Love to hear from newer digital users who purchased an Olympus OM-D camera - learning experience/curve

minds-eye

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...
Here is another suggestion. I have two first generation OMD EM5's. I am selling them to finance an upgrade to an EM5ii to back up my PenF. They are in excellent condition and you can have one for $100 and I'll throw in a very good guidebook. Find a used lens on eBay or one of several used camera dealers (I can recommend some that I have used) and you are in business. The advantage is that for very little money you are into the Olympus system and you can see how you like it. The EM5 will do what you want it to do and if you decide to upgrade you can keep it as a backup. The only negatives to this plan that I can see are that the EM5 is a 16 MP camera and the EM5iii is 20 MP (you can research the debate about how much difference that actually makes); and if you decide to move up to the EM5iii I think (but am not sure) that the menu system has changed a bit...
Hi Annie,
Nice to see you back and still weighing the Oly Cameras and Lenses!
I think Rgone's offer is a great way to get into M4/3 & Oly. The EM-5 is a great camera to get the feel and even though 16 MP, the images it produces are tops. Oly menus tend to vary a bit throughout all the cameras, but a very easy transition for the majority of settings, with only the newer stuff needing a little acquaintance.
Really $100 hardly gets you a nice used P & S camera. However, now one can put a bit more into getting the glass you'd like to use - and carry forward when upgrading to a newer Body.
If he is still offering... I would take him up on this.
Re: manuals, knowing and assuring - for me there is a point where TMI overwhelms.
I never tire of the adventure of 'learning', so no matter how I delude myself into 'expert'ness, I'm always excited when I learn something new, photography included.
BTW - Just got a Pany Lumix 12-60 f3.5-5.6, and except for the fixed f2.8 of my 12-40 Oly Pro, I'm finding it as overall 'Great' in IQ - and it's really 'handy', comfy like my Oly 14-150, with a nice edge in the lower FLs.
Highly recommend as a consideration - I almost never use my 12-40 now cause 40mm causes too much lens swapping - distracting and annoying for me... Was a 'Kit lens for Pany, but well-built and higher actual performance than expected.

Thx
Yuri
 

John King

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@Annie. What Yuri says is right.

Going from my 10 to 12 MPx FTs bodies was not a huge jump.

My E-M1 MkI with its 16 MPx Panasonic sensor was a big improvement (see link below, all taken with my E-M1 MkI + FTs 14-54 MkII lens, with Olympus MMF-3 adapter).

While there were improvements with my E-M1 MkII + 12-100 (20 MPx Sony sensor), it was nowhere near the improvement going from 12 -> 16 MPx.

http://www.canopuscomputing.com.au/zen2/CarsandSuch/AustralianCarShow/

These are all the car shots I took that day - I.e. no selectivity happening. I think that the E-M5 MkI has the better Sony 16 MPx sensor in it, IIRC (lower noise, in particular).
 

Annie

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The lens you gave a link to is as Wimg says a Four-Thirds lens, so needs a M4/3 to 4/3 adaptor.
Thank you for that info!
I would not had guessed there was a difference between 4-3s and Micro 4-3s :(
(I can research that difference!)
 

Hendrik

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Thank you for that info!
I would not had guessed there was a difference between 4-3s and Micro 4-3s :(
(I can research that difference!)
Especially take note that many four-thirds lenses are optimized for phase-detect autofocus. The only m43 bodies that offer PDAF are all E-M1 (all models) and, now, the E-M5 III. Other bodies may struggle focusing those FT lenses using only contrast-detect autofocus.
 

Annie

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I think Rgone's offer is a great way to get into M4/3 & Oly. The EM-5 is a great camera to get the feel and even though 16 MP, the images it produces are tops.
Thank you for the reminder, Yuri, on that offer! I had forgotten.
I PM'd Rgone (hoping I did it right!)
 

algold

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@Annie I remember several similar posts from 5-6 weeks ago and was pretty sure you are shooting away with a newcamera already.
Have you increased your budget from $1400?
Just to reiterate what’s been said already:
- E-M5III will be a huge step up from your current SL1, both in speed and in features, options and ergonomics
- even with smaller sensor you will get higher image quality, better DR and high ISO performance in a smaller lighter weather sealed package.
- 12-100 is a great travel/landscape lens with a semi-macro included and an incredible Sync-IS, but it is a bit large and heavy by m4/3 standards (about the same size and weight as Canon 18-135 IS STM)
- since you now shoot with a 24mm lens, a semi-wide prime will go really well with either 12-40/2.8 or 12-100/4. Oly 17/1.8 or Pana 15/1.7 will do nicely
- snap out from your paralysis by analysis ang just buy a new camera and enjoy it.

Still think the best combo for your needs will be an E-M5 iii with 12-40/2.8 and a cheap and cheerful 40-150. With a small prime and a longer zoom and/or a macro lens added later on.
Good luck!
 

Armand Di Meo

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I went from being a film only shooter to a hybrid film and digital guy in late 2016. My first serious (besides point and shoot) digital camera was an Olympus Pen E-PL 7, which I still have and use. Frankly, I found the menu system to be a bit difficult to master on this camera at first. I eventually found out about the "super control panel," which made things a lot easier. However, it is a bit tricky to access on this E-PL 7. I ended up getting the add-on EVF for this camera, which in my opinion is a must-have. In the summer of 2018, after acquiring a few extra lenses, I bought an OM-D E-M10, Mark III. I found the menu system on the E-M10, Mark III to be much improved and more user friendly compared to the E-PL 7. I find that I use both cameras on the manual mode about 90 percent of the time. It took me a while to understand white balance. I went through a phase where I fiddled with white balance a lot but now I leave it on auto most of the time.
 

Annie

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It took me a while to understand white balance. I went through a phase where I fiddled with white balance a lot but now I leave it on auto most of the time.
Thank you so much, Armand!
While researching cameras (which has been a learning experience on photography too), I came across the term white balance and made note to learn it. :)
 

lucanus81

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Annie,
I switched from Sony APSC to an M1 II exactly one year ago. At that time I was happy with the a6300 but I wanted a system I could “grow into”, and Sony APSC wasn’t what I was looking for. I tried Fuji, I didn’t like it at all. I had 2 options: Sony FF or Olympus. I was lucky enough to be able to try them both, but in the end the total size and cost and ergonomic made me pick up Olympus.

To be honest I had a single problem with Olympus: I couldn’t find the right settings for AF-C and everything I was reading in Internet wasn’t working for me. It took me 6 months to get used to the over-complicated settings for AF-C, but now I am very happy:most shots are now in focus. I think I just needed to improve my technique and get to know better my new gear.
I shoot portraits and I can tell you that I am extremely happy with the results. I just printed an album (40x30cm) and the printed quality is outstanding.

In your case, I think the 40-150f/2.8+TC1.4 or the 300f4+TC1.4 are great options.
I am not sure about the country you live, but these days Olympus Poland offers your a free TC1.4 (if you buy a 40-150f2.8) and a TC2.0 if you buy a 300f4.

In the end I am very very happy with my Olympus gear!
Luca
 

stevedo

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In your case, I think the 40-150f/2.8+TC1.4 or the 300f4+TC1.4 are great options.
I am not sure about the country you live, but these days Olympus Poland offers your a free TC1.4 (if you buy a 40-150f2.8) and a TC2.0 if you buy a 300f4.
Annie has stated in a thread elsewhere on here that her budget is $1400USD.
 

Annie

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I don't need the 12-100; thus far the 14-150 sounds like a better option (it is the kit lens currently selling with the camera).
I take that back; the 12-100 is much better per the reviews I have seen (and references here), but is also much more expensive. :(
 

ac12

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I take that back; the 12-100 is much better per the reviews I have seen (and references here), but is also much more expensive. :(
It is all about compromise:

12-100;
pros: optically GREAT
cons: rather heavy for a m4/3 GP lens (similar to a FF GP lens), expensive (about $1,300), battery hog

14-150
pros: lighter than the 12-100, much lower cost than the 12-100, 150mm end has a longer reach than the 12-100
cons: optics not near as good as the 12-100, 14mm wide end not as wide as the 12-100
 

Annie

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I wanted a system I could “grow into”...

To be honest I had a single problem with Olympus: I couldn’t find the right settings for AF-C...

In your case, I think the 40-150f/2.8+TC1.4 or the 300f4+TC1.4 are great options.
Hi Luca,
Thank you!
That is helpful and somewhat similar to my situation in that I want to grow into a system and have more creative functions within camera. I also love Sony FF (like the Sony Alpha 7R II). But I thought I would end up with too heavy gear for wildlife which I want to start doing. I don't use AF-C now (don't need for landscape and travel) so will need to learn that no doubt. Interesting that it is not as simple as I would think == just set the camera focus setting to AF-C. That shows how much I will have to learn!
The 40-150 F/2.8 is a bit pricey for me right now (already see myself going over the budget I set for myself which is no more than $1400) so I thought to start with the $99 40-150 one (I am in the USA) just to have something available for shooting wildlife (deer, squirrels, rabbits mostly, maybe some birds)
...My father is from Poland; hope to visit sometime! :)
Enjoy and all the best!
 

Annie

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It is all about compromise:
Agree :)
I think my compromise would be the 75-300 which has been mentioned or the 12-200; optically they seem better. But since I can get the 40-150 for only $99 USA dollars, I would go with that for now since folks say here the lens is better than I'd think (based on price).
 

ac12

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@Annie plan your system over time.
Plan out what lenses you want to get, then plan when you would get which lens.
What you don't want is a situation where you buy a lens, then don't use it and wonder WHY you bought it.
However, things change, in a couple years you may want to shoot something that you currently have no interest in. Or when the kids go to college, there are no more team sport to take pictures at.
But you have to at least try to plan. It's hard to get somewhere without a map.

As you said you can get the 40-150R now, then in a couple years get the 40-150/2.8.

Sometime you need something NOW, to at least hold you till you get the other lens.
Example, the "plastic fantastic" 40-150R will give you 150mm reach for less than $100. That should hold you till you get a 75-300 or 40-150/2.8.​
Other times you can afford to wait.
Example, I do not have anything shorter than 12mm, nor do I have a need for it. So if I want something, shorter, waiting is not an issue.​
 
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Gerard

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Hi @Annie,

I started photographing with an interchangeable lens system 5 years ago. The first 2 years I owned a Lumix G5 camera and a Sigma 30/2.8 lens. For a very low price, I could make photos with (for me) outstanding image quality. After those first two years I bought different bodies and lenses.
my guiding principle in buying gear has since been to spend my money on quality lenses and economize on camerabodies.
I have never noticed any difference in image quality between my PM1 and OMD1
My personal preference is to take only one lens with me on a day trip, even while traveling I only bring 2 lenses at the most, and rather a prime than a zoom. I dont need to bring a camerabag filled with the 7.5 to 400 focal length range. But, of course that is my personal ‘style’.

So my advice to you: if you have a budget of 1400, spend maximum of 250 on a second hand G/OMD-something, the rest on a good quality lens. Start with the one lens, you think you will use for 75% of your photos. Invest some money in a course or a good book.

Hope it helps :)
 

minds-eye

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Agree :)
I think my compromise would be the 75-300 which has been mentioned or the 12-200; optically they seem better. But since I can get the 40-150 for only $99 USA dollars, I would go with that for now since folks say here the lens is better than I'd think (based on price).
The 'compromise' is not as serious as might be made out in our minds. Yes, the Oly PRO lenses are exceptional in their ranges; however the considered lesser choices are very, very close, given the ranges they cover.
Mostly, what one gives up is the slightly lower constant f-stop of the PROs; but given the ability to use higher ISO and retain great IQ, a half or full stop is usually not a limiter unless shooting in severely restricted light and not being able to brace or 'tripod'.
Otherwise the vast majority of non-PRO and especially 'kit' lenses like the Oly 40-150 f4-5.6, the Pany 12-60 f3.5-5.6, and other similar lenses, especially the Oly 14-150, are superior optics in the ranges they cover. And many are weatherproof - a strong consideration for anyone wanting to shoot even when the day or conditions are not 'perfect'.
A common issue many users run into is expecting a 'Long' tele to bring in super detail when shooting very distant objects. That's not gonna happen whether PRO or otherwise. Too many factors which will cut down the expectations. Teles work at their best when used to 'magnify', sortta like 'normal distance' macro-izing... Sure you can reach out and bring in subjects, but a subject at 200 + ft is not gonna have as much detail as one at 75 ft.
And, honestly, expecting more from an M4/3 sensor is not realistic. What you get will be sharp, but depending in distance, may not have extreme detail. Lenses 200mm (M4/3 FL) and longer can be a bear to handhold - 400+mm FF is just very difficult to be steady without some support, solid bracing and breath control.
Same type of issue for 'detail' can be said for wider angles - images will be 'sharp' but expecting super detail for small objects/subjects in the image is unrealistic.
For 'outdoor'/nature photography, I've found that not having the 'best' FL available, immediately, on my camera means I often get a 'rear end' or half-baked shot or often, no shot at all. I'm hardly a klutz when out there, but also not the level of Hawkeye or Chingachgook - is anyone?
M4/3 has it's limitations, but the pluses and advantages, for me, FAR outweigh the few limitations. The AF and IBIS on Oly cameras is incredibly good, and a most-have for me. Pany systems may also be as good, but I'll leave it for their users to comment.
The key is to USE the equipment, especially lenses, and get to really know what to expect and match your needs. The lower priced Oly lenses allow me to do that and in all cases I've been wonderfully surprised how good they really are. The 'Kit' stuff is still frequently used, and will stay in my quiver, always. More than I can say for my Oly 12-40 PRO. Which given the price paid, my expectations had obviously been too high; because it's the one lens I never go-to anymore and have stopped carrying... but that's me, and my needs.
Thx
Yuri
 

Annie

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Thank you, Yuri,
This was ***all** very helpful. I started to include what I found very helpful, but then that was most of what you said, so I removed!
I didn't know some of what you said on detail. I agree I must use my camera and lens more :) I still shot like an SLR photographer too often, being selective about what I shot (I don't think I ever carried more than 3 rolls of film!). But this past weekend, I was hiking with my Canon SL1 on a steeper hike with some folks who were going fast. I didn't have much time to "set up" photos. But I decided to do some quick compositions and shots on whatever the camera was set at and I was surprised at how much I liked the images, all 5 of them! It is amusing in one way and was a lesson teacher!
Thank you again and all the best!
 

minds-eye

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Thank you, Yuri,
This was ***all** very helpful. I started to include what I found very helpful, but then that was most of what you said, so I removed!
I didn't know some of what you said on detail. I agree I must use my camera and lens more :) I still shot like an SLR photographer too often, being selective about what I shot (I don't think I ever carried more than 3 rolls of film!). But this past weekend, I was hiking with my Canon SL1 on a steeper hike with some folks who were going fast. I didn't have much time to "set up" photos. But I decided to do some quick compositions and shots on whatever the camera was set at and I was surprised at how much I liked the images, all 5 of them! It is amusing in one way and was a lesson teacher!
Thank you again and all the best!
Hi Annie,
I totally get where you're comin from, shooting film was both 'the decisive moment' and 'conservation'. Unless the image seemed clearly a decisive one, 'conservation' always was a consideration. After all 36 exp. doesn't go very far, and could be costly... Took me quite some time to realize that 1s and 0s are cheap.
I'm still a bit conservative when it comes to clicking the shutter, but when I do, I generally take a bunch, because not every image works out...
After a while 'intuition' is actually effective when our visual skills/awareness becomes developed. Often we don;t have the luxury of time to analyse as much as we would like. A happy surprise is often the result of our intuition of 'seeing'. I'm still working to let my intuition have more control - breaking thru the heavy 'German' in me has been a lifelong struggle (don't let the name fool you...)
Among the things I love most about the whole process of photography is the 'in the moment' awareness and appreciation of what you're seeing, looking at, moving thru. Being an outdoor person means everything out in that natural environment; whether it out in some woods or in my yard. Not to restrict only to that, I appreciate much within the manmade world also. The overall increased awareness when I apply my mind to seeing as a photographer, makes every day special. That's when questioning and sometimes learning happens.
Anyway, you're 'shopping' threads here has brought out many interesting ideas and considerations, from all posters, and drives further internal questions on why things 'are', for me. All good!
A Big Thumbs up!
Yuri
 
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bassman

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Hi,

I was out today and thinking I'd appreciate the additional crop factor of M-4-3 so perhaps I can get into some birding and animal photography (mostly I do landscape and travel).
So I am now thinking the OM-D M5 III with 12-100 F/4 IS lens to open up that possibility.

That weighs much less than a Fuji zoom lens of about the equivalent range (the other camera I am considering is the Fuji X-T3/30, which until today I thought I was leaning towards) -- I tend to go back and forth with these two cameras.

With Olympus, there appears to be many former full frame users who make the switch to M-4-3, so I infer they know their stuff. And from the posts i read here, that is confirmed.

I don't, I confess. I am enthusiastic about learning, but also impatient if the learning curve is too long. In other words, I would like to take my camera out and get good photographs - even photos that can published - without years of learning M-4-3.

I like to set my own shutter and aperture, and use flash for effect, and anticipate working with HDR and focus stacking but I don't want to come home and see only a small percentage of images working because I still need to learn something.

I am also a pixel peeper, not to extremes (I wouldn't compare the images from M-4-3 to say my Canon SL1 or other) and image quality means alot -- it is why I want to upgrade from the SL1, not only for better quality but also for more functionality in the camera (where i feel the Oly excels).

Having said all that, I'd love to hear from folks "like me" who switched to M-4-3 without having had a lot of digital experience prior to that:

- Were you more satisfied than frustrated in the first few months to 6 months of using the camera?

Yes. I came from several years of Nikon DLSRs, and was looking for a smaller, lighter backup system. I found that within three months I stopped using the Nikon altogether, relying on the original E-M5 as my primary camera. The transition from Nikon menus to Olympus was painful, but I persevered.

- Did you find it easy to advance your skills with the camera, using manuals, this forum, etc.?

Yes, but the biggest advances came from a number of workshops I took over the course of years. Hands-on experience and feedback from experienced shooters helped me tremendously.

- Would you do it again (purchase the same camera and lens)?
Or lessons learned: what would you have done if you could do it again?

Yes, at the time (2013) the E-M5 was the most advanced m43 camera. I purchased four lenses: 12-35/2.8, 17/1.8, 25/1.4 and 45/1.8. I recently sold the 25/1.4, as I rarely used it. But my lens collection has grown to include the 12/2 and 75/1.8 primes, and a number of other fast zooms. The mistakes I made were buying the 14-42 and 40-150 kits lenses, which I never really liked and have sold. The other mistake was trying the small Panasonic bodies - GX7 and GX9. Nothing wrong with Panny bodies, they’re great. But I found it too difficult to use in conjunction with the Olympus bodies.

Thank you for your time and feedback!
Annie
 
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