New OMD-EM5...have I made a mistake?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Aught42, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Aught42

    Aught42 New to Mu-43

    2
    Mar 28, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Hello, I have just purchased my first micro 4/3 camera (OMD EM5) with the intent of transitioning from the bulkier Canon 60D. I've read numerous reviews and stories about the advantages of m4/3 and was anxious to get my hands on one. However, when taking the EM5 out for a test run, my excitement waned. Granted, I'm relatively new to photography and am not formerly trained on the ins and outs, but I shoot manually and in Raw. I'm hoping that it's just a matter of getting used to the format and/or that I'm doing something wrong, but was wondering if you all could offer some thoughts on my doubts...

    -My primary set up on the 60D was a 40mm prime lens, so I picked up the Lumix 20mm 1.7 lens (along with the kit lens) for my EM5. This was based on my expectation that the images would be the same given that the micro 20mm is equivalent to 40mm on a 35mm Camera, but the images are much wider and distant. Both are set to 3:2 aspect ratio. I assume this because the 60D is not a 35mm. What would be the best lens to mimic a 35mm or 40mm DSLR? Or am I completely missing the point on this?

    -My main focus is shooting street photos, often covert, so AF is important to me to capture spur of the moment images or just generally good images when shooting from the hip, so I was pleased to read that the EM5 had "lightning fast" focusing. But, I've found that the AF lags a bit compared to the 60D set up I had, and if I'm shooting from the hip, half of the photos are out of focus. Any tips on settings to make sure I can focus quickly and accurately?

    -I've learned long ago not to trust the image in the LCD, but even when getting the metering even the photos on the EM5 are much darker than the same settings on the 60D. I use spot evaluative metering on both. Is there something I need to do to calibrate the meter or is this typical and I just need to get familiar with the results?

    I know these are stupid questions, but any insight would help. I really want to enjoy this camera, but am now struggling with buyer's remorse.
     
  2. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Herbert
    I don't have the OM-D, but a few points to get this going:

    1 - you'll hear the Panasonic 20mm is slower to AF than the other lenses, because this is an "old" lens. But in my experience it is not terribly slow, just maybe not lightning-fast (and that is coming from using the older model Pens).

    2- 60D has a 1.6x crop factor, so 40mm * 1.6 = 64 / 2(m43 has 2x crop factor) = 32mm. So to get the equivalent angle of view you got from the 40mm + 60D, you need a 32mm lens in m43. Closest I can think of is the Sigma 30mm.
     
  3. rjl1246

    rjl1246 Mu-43 Veteran

    474
    Feb 18, 2013
    Ohio
    Robert Lietz
    Hello, The 60D, as other camera in the series, I assume has a 1.6 crop factor, which would make the 40 function as a 64mm on the full frame camera, and the 20mm on the micro four-thirds body would function as a 40mm, which would explain your perception of the image differences.
    You might try one of the 25mm lenses available from Panasonic or Olympus, but these would both get about a 50mm equivalence and still seem wider. The Olympus lens is new and has had pretty good reviews, so it could be a lens that would satisfy your expectations, after a little time adjusting to the look. The 17mm 1.8 might also be suitable for your street shooting experiences, or the 45mm which in combination with the 17 or 25 might give you package that would work well for the kinds of shooting you do. If you decide you'd like a little more reach, you might consider the 60mm or 75mm, but be sure to look at these lenses in the store first, since they might add more bulk than you'd like (though
    this doesn't seem a real concern here after the 60D.) I notice you say you shoot manually but AF is important, so it might not be a bad idea, if you have a camera shop with a cooperative owned in your area to test the lenses on your body before buying. Otherwise, you can check the reviews, including the one here, on the two 25mm lenses. You might also find that shooting "from the hip" might improve as you become more adjusted to weight difference and camera's overall performance character.

    Best wishes for good shooting.

    Robert
     
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  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Yeah, the equivalent FoV on mu43 to a 40 on the 60D would be given by a lens FL around 30mm. There's a nice sigma at this FL.
     
  5. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    137
    May 20, 2013
    In good light the focusing should be decent; since you are shooting raw, bump the contrast up to the maximum. It's contrast-detection focusing, and for some reason the level of contrast set in-camera influences focusing. When I sold my E-M5 to someone and she observed somewhat slow focusing indoors, I noted that I had contrast set to -1, and just bringing it back to 0 made a big difference.

    Also, if you are shooting street and don't mind depth of field, just stop down and focus manually.
     
  6. MichaelShea

    MichaelShea Mu-43 Regular

    108
    Jan 27, 2011
    Algarve, Portugal
    My advice would be to ignore any negative reviews you might read of your kit lens and use it for a while, at least until you become more accustomed to the camera. You will then to be able to set the focal length to something close to 32mm in order to be able to compare like with like. But the Panasonic lens, slow though it might be to focus, ought to be pretty good for street photography I would have thought. But as I say, give it a chance and don't throw good money after bad or judge too hastily.
     
  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    The EM5 is a great camera. As with anything new, you've got to take the time to understand the gear you've purchased. You've gotten some great recommendations above. When doing comparisons, make sure you are comparing apples to apples and I think you'll see that the Oly EM5 is a more capable camera than you think of it right now.

    Regarding focus - you have to remember that if you are shooting at wide open apertures, you very well could be missing focus due to DOF issues. Also, when shooting from the hip, try using the touch screen until you get used to where the camera points. Despite the smaller sensor, don't be afraid to let the ISO ride up. It can handle it. Also, the IBIS works great, rely on it. Since you are using the 20/1.7, your hand holding rule comes out to about 1/40 of a second.

    Keep at it for a bit and I think you'll find that the EM5 will serve you well.
     
  8. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    843
    May 13, 2011
    NYC
    The slow AF you are feeling is a limitation of the lens, not the camera.

    I would have spent a little more money and got the Olympus 17/1.8 or spent less money and got the Sigma 19/2.8.
     
  9. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    137
    May 20, 2013
    In good light the focusing should be decent; since you are shooting raw, bump the contrast up to the maximum. It's contrast-detection focusing, and for some reason the level of contrast set in-camera influences focusing. When I sold my E-M5 to someone and she observed somewhat slow focusing indoors, I noted that I had contrast set to -1, and just bringing it back to 0 made a big difference.

    Also, if you are shooting street and don't mind depth of field, just stop down and focus manually.
     
  10. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    458
    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Paul
    My brother in law uses a 60D so we have done A vs B a few times with my EM-5 but more with the C50mm vs O45 rather than 40vs30.

    Yes he uses spot measurements on his 60D - I've not had to do that with my EM-5 and used A or P priority and let the evaluative metering do it's thing. Yes the EM-5 is somewhat conservative on exposure to avoid blown highlights but it doesn't need to be as there is headroom so ETTR by 1/3-2/3 stops also works.

    Tracking moving people the 60D is better but the facial recognition on the EM-5 is what he is thinking of changing over for as the hit rate on portraits is far higher.

    At a recent family get together (under very low light levels) the EM-5 would get a facial recognition lock 90% of the time and the 60D perhaps only get a focus lock 5% of the time.

    It took me a few weeks to set up the EM-5 to work how I wanted it to before I was really happy with it. The default settings tend to make it harder than it should be.

    As well as the 30mm Sigma you could also consider the Oly 25mm as AF performs just as well as the 45mm.

    Both the 60D and EM-5 are capable of stunning results but their individual strengths are in different areas.

    Have a try with different focus box sizes and numbers of boxes for your street shots.
     
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  11. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    All good advice so far, imo. Having shot Canon (60D and others) and a few E-M5s, I would say the only m4/3s prime lens that does not focus faster than the typical Canon primes is the 20/1.7. So I'd definitely say give something a shot closer to the FOV you are used to, like the Sigma 30/2.8 that others have mentioned.
     
  12. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Yeah what everyone said. To sum it up:

    Even though your 60D is a big DSLR, it actually has a smaller than 35mm, APSC sensor. Hence your confusion with the focal equivalency. The Sigma 30mm f2.8 will be the closest to what you want.
     
  13. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Yeah what everyone said. To sum it up:

    Even though your 60D is a big DSLR, it actually has a smaller than 35mm, APSC sensor. Hence your confusion with the focal equivalency. The Sigma 30mm f2.8 will be the closest to what you want.
     
  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    This is the first that I have heard of this. Do you have any additional information? My understanding is that one should not impact the other as the contrast settings are applied to the file as it is created, after it is captured by the sensor.

    --Ken
     
  15. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    462
    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    I shoot my E-M5 with +2/3 exposure compensation by default. I too find that its metering tends to be a bit dark, so my baseline is +2/3 EC. By way of comparison I shoot Canon cameras at +1/3 EC.
     
  16. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    462
    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    You can see the effects of contrast, saturation, etc. settings in Live View, so it's not just applied after the shot but rather before the shot is taken. It's been a long time since I've participated in discussions about this so my memory is hazy, but I recall setting the camera to Vivid supposedly helped AF performance.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    680
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    I also shoot my E-M1 with +1/3 or +2/3 exposure compensation, so what you're seeing on the E-M5 doesn't sound unusual to me. You may be able to set that bias permenantly in the menu somewhere.

    I can't imagine how the jpeg development settings in the camera could possibly influence the AF process, which looks for the highest contrast on the sensor. But I've been wrong before ;-). I had the E-M5 for about a year and found the focusing pretty good, although not as crisp as my Nikon D7000. But plenty good for kids parties, etc. As others have said, it does respond differently than the PDAF in a DLSR, so practice helps. I usually shoot with a single focus spot and C-AF, but I've also used the full auto made and had good results.
     
  18. Aught42

    Aught42 New to Mu-43

    2
    Mar 28, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    This all sounds like great advice, thank you!! I did feel a bit like a fool asking, but a little bit of understanding sure helps. I'll give it all a try and plow on into the m4/3 world. Much appreciated. Thanks again.
     
  19. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    680
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    There's no shame in asking. We're all here to learn and pay it forward.
     
  20. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    328
    Jan 28, 2012
    Gary Ayton has a site that talks a lot about setup. He says using vivid increases focus speed. I've seen other report the same. At least subjectively I think it does. He gives lots of tips on using the camera. I have a PL 25 and I don't think the AF is as fast as with lenses like the Oly 17 and 45. The 20 is generally reputed to be pretty slow focusing. Try the kit lens. I'm not a fan but it does focus pretty darn fast.