Do I want an OM-D?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Artorius, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    So recently (December) I purchased a Panasonic GH2 for indie filmmaking. It works like a champ! I love it, I love the hacks, I love the form factor, etc. I also love the m4/3 format. What I am wondering is pretty clear from the title, but let me elaborate. I want to start getting into photography as well, since the GH2 and the lenses I own are essentially photography tools, not videography tools. They are optimized for this use. So, would it behoove me to keep the GH2 as a dedicated video tool and buy an OM-D as my main tool for taking photographs? I would also purchase additional lenses before getting the new body. Seeing as I'm graduating soon, I should have some cash to make some decisions. Would I be remiss in buying an extra body instead of more lenses?

    Thank you all for the feedback!
  2. emptysensor

    emptysensor Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2011
    Real Name:
    I currently have an EM5 and a GX1, and first got into this format with the GH1. I do probably 95% stills, though I did put together one reasonable video with the GX1. I definitely like the Panny interface and ergonomics, and I tried an EPL2 some time ago, which I did not bond with. I recently picked up an EM5 and I really like it so far. It's an excellent camera for stills, and for me hits a real sweet spot for small, but workable size, being smaller with the intgrated viewfinder than the GX1 with the add on viewfinder. The sensor is definitely a step above the GX1, which I believe is fairly comparable to your GH2. I think the IBIS is very good, and helps with the unstabilized Panny lenses quite a bit, IMO. The only thing I would criticize about the EM5 is that the menus/interface is still behind Panny. Regardless, I think the EM5 is a great body, and you would not be making a mistake picking one up. I guess only you can decide whether the additional body is more useful than more lenses.

    Revision -

    After looking at your lens list, you do seem to be pretty light on native ones. At a minimum I would recommend the 14-45 and 20, both of which are excellent and can be had for reasonable prices. I use them a lot for stills.
  3. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Of course you want an OM-D! Everybody wants an OM-D.

    Deciding if the IBIS and incremental sensor upgrades are worth $1000 to you is a whole different question. You are in LA, go to Samys and go hands on with an OM-D and GH-3 and see what you like. As sexy as it is, it may not be the camera for you. Maybe you just want to upgrade the GH-2 to a GH-3 (GH-3 has some goodies OM-D doesn't, and vice versa), or maybe you want a 75mm prime, or a 7-14 zoom!!
  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    What is the GH2 specifically not able to offer you as a photographic tool that you need another body (unless you specifically need a dedicated second body)? Nothing personal, but I'm not fully sensing a problem in search of a solution as much as a case of GAS coming on. The GH2 is an amazing tool if used properly. My general rule of body upgrades is that they need to solve a specific problem that cannot be easily solved otherwise, because many are almost "disposable".

    Good luck,

  5. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    I've almost always had a second body for my camera systems. OM-1 with and OM-2 backup, etc. If you ever do anything for pay, even if you don't take on photography as a living, you'll want a backup. Even only doing something now and again, I had bodies fail twice at events I was committed to shooting. When I travel I like two bodies so I don't have to change lenses as often. The EP-2 and EPM1 worked very nicely for me in Asia about 18 months ago.

    So there are plenty of good reasons to have a second body, and the E-M5 is a fantastic tool, my personal favorite, but I've preferred the Olympus bodies all along. You might not.
    For the price of an E-M5 body you could get the Olympus 45mm AND the Panasonic Leica 25mm. Looking at your setup, a couple of more dedicated m4/3 lenses could be very useful for you. If it were my choice and I were not going to hire myself out to shoot, I'd get a couple of nice lenses.
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    According to all the "King" threads here, there is no other camera body....:wink:
  7. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Or the Olympus 45mm, the Panasonic 20mm, and a GX1 as a spare body
  8. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I'm in LA also ... if you want to get together and play with an OM-D let me know. I have a ton of native lenses.

  9. MikeR_GF1

    MikeR_GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    By "dedicated", do you mean you would set it up with a bunch of accessories to support smooth focus and zoom et al, such that the camera is "buried" and hard to remove from all the other hardware? If NOT, I'd opine that the GH2 is also a good photo camera. It's not been made inferior by having some extra video goodies built in.

    Buy some good MFT lenses. Live with them for a while. If you're happy with the result, or not, you will have answered your own questions.
  10. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Real Name:
    The GH2 is a great camera, as is the GX1, as is the E-M5.

    I think you'd be best served buying into some decent native lenses rather than a new body at this stage. You are no doubt comfortable and familiar with the's a great camera, stick with it for the time being, experiment with micro4/3 glass. IF all goes well and you find you're really getting into stills photography with these native lenses you could always try different bodies along the way.

    I think a good starting off point given what you already have might be a nice ultra wide, the Oly 9-18 is excellent and also perhaps the Oly45, another excellent lens....these should work quite well with the 19mm Sigma you already have. IF you ever decide that you really want to get right into it, then i would REALLY recommend trying a "fast" regular focal length lens....the 17/1.8...20/1.7 or 25/1.4

    To really get a feel for micro 4/3 and enjoy it at it's best I think you should take advantage of the amazing variety of native lenses available given you already have an excellent m43 body.

    Good luck.
  11. dragons4Mama

    dragons4Mama Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 31, 2012
    MetroWest MA
    How often do you need / want to take stills while you're videotaping?

    [now I have an image of you as a human octopus taking photos & video at the same time...]

    If you have a true need to have 2 cameras set up, I second (third) folks who have said go to a store & try the cameras. I have an OM-D E-M5, and think it's a GREAT camera; however it took me a really long time to get it set up, as it is so customizable.

    Do the Panasonics have something similar to Olympus's "My Set" feature? You could use one camera, have one My Set set w/ your standard settings for video and another My Set w/ your standard settings for stills.

    ? Will you be able to easily swap between a Panasonic user interface & Olympus? will you be able to remember where what is or will you have terminal confusion? If I tried to use 2 different bodies, I'd always be pushing the buttons for the other camera.

    BTW -- lots of folks recommended a 20mm MFT lens, but your Sigma 19mm fits that slot. (I had a Panasonic 20mm that I didn't like - too loud & slow when focusing. Updating camera firmware helped, but I prefer the Sigma 19mm.)
  12. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    I remember not long ago the GH2 was lusted after by many as the top m4/3 camera. Now it's somehow deemed 'not good enough'? Yes the OMD is better, but that doesn't mean the GH2 is no longer good.
    Buying an OMD or some other top of the line camera won't magically transform you into a good photographer. That comes with practice. I've seen great photographs taken with the GF1/EP-1s, and terrible photographs done with OMD/GH3/5DmkIIIs/some other top dollar cameras.

    I second Joe's suggestion of investing in lenses. A good lens will give you a much more noticeable difference than a new body.
  13. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I have OMD and GH2

    No idea of your photographic or video aspirations... but looking at your lens list I would invest in lenses rather than bodies.

    The GH2 is a fine stills camera and its sensor is not far off the OMD in everyday use.

    If you want bang for buck invest in lenses - for the price of an OMD you could have a maybe a 75 and a 14 .. or a 25 and a 17... all great lenses...

  14. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    EM5 beats the GH2 in video by far with regard to image stabilization and it's video colors are more vibrant. So you may end up using the EM5 for some of your video shooting.
  15. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    :confused: Are you serious?
  16. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
    GH2 is a very capable camera for photography, it is just popularly labeled to cater to video. I would use the GH2 for photography without hesitation.
  17. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    Without even trying you can keep the video relatively steady with the OMD as this 720p sample shows:
  18. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    Stabilization isn't an issue, hand-held is part of my directorial/cinematographic style. I also have a very expensive tripod gifted to me for my birthday. As for colors, they aren't really an issue. I really wouldn't be looking at the OMD-EM5 for video as the GH2 is amazing in that respect.

    @everyone else
    Thanks for the responses! I really appreciate it and everyone is making me feel really welcome here. I DO WANT A 14mm pancake really badly, I just need to find the funds. I need something wider than my 19mm and the SLR Magic 12mm is way out of reach right now. I've also heard that the 45mm is an excellent lens and am very excited to finally get my hands on some cash and go... SHOPPING!!! :tongue:

    EDIT: Do most of you buy new, or peruse forums/craigslist for lens purchases? I'm just interested if there is really any advantage to new as opposed to that fuzzy feeling you get and a warranty in most cases.