Is the E-M1 worth the extra $$

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by cybertron, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. cybertron

    cybertron Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 5, 2013
    Hi everyone

    I am thinking of buying my next olympus, however, I can't decide if the E-M1 is worth around twice a much as the E-M5 or the E-M10

    The only thing driving me towards the E-M1 is the focusing system, is it better at shooting moving objects then the E-M10 ? or is the difference in real life too small to pay twice the money?
  2. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Real Name:
    The EM1 has a set of features that neither the EM5 (which I have) or the EM10 do not have. If you need those features, then the answer is yes, as it was in my case. I am extremely happy with the upgrade to the EM1 over the EM5 as my main M4/3 body. If you don't need those extra features, then the answer is most likely no.
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  3. denniscloutier

    denniscloutier Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2011
    It is MUCH better if you're using 4/3 lenses. Otherwise I haven't noticed a huge difference. The viewfinder and controls are much better. It starts faster and feels better in the hand.

    I still have my EM-5. I use it for underwater photography because I haven't bought a housing for the EM-1, yet. On a recent dive trip I decided not to bring the EM-1 along as I'd have the EM-5 and I wanted to save a bit of luggage. I deeply regretted it because the EM-5, while great, isn't as nice to use.
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  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Coming from DSLRs the E-M1 is a bargain. I do not want less. :wink:
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  5. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    As above... Coming from DSLR, it's the closest M4/3 to my 7D in terms of feel and ergonomics. It also does 1/8000, iso 100 (equiv), had a better viewfinder, don't have to pay extra for the comfort of the grip, and I can use 4/3 glass.

    So yes.

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  6. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Real Name:
    FWIW, the latest update to the EM5 firmware allows for low ISO I believe though not the other features Zee describes in his post.
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  7. geoawelch

    geoawelch Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2011
    Part of the answer definitely depends on your wallet and also what you need a camera to do.

    No experience with the EM-10 but have shot the E-M5 a little and the E-M1 extensively.

    Shooting moving objects, I have found, is similar in both. While it can be done, it is, for me, not one of m43's strengths at this point. I am talking specifically of birds in flight. Some of this is also because of the available optics.
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  8. cybertron

    cybertron Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 5, 2013
    I wanna say thanks to all of you for answering! Today I have the E-PL5, and i find it is a little bit too small, and for me size isn't really a matter for me since my lenses i use is the 45-200 and the leica 25mm.

    The E-M10 cost arount 750$ and the E-M1 = 1500$, the E-M5 is also arount 750$

    What I shoot mostly is my family and birds/animals and I thought that the focus system might be helpful with the on-chip-phase but If I understand you all correctly it is mostly there for the 4/3 lenses.
    So then it really stands between the E-M5 (elite version) or the E-M10 (which seems to be a better choice, atleast on paper)
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I like the feel of the E-M1 with the largest MFT lenses (eg, Nocticron, Oly 12-40/2.8). For the lenses you mentioned, E-M1 wouldn't be worth the extra $$ over E-M10 or E-M5 to me.
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  10. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    The great thing about the EM5, for me at least, is that without the accessory grip, it is a nice small package to use. If you want/need bigger you have the option of adding the grip. The EM1 does not afford you the option of going smaller if you want.
  11. oly18

    oly18 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 21, 2011
    To me, a big difference is the EM1 viewfinder. It's great. I haven't tried the EM10 but the EM1 viewfinder is noticeably better than the EM5 (bigger and more resolution).

    Have you considered the Ep5 and VF4? Similar viewfinder to EM1. Also similar features to EM1 including 1/8000 shutter speed and 2x2 function lever. It's very well-made and feels great in hand.
  12. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Real Name:
    The E-M1's strength is with 43rd lenses and the hybrid AF system works really well with them. Otherwise, the performance between the E-M1 and my E-P5 are the same. The E-P5 kit is similar to the E-M1, namely it comes with the beautiful high res VF-4 (same viewfinder in the E-M1 which is fantastic for manual focus and DOF preview and heck a lot better than the VF-2 on my E-PL1 which are in the E-M5 and E-M10). The E-M1 also has a few other pro features over the E-M5 and E-M10 but less so with the E-P5 like 1/8000 sec as well as 9FPS burst CAF+Tr with a very short lag time. I think the E-M1 does 10fps. I currently set up my E-P5 to have 2 mysets -- one uses S-AF with IBIS and anti-shock and the other uses CAF+Tr, no IBIS and no anti-shock for fast action photography at a touch of a button -- sort of like the AF-ON button on my Nikon D4,D800 and Df. Focus peaking is available on the E-P5, E-M1 and E-M10, but I think Olympus is providing peaking feature for the E-M5 in the near future?!? For value, I think the E-M10 offers pretty much the best of E-M1 True Pic processor as well as the E-M5's Sony sensor. I chose the E-P5 because it has almost everything the E-M1 has but at a lower price point and I love the VF-4 and the 2x2 function lever. The 5 axis IBIS is jaw dropping and coupled with my Power OIS 35-100 with OIS on, the combined IBIS and OIS @ 100mm f/2.8 (that's 200mm in 35mm full frame), I can shoot @ 1/6sec to 1/10 sec and get sharp images is just insane.
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    FYI, the E-P5, E-M1 and any model newer than the E-M5 won't let you enable both types of IS simultaneously. If the OIS switch on your 35-100 is 'on', IBIS will be disabled. While older models will let you have them both on, you really don't want to - the systems do not coordinate and typically introduce blur.
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  14. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    If you have to ask, probably not.
  15. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    As highly touted as the EM-1 is, it's not quite the technological leap that the EM-5 was, which is why I'm going to sit this one out for the next generation model, which will hopefully address AF tracking, the only remaining weakness for m43 cameras. So for me, I don't think the EM-1 is worth twice the cost of current alternatives like the EM-5, EM-10, or the GX7.
  16. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Real Name:
    On page 53 of the E-P5 manual said that

    When priority is being given to the lens side image stabilization and the camera side is set to S-IS-Auto, S-IS1 is used instead of S-IS-Auto. S-IS1 in the manual states that the image stabilizer is on.

    To me, the manual seemed to suggest that when the lens side OIS is set to on and is being used and the camera is set to S-IS-Auto, S-IS1 is used instead of S-IS-Auto. In my experiments, this seemed to be the case. I could be wrong though. It's true that with other modes, it seemed to choose one or the other. And the viewfinder image changes to. With only OIS, it is partially stabilized. With only IBIS, it is stabilized but with some movement. With both on, the viewfinder image is really stabilized and I can hear the OIS and IBIS whirling at the same time. I always set IBIS to S-IS-Auto btw. I'll check again, but I did some tests and it seemed the combo of OIS + S-IS-Auto yielded the most stable output and I tested @ 100mm when I really wanted to see how good it is.

    But when I look at the E-M5 manual, it said to turn IBIS off when lens OIS is used or blur will occur, whereas in the E-P5 manual it does not even mention a thing. Fascinating! The combo function is in the E-P5, but not in the E-M5. I don't have the manual for the E-M1, but I'll download it tonight and check to see if the E-M1 has this same feature as the E-P5. I had to admit I made the wrong assumption that the E-P5 IBIS+OIS function is the same as the E-M5, but it seemed not. I have to find out about the E-M1 then.
  17. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Well, the manual explicitly recommends against doing that.

    I can't find the quote for the E-P5, but for the E-PM2 which has essentially the same firmware, it says quite definitively that if you use the OIS switch on the lens, it overrides whatever other setting you've chosen.

    "Lens IS priority for Micro Four Thirds lenses with built-in image stabilization
    Even if you use an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) lens with no IS on/off switch, you can still set the camera to prioritize the lens's built-in image stabilization."

    "When a lens with IS on/off switch is used, the lens's IS switch setting is given priority regardless of the setting of the lens IS priority in the camera."

    That's correct. The E-M5 and earlier cameras don't communicate I.S. settings with the lens - they can't enable it from the body and they can't recognize if its been enabled on the lens. Since there's no way for it to know that you have enabled OIS in the lens, so you must manually disable one or the other. With the newer cameras (again, the E-PM2 and all subsequent models), it does.
  18. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Real Name:
    Funny, I have the E-M1 and never was really interested in the E-PL5... until that last Oly sale. Now I think it is the COOLEST little piece of technology. I love it! Don't know what my issue with it was, but glad I'm over it. Great performance in a tiny little box, and it looks so non-descript.
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  19. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Real Name:
    This feature is mentioned only in the E-M1, E-M10 (3 axis only) and E-P5 manual.

    - When using a lens with an image stabilization function switch, priority is given to the lens side setting.
    - When priority is given to the lens side image stabilization and the camera side is set to S-IS AUTO, S-IS 1 is used instead of S-IS AUTO.

    Ok, I've tried this tonight seriously for 1 hour and with all combinations and the lens OIS seemed to be working together with IBIS at really slow shutter speeds and it seemed the sweet spot is around 1/6 to 1/10sec for 100mm focal length. I didn't try the smaller focal lengths as I'm merely interested in 100mm.

    Here's how it works. The Lens OIS continues to work until the exposure is made. During the long exposure and the viewfinder blacks out, the 5 axis IBIS kicks in while the lens OIS continues to whirl. I know when it whirls on my 35-100 Lumix, it continues to provide stabilization. At higher shutter speeds, both seemed to be working independently. This is when I usually turn off lens OIS and use IBIS instead because it puts the lens OIS on priority. At really low shutter speeds at around 1/6s to 1/10sec, they seemed to work together. In fact, I get more keepers @ 1/6sec shooting at 100mm with both on rather than with either one of them on and I did at least a hundred test shots. I simply can not explain why it is doing this other than I like what it's doing! I wish I have another OIS lens to test other than my Lumix. ;)

    I also have my old E-PL1. If I did the same thing as my E-P5, the same shutter speeds will result in noticeable blur and always easily reproduced.
  20. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    The OIS unit on a Panasonic lens is always active, even if it is simply holding the stabilised elements in place when the OIS is switched off. They are not like Canon, Nikon, Samsung IS lenses where you only hear the IS working when the shutter button is half-pressed.