To Em-5 or not to EM-5

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by peterpix, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Peter Randal
    Since the new Oly OM-D EM-5 came out I have read dozens of reviews, looked at many images, read comments on this forum and elsewhere, but never held the camera. Finally did so today and I was underwhelmed! With your left hand you have little support, or at least I did't and I did not find it comfortable or easy to hold. The store did not have a grip so I'll have to go back to try that. But if a camera is not comfortable in your hand, would you use it? In 40 plus years of photography I have owned many different cameras and this was the first one that immediately did not fit easily in my hand.

    Granted i did not shoot with it so I didn't get the benefit of the 5-way IBS, weatherproofing. etc. I also held the Nex 7 which has a much better grip but a tiny viewfinder that i did not like. And please, do not mention using the rear screen. Cameras are not made to hold and shoot at arm's length.

    Frankly I find the EP-3 a much easier camera to hold and shoot. I've gotten pretty good images out of it even using the 14-150 zoom, but like all of us GAS takes hold and the EM-5 hype in overwhelming. INteresting that Kirk Tuck who is always changing cameras keeps checking out the EM-5 at his camera shop but never buys one. If fact he got a Nex 7.

    I also have a GH2, so maybe I'll hang on a bit and see what the forthcoming GH3 offers. Plus there are rumors that Olympus is coming out with a "pro" model perhaps by the end of this year.

    Wonder if others are thinking the same thoughts?
  2. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I would wait until next month and Photokina. Olympus will eventually come out with a PEN series that uses the high res sensor. Then you'll have the best of both worlds.

    I have both the E-P3 and the E-M5. I do like the handling of the rangefinder body better, but I have no qualms about the OM-D style for shooting. I don't have the grip for the E-M5.

    If Olympus announces a new PEN camera then you're good to go, if not you can give the E-M5 more consideration. New models have been coming out at a pretty rapid pace, perhaps to quickly as they don't discontinue the previous model, just lower the price. There are too many choices from Olympus and Panasonic, IMO.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
  3. bluzcity

    bluzcity Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2012
    Memphis, TN
    Coming from an EP-3 it has taken me two months of regular use to adjust to the feel of the OMD. I feel pretty comfortable now and it has some nice features but isn't the ultimate cat's meow. You might keep shooting the EP 3 and wait to see what pops up over the next year.
  4. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Given the high price (1000+300$ grip), if you're not in love with it, I think you should definitely pass. It's too much money to spend if you're not that enthused imo.
  5. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    If the ergonomics don't work for you then I think the decision is pretty easy. None of these cameras is so good that handling should be sacrificed. If you were sort of new to the hobby I might suggest that a little time with the E-M5 would make a difference, but given your experience it seems prudent to wait for the next new batch of options before busting out your wallet.
  6. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    Try a G5!!!
  7. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2011
    I moved from an E-PL2 to an E-M5. The grip position for each is the same but the experience is different as the E-PL2 is a little lighter and has a better hump on the front. But it's not a problem as much as a bookmark in my "things I liked better about my E-PL2 book." The grip position is key and seems to be where we separate those who like holding it to those who don't.

    If you use your index finger when you grip, you will probably have issues with the E-M5. I have grip mine the same as I did with the old camera. Palm, thumb and two middle fingers. This leaves my index finger to operate the controls and be ready to fire.

    In addition the strap should be removed and a wrist strap used in it's place - this makes a big difference in the way the camera feels in the hand.

    Analyzing a camera grip is weird, so I'm going to stop now.
  8. nianys

    nianys Mu-43 Regular

    Your experience matches mine, exactly. Did all kind of research and was super excited until I got to hold one. Talk about an icy shower. Tiny, uncomfortable, microscopic buttons, toy feeling. I went back to that store again because I couldn't believe my own reaction to it. But my feedback remained the same, so after trying two cheaper Olympus bodies to see if I could get familiar with the UI, I just admitted the fact my brains were not wired the same as Oly engineers, and I could stick to the Panny's that are marvelously intuitive to me.
  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I'd get either the 1st party grip or one of the third party grips being made. It makes the E-M5 experience, that much better.

    Once you get over the handling aspect of the camera, the image output and IBIS makes it worth it.
  10. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I've got both the E-P3 and E-M5 and find the E-M5 preferable to the E-P3 as far as handling goes unless you put the Olympus large grip on the E-P3 in which case I find it slightly better than the E-M5. The E-M5 with Oly grip definitely wins, however.

    You said "With your left hand you have little support, or at least I did't and I did not find it comfortable or easy to hold." Are you left handed? Basically both the E-P3 and E-M5 are designed for holding in the right hand with the left hand providing support at the lens. It sounds as if you're either left handed or right handed and using an unusual grip in which case I think it's going to be a matter of either looking for a camera which works with your particular grip or reforming your grip to work with the camera, and that may not be easy.
  11. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Overall I like the E-M5, its a very good camera, though I'm not wild/crazy about it... the ergonomics and feel in the hand is not nearly as good as some Pany cameras... I find the E-M5 body just a little too small and slightly hard to grip on it's own. And when I add the $300 (OUCH!) grip accessory, even just the landscape portion of it, that adds a little too much bulk and weight for my liking. A middle ground without a $300 accessory grip would probably be about ideal.

    Had they built the body just slightly larger so that the controls would have a little more space and the built-in grip could be a little better ergonomically, most E-M5 owners could be spared from feeling the need to add a $300 grip to the camera and probably would find the layout spacing a little easier to work with.

    If I want a small body, I'll choose a GX or Pen body, therefore for me, I don't need the E-M5 so small that I might be tempted to try to fit it into a pocket (its just not that small anyway, especially with the towering EVF protrusion) so I'd prefer an E-M5 being slightly larger overall, with better ergonomics which won't require an additional $300 expense just to get a decent grip on the camera.

    I'm very much looking forward to receiving the G5, as I think it may well offer much better ergonomics, more refined AEB control, easier-to-use menus, along with IQ in the same general ballpark as the E-M5... not to mention some of the other really cool features the G5 has (silent electronic shutter, 1080/60p for high quality slow-mo video, HDR mode, etc.) Personally, I'm thinking the G5 may replace my E-M5, though I may keep my E-PL3, or subsequent E-PL5 model, with IBIS, for those times when I might want IBIS and use the G5 as a primary body. We shall see how it all plays out. My GH2 sits on a tripod in the camera room most of the time, as it is assigned duty to photograph items for sale on eBay and such. I don't use it aside from that in the last year or so as I find it just a tad bulky. But it makes a great studio camera.
  12. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    I can see why you might not like the grip on the E-M5 but then I can't understand how anyone could find the EP-3 easier to hold. All the Pens and similar Panansonic cameras are not great to hold. The GH2 certainly has a better grip than the E-M5 but I think the optional grip on the E-M5 is better.

    I also would also disagree with your comments on the NEX-7. It's EVF is not tiny, it's a bigger image than the Olympus or Panasonic EVFs. It does have angle limitations but it's not tiny.

    To each their own, but I actually don't find any of the m43 bodies interesting except for the E-M5. If it weren't available I'd either have the NEX-7 or a Nikon body.
  13. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Peter Randal
    thanks for all the replies. Always interesting how people see things differently. I do a photo workshop on a small (56 acres) island and fascinating how people always find different things to capture. I'v e photographed on the island since 1978 and my students always find things i've missed or didn't see.

    Same with cameras I guess.

    BTW did a portrait with my 5D MKII today and, while I'm finding Canon stuff too much to lug around, the simple controls are miles ahead of most m4/3 cameras. I don't recall folks having to make videos or blogs to tell how to set up a 5D MKII cameraI
  14. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    The 5DMkII is an awesome camera to work with, very comfortable to hold and operate... and returns incredible images with that beautiful FF sensor. I agree, though, not fun to lug around and I'd never take such a camera on a trip or vacation. m4/3 is magnificent for traveling with or just schlepping around. :smile:
  15. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    see if there are any local members with an em5 with the grip to check out
    then you could shoot it and hold it with the grip...
    the ibis is... crazy good. i didnt think i needed it, then i played with it, and now its like air conditioned leather seating... i WANT IT!!!

    the first half of the grip is very handy as well
    i only take mine off to change the battery
    its always on for shooting
  16. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Gotta Have The Grip

    I never take it off. I have clodbuster hands and this little gem with the grip was made for me. Yeah the buttons are too small but I don't use em much anyway.

    My favored type of photography now is wildlife and I mostly use long telephoto lenses. Having image stabilization in the VF is a whole new world to me. I will never have another camera that does not have this feature.

    I also like to do landscape and I usually do vertical stitching. The portrait feature of the grip is heavenly.

    As to the peculiarities of the ergos or UI: After owning twenty or so different cameras I know that all becomes second nature with use and familiarity. :smile:
  17. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    Ergonomics are such a personal thing. I find the OM-D better without the HLD-6, and I've got big hands. It's what I miss most about brick and mortar stores, the ability to try things out. Aside from subtle differences in image quality, each system has its own merits and to me, what it comes down to is how it feels in your hand and if it does what you want it to.
  18. zerodi

    zerodi Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    Do you have links to any of the Third party Grips, I really need to get my hands on the landscape portion (Third party or Original )

  19. MrPhotoBob

    MrPhotoBob Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 16, 2012
    I must say that I do like the OM-D with the HLD-6. I came out of a Nikon D3s system and I have no regrets for doing it. I got tired of lugging all of that heavy equipment around, and I found myself shooting my D3s a lot less. About a year and a half ago, I picked up a little Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, and that was the camera that I was doing all of my shooting with. I have purchased a second OMD with a HLD-6 grip and shoot them both quite often. I will say that if the OMD did not have a grip, I would never of had purchased it. With the grip, it makes the body so much easier to handle.
  20. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
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