OMD EM5 questions from a newbie please

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Sootchucker, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Sootchucker

    Sootchucker Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Hi all. I've just taken possession of a used but mint EM5 with the HLD-6 grip to compliment my Panasonic GX7. Being new to M4/3 and most especially Olympus, I was wondering if a more seasoned enthusiast could answer the following questions please ?

    1. When using a Panasonic lens on the EM5 (for instance my Panny 14-140 Mega OIS II), does it matter in which position the OIS switch is in on the lens ? i.e. Does the EM5 always use in IBIS system regardless of whether the mounted lens has in lens OIS and is switched on, or does the OIS switch on the lens override the IBIS, and in any case, which is better ?

    2. Whilst I love some of the more advanced features of the GX7 (peeking, wifi, titling EVF etc.), I am finding the overall picture quality (especially jpgs) slightly better out of camera in the EM5, more so especially high ISO. The Panny seems to smudge fine detail whereas the EM5 appears to keep it longer. That being said, for standard jpg output, is there a good starting point for a picture control setting to use (I'm currently using a standard "natural" setting) ?

    3. I find the quick access to things like WB, ISO, etc, very good on the GX7, but aside from the SCP, is there a better way of getting access to these quickly, or is SCP the best method ?

    4. Like the above, bracketing is a one step click on the GX7, but I'm finding it a little difficult on the EM5. Any pearls of wisdom of how to set the camera up for quick access to exposure bracketing ?

    5. Any other tips and tricks (or links) to set up and use the camera to it's fullest, gratefully received.

  2. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    Hi there,

    as a long time E-M5 user I think I can answer your questions to some degree.

    ad 1: No, you have to choose either or, switching the lens OIS on, means, both stabilizing systems are working (against each other). I suggest to leave the OIS switched off, and rely on the E-M5's amazing IBIS. With native glass you do not have to set the focal length with Olympus bodies btw.

    ad 2: It is said the E-M5 has a VERY weak AA filter (Pekka Potka even said it's got none, but his test was not scientific), resulting in more details at base ISO - provided same glass used. For higher ISOs it is just a matter of in-camera application of noise reduction/sharpening where Panasonic (at least the bodies I owned) always took the route of little noise at the expense of fine detail. Olympus OTOH went for a little less NR, thus preserving more fine detail at higher ISOs.
    If you shoot jpeg, there's no "common" setting, instead there are tons of "settings", but they all reflect their respective users' preferences for tone, and also post processing workflow. You usually don't wanna have in-body sharpening, and NR, because the algorithms are inferior to what good PP software can achieve, thus setting those to -2 might be a good starting point. I always shoot raw, so I don't know really.

    ad 3: Once set up, the SCP is a handy UI to access all the important settings of an Olympus body. That said, direct access via a button is still faster, and so I suggest customizing the d-pad to functions you often need. The default setting of changing focus points really is a waste of real estate, seeing that "left" on the d-pad WILL stay reserved for that function anyway!

    ad 4: An issues that peeves many. There are work-arounds, but none that are particular "elegant", I'd say. Never looked into it, as I usually bracket manually, if ever at all.

    ad 5: Still a good guide for newcomers to the E-M5:
    Customization is really up to how you use your camera.

    Congratulations on your purchase. For some (read: many :wink:) the E-M5 is still the king of m4/3. If any, it was the model that gave a huge boost to m4/3 in terms of IQ, market penetration, and in my opinion was the turning point of m4/3 users in online communities being apologetic all the time to wearing their gear proudly.
  3. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    For question 2, the Panasonic is likely applying more Noise Filtering than Olympus, To get the most detail out of JPG's, many Olympus users turn the Olympus noise filter off and adjust noise if needed with PP. Look under menu G. Noise filter has four settings. JPG's are sharpest when it's set to OFF, but you get more grain at high ISO. The noise filter setting has no effect on RAW.

    By the way, the more common term for this is Noise Reduction, NR, but Olympus calls this Noise Filtering. You will see Noise Reduction under menu G, but that is for removing sensor thermal noise during long night exposures,
  4. Sootchucker

    Sootchucker Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Many thanks guys, gives me a much better starting point.

    Guess it will take a while to learn all it's intricacies as like my Nikon D800, the EM5 has a wealth of hidden options.
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
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