EM1 vs DF vs A7

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Stanley W, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. Stanley W

    Stanley W Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Hi all,
    not sure whether i can post here for this qn, but i am seeking some advice.
    i have an OMD-EM5, and have several native lenses including one CV 25mm f.095.
    i enjoyed it alot , but feel that i am pretty attracted by the additional options on the EM1.

    i was initially thinking of moving up to EM1(no i don't have 4/3 lenses), but A7 and DF was sequentally announced.
    that peaked my interest in smaller sized (maybe debatable for the DF) FF.
    Have been interested in the options (DOF/low light performance) of FF, and thus thinking where my upgrade path should be.
    if ever i am going to get A7/DF over EM1, i'll probably get 1 or 2 primes , that's all.

    What would your advices be?
    Appreciate it!
  2. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Df shouldn't really be in this conversation. It is still a DSLR. There are no real advances except the body is made to allow more control, look set aside. Honestly I would have opted for it only if I had some Nikkor lenses. Otherwise move on.

    A7 vs. E-M1 is more appropriate as a comparison.

    A7 is really nice, I handled one at a Sony Store last week. It's hard to judge the camera without seeing files from it though. So be patient and wait if it stays on your radar. My initial impression/complaint is that the 55/1.8 is priced too high. Amazingly the Sony rep agrees with me.

    E-M1 is monster of a camera, not in the sense of its size but its performance. It handles well, shoots beautifully. Zuiko, Lumix and Leica lenses are marvellous. At this point though I wouldn't really move into Four Thirds lenses if you don't already have some. The only ones in the FT lineup that I would be interested in is $$$$+.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    DF = looks nice. Get a D610 instead and put the money saved into nice glass if you want a big DSLR.

    A7 = Beautiful Camera. But not a system yet. By System , I mean the two native lenses that you can get out of the block are fairly slow. As soon as you start adding high quality fast glass to this the size will be much bigger than an E-M1 equivalent for marginal real world IQ gain. If you do go for the A7, go for the A7 instead of the A7r.... supposedly there is less colour bleed at the edges when using wide angle lenses with this one, the AF is better and spend the saved money on adapters for old Leica glass (if you can afford it ;).

    E-M1 = like a miniaturised D4/1Dx in terms of performance (great balance of fast autofocus, solid build, great image quality, weather sealing, raw buffer size, high speed shooting ,quiet shutter, flash synch speed etc...) .... and most importantly a wide selection of top quality lenses in a small package.

    • Like Like x 2
  4. Hudsonhites

    Hudsonhites Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 14, 2011
    I also have a EM-5 and have been looking at the OM-1, Sony A7 and Nikon Df.

    The OM-1 is not enough of an upgrade in sensor performance over the EM-5 to be worth it though I
    do like some of the other features. I'm at the point where I'm only willing to pay for sensor performance plus the OM-1 is quite a bit bigger than the EM-5.

    You can compare camera sizes here


    The Sony A7 is interesting but there are not enough native lenses right now maybe in a year.

    The Nikon Df is interesting since I have a number of Nikon lenses to use on it but I wish they would have made it a bit smaller and at 16mp it a slight improvement over my D700 in mega pixels but the high ISO performance is a significant improve.

    I think I'm going to wait and see what the EM-5 update will look like I really enjoy using the camera.
    Right now I think I'd get a better increase in performance by investing in one or two of the the new pro micro 4/3 lenses coming out than a new body.
  5. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Agreed on that, unless you like the dials and somewhat retro look. The D610 is actually a little smaller than the DF.
  6. Stanley W

    Stanley W Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Thankyou very much all. Yeap I do like the look of DF.
    Agreed on the A7 comments. Guess for now I gotta wait for the release of df/df whether I like the ergonomics and image performance bet the two.and probably yes I gotta save up tonnes for a gd quality ff lens for either!

    And.. by the time they r released, em1 will probably have a drop in price haha:D

    Sent from my GT-N7105 using Mu-43 mobile app
  7. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Outside of the actual grip of the EM-1, 9.4 mm wider and 3.9 mm taller than Olympus OM-D E-M5 is not quite a bit bigger! Barely bigger is a more reasobale statement. Put the grip portion of the HLD-6 on the EM-5, and the EM-5 is bigger than the EM-1.

    As for DoF, going to FF unless you already have some pro level lenses might get expensive. You will also end up with additional weight and size over the u4/3 gear.
  8. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    Nikon Df? well Nikon only sell it's retro casing. The sensor is the same as D4 which is more crap than D800 and D610. Also about the looks, if you attach other Nikkor lens such as the trinity, it will looks awkward.

    While EM-1 still overprice. Better wait 6 month later, the price will be more reasonable.

    A7? wait for the lenses. Right now the lens so limited and it's Zeiss. Which means "expensive"
  9. Stanley W

    Stanley W Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2013
    Hmmm yeah it also seemed like its "primed" for primes rather then zooms too ....

    I've let go of a7. Now am considering em1 and df hmmmmm
    Tot of using it as a second body..for knowing and understanding ff.

    Sent from my GT-N7105 using Mu-43 mobile app
  10. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    Df = You either buy this for having a D4 sensor or because you like it for what it is (Weight and controls). I wouldn't buy this unless you had Nikon glass in the first place.
    A7 = You want 135 coverage in a mirrorless format
    A7R = You want the specs, but use an excuse like "I want to use it like a digital back for RF glass."
    EM1 = You want the AF tracking with 4/3 or m4/3 lenses because you probably have these if you're on mu43.
  11. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    my understanding is you get an extra stop of IQ going from em5 to the new em1 sensor. that plus new af system is enough of a reason to step up. if youre looking for an autofocus system and you dont have nikon glass, this is an easy decision for em1.

    if you in fact want a digital back for legacy glass, and your legacy glass is neither nikon nor 28mm or shorter rf glass, again an easy decision, this time for a7r.

    the decision only get a tad harder if you want a digital back for non nikon glass AND just a couple of good autofocus primes. then it depends on what mf glass you have and if you like the cropped FOV, and if you want to limit your AF kit to 35 & 55mm.
  12. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The grass is always greener.

    If you feel the need for more equipment, then get the EM1, you'll be miles ahead with the lenses you already have. Unfortunately, the EM1 won't feel like a new camera as it is so similar to the EM5 in handling. Fortunately, the EM1 will feel similar to your EM5 so you'll be higher on the learning curve with camera handling and performance. For most of us new equipment will not improve our photography. Time behind the viewfinder will. Time behind the viewfinder of the same camera until you have harmonized with the camera will significantly improve your photography. Learn the camera system you have. Shoot everyday, shoot until the camera is an extension of your hand and the lenses are the same as your eyes. Shoot until adjusting your settings is semi-automatic, a reflex to the previsualized image you see in you mind's eye. Being able to semi-automatically adjust your settings allows more mental power to be focused on the image in the viewfinder, the image in your mind and best combination of camera/lens/location to capture your previsualized image.

    Harmonizing with your camera isn't as much fun as acquiring shiney new toys, but it will improve your photography.

    • Like Like x 8
  13. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    The DF is just an overpriced DSLR dressed in a shell aimed at awakening feelings of nostalgia to middle-aged Nikon fans.

    The E-M1 is not an upgrade to the E-M5, in the same sense that, e.g., the D4 is not an upgrade to the D700. It goes a different direction in providing pro features in a compact body, where the E-M5 always was (and Olympus officially emphasized this) an enthusiast/semi-pro level camera.

    Thus an upgrade path is not always clear; if you have a good selection of :43: lenses and, even more, a couple of good HG or SHG four thirds ones, it makes good sense to stay with the system. If the pro build and performance features of the E-M1 are important, and by "pro" I mean features you'll only find in just a few DSLR bodies, then it's a no-brainer, in that context.

    I'm still astonished by "youtube journalism" comparing a camera in a "system" with 5 announced native lenses with the biggest and most expensive :43: camera to date, and concluding the end for :43: as a system is near. Utter stupidity and ignorance. First, the cameras aren't even comparable in features and, second, a better comparison would be with the E-M5, which currently sells for about half the price of the A7. And still has characteristics like IBIS and dozens of native lenses to chose from.

    On the other hand, if FF is in some ways important for you, and you want to remain at approximately the same level of build and (somewhat) performance as the E-M5, then the A7 (and -R) are the only mirrorless choices right now. They are not a "system" yet though. Adapted lenses, as a lot of people have found out by now, are not the greatest choice for many occassions. I guess the situation will improve in 2014 but for now, the FE mount is where :43: was in 2008. Still, if only using a couple of primes is your thing, this may not be a dissadvantage.

    In a nutshell, you have to balance your priorities, since every camera/system is a compromise. I guess small system size/weight is a given. Do you need full weather sealing? How about high burst rate? Telephoto lenses? Going like this, at some point, you will find what decision leads to the least amount of compromise.
  14. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    i repeat, but am happy to be corrected, the em1 is an upgrade to the em5 in that you gain one full stop of IQ with a new sensor at high iso/low light and you gain a phase detect autofocus system, which has heretofore universally been understood to provide pro level af tracking, and has not before a feature on any m4/3 camera.

    now, if i'm incorrect, fine, please correct me. but if i'm not, it'd be great if we can stop telling OP the em1 is not an upgrade from the em5, as both features are and have been touted as pretty significant. the fact that on a personal level, one owns an em5, is happy with it and doesnt want to upgrade is irrelevent to the em1 actually being a significant upgrade.
  15. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Is the above an observation based on ownership of both cameras? And, if so, are you refering to JPEGs or RAW? In any case, could you provide samples supporting your statement about an "one full stop" improvement? Because, from what I've seen/read thus far, image quality is only marginally better on the E-M1, probably because of lack of AA filter and updated imaging chip. In that sense, the E-P5 is also an improvement over the E-M5 and the Panasonic GX7 certainly falls into the same category.

    IIRC phase detect is only relevant to adapted FT lenses and :43: aren't optimized for phase detect anyway, but I could be wrong on that.

    Olympus themselves aren't considering the E-M1 a "E-M5 successor". They have stated this in every chance they get. There is a rumored new OMD coming early next year which would probably be the "next E-M5", but the E-M1 officially isn't.

    Now in the real world, there is certainly a number of people interested in the E-M1 as an upgrade, due (mainly) to its updated pro features, and I'm in this category myself. This has nothing to do with it being offered as an "upgrade", and more to do with the fact that certain features haven't been implemented in the E-M5 in the first place. An example (from my standpoint, so highly subjective) would be 1/8000th shutter and 1/320th flash sync, fully weather proof body, larger EVF and large RAW buffer. I would gladly have them when I got the E-M5 1,5 year ago, but I had to compromise. So, for me, the E-M1 is a definite "upgrade", based on my personal requirements and not because someone says it is. My response to the the OP was along these lines, encouraging him to see if the E-M1 works for him as an upgrade too, considering his own needs.
  16. mfj197

    mfj197 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2012
    Guildford, UK
    Well, all the direct comparisons I've seen between the E-M1 and the E-M5 either show parity or the E-M5 to have the upper hand. Also in long duration exposures the E-M5 trumps the E-M1 in a big way if dark frame subtraction isn't used. The E-M1 is not an upgrade to the E-M5 in terms of IQ. Whether the other differences sway your hand only you can say, but it's quite a chunk of money for no IQ improvement (and in fact some potential IQ loss if long exposures are your thing).


    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
  17. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Kind of an odd set of "this or that" cameras you're looking at, but I know how it goes!

    Where I'm coming from if it helps put my thoughts in perspective: I shoot FF Nikon, m4/3, and a Sony RX1 right now so I'm close to having experiences with all 3 camps. I think if you really think through what you're looking for it'll be easier to make a decision.

    First off, before anything, ask yourself what lenses you plan to use with a FF system and why (are you looking for the shallow DoF for portraits? Something else?). What are you specifically looking to get out of FF over your current setup, and make sure there's a clear path to it before you switch.

    Nikon DF: this really isn't that small. It's very close in size to a D600/D610 anyway. Unless you really want the 16MP sensor of the DF instead of the 24MP D610, or you're *really* enticed by the format of the DF, then I think the D600 would be a much better cost:value ratio.

    Sony A7: To me the two big question marks with an A7 are lenses, and AF performance. The A7 should improve on that some but I still expect it to lag behind a DSLR or m4/3 for fast, sure AF - could be a factor for events and candids. More importantly, the native lens options for the Sony A7 line are very limited right now. If you want FF for shallower DoF than m4/3 then it's going to be hard to do that with the 35mm f/2.8, kit zoom, or 24-70 and 70-200 f/4 lenses. Adapted lens would offer more options but you're going to need the adapter and probably manual focus only etc. My question would be how that compares to what you already have on m4/3, or could have with the E-M1.

    E-M1: It's the system you know, with incremental improvements in most areas. :smile:

    Having typed all that, I also agree with Gary Ayala - the grass is always greener. If you are dying to try FF, you probably should. Otherwise you'll always feel like you're missing out on something. At least if you try it you'll know for sure what you're missing (or not). :cool:
    • Like Like x 1
  18. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    The E-M5 was and is already a fantastic camera and already produced top notch image quality that many professionals are a testament to it's quality output... they simply won't risk their well earned reputations by switching to a system and gear that does not produce the quality of output associated with their names. Emily Dobson, Neil Buchanan Grant etc...
    I mention this as I feel that the E-M5 was already a fantastic camera that has proven itself capable of output far beyond that of 90% of serious hobbyists, amateurs (of which I am one) and even paid professionals.
    We are already probably at a point where we've hit the law of diminishing returns with respect to IQ. Sure in a hypothetical lab, with a heavy tripod, perfect lighting, moon aligned a certain way, and are looking for a sterile IQ without any subjective character (DXOMark ;) )we can look at raw benchs. But the best theoretical image quality does not necessarily equate to the most subjectively attractive image quality. I'd hate to see how DXOMark would rate TriX400 film (I know they don't do film... but I'm sure they would say that it's beautiful grain was noise ;) ).

    However I do think that there has been a LOT of disinformation put out there regarding the IQ output from E-M5 and E-M1.
    To that end you don't simply remove an AA filter and add some PDAF pixels to a sensor without a serious redevelopment/rearchitecting of that microprocessor design.
    The sensors are simply not one and the same. The megapixel count may be the same but from pretty much every review I've seen (bar the thread on the high ISO, 2 minute exposure thread / hot pixel thread on here ;)) the E-M1 either has the same to marginally better IQ or noticeably better IQ dependent on the lens used.

    One thing I have noticed myself from RAW and Jpeg samples available at DPreview etc.. is that colour output looks to be quite different and I would agree with Ming Thein in that it is a little flatter / more 'natural' at the default 'natural' profile, at least to my eyes and looking at his samples.
    Robin Wong has noticed that the E-M1 looks to produce sharper output, Steve Huff noted the same.
    One area that Ming thein touched on in his review is that there is about a stop additional dynamic range in the JPEGS. He suggested that, more importantly than out and out dynamic range, the E-M1 may have a better tonal range as it handles clipping to white far better than either the E-M5 or D600. Take a look at his samples ;) It's subtle but when you are made aware of it.. it's kind of an obvious IQ improvement when pointed out to you in his example.
    He also suggested that in RAW the E-M1 may have an additional stop in the shadows over the E-M5. Whether this needs a laboratory to be seen or not is another question... but that still doesn't mean that significant improvements in the area of IQ are just not there ;) They just aren't as obvious as a bump in MP count. They are lots of subtle things that add up to overall better IQ.

    With respect to your request for examples of the improvements to IQ... I think the Ming Thein review (part 2) provides an interesting overview with real world samples (not simple DXO charts).

    I wonder if the initial crap RAW support for the E-M1 in lightroom may have had something to do with a lot of the speculation on the E-M1 sensor design ?
    • Like Like x 2
  19. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Thank you for the answer.

    I have read Thein's articles the day they were published. I personally can't say the results show a marked IQ improvement; at least not far from what you can get with "equal" PP manipulation of the samples in LR. Don't get me wrong: since I'll be most probably buying the camera in the near future, I do hope there is a significant IQ upgrade, at least in some circumstances. I'll have to play with my own RAW files, in a PP tool with 100% RAW support to ascertain that. At this point I totally agree with you on the matter of diminishing returns.

    I don't know why you quote me in saying that the E-M5 and E-M1 share the same sensor. I never wrote that. As for IQ, you can already get an upgrade over the E-M5 by getting a E-P5 or GX7, according to your evaluation of published samples. Both those cameras excibit what you call "marginally to noticeably better" IQ than the E-M5, and the GX7 is closer to the E-M1 in this department. Just to make my point clear, you can also potentially buy a Fuji X-E2 and probably get an even better "improvement over IQ" or, indeed, get a A7 and get a much better IQ overall.

    If you could read my initial response to the OP, my whole argument is that I don't consider the E-M1 to be the defacto upgrade to the E-M5, since, officially as well as a design overall it is not a E-M5 successor (I cannot emphasize that enough and I really don't understand why some insist that it is). The E-M1 is the latest and greatest camera on the OMD line (and, IMHO, the whole :43: system in general). What I suggested to the OP was to make sure he picks it up for the right reasons/features/needs and not because it is somehow a "natural upgrade path".
    • Like Like x 1
  20. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013

    First of all, I want to apologise if I in any way made you feel that I was misquoting you as saying the sensor was the same as the E-M5. I simply read your response and clicked the quote reply button by accident instead of just 'reply' to the thread in its entirety so it quoted your entire comment by mistake... I wasn't singling you out intentionally :)
    I was summarising some of the comments specific to IQ that I had heard mentioned earlier in the thread and replying 'all in one' if that makes sense. It certainly was not meant to be an attack on you :) Friendly discussion is all.

    I completely agree. The E-M5 is not an update to the E-M1 it is pitched at an entirely different level above the E-M5. Similarly to the way Nikon/Canon would pitch the D4/1DX above the D800/5D.
    Personally I also believe that in terms of IQ it is at another level again above the E-M5. But when you get to that level we are talking subleties and roll offs to shadows and highlights. I prefer a more neutral out of camera colour rendering for a start (ok you can mess about in PP to achieve same) so immediately the IQ output from the E-M1 to E-M5 is more satisfying looking at Jpegs. Also on a well exposed shot there is def more detail there in the shadows in RAW from personal experience.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.