Don't Know What to Do

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by daguy007, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. daguy007

    daguy007 New to Mu-43

    Apr 6, 2016
    Photography is a hobby for me, love the mixture of art and high tech gadgetry. I've owned Canon Rebels and a two years ago purchased a tiny but mighty Sony RX100. Now I'm taking things up notch (detachable lens) and after a lot of Youtubing decided on Olympus for my next step and going with micro 4/3 format mostly because of size, lenses and overall value. I budgeted about $1K for the body but there's the EM-1 and the EM-5 II for the same price. Not sure what to do? I think Olympus will upgrade the EM-1 late this year and therefore don't want to get stuck with the prior model so quickly. The EM-5 ii seems pretty amazing but it's not the flagship so I feel like I'm missing out on something by choosing it over the EM-1. I'm not exactly clear what I would be missing out on besides the ergonomics. Any advice that can tip me one way or the other would be greatly appreciated. Big thanks.
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    What kinds of subjects do you like to take photos of? Do you need weather resistance?
  3. daguy007

    daguy007 New to Mu-43

    Apr 6, 2016
    Good questions:

    1. I do need weather resistance. I would love go out and shoot in the rain without fear ruining the gear. As far as I can tell both the EM-1 and the EM-5 are weather resistant. Perhaps one is more than the other?

    2. As far as subjects: portraits, wildlife, urban settings... Just about anything, that's one of the reason that I thought micro 4/3 was a good way to go since experimenting with different lenses seems to be more cost efficient.
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    The weather sealed cameras are the Olympus E-M5, E-M5 II, E-M1 and Panasonic GH4 and GX8.

    The E-M1 is the only camera in m4/3 to have phase-detect AF, which is the technology used in SLR cameras. This means that it should be able to do complicated focus tracking better than the other cameras. It also can use older 4/3 system lenses with near native speed AF. The other cameras can adapt 4/3 lenses but they focus really slowly, and would not be suitable for wildlife. This is pretty handy for wildlife because there are a couple of older 4/3 lenses (like the 50-200 f2.8-4) that are great for this purpose and are quite inexpensive in relative terms.

    The E-M5 II has a cool feature called high-res mode that can do 64MP shots (but requires a tripod for this feature). It also has better video quality. It's a newer camera, but that's about the only advantages vs the E-M1

    If you care about video, the GX8 and GH4 do excellent 4K video and also have many nice still photo features. Maybe worth a look.

    Since you mentioned wildlife, I think the E-M1 wins by default unless you have specific other needs.
  5. daguy007

    daguy007 New to Mu-43

    Apr 6, 2016
    Wow that's incredibly helpful. Thanks!

    The phase detection AF is something I noticed but not quite absorb it's true significance. I'll research that a bit more.

    Video, is definitely a must but in my case, it would be mostly to record my kids doing kid stuff -nothing for YouTube or pro use. Regardless, I haven't look at those Panasonic models you mentioned. Got some homework now. I did take a look at the Lumix G7 but thought that the EM-5 was a better choice (to be fair is newer camera) for stills but then again just based on YouTube reviews which can be helpful but also very subjective when it comes to image quality.

    The other thing I'm thinking about is that when the upgraded EM-1 is released the MSRP probably won't be anywhere near $1K so buying an EM-1 for that amount is starting to look quite reasonable even if it becomes the older model by end of year.

    Thanks again. I think I'm leaning on the EM-1 now :biggrin:
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    The G7 is not an old model at all, but it is a more entry level one. It isn't weather sealed, but it still has a lot of nice features. It's kind of like a baby GH4.
  7. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    You might want to buy used especially if you are thinking of upgrading at a later stage.

    Also I wouldn't call the AF on the em5ii slow especially in AF-S it's lightning fast. But what I think the point was is if you are tracking a bird in flight etc you will have more keepers with an em1 due to it's better AF-C. So you have to weigh up what you want. Personally I take the odd photo of wildlife and quite often it's fairly still (elk in a field, bird in a tree etc) so AF-S is perfectly fine. If you look you in the threads you will see plenty of wildlife taken with cameras which only support AF-S like the em5ii. One was recently a feature thread. My African safari

    There was also a feature thread of birds in flight taken with an em1 and the OP commented his keeper rate was quite a bit lower than he was expecting. James River Eagles, Herons, Osprey and more

    But it sounds like you want more of a general camera and I think either of them will be fine for 95% of the shots you will do daily.
  8. daguy007

    daguy007 New to Mu-43

    Apr 6, 2016
    Good to know that. Lots of choices out there. Happy you pointed out some key aspects of the EM-1.

    Also, although not a real feature, but to my eyes the EM-1 is also a seriously good looking camera.
  9. daguy007

    daguy007 New to Mu-43

    Apr 6, 2016
    Wonderful, those are all good points. I also thought about buying used but not fully aware of the risks as much as I should. Definitely worth thinking about.

    Looking forward to those threads.

    Joining this forum was good move!

  10. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    Or you could get a used EM-5 (the original one) for $250 and spend the rest on lenses where it really matters.
    Without looking at the EXIF data you would not be able to tell which camera body took the picture...
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  11. daguy007

    daguy007 New to Mu-43

    Apr 6, 2016
    And the plot thickens... Thanks!
  12. marlof

    marlof Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    The Netherlands
    There are differences as mentioned, but the EM5 mark II and the EM1 are both fine cameras. I feel you can not go wrong with either. They do feel very differently in your hands though. I prefer my EM5, especially when I use smaller lenses. I only use the EM1 with bigger zoom lenses, where the added grip helps. Other people have different preferences. Do try to get a feel for the cameras yourself.
  13. Joe Smith

    Joe Smith Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 6, 2016
    One key aspect for me was that the E-M1 has more knobs and dials. This may sound silly, but I really like the fact that after the initial configuration, all (for me) important functions are just a knob or a dial away and I must virtually never go to the menu. Plus, I find the E-M1 extremely ergonomic, everything just falls in my hand, but that is of course individual.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    Go Olympus and get the EM-1 .... its a no brainer.
  15. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    I'm not in the exact same boat as you but when I eventually upgrade from my still excellent EM5 I those two models are what I'm looking at too. There is one major difference between them and it has to some extent polarised the crowd here; tilting or swivelling screen. Personally I love the tilting and has scrapped the EM5 II off my list manly for it's swivel screen. So if it matter to you, you might want to think about that. If it doesn't, well I would still go for the EM1 because it can be had for a very good price 2nd hand and it still a fantastic camera. Feels much better than EM5 II imo.
  16. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    The EM-1 II is coming but the launch price is going to be, my wild guess, at $1500/$1800, body only.

    For weather sealing you also need weather sealed lenses: there are not many of these:
    - all the pro lenses Pana and Olympus (O12-40, P12-35, etc)
    - 60 macro, 12-50, 14-150 mk2, upcoming Pana 12-60(?)

    Right now you can find great offers for the E-M1 so for price/value there are not many alternatives (except for the E-M10 mk1). I think it's a better camera then the E-M5 mk2, except for IBIS (slightly inferior) and high-res mode (usable only on tripod for static subjects). The image quality on both cameras is practically the same.
    One big advantage is ergonomics (even is this may be subjective) unless you really want the smallest possible body to use it with a pancake lens. In thi way you can also use the camera as a "pocket camera" in different situations. On the other hand once you add a couple of lenses the body size difference just does not matter anymore.
    For wildlife the E-M1 allows you to use the old "Four Thirds" system lenses that are very good alternatives to the native m43 lenses.

    You may wait for the E-M1 mk2 announcement and see if there is a big improvement or not and if it is worth to stretch the budget. It may not be the case. Obviously lenses matters a lot so it is usually better to save on body and invest on lenses and good lenses are expensive.
  17. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    I wouldn't recommend the old EM5, there are a few UI issues that I feel the newer generation of OMDs have improved on.

    There are more buttons and stuff on the EM1 - helps make it more customisable. Em5 is smaller and does have the protrusive grip
  18. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 26, 2014
    Only the E-M1 has focus stacking built into the camera. That could perhaps be useful to you. With one press of the shutter release it takes 8 photos, at 10fps, and combines them into one final image. It even works handheld. (Not to be confused with focus bracketing, where you have to combine the photos using your computer.) Examples of both here:
    Utilising the OM-D E-M1 Ver. 4.0's Focus Stacking and Focus Bracketing Modes in Insect Photography, with Professional Photographer Kazuo Unno
    Rejoice, Olympus E-M1 shooters… in-camera focus stacking is here! (via the new firmware v4.0)
  19. Joe Smith

    Joe Smith Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 6, 2016
    But you should add that focus stacking is only available for Olympus' 60mm macro and the two pro zooms. (More lenses might or might not be added to this list with future firmware updates.) Focus bracketing works with all autofocus lenses.
  20. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Don't bother with waiting for new cameras. That way, you'll never be happy. From the rumors i hear, the new E-M1 will have a significantly higher base price, i doubt the sensor will be different than the one on PEN-F (which is probably the same one as the one in GX8, so no really big improvements) and while it will probably have 4k, the video will never be up to par as the one on Panasonic cameras (GH5 is also just around the corner). Maybe if they have IBIS actually working with 4k, and significantly lower the base noise, which i seriously doubt.

    All the latest flagships or second best, including E-M1, E-M5 mark II, GH4 and GX8 are great cameras. All will take great photos. All are weather sealed. All have contrast based detection autofocus, and while Panasonic has DFD autofocus, E-M1 has PDAF included as well. While all will AF pretty quick with stationary subject, continuous AF may differ a bit from camera to camera. Not substantially, but there is a difference (as far as i know, E-M1 has slightly better results - if someone has proof of other results, please correct me). Neither camera will have great tracking. For that, you'll have to go with a camera with full PDAF.

    All have focus peaking, touchscreen, wifi, EVF.

    Some have great stabilization (olympus ones), some have it combined with in-lens stabilization (GX8), some don't have it (GH4) and have to rely on in-lens stabilization.

    Panasonic ones have 4k, which may or may not be important but it is future proofing your camera. Panasonic ones are a bit more geared for video, especially GH4.

    E-M1 is the only one that has the flip screen, other have rotating (if that is something that means something to you).

    I'm debating about getting the GX8 or the E-M5 mark ii. While the GX8 has a lot of technology crammed into it, including the 4k and a 20Mp sensor (which no other camera mentioned here has), some people say it is too big or "blocky". The price can be quite similar, depending on the place of purchase.

    Usually when these discussions are brought up, people often say to go to a store, and hold/play with each one. Buy the one that feels the best in your hand. Try with different lenses (e.g. E-M5 mark ii grip is often said as not bulky enough for handling larger lenses, without additional grip). I will do just that. If i see that i like the handling of E-M5 mark ii more, i will bite the loss of the technologies i miss. The difference between the 16Mp and 20Mp is not that big, and i don't have the laptop for processing 4k anyway :blush:

    Good luck
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