E-M5 Mk II vs Mk III

ArizonaMike

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I own an E-M1 Mk II and my wife has suggested that I get a second camera so I can keep a long lens on my M1.2 for birding and use the M5 as a general walk-around camera. I have found that whatever lens is mounted on the M1.2 at any particular time it is the wrong lens for what I want to take next, so having an M5 as a general walk-arounild with the 12-40 or 12-50 (which I really like) and the M1.2 with the 40-150 or 300 on it might simplify my life.

The problem is that I have never looked at an actual M5 so I don't know the real differences between the Mk II and Mk III version other than what I see in the specs. The Mk III has the 20MP sensor while the Mk II has the 16MP sensor but other than that I just don't know of any important usability differences. Do both have custom modes? Or both has MySets? Are there any important improvements in the Mk III vs Mk II? Or important loses? To both have silent mode? Do both have decent focusing systems?

I have been thinking about buying used to save some money, although I am not sure that there is all that much difference between used and new prices. Unfortunately all of the local camera stores are either Nikon or Canon centric so I can not just go to them to ask to look at the M5. They will just tell me that they can order one for me, but they won't have any on hand and that doesn't help me decide between the two. I can talk to camera people at online sites but worry that they will be more concerned about their commission than about which camera would best suit my needs and I don't think I can ethically order both to compare them and then return the one I don't want.

Can anyone give me some helpful advice about the differences between the two cameras? My normal usage is just taking family photos when we travel so I am normally using either the A or S modes on the M1.2 with either the 12-40 or 12-50 although I also sometimes use the Olympus 8mm FE as an UWA lens to avoid having to stitch panos together and take a fair number of exposure bracketed shots when the dynamic range seems too high for the M1.2, and that is what I would expect to do with a new or used M5.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
 
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From what I know:
5.2 has 4 mysets, 5.3 has 1 custom mode (+2 available through menus - so they are useless)
5.2 and 5.3 use different batteries (5.3: BLS-50, 5.2: BLN-1)
5.3 has an hybrid AF (as your em1 mk2, 5.2 hasn't.
5.3 has exposure compensation in "M mode + iso auto". 5.2 hasn't.
5.3 has the same remote plug than your em1 mk2 - 5.2 use another plug.
5.3 is bigger than 5.2
5.3 has fisheye compensation with the Oly 8 mm, 5.2 hasn't.
Both have silent mode.
 

Acraftman

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I have the 5.2 only but would really like having the1mkll ,I think my kit would be pretty awesome then, I think the 1mkll can do everything the 5.3 can so what am I losing by not having that camera, for the money you save buying a used 5mkll you could pick up a 2-0 teleconverter or other glass, or perhaps a used pen-f etc.
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

ArizonaMike

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From what I know:
5.2 has 4 mysets, 5.3 has 1 custom mode (+2 available through menus - so they are useless)
5.2 and 5.3 use different batteries (5.3: BLS-50, 5.2: BLN-1)
5.3 has an hybrid AF (as your em1 mk2, 5.2 hasn't.
5.3 has exposure compensation in "M mode + iso auto". 5.2 hasn't.
5.3 has the same remote plug than your em1 mk2 - 5.2 use another plug.
5.3 is bigger than 5.2
5.3 has fisheye compensation with the Oly 8 mm, 5.2 hasn't.
Both have silent mode.
Thank you for that information. That is pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

In some ways it appears that the 5.2 is a better choice for me in that it has MySets, uses the same battery as my 1.2 and is lighter and smaller than the 5.3, but I do have the 8mm FE and do appreciate the FE compensation since I often use it as a pano lens. But then I don't guess that decisions like this are supposed to be easy ... :laugh:
 

ArizonaMike

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I have the 5.2 only but would really like having the1mkll ,I think my kit would be pretty awesome then, I think the 1mkll can do everything the 5.3 can so what am I losing by not having that camera, for the money you save buying a used 5mkll you could pick up a 2-0 teleconverter or other glass, or perhaps a used pen-f etc.
View attachment 803649
Nice photo. Taken with your 5.2? What lens?
 
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I had the MkII and now the MkIII.

If I had no interest in shooting video, I would have stayed with the MkII. It's a great stills shooter. As a hobbyist/enthusiast, it did everything I wanted when it came to stills.

But when it came to video, while I did like the quality of the FHD videos I got out of it, the C-AF was at times WILDLY lacking. Most of the time it worked fine. Sometimes focus would go off into la-la land and just NOT come back until I stopped recording. The MkIII resolves that and gives me 4k both at 30FPS and as that Cine4k, both of which look quite nice.

I DO wish Oly had waited another month or two and put the new processor in the 5MkIII, and I'd really like a USB C port which could power the camera while running. Oh well, I guess if I stick with the E-M5 platform, I'll have to wait until the MkIV is announced in 2025, which will have 2020 hardware in it. LOL


As for a 'walk-around' camera, either the MkII or III will be nice. With a small lens like any of the f/1.8 primes or the 14-42EZ on it, my MkIII is damn near pocketable. And I'm quite impressed with the IQ of the 14-42. The primes are excellent as well. The MkIII is a touch lighter than the II, and is a bit more comfortable in hand.
 
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Thank you for that information. That is pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

In some ways it appears that the 5.2 is a better choice for me in that it has MySets, uses the same battery as my 1.2 and is lighter and smaller than the 5.3, but I do have the 8mm FE and do appreciate the FE compensation since I often use it as a pano lens. But then I don't guess that decisions like this are supposed to be easy ... :laugh:
I'm not sure it's the same battery. That's what I thought but your 1.2 seems to have BLH-1 batteries and the 5.2 BLN-1... I don't know the differences between the 2 models.
There's also the possibility of a E-M10 mk 2, mysets, tilting screen, probably cheaper than a 5.2.

I also forgot to mention that the build quality of the 5.2 feeled better than the 5.3.
I say "feel" because I have no idea which one is the most solid.
 

Machi

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Other differences between Mark II and Mark III (beyond what @SojiOkita already wrote).
5.3 has faster readout from sensor in the silent mode - 1/63s vs 1/22s for 5.2. That means less pronounced rolling shutter effect.
5.3 is faster with speeds up to 30 frames per second (5.2 only 10fps).
5.3 has larger buffer.
5.3 has pro-capture mode.
5.3 has faster "silent shutter" at 1/32 000s (5.2 has 1/16 000s).
5.3 has better IBIS (more detailed reviews are needed to tell how much better it is).
5.3 has in-body charging via USB.
5.3 has focus limiter.
5.3 has IPX1 rated weather sealing (5.2 is weather sealed too but not under any official standard).
5.3 has better video up to Cine4K/24fps and full HD video at 120fps (5.2 has full HD at 60fps).
5.3 has polycarbonate body (5.2 has magnesium alloy).
5.3 should have better AF with older 4/3 lenses thanks to its phase detection AF.
 

bassman

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- the M5.3 doesn’t allow for settings to be backed up on your PC, and resets them with firmware updates. The M1.2 saves them in both cases.
- the M5.3 uses a different battery than any M1 or the M5.2.
- the M5.3 uses micro USB, while the M1.2 is USB C.
- the M5.3 has an old-school battery meter with a few segments, while the M1.2 gives a percent left reading.

That being said, I shot a dinner theater with an M5.3 and M1.2 and it was at least as good as shooting with the M1.1 and M1.2. 200 shots on the M5.3 and the battery meter was still on full.
 

runner girl

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I'm not sure it's the same battery. That's what I thought but your 1.2 seems to have BLH-1 batteries and the 5.2 BLN-1... I don't know the differences between the 2 models.
There's also the possibility of a E-M10 mk 2, mysets, tilting screen, probably cheaper than a 5.2.

I also forgot to mention that the build quality of the 5.2 feeled better than the 5.3.
I say "feel" because I have no idea which one is the most solid.
It is not the same battery as the EM1 MKII. FYI the EM5 MKIII & EM10MKII use the same battery.
 

saladin

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On the 5iii, you get -

Same image pipeline as your Em1ii, newer sensor, newer processor.
Contrast and phase detect AF
Oled evf instead of old lcd
Lighter weight
In-camera charging
Pro capture
Improved Ibis
Bigger file size in hi res
Hypersonic sensor cleaning
More flexible AF zones
Better video

On the 5ii you get:

Metal build
Evf magnification a little higher.

There's other stuff, like revised grip, relocated mode dial etc, but these are personal matters and which you prefer is up to you, obviously.

There may be an advantage in running two cameras with the same sensor, but for many it matters not at all. And even if it does, it's a big price jump to the 5iii.
 
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Matt Drown

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If you want a brief counter suggestion, a PenF w/ a 17 1.8 would be a great way to experiment with a "different" camera, but still have a second.

I'm not 100% on what you are looking for in a second body. If you want a second body, get a second em1.2, you'll be happier because muscle-memory just works for you.

If you want something that's different, so you can explore different ways to photograph, then Pen-F is quite nice. My only caveat, put 1.8 primes on it, not the 12-40pro. The PenF is smaller, and it shows quickly in handling with the larger lenses. But it's also amazing how "fun" it can be to shoot with.

As a final bonus, you can probably buy it used and resell it a couple months later with no loss, minus shipping, due to demand.

Good luck with the choice, doesn't sound like you'll be unhappy with any choice you make.
 

memzinla

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Is there a thread like this with the E-M1 Mark II vs EM-5 Mark III? I've read some, but most of them say they are very similar except for the body size. I actually don't have a preference between either of the cameras and LOVE them both!
 

bassman

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I have the 5.3 and 1.2. AFAICT, they perform very similarly internally. However, the feel of the two cameras is very different.

- The 1.2 is beefy, with a great grip and lots of easily accessible control points around the body.
- The 5.3 is lightweight, fits in a large jacket pocket when paired with a small prime. Easy to carry on a neck strap.
- The menus are extremely similar, as is the feature set. It sometime takes you a bit longer to get there with the 5.3.
- The 5.3 EVF is OLED, which means I can see it while wearing polarized sunglasses.
- The 1.2 offers a vertical battery grip, the 5.3 doesn’t (not an issue for me).
 

pake

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I own an E-M1 Mk II and my wife has suggested that I get a second camera...

Hmmm.... My wife hasn't suggested me anything like that. But that's OK - I come up with these ideas by myself too. I don't need anyone telling me I need a new lens/camera/flash/softbox/stand/<insert_any_photography_item_here>. :laugh:
 

algold

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If you want a brief counter suggestion, a PenF w/ a 17 1.8 would be a great way to experiment with a "different" camera, but still have a second.

I'm not 100% on what you are looking for in a second body. If you want a second body, get a second em1.2, you'll be happier because muscle-memory just works for you.

If you want something that's different, so you can explore different ways to photograph, then Pen-F is quite nice. My only caveat, put 1.8 primes on it, not the 12-40pro. The PenF is smaller, and it shows quickly in handling with the larger lenses. But it's also amazing how "fun" it can be to shoot with.

As a final bonus, you can probably buy it used and resell it a couple months later with no loss, minus shipping, due to demand.

Good luck with the choice, doesn't sound like you'll be unhappy with any choice you make.
This is really interesting. You are not the first person saying 12-40 doesn't handle well on Pen-F. But Pen-F and E-M5 II or III for that matter are about the same size and weight (+/-). 12-40 handles pretty good on E-M5 II even without an add-on grip.
 

Bidkev

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This is really interesting. You are not the first person saying 12-40 doesn't handle well on Pen-F. But Pen-F and E-M5 II or III for that matter are about the same size and weight (+/-). 12-40 handles pretty good on E-M5 II even without an add-on grip.
I see statements all the time about certain lenses not handling well on certain bodies and it puzzles me? I've had many bodies in all formats and many lenses and I've never once had a conscious thought that a certain/lens body doesn't handle well. The only thoughts I've ever had have been positive eg the panny 12-32 is well suited to my Pen Mini E-PM2 or my samyang sits well on my E M10 but that is only in relation to size/weight, and fitting in a small bag, not handling. Whether it's because I'm not a multi tasker and am too involved in getting a shot to notice handling, I don't know. My sig states that my bodies are gripped, but it's just that I have a half case on them for protection. I have big hands and yet have never had a problem transitioning from FF and APSC as far as handling is concerned, even without the half cases. I guess I just "go with the flow" with gear. Taking the shot is all that really concerns me and I manage that OK with any combination.
 
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This is really a personal feeling.
I'm much more at ease with a small lens, having the weight centered on the body. That's my preference.
That doesn't mean I won't be able to shoot with a E-M5.3 + 12-40 f/2.8 - I've worked with much worse combinations in the past :) - but I wouldn't enjoy it as much as with a smaller lens.
So clearly, I wouldn't take the 12-40 f/2.8 as a walkaround lens on my E-M5.3.
 

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