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Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Dave in Wales, Apr 15, 2012.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review - the most highly specified four thirds camera
Thanks for posting this, but I can't say I'm especially impressed with the reviewer. From his conclusion:
Leaving aside the merits/demerits of larger sensors in general, there's the slight problem that none of their current lenses would work correctly on such a sensor. I daresay that would disappoint a great many more people.
What he's trying to say is only an idiot would be disappointed that the sensor size is the same.
Review? Article doesn't really review anything except the specs of the camera.
We need reviews that compare the E-M5 to the Pen cameras and other compact system cameras in regards to characteristics like still and video image detail resolution and colors.
Example: do the out of the camera jpegs of the E-M5 have traditional Olympus colors or are the colors now slightly different in a more or less pleasing way?
Well, it's less work to review specs. Just look at a sheet of paper, no photography involved.
As for the sensor, I asked Olympus about a future iso 100 on the OM-D and about a full frame system built around the OM mount and got this response:
"I am not aware of any plans to offer ISO 100 in the E-M5.
I would be extremely surprised if Olympus were ever to design a camera using a full frame sensor around an OM mount because we no longer produce OM lenses and it is counter to all the reasons that we designed 4/3 in the first place. "
About what I thought, but I figured I'd ask.
This statement is kinda stupid in my own opinion. Put a larger sensor in it and it will be a totally different system.
The value of such a review depends entirely on whether you expect the E-M5 to be compared only to other m4/3 cameras or also to other interchangeable lens cameras, mirrorless and DSLR.
The wider market includes many people who owned or aspired to own Olympus OM SLRs and lenses and they might have been hoping that the E-M5, as the first model in the new OM-D series, would offer something closer to a full frame sensor. While m4/3 enthusiasts will be delighted with the E-M5's performance, there will be many photographers who were not hoping for yet another Olympus camera with a 4/3 sensor, but for something more. The review is also aimed at those people.
The respected UK magazine "Amateur Photographer" took the same approach, pointing out the shortcomings of m4/3 (relatively higher noise, poor dynamic range) compared with APS-C and full frame and expressing disappointment that Olympus had not taken the opportunity to go for a larger sensor.
As we are m4/3 enthusiasts, we want to see the E-M5 compared with other m4/3 bodies, and here the E-M5 excels. But there are many people not currently using m4/3 who must have hoped for something more. Perhaps we need to realise that we are not the only people interested in Olympus' newest model?
I fail to understand why people keep wishing Olympus or Panasonic will release anything other than 4/3 sensors. It'll never happen, and those who wish for something larger should just go with a different camera system. Making statements like 'Olympus should have gone with a larger sensor' in a review is akin to saying 'that Nikon is nice, but it would have been nicer if it had been a Canon.'
Maybe because people want to start off from scratch with a completely new lens system? Don't ask me...
I also think the reviewer misses the point in the section for Dynamic Range, where the reviewer says that high ISO DR is limited due to sensor size.
(1) Sensor size isn't the issue. A crop from a D800 sensor would rock socks on dynamic range, nothing to do with size.
(2) Dynamic range isn't about high ISO, but rather contrast between bright and dark, often found in low ISO situations where some parts are really bright.
Anyway, thats the only part of the review I read because DR is the first quality I'm seeking to improve. If the E-M5 can improve DR, then I might keep reading and see how sensitivity is improved. These areas would make the body worth $1000 today instead of waiting for its price to drop over time. IMHO. But whatever my opinion, this reviewer can't tell me anything of value.
They've lost any "respect" they might have earned from me with that comment. Sound like a comment from a DRP pixel peeper instead of from a photographer.
This review is simply lifted from the AP review --and it's unfortunately one of the most brainless and amateurish to appear so far. They have done no actual DR testing as they admit themselves, virtually no IBIS testing and in general say that the IQ isn't as good as an APSC camera simply because it can't be without a shred of evidence. In the opinion of many, it's a long time since AP was a respected magazine in terms of their reviews though in the days before serious photographers could post their findings online, it was far better and rightly taken seriously. Nowadays it seems that very few consumer mags post reviews worth paying much attention to (and often they barely even look at RAW which is essential if IQ is to be discussed)
No Ned...it is because people are never satisfied with what they have and many don't even know how to use again, what they have! Wishful thinkers as well, stirring up the pot for nothing.
I'm not sure about any issue with Panasonic, but many people still own superb OM Zuikos and would like an Olympus DSLR that they can be used with, at something like their original field of view. The 2X focal length multiplier of 4/3 and m4/3 detracts from the usability of OM Zuikos unless you are a fan of telephotos.
I occasionally help out behind the counter in a photo store and we are often asked by people with film SLRs and lenses which DSLR they should buy. Users of Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Minolta all have easy choices to make. The worst focal length multiplier they will have to tolerate is 1.6X (Canon) and 1.5X (the rest) and Canon, Nikon and Minolta owners also have the option of full frame camera bodies. This is a great selling point even if the body that people buy first has an APS-C sensor - they always know that they can trade up to full frame.
But we get lots of Olympus OM users who have no such option available to them. The 4/3 and m4/3 sensors turn an ultra-wide angle lens (24mm) into a standard lens, a standard lens into a portrait lens and a telephoto into a super-telephoto which is challenging to use for people in the typical age group of OM users (50+). We find ourselves suggesting they consider a Canon EOS DSLR and an adapter that supports AF confirmation in the viewfinder.
When hints about the new OM-D range were deliberately leaked, there was no mention of sensor size. As a consequence of this, a lot of people hoped (in vain) that it would house a full frame sensor, or at least APS-C. When the E-M5 was announced as a m4/3 body, there was some disappointment.
The E-M5 is a lovely camera with some fantastic technology but it in terms of image quality and focal length multiplier it offers no more for owners of OM lenses than a Panasonic G3, GX1 or GH2. In terms of preserving most or all of their OM lenses' angle of view it is no better than any Olympus PEN E-Px, E-PLx or E-PMx body.
So our advice to anyone who wants to get the full performance out of their OM lenses remains; buy a Canon body and an adapter. Here in the UK you can buy a used Canon EOS 5D with a full frame sensor for about one third less than the price of a new Olympus E-M5, and OM lenses are easily mounted using a very inexpensive adapter. You can get fantastic results with OM Zuikos on a full frame Canon DSLR.
I think users of OM lenses would much prefer to buy an Olympus body with a sensor that is larger than m4/3 rather than switch to Canon. We often get asked "When will there be a digital OM"? Unfortunately, while the E-M5 is a very fine camera, it is not a digital OM, at least not in the way that OM SLR users would understand the term. It certainly isn't enough to stop OM users wishing for more.
I take it that you just cancelled your subscription.
Okay, I see your point now, and perhaps that is what the reviewers were getting at. Olympus did deliberately try and bank on the OM name-and-look with the E-M5, even though as you say the end product has nothing to do with the OM series whatsoever.
But I really think the number of OM stalwarts is pretty slim. The vast majority of the folks buying these magazines and looking at reviews are unlikely to have even heard of the OM. For them (and us) the OM-D is simply a slick, upmarket digital Pen with a built-in EVF. As such, expectations for a larger sensor are I think, exceedingly rare.
Still, it would be awfully cool if somebody could make a modern camera that captured the OM's ethos. To whit, a small, well-built full-frame SLR with a minimum of extraneous buttons and dongles and access to reams of good legacy glass. Seems like the sort of thing Cosina could do, but who knows...
Take any Canon 1D or 5D and a $5 adapter and they can have their OM lenses on a full-frame sensor.
You wouldn't have aperture control and worse of all you have to be using Canons.
You would have aperture control, because it's on the lenses with OM lenses. The Canon wouldn't stop you from changing it.