Questions about the OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dylanm, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. dylanm

    dylanm Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jan 15, 2016
    I apologize if my specific questions have been answered already. I am new here. Now, a bit of history. I have primarily used Canon DSLR's over the past 8 years or so. A few years ago I picked up a Fuji X-E1 for personal work as I was working full time for a company doing product photography where they purchased very high end gear for me to use. I wanted something new to try and spark something in me as I had lost a lot of joy from taking other pictures at that time. I really like the X-E1 and it has since become my go-to camera for personal projects. I have neglected to upgrade my Canon body in a long time and it is now ancient (40D). I no longer have that job and am trying to find something that I can use for both freelance commercial work and personal work. I am also not in the best financial situation so making huge purchases is out of the question. My thoughts were to either just upgrade my Canon body and use some of the lenses I already had, however I've really enjoyed using the X-E1 but I find it lacking in some areas when photographing certain subjects. My other problem with Fuji is the lens lineup, while the lenses are very, very good, they are quite pricey. Randomly I did some research on the Olympus cameras and found some innovative features that caught my attention. One being the live bulb preview mode. Very cool. The other, is the high resolution mode. My question is: is it possible to use strobes and off camera flash with the high resolution mode? Will each capture trigger the strobes just like any other capture? Can you set the delay so the flash or strobe (usually alien bees) can refresh? I shoot all different kinds of things for personal and professional use. Portraits, street, product, architecture, even urbex stuff. I love mirrorless but also like how fast DSLR's are and the range of accessories and equipment that are usually readily available. I know mirrorless has come a long way since the X-E1 and I'm wondering if it's possible this camera could be a good middle ground? I can't afford to go top of the line like the new ff Sony's at this time. Ideally I would have more than one camera setup, one for professional, one for personal, but I'm trying to combine the best of both worlds and get the most value by investing in one system for now. I could sell my Fuji and my Canon stuff and pick up this camera with a few lenses (as they are much cheaper). Thoughts?
     
  2. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    That is a big paragraph! I'm new too so I'll try to pull this into chunks for easier digestion.

    1) "Should I upgrade my aging Canon 40D?"

    depending on the glass you have invested in that platform, this might be the way to go to make your dollar go further. A new 70D or a slightly used 60D can be had for about the same price as a new Olympus and you get to keep all your lenses. Bonus!

    2) "I like the Fuji but the glass is expensive"

    There are some great lenses in the Fuji system and they just released an upgrade to the X-E2 and the X-Pro cameras which look pretty compelling. You didn't say what glass you have for your X-E1, but I bet you have a good start. I don't know what you're looking for in terms of zooms or primes, you say you do a lot of different types of photography. The Fuji 16-55mm is a great lens and considered a pretty solid bargain. It's a good 24-70mm equivalent.

    3) "Olympus has some innovative features"

    True. But it's a whole new system... The Olympus PRO lenses are on par with Fuji for prices, though they are stellar. Probably comparable in sharpness and performance.

    4) "Can I use off-camera flash or strobes with Hires mode?"

    (edit: I really doubt you can, though someone who knows for sure should chime in here.)

    I haven't used an EM5mkII but from what I understand, this mode is very limited in terms of how you can use it. You need a tripod and very stable subject, for starters. I have seen a few people use this for product photography and the results are pretty stellar. You might be able to use some kind of stable lighting arrangement provided it isn't slow-cycling AC powered. Electronic shutters and strobes tend to work poorly.

    5) Conclusions

    I wouldn't want to tell you how to spend your money, to be clear. I expect most people in these forums are pretty happy with m43 systems and mirrorless systems in general. You can probably get a decent price for your Canon and Fuji cameras and lenses if you do decide to make the switch, though you won't get the original price for anything. Switching systems tends to be expensive so be aware that you're taking a hit on whatever you've invested already.

    Also, Olympus is about to unveil some new camera tech this month. The Pen-F is touted as a testbed for the new technology they're going to incorporate into the next-gen EM-1. If that's of interest to you, you may want to hold out to see what's coming. Even if there's nothing of particular interest, you might get an EM-5mkII at a cheaper price as the new gear trickles out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  3. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    641
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    Yes you can use strobes and set a recharge time in between.. Here a youtube video comparing it to a D810

     
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  4. dylanm

    dylanm Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jan 15, 2016
    Thank you for the thorough reply.

    1.) I don't have anything too spectacular invested at the moment. I have a few primes and a small zoom. I actually sold two lenses when I got the Fuji since I started using the Canon less. But this was when a majority of the photo stuff I did was for an employer who provided other gear. I've actually thought about picking up an SL1 since they are super cheap right now and it's an 8mp upgrade from the 40D. I thought it could be a compromise between the two. However it doesn't have weather sealing and some other things to consider in some kind of "pro camera". However I think a lot of that is subjective as it's not your gear, it's what you do with the gear. You can be a pro iphone photographer for crying out loud.

    2.) I actually have nothing invested in my xe-1 besides it and the kit lens. The kit lens served most of my purposes except it's not too good for portraits. I usually use my 40D for that but again the body is so old.

    Conclusion, is I don't have a terrible amount invested in either, however I have a bit more invested in Canon as far as lenses go and ttl flashes. These can all be sold though. I've seen the new specs on the new fuji products coming out and I just don't feel like there is as big as an improvement between their releases as I've seen with other companies. Canon, I feel is kind of the same way. I need to make an upgrade somewhere and I'm not sure where lol. I want the best of both worlds at a low price, which again, is unreasonable.
     
  5. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    no problem! I know what a head scratcher switching systems can be. The truth is, there's so much awesome tech out there right now, it's pretty hard to make a bad choice. I like the m43 gear because of the small size and high-quality lenses, but could just as easily have stuck with my Nikon gear or gone to Fuji or even (ulp) even Sony. I'm still really happy with my EM1 and olympus and voigtlander lenses. It's great stuff.
     
  6. dylanm

    dylanm Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jan 15, 2016
    Side note: I looked at an SL1 today and it's just too small and cheap feeling. I thought small would be good but it's like small and fat and feels super awkward.
     
  7. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Here you can find a detailed "semi-official" description of the hi-res mode:

    Robin Wong: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review Extension: 40MP High Res Shot Questions Answered, High ISO Shooting and More Samples Images

    With the Oly 12-40/2.8 or Pana 12-35/2.8 and one between the O40-150/2.8 and the P35-100/2.8 you get a very good system. You can of course replace the tele zoom with the Oly 75 or the Pana 42.5/1.7 for example. I do not think there is much difference with the Fuji offer and you have the PanaLeica 25/1.4 and the Nocticron 42.5/1.2 to match their special lenses. And a new series of f1.2 PRO primes is coming from Olympus in a few months.

    Then you have the Samyang 7.5 fisheye, Voigtlander f/0.95 lenses, Sigma 60, the new 300/4, etc. and special lenses from Kowa, SLR gear, Veydra, Laowa, etc. And you can speedboost lenses from other formats and there are a few adapters with working AF for Canon (have a look at Metabones site for this).

    Then consider the E-M1 too. The price is dropping as the new model is coming. There are several threads about E-M1 vs E-M5 mk2, this one for example:

    Torn between E-M1 vs. E-M5 Mk II

    For me it comes down to PDAF (faster for action shots and compatibility with old Four Thirds lenses) vs Hi-res mode but other differences could be relevant for you.

    This and other similar articles at the bottom could be of interest:

    13 Amazing Professional Photographers Who Use Mirrorless Cameras on the Job
     
  8. dylanm

    dylanm Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jan 15, 2016
    So from what I gather the Olympus and Fuji systems are relatively similar in quality but Olympus has more and cheaper lenses?
     
  9. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'd say that IQ-wise they are different, Fuji may be slightly better being APS-C but it has more to do with whatever voodoo the X-Trans processing gives. IBIS muddies the waters for static subjects though, you can go to ridiculously low shutter speeds with silent electronic shutter and still have sharp shots.

    What m4/3 has is way more lens variety, from small, affordable and decent to large, more expensive and superb in almost all focal lengths. From what I've seen with Fuji their lenses tend to be on the latter side. About the only thing m4/3 doesn't do well natively in lenses is fast wide angle (unless you count speed booster).

    High res mode is definitely designed with strobes in mind (more so than outdoors landscape actually), you can definitely control recycle delay. It would be nice if you could combine the native focus bracketing feature with high res mode, but I don't have an E-M5 Mk2 to test it.

    Mirrorless systems seem to be really upping their game in terms of AF though. Fuji went from slowest (Canon EOS-M aside) to pretty impressive, and now with the X-Pro 2 have better PDAF coverage than the Olympus flagship. Same with Sony and their original A7 series versus the A7RII Expect a lot of movement in this domain.
     
  10. dylanm

    dylanm Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jan 15, 2016
    Right. Really, I guess I'm trying to get the best bang for my buck right now while still being a good investment in the future. I realize bodies will change constantly and it's more so about the lenses as an investment. I'm having trouble pulling the trigger and investing in Fuji considering the price. I like the x-e1 I just don't see it being feasible to work on commercial projects with as well.
     
  11. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Micro four thirds as a whole has a lot of lenses. This is a list, not complete:

    The Complete Micro 4/3 Lens List

    Here you can find some relatively cheap good options (Oly45, Pana25/1.7, Sigma60) and a few high end ones (Oly/Pana PRO lenses, PanaLeica and a few random ones). I think that with Fuji you are limited to the latter.
    From a quick look on B&H looks like Fuji prices are similar for comparable lenses, but we should go on a lens by lens basis trying to make a quality comparison too (good luck...). The difference in m43 is that you can choose from five different 90mm equiv. lenses (three with AF) from $300 to $1500:

    Olympus 45/1.8
    Panasonic 42.5/1.7
    Mitakon 42.5/1.2
    Voigtlander 42.5/0.95
    Panasonic Leica 42.5/1.2

    Or from...seven(?) 25mm lenses (three with AF) from $250 to $800. This from a 8mm/1.8 fisheye up to a 300/4. Nine days ago Olympus released the 300/4 and Panasonic the PanaLeica 100-400/4-6.3 for example.

    Even considering only Olympus you have the PRO line, the Premium and the "normal" one.
     
  12. dylanm

    dylanm Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jan 15, 2016
    Very informative. This is were Fuji is lacking, options. There are a few off brands but not many.
     
  13. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    To these you can add the "old" Four Thirds lenses, but the AF works fine only on the E-M1.
    These can be interesting because a few of these do not have a corresponding one in the Micro Four Thirds line:

    Four Thirds | Four Thirds | Products(Lenses)

    Most are very expensive, but the 50-200 SWD for example is an exception.

    EDIT: I've just seen that these were already included.
     
  14. dylanm

    dylanm Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jan 15, 2016
    How long do you all think it will be until the Mark II goes down in price? I'll most likely buy refurbished or used to be honest, but I suppose the longer it's out the lower it will go either way. I'm wondering if I should just stick with what I have now and wait to see if it goes down to where I can get the body, a few lenses, and a ttl flash. What's the next best body in the line?
     
  15. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    A bunch of us (myself included) got the refurb mark 2 for under $600 on Cyber Monday (20% off the $719.99 refurb price, I think). Make sure you are subscribed to Olympus email list and you will get notices of their sales/coupon codes, which come fairly regularly. Just be aware that the most popular cameras and lenses in the refurb store go FAST during those sales so be prepared to act, set up an account with them ahead of time to save time, etc.
     
  16. dylanm

    dylanm Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jan 15, 2016
    I just saw an EM-10 on craigslist here with the 14-42 and 40-150 for $500.... This is a good deal right? This is just about $100 more than what I can get for my X-E1. Would you say this is an upgrade from an X-E1 at least?
     
  17. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I wouldn't call it an upgrade from the X-E1, more of a side step, and the 18-55 f/2.8-4 is one of the best kit lenses in any system...
     
  18. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Next best body could be the E-M5 mk1 or the E-M10 mk1 or mk2.

    All have sensors with the same IQ if not the very same one.

    Quick comparison:
    E-M5: weather sealing, 5-axis IBIS, no focus peaking, no wifi, older processor (TruePic VI), no pop-up flash, bigger external grip (with battery)
    E-M10: 3-axis IBIS, smaller and lower res EVF
    E-M10 mk2: 5-axis IBIS, smaller high res EVF, 4k

    See this for example: I can't decide on a camera/lens combo

    Wifi allows to remote control the camera with the smartphone (all exposure settings) and a limited, but working, tethered shooting (and transfer images to the smartphone). Of course you can use a simple remote wireless shutter, wifi SD card, etc.

    I think the E-M5 mk2 price will drop after the E-M1 mk2 comes out and I think it will be in the second half of 2016, just before summer at most.

    Today the 14-42 R II or the 40-150 R alone goes for $99 new. About the kit zoom, if you want to take it, I'd get the full size R version, not the EZ pancake (unless you really need the small size). It is not bad for a kit zoom (original price was much higher) but is a f4-5.6, here primes makes a big difference in IQ and speed.
     
  19. dylanm

    dylanm Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Jan 15, 2016
    Side stepping without losing anything could be a good move for now. Since I have nothing invested in the Fuji if I can sell (looking at $400 tops on the x-e1, they have gone waaay down in price) and then buy an Olympus at similar price to test it out (never used Olympus before) and then wait it out a bit to decide on investing fully in one system while keeping my Canon gear. If I were to go that route the E-M5 vs E-M10 is an interesting dilemma. I never ever use built in on camera flash. Always off camera flash or strobe or a mounted flash. Do the E-M5 and E-M10 both have the live bulb mode? Which has the faster focusing? Or is it pretty much the same. It would probably come down to whatever I can find a better deal on in this scenario though.
     
  20. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    E-M10's (both models) have it, but I am pretty sure it was a new feature introduced with the E-M10 so the original E-M5 probably doesn't have it. EM10 also has wifi and focus peaking. Unless you need the weather sealing I would pick the EM10 over the EM5. I have had an EM10 for 2 years and it has been a great camera. The 3 axis IBIS is still very good.
     
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