutter is noticeably quieter.

    - Lightroom only reads the RAW files as the ratio you shot at. If I shoot at 3:2, that's what Lightroom displays. With the E-PL5 I shot RAW in 3:2, but Lightroom would let me re-crop so I could move that 3:2 frame vertically up and down as it would show the extra pixels as if I had shot in 4:3.
    - The MySet implementation is awful, to the point I doubt I'll use it much. I really miss not being able to assign MySets to positions on the Mode dial. This was one of my favourite features on the E-PL5 and it is very disappointing the E-M5 lacks it.
    - It is significantly heavier which although feels better generally, is a con for travel and carrying while cycling etc.
    - The tilting screen on the E-PL5 was easier to actuate and had more flexibility.

    So far it is enough that I will stick with the E-M5. Hope these thoughts are useful to anyone in a similar boat looking at switching.
    Feel free to ask me any questions.
    • Like Like x 4
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hi from a fellow kiwi E-M5 user :)
    Weird about LR... The ORF files still get saved as 4:3, and Olympus Viewer will let me re-crop during raw processing.
  3. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Real Name:
    Doug Green
    So far, I'm happy to stick with the E-PL5. First of all, adding the VF-2 and the larger MCG-2 grip (ostensibly for the E-P3, but fits the E-PL5 perfectly) the ergonomics are much improved, and I find that after spending much effort customizing the controls, I've gotten to where I'm happy with the level of photographic involvement that I have with the camera.

    A second control dial, focus peaking and 5-axis IBIS would be nice, but not at the expense of a significantly heavier camera. Here in San Diego, a weather sealed camera is hardly needed. Given that the IQ of the E-M1 is essentially unchanged, I can save the major bucks for the upgrade.
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    It was the IBIS of the EM5 that got me to change. I don't notice much difference in the ability to tilt the screen, although I like the E-M5 screen better.
  5. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama, USA
    Real Name:
    I agree as I did ,basically the same thing trading my much missed E-PL5 for an E-M5. I can't comment on Lightroom as I don't use that program. I even used the larger grip, like you did, made for the E-P3 and it changed the entire way I could hold the camera, for the better. I love the E-M5 but miss the portability and flexibility of the E-PL5. When I win the lottery I'll have both.
  6. Dduval

    Dduval Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    It's already been said, but I switch for the 5-axis IBIS as regrets.
  7. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Yep, that's right, the ORF still is 4:3 but Lightroom only allows re-crop on "newer camera models" according to them, and the E-M5 didn't make it while the E-PL5 did.
    Found a workaround which is to use an ExifTool plugin to change the TIFF.Model from E-M5 to E-PL5. And then I can re-crop them in Lightroom. Doesn't seem to cause any problems except the camera model is displayed incorrectly. This is Lightroom 5.2 btw.
  8. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Love the EPL5, but do wish there was a dedicated aperture ring at the front which is surely needed if you have a number of quality prime lenses. Having to access aperture every time by first pushing up on the dial at the bottom right of the back of the EPL5 is beginning to feel tiresome and is id say a good enough reason to have to upgrade.
  9. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
  10. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    One of the interesting Canon vs. M43 changes I realised over time is the ability to shoot with wide-open with most primes, and stopping down being more the exception than the rule. (different story if you are doing architectural or landscape photography I realise.)

    Most Canon primes I used were noticeably soft wide open. E.g the 35mm f2 was a bit smudgy until f2.8. The 50mm f1.8 is surprisingly good at f1.8 for Canon, but still needs f2.5 to be crisp. The f1.4 was acceptable by f1.8.

    Whereas with m43 the 20mm f1.7, 45mm f1.8 and 14mm f2.5 seem acceptable wide-open on the whole. And the Sigma 19mm and 30mms are just brilliant for the price.
    This translated to be less frequently changing the aperture on camera.

    I should add the reverse applies to zooms though. All the m43 zooms I've used (including the revered Panny 14-45mm) benefit visibly from stopping down. Whereas the Canon zooms from the cheapest kit lens through to e.g. 17-55mm f2.8 were sharp wide-open all the way. Just my 2c.

    As I say this would not be applicable to any kind of landscape etc photography where dof needs to be as wide as possible :)
  11. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The dial can be configured such that it will act as the aperture control directly without any clicking/pushing beforehand. Of course,that means other things (such as exp comp) now do need a push - as you say, it really needs another dial. I guess that's what the E-P5 is all about - at twice the price...
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Real Name:
    Doug Green
    I agree, the E-PL5 would be improved with a 2nd control dial, but it is very programmable, and I've programmed mine so that the rear dial is the Aperture control in Aperture Priority mode, as well as manual mode, and is the shutter control in shutter priority mode. I also programmed it so that 1-button push gets direct access to EV comp, ISO, and White Balance. The 2nd control dial would be nice to have, but the programmability of the E-PL5 certainly can make the camera a lot more responsive to one's needs than it is right out of the box.
  13. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Doug - that's exactly what I've done. Great minds and all that :wink:
  14. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Real Name:
    Doug Green
    The other major enhancements to my E-PL5 right out of the box are: Add a VF-2 viewfinder that I rarely remove, and add the larger MCG-2 grip (originally an option for the E-P3, but fits the E-PL5 perfectly and makes it much more easy to grip, IMHO). With these two additions, as well as the programming of the controls, I find that the E-PL5 handles better than the OMD-EM-5, at least to me.
  15. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    I have the VF-2, and just picked up the larger grip. The change in grip is easily worth its cost. It is larger, and the material feels a bit more grippy (at least to me it does). The ony thing that I could possibly want to further "trick out" my E-PL5 is to upgrade from the VF-2 to a VF-4.

  16. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Real Name:
    Reza Travilla
    5 Axis really amazing. I shot on 1,5" seconds and it's not shaken.