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Grrr! Did You Know Your OM-D EM-5 is a Point & Shoot?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by twokatmew, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Sigh ...

    I signed up for a short photography class by a local pro photographer, and my first session was last night. Although we'd previously completed a survey about our current equipment and photography experience, the first thing the instructor had us do was unpack our cameras. He then grouped us according to camera "similarity." OK, he wanted us sitting next to someone with a similar camera so we could help each other out. Makes sense I suppose.

    It's a small class: two Nikon D7000s, a D5100, a D3200, a Pentax K20D, a supposedly 5-yr-old Olympus DSLR (couldn't see the model), a Canon G12, a Nikon Coolpix L110, and an ancient Fujifilm P&S that had a ~1.5" LCD on it. Of course, I was there with my E-M5 (45/1.8 mounted). All the other ILCs had kit lenses mounted.

    How did the instructor group us?

    He paired the D7000s up. Then he put the rest of the DSLRs together (Nikon, Olympus and Pentax). Finally, he put the P&S group together: G12, Coolpix, Fujifilm and of course, the E-M5! I figured he'd put the Oly DSLR and me together, but no. When I pointed out I had a m43 camera, our instructor replied that the E-M5 "has similar capabilities" as the point & shoots.

    I'm really disappointed. I knew there'd be a fair amount of review, and I was the only one in the class who wasn't shooting in auto mode. I was the only one who knew the parts of the camera. But I really didn't expect the instructor to be so ignorant ... and biased.

    He kept referring to exposure compensation as "EV mode," so we all looked at him blankly, till I asked if he meant exposure compensation, and he said yes. He claims no one should ever use any mode other than fully manual, and that anyone who shoots at shutter speeds below 1/60th of a second *will* get blurry shots (no mention of focal length or stabilization). His explanation of ISO was a simple "never shoot at an ISO above 100." He had us figure out the max and min shutter speeds on our cameras as well as the max and min apertures (never mentioning aperture depends on the lens and not the camera body). He was stunned to find the Oly DSLR and my E-M5 "P&S" could meter down to 60 seconds while the other DSLRs could only meter to 30 seconds.

    Ugh. This guy's a pro wildlife photographer, he says, the last of his pro buddies to go from film to digital, and he's supposedly won int'l competitions five times. "Would have been six, but the judges thought I'd photoshopped my latest photo."

    I guess I expected a certain amount of arrogance and bias, but I never expected my E-M5 to be written off as a P&S without more than a glance, nor did I expect this guy to be so haughty when spouting incorrect or incomplete info. I'm not sure if I'll go to the remaining three sessions or not.

    What d'yall think? Am I wrong to feel as I do?
    • Like Like x 7
  2. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010

    This is a common fault -- many people think that just because they're good at something, they can be good teachers at it. Maybe he does have the talent, but to be an educator you also need to be in the know (among other things) -- maybe not the latest and greatest, but at least with the more recent developments in photography!
    • Like Like x 5
  3. e-pl1

    e-pl1 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 21, 2010

    Go for the refund
    • Like Like x 1
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    plus 1 for hyubie's suggestion of a refund...

    did you actually learn anything new in the evening? Did you actually actually look at never mind take any photos?

    Guy sounds like an old pro who hasn't moved with the times... and can't teach

    • Like Like x 1
  5. abepak

    abepak Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2013
    SFV, CA
    If that had been me, I would have sat there and corrected and clarified everything he said throughout his entire class. But that's just me. I'm a bit of a donkey's behind when I get irked.
    • Like Like x 10
  6. hankbaskett

    hankbaskett Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    I wouldn't necessarily expect him to know about m4/3 camera and their capabilities, but it sounds like he's clueless about cameras in general.

    Maybe he *just* shoots wildlife? In which case, his shutter speed advice at least makes some sense. I'd be a disappointed too. You would expect a pro photographer to know more than that.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Carl Radford

    Carl Radford Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    A good photographer will be able to make great images with a point and shoot - a bad one a crap image with a great camera. Sounds like you signed up or was sold a course that doesn't fit your needs. I tend to look at peoples work who I'd admire and choose a course with them if possible. This guy really doesn't seem to know what he is doing or is more interested in money than making sure his students - and their equipment - are appropriate for the course he intends to teach.

    I have taught wet plate collodion photography to someone with no large format camera experience at all - it was done one to one and I made sure she was aware of the challenges ahead and that she might get more from the course if she learnt more about large format to start with. She opted not too and had the added challenged of learning two things at the same time. Bottom line is she knew what the challenges were and so did I - she was willing to accept she was wrong if it became too much. Luckily it didn't.

    Refund option is the way to go if one is available.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. bipinsnair

    bipinsnair Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Herndon, VA
    Bipin Nair
    May be he/she was in the wild for too long and don't know what is going on in the rest of the world.No offense meant.
    Sounds like you went to a wrong class especially when the instructor is at least not as much informed as you are..
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    ignorance is bliss so they tell me, sounds like he is the example that proves the rule...
    • Like Like x 1
  10. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Glad to hear it's not just me who'd be disappointed.

    abepak, I did rattle his cage a bit, but I held back, because I didn't want to be rude and come off like a horse's @ss. When he discovered I was the only one not shooting in auto mode, he asked how I shoot. I explained that I usually shoot in aperture mode, because I shoot mainly portraits and the occasional landscape. He then responded that if I shot anything other than portraits and landscapes in aperture mode, I was "using A mode wrong." Consequently I felt rather insulted, especially considering he knew I'd learned on a fully manual 35mm SLR in the early '80s.

    hankbaskett, no I didn't expect him to be up on m43, but when I balked at being stuck in the P&S group with my E-M5, I'd hoped he take a second look instead of just assuming I thought I had a better camera than I do. It seems this guy's ego is bigger than his knowledge of cameras.

    To be honest, not one other person in the group knew how to use their cameras beyond auto mode, and as they didn't know what an F-stop is, I'm not surprised the guy started at the beginning. As I'm mostly self taught, I figured I might learn a little something by sitting through a pro's class (despite the review). I learn a lot from reading books and forums like this one, but I was surprised to learn I know a lot more than I realized. I'd probably benefit more by classes in lighting and composition.

    It hadn't occurred to me to ask for a refund. Perhaps I should do just that.

    Back before the Internet was commercialized, I used to teach classes in using the Internet to university faculty and staff. I always talked to my audience to find out who knew a bit and who was starting at the very beginning. When I found someone who was ahead (or way behind), I would adjust my presentation a bit to include them. I never assumed I knew better than everyone and that there was nothing I didn't already know!

    My guess is that because the others were starting at the very beginning, they didn't know what a arrogant jerk this guy is.
    • Like Like x 4
  11. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    Even then there are no guarantees.

    I've attended several workshops over the last 13 years of my part-time and full-time photography career and always signed up for workshops taught by photographers whose work I admired.

    On more than one occasion I felt like I had wasted my money. In all of the bad cases it was because the person running the workshop was a jerk or lacked a basic understanding of a photographic principle they were trying to teach despite the fact that they had produced some excellent images in their own portfolio.

    Just because someone can craft a great image that doesn't mean they'll make a good teacher.

    Now the only time I attend workshops is if they are business workshops (not related specifically to photography) or they are the kind of photography workshops where I'm just paying for my share of time with models at a location for a shoot and I don't have to listen to an instructor.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    No, I didn't learn anything new, but it was just the first class. The second session on Saturday is when we'll be shooting. I think the third and fourth sessions cover flash, editing photos and printing. It's an overview class, and all I expected was an overview. I just don't like being insulted and talked down to, especially when the guy doesn't know as much as he thinks he does.
  13. mowog6000

    mowog6000 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2012
    Oregon City Oregon
    Pat bailey
    On the opposite side, I'm taking a digital photography class at the local CC and the instructor is impressed with my EPL-5. Other students have DSLRs and were having trouble bracketing for HDR today. I just set mine to HDR bracket and fired off 5 shots in a flash I also have been using Minolta legacy lenses for portraits and when I tell the instructor that it cost $40 he was amazed that you could use a 35mm lens on a digital camera. There is nothing wrong than some education couldn't fix. These guys have been sold the DSLR myth for years.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    But it is a point and shoot

    I read the story on TOP about a guy who called his Leica S2 a point and shoot. An he meant it: the camera was out of the way, he could concentrate on the image, point, and... shoot.

    No seriously. Don't be offended because of his classification of your gear. You are your images, not your gear. And in a way he is even right. Features like face recognition, cdaf, and workable live view are shared between your camera and the others in your group, and not with the dslr guys. That has nothing to do with the quality of your gear, or the quality of your mages, but all with being able to exchange xperience and relating to each other's way of working.

    Also in the other aspects he has a point. If you really want to master the technological aspect of photography, start with iso 100 and manual everything. You will struggle, but with that struggle you will very quickly gain understanding of how photography works and be much more effective in using the automated modes. A bit old school, but very useful.

    If it still does not make sense or you feel you are way past this phase in learning, leave the class, this teacher is not for you.
  15. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Also on the opposite, one of the leading local schools have organized a mirror-less meeting for people to meet and check other people equipment.
    twokatmew I think you went for a wrong class from the syllabus it seems to be a starters class and should attend a more advanced class. I would refund or ask for a transfer to a more advanced class.
  16. 67DGS

    67DGS Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 5, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Many years ago I took a SLR film course, fortunately I had an excellent instructor. He seemed to know, or at least be able to communicate more than your instructor did. Although ISO 100 was the most commonly used film at the time, we still used a number of different ISO films during the course. So it sounds like your instructor is not just behind the times but definitely marching to a very different drummer.

    I have been an instructor in a few different fields for many years and am sometimes very surprised when I attend a seminar only to discover the the instructor has no clue how to logically present information to the class.

    Hope you can get a refund

    • Like Like x 1
  17. Strick

    Strick Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2013
    Columbia, MD
    Wow. That is shocking. I would ask for a refund or you could stay and teach him a thing or two about photography. :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  18. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    Sounds like a "silly" instructor. Just because he won competitions or took good photos doesn't mean he can teach something other than his guiding biases... like good theory.

    I was in a class where they said always shoot at base ISO, but that was a culinary single (artificial) lightsource photography class. :wink:

    Your post is quite detailed, but do you mean those people had D7000s? There isn't a D7100 yet, only rumours...

    That's pretty usual for people with DSLRs and DSLMs to shoot in full auto for years until they eventually learn how to use A or S (if they ever do).
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    It also funny that a couple of months ago the omd would appear as a p&s in Flickr's camera finder, they now changed that and now shows up as a DSLR.

    I actually dont get offended with their faces when i tell em i sold my 5dmkii towards the omd, in fact i even love their faces when after that i show them some of the images ive done with the omd...
    • Like Like x 3
  20. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Well...if the class involve actually printing photos you've taken in the class, that might be the opportunity to surprise him with the OM-D's quality...if you were to go back...
    • Like Like x 1
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