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e-p3 or e-m5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dogs100, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    965
    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Geoff
    Please help with some advice. I am no better than a reasonable photographer but am in the position of buying an e-p3 or e-m5 shortly, if it is the e-p3 then I will invest in an olympus 45mm as well, if it is the e-m5 then I will leave it there for a time ... but which one should I buy?

    I like the pen retro styling but wonder if that is a good enough reason to buy that over the e-m5. Looks apart what else should I take into account?

    Thanks in advance for the advice
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    There are quite a few differences between the E-P3 and the E-M5, but the biggest and most obvious from a usability standpoint is the built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). If an EVF is an important feature to you, then you should strongly consider the E-M5, but if you are comfortable composing your shots using the LCD, then I feel like the E-P3 + 45mm will be a better choice.

    Yes, there are many other benefits of the E-M5 (better sensor with improved low light/ high ISO performance, 5-axis IBIS, weather sealing, articulating display, faster burst mode, etc.) but to me when considering the two, the first thing you have to decide is the value of the EVF.
     
  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    IMO the EVF and weather sealing are the only pivotal changes in the E-M5. You buy it for those two things, everything else is just bonus.
     
  4. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    965
    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Geoff
    I have a evf 2 I bought for my e-pl1 so the viewfinder isn't an issue
     
  5. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    unless you're a pixel peeper, if the EVF doesn't matter, you're better off investing in the nice glass and getting the E-P3. If I showed you 2 shots, one taken with the E-P3 and another taken with the E-M5, I'm quite sure you'd be happy with either. But the things you can do with the 45mm lens, can not be done with the kit lens....regardless of body.
     
  6. jmschwartz

    jmschwartz New to Mu-43

    8
    Jun 12, 2012
    St. Marys Ohio USA
    I have an evf-3 on my E-P3 w/Oly 45mm and find it to be a quite versatile setup (and fun to use, too). This camera replaced my Fuji X100.
     
  7. playak47

    playak47 Mu-43 Veteran

    297
    Nov 4, 2010
    I'm in the same boat. BUt I have E-pl1 with whole bunch of native lenses and EVF. I want to upgrade but I dont know if I should pay more for the OM-D or get really good deal on rest of the bodies ie. E-p3 or e-pm1 (for size). I always loved the detail of images from the GH-2 and Olympus finally has that in their lineup with the OM-D. But the price!!

    I feel there is huge difference in image detail when I compare the photos plus the new IBIS really helps. Built in EVF is plus and makes the overall size smaller. But you are pay atleast 50% more for upgrade with OM-D.

    Decisions, Decisions :biggrin:

    P.S. Sorry I was no help to your question. lol
     
  8. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    965
    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Geoff
    Maybe we should start a self help group. Seriously, all the replies are helpful because they add to my own thinking ... woolly as it is.
     
  9. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Frank
    i have both cameras and here are a few functional differences i noticed. em5 has better quality results at high ISO settings, the CTR mode on auto focus appears to be improved over the ep3 and my 4/3 50-200 and 14-54 are easier to handle.

    frank
     
  10. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    302
    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    I'm going to dissent with most of the replies here. I think the image quality of the E-M5 is much better than the E-P3. 16MP, better high ISO, and better dynamic range. Hard to see why getting the E-M5 is not the obvious choice. On top of that, weather sealing, EVF, dual dials for better controls, and the ability to add an optional grip if you like both for handling and more battery capacity. For me, I would never chose the E-P3 over the E-M5 (FYI I had an E-P1 when they first came out).
     
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  11. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I've got both the E-P3 and the E-M5. I'd opt for the E.M5 for image quality but also just for ease of use. The dual dials on top are a much better arrangement than the E-P3's control layout, I find the tilt screen more useful than I expected, the viewfinder has some optional display modes and you can get a grid plus either the histogram or highlights and shadow display at the same time. Straight out of the box, the grip on the E-M5 is better than the E-P3 either without its grip or with the supplied standard small add on grip. The bigger grip you can buy for the E-P3 feels a little better to me than the E-M5 just out of the box but I find the E-M5 just out of the box quite comfortable and I'm not currently racing to buy the accessory grip when I thought I would be.

    Ergonomically the E-M5 is simply a better camera to use in a number of ways and that makes shooting feel more comfortable and natural to me. Hard to pass over that when it's coupled with better image quality.
     
  12. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Yeah, except that it costs basically twice as much!

    I mean, it's tough to argue that a BMW 540 is not a much more pleasant and comfortable car to drive than a Honda Accord, but the Honda will still get you to all the same places that the BMW will and it costs half as much.

    No one here is arguing that the E-P3 is better than the E-M5, but both cameras are capable of delivering very fine images.
     
  13. alans

    alans Mu-43 Veteran

    340
    Feb 28, 2010
    Take an option off before buying either car and you could buy a full m43 system with the savings (or a Leica system with the Beemer)

    If you need to save money, just buy new glass and use it on the E-PL1. I probably wouldn't buy a new E-P3 at regular MAP at this point. It probably will be replaced soon. If you want a new camera, get the E-M5 and don't look back.
     
  14. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    302
    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    Amazon E-P3 with 14-42 $799. E-M5 with 14-42 $1099. Doesn't look like twice as much to me. In fact the features look cheap compared to the difference and the image quality of the E-M5 let's me drive to places the E-P3 can't take me.

    Just my opinion.
     
  15. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    How is that? If you factor in the cost of a VF-2 (not the less capable VF-3), price difference starts shrinking. E.g. at Amazon.co.uk, the E-P3 + VF2 is ~770 pounds, EM-5 being 999.

    If you consider the "bonuses" (5-way IBIS, higher resolution, on the fly image settings, much better high ISO performance, much better DR, weather sealing, tilting screen, need I go on?) then the question becomes how CAN'T you pick the EM-5.

    At this point I believe the E-P3 is a logical choice only if you absolutely don't need/use the EVF or as a second hand/refurbished option at lower price. In which case there is also the newer Panasonic GX1 to consider anyway. There are also sentimental/taste reasons for chosing a camera (Olympus only, or an affinity for the Pens' design) but that's NOT a logical choice.
     
  16. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I'm comparing bottom $ prices for both. I can get a refurb E-P3/14-42 kit for $579 v. $1099 for a E-M5/14-42 kit. I realize that's not exactly apples-to-apples to some, but that's close enough to half price for me.

    As I said, I'm not arguing the E-M5 is not superior, but it just bugs me when people completely dismiss the price difference.
     
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  17. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    What we are trying to tell you is that price difference has meaning if you're comparing things under similar conditions.

    Comparing a refurbished E-P3 (without an additional EVF, to boot) with a brand new E-M3 hardly meets the above.

    Just to clarify, I have a "refurbished" (probably shop demo, virtually brand new) E-PL2 and I think it still is a bargain at the price. As is a similar E-P3 no doubt! The EM-5 is currently offered only new, and in limited supply at that. So all my comments concern a brand new example of each camera, at current big store prices.
     
  18. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I'm not sure how you've decided that one cannot compare the E-P3 to the E-M5 unless one also factors in the purchase of the EVF. Some don't need or don't want an EVF.

    For the most part, one can make images that are just as "good" with the E-P3 as one can with the E-M5 (with the caveat that the E-M5's improved IBIS and low-light performance do allow the photographer to work in certain conditions which would be very difficult with the E-P3).

    Yes, I realize (and have admitted as much above) that my "half the price" comparison is not 100% correct. However, to me, a refurb with a warranty is just as good as new, so practically, that is how I feel the values break down.
     
  19. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    Please read my original post above. I already made that distinction concerning the EVF.

    One can make good images with a wide variety of gear. Nobody said the Pen line isn't a capable system. OTOH cost effectiveness isn't always an objective thing. And if one has an absolute upper limit to what one can spend, then discussion becomes irrelevant.

    Most answers in this thread assumed that the OP was asking about same/similar price investment.
     
  20. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I don't know how this topic became so contentious, but I think our positions are actually a lot closer than they might appear.

    The way I read the OP's question is which of these options should I choose:
    1. E-P3 plus Olympus 45mm f/1.8
    2. E-M5

    The cost of these two options is roughly equivalent. Seeing as how we've learned that he already has the add-on EVF for use on the E-P3, I think that the purchase of the E-P3 and the O45 would be the best investment.

    My reasons for saying this are several:
    1. Good lenses have a larger impact on image quality and are likely to retain their value.
    2. The E-M5 is in high demand right now (read: high $) and therefore I feel that the E-P3 represents a better value (particularly if you pick it up as a refurb or used, as I would be inclined to do).
    3. He expressed an appreciation of the PEN form factor.

    That's just my opinion.
     
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