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Olympus EM5 or used Pentax k-x for wildlife photography?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by buffy1270, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 30, 2010
    I currently own an Olympus EPM1 which is a fun little camera and I love the jpegs out of it. I also have the Olympus 14-150 lens, 45 1.8 and the Panasonic 100-300 which is the main one I use for wildlife photography. The only problem with the EPM1 is the size is a little awkward with the 100-300 lens though it can be done. I also wouldn't mind a viewfinder. I have tried the Panasonic G1 and G3 in the past and while they are great cameras looking through the viewfinders gives me a migraine relatively quickly unfortunately plus I like the Olympus colors as I generally shoot jpeg. I would love to have the Olympus EM5 and I have been saving money to buy it eventually. However I have a chance to get a Pentax k-x with 18-55 and 55-300 lenses for $375. I realize most everyone here uses micro four-thirds and I love it too but I was just looking for some input on which would be the better choice - being patient and saving for the EM5 or taking the deal on the Pentax k-x and lenses while using the EPM1 for portraits, more casual photography, etc. and using the k-x solely for wildlife. From what I have read the EM5 certainly sounds like it can handle wildlife photography well with the 100-300 lens. Any opinions very welcome.


    By the way I will likely keep my EPM1 regardless as a second body.
  2. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Karen, the 300mm end of those lenses is pretty different with the crop factor. Equivalent to 600mm using the Oly or 450mm using the Pentax. They'll both do great. Can the wildlife shots wait while you save up? It's certainly cheaper over the long haul maintaining one system as well. You'll also appreciate the wicked Image stablization in the Oly. The Pentax is a great camera and a very good bargain now as well, but there's a pretty seismic difference.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I shoot backyard wildlife with the 100-300 on an EPM1. But, I added little rubber fit grips to the front of my camera. This is a very inexpensive add on. I got the idea from here: Do it cheap and easy with some rubber furniture feet: Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review but my little rubber feet are clear and more flat. Works like a charm, but if you do a lot of shooting, you'll still get tired. btw -- I use the 100-300 IS when shooting on the EPM1. I think it works like a charm, and better than the EPM1's IBIS.

    You mentioned the Panny EVF gave you a headache. Why would the Oly be different?

    If you really want to go DSLR, then get a nice pentax and a long lens. Sometimes it's OK to have a dedicated 2nd camera for a specific use, but I would say that you might miss being able to see what your exposure looks like, which is a blessing of live view shooting. I remember constantly having to chimp and adjust in a DSLR, and getting home, and finding I didn't get what I wanted. So, I prefer the live view now.

    Good luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 30, 2010
    Thanks for the reply. For those who have used the EM5 is the image in the viewfinder crisp? Unfortunately I can't find one near where I live and I am worried that it would have the same effect on me with the headaches as the Panasonics did. That is one of the reasons I had considered the Pentax also because of the optical viewfinder. I have read that for people who have the problem I do with the headaches seem to do better with a more detailed, higher quality LED screen rather than the lower pixel count but I have no idea if that is correct.

    I can make do with the EPM1 for the wildlife photography until I can afford the EM5. It is just the lack of patience on my part that is killing me :) .
  5. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Have you tried a VF2? The EM5 VF is as good or better than the VF2. That might be a good test. I had the G3, and thought the VF2 much better than the G3 EVF, but couldn't comment beyond that, as neither gave me a headache.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Is it possible that the EVF gave you more problems when using telephoto lenses? I find the stabilized viewfinder on the EM5 a great benefit when looking down the long barrel of my telephoto lenses? Can't imagine ever being able to use anything without VF stabilization ever again. :thumbup:
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    The Panny EVF is color-sequential, whereas the Oly is not. I wouldn't be surprised if the color tearing effect in Panny's EVFs gives some people headaches. I personally find the Oly EVF to be far, far nicer to use.

    Pentax sells lenses like this:
    Which are useful if you're really planning to get serious. m4/3 can't match that, yet.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. ^^ I find the EVF in my GH1 uncomfortable to look at but have no problems with the Olympus VF-2 and E-M5 viewfinders.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. j.a.farnum

    j.a.farnum New to Mu-43

    Oct 18, 2011
    EM5 all the way....
    • Like Like x 1
  10. dannat

    dannat Mu-43 Regular

    May 2, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    The pentax is a good camera, & has IS built in if I remember, the bigger sensor will prob let you crop your pics a little closer in than mu 4/3.
    The 100-300 will prob be better iq than the 55-300 but the bigger sensor might he you here. 300mm is 300mm focal length, neither camera gets you closer, the mu 4/3 just gives you less field of view, for wildlife the VF of the Pentax is a big plus IMO

    What type of wildlife r u looking at? Safari style, birds etc
    • Like Like x 1
  11. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 30, 2010
    The type of wildlife would likely be mostly birds, deer, etc. I do a lot of hiking and outdoor activities so this camera would go out with me a lot for any photo ops and when I am going out just for wildlife. Nothing excessively wild and dangerous like you might see on a safari type of outing - not much opportunity for that here in South Carolina. :)  I live in a rural area with lots of woods so I may set up a deer stand type of thing where I sit and see what happens to show up. I am thinking foxes, and similar. These pictures would be for my own use also - definitely nothing professional. If I got an exceptionally good shot I may want to enlarge it some.
  12. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    I use the DA55-300 on my K-5 and it's a great lens for the money, especially in kit deals. That might be the DA L version in a kit, same optics but composite mount, no simple manual-focus override and no hood. I use the 45-200 Lumix not the 100-300 so cannot comment there. I really liked the k-x more than the k-r.. but then the K-5 ended my search in that format. :smile:
  13. Azimuth

    Azimuth Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2012
    Thornbury, Victoria
    Can't speak for the original poster, but they are different for me.

    My G3 EVF gives me headaches that the E-M5 EVF does not. Have no idea why this is so, but it is so.

    Maybe it is the opposite for other people.
  14. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 30, 2010
    Just an update for everyone. I tried out a Panasonic G5 a week or so ago. For some reason that viewfinder does not give me the headaches even after a couple of hours of use. I don't know if they have changed it or if it is larger or something but it has ended up being much better for me. I have actually now purchased one and I am loving it. I have the 100-300 lens and will be getting the 14-140 and 45 1.8 and one other prime. Thanks for everyone's input. I am glad the G5 came along because while I loved the sound of the EM5 and it obviously produces great results I couldn't justify the cost at the moment for me. Thanks again everyone.
  15. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012
    I think its a great choice, the G5 has better ergonomics so handling the 100-300mm should be fine
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