Need help: Canon 6D or OMD EM5

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by baskars, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. baskars

    baskars Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 9, 2013

    I am new to this forum and this is my first post. Pardon my ignorance about any forum guidelines that I may not be following.

    I have a 7 year old Canon 30D with EF-S 17-55/2.8 IS, EF 70-200/2.8 L IS MK II, EF 50/1.4, EF 85/1.8 lenses. I also have other accessories such as 580EXII, remote shutter release, etc.

    I was thinking of upgrading my camera as I found that when I crop, which I do often, I don't have much resolution left from the 6MP shots.

    I was looking at upgrading to Canon 6D when I saw the glowing reviews about the Olympus E-M5. So now I am trying to decide if I should get the E-M5 and a few new MFT lenses or just buy the 6D and enjoy the FF.

    This would primarily be to photographs my young kids at home and outside. I have a Canon S95, but I not at all happy with the result.

    I played around with an EM5 today and I was not happy with the amount of noise I saw when I magnified the image I the LCD. Is it possible that the image is extrapolated when displayed in the LCD? I was using the 75/1.8 and 45/1.8 primes.

    I would appreciate any help/advice on this.

  2. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Are you happy with the size and weight of the canon 6d? If you don't mind... in your shoes, I'd get the 6d. Saves getting so many new lenses. 6d is likely to track moving objects (such as running kids) better.
  3. baskars

    baskars Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 9, 2013
    Unfortunately, the size and weight are bothersome to my wife and kids, more than me as they hate to see me lug the heavy kit around.
  4. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2011
    Except for the 17-55, you have all full-frame compatible lenses, so the 6D makes a lot of sense. But if your family is intimidated by it, you're in the right neighborhood for small cameras with killer performance.

    I wouldn't judge image noise based on test shots inside a camera store.

    The OM-D has some noise, probably a bit more than a full-frame DSLR like the 6D, but it's probably pretty close up to ISO 1600 or so. Initial reviews of the OM-D commented that the noise was exceptionally "film-like", which is a good thing. Assuming you would ditch the 580exII, you could pick up an Olympus flash to replace it, and not worry about high ISO.

    "If your picture is so boring that people notice the noise, you have a boring picture." - Rick Sammon
  5. Nordiquefan

    Nordiquefan Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2013
    I was recently in a similar situation. I had a 40D and was ready to pull the trigger on a 6 or 7D. Being a photo enthusiast and a gear junkie, I was aware of m43 but had not seriously considered it as I was a long time Canon follower.

    Then I discovered the OM-D. What a revelation. I'll admit, it does give up a bit to the 6D et al at higher ISO's, but I just don't care anymore. Everything else it does, to me least, makes larger gear seem kind of silly.

    I was using my DSLR less and less in the last couple of years, mainly because of the size, and I can't count the number of missed photos that resulted. I am happy to report that my OM-D has not left my side since I purchased it. The few shortcommings of the system can be easily overcome with a bit of practice.

    The best camera is the one you have with you.
  6. baskars

    baskars Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 9, 2013
    As I mentioned, I would love to reduce the size and weight. I did try the OMD today and I was very unimpressed by the jumping focus boxes. Even though it was inside the camera shop and the movement was salespeople moving their heads a bit, and hardly an action scene, I thought OMD missed a lot of shots and the focus box was quite confused and jumping around a lot. I would not have missed those shots in DSLR - I even confirmed this by shooting with a 6D in the shop itself. I would love to find out that I made some mistake with OMD.
  7. baskars

    baskars Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 9, 2013
    I wanted to clarify my previous post.

    After trying to shoot with the OMD in a camera shop, along with a 6D, I feel I will miss my DSLR quite a bit for the following reasons:

    1. OMD focus box was jumping around quite a bit when I was trying to focus on the sales person's face that I missed a lot of shots. This was with both 45/1.8 as well as 75/1.8

    2. For shots that I thought were nailed, I reviewed the images on the LCD at the highest possible magnification/zoom and I found substantial noise compared to 6D

    3. I just couldn't get the high burst rate that I was expecting (9fps?). This could be some setting that I likely missed

    4. The natural feeling that I had when I used by 30D first 7 years ago, and again in 6D today was just plain missing

    5. I was still wanting to fall in love with the OMD primarily because of the size of the lenses. So I was thinking that I could "buy this for my wife" and so I switched to iAuto mode and tried. It was pretty slow to focus and again the burst rate was missing.

    6. OMD seemed to work reasonably well for motionless subjects - even the head turning motion of the salesperson seemed an overkill for this camera.

    Overall, I walked out a bit disappointed that the camera did not meet my low bar of expectation. I am hoping that somebody in this forum can tell me that I did not set up the camera correctly so that I can buy into this system :)
  8. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    All the issues you mentioned are fixable via camera menu adjustments (e.g. the OMD truly does 9fps and the wandering focus box can be fixed and the focus box can be made much smaller and the focusing can be lightning quick) but if you are not up to the task of learning the nuances of a new brand of camera then I guess you should stick with a big Canon.

    I had a Rebel T3i a couple years ago, but after seeing the results I could get with an Olympus Pen camera (after spending considerable time learning its nuances) I lost all interest in big, heavy DSLRs
  9. 100avchd

    100avchd Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 8, 2013
    many of my friends and acquaintances had your same doubt and took the om-d, have made ​​the best choice and now I'm happy.
    I use the om-d and I find it fantastic.
  10. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    fixable via camera menu settings

    fixable via camera menu settings

    fixable via camera menu settings

    With any new brand of camera you're going to have to devote some time and self discipline to learning the advanced camera settings via searching this forum (and sometimes others) for answers. If you don't have the time and interest then maybe you should get the 6D.
  11. baskars

    baskars Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 9, 2013

    I am willing to spend a lot of time learning the camera. What is the specific menu setting that fixes all this? I will likely have the OMD on rental from next week, and I would like to try out these menu settings if they are prescriptive.

    Thank you so much for the help.

    Regarding the noise and magnification, is this expected or something that can be tweaked with settings?
  12. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    The OMD will be leaps and bounds better than your old Canon, but will have more noise than a current FF Canon body. Unless you really like the size, weight, and handling of a smaller camera there is no reason to switch (and it sounds like you enjoy a full size body if the 6D feels natural).

    If the alternative is a current FF, you like the DSLR size body, and you already have some decent glass, then stick with Canon. The only reason to switch from a current FF sensor would be because of size.
  13. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I've got the 6D and an EPL5 (kind of a mini OMD) but I have also used the OMD and am thinking about another one.

    IMO, point-and-shoot will work better on the 6D for kids in movement because of the focus system. However, if you center point focus, focus-and-recomponse with the OMD, you can get good shots, but it will take some learning.

    In general, the OMD would take some willingness to learn how to use the system. It can be a different experience. The win is the weight and size for a system that is really capable.

    Having said that, I love my 6D. I love photography in general, so my EPL5 is there for travel and for me (walking around shooting, on my own). The 6D is there for kids parties, sports events, etc.

    One thought -- you have a MONSTER lens in that kit. The 70-200/2.8. That might be what everyone is concerned about! The 6D noise and ISO performance will absolutely spank your 30D. See 6d 10,000 iso gymnastics: Canon EOS-1D / 5D / 6D Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review for gymnastics shots at 10,000 ISO!!!

    So, you could trade that 70-200 in for a 70-200/F4. Or, I use a $150 old-timey 70-210 3.5-4.5 USM Canon EOS 70-210/3.5-4.5 USM Lens -

    Very lightweight, compared to the 70-200/2.8. I rented the 2.8 over Easter Weekend. I'll stick with my USM, lol.

    I really like the DSLR experience for kids. If you do stick with the 6D, given you can jack up the ISO, try a smaller zoom. Also, you'll need something other than the 17-55, which would maybe be a 24-70, though for me, I prefer primes in that range.

    For your travel camera, you could try an EPM2 or have you seen the Sony RX100? It's not much bigger than your S95, but FAR more capable.

    The Sony RX100 Digital Camera Review. The best pocket digital compact of the year..actually…EVER! | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS
    RX100 vs S95: Canon PowerShot Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
    Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 In-Depth Review: Digital Photography Review

    So, to sum,
    • your best upgrade for ultra portability is the S95 to a Sony RX100. The RX100 also has a bunch of tricks like pocket HDR, sweep panorama and a very nice movie mode quality for it's size.
    • If you need to upgrade your 30D, then the OMD is quite capable if you put some effort into learning how to use it. The benefit is you get near-6D quality in a very small and light weight kit.,289 (check out especially the top-down view). Some other upsides include a flippy LCD and liveview for shooting at all angels. Smuggling in cameras where DSLRs are not allowed. Seeing the results of your exposure parameters on the EVF.
    • If the size/weight of the DSLR doesn't really bother you, then the 6D is an excellent choice, though you'd have to replace the 17-55, but you could also replace the 70-200 if you wanted to, and save on some weight of the total kit (but maybe you like admiring glances from others as you tote around the big gun :)
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    There's a lot been said already in this thread, but I thought I'd throw in my experiences.

    I've been a Canon EOS guy since film days (EOS 50e, 350d, 40d then finally 5dii). I had a good lineup of L lenses to go with these cameras and I really enjoyed all them all - especially the 5dii. A month ago I sold the lot and moved to an OMD and EPL5. Why? For me it all boiled down to this: the IQ and usability of these cameras are now within a gnat's breadth of what the 5dii does - at least for the photography that I do (which means v.little sports/action shots and output being mainly for web or else printed up to about 16x20). But, I can pack a complete kit of two bodies and a handful of lenses into a small bag and carry it all day without undue fatigue. I can also travel uber light and take just the E-PL5 and a small prime and do it within the same system as my full kit. Then, when I process the files, I get a big grin to see fantastic IQ and I can't help thinking I'm onto some secret that the Canon/Nikon crowd are still not seeing.

    On top of that, there are things that my OM-D can do that my 5dii couldn't:

    - Usable and accurate focus points over most of the frame

    - Better exposure control - I can see live histogram and shadow/highlight in the VF

    - Faster FPS

    - In-body IS (this is a really, really useful feature)

    - LiveTime/LiveBulb - this is a very useful feature for landscape photography when using high-stop ND filters and long exposures

    - Availability of a reasonably-priced and corner-to-corner sharp UWA zoom (the 9-18). There is NO Canon UWA zoom that can do that - not even the 16-35II

    Are there any downsides - yes, a few, but none of them are the things that you mention (which, as others have pointed out, are all fixable with camera settings). They include:

    - Poor battery life compared to regular DSLRs with OVF (my biggest complaint really)

    - Weak selection of long lenses (no big Canon L white lenses!)

    - Not quite the same degree of support in LR and other raw PP tools as available for Canon (e.g. lens profiles)

    Am I in any way regretting my decision? Not at all. I'm yet to look at my Oly files and say 'I wish I'd shot this on my 5dii', but everytime I pickup my gear bag, I'm glad it's an OMD kit and not a 5dii !
  15. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    If you need any convincing of IQ differences - take a look at this (TIF file - right click to download and view with an external viewer):

    EPL-5 vs 5Dii IQ Comparison

    It's a shot taken from the same location with my 5dii + 24-105L at 35mm vs my EPL5 with the 17/1.8 at more or less the same ISO/exposure settings. The difference between them in terms of noise, resolution, contrast etc is almost nill.

    DR is actually marginally better in the Oly since you can lift shadows further (the Sony Exmoor technology in the Oly cameras is currently ahead of Canon's - including in the 5dii and 6d).
  16. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    DR is better... if you shoot RAW.

    I would be leaning towards sticking with Canon, giving the lenses you already have. I would probably be getting a 5D MKii and 24-70 used to replace the 17-55. My brother has one and the image quality is fabulous. The AF isn't exactly top-notch in poor light though, I think that would be an area where the OM-D has it beat. The MKiii and 6D should have improved on this count if you're willing to pay more though.
  17. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    The 6D is a big step up over the 5dii. Might want to Google for comparisons, or search DPR or POTN. There's lots been said on this subject.

    The 5Dii sensor is now 5 years old!
  18. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, from what I've read and seen in examples, the sensors are very similar in basic design and the IQ is very close. The 6d is a tad better at high ISO than the 5dii, but that's about it. That's the current Canon 'problem' - they haven't made any great strides in sensor tech over the last 5 years and they no longer have the very best IQ. That crown goes to the Sony-based cameras such as the latest Nikons etc (and of course the Omd and EPL5/2). Of course, in the land of sanity, the Canon sensors exceed the needs of 99.9% of photographers, but that doesn't stop us gear-heads talking about it! :smile:
  19. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Well, I'm not a 5Dii user, but go to the DPR widget Canon EOS 6D In-Depth Review: Digital Photography Review and compare the 6D to the 5Dii and OMD. The high ISO is noticeably better on the 6D. The OMD and 5dii look pretty much the same (comparing RAW. I didn't look at jpg).

    In actual use, my 6D surpasses my EPL5 in high ISO. I've seen others say the 5D ii and the OMD are pretty much the same.

    Have they improved by leaps and bounds? Maybe not, but it's a newer and better sensor technology. You can also check it against the supposed kings -- D800 and D600, and I still think 6400 ISO on the 6D looks better.

    But you are right. All of them go well past what most of us need. I've been liking the 6D high ISO as it allows me to shoot more consumer grade lenses for kids sports by using higher ISO. That's been nice in cost and weight savings.
  20. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    One fundamental difference between the 2 systems is DOF. For equivalent FOV and aperture the EM-5 is going to have noticeably more DOF. Whether that's good or bad depends, but I think for the OPs purposes it would a benefit.