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First Impressions on E-M5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by RussellOlaguer, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    After one week of using the E-M5, the following are my impressions.
    (These impressions are from a user (enthusiast) point of view. I am not professional photographer. I'm just an ordinary guy who loves to take photo.)
    Shooting people and streets are the things that interests me.

    What I like:
    1) I love the solid build. Once held, you can really feel that what you have in your hand is a well crafted high qulaity made product.
    2) The 5-axis IBIS is fantastic. Been using the camera handheld most of the time and I can say that the IBIS helps a lot specially in night shots (low light). I was able to get around 4-stops of stability.
    3) The tiltable screen. Coming a fixed monitor (D90 & X100), the tiltable screen is a very nice addition. It really helps me to capture candid moments specially in street. It is also helpful for me to frame a shot from some weird/interesting angles.
    4) Low light performace (high ISO images). I can say that this camera is good enough for me in low light. I can get decent photos in ISO 3200 and usable photos at ISO 6400. (I usually use up to ISO 1600)
    5) Fast Autofocus. Using the 12-50mm kit and the 45mm, the AF in E-M5 is blazingly fast. Using E-M5 + 20mm, I dont consider it that fast but the AF is faster than my E-PL2 w/ 20mm. (Maybe as fast as the X100 with the latest firmware 1.21). Autofocus is also spot on and accurate.
    6) Macro mode in 12-50mm. I know this doesnt have to do with the camera but using the Macro mode in this lens coupled with the IBIS is really great combo. I'm not actually a fan of macro photography but i enjoyed it with this lens.
    7) Weather sealing. Although I havent tested this feature, it is nice to know that what you have in your hand can withstand harsh conditions.
    8) Size. When I first hold this camera, I felt like it was "tiny". Maybe because I'm used to lugging my D90+prime. But this camera also feels smaller than my X100. The compact style of the M4/3 system is the reason why I trade my DSLR system for the M4/3 system. I can now lug two bodies (E-M5 & E-PL2) plus the three lenses (12-50mm, 45mm, 20mm) in a small camera bag when I go out to shoot. On a daily basis, I only bring the E-M5+20mm & 45mm.
    9) Built in EVF. The built in EVF is really good. It has high refresh rate and doesnt lag (compare to my X100). The colors and contrast are good as well. But there were times that the EVF becomes washed out is taking photos on a harsh bright sunny day.

    What I'm not happy with:
    1) Price. It is quite expensive that I have to sell most of my stuff to fund this camera. But I think it's worth it considering the technology it brings. But I think I would be happy if it were a little cheaper. Hehehe!
    2) The position of the Rear Dial. I find it hard to reach using my thumb. I am a left eyed shooter and when I'm trying to adjust the rear dial with my thumb, it feels like my thumb will poke my right eye. Hehehe. Most of the time, I found that using my index finger to adjust the rear dial better.
    3) Battery. Coming from a DSLR, battery juice in M4/3 feels short. The camera claims to take around 360 exposures in a single battery charging. Actually, this is not much of an issue since I always buy a spare battery for any camera that I have.
    4) Lock up. I'm not yet sure what causes this thing but I've noticed recently that the camera hangs up/lock up at times. I need to remove and re-insert the battery to get the camera in normal state. I found that this lock up thing only happens when I'm using the 20mm. I'm still observing/investigating this issue. Hope it's not a major issue and can be reslove by firmware update. (I posted a thread reagrding this issue here).
    5) No RAW (ORF) support in LR3 yet. Although I shoot Jpeg only, I found out that LR3 doesnt have support for the E-M5 RAW file yet. I'm not sure if LR4 already has.
    6) The dials and button feels squishy/muddy at times. Sometimes I feel that the dials are not solid enough. The dials on my X100 feels more tacktile. The buttons in E-M5 also feel a little bit squishy/muddy. Maybe this is because of the weather sealing stuff.

    For now, these are the things I can say about this lovely camera.
    Overall, I love the camera and happy to use it everyday.
    Brings back the fun in photography. :biggrin:

    Have a great day and a nice week! :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 11
  2. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    773
    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Ron
    Russell, thank you for the summary: very encouraging. How do you find Auto-ISO? On my X100, it works brilliantly and I can concentrate on aperture and shutter speed, left and right hands.
     
  3. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    Auto ISO seems fine. On my X100, In Auto ISO, I set the maximum to 3200 and still get decent images (in terms of noise performance). In the E-M5, I set the maximum ISO in Auto ISO to 1600. On my opinion, Auto ISO of E-M5 is reliable.

    Sometimes, when shooting steady subjects at night, I fix the ISO to 200 or 400 and can still get some decent sharpness due to IBIS working very great in this camera.
     
  4. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    773
    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Ron
    Thanks, Russell. Sound good. I love my X100, but I'm thinking of adding the OM-D with 12mm and 45mm to gain more flexibility.
     
  5. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    Ok, but how the E-M5 handles the auto-iso? I mean, if I set auto-iso limited to 1600 on my E-PL2, the camera tends to use high ISO even if the shutter speed is well above the safety limit (for example, with the 20mm Panasonic and a pair of time/aperture of 1/60 and f/1.7, if I set auto-iso up to 1600, the camera will always use 1600 instead of maybe down to 800 and use 1/30, even if the IBIS is set to ON - or perhaps use iso1250 with 1/50).
     
  6. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    The battety weakness means I'm gonna have to get the battery pack and even then it's weak. I routinely have days of 2000+ exposures and this doesn't sound good. I get that many out of my E30 and a third-party battery pack. This could be a real deal breaker, as the camera is on a robotic tripod head and very precisely placed: removing the camera from the head requires a restart of a whole sequence...sigh. :eek:
     
  7. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    I think the X100 and the E-M5 with the lens you mentioned are perfect combo.
    I still love my X100 and still use it from time to time.
    But the flexibility I get from the M43 in compact size is very nice.
     
  8. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    In my X100, In Auto ISO, I have to set the minimum and maximum ISO (200 and 3200 for example). Then I also have to set the shutter speed in Auto ISO (I normally set to 1/60). The camera will try to expose the picture starting from ISO 200 and check if the shutter speed is above 1/60. If the shutter speed is below 1/60, the camera will increase the ISO until it reaches the 1/60 or above shutter speed.

    I'm not yet sure how the M43 handles Auto ISO. I will check on this and report soon.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    Thanks for the reply.
    The Nikon I had before (D60 and D200) had the same behavior of x100, as well as my GF1. But the E-PL2 (and as far as I know other Olympus too) no, it tends to always use the highest ISO value.
     
  10. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    In this special use-case the logical solution IMHO is to use an external battery pack. It could take some time before the accessories arrive to do this.
     
  11. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    No support yet for the E-M5's raw files in LR4 either. Just installed LR4 a few days ago and it doesn't open the ORF samples I downloaded from Ian of the FT-USer forum.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    LR3 will not directly support the E-M5's RAW files. When Adobe updates ACR to a version that supports the files, download their free DNG converter and use it to convert the files to DNG files which can be opened in LR3.

    I'll be in the same situation when my E-M5 ships, and I can't even upgrade, because I'm still on XP that LR4 doesn't support.
     
  13. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    280
    Jun 1, 2010
    UK
    What's the kit lens like ?

    Interesting review. How does the 12-50 compare to the 20 or 45 mm for image quality ?
     
  14. OPSSam

    OPSSam Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Dec 18, 2010
    NC
    That's pretty normal. Adobe usually gets RAW decoders distributed after a month or two (and Aperture almost always a month after). Of course if you can stand it, Viewer 2 does handle RAW files if you have it updated. It's characteristically slow, but it works.
     
  15. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    Kit lens is kit lens. :smile:
    Image quality of 20mm and 45mm is way better/sharper than the 12-50mm.
    But for me, 12-50 is a good all around lens when you just want to take photo of anything. :biggrin:
    12-50mm is fun and enjoyable to use. But it seems that it is too long (literally).
     
  16. Zanr Zij

    Zanr Zij Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Mar 10, 2012
    My E-P3 often use higher iso value but not only highest value. I also want it auto set lower iso value and change f and apature instead. Smame wondering with you about OM-D E-M5.
     
  17. Zanr Zij

    Zanr Zij Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Mar 10, 2012
    I ordered OM-D but with 14-42mm kit. I do not need weather sealed and already has 14-150mm lens ( + Pany 14-45mm ). 12-50 is too big/long for me as kit, no special quality lens :)
     
  18. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Interesting...I'm curious why you wanted to add another zoom in this range?

    I currently have only the 40-150 zoom, which I find very useful in daylight. I'm tempted to to get the 12-50 kit, sell the 12-50 and the 40-150 and buy the 14-150, which with rebates is now $449. Should come out with some cash in my pocket.

    I have the 14 and 45 primes, so the super zoom covers the 'daylight all around lens' when I don't want to be changing lenses.

    Choice is good...
     
  19. Zanr Zij

    Zanr Zij Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Mar 10, 2012
    Ah I add for my friend wanna buy for 150$. I have the 20 and 14, finding good deal 45mm. I aslo love olym 14-150mm because of light weight, compact superzoom, good quality and 2 in 1 lens :). You should buy 14-150mm asap :)
     
  20. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    280
    Jun 1, 2010
    UK
    "12-50mm is fun and enjoyable to use. But it seems that it is too long (literally)."

    Yes, I was suprised when I saw the photos of this lens just how big it was - bearing in mind how compact the Oly 14-42 is.