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E-PM2 ? Too slow for Nikon J1?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Christop82, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. Christop82

    Christop82 New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 10, 2016
    I recently purchased both of these cameras with kit lenses. The Oly should outperform the Nikon easily due to specs and age alone. I was so excited about the e-pm2 and only picked up the j1 because it was cheap. I have found the j1 destroys the Oly when it comes to fast , accurate focusing. Snapping a quick picture with the j1 yields a perfect picture nearly every time. I have found the oly needs a steady hand and a double check of its subject. Is it the kit lens quality? Is it the AI? Am I missing something? Should I not be comparing these models? I'm not promoting Nikon as this is the first one I have ever owned. Feel free to enlighten me.
     
  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    The kit lens isn't great when it comes to fast-AF, assuming its the 14-42 (?)

    Probably more to the point, the Nikon 1 series has had a pretty strong reputation from the start for having a pretty great AF system & burst capability. Smaller sensor generally means you'll end up with more in focus even if your focus is a little off - it will be a little more forgiving.

    Using a single AF point will help (Continuous AF isn't great on the Olys) or using Touch-to-Focus.

    What are you shooting?
     
  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Welcome to the forum. The only redeeming feature of the Nikon 1 system, IMHO, was the focus system. It is not really a fair comparison, and there are few compact cameras that can AF like the Nikon 1. On the other hand, the Nikon 1 is pretty much an orphan system. If it meets your needs as is, then great. But remember that, as a system, it cannot hold a candle to m4/3rd's.

    --Ken
     
  4. Christop82

    Christop82 New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 10, 2016
    Thanks for the response. Mainly kids. A fast focus is very important to me. I love the pen line, but maybe it's not for me. In your opinion, what's the epm2 strong points? Should I keep it?
     
  5. Christop82

    Christop82 New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 10, 2016
    What's the problem with the nikon 1 system? I'm new to this but the build quality is very good. The kit lens seems to be way ahead of the 14-42 and lenses in general seem to be priced better than the fast m43 lenses.
     
  6. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    I use an e-pm2 as my main camera, I like it because it is small and very simple, not many knobs and buttons to fail.

    I am certain that there are better options out there even when considering size, but I find that I really enjoy it.

    Per usual, YMMV
     
  7. Christop82

    Christop82 New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 10, 2016
    Do you use the kit lens? Focus speed not a problem?
     
  8. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    I've got older model m43 cameras - e-p1, e-pm1, g3 & e-m5 - I use them all for different things. The e-pm1 is definitely my every-day-carry camera - either with the 14, 20 or 12-32 on it - the size makes it easily pocketable and its not intimidating if you're out shooting in public or at social occasions. Its an older sensor compared to your e-pm2 but the raw files are fine for me. Fast AF isn't a strong point though - you would need to tweak your shooting technique a bit if you want to capture fast moving things - high-shutter speed, small-aperture, a bit of anticipation etc.

    The Nikon 1 series appears to have been designed from the ground up to be easy for anyone to get a good shot regardless of ability - point it at things, hit the shutter and I'll give you an in-focus image. Its a pretty good design philosophy but Nikon didn't really follow through - too little too late for the the type of market still buying interchangeable lens camera (the J was limited and the V expensive). The V3 & J4/5 is when they seem to have really hit their stride. Now it seems like Nikon is pulling back from the 1 series - rumours of it being discontinued.

    I'd hang onto both - the J1 will really shine for the kids. You'll find the E-PM2 useful in other ways (an actively supported system with multiple suppliers amongst other things).
     
  9. Machi

    Machi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    May 23, 2015
    I have E-PM2 and with kit lens 14-42mm it's pretty fast in good light and good contrast situations.
    I remember that my students were surprised by its speed in comparison to entry DSLRs which they had.
    I even found that my unconverted camera with kit lens can successfully focus with IR850 filter on it.
     
  10. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    I've had a V1, and it was an absolutely reliable photographic tool: both focus and exposure were perfect 100% of the time. Once I learned its limitations (strong noise over ISO 800 and forced image review in the EVF interrupting the flow), my keeper rate really went through the roof. I wish current Micro 4/3 cameras could focus that well. That said, Panasonic is generally a bit better than Olympus when it comes to AF speed and accuracy.
     
  11. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    I used it on the past with the kit lens, never seemed slow to me, but I might not know better.

    It is currently mostly used with my 14-150mm lens, seems fast to me with these as well. Some of my primes are faster, but overall, focus speed does not bother me, I either do not know better or your camera / lens have an issue
     
  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I am not certain if you are looking for the foundation of a future system or just a camera with a lens, but as I said above, I place the J1 in the latter. Phigmov hit on some of the issues above, and Thom Hogan's review gets "into the weeds" here: Nikon J1 Review | Sans Mirror | Thom Hogan . As I mentioned, it has an amazing AF system, but after that, it really does not excel at much. It is a 1" sensor, so it is smaller than a m4/3rd's sensor, but that may or may not be an issue depedning on how much you shoot in low lighting conditions. The lenses is a bit odd with a variety of kit lenses and some very expensive primes. Not much in the middle, but that is only an issue if you want more lenses (see my first sentence above).

    I am not sure of your size and budget requirements, but I suspect that if AF for photographing your children is important, you may not find many good choices outside of the DSLR world. Yes, there are some mirrorless cameras that can offer reasonably good AF systems, but they are not going to be near the entry level price point (if that is an issue). The E-PM2 is a somewhat older camera, and not really a good representation of the later models, but it is quite compact (and I assume quite affordable these days).

    I would make some recommendations for your consideration, but when people mention photographing fast moving children, and have not stated that they have a large amount of experience shooting with AF cameras, nothing that is compact and reasonably priced really comes to mind. Panasonic does offer DFD in its newer models, but I am still of the belief that fast movement is best handled by a DSLR if the shooter cannot overcome a camera's limitations and compensate in their shooting style. Perhaps with a bit more information (size and budget preferences being the two most crucial), you will get a number of recommendations if you decide you do not want to keep the J1. having said that, I have seen some amazing images from Nikon 1 cameras, and I believe that a number of members here use them successfully. I am sure they can offer up some good advice for your consideration.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  13. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    As others have mentioned, focusing has always been the Nikon 1 system's strength. It focuses better than any other mirrorless camera, and better than many DSLRs, so it's not surprising that it trumps the E-PM2.
     
  14. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I'm not surprised by this at all. The Nikon 1 system was well know for incredibly fast focus. OTOH, I much prefer the IQ of the E-PM2. I'm not a low noise fnaatci by any means, but it couldn't handle my level of low light shooting which the E-PM2 was good at. The sad part was that Nikon was unable to make this system successful with such an outstanding implementation of an important feature. I really expected that at some point we would see an Nikon 1 camera with the IQ or the RX100 series but not go. My friend has a V2 and it's a really nice camera to use. Still, I prefer the output of the RX100 III
     
  15. Christop82

    Christop82 New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 10, 2016
    Thanks for all the input. Budget is a big issue for me, and it seems to be agreed that for $150 you can't find a better lens camera with exceptional point and shoot ability. I need to give the epm2 more use to be fair, but I haven't ran into any weaknesses in my use of the nikon.
     
  16. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    I think those two are a bit too similar to keep. Perhaps sell the E-PM2 and get a E-M10 for more ambitious photos?
     
  17. Leighgion

    Leighgion Mu-43 Regular

    126
    Aug 1, 2012
    Madrid, Spain
    Leigh L Pang
    A lot of valid criticism can be leveled at the Nikon One series, but on the subject of AF, Nikon pulled out all the stops and created the fastest and smartest AF system of any mirrorless camera. The E-PM2 never stood a chance.

    I really wanted to like the Nikon One, but to me the sensor was really too small for the asking price at the time. If it works for you though, fantastic! You've got killer AF in a small package.
     
  18. Christop82

    Christop82 New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 10, 2016
    i found this in a review from cameralabs and I think this sums it up pretty well. It's about the v1 but I would say it applies to all Nikon 1 cameras.

    Yes the sensor is smaller than APS-C and Micro Four Thirds, so it's no surprise to find the V1's image quality coming in below these formats, although conversely it is superior to the tiny sensors in a typical point-and-shoot model. So as I said earlier, if you're after the best image quality in the smallest possible body then it's hard to beat Sony's NEX range. But again the V1 isn't about ultimate image quality - it's about being able to capture a moment which eludes most cameras, and this it does with a degree of confidence and consistency which quickly becomes addictive.
     
  19. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    This is true, and in fact I regret selling my V1 with 2 lenses — it was an excellent camera.