E-M5 Mk II vs Mk III

algold

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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.
This is a personal feeling and individual preferences. When I had an E-M10 II, used to shoot it with 12-40 and no grip for a long time and it really never bothered me. I do prefer 12-40 on em5 ii and 12-100 on em1 ii simply because it looks better imho (pure vanity I guess). At the same time I have zero problems shooting 40-150/2.8 on em5 ii without a grip for a long time. Probably the same with the Pen-F - I simply don't have long enough to see what works and feels better on it.
 
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As usual people miss the gigantic differences in favor of airy vague ones. The cameras in question are superb. I got an M5-lll for Christmas but only had a Panny 12-35 2.8 with me. Superb combo, and a little lighter than Oly 2.8 12-40. So if you want light, this is good combo. Of course tiny mono-focus lenses are really easy to handle. I also have operated the Oly 40-150--,f2,8.. As practical matter the bigger higher power lenses are more challenging to operate. This will be the biggest difference between your rigs, everything else being equal. You can't really go wrong as far as the camera choice.
 

Matt Drown

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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.
Let me re-phrase slighty. I use an em1.2 w/ the rrs bottom plate, I have large hands, and the 12-40 on it is great. I use the penf with a 17 1.8 without any grips/plates/etc, and I love it that way. When I put the 12-40 on the penf, it doesn't feel "as nice" as it does on the em1.2. I don't have issues holding the penf without an added grip (you hold it with your hand more vertically, vs the em1, where you grip the camera.

It's perfectly fine using the 12-40 on the penf, it won't feel like you've mounted something way out of the normal at all, it's just it feels better on the em1.2. Do think of it as the the penf+12-40 is "normal", while the em1.2+12-40 is good. :)

You can put a grip on the penf, but I feel that it ruins some of the charm, and the way it handles. The whole point of the camera is lightweight, small, fun. If you are just going to convert it to a larger camera, you might as well start with the larger camera.

I agree with @SojiOkita it's a personal thing, nothing beyond that.
 
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I've got the extended grip on my 5MkIII. I had the extended grip (and battery grip) on the 5MkII. I like having the extended grip on when I have the 12-40 mounted. It feels better in hand. Sure, it's about the size of an E-M1MkII that way, but it handles well.

I also have a 14-42EZ and a 17 f/1.8. I'm thinking most of the time with either of those lenses, I'll remove the grip bit. I specifically picked up the 17 used to be my 'indoor' or 'museum' lens for an upcoming trip to London. I wanted a fast prime to use indoors. The 14-42 is almost identical in size when powered off. I can easily fit the camera in my coat pocket when wearing one of those tiny lenses without the grip.

I also do video a bit, and a lighter rig is pretty nice in a lot of situations. In good outdoor light, I'm impressed with how well the 14-42 does. If I don't NEED the faster aperture of the 12-40, I'd probably use the 14-42 for video more frequently. (I even found a nice little variable ND filter that fits it!)
 
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Reading the replies what caught my eye was the..."some lenses go well with some bodies and others not".....
First thought was...what could the optical reasons be?

Could it be....the reference is more about the physical match than the optical match?

Matt wrote he uses a rss bottom plate on his EM1 and also mentioned the grip on the Pen F....

Personally I think this is one of the biggest advantages of Olympus - this ability to transform the Olympus body into the size/format best for the job or the person....

Take the G9 and the EM1 II - both great cameras but the G9 is one size and it's big. Add the rss bottom plate to the EM1 II and its the same size as the G9 - this flexibility is huge.....

In terms of lenses, yesterday I prepped a few images I wanted to show on my blog - basically to show this...... one lens is a better fit than the other.... also because I wanted to show a comparison of the new 12-45mm... (why this lens?)

I have a 12-40mm, 12-35mm, 12-60mm to show and I thought if you show a 12-45 f4 you could just as well show the 12-50mm, 12-42mm and an older 14-45mm I have.... Should also list the 12-60mm lumix

As I was taking images I was thinking - in a previous life when we were shooting with film the lens was really critical. Today lenses are so much better. We all know the small 14-42mm is awesome and fitted to the EM5 II this perfect match makes it even more interesting.....

A lot of writing..... but I think if you only had to look at what is practically the best combo....the difference in IQ is really nothing.... The benefits having a faster lens like a f1.8 or a f2.8 is sometimes of much more value.....getting us back to the practicality of the mix....

Have fun

Siegfried
 

bassman

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Went out street testing the 5.3 today.

Camera settings: C-AF, All focus points, Center focus priority, 1/1600, f/4.0, ISO 200
Olympus 9-16@ 9mm
IBIS Auto
Images processed in LR 9.2 with the Adobe Standard profile. FYI, they look identical (except for color profile) in Olympus Viewer.

I was walking towards these three people shooting at waist level. The pictures are cropped to make the figures about the same size. No continuous shooting, I pressed the shutter three times for three shots. All times were recorded within the same second.

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IBIS worked well - I was walking as I shot.

As you can see, the first and last pictures are in focus. The second is not. Here's the full frame of the second image.

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I can't see anything in focus in the second image.

Here are some stats from EXIF for the three images:

Focus Distance DoF DoF Range
Image 1: 1.41m infinity 0.69m - infinity
Image 2: 1.75m infinity 0.76m - infinity
Image 3: 0.535m 0.49m 0.38-0.88m

Questions:
1. Since the three people are to be a few meters away (I'd guess about 5m), I would expect Images 1 and 2 to be in focus based on the DoF range reported. Image 2 is way OOF, while Image 1 is close enough for use.

2. When viewed at 4:1 enlargement on my screen, Image 3 is has the best focus on the three people. Yet EXIF claims the people are way outside the DoF range. Here's a 1460x1065 pixel crop of Image 3 (no additional processing):

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What's going on here?
 
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What focus mode? Where was the focus point and what size was the focus point? Did you just quickly fully press the shutter button, or give it a quick half-press to let it focus? (nevermind, I see in your post at the top... well, the whole frame isn't the same distance from you. I'd probably only use the "try to focus on everything" if I were shooting a building or a wall or something that was pretty much entirely the same distance from me)

If you just fully slam the button, it might not be able to lock focus. If the focus point is too small or in the wrong place, it might try to go for the wrong thing but fire the shutter before it gets there.
 

bassman

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Thanks for your comments.

So this was really an exercise to see how well C-AF and the ‘all focus points’ options would work when combined with a deep DoF for street shooting. I don’t normally (i.e. Never) shoot like this. It didn’t work very well, as the images in my OP show. When I looked at the other 50 or so images from the day, the subjects were better focused than this set, they weren’t great. I’ve gotten better results with my traditional approach: single focus point, etc.

But the real reason for the post was the strange behavior I described: three images in sequence, with widely varying focus results. In addition, the EXIF data suggests that the in-focus image shouldn’t be, while the out-of-focus image should be.
 

pake

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But the real reason for the post was the strange behavior I described: three images in sequence, with widely varying focus results. In addition, the EXIF data suggests that the in-focus image shouldn’t be, while the out-of-focus image should be.
Please correct me if I'm wrong... AF-C focuses by "pumping back and forth around the subject" to calculate where the final focus should be and this exposure was simply taken while the camera was still doing its focusing routine (ie. focus not locked).
 

Matt Drown

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C-AF doesn't run unless you half-press the button, or engage it with a config (BBF, etc). So tapping the button three times is just going to try to snap to focus and shoot. Easy to see by holding the camera in front of you hand moving your hand away.

1582562892132.png
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I can't remember if Olympus Viewer allows you to see the focus points used? (I don't use it) May be worth taking a look to see what it thought it was trying to focus on.

Also check out "C-AF Release Priority", GEAR-C1 on the em5.3, page 165
1582563152965.png
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em5.3 Manual PDF
 

bassman

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Matt, you gave the key where to look. I had C-AF Release Priority “On”, which allows the shutter to release even if focus is not achieved. Turning it Off should resolve my issue with the poor focus results.

EXIF does contain lots of data about the focus point, but it’s unclear how to interpret it.

Update: I had a chance to try out C-AF with Release Priority Off this afternoon, and it works much better. I still had All Focus Points and Center Focus Priority for C-AF, and by spotting the focus on my target (a moving car's license plate), focus was maintained as it drove towards and past me.
 
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Holoholo55

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I had the chance to handle an EM5.3 this weekend. I met with our local Olympus independent representative and asked him to bring the 5.3. I tried it with both his 12-40 and my 12-100. I had read several users saying that the 5.3 felt plasticky. If I hadn't read that it was made mostly with polycarbonate, I wouldn't have really noticed that. It felt pretty solid to me and it's weathersealing makes a big difference to me compared to my slightly smaller, metal bodied EM10.2. The 5.3 felt great with the 12-40, but with its improved grip over the 5.2 and 10.2, it wasn't bad with the 12-100. It would be more uncomfortable carrying it and the 12-100 gripped with only one hand, but with the accessory grip, it would be fine. A lot smaller and lighter than my EM1.2 w/12-100, which I still find to be a handy combo. I came away with a good impression, and reinforces my thought of replacing my EM1.1 and 10.2 with one 5.3.

5.3 w/12-100 vs EM10.2 w/PL 15 f1.7. Not exactly a fair comparison. :) The 5.3 has a Manfrotto QR plate under it, which is why it looks like it's floating a bit (not because it's lighter than air). :)
49571564956_3c65f43b16_c.jpg
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Rear view of same combos.
49571565896_4b4e45eb6a_c.jpg
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5.3 w/12-40 vs EM1.2 w/12-100. Which one would you take for your travel kit? :)
It'd be even more compact with the 12-45 f4 Pro.
49571053213_b14cc0c77a_c.jpg
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bassman

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I had the chance to handle an EM5.3 this weekend. I met with our local Olympus independent representative and asked him to bring the 5.3. I tried it with both his 12-40 and my 12-100. I had read several users saying that the 5.3 felt plasticky. If I hadn't read that it was made mostly with polycarbonate, I wouldn't have really noticed that. It felt pretty solid to me and it's weathersealing makes a big difference to me compared to my slightly smaller, metal bodied EM10.2. The 5.3 felt great with the 12-40, but with its improved grip over the 5.2 and 10.2, it wasn't bad with the 12-100. It would be more uncomfortable carrying it and the 12-100 gripped with only one hand, but with the accessory grip, it would be fine. A lot smaller and lighter than my EM1.2 w/12-100, which I still find to be a handy combo. I came away with a good impression, and reinforces my thought of replacing my EM1.1 and 10.2 with one 5.3.

5.3 w/12-100 vs EM10.2 w/PL 15 f1.7. Not exactly a fair comparison. :) The 5.3 has a Manfrotto QR plate under it, which is why it looks like it's floating a bit (not because it's lighter than air). :)
View attachment 804582

Rear view of same combos.
View attachment 804583

5.3 w/12-40 vs EM1.2 w/12-100. Which one would you take for your travel kit? :)
It'd be even more compact with the 12-45 f4 Pro.
View attachment 804584
In my case, I replaced both an E-M1 and a GX9 with the E-M5.3, to go along with my E-M1.2 (soon to be 1.3). For me, the M5.3 is a great balance of a small, lightweight body with most of the focus and IQ qualities of the M1.2/M1.3. I'll use it as a second camera when I need two (event/performance shooting), as a backup while on extended trips, and for casual walking around when I want something light. While there are obvious UI differences between the M5.3 and M1.3, they're close enough that I should be able to shoot effectively with the pair.
 

Matt Drown

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Matt, you gave the key where to look. I had C-AF Release Priority “On”, which allows the shutter to release even if focus is not achieved. Turning it Off should resolve my issue with the poor focus results.

EXIF does contain lots of data about the focus point, but it’s unclear how to interpret it.

Update: I had a chance to try out C-AF with Release Priority Off this afternoon, and it works much better. I still had All Focus Points and Center Focus Priority for C-AF, and by spotting the focus on my target (a moving car's license plate), focus was maintained as it drove towards and past me.
Glad release priority helped, you may want to turn on CF+TR instead of just C-AF for your use case though. If you aren't keeping the license plate in your focus area (and I'm not sure how it deals with ALL points, usually it picks the closer items to focus on, with a preference to center area). It will focus and "lock" when you 1/2 press and then track that object as it moves.
 

ArizonaMike

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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.
I ended up buying the PEN-F and it arrived today. You are absolutely correct - it is so small compared to the M1.2 that it feels completely unbalanced with the 12-40 on it. It feels like it needs either a very small zoom (like the 12-42 pancake) or a light prime. I plan to check it out with my 17mm 1.8 (which is currently the only prime that I have).

The downside is that I have some issues getting my fingers to find the buttons because the camera is so much smaller than what I am used to, but I am sure that can be overcome with some practice. Also have not figured out how to do HDR with the silent shutter on the PEN-F.
 

Matt Drown

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I ended up buying the PEN-F and it arrived today.
congratulations, welcome to the cult.

Finger holding, with large hands I hold it with my hand much more vertical with the bottom right corner stuck into the space between my thumb and fingers. thumb almost straight up and over the adjust knob. I turn the exposure comp knob to flash comp, but this is personal preference, as it's easier to use the smaller dial for exposure comp. GearA, AEL/AFL I run in S2/C3/M2 (this take a little getting used to as I use BBF on the em1.2).

I don't use the HDR mode, so unsure about that.

You can actually run the camera with the 17 prime with just a neck strap comfortably.

Even if you don't want to use the art modes, try out the b&w modes, and shoot in RAW+JPG mode. (If you chimp a lot, put a UHS-II card in it).

Go ahead and ask questions.
 
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