EM1 MKIII Perspective From a M4/3 and Sony A73 Shooter

SpecFoto

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First got into M4/3 back in 2012 with EM5. In 2013 I added the EM1 and just loved it and bought a 2nd one for backup. However my interest in M4/3 waned 18 months ago as I added a Sony 24MP A73 and been shooting 99% with it; it is a fantastic camera. But the new EM1 MKIII has got my interest so I attended an Olympus US Event 8 days ago at a local camera store, the Olympus rep handed out the attached comparison sheet between the EM1 MkIII vs. MkII. It had 10 items highlighted as improvements by Olympus (there are a couple of important features missing from the list). To me the improvements are substantial and can be broken down into 4 main groups; processor, body ergonomics, shutter and menu options.

Processor: Because of the increased power in the TruPic IX processor over the version VIII before, you gain new processor intensive features. Handheld Hi Res shot, Live ND, and 2 items not on the list, Starry Sky AF and advances in Face and Eye priority AF, all the result of this new processor and therefore most likely can not be upgraded on the MKII via firmware (maybe some of the Eye AF can.) Besides the handhold Hi Res, the improved face/eye detect is one I am really banking on as this has been an absolute killer feature with my Sony A73 for shooting portraits. Sony does not have these other features, nor the Live Composite. They do have a hi res shot but it has to be done and merged on the computer with added software, so it’s worthless to me compared to the Olympus.

The 1 additional stop of IBIS on the MkIII may be due to processor upgrades, but as a few reviewers have noted, they did not notice any increase in hand holdable shooting times. If you can handhold to 3 or 4 seconds, good for you, but is 5 seconds now that big of a deal? Still Olympus is WAY ahead of Sony on this feature, as with the Sony IBIS I barely get 1 stop. Shooting a standard FE 85mm at 1/50 sec. was doable, but going to 1/25 sec. was always a problem. Now with my 2 Zeiss 85 and 135mm Batis OIS lenses, the added IS does work in conjunction with the Sony body and I get about 3 stops combined. Olympus, why do your your camera bodies not work with the other M4/3 partner companies OIS lenses?????

Body: The EVF, LCD, card slots, 121 cross/phase detect AF points, ISO range, shooting speeds, battery, weathersealing, Video, Wi-FI connectivity, and most body controls are the same, though some controls are renamed or moved. (BTW, the EVF, LCD and card slots are the exact same specs as my Sony and I get along just fine with them) The MkIII adds a joystick, dedicated ISO and EC buttons and the lack of these 3 controls previously is why I was never interested in the EM1 MkII, but did buy the Sony. Plus there’s 1 more custom C4 slot and a B mode on the Mode dial, improved Bluetooth connectivity for working with a phone/app and a USB 3 charging. USB charging makes traveling so much easier, as now one USB charger can power your phone, camera, and power brick if you carry one. My Sony A73 has the charging feature, and Sony did not include a battery charger either, nor have I ever missed it.

Shutter: Olympus doubled the mechanical shutter durability to 400,000 cycles, quite an increase, but it still tops out at 1/8,000 sec. I don’t shoot a lot with the electronic shutter as flash most times can not be used with ES, and 10FPS is certainly fast enough for my needs. This doubling of the shutter life gives me added confidence in the EM1 MkIII long term durability. (now if they could just do something about the fake leatherette peeling off :laugh:)

Menu: A My Menu option has been added. This is a very helpful shortcut on my Sony A73 to help navigate the complex menus these highly computerized mirrorless bodies have. A couple of menu items have additional ranges or options, most notably the Interval Shooting which now goes up to 9,999 shots, as apparently 999 wasn’t enough. And the SCP has a new quick look screen with the shooting essentials, similar to what is on the top LCD of many cameras. Since I don’t do video and wouldn’t use the flip out screen, this being is my biggest negative with the MkII and MkIII by far, this new shooting essentials recap will be on my LCD full time.

All in all to me, this a big step up in the right direction by Olympus and I placed an order for one last week. 4 months ago I considered selling all my M4/3 gear, but the MkIII brings new life to M4/3 (for me) and as I already have a stable of great Olympus lenses this will be my travel, nature, RV’ing and night sky camera setup. The Sony with my Zeiss’s will be for portraits and sports/airshows/action with the awesome 100-400mm GM lens. Most likely I will upgrade the A73 to an A7R3 for the 42MP it has.

Be interested in hearing your thoughts.

Olympus EM1 MkIII vs MKIII.jpg
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Rdouthit

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All in all to me, this a big step up in the right direction by Olympus and I placed an order for one last week. 4 months ago I considered selling all my M4/3 gear, but the MkIII brings new life to M4/3 (for me) and as I already have a stable of great Olympus lenses this will be my travel, nature, RV’ing and night sky camera setup. The Sony with my Zeiss’s will be for portraits and sports/airshows/action with the awesome 100-400mm GM lens. Most likely I will upgrade the A73 to an A7R3 for the 42MP it has.
I’m a long-time Sony shooter that just added an EM1 III to my kit. (I already had a BMPCC4k and DJI X5 so had several M43 lenses on hand.) In fact, I sold my A7RIII to fund the Olympus and decided to keep my A7 III as the workhorse (I also have the 100-400 GM lens... as you know it’s magnificent.) If you like the AF on the A7 III you might find the R III focus lacking. It’s a generation behind. If I only did photography I’d probably have kept the R III anyhow, but since I my main business is video, the 7 III is much, much better in that department than the R III - which is much softer in all settings. Those RAW 42Mp files were impressive, however.
 
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Be interested in hearing your thoughts.
..thoughts? Thoughts!?!?
You lucky b@st@rd !! :laugh:
May you always enjoy your full stable of ponies!!:th_salute:

Once upon a time I lived in a city and I had a 150cc scooter, a 650 on/off tourer and a 250cc (pseudo)enduro bike, each one for a specific use envelope. Guess which one saw most use by far: the city scooter of course!! Blasting through the city on the enduro was great fun but hardly practical and traveling on tarmac 2up with the scooter was doable but a pain.However most of my daily life was in the city so I always collected the right tool for that job, the scooter!

I see a similar situation with your ponies: m43 for real life, other tools for specialized shooting.
 
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Agree with your general insights. I picked one up last week for these very reasons. My mkii was pretty good, this one is even better. I don't expect any image IQ differences although apparently there is an exposure shift that helps a clean up noise in shadows just a bit.

My main draw is a faster processor and a few of the bells and whistles (starry sky, improved eye detection, and improved IBIS, etc.)
 

SpecFoto

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..thoughts? Thoughts!?!?
You lucky b@st@rd !! :laugh:
May you always enjoy your full stable of ponies!!:th_salute:

Once upon a time I lived in a city and I had a 150cc scooter, a 650 on/off tourer and a 250cc (pseudo)enduro bike, each one for a specific use envelope. Guess which one saw most use by far: the city scooter of course!! Blasting through the city on the enduro was great fun but hardly practical and traveling on tarmac 2up with the scooter was doable but a pain.However most of my daily life was in the city so I always collected the right tool for that job, the scooter!

I see a similar situation with your ponies: m43 for real life, other tools for specialized shooting.

Yes, but that is because I choose photography over having children. If I had 5 kids like my first wife wanted I would still be using my iPhone 4s for photography....:laugh:
 

SpecFoto

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
797
Location
So Cal Desert
Real Name
Jim
Agree with your general insights. I picked one up last week for these very reasons. My mkii was pretty good, this one is even better. I don't expect any image IQ differences although apparently there is an exposure shift that helps a clean up noise in shadows just a bit.

My main draw is a faster processor and a few of the bells and whistles (starry sky, improved eye detection, and improved IBIS, etc.)

Congrats on your purchase. Read about that ISO shift from BClaff, seems to have gone back to what the EM1 had. Intersesting as with my EM1 I was always able to shoot at ISO 100 for daylight portraits and thus gained a stop to offset ND filters used to shoot at the flash sync speed of 1/250ss. Seems that some portrait photographers are shooting the new MkIII at ISO 64 and I will immediately give that a try. Unfortunate though that the new Live ND feature does not work with the flash, only with the electronic shutter.
 
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