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Thoughts on OM-D after one week

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by whatisinthebag, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. whatisinthebag

    whatisinthebag Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Central California
    Because the internet is just chock full of opinions, I've decided to write up my thoughts after a few two outings with the OM-D E-M5.

    For the TL:D R version:
    I love it. :smile:

    Pro: Despite a plethora of threads online about people needing a better/bigger/different grip…. I don’t. Coming from the E-PL3, this handles very similarly, but even easier. I’m very happy with handling. My hands aren’t small either – I have a 12” span thumb to pinky and some girthy fingers.
    Con: Any desire I have for a vertical trigger is dampened by the cost of the additional grip.

    Rusted electric meters by staticantics, on Flickr

    Electronic Viewfinder:
    Pro: I love it. I like how I can focus on making the image rather than reviewing images I’ve taken – what some of you folks call chimping. Saves battery, lets me pay attention to the action around me rather than focusing on the great OLED display.
    Con: Despite my love for this viewfinder, my polarized prescription sunglasses hold no love for LCD/OLED displays. This was a bit of a letdown, but is also the case with other electronic viewfinders. Trying to focus with 1/3 of the screen blotched out due to lens polarization. I ended up ditching my sunglasses out of frustration. In harsh sunny environments near my home, this is quite literally a headache.

    Petroleum Pipeline Warning by staticantics, on Flickr

    Tilting OLED touchscreen:
    Pro: Touch to focus/take a picture is fun to see once. I find the practical use is limited and I much prefer the shutter. The quality is superb and images render nicely.
    Con: Display limitations exist. Some gradations (especially blue sky) when shot in raw appear to stagger/band on the OLED display. But once you get them loaded into your photo processing software, those issues disappear. Preview on camera is brighter than actually used. I routinely need to expose 2/3 to 1 EV over in order to get a proper exposure. What the camera reports as proper exposure looks great in camera, but is unusually underexposed once sitting at a color calibrated computer monitor. This could also be the usual learning curve. I also had to compensate for exposure on the E-PL3 because of the same display issue.

    12-50 @ 12mm by staticantics, on Flickr

    Image quality:
    The images posted in this forum speak volumes on this already. I don’t have to choose quality vs portability any longer. I can have both.

    Tumbleweed breeding ground by staticantics, on Flickr

    These pretty much have been the same on every Olympus m43 system I’ve tried.

    Pro: Customizable. Ten minutes with all the menu settings and some help from the forums and everything about the E-M5 was set up almost exactly how I want it.
    Con: One-button bracket-on bracket-off operation? Please? Pretty please? Let me turn on bracketing with a function button, any button. Myset functions, while useful, still leave a lot to be desired in practical use.

    Fence by staticantics, on Flickr

    Pro: Native m43 lenses are a dream. I love my 14mm Panasonic lens even more. The 7.5mm Samyang/Rokinon is superb. Fast, easy. The included 12-50mm lens is decent enough for a kit lens.
    Con: Legacy. In practical use, this can prove difficult. Legacy primes aren’t too bad. Legacy zooms are almost unusable due to the need to customize the IBIS focal length to give correct stabilization.
    Maybe life has sped up too much since my all-manual days of film. I have the legacy adapters, but when I want to make the image great, my 45, 20, 14 lenses really outshine my legacy lenses. Granted, I don’t have legacy lenses worth writing about.

    OMDEM5.Pan14 by staticantics, on Flickr

    The E-M5 really has just whet my appetite for even more m43 lenses. I’m talking about you Pan 25, Pan 100-300, Pan 12-35. And I’m looking forward to the future lenses that are sure to come.


    I love the OM-D E-M5 for what it is: a throwback design with a nod to the OM-1 coupled with some groundbreaking m43 and image stabilization technology.

    OMDEM5 with OM24mmf2.8 and the classic OM1 with OM50mmf1.8 by staticantics, on Flickr

    Worth the cost. 99 percent. All of the limitations of my previous m43 experiences are almost entirely gone with the OM-D E-M5.
    • Like Like x 7
  2. btango05

    btango05 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    Lathrop CA
    You must be real popular with the ladies:biggrin:

    Thanks for the review, what part of Central Valley you from? The shots are really nice!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. whatisinthebag

    whatisinthebag Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Central California
    Thanks, I would never claim to be from here, but I reside in Bakersfield. :smile:
  4. btango05

    btango05 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    Lathrop CA
    Ah ok....that explains the "Hills Have Eyes" feel to your pics:wink:

    Still nice photos! I like the dehydrated book. Looks like a bible...very cool!
  5. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    A nice, simple, direct evaluation. I appreciate the photos to illustrate your points - particularly the final, camera comparison shot.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Nice review.

    With regard to the screen: you can adjust brightness and color temperature of the screen to taste. Although I have to say that in sunlit conditions, I tend to just check the histogram and keep an eye on highlight warnings (always turned on on my cameras, takes a while to learn what's really blown, and what's only blown in JPG).
    • Like Like x 1
  7. whatisinthebag

    whatisinthebag Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Central California
    Nice to know this. I'll have to read my manual closer and see what else i'm missing. Thanks.

    And also, Thank you RevBob!
  8. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Thanks for that.

    Some great shots, love the wire and post one :2thumbs:
  9. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    What do u mean by being real popular with ladies ?
    Do mean that he a Gynecologist?:rofl::rofl::rofl:

  10. duvinclunk

    duvinclunk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    Nice review. Thanks for posting!
  11. dino8031

    dino8031 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2012
    Boulder, Colorado
    I agree totally about how great native primes are on the EM-5. The 45 especially is wonderful.

    The Pana 25 is worth a look, but I actually like the 20mm more. The 25's rendering is a little better, and focus speed is much faster, but I love the FL and size of the 20mm. I bought the 25mm twice and sold it twice. I still own the 20mm and rarely use anything else.

    Very nice review BTW.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. spinyman

    spinyman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 19, 2010
    San Diego
    Nice and concise.I agree with you 99%.I do find the touch,focus,fire feature very useful when shooting from the belly on the street.With my screen flipped out and the evf turned off, I can shoot very fast and accurately.This feature alone is worth the price of admission.
    Nice pics!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. whatisinthebag

    whatisinthebag Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Central California
    Shall we call you the ninja photographer? :smile:

    I remember, back in 2002 I had a fun little nikon advanced point and shoot with a fully articulating screen. that was fun to photograph people while looking down framing the image, rather than peering at them from behind the camera.

    Perhaps I need to spend some time doing street shooting and try your belly-tap method with my OM-D.
  14. spinyman

    spinyman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 19, 2010
    San Diego
    This method is not only for ninja street shooting.I have found it so easy and fun shooting like this that I probably use it 50% of the time now.It's funny because I was so convinced that I had to have an evf.Of course, this is a far cry from holding your camera out in front of you to frame.It almost feels lazy,but I have come to like the lower perspective as well.It feels just like shooting a twin lens reflex body.For me,this flip out screen is far superior to the swing out screen my G3 had.That took longer to open, it felt very vulnerable hanging out there on a sidewalk, and it looked a lot more conspicuous.
    Try it.Just be sure to turn off the evf or the LCD will switch off whenever it gets near your body.You do that by the little button on the right side of the evf.Hold it for two seconds and the screen will come up.
  15. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I too like the tilt out screen for waist level and over the head shooting. But I also like the G series fully articulating screen for vertical compositions away from eye level and for getting in on a photo myself and being able to compose.

    Each LCD design (tilt and articulate) is great in its own way and each is preferrable for different capabilities. Nice to have both! I prefer my cameras to have one or the other feature, as I tend to use tilt or articulate quite often. This is all that has kept me with my E-PL3 instead of swapping it for a GX1... (well, the IBIS has influenced the choice a little bit also.)
  16. Did the Nikon just have an articulating screen, or did half the camera rotate?

    Waist-level shooting using the tilting screen was a big reason for wanting the E-M5. I always have liked the greater flexibility of the fully articulated Canon/Panasonic screens but they are less useful when using the touchscreen as a shutter button. I prefer to use my right thumb to select the focus point and trip the shutter and use my left hand for support. This would be somewhat awkward with a fully articulated screen flipped out all the way to the left! An interesting case of how preferences can change based on new technology/functionality, and it wouldn't be for the first time for me since I started using Micro 4/3 cameras.
  17. whatisinthebag

    whatisinthebag Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Central California

    Just the screen.
    Nikon Coolpix 5400 Review: Digital Photography Review

    It had full Manual controls, wide 28mm lens and one of the first raw capabilities while fitting in my pocket. I was still mostly doing film at the time. Saved for over a year to spend $500 or so (i forget now).

    Just looking at that dpreview review it brings back fond memories. I miss the zero noise shutter :smile:
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