Let’s Criticize the OM-D E-M5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Bravin Neff, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    Real Name:
    Bravin Neff
    I mean honest, constructive criticism. I ranted yesterday (and quite ridiculously), so today I’m going to be honest and thoughtful about this subject. Like many of you, I love my EM5. It’s a great camera and deserves all the “camera of the year” awards it’s getting. Probably most of us agree.

    But it’s not perfect, and I propose to consolidate some of its imperfections in this thread. Namely, I’d like to know what you all find frustrating about it. My list is quite small, so here goes:

    1. It is too easy to “outrun” the control dials. I come from Nikon world, and I know Canons are the same: if you get to a comfort level where you are slamming the shutter/aperture dials around with lightning speed, the electronics of the Nikon/Canon camera bodies will never lose pace with your body movements.

    Alas, something in the OMD’s electronics is not as fast as it could be, and it will miss some of your clicks if you move too quickly. So it’s sort of a sign you have become one with your camera that you can think/move this fast, but then the OMD lets you down by not keeping up. Certainly this is not the biggest deal in the world, but it does bums me out. A little.

    2. The menu structure. Enough said, you all know it, no need to beat this one. I’m used to it now.

    3. The pre flash when using the FL-600R (and I assume other Oly flashes) in TTL mode. The time that elapses between shutter press, pre flash, then exposure is too long. You WILL get blinked eyes, not to mention that (not to repeat myself, but) when you get to that place of “being one with the camera,” these little things that slow you down and add to the process become bummers. Not deal breakers, but bummers.

    Of course by now most of us have learned this is a consequence of the reflectivity of digital sensors, that traditional TTL-OTF days of film doesn’t work, and we need a pre flash. So there is a delay added no matter what. And since we are talking mirrorless, it might also be a fact that the first-curtain-close-before-exposure adds an additional delay. I can’t say for sure, but my experience with the FL-600R and the OMD is let down by this. My direct comparison with TTL digital flash is with Nikon bodies, and I always complained about their too-long-for-pre-flash too, but they had two saving graces: (1) it was a little quicker, and (2) you could assign one of the function buttons to be “FV lock” that fired the pre flash, effectively measuring for exposure only once. Then assuming your subject and environment stayed relatively constant, you could fire away like it was a film camera with zero pre flash.

    Not totally off topic, while the OMD would definitely benefit from “FV lock” as well, the FL-600R has a WONDERFUL thrystor mode that effectively gets you away from the pre flash. I now use this almost exclusively. And furthermore, I have not seen a Nikon/Canon flash at this price point that also gave you the thrystor, so I almost consider this complaint totally moot. Except that thrystor mode isn’t quite as reliable as TTL mode, so I’m still complaining. Just a little.

    4. That’s it for me, no other real complaints.

    5. (Except for I’d like more video compression choices, other frame rates, I wish the camera came with the grip already… I digress).
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    Auto-bracketing. What the hell, Olympus?
    Video codec and functionality. It could be so good, so why is it so bad?
    Annoying MySets. Can we just get C1 and C2 on the dial like a G5? Yeesh.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Better QC/build quality (i.e. no popping-off buttons, etc.) and mysets/custom mode. If it had those two things, I'd likely be using it.
  4. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Real Name:
    To me, the amount of customization was not necessarily overwhelming, but perhaps too convoluted - really it goes back to the menu options/layout I suppose. If I used the camera daily this wouldn't bother me, but being a user of several cameras only on a semi-regular basis, setting up unlabelled buttons for specific functions that I will forget next weekend leads to inevitable frustration!

    Does any camera maker have the ability to setup button functions via a computer connection? I just had a thought - completely customizable buttons that are slightly larger, made with e-ink instead of symbols/letters painted on them. They would have different, easily readable functions based on the current camera mode and would instantly change when modes are switched. Hmm.
  5. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    Real Name:
    Bravin Neff
    Wow, great idea! Build it and I will buy it.
  6. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    1) The C-AF just doesn't work.
    2) Smaller AF Box (a point would be nice).
    3) Larger and better positioned Fn1 Button, (for back button focus).
    4) More/better battery life.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Real Name:
    Napier Lopez
    1) some nonsensical choices(you can't change the customization of the GOP directional button?!?)
    2) unable to review images in the evf without an annoying workaround.
    3) Eye sensor is too sensitive.
    4) Also agree that my sets are stupid. We need custom dial positions.
    5) Focus peaking. Now that we KNOW it shouldn't be hard for Olympus to implement given they could base it off of the key line filter, there's no reason for them not to.
    6) flash should really be integrated
    7) It should really have a 60p mode
  8. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    I don't do video.

    I don't do flash.

    I'll never be faster than the camera.

    I think the menus are great and the SCP is brilliant
    • Like Like x 1
  9. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    1. The small AF points aren't sticky and reset to the large ones every time the camera is turned off or you enter the menus,
    2. Mysets. I can't add to what others have said here.
    3. If you re-program the 4 way controller buttons two of them become useless???
    4. None of the flashes heads zoom past a 84mm equiv. The current Canon and Nikon guns zoom to 200mm. Do Olympus think that people using flashes don't own a telephoto lens?
    5. Bracketing is buried. It shoud be on the SCP.
    6. If you select the smaller focusing points you can't also have highlight/shadow or histogram displayed.
    7. No microphone socket except via a $100 add on.
    8. No way of manually reviewing images through the EVF.
    9. The menus are bad. But once set up you don't need to go to them much, except to bracket and turn on RC flash, which are at the top. And the way you can use the dials is well implemented. It would be good if you could use touch in the menus.
    10. Why no pull ISO100?

  10. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    Real Name:
    Bravin Neff
    Have you tried the trick where you put the key line thing assigned to myset 1, then assign myset 1 to the FN1 button? I ask because it seems to me they have basically already given us what you are asking for, except that they haven't claimed they gave it to us.

    I had a Sony 5n for a little while, and its peaking mode was excellent. But I'll say this. The OMD key line trick is almost as good, and the Sony doesn't have a quick way to enter in and out with the programmable FN button thing (at least I don't remember such).
  11. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I have that thought every time I hook up my home theater remote to the PC to configure something on it. So easy. It would certainly translate to a camera, just need a little creativity with the button labeling. e-ink is a cool idea.

    My biggest criticism of the E-M5 is very back-handed. It is too good not to own. I really wanted to go with a nice P&S (X10) and a DSLR. Sold my E-M5, but I couldn't stick to the plan and ended up buying another one. Damn camera...

    I would like a smaller (pinpoint) focus box as well, since we're complaining.
  12. dino8031

    dino8031 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2012
    Boulder, Colorado
    I hate the flip screen. Just give me an articulated LCD that I can move where I want it and turn around when I want the screen protected.

    It's WAY too easy to accidentally change settings with all of the finickey little dials and buttons.

    I know exactly what you mean about being, or not being, one with the camera. I can take a Canon XXD or XD and hit a few buttons, flip the control dial and have it exactly how I want it. I just can't bond with the OMD interface.

    I love / hate the small size of the camera. I don't know what else to say here.

    $300 for a grip. Really?

    I love the look but the camera can be uncomfortable to carry, too many sharp corners that dig into my ribs.
  13. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    I think I'm more or less ok with most of the E-M5. My biggest gripe is that it's weather sealed body that was introduced almost a year ago. There are, to my knowledge, a total of two weather sealed M.Zuiko lenses and the two high-end Lumix zooms. How about a weather sealed, f2 or so, 17-30mm or so, prime lens? I had hoped the 17mm f1.8 would be weather sealed, but that didn't happen.

    Also, since we're complaining, how about making black and silver finishes available on all the lenses without a "special" black edition being required?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:

    ^^ This is basically all that complaining about the Olympus menu structure achieves. They actually choose to group their menu items under sub-headings like, I dunno...pretty much every computer program that exists. Just because you've been using a Canon or Nikon for years doesn't make their systems somehow more logical, it just means that you've been conditioned by their way of thinking.

    Consider switching brands a good opportunity to break old habits and start a fresh way of thinking.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. feilb

    feilb Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    An outstanding camera. Could be improved:

    1. The button feel is garbage. Try the buttons on an X-E1, with a nice tactile pop. The OM-D buttons are mush.

    2. Why different size panels on the SCP? the layout is odd and because of weirdly shaped, oddly sized panels is hard to scroll through (though the touch screen is great.

    3. Don't make the tap-to-focus mode different than the focus point select mode. Annoying not to have shadow/highlight etc

    4. You wasted 3 top level menus with a handful of settings i change once and never look at again and buried the most useful features in a second tier menu. Poor design.

    5. I agree with the camera keeping up with the wheels turning. I'm not sure you actually overrun the camera, but it does take a too long for it to keep up with you. If the wheel clicks, the corresponding setting should change instantly. No lag.

    6. The engagement distance on the eye-detection sensor makes using the touch screen challenging without engaging it. The sensor should be calibrated to detect things at a much closer range.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    I'm happy with the camera as is, I have had no issues with it, it's performed for me time and time again. If I had to point to one thing and was forced to come up with a problem at gunpoint, I would like a better design on the port for the remote, so I don't have to pull out the screen to get the little rubber door open. That's it one tiny little rubber door. Other than that one tiny little detail running the camera feels like second nature.
  17. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    - Method of having to constantly reselect the smaller focus point, and losing the direct functions of the four-way direction buttons when you do.
    - Squishy buttons. Generally don't feel nice, and terrible when wearing gloves. The Samsung NX200 comes to mind as an example of high quality controls in an inexpensive camera.
    - Make the touchscreen more comprehensive. Navigating menus through only the directional and OK buttons seems a bit primitive now.
  18. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    dials can be a bit laggy and could be a bit more robust
    I dont have the pre flash issues ? but I also bounce flash so never direct ? or use radio triggers in manual
    I dont want a built in flash :)
    I do wish we could name presets to remember better
    wish we could do a bit more dial customizing not as a pair but each one and make the buttons a bit bigger easier to reach but space is limited ?
    when you use the grip allows the extra dial and buttons to be a new set not the same thing ! I would love 3 dials :)
    sticky small focus point
    get better focus on moving objects in dark come up with a IR focus thing somehow with a mounted flash :)
    move the pasm dial and put it on the left hand side of the prism thingy :) keep just pasm and have 4 custom sets we could use for what ever we want from custom presets to whats their now but give us the choice :) and a small center lock button on it !
    then put in a small status LCD like pro bodies have on top where the dial is now
    give us another custom fn button the front
    OK the later are more wish list but are gripes
  19. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    Great thread.

    Just a few off the top of my head:

    1) The menu system is wildly customizable, but why not go all the way? Why can I only program two of the buttons on the four-way controller?

    2) I want control over what appears on the SCP. Seriously, how often do I change my color space? Why do I need to have that option at the ready all the time? Talk about options that should be buried deep into nested menu hell . . . color space, image size . . . Let me pick what I want to appear on the SCP and get rid of all the other clutter.

    3) Exposure compensation in M mode + Auto-ISO (which isn't really a manual mode at all). Makes absolutely no sense to me why this hasn't been implemented.

    4) The grip is a tad too small for me, though I've gotten used to it. Why not use the exchangable grips of the E-P3? I don't want to spend $300 for the add-on grip that makes the camera bigger.

    I'm sure I'll think of more . . .
  20. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    I didn't read all of the posts,BUT, if it was perfect or even near, what could they sell you in the near future. Gotta feed the beast, right!
    • Like Like x 1