E-M5 II upgrade path?

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Time flies. A few months ago I bought EM5.2 and G85 and few m43 lenses to test m43 waters. The EM5.2 immediately impressed me its build quality and customization (little over the top, but I have started loving it), even though ergonomics clearly fall short of G85. Long story short I sold G85 later.

After seeing what m43 can do as compared to other high end cameras (D500, Z6, A7R II) I put EM5.2 for sale, as I am ready to invest more in this system for better ergonomics, battery life and higher MP count and possibly better noise control but I am unsure of the latter.

While EM1X is out of my budget, I am looking at EM1.2 as next best option and also G9 (95?90?91?X9? Panasonic nomenclature baffles me). Admittedly, Panasonic bodies seem to have an edge over Olympus with regards to handling but I do like Oly's stupidly effective weather sealing. Oh and godly IBIS too-if I have to guess it is 1.5 stops better than Z 6 and about 2-2.5 stops better than A7R II. I am guessing EM1.2 to be even more ludicrous. Any experience with Pana's IBIS is welcome!

Are these viable upgrade options? Which one is better at AF? AF speed/accuracy has been a sore thumb in my EM5.2 experience. If EM1.2 or any of the Pana bodies can deliver about 85% AF performance of Nikon D500, I would consider selling D500 later even though that is a really high benchmark to cross IMHO. I understand this is Olympus forum, but I would still like to hear what Olympus patrons think.

Edit: Video isn't paramount to me.As long as it shoots some video, I am ok.
 

RR Jonny

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I just traded in my EM5 MK II and am getting another EM1 MK II. Weather sealing, glass, IBIS and functionality for photos are important for me. The AF is way better than the EM5 and acceptable to me. I do shoot BIF's occasionally and have some minor gripes about the AF, but, with practice, it's not much of an issue; I almost threw the EM5 into the river while I never considered it with the EM1 due to lack of AF performance. I don't use CAF + TR much, but the CAF with single, small target box is acceptable if you can keep it on target. I'm getting a second one, so I may have a biased opinion. It's good enough for me. I never shot the Panny.
 
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I had the EM5-mk2 and upgraded to the Pen-F and then the M1-mkii. The Pen-F is great in many ways but I find it a little frustrating to use ergonomically in some ways. I found the EM5-mk2 more ergonomic and functional.

I like the idea of small cameras and loved the EM5-mk2 in practice. At 6'2, I am not small. The buttons on the EM5-mk2 did frustrate me. Especially the small switch near the eyepiece (2x2 switch). I guess I am just to thick headed or ham fisted to find it comfortable to use.

Getting back on topic, I ended up getting the larger em1-mk2. It goes against my goal of smaller cameras and I can't help feeling that I have been slowly lured towards larger camera bodies and lenses after jumping into m43 for the tiny Pen series and small primes. Now I have the M1-mkii and some pro glass.

The bottom line, I love it. The camera just feels much more natural to use for my hands. The ergonomics are a significant upgrade over the EM5-mk2 for me at least. I like holding the body more and the dials and switches are easier to activate with the camera up to my eye. The camera also gives me a little bit more confidence in overall usage. I am very happy to have upgraded. Image quality improvements are not dramatic in anyway. I loved the photos from my M5-ii.
 
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Sniksekk

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G9 has weathersealing as well, is Olympus known to be better?
 

Michael Meissner

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G9 has weathersealing as well, is Olympus known to be better?
Olympus does state in their manuals that the E-m1 mark I/II, E-m5 mark II, and E-m1x cameras are rated to the equivalent of IEC Standard publication 60529 IPX1, and Panasonic does not even go that far. That being said, I have shot with my G85 in some wet conditions, such as on the boat at Niagara Falls for recording fireworks at night, and it survived about 10 minutes of the water from the falls cascading over me.

But, I was on a whale watch boat, and we got splashed by an ocean wave. The Olympus E-m1 mark I with the Olympus 14-150mm mark II lens had no problems after I cleaned them up with distilled water. Likewise the Panasonic G85 had no problems, but the Panasonic 100-300mm mark II lens stopped working for a bit, until I gave it a sharp rap. Presumably, there was a small salt crystal that got in the gears of the lens. Now, I realize that salt water is much worse than normal rain, and that you really should try to avoid getting soaked, even with Olympus cameras.
 
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The AF is way better than the EM5 and acceptable to me. I do shoot BIF's occasionally and have some minor gripes about the AF, but, with practice, it's not much of an issue; I almost threw the EM5 into the river while I never considered it with the EM1 due to lack of AF performance. I don't use CAF + TR much, but the CAF with single, small target box is acceptable if you can keep it on target.
That's what I have been reading too. Good to know. What lens(es) for BIFs are you using with M1.2? That's something I'm trying of late, new hobby.
 
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I like the idea of small cameras and loved the EM5-mk2 in practice. At 6'2, I am not small. The buttons on the EM5-mk2 did frustrate me. Especially the small switch near the eyepiece (2x2 switch). I guess I am just to thick headed or ham fisted to find it comfortable to use.

Getting back on topic, I ended up getting the larger em1-mk2. It goes against my goal of smaller cameras and I can't help feeling that I have been slowly lured towards larger camera bodies and lenses after jumping into m43 for the tiny Pen series and small primes. Now I have the M1-mkii and some pro glass.

The bottom line, I love it. The camera just feels much more natural to use for my hands. The ergonomics are a significant upgrade over the EM5-mk2 for me at least. I like holding the body more and the dials and switches are easier to activate with the camera up to my eye. The camera also gives me a little bit more confidence in overall usage. I am very happy to have upgraded. Image quality improvements are not dramatic in anyway. I loved the photos from my M5-ii.
6'1 checking in here. Couldn't agree more with your gripe about cramped buttons on EM5.2. I still press wrong buttons all the time on top plate. The 2x2 Lever with center button which I have set up as BBF is also not quite ergonomic for a thick thumb but I am making do with it.
And thus, I am leaning towards larger body too. Goes a little against whole MLC / M43 philosophy but can't help it. I despise rangefinder style. On EM5.2 I put a L bracket with grip but even that's not enough. I do need a substantial body. As long as it's smaller than D500/850 I'm good I guess.
 
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A little extreme but I read someone holding EM1.2 under faucet and it still worked. Not sure why anyone would do that in real life but good to have assurance that a rogue wave or water spill or even heavy rain won't kill the camera.
 

Michael Meissner

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A little extreme but I read someone holding EM1.2 under faucet and it still worked. Not sure why anyone would do that in real life but good to have assurance that a rogue wave or water spill or even heavy rain won't kill the camera.
While you don't want to use a heavy stream of water, that is my normal method to clean a camera + lens after getting splashed by salt water (well usually I try to have distilled water in the car and pour that over the camera instead of using tap water). Then completely dry off the camera.

Here is a picture taken on the Hornblower boat ride at Niagara Falls, where you do get some damp conditions (taken with an Olympus E-m1 mark I + Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 pro lens). Note, you do need to bring a cloth to wipe off the filter in front of the lens from time to time:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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kingduct

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Haven't used them, but from what I've read, the E-M1ii and G9 both meet your needs.

What lenses do you have? There are slight benefits to using lenses that are the same brand as the camera, in terms of weather sealing, image stabilization, and autofocus (all things that seem to matter to you). Might make sense to get the camera brand that matches the lens brand.

Also, note that the E-M5 mark iii is supposedly coming out this year.
 
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Oly 12-40 pro and Lumix 35-100 f2.8 currently. Looking into some macro and possibly 45mm but that's some time away.
In my brief experience I didn't see any difference in the way Oly body handled Lumix lens but it's a very limited experience so I am sure there are benefits of using same brand lens. The reason for opting Lumix was purely small size and weight besides price compared to Oly equivalent.
I'm guessing EM5.3 to be more or less same price as what EM1.2 is worth in used market..
 

ac12

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Time flies. A few months ago I bought EM5.2 and G85 and few m43 lenses to test m43 waters. The EM5.2 immediately impressed me its build quality and customization (little over the top, but I have started loving it), even though ergonomics clearly fall short of G85. Long story short I sold G85 later.

After seeing what m43 can do as compared to other high end cameras (D500, Z6, A7R II) I put EM5.2 for sale, as I am ready to invest more in this system for better ergonomics, battery life and higher MP count and possibly better noise control but I am unsure of the latter.

While EM1X is out of my budget, I am looking at EM1.2 as next best option and also G9 (95?90?91?X9? Panasonic nomenclature baffles me). Admittedly, Panasonic bodies seem to have an edge over Olympus with regards to handling but I do like Oly's stupidly effective weather sealing. Oh and godly IBIS too-if I have to guess it is 1.5 stops better than Z 6 and about 2-2.5 stops better than A7R II. I am guessing EM1.2 to be even more ludicrous. Any experience with Pana's IBIS is welcome!

Are these viable upgrade options? Which one is better at AF? AF speed/accuracy has been a sore thumb in my EM5.2 experience. If EM1.2 or any of the Pana bodies can deliver about 85% AF performance of Nikon D500, I would consider selling D500 later even though that is a really high benchmark to cross IMHO. I understand this is Olympus forum, but I would still like to hear what Olympus patrons think.
If you cannot afford the EM1X, then the only Olympus option is the EM1-mk2.
  • The mk2, gets you better battery life than the mk1, with a 40% bigger battery.
    • For reference, on my mk1, continuous on battery run time, with a non-stabilized lens, is about 4 hours. So I estimate the mk2 at a bit less than 6 hours.
  • Sensor going from 16MP in your EM5 up to 20MP in the EM1-mk2. 25% more pixels in total.
    • BUT, linear upgrade in H or V axis is less, only 13%. From 4608x3456 to 5184x3888. So not a significant improvement.
  • I don't know that the Olympus IBIS is that much better, but it is good.
    • Even better if you use the 12-100/4 with Sync-IS (OIS+IBIS). But the 12-100 sucks battery power (at least mine does); battery run time drops from 4 hours to 2-1/2 hours on the EM1-mk1.
    • Remember IS only compensates for camera movement, it does NOT compensate for subject movement.

IF AF is a major issue, and you are shooting fast sports/action, don't sell your D500.
You will need to get the EM1X, to get AF performance similar to the D500.
Before the EM1X, there have been several EM1-mk2 users who switched to the D500, specifically for fast sports/action.
 
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Ok, this is really informative, especially the 12-100 observation. Better battery life is must for me. I really not like carrying extra batteries, which I do in spades with my A7R II. Good to know that EM1.2 has great battery life.
The D500 is indeed fantastic and you can really put together a phenomenal wildlife/BIF kit on budget with it. Yes. I think I will hold onto it :)
 

Mike Wingate

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Oly 12-40 pro and Lumix 35-100 f2.8 currently. Looking into some macro and possibly 45mm but that's some time away.
In my brief experience I didn't see any difference in the way Oly body handled Lumix lens but it's a very limited experience so I am sure there are benefits of using same brand lens. The reason for opting Lumix was purely small size and weight besides price compared to Oly equivalent.
I'm guessing EM5.3 to be more or less same price as what EM1.2 is worth in used market..
Dual OIS on Lumix G9 and some Lumix lenses seems a good idea.
 

ac12

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Ok, this is really informative, especially the 12-100 observation. Better battery life is must for me. I really not like carrying extra batteries, which I do in spades with my A7R II. Good to know that EM1.2 has great battery life.
I do not consider 6 hours great battery life when my D7200 will let me shoot the entire weekend on a single charge, and probably same with your D500. 6 hours might be great compared to other mirrorless, but not to a dSLR.

You better get used to carrying spare batteries with a mirrorless camera. IMHO, carrying spare batteries is a fact of life with mirrorless cameras. Even a 6 hour run time could mean you use 2 or 3 batteries in a day, depending on how much you shoot. Then you have 2 or 3 batteries to charge at the end of the day. Use the 12-100/4 and you could be down to less than 4 hour run time, so 3 to 5 batteries.
 
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I do not consider 6 hours great battery life when my D7200 will let me shoot the entire weekend on a single charge, and probably same with your D500. 6 hours might be great compared to other mirrorless, but not to a dSLR.

You better get used to carrying spare batteries with a mirrorless camera. IMHO, carrying spare batteries is a fact of life with mirrorless cameras. Even a 6 hour run time could mean you use 2 or 3 batteries in a day, depending on how much you shoot. Then you have 2 or 3 batteries to charge at the end of the day. Use the 12-100/4 and you could be down to less than 4 hour run time, so 3 to 5 batteries.
Relatively speaking, yes. DSLRs win this by a mile. For MLC EM1.2 seems pretty good. My other MLCs are a)Sony A7R II - which gives me heartburn everytime I look at the battery % and b) Nikon Z 6 which was probably the same as EM1.2. It is a little strange on Z 6, I have gotten as low as 350 shots per charge and as high as 920 from same battery. I have yet to figure out whats going on there. But Sony? It is just terrible. I think I average about 175-200 shots on one full charged OEM battery. Third party batteries are even worse. Sony realized that and mk3 cameras are now greatly improved in that regards.
D500 on the other hand is just phenomenal. Even third party batteries average about 900 shots.
 

ac12

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Relatively speaking, yes. DSLRs win this by a mile. For MLC EM1.2 seems pretty good. My other MLCs are a)Sony A7R II - which gives me heartburn everytime I look at the battery % and b) Nikon Z 6 which was probably the same as EM1.2. It is a little strange on Z 6, I have gotten as low as 350 shots per charge and as high as 920 from same battery. I have yet to figure out whats going on there. But Sony? It is just terrible. I think I average about 175-200 shots on one full charged OEM battery. Third party batteries are even worse. Sony realized that and mk3 cameras are now greatly improved in that regards.
D500 on the other hand is just phenomenal. Even third party batteries average about 900 shots.
With a mirrorless, it is not the number of shots, but the POWER ON time. While the power is on, the sensor, EVF and back LCD are active and drawing power.
With a dSLR, the only thing drawing power might be the meter. Nothing else is drawing power, until you hit the shutter button.

One problem, as I see it, is that the mfg in trying to make a smaller mirrorless camera than the dSLR, did not use a LARGER battery. So same battery as in a dSLR but more power drain = less battery life. Now they are stuck with the smaller body size. The only option is to make the body bigger, so that there is more room for a larger battery, as Olympus had to do when the went from the EM1-mk1 to the mk2.
 
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Right but CIPA does count number of shots as a battery measure so there's that. I agree it is not straight comparison with DSLR since MLCs have many battery hogs. What did impress me though is that in pretty much every comparison, EM1.2 has bettered G9 in battery life tests despite being physically smaller than G9.
 

Michael Meissner

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Right but CIPA does count number of shots as a battery measure so there's that. I agree it is not straight comparison with DSLR since MLCs have many battery hogs. What did impress me though is that in pretty much every comparison, EM1.2 has bettered G9 in battery life tests despite being physically smaller than G9.
Note, CIPA tests mandate that if the camera has a built-in flash, that every other shot uses the flash. Fortunately in this comparison, neither the E-M1 mark II nor the G9 have a built-in flash, so it is a fairer comparison.

But it is an issue if you compare the G95 to the G9, or the E-m10 mark III to the E-M1 mark II.

I believe the Panasonic DMW-BLF19 battery has a stated capacity of 1,860mAh, while the Olympus BLH-1 has a stated 1,720mAh capacity, so I would expect the G9 to perform longer than the E-M1 mark II.
 
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