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E-M1: buy now or wait for E-M5 successor?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by mistermark, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. mistermark

    mistermark Mu-43 Regular

    105
    Oct 16, 2012
    I currently have an E-M5 with 12-35 and 35-100 2.8 Lumix zooms and 12 and 60mm Zuiko primes. Currently in the UK the price of the E-M1 is at an all-time low, and the importer is offering a free grip plus a £150 rebate off an additional lens. As a result I'm sorely tempted to upgrade, and to take the opportunity to add a 25mm 1.8 Zuiko for less than half price (I might also buy the mk2 Lumix 14-140).

    What's holding me back is the suspicion that the E-M5 will be replaced in yearly 2015 and the fear that Olympus might take the opportunity to fill some gaps in the specification, such as PDAF across the whole frame and 4k video. On the other hand, the E-M1 is a great camera at a great price...

    What would you do? Also, if I do upgrade, should I go for silver or black? The retailer I have in mind charges the same price for both. I'm tempted by black but wonder whether the two fast Lumix zooms would look odd since their barrels are not pure black. Superficial, I know but these things worry me...
     
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd see what they release during the Photo Plus Expo. It's the last show before the end of the year. If nothing good gets released, I'd just buy an E-M1.
     
  3. Huff

    Huff Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 30, 2014
    Mike
    If you find something you like, at a price you find acceptable; buy it! If you are waiting on futures, you will ALWAYS be waiting on futures. If there is one thing that can be assured it is simply that whatever you buy will be replaced. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later. Unless someone here works for Olympus and is willing to breach confidentiality rules at the risk of being dismissed, it is nothing but speculation. How could you possibly make a decision on that?

    I'm in sales and the one thing I will never do is sell futures. I feel it never benefits anyone and often causes discontent when certain features are never actually delivered.

    Olympus has shown vested support in the E-M1 with the release of it's follow-on; a silver one. :)
     
  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    What do you imagine will be better if you "upgrade" to an e-M1?
    It has a different sensor, maybe not better than yours at what you do.
    It is weatherproof, but so is your E-M5
    If deals with focus on older 4/3rds lenses better ... do you currently use such lenses?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    There's nothing wrong with waiting instead of buying the "logical" choice, I've done it myself.

    It has been my experience that people who ask if they should buy or wait, should probably wait. I believe this is the answer, for the most part, they want. They REALLY want to have the latest and greatest, and the current latest and greatest is known to be scheduled to be retired in the short to medium term.

    This means the satisfaction with their new purchase will become an emotional boat anchor pretty quickly. Since they already feel their current camera is an emotional boat anchor, why not wait and suffer a bit longer and then buy the camera that will have a longer life as the apex of their chosen camera line?

    Few of us buy cameras all THAT frequently, why not treat ourselves occasionally to the camera we want instead of the camera that "makes sense"?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    There's not much of a difference between the E-M5 and the E-M1 aside from the fact that the ergonomics are better, buttons are nicer to push and the PDAF for 4/3 lenses, which provides both C-AF and S-AF. The only difference between the E-M5 and E-M1 with PDAF also is the ability to do C-AF (Continous AF). With my E-P5, C-AF is not available -- meaning no AF at all. So unless you have a sizeable collection of 4/3 lenses, it makes no sense to upgrade to the E-M1.

    The E-M5 Mk II as it is loosely called may come with PDAF that works on both 4/3 and m/43 lenses and if that is so, that's a good upgrade more on par with the Sony A6000 camera. Well I guess they have to anyways!! Besides, how can you upgrade 16MP to another 16MP based on some ergonomic changes and minor feature upgrades?!? Will it make your photographs better if you upgrade to an E-M1 or perhaps you have some disposable income that you can't decide what to do with it.
    I'm sure the new E-M5 needs to compete with the Sony A6000. It's currently one of the best selling mirrorless cameras and with Sony planning to put out a possible A7000 camera, Olympus will need to counteract with a better camera. So I would say, just wait. I'm waiting anyhow. My E-P5 does what I need and focuses my 4/3 lenses pretty quick on static subjects which I don't warrant a need to upgrade to the E-M1

    All the best!
     
  7. mistermark

    mistermark Mu-43 Regular

    105
    Oct 16, 2012
    Thanks everyone. I think the rationale for switching to the E-M1 would be the hybrid PDAF, bigger and higher-resolution EVF, improved sensor and IBIS. The case against is the possibility that the E-M5 successor will have better PDAF and an even better sensor. Then there's the fact that the E-M1 is currently keenly priced, comes with a free grip (which I can sell) and a £150 rebate against another lens (which means I can get the 25mm 1.8 for less than half the normal price). Difficult!
     
  8. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Olympus has a number of interesting patents that they might be including in the newer generational cameras. One particular patent talks about varying exposures on a single capture that would make it look like you're extending dynamic range by assigning zone areas. That I would consider an upgrade because then you can do without a physical Graduated Neutral Density filter or using Photoshop with Digital GND. The new OMD camera that will be released next year will have an upgraded sensor, improved DR and noise probably, improved IBIS and possibly better AF on par with the A6000. It's technology, but since you're keen to want the E-M1, why not just buy it. You obviously want it. Why deprieve your inner desires as long as your wallet allows it of course!! :biggrin:
     
  9. mistermark

    mistermark Mu-43 Regular

    105
    Oct 16, 2012
    That sounds very interesting, bikerhiker. The idea of more DR particularly interests me, as I think it's the one remaining area where digital is behind film.
     
  10. Huff

    Huff Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 30, 2014
    Mike
    The IBIS on the E-M1 (and probably the E-M5 but I don't have one to compare) is pretty dang impressive. It's every bit as good..if not better...than any other IS system I've used. I suppose there is always room for improvement, but this is a significant advantage in the Olympus lineup.

    And the AF on par with A6000. Really? I've used the A6000 a fair amount before going with Olympus and IMHO the Olympus beat it in every way. Speed, accuracy, etc. Olympus could certainly improve focus tracking, but I can't help but wonder what I've missed here. At the risk of hijacking this thread, just what makes the A6000 better?
     
  11. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    It is continous focus tracking that the Olympus definitely needs to improve upon and focus peaking. With Olympus, you need to buy a $999 to $1099 E-M1 camera to get decent C-AF tracking, whereas $599 to $629 with the A6000 with 24MP. Again, this technology is now available and Olympus can deploy it into the newer OMD lines. It's technology and it's progress. Competition is good.

    In regards to Olympus 5 axis IBIS. While it is a good system, it is NOT fool proof. Before Olympus introduced the anti-shock 0sec feature on my E-P5, I had to turn off IBIS and use my 35-100mm OIS to get sharper photos at slower shutter speeds. If it's such a great system, why did Panasonic Power OIS beat the 5axis IBIS in this case? Also, in order to get 9FPS on my E-P5 for continous release for Sports, I HAVE to turn off 5 axis IBIS and rely on my Panasonic Power OIS for image stabilization. Nikon and Canon top D4s and 1DX can release at full FPS because the VR are built into the lenses. How can that be good if I can't get full FPS with IBIS turned on compared to other systems? Plus Nikon's new Sport VR available on their new 400mm f/2.8 Type II lens can stabilize the lens in action at D4s' highest frame rate and not record VR stutter at the highest FPS. Again, this is new technology as it is progress. Competition is good.
     
  12. Huff

    Huff Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 30, 2014
    Mike
    I will completely disagree with you regarding focus tracking on the A6000. I found it terrible. My E-M1 is better, but in comparison to traditional DLSR they are all lacking. The 24mp doesn't concern me much. In my use case, I can put ANY lens the body and have very good stabilization. I'm hand holding stuff I never thought possible with this system.

    Well, I am fairly new to the Olympus system, so I will say I was not even aware you had to turn off IBIS for the fastest frame rate. I honestly didn't buy it for frame rate and only ever used the high frame rate to see it work. For me, this is not a big deal.

    But lets put this into perspective; you are now so far into Apples/Oranges (or whatever over-used phrase you want to use here) that it's really silly to even continue this thought. Lets see. You implied above that a feature packed body costing ~$1k is too much, but yet you want the performance of a $15k+ system. The D4S is what, 7,000? The 1DX about the same. The Nikon 400/2.8 is $9000, the Canon 400 is over $10k. Um yeah I'd love to see equivalent features in a system costing a fraction of the price too but the realist in me says it will never happen. Well, never say never I suppose.

    There is a reason people like me keep the professional Canon/Nikon systems. They are better at certain tasks and very likely will be for a long time.

    Sorry to divert the OP's question here. I still think you should not wait for futures. Life is too short. There will always be "better" around the corner.

    -mike
     
  13. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    I think it is a very realistic expectation to 1) think that a revised E-M5 will come next year and 2) to think that it will have 4k video. So if 4k video is what you are after then wait.

    I am not particularly optimistic about focusing. Everyone raves about the A6000's C-AF but in tests it hasnt panned out that well. I find that the E-M1s S-AF is so fast that if I want a sharp image of a moving object - say my 1 year old son - it can easily be achieved with S-AF.

    In terms of a new improved sensor I also think you will be disappointed. Olympus uses Sony sensors and you would think that you would see it in Sony cameras first. The idea that Olympus by itself will make any major breakthrough in sensor technology is patently absurd. We will eventually see wider dynamic range through pixel by pixel exposure as opposed to global exposure but Sony is the most advanced in this area especially after the acquisition of Pixim in 2012. I still wouldnt really expect this technology to impact cameras until around 2020.l
     
  14. Bpsmith511

    Bpsmith511 Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Jan 1, 2014
    What's the harm in waiting? Sure the EM-1 Is priced well now, but it's getting "old" and to the point where there will usually be deals, especially after the E-M5 successor is put on sale. I'd say wait, if you don't like what the successor is, I'm sure you can find another deal on the E-M1 that is close.
     
  15. m4/3boy

    m4/3boy Mu-43 Veteran

    306
    Jul 21, 2013
    The E-M1 is a cherry of a camera. If you can afford it and want it - then buy it. You can always sell it later if you don't like the camera.

    My deal is making photos not owning gear so for me waiting for perfection is the death of creativity. Buy it, learn it, use it. Move on and enjoy life and your photography.
     
  16. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    The sensor is different but it isn't better, nor (as far as I can tell) is the IBIS. If you need it, the PDAF is nice, and the EVF is an absolute revlation. The E-M1 mostly has handling improvements over the E-M5, not actual image improvements.
     
  17. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    This would be great if true ;
    Do you have a link to some good test comparison results?
     
  18. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    If you slap a Nikkor 18-55 VR DX lens onto a Nikon D4s and you compare that even to my E-P5 as I own both with say a Olympus 12-40, my E-P5 wins and I can do it every time. Why a $7000 camera perform less than a $800 camera ?!? Because the Olympus 12-40 has a better performing autofocus motor. The slow 18-55 VR DX kit lens takes about 1 or sometimes 2 seconds to start moving the lens in and out. I always tell my clients to upgrade their lens first, NOT their bodies, to improve AF performance plus among other things because a better, bigger and faster motor on the lens is going to outperform the slower smaller motor. But this is an Apples and Oranges comparison and you're making that comparison against the Sony vs E-M1. Unfortunately, what you're comparing is with the limited lens line up that Sony offers compared to the vast array of good quality lenses Olympus has. Which is the reason why the new Olympus 40-150 f/2.8 has twin focus motors -- to improve the speed of driving the lens elements to focus on subjects either continuously or statically. But this deployment of motor performance driving selective glass elements is quite commonly seen in the Canon and Nikon camps especially with their larger and more expensive lenses like the 200-400, 300, 400 and 500 lenses. Again, it's simply technology trickling down from the elite to the masses.

    But coming back to the OP's question here is that, we are talking merely a few months here. It's now very close to November, then December and voila we enter 2015 in January where a possible announcement looms. We are talking about a mere 3 to 4 months wait. Yes, if the OP needs better C-AF performance and 4/3 lens support, waiting makes no sense at all and the ergonomics of the new E-M5 may not be as good as the E-M1. And the OP thinks the good deals might disappear.
    The reason the deals are here and always here because sales are slow for everybody.
    The last bastion of DSLR high AF performance will eventually be met by mirrorless cameras and I suspect that 2015 or 2016 will be those years, which is the reasons why Canon and Nikon are nervous. Their bread and butter machines; the Rebel and the D3xxx and D5xxx or D7xxx will finally be threatened by competing newer generation mirrorless. This is again inevitable because mirrorless is getting that good. Just 1 more generation and we are there and then, the DSLR bodies will always be for professionals who always need the fastest and the best while most of us just need a camera that can match and beat their older DSLR bodies.



    Cheers...
     
  19. Huff

    Huff Mu-43 Regular

    82
    Sep 30, 2014
    Mike