OM-D: I'm *trying* to like it

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by michaeln, Aug 3, 2012.

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  1. michaeln

    michaeln Guest

    I have a GX1 and a bunch of Panasonic Lumix lenses (7-14, 14-45, 45-200 and 20mm).

    I just bought a new OM-D with the 14-42 lens, received it yesterday. Yep, it's nice, and I like the fast burst rate. But beyond that, I am not finding a whole lot that makes me want to keep it.

    The user interface is super clumsy. Stuff that is easy to do on my GX1 is an exercise in frustration on the OM-D. Even getting the door open for the USB socket is more difficult than it has to be. You have to swing the display out to get to the edge of the door before you can open it. Only Olympus could have a setting called "+ IS Off" that defaults to "On" (which actually means IS won't work with high speed bursts) and if you want IS to work during high speed bursts, you have to turn it "Off". What kind of twisted logic is that?

    If the image quality of the OM-D is better, I sure can't see a significant enough difference to justify 2X the price. (Actually, I can't see *any* difference, but I haven't done exhaustive testing).

    I want to like it, and even considered keeping it and selling my GX1, but the more I use the OM-D, the more likely I think it will be going back for a refund. I'll give it some time (I have 30 days to send it back to Amazon), but so far?

    Not sure it's a keeper.
  2. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 19, 2012
    Send it back then.
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  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I'm an Oly shooter, though I've tried the GF1, G3 and now ordered a GX1 on sale.

    I'm currently renting for the weekend the OMD to try it out.

    Here's my one day old impression so far:

    Super fast shot to shot. Super quiet. I love the dials. LCD is very nice, and the EVF is very responsive. The proximity sensor is perfect. EVF when you need it, LCD when you don't.

    I have shot comparison photos at low and high ISO between the OMD and the EPM1. There is a difference, but (for me) it might not justify the cost.

    If you've not used an Oly before, there is most assuredly a learning curve on the menus. If you stick with it, it is VERY rewarding. Once your brain thinks like an Oly, you can actually access what you need faster than the Panny's, and you can customize a lot more. But it took 6 months with my EP1 in 2009 to learn their thinking. I do still, however, desire the C1 C2 modes on the GX1 dial (and one reason I ordered one).

    My EPM1 cost $200. This is $1,000. I don't think I can justify that. Especially since I'm not sure I'll use weather sealing or the tilt screen. I've got a GX1 on the way. Next week, I'll compare the GX1 to see if it unseats my EPM1.

    In short, I agree with you. I see the upside, but for me, I'd rather put my money in lenses.

    edit: based on this thread I think weatherproofing is even less important to me, lol.
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  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Anything in particular bugging you? I'm sure the interface isn't for everyone, but I don't think it's that terrible (aside from bracketing, which is, yes, terrible). And there are a lot of things one can customize in terms of the controls.

    I wouldn't disagree If image quality is the only thing you want, and you already have the GX1, I don't think the E-M5 really makes sense. It's really the combination of features that either do or don't do it for you, i.e. weather-sealing, tilt LCD, built-in EVF, IBIS, Olympus JPEGs, etc.

  5. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Just return it and get it over with.
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  6. michaeln

    michaeln Guest

    Yep, I shoot a lot of HDR and the Olympus AE bracketing scheme is lame. On my GX1 I have all of my HDR settings saved in the C1 mode. I rotate the dial to C1 and everything I want is set (5 shot 1EV bracketing, manual focus, ISO 160, burst mode, etc.). It couldn't be easier unless they came up with a Spock Mind Meld Interface where I only have to THINK about shooting HDR.

    It has a tilt OLED screen, but it is a lame design... you can't flip it out to the side, it doesn't work in portrait mode, and you can't turn it in toward the body to protect the screen. My Canon 60D and G9/10/11/12 all had much better display designs.

    I now have a weather sealed camera but no weather sealed lenses, and I don't think I need weather sealing anyway for the photography I do. I have a great external EVF on my GX1. The only lens I have that needs IBIS with its hissing noises is the the 14-42 that came with the camera. I don't shoot JPEGs ever.
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd return it if you're not finding value with it. For me personally, I shoot mainly MF lenses now and lots of low light, and the E-M5 5-axis IBIS is awesome! If you're shooting mainly with native glass, I think the GX1 is a better priced option.
  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Then I think you have your answer there. Different strokes and all that...

    FWIW, I think the GX1 is fantastic value now that the body is down to $400 and the EVF only $160.

  9. michaeln

    michaeln Guest

    Well, like I said, I'll give it some time. I don't have to decide about returning it right now.
  10. MrPhotoBob

    MrPhotoBob Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 16, 2012
    You seem to be the type of person who has a difficult problem in making decisions, and personally if I were you, I would send it back. If you decide to keep it, you will be constantly thinking that you should have sent it back and later on the down the line you will get rid of it because you will still not be able to make up your mind if you really like it or not.

    Yes, the menu does have a learning curve to it and it did take me some time to learn it, but when I purchased my OMD, I purchased it with the knowledge that I wanted the camera and that I was going to do what it takes to learn how to use it. I have sense purchased my second OMD and both with grips, five lenses and two Fl-600 flashes and I am more than happy that I made those purchases.

    When I see something that I am not sure that I am going to like and I feel that I need the help of someone else in order to make a decision, I pass on the purchase because I feel that it would not really be for me. I got rid of a really great Nikon D3s system for this camera and I will have to say that I am glad that I made the change. The biggest reason for me in making the change was because of the weight that the Nikon system had and the fact that I just did not wish to lug it around on my back any more. I am able to get a great quality of images from my OMD system, and my back is not hurting, so I have no regrets for my purchases.

    My personal feeling are that you really do not seem to want the camera for yourself, you seem more like someone who wants it because others have it and you feel that you want to see what it is like as well, and that really is not a reason to purchase this system, you will probably end up not liking it later on. Unless you decide that you truly like it for yourself and really need it, you will most likely never keep it. So to be honest, the decision has to be yours, you will have to be the one who decides on why you feel that you want it and if it will fill those need that you seem to have for thinking that you want it.
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  11. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    I'm fully with you here, the 2 experiments I did with Olympus after using the GX-1 was INDEED an exercice in frustration. UI is absolutely horrible for people used to Panny, and yes the IQ difference between GX1 and EM5 is mostly irrelevant unless DR is of the paramount importance.
    Send it back, it's gonna start dropping in price within 2 or 3 months with the rumored higher end OM model, and you'll regret getting at full price a camera you feel you're struggling with.
  12. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    michael... to a great degree I agree that the E-M5 isn't a 'must-have' body for most of us and that Pany cameras (G3, GH2, GX1, G5) offer superb capability. And I agree that the IQ provided by the GX1, G5, even the G3 are so close, with minor differences, to that of the E-M5 that they are in the same relative ballpark, for the most part. While the sensor in the E-M5 has an edge in DR, in practical use for most people I don't view this as a dramatic difference that is essential. The G3, GX1, G5 output is superb and I suspect the output from the soon to be available G5 will be even closer to that of the E-M5 - enough to generally call it roughly comparable.

    The E-M5 was so over-hyped for a long time and while it does have some nice attributes that are new and beneficial to Oly-only users, its not a huge deal to people who already shoot with GH2, G3, GX1. The E-M5 (by virtue of a long overdue sensor upgrade and the built-in EVF) finally brought Oly cameras up to a level that was previously established with the GH2 and G3. And it upped the ante slightly, but not dramatically. The E-M5 is a great camera, but not golden.

    The E-M5 doesn't obscure the value of the top Pany bodies, such as the GH2, G3, G5, GX1 which offer many excellent attributes as well.

    The weather sealing means close-to-nothing to me personally, as I wouldn't be shooting in rain anyway and I'm not so sure I'd want to trust it fully anyway in that regard. And the look of JPGs means nothing to me as I shoot all RAW anyway and do my image processing with Lightroom4.

    The most significant benefit of the camera to me is the combination of IBIS, EVF, tilting LCD, and the wheel controls. But I do prefer the Pany fully articulated LCD which offers more shooting options and great protection to the screen when not in use.

    For me, the ONLY feature that really separates the E-M5 from the G3, G5, GH2 is IBIS. This can be a helpful feature to have, for sure, but not all that important for a great deal of photography applications, depending on your individual needs and what lenses you typically shoot with. I like to have at least one body with IBIS for times when I want that... but for the bulk of the time, I'm generally happier with the way Pany does things.

    Aside from IBIS, the G3, especially the G5, offers compelling alternatives for much less money. I love the C1 and C2 capability on the function dial.

    Personally, I find enough value in the E-M5 to keep it, but that's no reason for me to go all-Oly. I've ordered a G5 to replace my G3 and will likely trade my GH2 for the GH3 when it arrives. And I may trade my E-PL3 for the E-PL5 when it comes out.

    I wouldn't be surprised if I find the G5 every bit as nice, if not nicer, to use than the E-M5. I like to do HDR capture as well and the ease of doing that with the Panys is fantastic. The E-M5 approach to this is irritating. Hopefully the E-M6 will rectify this issue.

    None of the cameras we have at present or are soon to have are perfect in every way for all photographers. Pany cameras are every bit as fantastic as Oly cameras; they each have their unique benefits and suitability - we just need to try to match those particular offerings to our individual needs and desires. And this is an ever-changing field of gear... it never ends.
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  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I agree with what Don said...these are all tools to help you create images. If you find the OMD doesn't give you enough value then send it back or sell it (it's in demand at at premium right now so there isn't a better time). The GX1 is just as capable a tool as is the OMD and given all the hype surrounding the OMD I can easily see it not living up to expectations. It's a great camera but there are a lot of really great m43 bodies. If you prefer the GX1 go with it. Its the images that count not the gear used to make them.
  14. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    If you always shoot HDR with roughly the same settings you can use MYSET custom sets (which is not specifically a shortcut to AEB). I rarely shoot AEB, it's usually after I've set up a shot which has too much DR, but it is silly the way AEB is not in the SCP.

    I have the GX1 as well, but I rarely use it since I got the E-M5. Once you get past the initial setup & get used to the SCP it is super fast with two dials. Turn the back one to go between settings, then the front one to adjust the value.

    E-M5's higher resolution screen is nice, but most importantly it has the IBIS which is useful on all the pancakes, the 25 & the 7-14. One aspect you may notice are some CAs with the 7-14 & 12-35 (at least in RAW). The tilt screen is useful when you're using the 7-14 and you want to lower the camera to align your shot for those tricky foreground objects that get distorted sometimes.

    Every lens needs IBIS when the shutter speed decreases, IMO. Panasonic 20 & 7-14 included.

    P.S.: You Canon Powershot G9 & G10 display was fixed! I had the G10, and I checked DPR. :wink:
  15. bitmatt

    bitmatt Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 7, 2012
    Real Name:
    Just wondering- what's the purpose of this thread, exactly? Are you looking for someone to make up your mind for you? Reveal some special magic OM-D feature that you were not aware of and suddenly can't live without? A camera is a tool. Not every tool works for every person. Either take the time to learn how to make it work for you, or go back to what already works for you. Nothing anyone here says will make a difference.
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  16. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    There are three types of people when it comes to the Oly interface: 1) Those who've always used Oly cameras and feel natural with it; 2) Those who adapt to it after a while (I'm in this group); 3) Those who hate it no matter what.

    I've never used the USB socket. What is it for?

    Yep, there are some crazy menu settings. I also wonder why they default to having a non-stabilized EVF :confused:.

    As the others have said, there is little reason to fight to make it work. On the other hand, once you get the menu settings the way you want them and learn how to change stuff, it sounds like most of your stated frustrations will have been addressed. I find that the OM-D and GX1 complement one another extremely well.
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  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    How hype-worthy you find it depends on your personal preferences:

    - SLR style vs RF style
    - Retro style vs modern
    - Oly brand pref vs Pan
    - Flip LCD vs flip/twist
    - Crisp shutter sound vs muted
    - Crisp controls vs mushy
    - Two control dials vs custom settings on control dial
    - Oly color vs Panasonic
    - Capacitive touch screen vs resistive

    There are some advantages to the Panas:
    - Better low light AF
    - Option for multi-aspect sensor
    - Color fringing correction with Pana lenses

    And some for the Oly:
    - IBIS (some may call this a wash, but I don't buy it)
    - Weather sealing
    - Faster burst rate

    For me, the OM-D was easily worth the hype because all of the following are in line with my preferences:
    - The specific styling of the camera
    - Effective IBIS
    - Subdued shutter release sound/feel
    - Flip LCD
    - Capacitive display
    -Twin control dials

    The fact that the OM-D offered slightly better sensor image quality was sort of icing on the cake.

    I'm not out to say the E-M5 is objectively better than a GH2, GX1, or G3, but I don't think it's right to call it "overhyped" or only a big deal for only for "Olympus only users". It was a big deal to me, and I've owned twice as many Pana bodies (GH1, G1, GH2, GF3, GX1) as I have Oly bodies (E-P3, E-M5).
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  18. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Thou shalt always love the OMD E-M5 and thou shalt never speakest a negative word about it - to do so is blasphemy​
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  19. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    It sounds like the E-M5 isn't a good fit for you. I do think that you can adapt to to the Oly menu system if IBIS, or other Oly-specific feature, are useful for you. Other than bracketing, you never need to go beyond SCP. I prefer other menu systems and bracketing implementations, no argument there, but it really isn't a huge deal once you are used to the routine (or use mysets).

    These are the big features of the E-M5 that I would miss moving to something else. I love the twin control dials, but I would go back to the one dial and jog wheel, if it got me a built-in flash. Also, I find the tilt screen very useful for what I shoot, but I would be good with an articulating screen, provided it didn't increase bulk.
  20. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    [ame=]Stoning - YouTube[/ame]
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