Have E-M5, do I need E-M1?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by briloop, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. briloop

    briloop Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Mount Juliet, TN
    I am one of your typical "serious hobby photographer wannabes". I really love photography and hope to make money from it. I switched over to :43: and really love it, so I am going to stick with it.

    I have only one body (E-M5) and two lenses (the two kit Olympus zooms) - my gear is shown below. As you can see, I don't have a backup body and I don't have "fast glass".

    Should I:

    1. Stick with what I have and wait until I make money before adding an E-M1 and some fast glass;
    2. Add fast glass (Olympus 12-40) when it's available, and see if that is enough;
    3. Add fast glass and another E-M5; or
    4. Plan D (your suggestion).

  2. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    My pick would be number 2.

    I'd definitely pick some good glasses first specially since your E-M5 is still one of the best m43 camera out there. If the 12-40mm is a bit too expensive at the moment, there are fast primes out there that are very good value for your money such as the Pana 14mm f/2.5 and Oly 45mm f/1.8. :)

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    A lot depends on what kind of photos you are aiming to take. Different genres require different lenses.

    That said the percieved wisdom is to invest in glass over camera bodies, as glass generally doesn't get left behind while there are new bodies every year.

    I am an em5 owner... and I am getting an em-1 to add to the collection... but my rationale is that the E-M1 supports the older, but still very good optically 4/3 lenses I have. If I didn't have those I am not so sure I would be so keen to invest that money in a new body.

    for the price of an e-m1, getting say the 25/1.4 and the 75/1.8 would certainly expand your photo taking opportunities in a range of genres.

    just my pre breakfast thoughts

    • Like Like x 2
  4. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    If you have an E-M5 and are pleased with it, the ONLY real reason to get an E-M1 as a replacement is if you wanted/needed to use some of the faster 4/3 lenses.
  5. JYPfoto

    JYPfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2013
    First thing you need to do is to identify where you want to go with your hobby. Why do you feel the need to have 2 bodies? Is it because the 'pros' do?

    Get glass first, then identify if you really need a 2nd body. Especially if you're not doing it for money, having a backup body may be excessive.
  6. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Assuming that your shooting style is to use just one camera at a time, and the 2nd body really would just convert the one you have now into a true backup body, IMHO, this is overkill, and it's silly to spend well over $1000 on a backup body. If you really felt the need for a backup body, might I suggest something along the lines of an E-PL5 or a Panasonic G5? - which would only set you back something like $250-400. Or even an E-PL2, for about $150.
  7. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    As Kevin said, it is almost impossible to provide any useful advice without knowing what you photograph, your style and how you plan to "make money". What did you "switch over" from?
  8. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Lenses, especially if you already have an EM5.
  9. briloop

    briloop Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Mount Juliet, TN
    I plan to do a variety like weddings, portraits, events like quinceaneras, etc. I switched over from Nikon D5000. It was my first DSLR.

    I appreciate everyone's input. I believe I will forego the E-M1 for now, and just buy some lenses and maybe a backup body like the E-PL5.
  10. Dduval

    Dduval Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    Good idea, I just happen to put a PL5 body up in the buy/sell section... :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  11. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
    Frankly? No. This is a poor upgrade from an EM-5 from Olympus, and I think the market will dictate that in terms of sales. I would wait for the EM-1 MK II in a year or two, once Olympus take the feedback from consumers and learn from it. In my opinion there simply isn't enough to differentiate this camera from the EM-5 to make the upgrade worthwhile. There are enough useful lenses in M43 now without having to jump over to 43.

    Case in point: The "big thing" is PDAF. But, if PDAF was such a big issue to people who already own the EM-5, then they wouldn't have bought an EM-5 in the first place, because CAF is widely recognised as an area in which the EM-5 performs poorly. So, I'm not entirely sure who Olympus are targeting with this camera. Don't get me wrong, I am glad they have released it, as it shows they are dedicated to evolving their m43 range of cameras, but this will take time. It's not just an Olympus thing - Canon dragged the 550D on for years in various iterations wearing new clothes before biting the bullet and changing things up, which the 70D will bring with the new sensor.

    Buy better glass. You'll still be stuck with the average (maybe even worse) battery performance. It's the same sensor. Buy the grip if you want to make the camera more substantial.

    [edit] if you already own an EM5, buying an EM1 isn't going to make you a better photographer. Think of it that way. I see photos taken with 10D or 350D thesedays which are miles better than anything I've ever taken.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Why such a downer on the E-M1? I have an E-M5 and I'm probably not going to upgrade in a hurry, but the E-M1 does look like quite an improvement in two key areas: ergonomics/handling and AF. I agree that the sensor doesn't look too different - but you know, it doesn't need to be.

    Personally, I hope the E-M1 sells like wildfire - that way it gives m43 a great future and might just make inroads into the Canikon DSLR stranglehold.
  13. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    If you're going to shoot weddings and other life events then you *NEED* a second body. And it has to be able to totally replace your primary if that goes down. Imagine how much work you'd get if your EM5 goes down during a wedding ceremony, not to mention what the bride would do to you (and rightly so). Put the EM1 down as a future purchase. But you don't need it to work or shoot great images. You get one of those when the EM5 is holding you back.

    Make a list of what you want to shoot. Make a list of the gear you'd like to have to get that done. Then prioritise the gear in order of importance and purchase it in that order. What you need first. What you want second.

    Something fast and sharp would be my first purchase. A 20mm 1.7 followed by a 45mm 1.8. Then a second EM5 followed by a 35-100 2.8. Combined with what you have, that's a reasonably solid working kit. Look for as much second hand stuff as possible. After all you eventual goal is the EM1 and fast zooms so some of this gear will be upgraded as you start earning an income. Learn all your gear inside out. Every function and all its limitations. Exploit any strengths and stay away from areas that'll make you life difficult.

    Lots of cards. Lots of batteries and a way to backup in the field in case of emergency. Polarising filters (good ones), hoods, cleaning cloths, light modifiers, a notebook, pen, business cards etc. Accessories will take up most of your bag.

    Avoid anything without a viewfinder as a working camera. You can't afford to be squinting in the sun if you really want to have a professional image. A G5 is a better choice than a GX1. Ideally you'll have cameras that use the same batteries/chargers. You've got a couple of flashes. Learn how to use them properly. Get a short off camera cord (cheap Canon one's work fine). Learn about shaping and taming light. Learn how to blend ambient and introduced light.

    Go to as many events/weddings/birthdays as you can as an observer. Especially in weddings the photography is the easy bit. Dealing with people and emotional resonses on the other hand is very tricky sometimes. Look at lots of images of people you admire. Disect them. Learn from them. Steal a few ideas (but not the photos themselves). Practice on everybody you know until you have no friends left.

    Commercial photography is 10% shooting an 90% everything else. I've heard working photography described as working two jobs for half a salary. It's mostly dealing with people and admin, with a bit of photography thrown in. A glamorous life it aint.

    Then you're ready for a lifestyle of poverty and obscurity. Good luck.

    • Like Like x 3
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Bloody hell Gordon - is it really that grim?
  15. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Thread hijack.


    90% of people who think they can make a job of photography give up within a year. Over 50% of working photographers have "a real job" as well. The number of potential photographers is steady but the pool of work is shrinking. i continue to meet ex journo's who were happy to ridicule wedding and event photographers as bottom of the totem pole, who now are looking for "some wedding work' because their job went poof. Very few of them have the skills to be a wedding photographer. like I'm not qualified as a conflict photographer. Several years ago I took a successful but burnt out conflict photojournalist along with me on a wedding. He reckoned it was the most stressful working day of his life. For me a stressful wedding is an adictive drug. But lots and lots just spin in a circle, regardless of how good they are with a camera. You're dealing with some raw emotions and that can be a real challenge. It's also incredibly satisfying. Commercial work is getting budget and time squeezed. They want it yesterday for 5 bucks. Not a way to pay off your new Hassleblad. The work is there. And if you're already established and have a business and equipment base you can make it work as long as you put some effort into it. I'm making 5% more in commercial year every year than the last for the last 5-6 years now. But I already have all the studio heads and camera lenses that I need to shoot pretty much anything. Dropping 10K on lights in your first year is very very difficult and even more risky.

    Add all the meetings, processing, delivery, paperwork, advertising and photography to a 3K wedding shoot and you'll gross about $30.00 per hour. A 10 hour wedding is actually 70-100 hours of work. people see me working a reception and say I have the best job in the world. I do. But then they say I have the easiest job in the world. Sorry sunshine. like any independent business owner, it isn't easy.

    I love what I do. And I've managed through luck and opportunity to make a good living from it. But I know a dozen better photographers than me who didn't. I'm lucky that I'm a pretty good salesman. I've been asked a few times to take a big corporate sales offer. When I got really poor I could always get a job managing a camera store here or there. I worked for the old distributors of Olympus for a while and I was the National Sales and Training Manager for Sea and Sea cameras in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. So i went to being a part time shooter. I lasted a few years and then had to go back to where I belonged. A day job, no matter how well paying, was torture. If you want to be a shooter. Go for it. I completely understand why you have to give it a go. Just go in with your eyes open.

    Most of the long term photographers I know do it because they're called to it. It's like they have to shoot. They don't have a choice. There are few overnight successes in our business. Most of us got to where we are the hard, hard way.


    /end hijack
  16. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Gordon - at the risk of continuing the hijack, I must say you may have another alternative career if the photography, retail or sales loses its shine - writing! I think you've expressed pretty well the sense of yearning and frustration in being a professional photographer. Maybe you should write a book!
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Jangir

    Jangir Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 27, 2013
    Baku, Azerbaijan
    Fully agree. Very informative and full of emotions.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    For pro work, the camera depends on what you are doing; the M1 is probably better for sports and such. For events and studio, I think the M5 will do fine. With events, I agree on needing a second body, but in most cases I would strongly advise a similar body. Switching ergonomics is a lot worse then ergonomics you need to get used to. Learn how to handle your camera blindfolded. Can you switch from AF to MF in a moment and without looking at the camera? (hint: the pull back ring on the 12 and 17mm are brilliant!)
    Beside a second body, some fast glass would be perhaps even more important. The kit zooms are nice enough, but during a wedding or an event, most people today have a hard time without a fast standard zoom. Pany has one, Oly is coming with one. The other option is two bodies, one with a wide angle prime and the other with a medium long prime (I would go 17/45).

    And perhaps sadly or discouraging, but I fully agree with Gordon. Being a pro photographer is much more about dealing with people and business then about taking pictures...
  19. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Haha. I don't know if I could subject anyone to more than a few paragraphs of me at a time.

  20. jerrykur

    jerrykur Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2012
    Northern CA
    I was going to upgrade, but after reading more reviews I think I am going with option 2 and get the 12-40. There is not enough of a change in em1

    Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Tapatalk 2
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