Just purchased an EM5 MKII, should I have purchased the PEN-F instead?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by thercman, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2013
    Hi guys,

    So the EM5 MKII was a replacement for the GH3. I was looking for in body stabilization and a smaller form factor. I also purchased the 60mm macro interested in shooting insects etc.. Many reviews have stated that the PEN-F is a bit pricey and that there is not that much of difference in image performance with the new 20 megapixel sensor. However, I am starting to think that when shooting macro images that extra 25% will come in real handy. At this point I am wondering if I am reaching the limits of the M43 sensor ability. I have seen some amazing macro images taken with M43 but they don't seem to be as smooth as a larger format cameras. Maybe I am off the mark here? I am even considering the Sony A6300 or an A7 for the larger format while keeping the package fairly small. Any thoughts? (loaded question)

  2. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    The a7 or a6300 with the sony 90mm macro will not be small (I have a a7ii and it's quite a bit larger than my em5ii). I have seen some stunning m43 macro shots in this forum, I'm not sure what you mean by not smooth.

    Mark Berkery's images are some of the best macros I have ever seen Macro Illustrated
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    I doubt you have reached the limits of m43. Keep what you have and wait for E-M1 II in September; then decide. BTW, how does a6300, or most other non Oly bodies, do focus bracketing and stacking?
  4. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    I think micro 4/3 is good enough for macro work.
    Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II + M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro
    Stack from 6 or 8 pictures (can't remember for sure):

    25771220110_e9d3e2f008_c.jpg Blooming by Jaime Silva, on Flickr
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  5. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    One advantage of M4/3's is that macro lenses that takes images at 1:1 will give you a larger image than a larger format since 1:1 is life size on the sensor plane, so you'd have to crop a larger format image to get the same result. It's not the format that will give a better image but the lens that's used anyhow.
  6. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2013
    Thanks for the help guys... Well, I have been taking plenty of images and below is about the best I can come up with. (unedited single exposures) I took these shots under ideal conditions in the house with a back drop, added lighting and a stationary camera. I have no idea how you guys are getting bugs hand held. 99% of the images I take are not sharp in the focal plane. I am starting to question the lens because when I tested the stores display lens on my camera I had great sharpness at 100% and I can't replicate it under ideal conditions. It could be me though. The first image is a standard jpg.. The second was a High res shot...

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Sorry to say it's you... it's not the camera or the lens... actually its you plus your expectation and impatience.

    Macro isn't easy... heck photography isn't easy... but macro really really really is not easy!!!!

    but there are lots of guys here doing really good macro work.... then there is me just being an idiot with a e-m1 and a 50/2.. sometimes with a 1.4 teleconvertor

    22156527238_eb4899db63_b.jpg PA210016 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    17609858839_3cc32ab343_b.jpg P5170034 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    14863714968_165acd997c_b.jpg P8260034 by kevinparis, on Flickr

    Deal is ... if you can't get good macro shots with your current kit... changing cameras won't make things better.

    Mark Berkley mentioned earlier is a benchmark as to what is possible

    • Like Like x 7
  8. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2013
    Yeah I saw his page and it's amazing. I guess I just suck ass...

    EDIT: When I mount a camera in a fixed position, focusing on a fixed & lighted object and set the timer to release an electronic shutter so as not to move anything and the image is still not in focus at 100% that pretty much takes me out of the equation...
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  9. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    The problem is in the skill. EM5 mark II and PenF have almost the same performance and EM5 mark II is one of the hi-tech Olympus body.

    Practise, practise and practise is all you needed :biggrin:

    About thinking others camera, you will find the same issue either changing it. Your gear already awesome
  10. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2013
    I'll keep snapping away I guess... I need to figure out how to stack images...
  11. dpswbab

    dpswbab Mu-43 Regular

    May 30, 2014
    Using the EM-5 ii's focus stacking can make a world of difference for you in macro work. It's actually pretty simple to set up in the camera. Once I have the images ready, I import them to Lightroom, select all of them and right click on one. The options that pop up allow you to 'open as layers in Photoshop'. Pick this option and then wait until PS has them loaded and is ready to go. Then select all of the layers and go to Edit - auto align layers. Once that is done, go to edit-auto blend and choose the stack option. That's basically all there is to it. Of course, if you don't use LR/PS, the process will be different.
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  12. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2013
  13. aphasiac

    aphasiac Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2015
    Remember most m43 lenses perform best / sharpest at f5.6 - f8. Could the softness be due to refraction?
  14. agpr

    agpr Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 2, 2010
    Heraklion, Crete
    What you describe in the last two lines is a bit alarming. If I were you, I would repeat carefully the test. I would double check the focus point is on object and, if the focus problem persist, I would check for lens/body malfunction.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Are you using out of camera jpgs for this? It looks almost like you have low quality mode set (or are editing from embedded jpgs in a raw rather than raw-proper or something).

    Macro is one thing that can really benefit from having your post processing technique down, and what is fine for general pictures can tend to mess up macro a bit - when you look really close at sub-mm details shot at smaller apertures and then look to crop again from that, you can really start to notice the limitations of default noise reduction and sharpening.
  16. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2013
    Hey guys! This images was based on 12 stacked RAW images. Yes, post processing made a world of difference... I wasn't worried about composition here. Just trying to get this macro stuff presentable. 500 + images over the last few days. Whew....
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  17. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    U43 should be ideal for macro:

    - small pixel pitch means lots of dots on the subject
    - IBIS
    - focus stacking
    - excellent macro lenses (Olympus 60, Sigma 150 (with 4/3 adapter))
    - tiltable screen with excellent live view

    The E-M5ii is probably a better overall camera than the Pen F too - the higher Mp sensor is unlikely to make much difference.
  18. thercman

    thercman Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2013
    I believe that was a big part of my issues... Ahhhhh, the learning curve...
  19. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Regarding the EM5 Mk II versus the PEN-F.

    I have both.

    The 2 big differences I see are:
    a) weather sealing (em5 mkII has it, PEN-F does not)
    b) ergonomics (EM5 is more DSLR-like in its layout, the PEN-F is more "analog" in its layout)

    The sensors will not make that much of a difference.

    All that being said, I like having the PEN-F as an always with me camera. The OMD cameras are more like "work" cameras for me like my Nikon D series cameras are.

    Either camera will produce. Last article I read when m43 manufacturers were asked - it sounded like 24mp was going to be pushing the limits of where an m43 sensor can go with current technology. I for one struggle to see a need for more than 12mp in the kind of work I do. Others needs will vary.
  20. Moula

    Moula Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2016
    1. E-M5 Mk II is better then PEN F in many, if not most, aspects.
    2. APS-C is not that big step over m43 to make sense. If you must go higher, then to FF.
    3. Weight(size)/IQ ratio of m43 system is one of main reasons I use it.
    4. Maturity of whole m43 system and wonderful line of lovely native primes. Second of my main reasons for it.

    So to sum up: I think your choice of E-M5 Mk II was very good.
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