Ready to upgrade...

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Exposed, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Exposed

    Exposed Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2011
    Central Washington State
    Real Name:
    Randy dawson
    After using and loving my epl-2 and the kit lens for 4 years and getting the oly 12mm this last year and loving it, I am ready to move away from my big, heavy Nikon DSLR's. I have been shooting with a D300 and D7000, 20-35 f2.8 and 80-200 AF-S f2.8. I shoot for the most part landscapes. I have been looking at the EM-5 but lust for the EM-1. My question is, those who have made the move from the EM-5 to the EM-1, have you seen any difference as far as over all photo quality goes? Reading reviews, it looks like the difference is little between them. I want one of these for the weather seal as I do winter work. I am also looking at the 12-40 and 40-150 f2.8.

    As a side note, had the 12-40 refurb in my shopping cart twice, and did not pull the plug. Need to sell the Nikons first.

    Any thoughts would be great.

  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    IQ wise, they are pretty close.

    The big things you'll notice between the EM1 and the EM5.

    The EM1 :
    bigger, but not a ton so.
    more buttons on the camera body
    the phase detect AF will give you an advantage when focus tracking
    Max shutter speed is 1/8000

    The EM5:
    is smaller, but adding the HLD-6 makes it about the same size as the EM1
    max shutter speed is 1/4000

    The 12-40 is a great lens and you really can't do a whole lot better than it if you really want a zoom. You might also look at the 12-35 Panasonic as well. I personally come from Nikon and the Olympus camera and lens appeal to me more, so I tend to stick with them.
  3. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Real Name:
    I went from an EPL2 to a refurb EM10 and have loved the upgrade, even if the only differences were the controls.
  4. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    I went from an em5 to an em1 and to me, The em1 is so much better overall. The em1 has a Panasonic sensor vs the Sony one in the em5. Is there a difference in picture quality? I think there is one but not much. At MSRP I think the em1 is a bargain vs the em5.
  5. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Ergo's are significantly better on EM1. I like being able to assign MySets to actual dedicated mode dial positions that I would otherwise rarely/never use (I'm looking at you Art, SCN & Mosaic-thingie modes!)

    Image quality is awash from EM5 as expected, although you could argue that having an overall better interface to the camera ergo-wise makes the pictures better...
  6. minibokeh

    minibokeh Guest

    EM1 has better EVF, better ergonomics (to me). Phase detect auto focus only applies when using non-micro 4/3 glass -- zero value if you are not invested in those lenses, on the contrary, some black pixels that have to be interpolated by software (slight loss of resolution). Similar to HDCD (reducing audio resolution from 16 bit to 15bit if played on non-HDCD compatible equipment).
  7. fadingphoenix

    fadingphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    Phase detect will benefit anyone who uses C-AF regardless of whether they have legacy 4/3 glass or not. The difference is phase detect is ALL that is used when using the old 4/3 lenses-even in S-AF. When using native Micro 4/3 glass the camera will solely use contrast detect when shooting in S-AF, but when shooting in C-AF the E-M1 will use it's phase detection for tracking subjects. The only time the phase detect is of zero value is if the photographer just doesn't shoot moving subjects ever.
  8. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 26, 2014
    It wasn't the question you asked but I have gone from the D300 to the E-M1 with the 12-40 and I am very happy indeed with the results.
  9. minibokeh

    minibokeh Guest

    to confirm what fadingphoenix stated: It indeed appears that PDAF is used in C-AF. Unfortunately (perhaps I'm using it wrong, wrong settings?) my results with C-AF are worse than S-AF, even for moving targets. So still not sure if PDAF adds much value (if you don't have legacy 4/3 glass).
  10. Mohun

    Mohun Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    I drifted into M43 for a 2011 trip to Italy, based on a 2009 trip carting a Nikon DSLR to Spain, France and the UK. For 2011, I chose the Panasonic GF1 and VF-1 EVF based on its compact form factor, and I was quite pleased with the results, shooting RAW and pp in Lightroom, and moved on to the GX1 and GX7 for two subsequent travels to Europe. Now, in my status as more than a mid-septagenerian, I know that my long travels have come to an end and I will pretty much shift completely back to my current Nikon D610 which has not yet become difficult to tote around town (of course I have an automobile here while I've only used air and rail travel in Europe). I not sure whether I'll keep my modest M43 kit which is the GX7, the 15mm Summilux and the 14-45 OIS, slightly upgrade it with the 14-140 OIS II for adventures at the zoo and other environs with fast-moving grandchildren, or sell it, but, as an old guy, I tend to ramble a bit, and here's where I'm going:

    I've got much great M43 information from fellow, more experienced photographers, and, especially, from this forum, and I've read an incredible number of useful posts re the relative merits of the Olympus and Panasonic lens systems, and believe neither to be superior to the other; it seems to depend solely on what, where and how you shoot. The only generalization I'm pretty much now convinced that I've taken away from these readings (certainly not my own experience bcause that's been solely with Panasonic lenses on Panasonic bodies) is that a basic principle of the M43 system(s), of course, has been interchangeability of lenses across the two makers. I believe from all my reading here that there have been enough operational issues for those who've used Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies or Olympus lenses on Panasonic bodies, that I would not recomend that scheme to a beginner (which I surely am, but, wow, I've read a lot of posts here). I believe that those mixed camera-lenses marriages are fraught with various degrees of peril for all but M43 experts.
  11. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Real Name:
    There's not much difference in IQ with the latest generation of u4/3 cameras. IMO the next critical factor to consider is the ergonomics, especially how well the camera fits your hands. No matter how good the IQ, if a camera is not comfortable to use the less happy you will be.
  12. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Real Name:
    Ergonomics and use wise - If you like the D300, I'd suggest the E-M1. If you like the D7000 more than the D300, the E-M5 with part of or the whole HLD-6 (battery grip) might be the way to go.

    I use the E-M1 for a vast proportion of my shooting and have no issues moving between it and the D800. Almost everything that is available on the D800 by buttons or levers is there on the E-M1, and there are couple of things I like better on the E-M1.

    I have large hands and fingers so the buttons on the E-M5 are a little distracting and prefer is use the horizontal portion of the battery grip on the camera all the time. The E-M5 is little more distracting than moving from the D7000 is to the D800.

    The Olympus m4/3 UI is significantly different from Nikons. So it will take some time to get used to it. But I prefer Olympus's UI - both have their caveats. I've had prints that I took with the Nikon D800, D7100, E-M1 and E-M5 side by side and I don't think anyone else had any idea they were from different cameras.
  13. fadingphoenix

    fadingphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    The OP mentioned that he does winter work. Depending on the severity of the conditions (mainly what temperatures) the e-m1 might be preferred for it's additional "freeze-proofing".
  14. fadingphoenix

    fadingphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    Might I ask what problems you're speaking of? I haven't known of any broad issues with mixed lens/camera arrangements other than the rattlesnaking some people have experienced that I guess I consider rather minor. I certainly haven't experienced any issues using my Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies.
  15. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:

    I noticed that in the OP's list too, and wondered about it. I find shooting in Finland winters that its quite dry and the problems come with bringing the camera in and out of the cold. I've always kept my camera (and lenses) in zip-loc bags when transiting inside. I take the memory card out outside then put lenses and bodies into a bag and let them warm up inside that (to stop condensation).


    even on multi day ski trecks I just leave it outside in the sled. Battery discharge from cold is my biggest issue


    I use just a plain G1 or GH1 in those conditions

  16. fadingphoenix

    fadingphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    I assumed it wouldn't be much of an issue, but thought it was at least worth mentioning. I will say that this last winter my e-m1 did fantastically in relation to battery in the cold, better than my old E-3 which I'd been having troubles with in winter, but I've kind of wondered if I either had an issue with the grip in my e-3 or if it was just my particular batteries. I even had my e-m1 in cold enough conditions for long enough that the body and screens started icing up and my tripod was seizing on me, which my e-3 had never experienced, and it kept trucking right along.

    Beautiful photos btw, thank you very much for sharing those.
  17. Exposed

    Exposed Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2011
    Central Washington State
    Real Name:
    Randy dawson
    Thank you everyone for all the great info. I have decided to order a refurb EM-5. I just did not find enough difference, with what I shoot to get the EM-1, cost wise. I will also order soon the 12-40 pro and sell my 12mm f2. Will keep my EPL-2 as it has become such a part of me. I pick it up 99% of the time over my Nikons. Putting my Nikons up for sale this weekend.

    Again, thank you everyone for such great help.

  18. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    As long as the batteries don't get too cold, they will keep working. If you're using the camera actively and taking pictures, that will help keep them warm.
    I'd think a grip might make things worse as one of the batteries in the grip would be idle; might be better to keep the spare in an inside pocket.

    I've had trouble with my phone's battery in sub-freezing weather; it was in my coat's outer pocket and got too cold.

  19. Aniseedvan

    Aniseedvan Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    Sorry to jump in on this thread, but I'm looking to trade in my pen ep3 as it's been sat gathering dust, given the IQ wasn't up to much - in my opinion.
    The e-m1 coupled with the 12-40 lens is a tempting prospect. I'd rather buy well and keep it a long time than make another "temporary" purchase. My D700 as my DSLR serves me perfectly in that respect.

    I know I need to get into a camera shop and try these out, but am I going to be trading a lot of portability with this combo over say the pen and the 45mm lens? I'm thinking to keep that - as it's a lovely portrait lens, and selling the kit 17mm pancake as the only thing going for it was it's small! This will be mostly for holiday photos, and generally something to keep more on me again, given the Nikon is far too big to lug about day to day (when I'm not shooting).
  20. fadingphoenix

    fadingphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    My winter experience with the E-M1 involved both active continuous shooting and entire days of very sparse intermittent shooting where I had the camera turned off mostly and I didn't notice a drastic (if any) loss of battery life; and we had a very cold winter here in the upper peninsula of Michigan last year. This had me very interested because it was in stark contrast to my experience with managing the batteries in my E-3 and E-510; granted my experience could be different this coming winter, and I'll definitely be finding out :biggrin:. Regarding the grip on the E-3, both batteries are inserted in the grip in that situation unlike the grip for the E-M1 and both are used (drained) equally rather than one at a time.

    I think the OP will be very well suited with his choice of the E-M5, and the price to value ratio is quite a bit more favorable.