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Lens options for EM-5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by f8andbethere, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. f8andbethere

    f8andbethere Mu-43 Regular

    This is my first post here and I don't own a 4/3 camera (yet). I am leaning toward the Olympus OM-D, but I notice that the lenses are fairly expensive. Am I correct that I can use Panasonic lenses on this camera that would retain full functionality? From what I can tell the Panasonic lenses are less expensive.

    Also, if I am correct, the OIS on the Olympus is built into the camera whereas it is in the lens on Panasonic lenses. That being the case does one have to turn off the IS on either the Oly body or the Panasonic lens?
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Pretty much, with 2 caveats:
    1) No automatic correction of chromatic aberration on Olympus bodies.
    2) OIS can't be enabled on lenses that do not have a switch for it on the lens barrel.

    Depends on the lenses. Which ones (or range) are you looking at?

    OIS = optical image stabilization. It's in the lens. No Olympus lenses have this feature. IBIS = in-body image stabilization (and will stabilize any lens). All Olympus bodies have this. You are correct that only one should be enabled at a time.

  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    DH covered it pretty well, all I'll add is two points:

    1) Micro Four Thirds system is consistent across manufacturers in that the lens mount, aperture, AF and other features work as expected. The in-body correction and stabilization are the only parts that truly vary between Olympus and Panasonic. Likewise, the various generations of m4/3 bodies and lenses are compatible as well.

    Unlike Nikon/Canon and other systems, you don't have to choose between one manufacturer or another in the m4/3 world (thankfully!). I use lenses from both companies and 2 Panasonic bodies at the moment.

    2) I don't think it's really accurate to say one manufacturer is more expensive than the other per se. The Panasonic 14mm is a lot cheaper than an Olympus 12mm for example, but they're very different lenses in a lot of respects. The Oly 12mm is wider, has a larger maximum aperture, better build quality & optics, and a 'snap ring' manual focus that is unique to that lens. They're really only comparable in the sense that they're both wide angle prime lenses for m4/3 :smile:

    There are some cheaper options in lenses from both companies, but you're usually making a tradeoff in quality, optics, performance, or features. Aside from that, Olympus and Panasonic do a good job of having little overlap in most areas except maybe zooms. In fact, I don't think the two companies even make a prime lens in the same focal length.

    Overall, my advice would be to decide what focal length/type of lenses you're interested in, then look at what's available from both companies in terms of available lenses - bearing in mind pricing, and performance. Otherwise I think you'll find it very hard to make a meaningful comparison.

    With regards to cost, I wouldn't recommend getting into m4/3 to save money, personally. I haven't found it to be all that much cheaper than other options like a DSLR when you take the entire system (camera, comparable optics, accessories) into account. It's also typically more expensive than a P&S or "travel zoom" camera, but with different features and more flexibility. The benefit of m4/3 IMO isn't so much price as it is small overall system size, interchangeable lenses, large native lens selection, and system competition between multiple manfacturers.
  4. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Rather than spending the bulk of your money on the EM5, I would spend it on a mid level body and a good lens.
  5. f8andbethere

    f8andbethere Mu-43 Regular

    I agree that good glass is always preferable if one has to make a choice between bodies and lenses. What bodies might be a good alternate? An actual viewfinder is mandatory. I don't like just using a rear LCD screen and holding the camera out at arms length. I would also want a tilt screen. I have pretty much narrowed my choices down to Panasonic and Olympus. I want to keep my total budget to around $1,500.

    I would be using the camera for overseas travel. Once at my destination I would be doing street and landscape photography. If I were using my 35mm FX camera I would be using a 20-35mm lens and a 75-300 and, perhaps a 60mm prime.
  6. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    Just buy the equivalencies in m4/3, because you're already familiar with them.

    Basically it looks like you'd enjoy these:

    Olympus 9-18mm, 40-150mm, Sigma 30mm.

    You would have to budget around the body though. Splurging for an OM-D is nice, but if it's an investment into the system, perhaps a slightly older body would do you just fine. Although the OM-D is the first m4/3 body that's sold me on the system.

    I probably would have gone for a G3 if I was thinking with my wallet.
  7. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    If a viewfinder is mandatory and you prefer tilt screen, I would say go for the E-M5 body & a refurbished Olympus 14-150 from Cameta Camera for another $329.

    I may be a traitor here, but Sony's RX100 might be worth a look if you don't want multiple lenses and its zoom range is sufficient, 1" sensor and quite a fast lens even gets shallow-ish DoF. All the manual controls you'd want and very compact, though quite pricey!
  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Well, the Panasonic G3 is an absolute bargain. For the WA, the Olympus 9-18 or Panasonic 7-14 (if you really like wide). For the tele, the Panasonic 45-200 or perhaps the new 45-150. For the prime, the Panasonic 25/1.4 or Sigma 30/2.8.

    G3 + 9-18 + 45-200 + 30/2.8 =~ $1600.

  9. f8andbethere

    f8andbethere Mu-43 Regular

    What's the difference between 4/3 and µ 4/3? Does the 4/3 have a mirror while the MFT doesn't?
  10. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    The GH2 is only $699 now!
  11. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    And the GX1, $399. No tilt screen, but if you add the viewfinder $199 you have a tilt function.
  12. Sanpaku

    Sanpaku Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    I recommend Dirk Hennig's excellent table of micro 4/3 lenses for a guide to the specifications of what's available, including links to optical tests.

    As with SLRs, single focal length primes offer higher image quality than zooms, at the cost of less flexibility. Well regarded primes are the Olympus 12 (landscape), 45 (portrait length) and 75 (fast tele), and the Panasonic 20 (portable all-around), 25 (fastest lens), and 45 (transparent short tele and macro). Among the zooms, Panasonic's expensive ultra-wide 7-14 and all-in-one 12-35 are on a lot of lists hereabouts, while their kit 14-45 may well be the best starter lens. With the longer zooms there are a lot of tradeoffs between weight, reach, aperture/speed, and sharpness, so there's less consensus.
  13. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    Micro Four Thirds Lenses - HENNIGArts : Gear

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