Have I made the right decision buying an EM-1 Mark ii with 12-100 mm F4

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Steve Moorhouse, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Steve Moorhouse

    Steve Moorhouse Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 4, 2018
    Milton Keynes UK
    Dr Steve Moorhouse
    I'm a newcomer to this group and I hope members will be willing to share their experience and give me some advice about my recent gear choice (and I hope this is the correct section to post this). I have long used Olympus and Pentax gear in tandem as my 'big and small' equipment. Starting way back with a Pentax ME Super (big) and Pen EE3 (small). More recently I was using a Pentax K5 (18-135mm) as my 'big' camera and a Pen E-PL2 (14-150mm) as my 'small' go everywhere camera, with a variety of other lenses in both formats (and a few other digital cameras including a Samsung NX system). I upgraded the E-PL2 to an OM-D EM-5 four or five years ago.
    Thinking that these cameras were getting a bit long in the tooth (like me) I was tossing up between upgrading the Pentax or upgrading the Olympus. For a variety of reasons, including what I read about it being a really good camera and really good lens, I decided on buying an EM-1 Mark ii and the 12-100mm F4 Pro lens thinking, amongst other things, it would be a bit lighter and more portable than the Pentax K5.
    Anyway having just received the EM-1 combo I was a little surprised (lack of research here on my part) to find it is a little larger and about 200 g heavier than the Pentax K5 combo. So far I have taken a few dozen test shots with the EM-1ii and 12-100mm lens and the quality is very good (but not obviously any better than the Pentax K5). I expect to find that the EM-1 has better focusing ability than the Pentax.
    Has anyone else any experience of using both the Pentax K5 and EM-1 Mark ii or a similar pair? What were your conclusions. What do you think about the trade-off between camera size/weight and sensor size/quality? Would I have been better to get an EM-5 Markii as it's lighter than the EM-1ii but presumable not as good IQ and would not balance as well with the 12-100mm? Or should I have upgraded the Pentax and got the benefits of a larger sensor?
    My attached photo (taken with a Lumix LX100 'snapshot' camera) shows the relative sizes of Samsung NX11, EM5, K5 and EM-1ii.
    Thanks for reading this. P1010744.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  2. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 26, 2014
    UK
    I have the 12-40 Pro lens. It is a superb lens and much smaller than the 12-100. It goes very well with the E-M1 II. Changing to that would make your kit much smaller and lighter.
     
  3. Other than being 'old', what did you want to upgrade?

    m4/3 and APS-C are too similar... I don't think there's a lot of sense in having both.

    The combo of E-M1 II and 12-100 f/4 is basically the largest combination in m4/3 you can get, only makes sense if you're going 'all in' as a replacement for APS-C. The 12-100 will be better optically across the range than the 18-135, but if you're not pixel peeping and not taking advantage of the extra wide angle, close focussing, f/4 on the long end, and crazy sync-IS, there's not much going for it. You could have just stuck with the 14-150 (more reach, less sharp) or gone with the 12-40 (less reach, sharper and faster).

    Do you change lenses? I notice the only lenses you're listing are superzooms. The 12-100 is probably the best superzoom out there but if it's your only lens, why bother with an ILC?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  4. Oh btw if you find the APS-C K-5 large, another APS-C or FF body with a constant aperture superzoom (if it even exists) is going to be even bigger at this point. An E-M5 II with the bundled WR 14-150 is probably a fairer comparison:

    Compact Camera Meter

    Edit: what do you know, Sony do have a rival to take the best superzoom crown: Review: Sony 18-105mm f4 G OSS (APS-C E Mount) - The Phoblographer

    Paired with a A6xxx body, it's certainly a smaller combo than the E-M1 II and 12-100 if that's all you'll ever use.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  5. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Yes, at the expense of reducing the telephoto reach from ~200mm with the K5 (18-135) down to 80mm with the Olympus. That's a big difference.

    To the OP, if you want that focal range (~24/28-200), and find the IQ no different between the Pentax and Olympus, then why keep the Olympus? You're spending a lot of money just to get a kit that's no smaller, and offers no better IQ based on your usage.
     
  6. Steve Moorhouse

    Steve Moorhouse Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 4, 2018
    Milton Keynes UK
    Dr Steve Moorhouse
    Thanks for your comments Wijang. Yes I do use other lenses but the 'super' zooms get the most use as they are, by definition, all rounders. BTW in spite of what you may have read my experience with the Pentax 18-135 f3.5-5.6 is that it is a very good lens, also with very close focusing for such a lens giving good close-ups. In micro 4/3 I have the Pana 12mm F2.5 and 20mm f1.7, Oly 45mm f1.8, Oly 12-50mm on the M5 and Oly 14-42mm on the E-PL2 plus a manual Zuiko 50mm f3.5 macro used with an adapter which gives good results. Plus a variety of Pentax K mount lenses ranging from 10-20mm Sigma to 75-300mm Sigma and various of manual primes.
     
  7. I think in that case you would have been better served with an E-M10 II, keeping the 14-150 and your primes. The E-M5 II just gets WR, a better EVF, better video specs, swivel screen, and high resolution shot.
     
  8. Steve Moorhouse

    Steve Moorhouse Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 4, 2018
    Milton Keynes UK
    Dr Steve Moorhouse
    Yes I did consider that but I felt I would miss the longer reach at the 100mm end and if I need a smaller range zoom lens I can always use the 12-50mm that I currently have on my E-M5. That's not a bad lens and very light.
     
  9. Steve Moorhouse

    Steve Moorhouse Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 4, 2018
    Milton Keynes UK
    Dr Steve Moorhouse
    I never seriously considered the E-M10 as I need weatherproofing, it rains a lot here in the UK! In addition whilst the 14-150mm is a reasonable lens for its length and cost it's hardly a stellar performer.
     
  10. Steve Moorhouse

    Steve Moorhouse Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 4, 2018
    Milton Keynes UK
    Dr Steve Moorhouse
    I suppose part of the reason for having several systems is that I just like cameras! Bear in mind when I said I can't see any great difference between E-M1ii and K5 it's based on only my first few dozen test shots with the E-M1ii so I really don't have much to go on. That's why I asked for other members' experiences. You are quite correct, I don't really need another camera but now I'm retired I'm hoping to have more time to use my gear and I do enjoy using different systems. I'm fully expecting to enjoy getting to know the EM1ii and I am assuming it will have a number of advantages over the K5 such as better focusing and anti-shake, no mirror flipping up and down and so on, which I expect will mean better image quality in many situations.
     
  11. I had the 12-50 for years. I'm surprised you find it fine but the 14-150 not. I noticed a significant improvement when upgraded to the 12-40.

    The E-M5 II with its half grip with the 12-100 would make a fine WR combo, you can always take the grip off when you're not taking the 12-100. But that still doesn't really present an upgrade to what you already have in the K-5 or even E-M5 Mk1 for that matter for pure IQ...
     
  12. Steve Moorhouse

    Steve Moorhouse Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 4, 2018
    Milton Keynes UK
    Dr Steve Moorhouse
    I am surprised that you appear to be saying that the E-M1ii has no better IQ than the E-M5 Mk 1. Is this based on your experience of these cameras or is it just an opinion - based on what? BTW I think the 12-50mm and the 14-150 are both good lenses of their type, I just expect the 12-100 Pro to be a step up. Even in my short time with it it appears to have 1st class IS, plus I really like the manual focus clutch operation, really smooth zoom action and its top class build quality. But I have a long way to go to really get to know it well.
     
  13. I had the E-M5 Mk1 and now have an E-M1 Mk1 as my big camera. I've also gone through the GM1, GM5, GF7 and now have a GX850 as my compact camera. They all have similar 16MP sensors like the E-M5 Mk2. That class of sensor hasn't really improved in their RAW peformance since the E-M5 Mk1, in fact the E-M1 Mk1 went backwards in some respects due to long exposure noise. There might be a smidgen of difference when pixel peeping because the latter models lack an AA filter, but it's not worth having a song and dance over IMO unless you had other reasons to upgrade the body. The 20MP E-M1 Mk2 sensor is a decent step up in resolution, with no trade-offs and improved long exposure noise performance as far as I can tell from online tests.

    The Pro lenses really are a step up - you'll get a way bigger IQ improvement there than the body.

    I also have some experience with processing the RAWs from a Pentax K-50. I actually recommended a cheap used K-50 WR kit to a friend because she is a volcanologist, going to active volcanoes in Antarctica and the like. The camera got stolen after Antarctica, but when I processed some of the RAWs she took of our family using the 18-55 WR kit lens, I could not tell a huge IQ difference to my 16MP E-M1.
     
  14. My 12-100 only leaves the EM1 II when I want to use the 300 f/4 or the 40-150 PRO. My 12-40 has been seriously neglected for almost a year.
     
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  15. When I tried the 12-100 at an Olympus event for people shots indoors I just couldn't do it. The ergonomics were okay with the E-M1s but I found f/4 too slow. f/2.8 on m4/3 isn't fantastic but still doable with decent lighting. If you just use primes for indoors then I can see how the 12-100 makes a great day lens.
     
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    One thing the E-M1 mkII and 12-100 give you is Sync IS. 1/2 - 1 second hand held seems to be easy with several reviews showing hand held (but braced) to 5 seconds and longer.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. I very rarely shoot inside, and when I do, I slap on a 25, 45, or 75 f/1.8. I have also found that it is much easier to change a lens while indoors.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
  19. Steve Moorhouse

    Steve Moorhouse Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 4, 2018
    Milton Keynes UK
    Dr Steve Moorhouse
    Wijang, Thanks for your interesting comments, you've certainly had a lot of micro 4/3 cameras. One of the reasons I didn't go for an M5ii is that it still seems to be essentially the same 16MP sensor as the M5 and I want better long exposure noise performance. As a retired former geoscientist I am envious of your friend going to photo active volcanoes in Antartica. When I was a young man I applied to join the British Antarctic Survey as a geologist but didn't get the post. What photos I might have got! Mind you back in those days I was using a Prakticamat with an unpredictable shutter which sometimes stuck and ruined the shot. Happy days.
     
  20. Steve Moorhouse

    Steve Moorhouse Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Mar 4, 2018
    Milton Keynes UK
    Dr Steve Moorhouse
    Harvey, You are rather confirming the conclusion I came to when buying my kit. I considered getting the 12-40 because it's lighter and f2.8 but thought that, in spite of the extra weight, I would probably use the 12-100 more. I'm interested that you also have the 40-150, is the 50mm (100mm) of extra reach really worth having? I'd love the 300mm f4 but probably wouldn't useit that much and the price - yes. I am considering getting a longer lens but I'm really not sure what to go for, plus there's the cost and justifying it to the wife of course!
     
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