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Sorting out the OM-D Line (Discussion, not Diktat)

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jnewell, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I'm having a little fun trying to sort out the current Olympus OM-D line this morning after reading the specs for the E-M5 MkII and a few reviews. My short and over-simplified thoughts are below. Please chime in with yours.

    E-M1: still the flagship. Distinguishing or compelling feature: PDAF.

    E-M5 MkII: Distinguishing or compelling features: the best video in the OM-D line. Secondarily, 40MP equivalent for landscape or other still uses. Offers most of the flagship features at a lower cost (but if you consider the grip a necessity, the price difference is US$170 or less than the E-M1 at current B&H prices).

    E-M10: the budget and/or compact choice. All of the basic image quality and many of the design/human interface features of the more expensive OM-D bodies. Distinguishing or compelling feature: Most of the quality and a lot of the usability at a much lower price and in a smaller physical package.

    E-M5: probably not fair to include this, since although it's still available new I expect production has been discontinued. At new prices, only $100 less than the MkII, so it's hard to justify. At used prices, it can be a compelling value, since it offers essentially the same image quality as the E-M1 and MkII (at least for raw shooters) at a much lower price, and offers weather sealing, which the E-M10 doesn't. For people who are current E-M5 owners rather than buyers (that is, people who already own one rather than people who might buy one), whether you hold or sell depends on whether the features available in the E-M1 or E-M5 MkII are really important to your photography, which depends on your own needs, uses and preferences.

    I've probably missed something. And this is entirely from my own perspective. What's yours? :smile:
     
  2. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    To me, the E-M5 II is the new flagship. Sure, it doesn't have PDAF, but it has the best video, best screen, best IBIS, best image options (with the 40MP stills), best controls, best shutter(s)/shutter speed range, best flash, etc.

    And as a current E-M5 owner...I'm a holder. The 40MP thing is the only truly exciting thing (to me) about the II, and it's too restrictive for my subjects and style of shooting. I'm going to hold onto my E-M5 until either it dies or a more compelling model comes out. Right now, I'm not seeing $1,100 worth of upgrades compared to what I have. ;)
     
  3. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    432
    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Aaron
    I'll keep my EM5 for a while longer, as I don't have the budget to buy the EM5 II anyway. The new 5 has some interesting features for sure, but with the same sensor as the previous model most of what I shoot would look exactly the same.

    The new 14-150 is another story, really interested in any weather-resistant lens for m43!
     
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  4. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Yes! I'm not interested in the 14-150, but I'm very happy to see that Oly is making more affordable weathersealed lenses! I hope it's something they'll keep working on in the future.
     
  5. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Does the fact that the E-M5 MkII is priced below the E-M1 affect flagship status? Does it reflect what Olympus thinks? (Those are questions, not arguments.)

     
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  6. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    For the record (and for what it's worth), I don't see myself replacing either my E-M5 MkI or E-M1 with the new E-M5 MkII, but that's because I don't see a lot of personal need for the 40MP still capability or the upgraded video capabilities. If I want ergos more like the E-M1, for the small additional cost, I'd just buy another E-M1.

    At least that's how I see it now...it will be interesting to read real review and see how the camera handles for real-world owners!

     
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  7. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    462
    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    E-M1 is still the flagship. PDAF rocks and is IMO much more widely useful than the E-M5 II's headliner feature of 40MP composite shots. E-M1 is still the only complete stills camera in the lineup.

    But there's no doubt that the E-M1 Mk II will have to come out swinging to make it relevant in a world where the E-M5 II exists. The E-M5 II looks like an amazing camera, and it's giving us a glimpse into some of the goodies the E-M1 II will eventually have. Let's hope they've figured out the whole video thing by then so we can stop griping about how far behind they are (no, high bitrate isn't enough).
     
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  8. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    480
    Dec 22, 2013
    quesiton is a bit noobish but what do you realize from PDAF? besides the ability to use on 4/3 glass? or smoother focus transition in video?

    im basically a S-AF stills shooter with m.zuiko lenses so afaik im not touching that part of the technology
     
  9. griswoldo

    griswoldo Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Sep 27, 2011
    Theoretically PDAF should also aid in focus tracking capabilities for moving subjects (birds in flight, sports, kids, etc.). I'm really excited to see what the EM-1 3.0 firmware does to improve this.

    To the original question, I contend that the EM-1 is still the flagship even though the EM-5II has additional/newer features. That's just because it's a generation newer than the EM-1. My guess is the EM-1II will have all that the EM-5II has, plus 4K video, improved PDAF, etc. Saying the EM-5II is the new flagship is like saying a 2015 Ford Focus is positioned above the 2014 Ford Mustang because the Focus has 4 doors. Ok, maybe not the best example, but hopefully my intent is coming across correctly.
     
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  10. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    PDAF gives for more accurate focus tracking(C-AF) and minimizes the hunting "in and out" when focusing.

    With my discussions with Olympus, the PDAF is not just for legacy 4/3 glass....the newest lenses are able to use it as well. I can see a difference between the EM5 and the EM1. I'm sure there will be a bigger difference between them once we get the firmware update for the EM1, which is supposed to be all about better C-AF performance and unlocking the focus when shooting hi sequence bursts. They state that the update will allow tracking on each of the 9fps images captured.

    Can't wait to test that out!
     
  11. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I think the OMD series is the closest thing Olympus has to a pro/workhorse line, so within that line;

    EM1: flagship, designed for photographers who are paid for their work
    EM5: enthusiast top-of-the-line camera with lots and lots of features
    EM10: enthusiast entry-level.

    Putting both EM5's on the list seems short-sighted, as the older model will no doubt be phased out eventually, even if it's not yet. Otherwise why would Olympus name the mk. II model EM5? Unless they're going the A7 route, which in my opinion is a nightmare of different models with the same name.
     
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  12. griswoldo

    griswoldo Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Sep 27, 2011
    Totally agree on this. I for one really like that they're keeping the EM-1/5/10 names instead of increasing the numbers with every release. Hopefully, as you said, there will only be 1 camera at a time with each name.
     
  13. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    However, as we've seen, companies usually make decisions that make sense to shareholders more than to they do to consumers ;)
     
  14. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    310
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    Here is how the Olympus Website classifies the lineup as of today:
    E-M1
    For passionate professionals

    E-M5 Mark II
    For creative enthusiasts

    E-M5
    For photo enthusiasts

    E-M10
    For inspirational newcomers

    Similar to Nikon, some of the D5200/D5300 "enthusiasts" features were in the lower line first vs. the already established upper D800 and pro D4 bodies and most of the better features made the next upgrade for them. Likely the next EM1 MkII will have all the new trick features of the EM5 MkII, plus some more advanced ones. Hopefully better noise reduction, more accurate c-af and maybe a upgraded sensor. Would love to see something around 24MP. Oh, and add a 2nd card slot and I am set :biggrin:
     
  15. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I think I wasn't too far off ;)
     
  16. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    You did see that I wrote this, right? (below)

    In any case, there are enough of them on the used market that I think it's worth thinking about where it fits into the product line. Heaven knows we've debated the E-M1/E-M5/E-M10 question enough here in the last year or so. :wink:
     
  17. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA

    I think the two posts agree very closely. :smile:
     
  18. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Damn...I've been feeling pretty creative lately...guess it's time to pre-order the Mark II. :(

    All kidding aside, I really don't think you can separate the E-M5/II/10 like that...certainly not the I/II versions of the 5. Their intent is the same, one's just a mild evolution of the older camera, that is all.

    As for everyone who's saying the E-M1 will be undisputed king again with the Mark II, I agree. It'll likely have 4k video and a few other tricks up its sleeve...all I know is I'm safe from the upgrading bug for years to come. :D
     
  19. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Really the only thing of weight that separates the EM5 and 10 is price. It's priced for newcomers, other than that it's 99.99% as capable as the EM5.
     
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  20. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    And the weather sealing (although the significance of that is up for debate, since so few lenses are weathersealed).

    But you're completely right...I usually suggest that people get the 10, not the 5. I think the 10 is the undisputed value king of the line-up! :D