Questions on Going from Nikon DSLR to OMD-EM5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by tbr48, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. tbr48

    tbr48 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 1, 2013

    I am new to this forum and am seeking some advice. I am a long time Nikon user who is strongly contemplating moving to a micro 4/3 system, most likely the OMD-EM5. I currently own a Nikon D7000 which I like very much and a collection of lenses. The main reason for wanting to move to the OMD-EM5 is that I will be taking an extended trip to the far east at the end of April, and the thought of having to carry around my DSLR and lens does not really appeal to me. I have a travel lens, Nikon 18-200 VR, which I have used for several years but it isn't getting any lighter. The lens and camera together weigh over 3 lbs.

    I have read a lot about the OMD-EM5 and it seems like an ideal travel camera. I had the opportunity to see one at a local camera store and found it handles better than I expected for the its size. I also downloaded the manual from the Olympus website to see just how complex the system is. One thing I really like about my Nikon is the convenience and ergonomics of the buttons and controls. Changing settings can be done without diving into menus. So I am wondering how former Nikon DSLR users find the EM5. I am not concerned about image quality here so much as ease of use. How easily can ISO be changed? How quickly can one switch from JPEG to RAW? Does Lightroom 4 support the EM5 RAW format ( I am using ver. 4.3 and Camera Raw 7.3). Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

    Tom Ray
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    There's a little more menu diving than a DSLR, but the OM-D is setup really well. Once you get your camera calibrated to your liking, changing settings is pretty seamless especially if you activate the Super Control Panel. You can also customize several buttons to your preference.

    If you use your Custom Menu Setting on a Nikon DSLR, the SCP is very similar.

    I still use both Nikon and Olympus bodies, and I don't have problems with either. My only issue is that I forget which way my lenses mount since they're opposite! :tongue:
  3. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
  4. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    All if the stuff you mention is easily done with a one button, one dial actuation sort of setup. There is a lot of available customization, and as a full frame Canon user (good ergonomics, just heavy) I quickly felt at home. The sort control panel adds quick access to all the less frequently changed settings. The touchscreen interface is really very easy to use and powerful.
  5. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    I came from a D80 to the OM-D. It took me quite a while to get used to the Olympus way, and I used to spend more time in menu's then I cared for (still do). The good news; menu diving is usually limited to before I start shooting; once the camera is set up, it works like a charm with minimal menu diving. It is a complicated camera due to the many possible set up options, but they are good to have.

    One thing that made the transition a lot easier; I loved the raw files from the OM-D right from the start. They are good to start with, and offer plenty room to play around. Initial shots were already good...

    I switched for size/weight, and because of those wonderful primes...
  6. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    When you get your E-M5 you will need to spend some time setting it up. There is an excellent guide on DP Review (linked from the review) on how to get the Super Control Panel (SCP) and other things set up. The SCP is the thing you need to make your like with the EM5 easy but it's disabled by default. Once its running most of the major functions are very simple to access.

    You can also configure all the dials to rotate the same way as on your Nikon gear and be in the same location (ie: rear dial for shutter/front for aperture etc) so you'll feel ay home pretty quickly. You can even customise the direction of the manual focus ring on your lenses. Oly zooms rotate the opposite direction to your Nikons and Panny zooms rotate the same way as your Nikons.

    You'll be fine. My only advice would be to consider the grip. Even if you only use the first part the difference to the handling is startling.

  7. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Yes LR4 supports OMD RAW file
  8. tbr48

    tbr48 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 1, 2013
    Thanks for all the replies. They have been very helpful and encouraging. I will be ordering the camera in the next day or so. I am sure once I get the camera and learn it intricacies, I will become quite comfortable with it. After using DSLR's for all these years, switching to this new mirrorless system will be a change, but I believe one that will work out fine.
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    To set up the Super Control Panel go to Setup => Sprockets => Disp/PC => Control Settings and for every mode turn Live Guide and Live Control to OFF, then turn SCP (Super Control Panel) to ON in every mode.
    When you return to shooting, you will then be able to press OK and get a one-screen quick menu of all your essential shooting options. If another menu pops up (ie, like Remote Commander, Art, or Scene menus) then just press INFO and it'll cycle you back to SCP.
  10. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs

    For all the sturm and drang about Olympus menu system, it's all made up for by the SCP, IMO.

    Welcome and I had a pair of Nikon D7000's which I used for landscape and urbex work to make prints for sale, and occasional paid gigs usually shooting some kind of event (weddings and so forth). I've sold all my Nikon gear and I'm all in with the Olympus system. I have an E-M5 and E-PL5.

    Here's some things I've found:

    • I've gone "back to my film roots" and shoot mostly with primes these days.
    • If you're and ultrawide shooter, the Olympus 9-18mm is EXCELLENT, especially for the money and it takes filters making it even more versatile. In the Nikon world, I had (sucessively) a Sigma 10-20mm and Tokina 11-16mm. The Olympus isn't as wide as either but it's as sharp to my eye as the Tokina and that's mighty good.
    • I can't shoot sports very well anymore, and nailing any fast moving subject is a problem -- the major disappointment of going to contrast detect autofocus. I've overcome it mostly, but I was moving away from event shooting anyway so it doesn't matter much. BUT: the AF is so fast on the E-M5 that it's great for many scenes and I get shots in lower light I might have missed with the D7000.
    • I'm an "older photographer" and I absolutely love the fact that I can carry an amazingly complete kit in a bag no larger than my wife's purse. What used to be 25 pounds of gear in a backpack is reduced to much less in a Thinktank Retrospective 5. I am loving it.
    • I haven't yet replaced my 70-200mm VR II in terms of mft. The Panasonic 35-100mm is probably in my future but I'm waiting to see what Olympus comes out with.

    Actually, maybe I might just link you to my blog posts about my flight from DSLR's to micro four thirds. It's here:

    No Regrets: Living Small in a Big Camera World

    But: if you shoot sports much you might want to read this (I went out to shoot night sports with micro four thirds with mixed results):

    Men at Work: The Paulo K.O.H.L. Flag Football Ministry

    So, as it stands, for some work micro four thirds is a compromise as a replacement for DSLR's -- but I've found peace in the switch and love my gear and the images I can coax out of it.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    But the Super Control Panel came first. This Live Control crap was introduced later to cater the point-and-shoot crowd, ala Sony style. If they never added it in the first place (or made it default), then there would be no strum and drang in the first place. The Olympus DSLR system, which used the Super Control Panel as its only live menu system, was celebrated for its ease of use.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Ah! Didn't know that. I'm new to higher end Olympus gear though my digitals in the early and mid 2000's were Olympus. D520z and C4000z.
  13. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    I agree the SCP in conjunction with the touch screen, is really handy way of changing most settings. You can also customise a lot of the buttons to what you want. It will take a bit of time setting up everything the way you want to, but once your there geenrally you don't need to dive into the menus as much.

    However... access to bracketing, generally will require going through menus. Changing 'mysets' (customised presets) will also require diving into the menus.
    Both can be annoying and I do wish olympus made these more accessible.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. tbr48

    tbr48 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 1, 2013

    Thanks for reply and especially the tips. Before I got my D7000, I used a D50 for nearly 6 years. I took the camera along with my 18-200 VR with me all over the world, from hiking in the Alps to the rainforests of Ecuador. Both the D50 and the newer D7000 have tremendous versatility and IQ. But now that smaller and lighter cameras like the EM-5 have been developed with nearly the same versatility and IQ as a DSLR, it doesn't make sense to me to be hauling around heavy, bulky, and obtrusive cameras. I'm sure I'll be making some compromises with the EM-5, but all cameras are compromises in one aspect or another. With a DSLR you can get outstanding performance, but must compromise on weight and bulk.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I use mysets heavily. I have a "standard" photography one, one with bracketing on and fixed base ISO for HDR brackets, and one for "studio" work when I shooting strobes.

    I WISH that Olympus would put the feature in the E-M5 they have in the E-PL5 where unused mode dial positions can be assigned to mysets. I never use scene modes so the scene position on my E-PL5 mode dial is "myset 2" which is my HDR bracketing on that camera. I do miss the memory settings on the D7000 but on the E-PL5 this feature is just as good for me. But alas not on the E-M5.
  16. tbr48

    tbr48 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 1, 2013
    Well I pulled the trigger this evening and ordered an E-M5 with the 12-50mm. Should be delivered early next week. Looking forward to starting out in a new system.

    Thank you all for the helpful advice and suggestions. I probably will back with more questions once I have the camera.

    Tom Ray
    • Like Like x 1
  17. ice_man

    ice_man Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 19, 2012
    This thread is pretty helpful. Thanks for all the tips guys. Glad i found this one.

  18. dagaleaa

    dagaleaa Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 4, 2011
    Naples, Fl
    I enjoyed your blog post...interesting reading....thanks!!
    • Like Like x 1
  19. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    I'm confident you will enjoy the camera but it took me a while to finally decide how to set the camera up so it felt comfortable don't judge it straight out if the box and yes the "SCP" and touch panel means getting to many option is easy ( but not all)
  20. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Thanks for your blog. I love your pics, but you've reinforced my decision to keep my Canon gear. I just don't think the system is up to dealing with my shots of F-22s screaming overhead at an airshow or an Osprey diving on it's prey. Otherwise, I think I'm going to be very happy with my coming OMD.:thumbup:
    • Like Like x 1
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