OM-D E-M5 First Impressions and Pictures(LOTS)

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by napilopez, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Hey guys, so as some of you know, I recently purchased an OM-D as an upgrade to my G3. And what an upgrade it is. At almost 3 weeks with it now I thought I'd share some random thoughts of this lovely little camera.

    -Imo the most attractive camera out there at the moment. I have the silver version. I also don't think it looks retro. Just retro-inspired.

    -Similarly, build feels great. Heavier than most M4/3 cameras, but I love the heft. Feels solid. Also, I drenched it in water under the faucet the first day I got it just to test the weather sealing; had no issues.

    -I think this is the best EVF on the market right now in practical usage(haven't tried GH3 though). Although the Sony screen is higher resolution and larger, it also has a tendency to lag more in the dark, and seems to clip a lot of shadow detail. Plus, the high refresh rate option of the OM-D can be quite useful. The Sony EVF is "prettier", the OM-D's is more functional.

    -It's a shame you don't have easier control over the AF point size. Firmware update please?

    -Same for focus peaking. Why do we need to use that silly key line workaround?

    -I love all the customizablility in this camera, but it also makes you wish for even more! Why can't you apply all the functions to all the buttons. Especially, why can't you assign anything other than exposure compensation to up on the 4-way pad?!

    -I don't find the buttons to be annoying at all. Yes, they're kind of "mushy", but very easy to feel and locate with their sharp edges, unlike the buttons of my G3 I often found myself pressing accidentally.

    -5-Axis IBIS. Wow, just wow. Shooting at 1/10th of a second sharply has become a norm rather than the exception. And in video mode, it just works magic.

    -The banding with the 20mm is a huge shame, which is apparently sensor related, not IBIS interference, as there have been reports of this issue with the GH3. I shoot at ISO 1600+ too often for me to just ignore this, and had to invest in a PL25 instead, which I'm liking a lot, but prefer the focal length of the 20.

    -I didn't really have a problem with the menus, except that the default settings are somewhat bizarre. Perhaps that's because they're encouraging you to mess around?

    -Oh man, those olympus colors. I never got the hype until now, and never thought I'd enjoy JPEGs again. I've actually been pretty successful at replicating them in lightroom with a couple of presets, thankfully, so I'm sticking to RAW.

    -C-AF works for me. I haven't shot super fast subjects, admittedly but for many practical usages, like portraiture and moving kids, it works(I use Vivid, contrast +1, and high refresh mode when I need the best performance)

    -This camera has the nicest sounding shutter I've ever heard, and is quiet. Soft and swift.

    -Love the dual dials. I move the leftmost one from the top so that I only need to use one finger.

    -I do wish it had an integrated flash. At the very least, the included flash should have been bounceable. I avoid the flash as much as possible, but is useful some times.

    -The screen is nice. I miss full articulation, but conversely, this screen is a lot faster to use for street shooting than having to fold out the one on my g3.

    -Finally, image quality. What can I say; dynamic range is miles ahead of my G3, and low light performance, in my opinion is too. Noise wise, it's only about a stop better, but what ISO measurements and test shots don't show you is how much better the E-M5 retains color and dynamic range at higher ISOs.

    -Overall, there are some useability quirks, but which camera doesn't have these? I really think the E-M5 is going to become a "classic" camera, and I really hope olympus doesn't rush releases much from now on. As I've said before, if olympus really wants to present itself as the "mature" mirrorless camera system, they can't be releasing a new flagship camera every year; look at the time between releases of Canon and Nikon's top of the line cameras. Instead, they should focus on firmware updates, as most of my issues with the E-M5 can be solved through firmware, and I believe the OM-D's sensor performance is good enough that olympus needn't feel like it's trying to catch up to other systems anymore.

    Anyway, I haven't been doing too much real shooting yet, but here are some of my first shots with the OM-D over the past couple of weeks, all processed through LR from RAW(some hardly modified, others heavily) Thanks for reading.

    Me on my 22nd birthday:
    Sixteen-3 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Testing out the macro mode of the kit lens:
    pifa by napilopez, on Flickr

    My beautiful god-daughter:
    Adi-21 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Puppy and D7000:
    Adi-20 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Awesome guy I frequently see playing music at the subway station:
    New-106 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Chinatown(this is pulled up one stop, highlights -100 and shadows +100 on LR, and it's STILL pretty clean at iso 1250!):
    Simmyday-12 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Broome St(similarly heavily pulled):
    Simmyday-6 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Looking at you:
    Simmyday-2 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Slightly blurry, but 1/4s!
    pifa-3 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Just using ISO 400 at night with kit lens, no biggy:
    Cold-26 by napilopez, on Flickr

    Tack sharp at 1/10s:
    Cold-25 by napilopez, on Flickr

    I love lens flare:
    Simmyday by napilopez, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 13
  2. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Great review and post. Glad your enjoying the camera and nice pics (love the lens flare shot at the end!). Im soon to be a EM-5 user as well. Just about another month or so to go of saving up!
  3. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    for grins :) 
    download C1 and play with it a bit 60 day trial I think ?

    first thing bring down noise to 25 and 25 its got 50 to start with which is to much ! it will make sense when you play with it :) 
    boost up the clarity and clarity and structure to about 4-10 for both ?
    change sharpening amount 150-180 and radius around .5-.8
    just general settings

    for me the Oly files like Leica really come alive with C1 over LR
  4. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Hmm, haven't used capture one in a while, but I may give it another go. I do remember prefering it's colors to those of lightroom when I tried it a long time ago on my G3.

    That said, I've really liked the new Photo Ninja software, but the lack of localized adjustments make it a no-no for general usage.
  5. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    What is C1? :confused: 
  6. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
  7. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    the new 7 has improved quite a bit so for fun might be worth a try :) 
  8. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
  9. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    The guitar player shot; I like the way the overall color tone takes its cue from the guitar body and his cap!
  10. Nice mini review and a great set of images. Enjoy your new camera, it's a beauty!
  11. gtesta13

    gtesta13 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 3, 2013
    looks great, i hope to get one soon !
  12. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Thanks guys, it's a wonderful cam.
  13. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    +1. My only question is Are you eating your cake with two forks, double-fisted style? :smile:

    Thanks for sharing.
  14. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Hahaha I didn't even notice until you pointed it out! I guess I was =P
  15. nylife

    nylife Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 20, 2012
    I went from G3 to e-pl5, and pretty much agree with everything you said, since it is the same sensor. Oly jpeg colors are awesome
  16. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    I was heavily considering the E-PL5. I do miss being able to make the screen face me, which is very useful for video, self-portraits, or hanging out with friends. And if I still had my 20, it would be great for pocketability!
  17. BDGallof

    BDGallof New to Mu-43

    Jan 4, 2013
    Freeport, NY
    B.D. Gallof
    Went G3 to OM-5. What a step-up. Whole new world. The more I shot with the Lumix GF3, the more aware I was of limitations and some issues. Of course, I got it for $300 with the 14mm lens, so who is to argue.

    But since getting the OM-5, really loving it. Only caveat so far is not as great on night shots/night focusing. I am noticing a bit of issue there, or at least I need to work around them. Rest has been just wonderful thus far. I put some images in the OM-5 thread. Or you can look at my gallery for some of the shots I have taken.

  18. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    I do think my OM-D actually hunts a bit more than my G3 in the extreme dark with the assist light off on both cameras, but in those cases I actually prefer to manual focus anyway(counterintuitive, I know, but it works better for me). Make sure you try to focus in as contrasty an area as you can.
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