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E-M5 vs E-PL5 Twin Lens vs E-P5 17/1.8 VF-4 Kit

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by blitzvitz, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. blitzvitz

    blitzvitz Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Sep 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    Jourdan Fernandez
    Hi Mu-43!

    A few weeks back I sold my E-PL2 after deciding to finally upgrade to the newer 16mp sensors and relegate my GH2 from prime body to backup

    The current Olympus line-up seems very good, in fact too good for me to choose from.

    Here is my current dilemma, in my country (the Philippines), one can pick up

    (i) an E-M5 12-50 kit for around 955USD with 18 mos local distributor warranty

    (ii) an E-PL5 14-42 + 40-150 kit for around 680USD with 18 mos local distributor warranty

    (iii) an E-P5 17/1.8 VF-4 Kit for around USD 1330USD with next day shipping from HK but with Oly International Warranty, which unfortunately the local distro does not honor. The local distro has not yet released the E-P5 and E-PL6 in my country

    The E-PL5 seems like an easy choice as it is the cheapest, especially since I know I can sell the 14-42 and 40-150 from the kit and shave off another 250USD from the initial acquisition cost since I'll prefer to use my primes with my m43 kit.
    As a bonus, I still have a spare BLS-5 battery so I would already have a spare

    The biggest reservation I have about the E-PL5 is its handling, it's not as easy to hold as my E-PL2. Though getting the large E-P3 grip supposedly makes it better, I don't believe I have an easy way for me to try if I could live with the E-PL5 with the large grip.



    The E-M5 seems to be the best value for money, I'd probably sell the kit lens as well and shave off another 150USD from the acquisition cost.
    I know I'll really appreciate the 5 axis stabilization, and the viewfinder seems t be much better than the one in my GH2 which I hated for its color temperature. I also found it's ergonomics quite well for my hands, though I prefer something like the GH2's extended grip, I don't think I'll want to spend the 270USD for the accessory grip as I will never use the bottom extra battery part. I like the dual control dials as well. And the price difference over the E-PL5 seems justifiable

    My apprehension about it is its viewfinder hump. I like the compact factor of the PEN series. I disliked how my GH2's viewfinder protrudes and I loved the option to have my E-PL2 with just the 20/1.7 in my jacket pocket
    I'll probably lose my eyecup, and I'm already anticipating spending around 100USD to buy replacements. Also, even with the GH2 I prefer to use the LCD screen, in my 2 years with the GH2, i think I only used the EVF 2x when I forgot to bring my loupe on a very sunny day



    The E-P5 is my ideal camera, but an emphasis on "ideal" as the local distro does not have it so i have no way to know how it handles personally.
    I like it's dual control wheel and the 1/8000 shutter as I have encountered situations of needing higher than 1/4000 on my GH2 shooting my beloved 20/1.7 wide open at ISO 160. I imagine shooting with ISO 200 I would need higher than 1/4000 shutter speeds.

    The price and not having the local distro warranty is what keeps me from jumping the gun and buying it. Though if I consider selling the 17/1.8 and the VF-4 that would help offset the initial acquisition cost but it seems, especially with the E-M1 now the price may drop sooner?


    So Help please? I've been having sleepless nights trying to choose
     
  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Personally, I think that the Oly 12-50mm lens is junk, so irrespective of which body you go with, I would avoid a kit with that lens.

    I am actually grappling with the same dilemma, although I would also throw the Panasonic GX7 into the mix as well. Personally, I'm waiting for some rigorous test reports on the GX7, with particular emphasis on how well the IBIS works, and what the GX7's sensitivity to shutter shock might be - It's a significant issue with my current Panasonic G5 - but one that can generally be worked around by using the electronic shutter.
     
  3. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Update: I just got a really good deal on a mint lightly used E-PL5 with a VF-2, so that resolved my dilemma. I would guess I paid $200 less than a used OM-D EM5, and less than half of what a new GX7 would cost me. For me, the EVF is a must have with any camera - be it an add-on or built in. I would not have gone the E-PL5 route if I didn't get a great price with the VF-2 bundled in for much less than it would have cost to get it separately.
     
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  4. blitzvitz

    blitzvitz Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Sep 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    Jourdan Fernandez
    I limited my choice to Olympus cameras because I find they are much easier to work with in near Infrared.
    I tested my E-PL2 before and at base ISO 200, I could get handholdable exposures at wide open apertures and up to 1 sec if I need the full DoF around F8
    With my GH2, even wide open I needed around 10-30 seconds to expose images with a B+W 092 IR filter.
    I also found the infrared colors from my E-PL2 easier to work with than my GH2's for manipulating into false color work.

    As for the EVF, i think you are correct on its importance. It would be easier, especially when I do IR to have the tiltable EVF rather than bending down to bring my loupe to the rear LCD. i found a used E-VF2 for around 130USD which I'm considering if I get the E-PL5 but the E-P5 with VF4 and 17/1.8 just seems to look like a better value for money, which I personally find odd compared to the E-M5 and E-M1 looks overpriced
     
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Good luck with your decision - I did notice that the E-P5 bundles that include the VF-4 and the 17mm f1.8 seem to be the best values among all the configurations of E-P5 that are out there. It seems that you are getting about $650 worth of lens and viewfinder for an adder of only around $350 compared to the E-P5 body alone. I certainly thought about that configuration - but then I would have needed to either sell the 17mm lens, or my existing 20mm lens, for it to make sense for me - I really would not be able to justify keeping both of those lenses - as they are so similar in FOV and aperture.
     
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  6. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I have both E-M5 and E-PL5 and whilst the E-PL5 is a fantastic camera, I couldn't use it as my only body. For me, it's a small and light travel body but not my "serious" camera since its handling is severely limited by having only 1 dial. It makes it fiddly to use when holding the camera to the eye with the EVF. So, I'd vote for either the E-M5 or the E-P5.

    Personally, I love the in-built finder on the E-M5 so would go for that, but that's a personal decision. I'm told the VF4 is fantastic and I can vouch for the 17/1.8. A nice lens, if not the sharpest of the Oly primes. I wouldn't keep any of the Oly m43 zooms - except perhaps the new 12-40 :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. blitzvitz

    blitzvitz Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Sep 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    Jourdan Fernandez
    That's a very good point with the dual dials. One thing I did not like with my E-PL2 was having sometimes accidentally change exposure settings because my hand would accidentally hit the lower control wheel.
    Thanks, I think you just helped me narrow down my choice to either the E-M5 or E-P5
     
  8. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    i'll throw in my 2¢ for what its worth (about 2¢!): i had an omd and i just yesterday received epl5. if the epl5 option is without evf, thats a game stopper for that camera. i have the evf, so the issue for me was price, because all three cams you are comparing have the same sensor. my initial impression was the epl5 ooc jpeg results actually had more 'pop' than the omd, even though they have the same sensor. i also find it much more comfortable than the omd, but thats subjective. you cant mistakenly change exposure because you have to tap the top dial 'button' to change aperture or ss and ex comp. i find that extra step annoying, but im sure ill get used to it.

    in the end its about resource allocation and IQ. the epl5 cost so much less for similar IQ it was a no brainer for me.
     
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  9. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    776
    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    The E-M5 has everything I want. Great quality small package. Forget the kit lens and get a couple of top primes.
     
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  10. blitzvitz

    blitzvitz Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Sep 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    Jourdan Fernandez
    Made my decision and went for the E-PL5, but with an eye at getting either the E-M5 or E-M1 soon as I've also decided to put my GH2 up for sale.
    The E-P5 only makes financial sense with the VF-4 and 17 kit, and hopefully the recent 50$ price drop signifies even bigger savings soon for the holiday season perhaps?

    The new generation of m4/3 bodies are just too good, so why not have two to use right?
    The total acquisition cost of the upgrade from the E-PL2 to the E-PL5 ended up only having to shell out an additional 250$, so the E-M1 is still within reach especially with the proceeds from the GH2 sale. Just have to wait what freebies the local distributor will have for the E-M1, or if they decide to drop the price of the E-M5 at a very tem,pting level
     
  11. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    My take on the dials issue is, since I generally shoot aperture priority mode, and occasionally in shutter priority mode, 1 dial is sufficient, so long as it can be programmed to default to shutter speed in shutter priority, and aperture in aperture priority, with ISO and EV comp being easily reached without having to go to the menus to do so - And the E-PL5 lets me do that. The dial gives me direct access to aperture and/or shutter depending upon which mode I'm in, with one toggle to hit EV compensation, and the Function button programmed to set the ISO and I'm good to go. So actually, once the controls are set that way (and I must note, they are NOT set that way default out of the box, you need to configure the camera to get there), the camera does what I want, the way I want it to. My only gripes about the E-PL5 ergonomics is that I wish the grip was as substantial as that of the E-PL2, and I wish the VF-2 EPL-5 combo had an eye sensor the way the VF-4 works with the E-P5

    I should add that I also own an E-PL2 and a Panasonic G5. I am likely to sell the E-PL2, and the jury is out on whether the E-PL5 or the Panny G5 will become my primary body, it had been the G5 prior to getting the E-PL5.
     
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Doug - I have my E-PL5 setup similarly to yours, but if you need to change two things at once (e.g. EV compensation and f stop when in A mode), then the dial needs to do two things too. Rotating the dial changes the f-stop, but to change EV, I need to press the dial first then rotate, followed by pressing the dial again to return to f-stop control.

    I accept that this gets easier with practice, but the two dials on the E -M5 make this much easier.
     
  13. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I find that I invariably am taking a deliberate pause between changing both of these items rather than changing both at once - I don't frankly see the need to change them simultaneously. Of course, I've only been shooting for ~ 40 years, so I grant you that might change for me over time. And it certainly is not a habit that I developed due to the camera - I've had the E-PL5 for less than a week. It dates back to my shooting with film SLRs.