Talk me out of an E-M5 III (or don't)

Brecht

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So I love my Pen-F. I like the rangefinder form factor and small size and enjoy the good looks. On the other hand, I don't care about the front knob, I seldom use it. After one year of shooting with it I added an E-PL7 that I can just toss carelessly in my bag. I often go out with both cameras fitted with a prime lens. Or on holiday I use the 12-40 f2.8 on my Pen-F and the 40-150 plastic fantastic on the E-PL7. This works for me as they are both very light and I don't need to switch lenses. One thing about this set-up bothers me: the different control schemes owing to the lack of buttons on the E-PL7. (I don't use the exposure compensation button on the Pen-F by the way, I think it's too stiff.)
I'm going to keep the E-PL7 but I was thinking of adding the E-M5 III. Advantages: more dials, an EVF, better AF (I never tried to shoot anything moving with my Pen-F), more MP, slightly better image quality. So on my trips and travels I could use the Pen-F and the E-M5 III side by side. The E-PL7 will stay my "throw in the bag" camera for daily shooting.

Cons: I still use Lightroom 6 because I don't want to pay for a license every month. I import my photos in Lightroom for cataloging and then export to DXO Photolab for the actual post-processing. So I don't know if a new unsupported camera will fit this workflow.

It might be GAS, but the last time I bought photography equipment was some time ago and because of the pandemic I am not going to be strict on myself for wanting a shiny new toy. Black or silver?
 

PhotoCal

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It seems like you just want to buy something. You don't have a problem to solve, other than wanting something shiny.

It's your money.

I suggest talking to a professional about why you think spending money will make you happy. That might be a better investment.
 

RAH

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Well, the E-M5.3 is a much more modern camera than either of your current models. It has a lot of features they don't, like Pro Capture, Hi-res, I think a lot more focus points, probably better AF, in-camera battery charging, etc. So it's just nicer, IMHO. To me, the E-M5.3 hits all the sweet spots for m4/3 in a small body.

I don't see anything AT ALL wrong with treating yourself to a new camera if you can afford it and want it. The reasons I gave are plenty to justify it, and why justify it at all (or much)? To me, it's got nothing to do with happiness. It's nice to have nice things and nicer to have nicer things, period.
 

Dinobe

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If the 2 different control schemes is your main problem I wouldn't add an em5, but another pen-f, if you are happy with it
 

ac12

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As has been said, using two cameras with different controls can be confusing.
Example, my primary camera is the EM1. When I use my EM10, I am often stumped when I reach up to the left deck for the control buttons. They are not there on the EM10. So I have to stop, and try to remember HOW to do the same functions on the EM10. This is not an issue if you have plenty of time, but if there is any time pressure, you could be in trouble. When I used the EM10 as my 2nd/backup camera, I preset the EM10 and try to NOT make any "on the fly" field configuration changes, as I would with the EM1 left deck controls.

On the other hand, if you are planning to upgrade to the EM5 as your primary camera, then why not. The Pen will then be a low usage camera, and you just put up with the control differences.
 

Andy H.

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So I love my Pen-F. I like the rangefinder form factor and small size and enjoy the good looks. On the other hand, I don't care about the front knob, I seldom use it. After one year of shooting with it I added an E-PL7 that I can just toss carelessly in my bag. I often go out with both cameras fitted with a prime lens. Or on holiday I use the 12-40 f2.8 on my Pen-F and the 40-150 plastic fantastic on the E-PL7. This works for me as they are both very light and I don't need to switch lenses. One thing about this set-up bothers me: the different control schemes owing to the lack of buttons on the E-PL7. (I don't use the exposure compensation button on the Pen-F by the way, I think it's too stiff.)
I'm going to keep the E-PL7 but I was thinking of adding the E-M5 III. Advantages: more dials, an EVF, better AF (I never tried to shoot anything moving with my Pen-F), more MP, slightly better image quality. So on my trips and travels I could use the Pen-F and the E-M5 III side by side. The E-PL7 will stay my "throw in the bag" camera for daily shooting.

Cons: I still use Lightroom 6 because I don't want to pay for a license every month. I import my photos in Lightroom for cataloging and then export to DXO Photolab for the actual post-processing. So I don't know if a new unsupported camera will fit this workflow.

It might be GAS, but the last time I bought photography equipment was some time ago and because of the pandemic I am not going to be strict on myself for wanting a shiny new toy. Black or silver?
Definitely BLACK! Mine goes well with my BLACK E-PL7 also!
 

PhotoCal

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Well, the E-M5.3 is a much more modern camera than either of your current models. It has a lot of features they don't, like Pro Capture, Hi-res, I think a lot more focus points, probably better AF, in-camera battery charging, etc. So it's just nicer, IMHO. To me, the E-M5.3 hits all the sweet spots for m4/3 in a small body.

I don't see anything AT ALL wrong with treating yourself to a new camera if you can afford it and want it. The reasons I gave are plenty to justify it, and why justify it at all (or much)? To me, it's got nothing to do with happiness. It's nice to have nice things and nicer to have nicer things, period.

GAS is all about the search for happiness through spending money. All hobbies have their versions.

The OP asked for reasons, which I provided.
Here's another:

GAS affects all of us who want better gear.
If people will buy products with incremental upgrades, then then that is all we will get.

Why do you think Olympus (and other companies) release year-old gear but in a different color?

Olympus (and every other company) doesn't exist to help you make good pictures. It exists to make money of you.
And if if it can make money by selling old products that are "shiny" then "shiny" is all we will get.

Think about corporations like Apple, which spend more on marketing than they do on research.
 

pdk42

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GAS discussions aside...

- IMHO, the Pen-F is a nice-enough camera, but ultimately it's more about style and fashion over substance (and I owned a Pen-F so I'm not talking from theory). It's got poor AF (esp CAF), it lacks features found on the OMDs, it's not weather-sealed, and it doesn't handle as well as its slightly bigger brethren. However, it makes for a nice street cam and there's no denying it's a looker.

- The E-M5iii looks a nice camera. It's basically an E-M1ii in a smaller package. I'm sure you'll love it. If I were looking for a camera in its price range then I'd take a serious look. It's certainly a much better camera than the Pen-F.

So, I were you, I'd do this...

- Sell both the Pen-F and the E-PL7

- Buy an E-M5iii

- If you feel you need a second/backup camera, get a nice used E-M10ii. Fantastic features at a great price and it will have very similar handling to the E-M5iii
 

rezatravilla

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It might be GAS, but the last time I bought photography equipment was some time ago and because of the pandemic I am not going to be strict on myself for wanting a shiny new toy. Black or silver?
I bought Pen F and some lenses because of this pandemic. Get a best deal. ASAP i sold my EM5 II after that :biggrin:

Vote for black
 

Hendrik

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Comparing it to the Pen-F, I see the advantages of the E-M5 III (I own and have used both) as:

Better ergonomics, both grip and buttons.
Competent C-AF
More shooting options including ProCap (Pen-F already has HiRes) .
USB charging (same battery as E-PL7)

For me, the major disadvantage is the implementation of Custom Mode.

There are a lot of stylistic considerations that only you can answer. For instance, I see the Pen-F as slightly less threatening for shooting on the street, you may not. Etc.
 

ac12

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In the OLD days, silver was chrome, which took wear very well. Black was black PAINT, which wore and scratched easily, eventually exposing the brass under the paint. So black looked good initially, then became ratty and ugly as it wore. I have first hand experience with both chrome and black cameras.
Exception, I heard that Leica used black chrome on their black cameras.​

On new cameras (at least the Nikon and Canon dSLRs that I've handled), the camera exterior is black plastic, so if you scratched it, it was still black. The silver consumer level cameras, is a silverish coating on the plastic, and when you scratched through it, you expose the underlying plastic.

With both old black and new silver, if you took care of the camera, so it wasn't scratched/worn, the finish is OK.

The silver finish makes the camera look like the old chrome cameras, and not like everyone else's black cameras.

If you shoot in the SUN a lot, a silver camera may work better. My black Nikons have gotten HOT. Hot enough that I used to shoot with a white towel over the camera, to shade the camera and try to keep the temp down. I do not recall that heat problem when I used to shoot a chrome film camera.
 

Drdul

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I just bought an E-M5iii to add to my 4-year old Pen-F and 5-year old E-PL7 (all in black, of course). And I am very happy that I did! As much as I like the Pen-F, I like the E-M5iii even more. See here for some thoughts about what’s better.
 

ac12

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Another viewpoint, the EVF.
I cannot use a long lens with only the back screen of a camera. It is just TOO HARD, for me.
For long lenses, I have to use a viewfinder, electronic or optical, with the camera up at my face. I cannot use a camera with a long lens, with the camera at arms length from my face, using the back screen to aim the camera.
This may simply be the fact that I was brought up with SLRs, then dSLRs. Whereas the younger folks, would have been brought up with P&S and phone cameras, all without a viewfinder.
 

Matt Drown

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Cons: I still use Lightroom 6 because I don't want to pay for a license every month. I import my photos in Lightroom for cataloging and then export to DXO Photolab for the actual post-processing. So I don't know if a new unsupported camera will fit this workflow.
Use the free Adobe DNG convertor, that will deal with up to date cameras, and convert to whatever version DNG file you can handle in LR6. Keep the RAW files around if you want also.
 

Danny_SWE

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I can't use range-finder bodies because I am a left eye-shooter. So I have newer owned an Pen-F even if I thought they looked great.
But anyway, I bought a black E-M5.3, because I have mostly black lenses :)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

saladin

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I own both . There is a place for both (for me) if you can afford them. But they handle quite differently. Both have some "soul", but the Pen-F wins on that front.
 

Michael Meissner

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Another viewpoint, the EVF.
I cannot use a long lens with only the back screen of a camera. It is just TOO HARD, for me.
For long lenses, I have to use a viewfinder, electronic or optical, with the camera up at my face. I cannot use a camera with a long lens, with the camera at arms length from my face, using the back screen to aim the camera.
This may simply be the fact that I was brought up with SLRs, then dSLRs. Whereas the younger folks, would have been brought up with P&S and phone cameras, all without a viewfinder.
Note, the Pen-F (which the OP has) has a viewfinder, and like the E-m5 mark III and E-m10 mark II/III/IV, that viewfinder uses an OLED display. Other Pen's don't have a built-in viewfinder, but the Pen-F does.

As I've said elsewhere, the E-m1 mark I/II/III, E-m1x, E-m5 mark I/II, and E-m10 mark I all have a TFT LCD viewfinder, which is problematical if you wear polarized sunglasses. Unfortunately, due to migraines, I need to wear polarized sunglasses when I'm outdoors.

That being said, with the corona virus and having to wear masks when around people, I'm having severe issues with fogging, both of my glasses/sunglasses and of the EVF display. My wife is making me replacement masks that have nose wires built-in, and I will see if that helps. The various anti-fog sprays I've tried are hit and miss whether they work or not. When I was out photographing leaves and zoo animals, I eventually just had to shoot without the glasses (and of course I got migraines afterward).
 

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