The quest for a new camera - at last it's over

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by WasOM3user, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    I am completely new to micro 4/3 and have discovered this forum and have started to use some of the info from it already so many thanks to all the contributors.

    What brought me to the forum?….well it’s a bit of long (well actually very long) story so please excuse the “war and peace” that follows:

    Having been a long time 35mm SLR user (30 years) a few years ago I came to the conclusion that it was about time I changed to digital. I went to look at all the cameras around at the time and many months and miles later gave up as nothing seem to suit either my budget or quality of build and just bought myself a reasonable compact camera (big mistake) and I found myself doing less and less photography as I got frustrated with what it would and would not do…..

    Last week I decided I would try again. So off to the Digital Splash show in Preston (UK) I go. Went round the stands trying Digital SLR’s (both APS/C and FF) to see what was available and what would suit me.
    With no brand preference I thought I would work back to a possible body by starting with the lenses as previously I had found that a good lens with basic body gave better pictures than a highly featured body with a poor lens. Went round the various stands Nikon, Canon, Sony, what a shock…. even worse than last time I looked!!!

    I have been told that something like 85% of DLSR owners never use/buy another lens other than the kit zooms. WHY??.... the current ranges are truly horrible to the touch/feel and definitely not what you would expect from a (supposedly) precision piece of equipment.

    Now I also know I don’t have the largest hands in the world but holding a FF Canon left me petrified as I was in danger of dropping it as I couldn’t get the end of my fingers round the grip. The APS/C versions were better (just), The Sony’s were about the same round the grip although the bodies felt smaller and the Nikon APS/C grip size was OK but didn’t like any of the kit zoom lenses for any of them so almost back to square one. That left the option of Body only + other lenses to suit me so wandering round looking at lenses getting more and more disheartened thinking I might have to give up photography!!

    Following a coffee break to reassess the situation I found myself talking to the staff on the Sigma stand and expressing the view that I could not believe that with all the advances over the past 30 years that lenses for the APS/C format were so much bigger than those I was using for film 30 years ago and to compound the problem slower as well. To their credit one of the staff thought about it for quite a bit and then agreed (turns out he’s a product manager at Sigma). He said it was more obvious to me having skipped quite a number of generations of cameras but he said that after manual exposure each generation of lenses/cameras tended to get a bit bigger i.e. Auto Exposure a bit bigger than manual, AF a bit bigger than AE, IS a bit bigger than AF etc. and working within the industry this gradual change was not really noticed but put a new kit zoom against my 50mm f1.8 or even my trusty Tamron 90mmSP f2.4 and they are noticeably larger, slower and wobble’ier(if there is such a word). He then plonked another lens in my hand that was smaller than any of them including my standard 50mm - “what this?” I asked - he just smiled at me and said “we will be making more lenses like that - just go and say “EM-5” to that man in the black polo neck shirt with his back to us and then come and talk to me again later”.

    So somewhat bemused I approached said gentleman, excused myself, and explained I had been advised to say “EM-5” to him. He also smiled (at this point I am wondering what on earth I have gotten myself into) but reached down and picked something up and then placed a camera in my hands.

    Suddenly my memory jumps back in time to when I was 19 and the day my father placed his treasured Leica M2/50mm f/2.8 ELMAR into my hands and said “would I like to try some photography?”

    Now the camera was about the same age as me but still looked the same as when he bought it new but felt “right” and I was hooked from that day forward.

    The new Olympus OM-D/E-M5/45mm f1.8 brought back the same grin across my face as that day and also the day I had saved enough to buy my own Olympus OM1n a few years later rather than his OM1 (MD) he bought for us both to use rather than risk the Leica (yes you can probably work out my age from the model changes).

    In those days most SLR’s were huge and all my family do not have big hands and the Olympus felt right to us like the Leica but without breaking the bank. We were later joined by my sister also OM1n (so she could use our array of lenses we had bought by then).

    You've guessed it… I’m hooked again and despite being more than I wanted to pay I immediately paid up for one as they offered the 45mm f1.8 portrait lens for free with the kit version of the camera which (given my 90mm Tamron almost lived on my later OM3) seemed the perfect option and that was before they told me there was an adaptor for all my original OM lenses.

    Of course I went back to the Sigma stand and thanked them for their help with my camera quest and told them what I had bought – again just a smile and the words “I thought you might”. Given that he was less likely to sell me a lens because of his suggestion I can only commend them for being as helpful and honest as they were - however he did say there are likely to more Sigma lenses for micro 4/3 so you never know I may up with a Sigma lens one day.

    Now as an existing Olympus OM1 and OM3 user I was more likely to feel at home than most with the new OM-D size/shape but a young university student witnessed my grin at the camera in my hands and tried one as well. Shortly afterwards he’s got the same grin and states it was so much nicer to use than anything he’s used before so it’s not just old OM users like me who like it!!

    I received the camera midweek (they had sold out at the show) and have registered for the free lens so fingers crossed. Having now tried the camera with the kit zoom lens I think the zoom might be a slight mistake on Olympus’s part as it does not suit the basic camera – I think prime lenses are the way to go (or perhaps add the battery/holder grip as I did the MD1 for large lenses on the OM1n). Also having quickly gone through all the menus my initial thought was “HELP” as this is a whole new ballgame from the OM3.

    My search for help brought me to this forum which has already helped with turning on the “Super Control Panel” so I have easy access to most menu options and also that my 90mm Tamron f2.4 Macro lens may provide a really nice fast sports telephoto lens that would have cost me a small fortune to get on any other range of cameras as well as being a good macro lens.

    Now standard lens- I wonder….. 20mm f1.7 or 25mm f1.4……….
    • Like Like x 14
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Great story, welcome and I hope you'll find renewed pleasure in photography. Obviously you completely skipped the digital SLR, which is a wise thing IMHO. I ditched my Nikon D300s and I don't think I'll ever buy a DSLR again. Lots of great folk on this forum, I'm sure you'll like it here!
  3. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 25, 2012
    So you've tried a lot of modern stuff at the show and felt that the build quality is lacking. Then you've stumbled upon the 45/1.8 made of cheap plastic and it reminded you of a Leica lens? :rolleyes: I see what you did there... :smile:
  4. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    Compared to the size and feel of a Nikon/Canon 18-55mm lens yes - it's a vast improvement so I feel as though I can actually use it with it falling apart but really it was the body size that sold me.
  5. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    That's quite a few generations of cameras you've skipped.

    I prefer the 25 to the 20. I've always had a 50mm standard, why change now? I like the sharpness and it vignettes just the right amount wide open at f/1.4.

    I've grown up with auto focus. The 25 beats the 20 in the lock-on accuracy and speed every time I've tried them side-by-side. It just made sense.

    I kind of wanted a 25/1.8 if it meant that it could be smaller and lighter. There were rumours about it this year but the rumours didn't pan out.
  6. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2011

    I wonder what lens the Sigma manager placed in your hand - certainly not the Olympus 45/1.8?

    I've had both Sigma lenses for this platform, the 19mm f/2.8 and the 30mm f/2.8. They are slow for primes, and big for the platform, and mostly plastic, but the combination of image quality and price can't be beat. I'm very encouraged to hear that Sigma will make more :43: lenses in the future.

    Congratulations on finding this new inspiration. It is a wonderful platform with a very wide variety of lenses. There are even some solid metal / manual focus ones from Voigtlander you might like, if they're in your budget. :)
  7. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    Not sure - never even took the caps off - he was just showing the sizes compared to APS/C after my comments so I suspect probably the 30mm.

    Yes I can see me going for some specific manual focus lenses but as I've still got my 28, 35, 50mm Zuiko's and Tamron 90mmSP F2.4 Macro (and 1:1 adaptor) plus 70-210 Tamron zoom (yes the old metal one) to go at first and lots of posts to read and need to to really use the camera so that I can use it without thinking first.
  8. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I understand. I went from a 1983 OM-G to the E-PL1 a little less than two years ago. I still feel the most comfortable and in control when I'm using legacy manual focus lenses.
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The size, shape (narrow) and focus ring feel of the Olympus 45/1.8 are a lot more reminiscent of old rangefinder and manual focus SLR lenses than most current DSLR lenses are. Having owned a number of Zuiko OM and Leica M-mount lenses, I knew exactly what the OP meant.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Mu-43 App
    • Like Like x 3
  10. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    Awesome story and will have tons of fun around this forum really nice talented and awesome people all around,seriously!.

    As for your question in between the p20 vs the p25 you wont find the answer and theres literally hundreds of this vs that around here and google.

    Main differences ive found myself being in your exact same dilemma

    Sharpness is exactly the same on both lenses even some tests around showing the p20 as sharper. Some people may argue or say this or that has a hair size difference.but apparently theres is not real difference in real life

    Then the big differences apparently are

    The p25 is at least two times larger than the p20 (physically) but with two times faster AF as well.

    Now the p20 is makes the omd a coat pocket camera while the p25 is a bag pocket camera.

    Also the p25 is almost twice expensive as well.

    So there you go portability vs faster af and a leica logo in the front ring (both lenses are plastic though)
    • Like Like x 1
  11. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    Love your story - that's what this forum is about, people who love photography and appreciate quality equipment and innovation. Welcome to the forum! :cool:
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Great story. Even with my limited attention span for large amounts of text I read the whole thing! It certainly sounds as though you've found the right camera for you (which is what matters, right?).
    • Like Like x 1
  13. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Go the 25 f1.4. It is divine.
  14. spinyman

    spinyman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 19, 2010
    San Diego
    Good choice.The Em-5 is a great camera.I,prefer my 20 to my 25,not only for the diminutive size,but I prefer the IQ.I also appreciate the wider view.Focus is definitely slower though.
  15. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    And not to mention the quaility we get from it .
  16. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Excellent story!

    As to 20 vs. 25 - I recommend the 25, mainly because of the faster focussing (the 20 is notably slower to focus than either the 12-50 or the 45, and slower still in low light), but also for more pleasing image quality and a wider maximum aperture.
  17. KS11

    KS11 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2011
    Busan/Hong Kong
    great to have you in the community, now you have your omd, i think you dont need your om-3, i'll take it off your hands no problem ;)
  18. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Try the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 sometime, it seems to be made for the EM5.
  19. incabloc

    incabloc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Glad you have found IT ! [for now]
  20. m43dex

    m43dex Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2011
    Good story.... Started out Nikon but I have always been a closet Oly fan (still have an IS-1 in storage). Now I proudly tell everybody, I am OMD. Size of 20mm rocks.