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New EM1 V2 or Nikon D500?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by SpecFoto, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    The rumored specs for the upcoming V2 of the EM1 seems to be promising a lot, and we can all only hope they are true. I am really torn on whether to upgrade my EM5-MK II, keeping my EM1 as the 2nd body, to now include the new version or go in a different direction. Let me explain.

    I shoot 2 systems, M4/3 and Nikon FF. I don’t mind having 2 systems, as I have had my Nikon gear for quite a long time and built up a substantial set of lenses and accessories. I use a D800 for almost all of my landscape, birds in flight, surfers and air show shooting. The faster Nikon AF with far better tracking just results in at least double the number of keepers vs. my M4/3 kit, and most times triple the number when shooting BIF. With the D800 I can use the 1.5 crop mode and either my Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8 or 300mm f/4, plus the 1.4 or 1.7 TC if needed for really long reach, and obtain an excellent 15.3mb photo, 4800 by 3200 pixels, not that different than with the M4/3 with its 16mb result. My M4/3 system is used for general shooting, my portrait work (love love the Nocticron and Oly 75mm f1.8), and airplane related travel. I just recently added the Oly1.4x TC to my 40-150 f/2.8 Pro and it has done a lot with regards to reach without the AF really being affected. A couple of weeks ago I used this combo for a local surfing event where the sun was at my back for most shots, thus the surfers front lit, and the results and keeper rate was the best I have had, more than 85% with the C-AF. But when I shot the opposite side of the pier, where the light was side lit or behind, the rate dropped to less that 50% keepers.

    What I am so torn about is the new Nikon D500. Its AF and tracking are simply the best of any camera right now, this has been confirmed by almost everyone who uses it, even non-Nikon users. A couple of the pros I follow have all stated that they now rarely have non-keepers due to AF or tracking, quite remarkable. My D800 is only 5 frames per second and the C-AF, while very good and way ahead of M4/3, is now 2 generations behind what is available with the D500.

    The issues between the EM1 V2 and the D500 are these:

    1. Both are in the 20MB pixel range, the D500 is 20.9MB and the EM1 is rumored at 20MB. Both have 2 card slots, which I really appreciate. Both can shoot 10 frames per second, though the D500 for a really long time, but that is non-issue for me as I rarely hold the trigger for more than a second or 2 when on C-AF.

    2. The EM1 requires a new battery system, and thus another charger. Frankly it is the EM5 MKII that has the most battery drain. I am able to take 600-700 shots all the time with the EM1, yet barely get 300 with the M5 MKII. So now add an additional charger box and batteries to the M4/3 kit, which I don’t see a need for. The D500 uses the same battery as my D800.

    3. If the EM1 V2 C-AF is improved to at least be acceptable for BIF, say even 40-50% keepers vs. 20% or less now I get, I would want to add the Olympus 300mm f/4. Thus the cost becomes $1,500 (guessing) for the body and $2,500 for the lens, or $4,000. With the D500, I only need the body at $1,995, as I already have 2 excellent long range lenses, plus the 1.4x and 1.7x TC’s.

    4. And YES, I really don’t like the flippy screens of the EM5 MK II, much preferring a tilt only screen, which I use all the time. To hear the EM1 update will have this is a disappointment. I keep a RRS L bracket full time on my EM1 and it works just fine with tilt screen. This would not be the case if it was a flippy screen, the side L part of the bracket would have to be removed every time I wanted to use it. Having the L bracket for tripod work is way more important than any flippy screen to me. (For those interested if I upgrade to the new EM1 body, the EM5 MK II is the one to go for 4 reasons: Terrible battery life, the slow start up time vs. the EM1, the flippy screen and the lack of the dual AF system. I find the EM5 MKII does not focus nearly as well as my EM1 with my Nocticron or 40-150.)

    5. The only negatives I can come up with on the D500 is the lack of IBIS, which I love on the OMD's, and the touch screen is limited with AF implementation. But with most of the action type shooting the new body is intended for, shooting at 1/250ss or above is not an issue as below that you get subject blur anyway, something IBIS can’t help with. The Nikon 70-200 f2.8 does have VR, but my older version of the 300mm does not. There is a new updated and much smaller version of the 300mm f/4 with AF, but it is $2,000 and don’t see a need for it.

    6. The size/weight advantage of M4/3 isn’t as great as you would think once you get into the larger lenses. The biggest difference is Oly 40-150 f2.8 (72mm) vs. Nikon 70-200 f2.8 (77mm), the Nikon is 2” longer and 1.4 pounds heavier, but Nikon 300 f/4 is actually a tad bit smaller than the Oly 300mm f/4 and weighs a few ounces less, and both use 77mm filters. So the Nikon weight penalty for this kit is about 2 pounds total including body, which is not much at all. Size-wise both kits will fit in the same Pelican 1430 vertical box that I will use to work from when in my canoe or around water. One lens can be kept mounted to the body in this waterproof case. Other venues I will use my Lowepro Magnum 200AW which also allows 1 lens to be kept mounted vertically in the bag.

    Any D500 owners out there who would care to comment?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
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  2. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    New EM1 V2

    I didn't read your post, just responding to the subject line. :daz:

    (I know nothing about the other one)
     
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  3. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    Thanks, but I wasn't really looking at this as a poll.
     
  4. physicsdude

    physicsdude Mu-43 Regular

    121
    Feb 11, 2014
    KS
    Jan
    How sure are you that the camera will require a new battery? Maybe it will just have a higher capacity but same volume.
     
  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    If you enjoy using DSLRs already, and clearly don't mind the weight of pro-bodies and big lenses, I cannot see a reason not to get the D500 instead of the E-M1 II for the specific goals of shooting birds in flight, surfers, and air shows. They are no doubt achievable with the Olympus, but I expect they're probably just a lot easier with the DSLR, especially the DSLR with the best AF system in the world right now.

    The M4/3 kit will undeniably be smaller and lighter, and I find the EVF so, so much nicer to use. But I am not a serious action photographer, so that exactly feature I love is what many people consider a liability.
     
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  6. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, you're comparing an unreleased u43 camera with a DSLR. Seems a bit premature and of limited value to me. I would be extremely surprised if the AF on the new E-M1 will get even close the the D500 and if you're using Nikon FF already for BIF etc then it seems a bit of a no-brainer to stay with that!

    Given how difficult it is to get accurate AF on challenging subjects like BIF I can't understand why anyone would choose u43. As you quite rightly point it, the size advantage of it u43 is almost completely nullified once you're into big tele lenses.
     
  7. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    While most info is rumors, the larger capacity battery grip has already been registered. I believe the specs indicated it was slightly larger in size. But it would be just fine with me if the battery was higher capacity and the same size!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2016
  8. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    Originally my goal with M4/3 was to sell off all my Nikon equipment eventually. But due to the few limitations of the M4/3 system, this has not happened :(. And none of the Olympus marketing bs ever mentioned how underperforming the C-AF was. So I have my fingers crossed that the C-AF can improve by 100%, as I mentioned in my original post, which you didn't read. Until buying the new Sigma Art 24mm f1.4 last month, I had not bought any Nikon or FF gear in 4-1/2 years. Back then I always shot with 2 bodies, one FF and one crop on my beloved D300. So the D500 is the replacement for the D300, just 4 years late.....
     
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  9. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    While I'm sure the the E-M1 mkII will be an upgrade from the mkI, I'd be surprised if it would be equal to the D500. I love m4/3 for what it can do. And I'm not saying it can't do sports, BIF, etc. But everything I've read about the latest and greatest from Sony / Fuji phase + contrast AF systems is that they're still not as good as a traditional DSLR phase AF system. So since you have the Nikon gear already.... And you mention battery life? Hard to compare a 300 shot or even 600-700 shot battery life to an easy 1200-1500 shots on the Nikons.

    As I said I really love my m4/3 stuff, I use it for everything other than my event work. I think you're probably in a similar situation, use the m4/3 for everything it does best. But continue to use your Nikon gear for what it does best. They are tools, use the best one for job.
     
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  10. Tall Guy

    Tall Guy Mu-43 Regular

    57
    Sep 15, 2015
    Jeff H
    I currently use an EM5 mark ii, nikon D7200 and nikon D810. I have my purposes for each format and style of shooting.

    My son in law had been shooting EM5 mark ii trying to capture his highly active two year old. He just sold off all his Olympus gear and purchased the D500. I have shot it quite a number of time and can tell you it is a subject tracking speed machine. I don't know his keeper rate but it is a nice improvement over his EM5 mark ii shooting nearly wide open. I would have sold off some gear to have gotten one but I didn't quite have the need or desire to spend two grand on another body while giving up my tiny EM5 mark ii.
     
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  11. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I'll add another data point. The 150f2 little tuna. The Nikon version the 200f2 is really pricey, this is the primary reason I would not move to the D500 which looks really fantastic otherwise.
     
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  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I thought about making the switch as well, but two tries in a dark reception hall had me back tracking. In the last say 6 years I've upgraded from a pair of D700s to a D800 and D750 for bodies. For glass I've sold off my Nikon f/2.8 zooms and replaced them with the Nikon f/4 and Tamron f/2.8 zooms. Other than that my Nikon kit has been pretty stable, not really a lot of movement in 6 years.

    My m4/3? Lets just say I've had a lot of fun buy, trying, and selling stuff.
     
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  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Add a GX85 to you kit; 4K, stills from 4k; and 4K burst are great. Not sure I'd rely on it all the time, but I've used it a few times for baseball. They work well enough.
     
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  14. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim

    I am pretty set with my M4/3 lenses for now, see signature. But if I was to buy a lens, it would be the 150f/2, as it would be a great complement to my Noct and 75mm f1.8 for portrait work. The new 40-150 f2.8 Pro is nice, but I find the bokeh is pretty busy sometimes and you need to be very selective on the background.

    With my Nikon gear for portraits, I use the 85mm f1.4, 135mm f2 DC and 180mm f2.8.
     
  15. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Sorry, just re-read my post and I can see that it comes across a bit dismissive. That's what happens when you type on a phone! My main point was that the D500 is such a superb AF machine and given your existing attachment to Nikon and the sort of things you shoot, then it seems the obvious way to go. As much as I love my u43 gear, if I was into shooting stuff that moved, I'd stick with a DSLR and there's none better than the D500 in that regard.
     
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  16. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    What I read about the D500 is just amazing. Joe Marquez, a pro out of Hawaii I follow, does lots of terrific surfer photography. He got the D500 and tested it against backlit surfers to purposely try to fool the C-AF. His results, out of 1,000 photos, every one was in focus, not 1 OOF.

    It seems that the D500 does make the most sense, given my circumstances. I was just kind of hoping the C-AF could improve on the new EM1 to maybe make the purchase of the Oly 300mm f4 worthwhile. Guess I will just have to wait for actual tests and reviews, but I am planning a trip to Bosque Del Apache late this year and was hoping to have the new body by then.
     
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  17. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    314
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    No no don't worry, your comments were helpful. Thank you.
     
  18. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    This is pretty interesting:

    The Nikon 200mm f/2 VR II: The World's Best Portrait Lens | Fstoppers

    In the M43 space the 150f2 would make a stellar portrait lens, and I have used it that way, but the 75f1.8 is just as good, and a whole lot easier to use.

    as an example (150f2):

    https://www.mu-43.com/attachments/p8060083-jpg.131373/
     
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  19. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    I don't think there is another DSLR out there that matches the D500 - As much as I like M4/3, this is a no contest. When I asked an Oly rep, he said the tracking was designed for slow moving targets. But we all know that by now. :)

    As good as Oly claims this camera is going to be, AKA "GAME CHANGER", just imagine what it would take. Will it be better at tracking? I am pretty sure it will be, but how much better? Btw, how does the A6000/A6300 tracking compare to the D500? Is it even close? That camera has the best tracking out of the mirrorless bunch but I am not sure if you'd want to compare it to the D500
     
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  20. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    If I could justify buying the $6K or $7K 200f2 VRII then the D500 would be great. But since I can't Oly it is.

    Wait - hold the presses! Henry's has this on sale - $300 off woohooo!

    NVM :drinks:
     
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