Torn between E-M1 vs. E-M5 Mk II

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by zensu, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    I like the feature set the E-M5 Mk II has particularly the High Res Mode and fully articulating LCD but I also think the E-M1 may be more comfortable to hold that the former. If that external handgrip for the E-M5 Mk II would balance out the hand holdability I'd just get the Mk II immediately but I fear my favorite lens, the P/L 42.5mm F1.2 would be much more comfortable on an E-M1.
    Do any of you guys have both and would share your impressions of how the two would compare (particularly with the P/L 42.5mm)? The E-M1 or the griped E-M5 Mk II?
    Thanks,
    Bobby
     
  2. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I use my E-M5 Mk ii with a Panasonic 35-100mm ungripped and it feels comfortable. In the UK the price between an E-M5 Mk ii and E-M1 are pretty similar so when I came to use I went for the one with the newest features! For me the clincher for an E-M1 would be the better auto focus with 4/3 lenses. If you don't want that I'd go for the E-M5 Mk ii.
     
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  3. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    The extra grip(HLD-8G) on the EM5 Mk II is really nice. I've used it with the 12-40/2.8, 40-150/2.8 and 75-300 lenses and it balances just fine.

    Unless you have a need for the PDAF AF functions, the EM5 Mk II is really a hard camera to beat at the moment. Although, having the 4.0 firmware upgrades looming for the EM1 - if you bought one used for a decent price might not be a bad option either.

    If you are like me, though - you appreciate the ability to have a smaller camera at times and the bigger grip when you need it. The EM1 doesn;t give you that flexibility, where as the EM5 Mk 2 does.
     
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  4. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    819
    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Ron
    I bought and used the 5MII without the grip until I got tired of only having one battery. I have long fingers and find the camera very easy to hold. I always felt the EM-1 was too big as I was trying to get smaller than my Canon 7D, the ideal was smaller yet not too small. I have both of the 5 models and have found holding them with and without the battery grips easily done.
     
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  5. m43happy

    m43happy Mu-43 Veteran

    435
    Feb 18, 2012
    The E-M5ii w/ the landscape grip feels fine with the PL42.5 (I previously had the E-M1). The E-M1 though did still feel a little bit more substantial grip-wise. The biggest difference I feel are the function buttons on top that are better spaced out on the E-M1.
     
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  6. yves75

    yves75 Mu-43 Regular

    49
    Oct 4, 2014
    paris, france
    just get the g7 or gx8 then, much better grip
     
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  7. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    Somewhere we had this conversation before, but I could not find it. :blush: I have both OMD's. The Nocticron is a very wide (size wise) lens. With the standard extended grip built into the EM1, it leaves room for your fingers to slide between the grip and side of the lens. With the EM5 II, adding the vertical part of the HLD-8G grip narrows this gap, to where I am not able to get my index finger in-between the lens and grip. I have to place it under the lens more, which is OK. I put the grip on the day I got the EM5 II and it has not come off the camera, it makes the camera much easier to hold (for me). The 12-40 and 40-150 Pro lenses are a bit narrower than the Nocticron and my fingers fit fine in the gap.

    Edit: Bobby, here was our discussion before, I even took photos of the gap between the Nocticron and both cameras for you. See your post #36.

    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/74141/page-2

    With all the firmware changes coming if it was me, I would get the EM1, as the grip is built in. I just love that combo with my Nocticron. The only reason I bought the EM5II was because of the improved video, but soon, the EM1 will be have the same video specs (almost), good enough for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
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  8. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I have both. I find that to be an excellent solution.
     
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  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The EM5 II is fairly hefty and has a much better grip than the original M5, especially the rear thumb rest. Of course, no Olympus body has a grip as good as the EM1. The em5 II is a nice small body with all the trimmings and fits in a big coat pocket with a small prime. It's unlikely that you'll be unhappy with either body.
     
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  10. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    You might want to check on the camera size website. The PL 42.5 1.2 doesn't leave much finger room on the EM1, but it could be just fine.
     
  11. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    The extra grip (HLD-8G) on the EM5 Mk II makes the camera just a little larger than the E-M1!

    The 2 part grip/battery for the E-M5s are a brilliant idea!
    • Add just the horizontal grip and have something just a little larger than the E-M1 and feels excellent in the hand.
    • Add the battery grip for portrait shooting, or for long lenses if one feels the need (even with the 50-200mm I didn't feel the need), or just for the use of two batteries for long lasting shooting.
    • And when both parts are removed, the E-M5s seem so much smaller.
    With the E-M1 you don't get these options.
     
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  12. nzdigital

    nzdigital Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Oct 20, 2010
    New Zealand
    Wayne
    Everything Clint just said....;)
     
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  13. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    ㅇtㅈyㅅr
    I had the E-M1. Sold it to buy the E-M5 Mk.II with no regrets. I have average size hands and the E-M5 Mk.II is very comfortable to hold. Having said that, I only shoot with the smaller primes, my largest being the O60/2.8 and the camera feels very balanced with any of these lenses.
     
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  14. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    Thanks SpecFoto! I couldn't find that link but I'm not very computer savvy about the internet. Those pictures speak volumes about my main question and with your help I'll save myself a lot of grief and go for the E-M1. The P/L is my favorite lens and if I had to hold it in the slightest odd position I know after an extended period of carrying my fingers would begin to cramp. I had that problem with this lens on other cameras and fear that if I got the E-M5 II and grip I might hesitate to carry it due to even the slightest discomfort. So E-M1 here I come.
    Thanks to all who offered their valuable advice!
    Bobby
    PS, what type of tripod L Plate do you have mounted on your E-M1 SpecFoto?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  15. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    ^^

    The L plate is by Really Right Stuff. At the time I got it, it was the only 3rd party L plate out there. It is a excellent design, the bottom plate matches the contour of the bottom of the EM1 exactly and is just the right height to give your pinkie finger a resting spot. Has a slot on the bottom to allow for changing the battery without removing. The side bracket is easly removable via a set screw if needed and has a side cover cutouts for the 2 plugs. Although the larger bottom plug can hang a bit, I use a flat blade to open it all the way.

    While I am sure there are lots of less expensive knock-offs out there now, this RRS grip is very high quality, has smooth edges, fits great, looks good and really adds to the ease of holding the EM1 with larger lenses like the Nocticron or 12-40 or 40-150 pro. Well worth the $120 or so I paid for it almost 2 years ago, it has never left the camera.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
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  16. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    I got just the RRS bottom plate, specifically to keep my pinky on the camera. Very nicely made part.
     
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  17. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Honeslty I think it's down to whether you own and/or plan to own 43 lenses. If I didn't have the 50-200 SWD and 150/2.0, and didn't own the E-M1 already, I would get the EM-5mkII, no question. Since I do, I'll stick with my (very capable and essentially the same IQ) E-M1. If I want higher res I take my Sony :D
     
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  18. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I can vouch for the RRS plate as well, I had one until it was 'borrowed' by a family member.

    I really should buy a replacement as I cannot see it being returned, it's only a tiny amount of grip however it makes a huge difference to camera handling (both the extra length and the Arca mounting flange giving a small edge to grip).
     
  19. Bob Rockefeller

    Bob Rockefeller Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Sep 15, 2015
    Richmond Hill, GA
    Bob Rockefeller
    Newer makes an inexpensive L-Bracket (available on Amazon) that I have and am very happy with. It fits and feels right.
     
  20. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    Bobby, seeing how long you had been deciding between the 2 bodies, let me give you more ammunition for choosing the EM1, even though you said above you have decided. Getting the EM1 is the right choice over the EM5 MK II, despite the MK II is newer. Having both bodies, here are the EM1 advantages as I see it:

    Given all the firmware changes coming up the only "advantage" the Mk II will have in my eyes is the hi res shot mode. And it is 1st gen and not so easy to get good results with. Me, I gave up on it and just use my Nikon D800 if I need a hi-res shot :2thumbs:. The EM1 is the flagship of the Olympus line and Olympus seems very committed to keeping the EM1 owners happy. Also, some of the new firmware features are not being added to the MkII, even through they maybe could have.

    The EM1 has a better top control layout, the functions buttons are well spaced. The 2 function buttons plus AEL/AFL button on the EM1 are just fine for most, especially for guys with larger fingers, plus function button 1 sits on a sloped angle that makes it easier to use without removing the camera from your eye. The top right side of the MK II is cluttered and the AEL/AFL function 1 button is too small and harder to press, being right up against the EVF housing and the top of the LCD screen. (Also the 1-2 lever is smaller and not as easy to use as on the EM1 for the same reasons). Do you really need 4 programible function buttons crammed into the top right side of the MK II? When you add the much needed vertical grip to the MK II, the large front shutter dial that you no longer use is still there, taking up a space and making it difficult. Using the function buttons with the MKII means you have to stop taking photos and look at the top to find the right button.

    The EM1 built-in grip is just about the right size with the larger lenses I have. It gives you more finger room between the grip and lenses, and this becomes important with the Nocticron or other lenses of that circular dimension. However the added L bracket as discussed really makes it perfect.

    The EM1 AF is better, in some cases way better. We all know about the dual AF for the EM1. However for some reason the eye detection seems to work not so well with my Nocticron on the Mk II. But it is pretty darn accurate on the EM1. I would say a difference of 50 to 60% vs 80 to 90%.

    The start-up or wake from sleep time with the EM1 is always about 1 second. No matter what settings I use with the MKII, the start-up or wake from sleep time is 3 seconds, which is pretty frustrating. With the EM1 I shut it off and restart a lot, helping with battery usage. With the MK II, I don't do this due to the long start-up and wake time and the battery usage frankly....sucks because of it. Usually I get 300 or less shots with the Mk II. The EM1 can go over 500 shots if I use the shut off, 400 or so without.

    Lastly, I find the tilt screen on the EM1 more useful (for macro, low or overhead shooting) than the twist to the side one on the Mk II.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
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