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Not really bonding with my EM1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Sootchucker, May 22, 2014.

  1. Sootchucker

    Sootchucker Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 9, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Hi guys, I only recently partially converted across to M4/3 having been a Nikon SLR and DSLR guy for over 35 years. So far I have a GX7 and an OMD-EM1 body, with a small selection of lenses including the Olympus 12-40 F2.8, 45mm F1.8, 9-18mm and the Panny 20mm F1.7, 45-200 F3.5-5.6 and the diminutive 12-35 F3.5-5.6.

    Now my brain is telling me that currently (GH4 aside), that the OMD-EM1 is the currently king of M4/3, is more DSLR like (which I'm used to), is fully weather sealed and has the best viewfinder. However for some reason, I'm not bonding with it and 8 times out of 10, pick up the GX7. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the EM1, indeed it's a fine camera, with excellent output and an exquisite IBIS system, but the GX7 for some reason just seems to be much more fun and intuitive to use.

    Output wise, to my eyes, there's nothing to choose between them, and certainly when the 12-40 is sat in front of either body, the images are so similar that I sometimes have to check the file numbering or EXIF to see which body it was shot on. Indeed, if I might dare, I actually find the high ISO output front he GX7 slightly better than the EM1.

    I've had both for similar amounts of time (well the GX7 maybe a few weeks longer) so I don't think it's just a familiarisation issue ? I'm just wondering if after carrying heavy DSLR's for many years, the liberation of a small light range finder style camera with superb image quality, is tricking my brain into being prejudiced against the EM1 ? I find I have to force myself to use the EM1, when my natural instinct is to pick up the GX7.

    Anyone else found this or am I just weird. Am I missing something about the EM1 that set's it apart from the likes of the GX7 ?

    By the way, this isn't meant to be an Olympus vs Panasonic discussion, as I'm sure if I had one of the Olympus range finder style bodies, I'd probably prefer that over the EM1 as well ?
  2. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
  3. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'll give you a tenner for your E-M1. :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    GX7 is nice, your reaction is perfectly normal.
    As for actually picking up a camera : I still love my e-P1 for that, so maybe your E-M1 didn't give you tactile satisfaction ...
    Sell it quick to get some money back - buy another lens ;) 
  5. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    i think you hit the nail with the rangefinder thing.

    i guess for me it would depend on the task. for casual walks and family photos, GX7. For work that i consider would be demanding, or work with longer/heavier lenses, i'd take EM1. I never held the GX7 but i iamgine the longer lenses would be more balanced with the EM1.

    If i can get the same/similar image quality with lighter camera that has non obtrusive viewfinder, by all means, there's nothing wrong with the GX7.

    The important thing is to have fun and enjoy photography. If you manage to do that with GX7, why bother what specifications/mu43/others say?

    Also, that's not exactly a small selection of lenses :smile: You've got normal fast, normal zoom x2 (also, 12-40 is one of the best lenses out there), wide zoom, tele zoom and a fast portrait lens.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. taz98spin

    taz98spin Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2011
    +1 on the rangefinder factor.

    I don't have the cameras you mentioned but I do have a Fuji X-T1, which is similarly styled like the E-M1.
    As much as I love my new camera, I find myself reaching for my X-PRO1 or E-P5 more often.

    I never liked the way the E-M5 or E-M1 felt in my hands, and the X-T1 doesn't feel "right" in my hands either, until I got myself a half-case.

    So maybe you can add a grip or get a half case for your E-M1?
  7. That's okay, breaking up with a camera isn't particularly traumatic :smile:
  8. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    I sorta feel your pain. I use my E-M1 at work, and for anything I consider "serious", but seem to grab my NEX-6 for fun. I have a small shed full of PEN bodies (most for sale, BTW), but the NEX-6 pushes some button in its completeness. I'm one of those who would sell it all off for a PEN with a built-in EVF, but so far, we're left without one.

    ...and the half-case makes the NEX-6 feel better, too. Luckily I like it either way.

    The grip for the E-M1 made a big difference to me in feel, I also wish the PENs had a similar add-on to look like a Leica winder on an M-series, just for those times I'd like more battery resource, or maybe a place to store cards.
  9. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I thing I should start CARE CLINIC
    Camera Anxiety REduction CLINIC
  10. Sootchucker

    Sootchucker Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 9, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Haha, very funny guys...........:smile: Don't worry, I'm not divorcing the EM1 just yet !

    Like has been mentioned, sometimes there are tasks where it feels better than the GX7 (for instance on a tripod shooting or with the bigger lenses), it's just that I thought it would be the other way round, in that the GX7 wouldn't get a look in when the EM1 arrived, but that's not been the case.

    TBH, I think it's a testament to the GX7 that it can be mentioned in the same breath and hold it's head up high against the like of the EM1, which is a proper Pro camera, whereas I guess the GX7 at best is considered Prosumer ?

    The good thing is I suppose it's nice to have the choice. Maybe I just need to work harder in getting the EM1 set up better ?
  11. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    In reality, any of the 16mp m4/3 bodies are really excellent cameras - what's left to pick is mostly body style, non-image features, ergonomics and personal preference. :wink: Having said that, the GH4 and E-M1 have introduced some features that are truly substantive...in any case, my own experience with the E-M5 was that it took weeks or even a couple of months to really get comfortable with the camera. Once I did, it was my favorite by a big margin. So, it may take you some more time - or it may not happen. There's nothing wrong with the GX7 at all. :smile:
  12. MassimoFoti

    MassimoFoti Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2014
    Lugano (Switzerland)
    Just stick with whatever gives you a better, more pleasant experience. Have fun, enjoy what you are doing and forget about anything else.
  13. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Baltimore, MD
    This reminds me of my days as an high school sports photographer. I saved my hard-earned pennies for a Canon AE1 with the motor drive and a couple or three lenses and really enjoyed it. THEN I left it on the roof of a car and drove off to a gig... Insurance wasn't enough to buy a replacement AE1, but I had enough to get an Olympus OM1, which I figured I could settle for.

    Thing is, I ended up taking many more keepers with that OM1. Even though it lacked the motor drive and was a manual exposure shooter, its ergonomics and design made it easier for me to get the job done, and while I had enjoyed the AE1, I ended up *loving* the OM1.

    I guess this is all to say that the best camera is the one you enjoy using the most, regardless of how the features stack up. Enjoy your GX7 and pick up the E-M1 when it's rainy out. ;) 
  14. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    i'd love to have any of those cameras! :wink:

    if there's one panasonic camera that makes me want to try them, it's the GX7... looks good, and that EVF!! :biggrin:
  15. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I am sort of the same way. I have a friend who has the GX7 and I think that it is an ideal camera. Since our E-M10 came it is the camera that I use most. I held off on the E-M1 because of size. The only time that I reach for our GH3/4s is when I am going to do dedicated video. For me, the beauty of :43: is having a camera that you can always have with you, everyday. The E-M10 (and GX7) fit in my messenger/laptop bags along with everything else. Not so the bigger bodies in the :43: world. Terms like pro, prosumer and consumer do not matter to me as I am just David.

    Like ex machina we loved our OM1!
  16. Ellsass

    Ellsass Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2014
    You're not alone. I got an E-PM2 to replace my GF5 with its by-all-accounts inferior sensor. But I just can't get into the E-PM2, it's so... icky, in every respect. I still love the GF5 and I don't think it's because of familiarity. Panasonic just nails the UI (software and hardware) while Olympus is, erm, lukewarm in that area.
  17. BobbyTan

    BobbyTan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 26, 2013
    Long Beach, CA
    The GX7 is not only a handsome/elegant and attractive camera but I think (I have not handled one) it's also a joy to use as it's not as complicated as a "pro" camera with all the buttons/dials and complex menu options. This is not to say that the GX7 is not "pro caliber" … just that a rangefinder-style camera is usually a lot simpler to operate as it has fewer buttons and dials. I used to dream of owning the Contax G series - which had the same charm and elegance of the GX7 … and I was very tempted to get the GX7 when it came out, but the lack of IBIS was a deal-breaker for me.

    So I can kind of relate to this. If I own both cameras I would probably always reach for the GX7 for the casual shoots. For serious photography I would take my E-M1 of course … and possibly the GX7 as a backup or 2nd body.

    And I would also get the Olympus "pancake zoom" 14-42 EZ (or the Panasonic version) to pair with the GX7, as this combo would be a killer for walkabouts.

    BTW, I just ordered a reconditioned PEN E-PM2 with the 14-42 kit lens for $250 less 20% (SUMMER discount) and I will be replacing the older 14-42 lens with the "pancake" version. I bought this for the wife … but I will probably end up using it as my walkaround and backup camera!
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This is a very logical assessment. I am a full-time working photographer and came from the DSLR world before m4/3 existed. In that world I would always buy the heaviest pro-grade line of bodies, because there were very notable differences in the quality of the interior parts, such as the bright crystal pentaprism (I could never get along with a crappy pentamirror system!) and the solid metal frames. They do not provide better images (as too many consumers are confused by), as it is the mid-grade and even lower end bodies which receive regular model upgrades and therefore obtain the newest technologies. It is only the build quality of the mechanical parts which made these cameras an important staple for the working professional.

    In this non-reflex era however, the camera has become a lot less mechanical and a lot more electrical. Our viewfinders are electric and are even interchangeable between bodies. We don't need to buy a body with all the accessory ports we need to do our job, because there are accessory port plug-ins which provide those external physical ports. The shutter is still mechanical on most models, though Panasonic is making good headway with electronic shutters. One big difference of the pro-grade shutter was the high actuations (150k+ is standard for pro-grade shutters, 100k+ for semi-pro, and 50k+ for consumer grade). However, the overall cost of producing a non-reflex camera has been so greatly reduced that the consumer-grade cameras are coming out at rock-bottom prices and buying for instance 3 consumer-grade bodies will cost no more than 1 pro-grade body of old... so that is no longer necessary and in fact multiple bodies is an easy choice when we have such small bodies, allowing us for better versatility with different lenses mounted on each body during multi-carry, different kits possible to be made with different sized bodies for different occasions, and the all important backup bodies for when one fails, as they inevitably will.

    So now that there is no essential reason for having a larger body besides having a bit more space for more direct buttons and dials, I have very much gravitated towards the smaller bodies... which is why I started using the system in the first place - to downsize my gear without reducing any of the functionality that I need to do my job (or to fully enjoy my hobby, if I'm shooting after hours). In fact, the system introduces many wonderful new methods which the big systems could never do, such as live exposure (even during long exposures and bulb!), live color, and freedom from the eye-level finder, including both vari-finder and efficient LCD use. I love the sleek Pen series cameras, but also the extremely diminutive Mini! The mini doesn't "look" like what I would call a camera (especially in light of the beautiful retro-styling of the main Pen and OM-D lines!), but they are a joy to carry around and can do so much with so little. Took a while to get used to having less controls on the back of the camera of course, but that's easy enough to work out since all the basic manual functions are still there.

    So don't second guess yourself on your love of the rangefinder style non-reflex cameras. There are plenty of good reasons for loving them and choosing them over the lumpier SLR style. There is no "best" right camera for everyone. We have many styles and models to choose from because everybody has different needs and wants.

    PS, if there was any one reason I would feel I "need" to have the E-M1 over all the other models available, for me it would be the PDAF since I have many 4/3 lenses which are still used every day. ;) 

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  19. EMC

    EMC Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2013
    Garden Grove, Calif.
    EM-1 = Superb!!! IMHO!!!! Add the battery pack.............Really dreamy camera to hold for me!!!!! Takes me back to the OM-2n days with a winder............Love it!!!:hiding:
  20. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Since you have two fine cameras and several lenses,take them both and instead of switching lenses,just switch cameras.
    I did this with some beach photography and kept switching between the Oly 12-40 f2,8 and the Oly 50-200 regular 43. The big lens is supposed to work faster with the EM-1. On the beach with the bright sun,the bigger Oly eye piece really was the winner, but when lying in the sand taking pictures of birds the GX7 was excellent with the big lens. I just have an easier time managing the EM-1 in outdoors pictures. Indoors the GX-7 looks and acts like the refined beast it is. If you take the Oly everyone thinks it is a DSLR
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