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OM-D vs. Canon 5d ... hmmmm?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jeffryscott, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    So, OM-D folks, has anybody using the new Oly had experience with a Canon 5d? Just wondering how the image quality compares.

    I recently traded my EP2 kit for a Canon 5d. While I love the larger sensor, I have to say I miss the size of my EP2 kit. Since I first picked up a Leica, I've been a rangefinder-kind of guy, Leica M's and Contax G's were primary cameras in film days. The EP2 was close as far as size and handling goes and I was, overall, quite pleased with the images.

    I am smitten by the OM-D (my first professional cameras were OM's, which I used for years in my newspaper days) and the OM-D rekindles that feeling. The build and weather resistance are attractive features as well.

    Obviously I want the OM-D ... just internally debating about giving up FF. For what it is worth, I'm not doing professional work too often any more, but when gigs come up I want to make sure the equipment is up to it (I don't have any doubts about the Oly gear being good enough).
  2. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Well I sold my 5DMKII after I got a Pen Mini and I shoot professionally for magazines and advertisements and I think the Pen Mini is pretty close to the 5D classic what I also owned so I would say that the OMD should be equal.

    You might consider going to dpreview.com and downloading the raws of a 5D and a OMD and check out the quality yourself. You can view the OMD raw files with Olympus software that the Ep2 came with or Corel AfterShot Pro - Corel AfterShot Pro

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Hands-on Preview: Digital Photography Review
    • Like Like x 1
  3. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Ask yourself how important subject isolation (shallow depth of focus) is and how important dynamic range is. Also ask how important such things as the 70-200 f/2.8 L lens on FF sensor is to you. What about sports photography?

    M4/3 can meet very many shooters needs, but it can't meet every pro's needs... Depending on what those needs are.

    M4/3 is improving over time, but a full frame sensor with the full array of pro AF lenses has not been eclipsed by m4/3 for many pro shooter's needs.

    Only you can decide what your needs are.... None of us here can definitively answer that for YOU. Is m4/3 wonderful? Sure... All of us here on this forum love m4/3. But it is not the answer to all photographic needs by any measure.

    I use m4/3 and an LX5 for all of my personal photography and travel photography. But for professional outdoor portrait photography, nothing on m4/3 can match what I can achieve with the 5DMkII and 70-200 f/2.8 L-IS lens in terms of look, working quickly, and drawing out details in shadow and highlight areas.

    Each camera system has its advantages, disadvantages, suitabilities, and unsuitabilities. All photographic needs cannot be met by any camera system. Decide what is most important to you and what your unique photographic requirements are and then decide what system or systems are needed to achieve your objectives.
    • Like Like x 8
  4. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    On another forum, here was the reaction of a Canon geek to some E-M5 videos I posted:

    "the OM-D EM-5 is a Micro Four-Thirds sensor which -- while perfectly fine -- is inferior to the APS-C sensor of the 60D. Thirdly, it doesn't shoot native 24p or 30p video (or 60p, for that matter). Lastly, let's pretend what you're seeing is measurably accurate (And I don't believe it is)... it's still an Olympus. Not only are they on the verge of bankruptcy, but the third-party support and lens availability for their products is a joke in comparison to Canon (or Nikon)."
    • Like Like x 1
  5. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    It would be interesting to hear what that anonymous poster thinks about the other mirrorless APS-C bodies.....
  6. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    I bought an E-PL1 almost two years ago and am currently saving my pennies for an OM-D.

    If you like, click on the link to the Blurb online version of my book Georgia: A Backroads Portrait in the links below. Most of the photos in the book were made before I got my E-PL1, but the wedding photo on page 25 was made with that camera. The mill on page 46 was chosen over a 5D shot of the same scene, and the tree on page 127 was picked over a Rolleicord Vb shot. The full-page photos are 12x12 in the book. All of these were made with the original version of the kit zoom.

    The OM-D can only be better.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I got a chance to play with the OMD EM-5 at our local brick n' mortar store.....Awesome camera!

    I didn't walk out with the OMD but I did walk out with the 45 ƒ1.8 :smile:
    • Like Like x 2
  8. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    Thanks all, I know image quality will be good with the OMD, just want affirmation:smile:

    Went back to the 5d because of the greater options at telephoto and subject isolation. Have the 28 1.8, 85 1.8 primes. Lovely images, lovely isolation. Reality is I don't have 1k for a 400 5.6, nor will I in the near future.

    With my original m43 setup (well second, I had the EP1, but hated not having a finder) I bought the EP2 and VF2, 7-14 panasonic, 20 1.7 and 45 2.8 Leica. That was a KIT, absolutely loved it. At that time though I still worked at a newspaper so had a complete Canon setup for sports, etc .. The original kit got watered down as finances took a hit, going back to school, kids, etc ... so I ended with the EP2, 14 2.5, 20 1.7 and 14-45. Still a nice kit, but not the awesome kit I started with.

    I've moved on professionally so mostly shoot for myself. I was very comfortable with my Leica and Contax within the 21, 28, 35, 45 (50) and 90 range. Didn't miss the long end too much.

    So, here I am. Shot a coworkers wedding a week or two ago, going to try to do more when they come up. Shooting another coworker's soon-to-be born baby. Little gigs here and there for not much money, but good for them, good for me. No sports where I need long and fast lenses.

    I like the idea of the OM-D with the 14, 20 and 45 1.8 (and kit zoom for weather seal) as a nice small kit. The 75 when it becomes available would be killer. If I want a long lens, the Oly 40-150 is cheap, but optically not bad.

    Ok, I've pretty much sold myself on the OMD, anybody want a nice Canon kit?
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Well, it sounds like you've got your mind made up!

    The two things I miss most from FF the most are the lenses and the lenses :smile: Affordable native wide-aperture primes and high quality zooms are still pretty rare for m4/3. But you gain a lot in terms of weight and convenience, and at this point m4/3 seems to have reached the level of FF sensor quality c. 2005, so there'd be no real IQ loss in your case.

  10. steve

    steve Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2010
    Havertown, PA
    It certainly wasn't a scientific comparison, but I was able to put my new E-M5 up against my 5DmkII at a photo shoot this past Sunday. Friends of mine about about to have a baby and asked for a photo session. They just wanted to go to the park and shoot some simple, engagement style shots. I thought it would be a great opportunity to see how the E-M5 would do in a professional shooting situation. For these shots, I switched between the E-M5 with the Pany 20mm f 1.7 lens and the 5DmkII with a 24-70 f 2.8. It was mid-afternoon on a bright, sunny day, so as soon as the sun ducked under a cloud, we scrambled to get some quick shots off. I failed to notice that the 5D was set to f/2.8 and the E-M5 was set at f/4. Both images were shot RAW. I used ACR to open the Canon image and Olympus Viewer 2 to open the ORF. I used minimal processing on both shots.

    First, the 5DmkII:
    Canon EOS 5D Mark II    ---    51mm    f/2.8    1/200s    ISO 200

    Canon 5DmkII, f/2.8 1/200, iso 200

    Then, the E-M5

    Olympus E-M5, f/4, 1/200, iso 200

    I don't think these shots should be compared apples to apples, because there are inherent differences in the capabilities of each camera. But I think that the E-M5 holds up pretty well. The 5DmkII is a phenomenal camera that creates incredible images. I have used it extensively for three years and I know the controls very well and can work very quickly with it. But, after about half an hour of switching back and forth between the two cameras, I found myself using the E-M5 more and more. Eventually, I put the 5D down and used the E-M5 for the rest of the shoot.

    Here's a couple more images from the EM-5

    E-M5    ---    14mm    f/5.0    1/100s    ISO 200

    E-M5    ---    45mm    f/3.2    1/320s    ISO 200
    • Like Like x 9
  11. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    When to get a FF:

    If a fast long zoom is important to you.. then get a FF.

    If you very often shoot fast action sports or birding photography is important to you.. then get a FF. Contrast AF is still not there and probably a couple more generations if improvement will be needed to catch up.

    FF or Panasonic M43

    If movie quality and mode is important to you.. then get a hackable Panasonic.


    If you want a small light form factor camera with excellent Jpg and very very good raw quality images with IBIS.. get an Olympus OM-D or EP3. If money is a concern, get a PEN Mini.

    If you want a hell of a bargain, get an EPL-2 or GF3.

    Waiting Game:

    If you can wait 6 months, wait and see what Olympus is planning regarding the next gen of PENs. I don`t see anything from Pana into the future that makes me want to jump ship and get OIS system m43 - as Panas superior movie mode doesnt mean a thing to me and if it was, Id get a hackable version anyway to compliment an OM-D or EP3.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. alans

    alans Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 28, 2010
    Then, the E-M5

    Olympus E-M5, f/4, 1/200, iso 200

    Nice couple.

    One distraction is the tree limbs coming out behind her head which mirror her own hair. The OOF background of the FF shot is easier on my eyes.
  13. zettapixel

    zettapixel Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 12, 2010
    Actually, in both cases many people prefer APS-C since it effectively provides more reach using the same lenses as FF.
    FF is preferred for it's high quality wide angle lenses, high dynamic range, shallow depth of field.

    +1 on this. While the Canon fan quoted earlier here has valid points, all the lens variety and availability including third party support that Canikon enjoys don't make those lenses any smaller...
  14. steve

    steve Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2010
    Havertown, PA
    You're absolutely correct. Unfortunately, I didn't think quick enough to change the aperture from f/4 before I took this shot. The FF was at 2.8. I probably should have had the m43 at 1.7 to get a similar OOF image. Oh well.
  15. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Utmost nonsense actually . MFT has enough lenses and we can use any kind of lenses on these cameras . I have had Canon 60D for a while and I sold in after buying EPL2 . There was nothing which my EPL2 couldnt do for me . I agree that Video is a strength of current Canon DSLRs but MFT is grossly underestimated by some self-styled pro photographers. They are not Pro photographers because of their talent ,but they are ' PRO' because they shoot with NIKON or CANON or some other SNOB Brand and thats really stupid . MFT is not designed to take place of FF cameras and I don't know why we bring this discussion again and again .
    • Like Like x 1
  16. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    This is my "signature" look in portraiture. Usually, I like the setting to be very heavily out of focus, isolating subject from the surroundings, to emphasize the presence and crispness of the subject.

    Shot with the 5DMkII and 70-200 f/2.8 L lens at 200mm and f/2.8. The compression and subject isolation is characteristic of this combination. Those columns are about 5' apart, so you can see the compression effect of the lens.

    Canon EOS 5D Mark II    ---    200mm    f/2.8    1/500s    ISO 400

    It's possible to achieve a similar look on m4/3 using fast, long legacy glass... a 100mm f/2 lens will get close. An 85mm f/1.4 lens gets very close. But these don't have auto focus, which I prefer for speed when working professionally.

    Here's an example where I attempted to achieve this look with the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 lens on GH2, shot at f/1.4.

    DMC-GH2    ---       f/1.0    1/3200s    ISO 320

    A similar isolation effect (with much less compression, however) is possible with the 45/1.8, however the camera to subject distance must be very, very close - limiting composition to just head and shoulders. G3 with 45mm f/1.8 lens, shot at f/1.8.

    DMC-G3    ---    45mm    f/1.8    1/250s    ISO 200

    I'm looking forward to the day when we have a native 100mm f/1.8 lens for m4/3 or something similar. It will bring m4/3 a long way in the world of portraiture.
    • Like Like x 4
  17. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011

    I am also a former news photog.:cool:  Up to an 8x10, I see no significant difference in IQ between my FF cameras (1Ds/5D) and my µ4/3. As Don pointed out the µ4/3 do not have the system to compete against Canon/Nikon in the general professional market. For action the OM-D is 4.5 FPS against the big boy's 10-12 FPS. This is again very significant. (Personally, I am very comfortable with 6 FPS, rendering 10-12 a bit of an overkill and leaving 4.5 as a close but no cigar camera making one work harder to get the shot.

    But I have ordered an OM-D and keeping my fingers crossed for some fast and long lenses.

  18. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Good stuff Don. I think for most photographers the difference between the µ4/3 cameras and the FF cameras, is slight and insignificant. But, (the big but), I think professionals, (I'm not referring to an accounting term, but those photogs of exceptional skill and experience), can utilize that slight difference to their advantage and ultimately transfer those slight differences onto the final image.

    • Like Like x 1
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Gary... I agree... for the more casual photographer, m4/3 should meet their needs quite well. It meets my needs for the majority of what I shoot these days. I too have an OM-D body on order and look forward to long/fast native glass!

    One more difference that I appreciate with the 5DMkII is when I photograph family groups outdoors in landscape settings (small people - big landscape). Often these families will purchase wall portraits up to 30"x40". There's no way m4/3 can match the full frame 5DMkII sensor for such situations. But again, the casual user is generally not called upon to produce such demanding products.
  20. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Depending on what you consider "something similar", the m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 is due to arrive this year. If what you're after is "doable" on the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, then the 75mm will be much easier...

    I wouldn't mind seeing a 100mm f/2 of course, but I think the 75mm/1.8 will add a lot to the system.
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