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E-M5 and E-M1 (dilemma from an FX user)

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jbravo14, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. jbravo14

    jbravo14 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    Got a good deal on a like new E-M5 this week ($300). Was thinking of pairing this with a recently purchased 12-40 2.8.

    Then Olympus sprang their spring sale and got a good deal for a refurb E-M1 ($840).

    I already have the following m43 lenses -- 75 1.8, 12-40 2.8, 14 2.5, 20 1.4

    Also started off with Nikon and have - D600 + 17-35 2.8, 35 1.8, 60 2.8, 85 1.8, 180 2.8

    Initially planning to have D600 + E-M5 for travel combo. E-M1 was more of an unplanned purchase.

    Now have a dilemma of returning the E-M1 and wait for something better (E-M1 mk2) or just dump the whole Nikon setup and go full m43.

    Looking for insights from those that have converted from Full frame or kept their full frame.

  2. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 26, 2014
    Why not get rid of the old EM5 and enjoy the E-M1. Once you have experience of using it with the excellent 12-40, and the quality of your results, you can decide if you still need the D600 and lenses. Or you might then decide to keep the EM5 as a second body for emergencies (I have an EP5 for that purpose).
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    What do you tend to shoot? The D600 and the E-M1 are quite different cameras with different capabilities and uses. For me, I dumped Canon FF a few years ago, but I don't do sports/action, astro or extreme high ISO.
  4. jbravo14

    jbravo14 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    Don't shoot sports as well, mainly using it for family, portraits and covering events every once in a while.
  5. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Well, we all know which system is far more convinient for that... ;)  Unless you love razorthin DOF I think you would be fine with just m4/3.
  6. jbravo14

    jbravo14 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    Thanks pake!

    Decision decisions...
  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    If you're not using the flash options with the Nikon system ...
  8. jbravo14

    jbravo14 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    I also have an SB600 and SB800 at the moment.

    Not too sure if Olympus remote flash capabilities are as robust as Nikons. Mostly using Nikon's remote flash for photo shoots and to stop motion outdoors in the city at night to open up the background exposure.
  9. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Having Nikon and Olympus systems with multiple flash for both, here are my thoughts. Keep the EM1 and sell the EM5. While the sensors are almost the same, the EM1 is better in ergonomics, AF speed and overall ease of use imho.

    Far as my D700 and D800, there use is way down. I really like the EM1 better except for 2 shooting venues, landscape and air shows. The D800 at 36 megapixels with the ability to crop, and to shoot a bit more reliably with the C-AF, is hard to beat. Other say the EM1 with firmware 3.0 and the new 40-150 seems to be a big improvement in C-AF, but I don't have that lens myself.

    The Olympus flash I have, 2 of the FL600R units, are 1/2 the power of the SB800, but are a bit smaller. Oly has a larger speedlight, but I wanted the smaller one for travel. And both can do high speed sync. As long as you use the flash as you described, the Oly flash should work just fine.

    Olympus however is in the same position as Nikon, they use a IR system for triggering. With Nikon flash I just had too many misfires using their IR system, so I bought the PW TTL5 and Flex system a few years back for my 4 speedlights. Made a world of difference as far as reliability. But there is no (TTL) PW or radio trigger system for Oly yet. Wanting to use the EM1 in lieu of the D800 for my portrait work, I ended up buying Godox (Cheetah light) manual flash system with radio triggers, it is just that much more reliable and way more powerful than either Nikon or Olympus. It works on any camera system with a hot shoe and I use it with the EM1 all the time.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
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  10. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    The EM-1 is better than the EM-5. Both are quite different than full frame, so I agree with either getting rid of the EM-5 and keeping the rest, or using the EM-5 as a reserve camera.
  11. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    I lugged a D7000 and a bunch of lenses around SE Asia for a month; let me tell you, it was NOT fun. Taking my E-M1+E-PM2 and the same number of lenses to England last summer was MUCH more enjoyable. If you're not trying to get every last megapixel out of your shots and desperately need the higher dynamic range of the FF sensor, go with the E-M1. That's what I did!
  12. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 20, 2015
    I have been down the FF road. It's kinda like going to Vegas - lots of promises, lots of heartache, or backache :)  But sometimes you strike it rich.

    Want razor-thin DOF? You can mostly do that post. Let me qualify that. FF often has no DOF advantage unless you need the results straight out of the camera. The only real advantage FF has is in reduced noise. Above all else, *getting* the shot is most important. If you can't get the shot, for whatever reason, you're using the wrong camera. If the camera you use is too heavy for you, you're using the wrong camera. And last, if you aren't having fun, aren't happy with the images you make, you're using the wrong camera. It has diddly-squat to do with FF versus m4/3 or APS-C or whatever.

    A couple weeks ago I went hiking with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and lenses. I enjoyed it and got some great images. One image was of a wolf, which due to a chain link fence between us, required minimum DOF to make the chain link fence go away. I'm glad I had the Canon with me that day, for that shot, but it was a bit hard on the knees. OTOH I went hiking last weekend with the OM-D E-M10 and had no knee problems. Didn't run into any situation where I needed minimum DOF so I had the right tool.

    Point is, you can't always predict what tool will be the right one. I'f you are strong enough then your best bet is to take your best equipment (most flexible) with you. If you need a lighter system, then use one, and be aware of its limitations.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Define events. School / kids concerts / birthday parties? Or are we talking professionally, dark reception halls with fast moving subjects? If the former you could probably get away with just the E-M1. (Unless you are often shooting your 17-35 at 17 that is.)

    If the latter keep the D600 and sell both the E-M5 and E-M1 for an E-M10 w/ grip. The grip will allow for comfort with the 12-40 and 75 while without the grip the 14 and 20 are jacket pocket-able. I had my E-M1 before firmware 3 came out, but I would still think the D600 AF would be better for things like event receptions in dark halls.
  14. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    If I did not shoot sports, 99% of the Nikon kit would go away and I would gladly shoot everything else with my Oly OMD cameras. I also do a lot with off camera flash and need to do more experimentation with the OMDs to make sure that I have all that I need for that task and they will perform as I need them. I can shoot sports with the EM1 and 40-150/2.8, but the Nikon D300/D700 kit I have makes getting the sports shots I want that much easier. The EM1 C-AF is different in how it functions, so again, I need to get used to it.

    Right now, I've got the 17/25/45 f/1.8 primes and 40-150/2.8 PRO. That alone I could get away with.

    I would sell the EM5, keep the EM1, sell the Nikon kit you don't need/want and bank the money for the EM1 mkII when it comes out. You've already got a killer set of lenses. The only thing I see missing is something on the long end past 75mm. You can get the 40-150/4-5.6 super cheap or spend a little more and get the 75-300/4.8-6.7. Or if you want to stay small and still get more reach, look into the Panasonic 35-100/2.8.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    If you're really on the fence, why not wait to see the specs for the e-m1 mk2. I'm sure the rumor mill will leak news this year. The nikon 810 has apparently advanced FF sensor significantly and is the new benchmark.

    Chances are good the new e-m1 will set a new standard for m43, possibly equaling mainstream DSLRs for IQ and AF performance.

    Superiority will always be a chase never final, but I think it's safe to say that it won't be long before m43 leapfrogs into current DSLR performance. DSLRs will continue their advances as well and m43 may never catch up, but at what point does it stop mattering?

    In the meantime, why not consider a used or refurb. $800 for an e-m1 is a bargain and will likely return 75% of your expense when you want to upgrade to the mk2 later on. In the meantime, you'll be having fun, learning the camera and building a system of lenses and accessories.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Once my event days are over I'll sell all my Nikon gear except what will fit in one small/mid sized Domke bag (it currently fills a large roller).
  17. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I would agree with you 100%, but that Nikon Df.....it's sucked me into its web from which I;m not struggling to get away from. I use that with the 24/50/90 primes and I'm in heaven. :D 
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