Recommendation for a new (second) camera.

JVgiar

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Hello,

I have owned (and loved) my Olympus OM-D E-M5 since 2013. It is still in a very good condition but now I want a second body. I am not a professional photographer, only a so-called "enthusiast" photographer: street photography, family photos, portraits, travel photography, and lately, also I started to take photos of the projects that my daughter, an interior designer, is working on. I do not use the camera for video.

I want (not need) a second body for two reasons:

1. I just simply fancy the idea of holding, learning, and enjoying a new camera, for the pleasure of playing around with something new and different. I also want the new camera to be an upgrade from the E-M5.

2. To have a different lens on each body(no need to change lenses all the time)

I was considering the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, but I had no success in finding a new one. I have found 2 second-hand 5Mark II but the owners are far away from where I live. I have no car to travel there and during this COVID period, I also prefer to travel as little as possible via public transportation, certainly not to search for a second-hand camera. Plus, I am not such an expert to make the right evaluation about the mechanical condition of a used camera unless I see something broken or suspicious. So it will be something new and not second-hand.

So now I am considering an E-M5 Mark III or maybe an E-M10 III (which cost half the price of the E-M5 Mark III) The E-M10 III is great for my budget, the E-M5 Mark III a bit more than my budget but to too much and an E-M1 Mark II is far from my budget. Maybe the E-M5 Mark III could be a mini E-M1 Mark II?

For my needs that I have described, which of these two do you think I would better off?

Thank you very much.
 
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Hoffelijk

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I think one of the advantages of the E-M10 III is that that camera and later models open the color wheel and adjust color in RAW in workspace.
 
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ac12

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For an upgrade I would go with the EM5-mk3.

For a backup/second camera the EM10-mk2 or mk3.
If you do video, I understand the mk3 is better for video.
But for still, the mk3 has been dumbed down from the mk2. At least to some of us.

Another option is a reconditioned EM1-mk2, from OLYMPUS.
 

Generationfourth

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I have had nothing but positive results buying from the Buy/Sell forum here. You have to be a subscribing member to post ads so generally there are no scam artists. I always ask for the shutter count to get an idea of the condition of the camera- typically below 5000 is good and below 2000 is what I usually aim for. Also used sites like MPB usually offer a return period. 80% of my kit is used bodies/lenses, what you will find is most photographers jump from system to system or upgrade every year.
 

JVgiar

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By the way, today I have read in several places that there is an EM-5 MK III serious tripod mount failure. Since I use a tripod for my interior design photography, I am quite worried.
Have you heard of such problems?
 

Michael Meissner

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This is one of those "how long is piece of string" questions (or possibly "Do not ask the Elves for advice, for they will say both yes and no).

Any way, you need to think about how you would use the camera, and what things that you do now and want to do in the future.

First off a small note, neither the E-m5 mark III nor any of the E-m10's use the same battery. You will be able to change lenses, but you will need to think about getting an appropriate set of batteries for the new camera. There is no current camera that still uses the BLN-1 battery. The previous cameras that used the BLN-1 battery are the E-m5 mark I/II, E-m1 mark I, Pen-F, and one Pen I can't remember.

Do you ever shoot where it might be damp? If so that would lean the decision towards the E-m5 mark III (assuming you have splash proof lenses). For me it is a feature as I have been at events where it rained for an hour or so during the middle of the day, but perhaps not everybody needs it.

The E-m5 mark III's menu is similar in spirit to the E-m5 mark I's. That means the learning curve will be simpler. Starting with the E-m10 mark III, the E-m10 series changed the menus to be "more user friendly", which seems to mean removing or hiding a lot of the advanced options. Note, I haven't used the E-m10 mark III/IIIs/IV so I can't really how different it is. I have the E-m10 mark II, and it is quite similar in spirit to the other Olympus cameras.

The E-m5 mark III has some new features that you may want to use or not:
  • It has focus stacking for macro support (where the camera takes several shots of a non-moving item, varying the focus distance slightly, and then it combines the images into one JPG image). For macro photography, the depth of field is often razor thin, and using focus stacking can give you more depth of field (Olympus focus stacking link). Note, focus stacking only works with certain lens (mostly the pro and the macro lenses).
  • It also has focus bracketing, where the camera takes the pictures but does not process them in the camera. You have to process them yourself in post processing. My E-m10 mark II also supports focus bracketing (but not focus stacking). I don't know if the E-m10 mark III has it.
  • The E-m5 mark III has high resolution mode, that allows you take pictures on a tripod of non-moving items and the camera will move the sensor around slightly, taking multiple pictures. It will then combine these pictures into one giant image giving you more resolution. I don't print large, so I have never used this.
  • The E-m5 mark III has pro capture, where when you get into the mode, it starts taking pictures and keeping them in internal memory. When you press the shutter, it writes out the last 14 or so pictures to the SD card. This allows you to capture things like sports, etc. where your finger reflexes might not be fast enough to capture the crucial shot (like somebody diving into the water and capturing the moment they enter the water). I haven't used this (yet).
  • The E-m5 mark III has two sets of sensors, and it should speed up continuous focusing (particularly for video).
  • The E-m5 mark III has a fully articulating rear screen, while the E-m10 mark III retains the tilt screen in the E-m5 mark I. For some people this is an important difference. I find there are times I prefer one over the other, and with multiple cameras, I can use the camera that has the screen that I want to use.
  • The video recording in the E-m5 mark III has been updated, including support for recording 4K video. At present, with Covid lockdown, I haven't shot any video in the last year, so I don't have any experience with it. While the E-m10 mark III has video recording, I believe the E-m5 mark III's recording is better. The E-m5 mark III has a socket to use an external microphone, while the E-m10 mark III only can use the built-in microphone. Unfortunately, the E-m5 mark III does not have a headphone jack so that you can monitor the sound that is being recorded.
  • The E-m5 mark III comes with a removable flash (FL-LM3), similar but different to the FL-LM2 that came with the E-m5 mark I. The FL-LM3 sits higher on the camera (which I dislike, since it means I have to take off the flash to stow the camera), but it can be rotated to allow you to use bounce flash shots. Note, the FL-LM3 is not a powerful flash, so you can only use it in smaller rooms that are well lit. The E-m10 mark III has a built-in flash.
  • The E-m5 mark III supports a wired shutter release like the E-m5 mark I, though you will need to get a different model of the shutter release. Fortunately, you can use shutter releases from some Canon cameras, so you should be able to find one cheap. I don't think the E-m10 mark III has support for a wired shutter release. I use wired shutter releases when the camera is on a tripod to capture fireworks, and I can sit enjoying the fireworks and just press the button on/off on the shutter release to capture the fireworks.
  • The E-m5 mark III can charge the battery in the camera overnight with the USB cable (providing the camera is turned off). This can be handy when on a trip if you only use one battery during the day. If you use multiple batteries, then the external charger that comes with the E-m5 mark III is the preferred method.
  • E-m5 mark III advanced features
 

ac12

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By the way, today I have read in several places that there is an EM-5 MK III serious tripod mount failure. Since I use a tripod for my interior design photography, I am quite worried.
Have you heard of such problems?

If you don't put a LOT of stress on the mount, I think you are OK.
What I mean by this is like using a 12-100 or 75-300 lens with the camera attached to the tripod. This puts a lot of front-heavy off-balanced load on the tripod socket. It is simple leverage. The heavier and longer the lens, the worse the problem.
 

PakkyT

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So now I am considering an E-M5 Mark III or maybe an E-M10 III
For my needs that I have described, which of these two do you think I would better off?

The E-M10 III is basically a dumbed down version of the II (it doesn't even have MySets!!!!!!).
Considering your longevity with cameras (to which I applaud you), I would say spend the extra money, get the E-M5 III with all the advanced features, and enjoy it for the next 8+ years or whenever the E-M5.1 breaks and you want another second body.

As to the tripod mount issue, I am guessing " interior design photography " means relatively smaller focal length lenses and not big "birding" lenses, so I suspect you will be fine.
 

bargainguy

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Have you considered the E-M10 mk. IV?

I have both the 10.4 and the 5.3. Got the 10.4 late last year direct from Olympus in a promotion, mostly as a backup to the 5.3. Both use the same sensor if memory serves.

The LCD screens are different. 5.3 is swing-out/articulating. 10.4 is tilt up and down only but viewable from the front, I believe by folding under. Can't do this with mine right now because it has an arca grip installed.

The 5.3 has more user custom options and features, but otherwise the two cameras are quite similar.

Since the lockdown, haven't had much time with either lately. Overall impression is the 10.4 is a 5.3 "lite." More field testing needed.
 

DeeJayK

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This is one of those "how long is piece of string" questions (or possibly "Do not ask the Elves for advice, for they will say both yes and no).

Any way, you need to think about how you would use the camera, and what things that you do now and want to do in the future.
...

This is all great advice.:thiagree:

I totally understand the desire for a second body and the yearning for something "new". But in order to get useful recommendations, you need to tell us a little more about what particular features interest you. What particular features of the E-M5 do you appreciate? What features of the new cameras do you find appealing and think you'd use (new sensor, focus-stacking, articulating screen, etc.) Is video something that is important to you or that you'd like to explore more?

I understand the trepidation to buy used, but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. You'll get a lot more value for your money. I've bought many cameras second-hand and have never once had a problem. You mention you're not in the US, if you tell us where you live I'm confident that there's a user here who has some tips to shop locally for used equipment.

- K
 

LilSebastian

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To me the big differences between any E-M10 model and the E-M5 III are the following:

- Weather sealing only in the E-M5 line
- 20mp sensor in the E-M5 III with best continuous auto focus capabilities. The E-M10 and older E-M5 II are best for single point focus rather than tracking.
- Would you benefit from the "High Res" mode for those interior shots for your daughter? E-M5 II and III have this, unsure about the E-M10 III
 
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If you don't put a LOT of stress on the mount, I think you are OK.
What I mean by this is like using a 12-100 or 75-300 lens with the camera attached to the tripod. This puts a lot of front-heavy off-balanced load on the tripod socket. It is simple leverage. The heavier and longer the lens, the worse the problem.

I have an EM5 III and was a bit concerned about some talk about the tripod mount. I deal with it by using an L-bracket which adds a grip extension which makes it work better with a lens like the 12-100 or bigger, has Area-Swiss flanges to mount directly to most bullheads, and has an L-plate to enable you to shoot in portrait mode with the camera centered over the ball head. I think the L-bracket spreads the load over a larger area of the bottom plate and prevents the tripod socket cracking a few people have complained about. I bought a Haoge L-bracket which I replaced with an STC FOGRIP. BTW, I like the EM5 III. I also like the EM10 II. I've also had EM1, EM1 II, and now have the EM1 III.

Here's a thread about L-brackets for the EM5 III. https://www.mu-43.com/threads/aftermarket-grip-for-em5-mkiii.108013/
 
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Hopefully not an ethical problem to pipe up here, but I do have a like-new E-M5 mk III in the Buy / Sell forum at the moment. Perfect condition and < 500 on the shutter.

And re: the tripod mount issue, I tried out a Really Right Stuff L-bracket and it fit the camera beautifully. It would assuage any of my concerns about the tripod mount. In the end I decided to go with an E-M1 series camera to have a bit more differentiation in terms of handling / size / features from my PEN-F. But if I had decided to keep the E-M5 for tripod use or with a Peak Design plate, I'd use the L-bracket for function and ergonomics.

All in all I wouldn't be put off by commentary about the polycarbonate build, etc. It's a beautifully constructed camera with classic lines and feels great in hand. And it brings 98% of the functionality of the E-M1 mark II that was hailed as revolutionary just 3 years or so ago.
 

RAH

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threeOh

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Lots of good responses. On the other hand, perhaps something quite different. A complement to your EM-5. I pair a GM1 with a GX9. With a small prime or the 12-32, its an easy always with me camera. There are many small m43 bodies. They are fun. The files are just as good as the big boys produce.
 

RAH

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Lots of good responses. On the other hand, perhaps something quite different. A complement to your EM-5. I pair a GM1 with a GX9. With a small prime or the 12-32, its an easy always with me camera. There are many small m43 bodies. They are fun. The files are just as good as the big boys produce.
I agree with what you say here, because until I got my E-M5.3 recently, I paired an E-M10.2 with the GM5 (very similar setup to yours). So now my combo is the E-M5.3 and the GM5 (not the old E-M10.2, since I want to go lightweight!). I think many people here are really thinking of his current camera as the 2nd body, and a newer camera as the primary. But yup, the other way works too with the tiny GM1 or GM5.
 

JVgiar

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Thank you all for your very helpful comments!

I have been searching the internet during these last two days and I have found that importing a camera via H&B, Amazon, Adorama, or eBay + shipping fees + paying the local import custom taxes would be cheaper than purchasing from a local camera store.
I have found that on H&B, Amazon, and Adorama the price of an E-M5 Mark III and of an E-M1 Mark II is the same ($1000), so I ruled out the E-M10 Mark III (which was my least favorite between the E-M5 Mark III and E-M10 Mark III, anyway)
As far as I know, Olympus refurbished cameras do not ship to Israel.

I live in Tel Aviv and here an E-M5 Mark III body is around $1300 and an E-M1 Mark II Body around $1800.
So my choice will be between an E-M5 Mark III or an E-M1 Mark II or maybe some other Micro 4/3 camera fully compatible with my three Olympus Zuiko lenses. My maximum budget is $1000 but I would prefer less.

What particular features of the E-M5 do you appreciate? What features of the new cameras do you find appealing and think you'd use (new sensor, focus-stacking, articulating screen, etc.) Is video something that is important to you or that you'd like to explore more?

It is not so much a feature but more of a feeling: the first time I held an Olympus OM-D E-M5, I had a wonderful feeling of holding something sturdy and solid. Even today after so many years, I still have this surprising feeling each time I get hold of my E-M5: small, light but solid. I purchased my first "serious" camera in 1975, a Nikon F2, and my first and only DSLR was a Nikon D90. In 2013 I bought my Olympus OM-D E-M5 and despite being smaller and lighter than the Nikon D90, it reminded me of the feeling of solidity and sturdiness of the much bigger and heavier Nikon F2. The other camera that gives me the same feeling of solidity and sturdiness despite being even smaller and lighter than the E-M5, is my Panasonic Lumix LX7.

I once held an E-M5 Mark III in a camera store, and it did not have this sturdy and solid feeling of my old E-M5. A friend of mine owns an E-M5 Mark II, and it has this nice and sturdy and solid feel.
I also like the fast autofocus/ IQ images/ lightweight
The E-M5 was my first encounter with an EVF and I quite like it over the OVF. I would like my new camera to have even a better/larger EVF than my E-M5.

Video is something that I have rarely used until today with my OM-D E-M5 but that I may explore.

Any way, you need to think about how you would use the camera, and what things that you do now and want to do in the future.

Mostly what I do today: street photography, family photos, portraits, travel photography, and my daughter's interior design projects. I do not shoot sport/fast-action photography.

If you don't put a LOT of stress on the mount, I think you are OK.
What I mean by this is like using a 12-100 or 75-300 lens with the camera attached to the tripod. This puts a lot of front-heavy off-balanced load on the tripod socket. It is simple leverage. The heavier and longer the lens, the worse the problem.

These are my lenses:
Olympus Zuiko 17mm 1.8
Olympus Zuiko 45mm 1.8
Olympus Zuiko ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO (my "heaviest" lens)
 
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