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em5 erg followup. Not compelling reading...

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by VirtualG, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. VirtualG

    VirtualG New to Mu-43

    9
    May 5, 2012
    Boston
    B/C I love to read author follow-ups on opinions/ratings of equipment, I wanted to add a brief follow-up to my opinion of the EM5 ergonomics. I've returned from a few weeks of shooting around Milan, a yearly trip I seem to take each time with a different camera. Along with the body, I brought my 9-18, 17, and the kit 12-50.

    First a few words on the 12-50. What a wonderful vacation lens that proved to be. Versatile enough that I ended up keeping the other two lenses packed away. In the gloomy winter weather, the moisture resistance was reassuring. But frankly, it was that ultra-fast autofocus that stood out - it was so nice to shoot candids on the street with - I'd have 2 or 3 shots out of the way before most subjects were aware. (that does sound rather sleazy, eh?)

    An important firmware change made by Olympus was to add the ability to toggle user settings by holding down a button. It allows me to toggle between single shot and bracketing without navigating the menu system - so I can keep my eyes on the scene, not the camera. Bravo.

    I have fallen in love with shooting manual on this camera. The clicky wheels are well positioned and very well behaved. The camera grip - I've come to terms with it - but it will always be a bit of a lost opportunity to me. I was using the external battery grip for a while, but because I come from the-lighter-the-better planet, I've found myself increasingly leaving the external grip at home. Yes, I continue to think that the em5 body was designed to drive sales of the $300 battery grip, but that's just me :rolleyes:

    Dare I admit it? What I love most about the em5 is that silky smooth shutter sound. How I love not being a distraction when shooting indoors or close to my subjects. A few days ago, I was in a cathedral next to a person with a smartphone that had a fake shutter sound set far far louder than what my real physical shutter produced. For some reason, I thought it a tad amusing.

    A few bugaboos remain. The camera seems to be designed to automatically eject the evf eye cup. That would be just a minor annoyance if the eye cup was easy enough to re-purchase, but good luck finding them in stock anywhere. Perhaps I should just man-up and super glue it into place, but I worry that I might regret that decision later on...

    The firmware still freezes the camera on occasion. I remount the lens and all is well. But one time, the camera actually turned itself on, which was a new trick. Yes, the power switch was in the off position, but the camera was on, and it insisted on staying on until I popped the battery out. If only the camera continue to stay on without the battery - but I suppose that's a feature for the em6.

    Yes, I've got a beef with the battery life, which I think is just too short, though that seems to be a trend with most new mirrorless cameras. But the aspect I really dislike is the battery gauge. It is more binary report than a gauge - the battery is either shown to have a full charge or is empty . There is no in-between. Is battery charge really that difficult to accurately report? I gripe only because if I have 2 external batteries, I'd love to know which one I can take with me, and which one should be juicing up. Right now it's a total mystery.

    Anyway, I left my previous post thinking I'd do a quick sell of my em5 and wait for the next Pen. But after my last trip, I can tell you that's not gonna happen. I having too much with it for now...
     
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  2. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    523
    Sep 5, 2010
    One question. After your get acquainted time, how much do you use the EVF, verses the LCD?
     
  3. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Aug 6, 2012
    Re: battery life

    1. Update your em5 body to firmware v1.5
    2. Use original bln-1 batteries
    3. Set battery alarm level to +1 under the K/custom menu
     
  4. VirtualG

    VirtualG New to Mu-43

    9
    May 5, 2012
    Boston
    That's an interesting question because in my head, I'm a viewfinder shooter, but upon reflection, I'm actually shooting with the EM5 LCD more and more. I blame the fact that it tilts....

    When candid/street shooting the EM5, I like to hold the EM5 at chest height, TLR style. When I shoot urban architecture, I will now try framing with the camera above my head for a better angle.

    And the tilting does allow one to find a viewing angle that works even in bright sunlight. I can't imagine buying a camera body with a fixed LCD now.

    But one aspect of the LCD I do not like - the touch screen -and have long since turned that feature off.
     
  5. VirtualG

    VirtualG New to Mu-43

    9
    May 5, 2012
    Boston
    Thank you - I will give that a try.
     
  6. Rens

    Rens Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Dec 9, 2012
    Northumberland UK
    Stefan
    No, it wasn't compelling reading but I read it anyway.

    Before I bought the OMD I felt the lack of a front finger grip would be a problem. In use I find the feel of the camera just right, I never give it a thought. Something to do with the bit at the back for your thumb and the position of the shutter button. It works perfectly for me, along with front and back wheels.

    Rens

    PS I wouldn't consider the Olypus add-on grip, I don't feel the need of one and it would make the camera bulkier so it wouldn't go in a jacket pocket.
     
  7. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    Could you elaborate on this firmware change? AFAIK, you can't actually toggle between single shot and bracketing (or between mysets). Of course you can assign a Myset to a button, but you still can't toggle between them from what I can tell. You need to hold down the assigned button while shooting. To me, that's not toggling - but perhaps I missed a camera feature or firmware update? (I'm on firmware 1.5).

    Thanks.
     
  8. milez

    milez Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Dec 25, 2012
    Singapore
    Ditto on the eye cup.
    Ditto on battery life and gauge. Will try LeoS' suggestions.
    But i have to agree with Rens that the grip is just perfect for me.

    For me, after 6-7 months of using this camera, i am still finding out new things about it and there are still settings, feature to explore. I am so fond of it that the camera goes with me everywhere just like my cellphone.
     
  9. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Aug 6, 2012
    I'd be interested to hear updates on the battery gauge condition.

    First few months of owning the E-M5, I had to use 3rd party batteries because of the shortage of original Olympus ones. I think combining the use of original and 3rd party batteries may affect the gauge display too, I don't know.

    Now I use only the original Olympus batteries and after 3+ cycles (natural drain-full charge) on firmware 1.5, I get around 5-600 shots per batteries, and the gauge reduces (from 3 full bars) to 2 bars after around 300-400 shots. It's not linear/proportional, but plenty enough warning for me to do a battery change and wait for the single red battery bar to display to do so.

    YMMV, this is not a lab test... just based on observation of my trips. I've been on 5-6 trips (between 3 days to 14 days) with my E-M5. Love love love my E-M5.

    EDIT: If you've used 3rd party batteries on the EM-5, you may need to recalibrate the battery level (option right under 'warning level') and go with 100% original batteries to get better gauge accuracy. The reason being that 3rd party batteries have different capacity (lesser) and also do not properly report their states to the body, so that will skew gauge level for the proper batteries.
     
  10. milez

    milez Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Dec 25, 2012
    Singapore
    I'm on firmware 1.5 too. And I use only the original BLN1 battery. Set alarm level to -2.

    I usually get full bars, then 2 bars, and 3-5 frames later, orange warning light comes on. And from there I get at most another 10 or so frames before it is completely dead.

    I shoot predominantly with EVF and switch off the LCD completely. I get about 400+ shots with IBIS on when i depress the shutter release button halfway (older firmware IBIS will be on all the time).

    I'll set the battery warning to +1 now and see if there is sufficient warning before it goes flat. I am hoping the gauge provides ample notice. At least give me another 30-40 shots after orange warning light comes on.
     
  11. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    939
    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Until you try shooting in portrait orientation for a couple of hours without the grip!
     
  12. VirtualG

    VirtualG New to Mu-43

    9
    May 5, 2012
    Boston
    It does change the camera's dimensions a bit. No so much in width (because the lens dominates that dimension), but in height and weight. I have a self serving theory which states that photographers are bothered more by weight than bulk.

    Cheers.
     
  13. VirtualG

    VirtualG New to Mu-43

    9
    May 5, 2012
    Boston
    You are correct - I was referring to the behavior that allows you to temporary change to a different myset when holding the button down. I thought this functionality was introduced with 1.5, because with the original firmware, I could only assign what was essentially a shortcut to the mysets.

    At any rate, the ability to apply a different myset while holding down a button is immensely convenient for me. I generally shoot with one groups of settings, but when I need that extra bit of DR that only bracketing can provide, I love being able to make the switch on the fly.

    Cheers.