Thinking of Diving In

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by darkhorse, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. darkhorse

    darkhorse New to Mu-43

    Jun 20, 2015
    Real Name:
    Hi all,
    I've been in kind of a dormant phase in my extracurricular or art photography for many years now. I am actually a professional photographer who specializes in numismatic photography (if you can believe that) but that's beside the point. The Mu-43 systems from Olympus seem very appealing to me, and I'd like your input on the gear I end up choosing.

    I've been kind of blasé about digital photography for the longest time. I hated lugging around [Canon] DSLRs and lenses, and so I had a long period of using old film cameras. I had a Hasselblad 500cm, a Yashica TLR, a Minolta Autocord (which was my favorite of those medium format cameras), but I preferred something smaller so I had a variety of Olympus 35mm cameras: OM1, OM2, 35-RC, 35-SP, XA, and Stylus Epic. But I got sick of shooting/processing/developing/scanning film, and so I've just been using Canon s90-s100 on vacations for the past several years.

    My favorite gear from those film days were the 35-RC for its size, normal lens, and sharpness (not so great "bokeh"), the body of the OM1n with a gorgeous Zuiko 100mm ƒ2.8 lens attached (I had a 50mm but felt kind of limited by it), and the Olympus Stylus Epic which I've taken some of my favorite photos with (but lacks a lot control).

    I see lots of potential with the new line of Oly M43 cameras. For sure the first lens I want would be the Zuiko 17mm/1.8. I mean I've seen lots of example photos from it and something about it reminds me a lot of the Stylus Epic (besides from it also being a 35mm equivalent focal length).

    I dither about the OMD EM10 vs the PEN EPL7. Both are pretty much the same price on Amazon right now, and I like the compactness of the Pen. But the viewfinder and control dials on the OM seem like a big plus. Pen seems more fun (which is my only goal here). OM seems more functional. Tough decision. Anyone else agonize over this?

    Finally what would be the modern equivalent to that 100mm I mentioned? I, unfortunately, sold it long ago. Wish I held onto it.
  2. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    Personally I find the EM10 very fun. It's a happy camera and can do pretty much whatever you throw at it.

    For lens, the Sigma 60mm f2.8 is absolutely fantastic, punches way beyond its weight (price). Little bit longer than your 100mm though. Another great options is the Olympus 45mm f1.8, although shorter.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. darkhorse

    darkhorse New to Mu-43

    Jun 20, 2015
    Real Name:
    Thanks for the tip on the Sigma, I'll check it out. Doesn't matter that it's a bit longer, I just like the idea of just having a wide and a tele in a simple kit.

    I think I may end up siding with the EM10, as beautiful as the retro stylings of the PL7 may be. The lack of a VF makes me apprehensive, and the EM10 is still pretty compact... although I've yet to see one in person, I'm just basing that on my memories of the OM1n I had.
  4. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    As much as I loved my EM5, I absolutely adore the EM5 Mark II.

    I was attracted to the PEN body styling at first, but I require a viewfinder and I thought that the add on VF-4 messed up the look and I didn't want to have that big of a finder sticking out the top of, say an EP5. I say the EP5 because it is the first EP body that front and rear control dials to my liking as well.

    If I were in your shoes and based on what you've posted, the EM5 Mk II or the EM10 should be your go-to bodies. I have the 17/1.8 and love that lens to death. I also have the 25/1.8 and 45/1.8 All Olympus lenses. So compact, yet the IQ from them is worth every penny, at least that is the way I feel about it.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. darkhorse

    darkhorse New to Mu-43

    Jun 20, 2015
    Real Name:
    I'm not entirely sure of the advantages of the EM5 MkII over the EM10, especially when I'm just stepping back into this world again (in some ways I feel like a beginner again). What do you adore about the camera?

    The 45/1.8 Zuiko looks nice.

    I have a few weddings and road trips planned this year so I'm eager to have a new camera along with me... but let's face it, I know I'm going to end up taking a lot of cat photos. I have the notion that the wifi/app remote capture could be useful when one of the cats is in one of their haunts and i want to snap a photo once they start doing something interesting. They always run away when i set up for a photo, having a tripod set up and ready to go might be useful when they start going crazy. But maybe I'm overestimating its usefulness.
  6. Roswellien

    Roswellien Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 1, 2014
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    The E-M10 is very nice and compact. It's my fourth m4/3 camera and I its without a doubt my favorite. The dials are something that were a must for me and I am grateful I went with the E-M10.

    Also as mentioned previously the 45mm is an amazing lens and I would check out the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 if you are looking for a good wide angle at a very good price (used is the way to go).
    • Like Like x 1
  7. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    Real Name:
    Both the E-M5 and E-M10 are great cameras and resulting IQ for all intents and purposes is identical. Since they're now both priced at $500 with included kit lens, the choice is even harder but at the same time you really can't go wrong with either camera. It all boils down to features that you deem important and how it handles in your hands.

    Some considerations:
    - The E-M5 body is weather sealed whereas the E-M10 is not.
    - The E-M5 has a slightly better 5-axis IBIS whereas the E-M10 has a 3-axis IBIS.
    - The E-M10 has a slightly larger EVF.
    - The E-M10 has a higher resolution monitor.
    - The E-M10 has built-in WiFi, the E-M5 does not.
    - The E-M10 has a built-in flash.
    - The E-M10 is slightly smaller and slightly lighter.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    You talk about numismatic: if you need a macro lens the Olympus 60 is a very good 1:1 macro lens. Paired with the EM-5 II Hi-Res mode should give you exceptional results.

    If this is not about macro the Sigma 60 (do not be fooled by the low price) or the 45 are perfect and cheaper.

    EM-10: pop-up flash, just a little smaller, 100 grams less
    EM-5 II: weather sealing, hi-res mode (for static subjects on tripod only), slightly better image image stabilization (IBIS), slightly better EVF, more function buttons

    The tiltable screens are different, on the E-M10 just tilt, on the E-M5 flips outside on the left and rotate.

    The E-PL7 is quite thick and as soon as you add a lens the EVF difference becomes less relevant:,594,565,wa,t

    I like to have the EVF: I very often use the tilted LCD too but outdoor in the sun, for tracking subjects, to better stabilize the camera, etc. the EVF is just better.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    Darkhorse, many years ago I wanted a 100mm f2.8 to go with my OM1N/OM3's but could not afford a separate macro lens so purchased a Tamron SP90 f2.5 (52BB) to do cover macro/portraits instead (the 90 is a stunning lens too).
    Even though heavier and larger than the 100mm this lens became an almost permanent fixture on my OM3 so I can fully understand how the OM1n/100mm combo would become a real favourite.

    I avoided DSLR's and just used a number of point & shoot cameras as I could not get used to the bulk after the OM series UNTIL the OMD EM-5 was released. The first time I handled this with the 45mm f1.8 I started grinning as it was just like finding an old friend. The handling is even easier than an OM1n with 50mm lens never mind the 80 or 100. I have rediscovered the fun in photography.

    At this moment in time I would suggest the EM-10+Olympus 45mm f1.8. This would be slightly smaller than The OM1n.

    This has a later processor than the Mk1 EM-5 giving Wifi and remote control ( as would a Mk2 EM-5 at higher cost) and the F1.8 lens would give a similar FOV and boken to your old combo. The Sigma 60mm is also a good lens and a similar size to your old lens but the DOF at F2.8 would seem much deeper than you are used to.

    I would suggest finding somewhere to handle the combination before committing yourself and try not to grin too much!!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    The button feel and layout of it are great, much better to me than the original EM5.
    The fully articulating screen, while some hate, I have learned to appreciate.
    Having the mechanical shutter go to 1/8000 (EM5 and EM10 on go to 1/4000) and then having the electronic shutter there for up to 1/16000 is beneficial and silent!
    The 40mp hi res mode - at first I thought, why would I ever want/need this - then I started using it some. If you do product or architectural photography of any sort - you will appreciate this feature.
    It includes focus peaking, which the EM5 mk 1 did not have and it helps when I use my adapted Nikon prime lenses.
    The IBIS is truly much better than the EM5 mk 1.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. darkhorse

    darkhorse New to Mu-43

    Jun 20, 2015
    Real Name:
    Might be worth investigating, especially considering the Olympus glass and the IBIS would actually be handy for me in the field (yes I get sent out to do numismatic photography around the country). But my professional outfit relies on a fleet of Canon DSLRs and macro lenses. It would be a difficult to make such a big transition.

    Thanks for telling me your experience, this is the kind of thing I was hoping to hear.

    Another vote of confidence for the 45mm. It would be useful for my sister's wedding I would think... hmm...

    This feature does interest me. I enjoy the National Parks of the southwest and it seems to me that feature would be very beneficial (although would require taking a tripod along on the hike... but then again I do that with my s100 now).

    I think I do need to check out these cameras in person before buying. Samy's Camera in here Southern California seems to have these in stock so I'll take a look today (wish there were better stores out there though).
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  12. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Doing numismatic photography I would think you would want max resolution such as in EM-5 high res mode. Use it with the 60macro or the Pro zooms and a tripod and you should be good to go.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. sdb123

    sdb123 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 25, 2014
    Northants, UK
    Real Name:
    Further to the comprehensive list above, it's important to note the weather sealing is only beneficial if using weather-sealed lenses. With regards to the IBIS, IME there is no real difference in real world shooting.

    In terms of product cycle, the E-M10 was the last of the 1st iteration of OM-D's to be released (with the E-M5 being the first)...personally, I had no problem choosing the E-M10 and would certainly add the grip if you find the body a touch small.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I use an e-pL7 with add-on viewfinder, my friend uses an e-M10 they are very very similar cameras.
    I already had the viewfinders so my choice was easy.

    For your film-100mm equivalent lens you're between the very nice Olympus 45mmF1.8 and both Sigma and Olympus 60mm which have been mentioned.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. jcm5

    jcm5 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 12, 2014
    Another vote for em10. Used market prices are very affordable right now and even new could be had for a good price. That and the 60 or 45 would do you well. I've never owned the 60 but had the 45 with my em10 and it is surprisingly good.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    Go outside on a bright day and take photo's using your smartphone, if you do not have one borrow one for this exercise. If using the LCD screen in all sun conditions to compose such shots does not bother you then your decision might come down to a flip of the coin. Depending on your shooting style, what you may find is that being restricted to using the rear screen on a camera does not suit you and then the decision is made for you. with the E-M5 or E-M10 you have the option of using the rear screen or the EVF. I also think the E-M5 and E-M10 with lens mounted are a bit better balanced but that is a non technical personal observation.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 4, 2014
    Real Name:
    The way I look at it, the size difference between the EPL7 and the EM10 is very small, but the difference between the two in functionality is much more significant, with the EVF as just the most obvious example.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. darkhorse

    darkhorse New to Mu-43

    Jun 20, 2015
    Real Name:
    Ok, you guys have twisted my arm long enough ;-)

    Prices at Samy's were great, no tax, instant rebate, of course no shipping charges. I held the em10 and epl7 and the em10 just felt so right.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 4
  19. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    May 3, 2013
    As has been mentioned, the closest native match is the Olympus 45mm f/1.8. Awesome lens.

    BUT if you still have an OM 50mm lying around, you could pick up an adapter for it. I recently acquired an OM 50mm f/1.8 and adapter, and have a lot of fun with it on my Micro 4/3 cameras. On a Micro 4/3 camera, it'll give you the same field of view that the OM 100mm gave on your OM.
  20. darkhorse

    darkhorse New to Mu-43

    Jun 20, 2015
    Real Name:
    Thanks Mark (I think I recently saw one if your reviews on one of these cameras). Unfortunately I sold my gear a long time ago BUT an Oly 50mm is pretty easy to find. Like I said I'm starting off with the 17mm and if I'm in love with the system I think I'll give the 45 a try too.

    I'm eagerly waiting for the battery to charge (it was empty). But I put on my old leather camera strap and it fits so well in my hands. Yes I got the silver one. Reminds me a lot of my old OM1n and rangefinders.