E-M5 vs. the great outdoors

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dhazeghi, May 27, 2013.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I've now taken my E-M5 on several backpacking trips. Overall, it's been a success - image quality at least as good as what I used to get with my Nikon D700 at a fraction of the weight. That said, there are a couple of things that are causing me headaches:

    1. On/off switch gremlins. Camera turns itself on fairly frequently. This would be only a minor irritation, except that once on, various settings have a habit of changing themselves (see e.g. shooting mode).
    2. Gloved operation. With anything thicker than liner gloves, accurately operating the four way controller, and even the on/off switch, is very difficult.
    3. Battery life. At roughly one battery per day, that's 3 extra batteries I have to religiously charge and bring for every extended trip.
    4. Image review quirks. For some strange reason, Olympus doesn't let you magnify the image during image review. To confirm focus, I have to press play after pausing for several seconds (pressing it immediately does nothing), and then hit the EVF button because playback always goes to the LCD first (useless in bright sunlight), regardless of EVF setting.

    None of this is to say that the E-M5 isn't a great tool, or the best option I've yet found, but it could certainly stand some tweaks for usability as an outdoor carry-everywhere camera.
  2. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    for backpacking trips, the micro 4/3s is the best for its size and weight. post some pics when you come back...
  3. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I found image review to be a slight pain too but with faster cards it seems like the playback button is more responsive.

    I've never measured this in any way, it could also be placebo.
  4. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    I am using class 10 cards already and it is still a bit slow in writing and preview.

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  5. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The more I shoot, the less I chimp. Even to check focus. I just shoot more frames and review when I get home.

    Which reminds me, I need to buy some more memory cards...
  6. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    The problem with this for me right now is I keep missing focus... so I kinda feel like I need to check for focus every few shots just to make sure.

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  7. mblevins

    mblevins Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 4, 2013
    I use an op-tech pouch for my OMD with the 12-50 lens. No accidental button pushes or knob turns with the camera in its pouch. I store it in the top of my backpack.
  8. sigamy

    sigamy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    Thanks for posting this. These are great real world usage points...
  9. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    I've never experienced the E-M5 turning on by itself. My main beef is the imprecise feel of tiny, rubbery buttons and 4 way controller. Since it takes considerable time and attention to change the position of the focus box with the 4 way controller I sometimes miss moving subject shots. Ergonomically, I prefer using my E-PL1 because the buttons and 4 way controller are much larger and have a much more positive snick-snick feel to them. And the E-PL1 body is significantly lighter than the E-M5.

    For video, however, the E-M5 has worked out great compared to some camcorders I used to own and I love audio quality (lack of background or camera generated noise) when the wind noise suppression is set to high and recording volume is set to low.
  10. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK

    The buttons feel "Squishy" as they are part of the splashproof capability of the camera.
    The fastest way to change the focus point is to activate the touchscreen and use that to change the subject to focus on, you can also set it up so that a touch on the LCD focusses and shoots if you prefer.
    I have recently parted company with my D700 and have to agree that in many cases, the IQ from the OMD matches the D700 providing good glass is used.
    I have not experienced slow to write times with any of my Sandisk 16gb 90mbs type 10 cards and they are almost instant.
  11. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    The thing is I shoot with a tiny focus box and have big hands and fingers so I cannot touch a small area of the LCD unless I use some kind of stylus. Plus I often compose the picture with the EVF and the touchscreen is useless when using the EVF.
  12. Al.

    Al. Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
    Gloves are a problem especially in winter, I know you can use special gloves which can be used on touch sensative screens but these are thin liner gloves.
    My solution is to use gloves with a fold back mitt. acts like a mitten in cold weather, but by folding back the mitt part, works like a fingerless glove, so have complete control of buttons.
    I can turn my GX1 on/off as its a switch and not a button
  13. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Kind of off topic, but what do you carry your gear in. All of my backpacks are set up for dslr and are way too big for my mu4/3 gear. Any help is really appreciated.

  14. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD

    Do you mean that your camera turns itself on without hte switch being moved!? Or is the switch just getting bumped going in and out of the bag?

    You must have little hands. My hands have the same problem with the buttons that you have with gloves on.

    I carry the camera with the grip on and of course two fully charged batteries therein, and a third in the accessory pocket of my bag for additional back-up. I have never needed the third though.

    The review quirk that I most often experience is maximum magnification when I just want one or two clicks. I suspect this is contact bounce, but I don't know for a fact that two rapid contact changes in the wheel will also force the review to max mag.
  15. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    There are lots of "what bag" threads in the accessories section. Thinktank bags seem to be well respected. I've got a crumpler that I'm happy with.

  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I'm using a 30MB/s Sandisk Extreme, so I don't think the card is the limiting factor.

    That's basically my reason for chimping too. To be fair, the misses are infrequent, but when they happen, they're quite annoying.

    Fair enough. But for my uses, if the camera isn't on my shoulder, I'm going to miss a lot of shots. It just doesn't work well with my hiking style to have the camera in a bag.

    It's the switch getting bumped. Which is ironic because I have a hard time turning it on myself when I have the gloves on. I do have small hands, but I don't use the buttons much in any case. I do however need to be able to activate the switch and hit the arrow keys to manipulate the Super Control Panel.

    Incidentally, the first thing I did when I got the E-M5 was turn off the touch screen. I can only imagine what would happen with it enabled when the camera brushed against my pack and shirt.
  17. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    I am still adjusting to the AF performance from my DSLR, I used to shoot AF-C all the time so now it's kinda annoying to miss a lot :frown:

    Although ones I nail it its pretty sharp and good. :biggrin:
  18. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Stick to AF-S instead and mash that shutter button and you'll have fewer misses. It's just all about having a different strategy. You shoot μ43 differently than you would a DSLR with PDAF.
  19. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Yeah, that's pretty much how I do it too. To be fair, I never used C-AF much with DSLRs though. Not much point having the camera try to detect which way an object was moving when most of my subjects weren't moving at all (on early systems in fact, it was a great recipe to get slightly blurry landscapes).
  20. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    yeap I think that's how to do it on this camera, it's very fast to focus so I just need to quickly press the shutter the moment it achieves focus.

    I switch to one shot or use MF when doing landscapes before but my default setting has always been AF-C. Now of course I stick of AF-S on the OM-D
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