Olympus EM1 Mark II vs Nikon D500 - NHL Hockey

Discussion in 'Sports and Action' started by gryphon1911, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Hey everyone!

    February 4, 2017 I attended a photo workshop on sports photography. The payoff was that we got 2 shoot 2 complete hockey games, One amateur with complete arena access, and one NHL game with us being in a suite at Nationwide arena. Columbus Blue Jackets versus the New Jersey Devils.

    Here is a link to all the detailed stuff and a lot of pictures.

    Best Light Photographic BLOG: Head To Head - Olympus EM1 Mark II Versus Nikon D500 Shooting Hockey

    Bottom line it for you - while the EM1 Mark II and Oly 40-150/2.8 PRO put up a good fight, it was no match for the Nikon D500 and Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC. The Oly has some neat features and did admirably during the amateur game, once the NHL players hit the ice, the Nikon just continued to amaze me in how well it performed. I did not have one OOF shot that was not my fault with the D500. The Olympus struggled in some spots. Not sure if it was the low light or perhaps it was the white ice causing issues. I've mentioned in previous posts that Oly has issues with backlit subjects and AF. Wondering if this might be the same issue here.

    Anyway. I'll post a few of my favorite images here but the bulk of them will be in the blog post.

    Nikon D500/Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC
    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_2450.
    1/1000, f/3.5, ISO 2500 @ 200mm

    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_2511.
    1/1000, f/2.8, ISO 900 @ 200mm

    02-04-2017_D500_CBJ_DSC_2531.
    1/1000, f/3.2, ISO 1250 @ 200mm

    Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II / Oly 40-150/2.8 PRO
    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040080.
    1/1000, f/3.2, ISO 1600 @ 150mm

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040328.
    1/500, f/2.8, ISO 2500 @ 150mm

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040432.
    1/640, f/4, ISO 1600 @ 155mm(MC-14)

    02-04-2017_EM1mk2_CBJ_P2040656.
    1/1000, f/3.5, ISO 1600 @ 150mm
     
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  2. Pstmstr

    Pstmstr Mu-43 Regular

    46
    Mar 22, 2016
    Nice work. I've been trying some hockey shots with my grandson's youth team and find it much harder to shoot than basketball. Did you not try pro capture any on the Olympus?
     
  3. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Thanks for your post @gryphon1911@gryphon1911 . It confirms my suspicions that Nikon, with over a decade of optimizing C-AF and tracking algorithms with DSLR's, has a superior product for this type of photography over Olympus (granted, Olympus only has a fraction of time spent on tying to optimize C-AF & tracking with an on-sensor PDAF system).

    I must say, some of those high ISO shots from the D500 look very impressive.
     
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  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is why I keep a small Nikon kit around. Just use the right tools for the job!
     
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  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I did. it worked OK, but I need more time with it. I'm not sure I got the timing right on it, especially with the action moving like it does. I noticed that when using it, even bumping down the saved images to say 10, that you can hit 100 - 200 frames saved in a matter of a minute or 2. I see it being something to employ as a specialized use case, but not something that I would want to use, say for a sporting event like this. The only exception to that might be shooting say a shootout where you can prepare for it.
     
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  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I have some other sports coming up here in the next few months and Oly is going to get another go at it. It is going to be outdoors and in sunlight, so the high ISO won't be a concern there. I've had good success shooting baseball/softball with an EM1.1, so I'm thinking the EM1.2 should be even better.
     
  7. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    When you do, please make another comparison thread.

    I believe you're correct that the E-M1 II will do much better in outdoor situations rather than indoor with artificial lighting and high ISO.
     
  8. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    And the speed of play will not be as intense either. I will definitely do more comparisons as they become available to me.
     
  9. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I'd love to see something like this shot with the 150f2. I wonder if the extra light would be an advantage. It would have knocked you down to ISO800.
     
  10. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Disappointing
     
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  11. What is?
     
  12. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Af performance. Expect d500 to be superior, but not for mk2 to struggle. more to it of course,but a body to be sold to pros needs to focus at a hockey game. 18 blurry fps per second don't count for much
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  13. Agree - thank god I am not trying to record indoor sports... heck or any type of sports.
     
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  14. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    877
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    How often was the tc-14 on the Oly? The fairest comparisons would only be without it to get the same equivalent focal length and amount of light gathering. With BIF, I found using a tc diminishes AF performance because it gets you closer to the action, making it harder to track/stay in focus, and it takes a stop of light, making it harder to track/stay in focus (and require higher ISO). I stopped using them for both Oly and Canon.

    Also, I have read that if/when the Mk II loses focus, reacquiring it is quick by re-pressing focus. It's a valid point if you don't need to do that with the D500; but still, whatever gets you more success...

    In any case, I wouldn't call this disappointing. It's a huge leap forward, and will get even better. Does the E-M1 Mk II have to be best at everything to not be a disappointment?
     
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  15. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Without focus nothing else matters, so yes, it has to be close to the best in the basics like focus. It's not a $800 body.
     
  16. How do you think the A7RII would fare against the D500 at $3200?
     
  17. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Poorly for sports, but it doesn't claim to be a sports camera. It's a FF, super-IQ body that has the most advanced sensor on the FF market. Different animals.
     
  18. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I rarely shoot sports and have learned how to shoot birds and other moving objects with S-AF on the E-M1. No camera can do everything well without some assistance from the photographer. I'm still undecided if I need an Em1m2, but I'd be less uncertain if the price fell a few hundred.
     
  19. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    877
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    "Without focus" is a gross mis-statement. Just because it isn't as good as a D500 (which is likely the best ever) doesn't mean it isn't any good at all.

    If the tc was on for those action shots, it was at a disadvantage in wieldiness, focusing speed, ISO, sharpness, and maybe even DoF (not sure about DoF).
     
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  20. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I did not have the TC on very long. Guessing about 5 minutes in one period. I didn't like the light loss and having to kick the ISO up more.

    Even without it the TC, AF was still lacking in this application. Hockey is one of the harder sports to photograph, so I'm not going to give up on Oly or the EM1.2 based on this application. I will be using it more this year for sports to see how it does wth soccer, baseball, american football.
     
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