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Subjective comparison - hands on E-M1 vs E-M5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by polarpix, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. polarpix

    polarpix Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2014
    Elliot Lake, Ontario Canada
    This brief comparison is probably not worth the paper it's printed on but here goes. Grabbed a bag with both cameras in it this am and went looking for something to shoot. As the morning went by I found myself grabbing the M1 more and more. I found that little things about the M1 body appealed to me more then the M5. eg: position of the off/on switch, position and size of the playback, menu, delete and info button. The raised position of the rear dial so I wasn't sticking my thumb into my eye quite as much. I use the HLD-6 on the M5 so grip was not a major difference except that the M1 didn't need the HLD-7 which was also in my bag. It didn't seem to matter which lens I stuck on each body the M1 felt easier to shoot. Very subjective I know and meaningless to anyone else. I've been shooting with the M5 since last June and with the M1 only for two weeks but am sensing that my future preference will be with the M1 if I'm only going to go with one body on a photo shoot. I think my M5 will be relegated to my bicycle trips as it fits nicely into a bike bag behind my seat. The M5 body and the 9-18, 25 f1.8 and 45 f1.8 make a nice small but capable setup for shoot and scoot shots. As for quality of pictures from both bodies I'm more then satisfied. When I returned I printed a 13"X19" (A3) print of the same subject (wall mural) with the same lens (12-40 f2.8) from the same viewpoint on each body. My most severe critic (my wife) could not tell which body took which picture. For me it was a fun and very informative outing. YMMV.

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  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Thanks for the write-up. I've got an E-M5 and from time to time think an upgrade to an E-M1 would be a nice idea. But then I look at the results from my E-M5 and reflect on the enjoyment it still gives me using it and I turn away from the idea. One day I'll do it, but not just yet...
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  3. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I'm just getting familiar with an EM-1 that I'm planning to use side by side with my EM-5.

    Literally the first hands-on-impression was that with the landscape portion of the HLD-6 attached (which is always my case), the size and gross handling of the two cameras is for all practical purposes identical.

    The placement of the buttons and dials, and the additional controls on the EM-1, is better, though. Hopefully not enough better that I wind up wanting two EM-1s, although consistency of the controls I can envision being an issue...we will have to see. I love the EM-5 - I am wondering how the two will integrate...

    IQ seems to be indistinguishable.

    I like the viewfinder better. Not because of its better panel, which to be honest I don't really notice (yet), but because of its very large size. I never noticed the size of the EM-5's finder image, but it now seems a little small.

    The feel of the buttons is definitely better - more crisp and responsive. I always felt the mushiness of the EM-5's buttons was a fair trade-off for water resistance, but Olympus obviously could do better, and has with the EM-1.

    Pricing comment - I don't recall exactly, but I think when I bought my EM-5 in 2012 the cost of the camera and HLD-6 was close to the cost of the EM-1 body. Considering I have literally never used the portrait grip/batter holder portion of the HLD-6, that leaves me feeling that the EM-1 isn't out of line.

    The EM-5 was and still is an awesome camera. The EM-1 is, in some ways, better, and isn't worse in any way. I'm looking forward to using the EM-1.
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  4. polarpix

    polarpix Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2014
    Elliot Lake, Ontario Canada
    I'm sure you will enjoy it. I'm liking it more and more.
  5. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    Both camera are great. Tested EM1 last saturday, the ergonomic were nice. I love the shortcuts. One thing that's against it maybe the price. The image quality not very noticeable compare to EM5, except if you magnified it.

    Someday i will buy EM1, but not today.
  6. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I'm beginning to wonder if the EM-1 wasn't a disastrous and expensive mistake. As fabulous as the EM-5 is (still), I may wind up wanting another EM-1. :eek: 
  7. Fri13

    Fri13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 30, 2014
    I would like to get E-M5 for backup camera for E-M1, so there would be less lens changing between super ultra wide and long tele and then macro.

    E-M5 kit is cheap (599€) and I won't mind mushy buttons at times when shooting either 40-150mm or 7.5mm and then swap 12-40mm, 60mm and 45mm on E-M1. There just comes too often requirement to swap between those two sets so two bodies would fit well.

    And I would not mind at all E-M5 smaller body as the grip in E-M1 is on way sometimes.
  8. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    The biggest reason I got the EM5 over the EM1 was because it could be larger if I wanted that, which is not an option with the EM1. I like that the extra help is an option on the 5, which allows me to put the 17/1.8 on it and put our in a coat pocket if I want.

    Depends on what you want it for and how you plan to keep it with you. I honestly prefer the Nikon Df over every other camera I own... But some times, the smaller m43 size is just more convenient.

    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk
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