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Is it worth upgrading?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by steve, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. steve

    steve Mu-43 Veteran

    204
    Jan 18, 2010
    Havertown, PA
    Hi,

    I haven't been to the forums in quite a long time. But now I'm back and interested in upgrading my Olympus EM5. When I purchased this camera in early 2012, it was an upgrade from a GF1 and a huge improvement. The EMD was (and still is) awesome and I was happy enough with it at the time to sell off my Canon gear. If was a pleasure to ditch the big 5D Mark II and heavy lenses.

    Since then, I've kept shooting, but cut down my internetting and lost touch with all the new equipment that was released. Now, I'm interested in upgrading from the EM5 and trying to decide the best approach. If I could afford it, I would dive head first into Sony's full frame system, which offers stunning IQ at a reasonably small size. Most of what I shoot fits in the 24-90mm (FF) range and I love bokeh. But Sony is an expensive path compared to M43.

    So my question is, is it worth upgrading from the EM5 to an EM1 or EM5 Mark II, which I can do for under $1000 or should I wait for the EM1 Mark II (rumored for September, 2016)? For those that upgraded from EM5, was there a noticeable improvement in IQ, autofocus, performance?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Mu-43 Regular

    108
    May 8, 2015
    When my em1 was in for repair I spent a week with the em5mkii and didn’t enjoy using it. I’ll upgrade from the em1 to the em1mkii when it’s released


    If you can find a used em1, I’d go with that over the em5mkii, but that’s only my opinion and I know a large number of people really liked the em5mkii. I just found the flip out screen too fiddly and didn’t like how it felt in my hand compared to the em1. The buttons on the em1 are also in the right place for me, where I didn’t feel comfortable with the em5mkii.
     
  3. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    To tell you if it is worth upgrading, you'd have to tell us what you find lacking in your E-M5.

    In basic terms, the image quality has not changed much since the E-M5 (I'd argue that is true for ALL systems). So you'd have to be upgrading more for features.
     
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    In terms of IQ, there is no meaningful improvement on the newer bodies. I've only touched the E-M5 II briefly, but I can't say I found any improvements in AF there. The E-M1 does have some AF improvements, but mainly in the area of C-AF. As to performance, the newer cameras are a bit more responsive, but it's nothing I'd call game-changing.

    Unless there's a specific new feature (e.g. AF with 4/3 lenses, WiFi, electronic shutter) that you're looking for, I'd vote for waiting.
     
  5. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    644
    Mar 26, 2014
    UK
    Perhaps you need to upgrade to a really good lens, e.g. the 12-40?
     
  6. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Is there anything your E-M5 isn't doing that you want it to do? Do the E-M1/E-M5 II solve this problem? Is this worth +/- $1,000 to you? Would spending the money on a new body be wiser than spending it on a new lens?

    If the answer is "yes" to all...get a new camera. But I doubt it is. I have an E-M5 and was excited when the E-M1 came out, but realized it wasn't a big enough upgrade for me. Then I was beyond stoked at the E-M5 II...until I realized that it really does not improve on the original in any way that would make a meaningful difference to my photography. (As a disclaimer...please note that I'm talking about my specific case...yours could be different)...but, for me...I have only seen incremental, evolutionary upgrades. These are nice, but not enough to make me run out and ditch my perfectly functioning camera and plunk down my hard-earned cash for a new one. I like to sit out a few generations of cameras before upgrading.

    If you're GAS'ing and/or want your photography to open up new avenues for you, I'd look at lenses if I were you...that's what I did and I have zero regrets. :)
     
  7. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Mu-43 Regular

    108
    May 8, 2015
    I love this lens. it's on the em1 95% of the time. I do like the 25mm f1.8 and the 4/3 50-200 swd, but the 12-40 is just a wonderful lens
     
  8. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Oct 12, 2013
    I concur with all here. I use a Panasonic G5 (which is a lesser camera than your E-M5) and still haven't had a compelling reason to upgrade (I'm hoping that in 2016 there will be a camera that provides that reason). However, I have been consistently improving my lens collection. If bokeh is what you want, I would definitely look at lenses, but we can't give any recommendations because we don't know which ones you currently have.
     
  9. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Interesting! (And I'm certainly not disagreeing with you, as this is a matter of personal preference)...but I absolutely love the way the E-M5 handles...even more so than the E-M1. The E-M1, for me, is a bit too chunky...the E-M5 has always felt like the smallest possible package that will do everything I need and do it comfortably.

    I can 100% see where you and others would not like the E-M5, though...it actually took me a little while to find a position where the E-M5 feels perfect in my hands...normally, when you hold a camera, you let the strap run between your right thumb and your right index finger. This felt really awkward on the E-M5. So, I started running the strap between my index and middle fingers...and the camera feels absolutely perfect!
     
  10. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Mu-43 Regular

    108
    May 8, 2015
    it's funny how it works with cameras. I wanted so badly to like the em5mkii but couldn't, and others don't like the em1. It's a good thing olympus makes some excellent cameras that are different so we can all find one we like lol
     
  11. steve

    steve Mu-43 Veteran

    204
    Jan 18, 2010
    Havertown, PA
    Thanks everybody for your input. I think that you just talked me about spending some money! My thought for an upgrade is based solely on image quality. There isn't anything that my EM5 isn't doing well enough for my use. I guess the only reason for me to upgrade to the EM1 or EM5 Mark II is if either of these cameras have markedly improved image quality. The IQ of my EM5 is very good, but I can always hope for better. I agree with the comments about lenses. I have been using the 20 1.7 since I bought my GF1 and it tends to stay on the camera. Its not the best lens, but its very good and a great size. I also have a 45 1.8 which is a great lens, but not so much a walkaround lens. I just bought a 75 1.8 from a member on the Buy and Sell forum and look forward to its arrival. And I am considering a midrange lens like the 25 1.4 to replace the 20.
     
  12. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    To the OP: If you love bokeh and stunning image quality, check out the 75 1.8. It is a magnificent lens. Like you, I had a 5D Mark II before my Olympus, and was going to keep that setup for "serious" work and use the Oly as a travel kit. I slowly started selling off my L lenses as I was more and more impressed with the Oly, and in the end, I was left with just one lens: the 135L, which is an absolutely stunning lens. I didn't think anything could come even close to its performance. Then I found a good deal on the Olympus 75, bought it, and immediately fell in love. It's a relatively small lens (bigger than many M4/3 lenses, but really small considering its build quality, focal length, and aperture), and the bokeh, saturation, colours, and sharpness are unreal. Better yet: I used to spend HOURS trying to microadjust the 135L on my 5D2 to achieve perfection...the O75 is perfect right out of the box.

    For a budget, extremely light alternative, there's the Olympus 45mm. Again...I can not say enough good things about this lens. It's tiny, fast, sharp, produces beautiful bokeh, focuses quickly, reliable, etc...I've taken my O45 around the world, and it's never failed to impress me.

    Either of these lenses is cheaper than a new body (heck, you can buy both for the price of an E-M5 II), and I think they would make you a lot happier and have a bigger impact on your photography.
     
  13. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    You and me both! The E-M5 is the camera I've always wanted...something that looks like a '70s film camera, and is light, small, and performs like a champ. I was waiting for Canon to bring out an AE-1-inspired mirrorless for years, then they came out with the EOS-M and I gave up.

    The E-M5 was an absolute revolution for me, and my dream camera...so I had really high hopes for the Mark II, but (for me, at least) it was underwhelming. I wanted it to hit me like the original did, but it was one of those "Yeah...sure...great camera, and if I didn't have the E-M5, I'd be all over it...but it's simply not worth the money to upgrade for the very limited improvements it would bring to my photography."
     
  14. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Haha...looks like we posted at the same time! :)

    As much as I want people to spend money on Olympus and keep the brand/mount alive and well, I think you're making the right choice. The E-M5 I/II/E-M1 are, for all real-world intents and purposes on par with each other when it comes to IQ. They're all great.

    The 20 1.7 is an excellent lens, I love mine! ...I've had a dozen 25 1.4s in my hands, ready to buy, but somehow I could never bring myself to it. I will one day, but it just hasn't swept me off my feet like the 45 and 75 have. If you don't have anything wide, and want something fast, light, cheap, and - above all - fun...check out the 14 2.5. That's another lens that just keeps on giving. It's fun because it's so tiny, you really don't think twice about shoving it in your pocket, or just slap it on the camera for a super small/lightweight walkaround setup.

    I hope that when you get your 75mm, you'll like it as much as I like mine! :)

    9910903975_4e5ba76e65_b. EDITVOM2676 by Tamas, on Flickr

    10545860006_81a8470cdc_b. EDITVOM1158 by Tamas, on Flickr
     
  15. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    I've been giving the same advice for 40 years. Upgrade to the best glass you can get before considering changing bodies. The best upgrade for the EM5, which I did sometime back, was the 12-40mm f/2.8. The EM5 is still an excellent camera. With that lens and the great primes you have, it is very relevant today. It has the same sensor, after all. Even after I bought an EM1 I kept the EM5 as a second body.

    Always go for glass over boxes.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Everyone bangs on about image quality. The truth is usualy that the IQ of the first G1 is still quite acceptable. People pixel peep frequently, but seldom print to 70inches wide where cameras like the 40megapixel-monsters (might) bring something to the table (with expensive lenses and appropriately good technique).

    Upgrading is usually about "getting a better camera to take better pictures", which ignores that the photographer actually has a (key) role in this process.

    Panasonic G1 with kit zoom taken Jan 2010

    4303982018_774b1631bc_o.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  17. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    232
    Jun 9, 2015
    Midwest
    I have both the E-M5 and the E-M5 MK II. There is no real difference in IQ. What the MK II does give you is more options. HDR in camera, Focus peaking, WiFi, better image stabilization, optical viewfinder mode, more Fn buttons, ability to adjust speed of power zooms, articulating rear screen, higher resolution EVF and rear screen, there are probably more than I am remembering but I think you get the point.
    When it was time for me to get a second body I fully intended on getting another E-M5 but what changed my mind was looking through the EVF of a MK II at Creve Coeur Camera. That alone sold me.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    You are missing the most important "upgrade" - HI-REZ.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. T83m

    T83m New to Mu-43

    8
    Apr 3, 2014
    I did the switch from E-M5 to E-M5 Mark II. Most important feature is actually the electronic first curtain option on the shutter. (Real EFC, not like older bodies...) Getting rid of shutter shock was well wort the switch...


    Gesendet von iPhone mit Tapatalk
     
  20. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    232
    Jun 9, 2015
    Midwest
    OOPS! Yea your right!
    [emoji5]

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