Update - em10II to Pen-F

delkhouri

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Hey all, I have had an em10II for about 4 years and was thinking about upgrading my camera body (probably just gas setting in). I had originally wanted the em5iii but I just can’t afford it. I really love the pen-f but the price is staying strong even on the secondary market. I did find an em5ii that is barely used and will only cost me ~200 after the sale of my em10II. Is it worth the upgrade to the em5ii? I know its weather sealed and the ibis is better. Plus I want to play around with features like in camera focus stacking/bracketing(I think firmware 4.0 gave it this) and 40mp high-res mode. What else would it gain me? Would you make the upgrade?

I was also thinking about trying another camera system but I really love my lenses (12-40pro, 40-150 plastic fantastic, and sigma 30mm1.4)
 

Michael Meissner

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Note, my hot button issue with the E-m5 mark I/II and E-m1 mark I/II is their use of a TFT LCD viewfinder. You E-m10 mark II camera (and both the Pen-F and E-m5 mark III) has an OLED viewfinder.

TFT viewfinders interact with polarized sunglasses when shooting in landscape (horizontal) orientation, while an OLED viewfinder can be used in either orientation. I've tried an E-m5 mark II 2-3 times in the store, and with my sunglasses, the viewfinder is completely opaque when I shoot in landscape orientation. The other TFT viewfinder cameras have about 1/2 of the screen distorted, but I generally can see enough to frame the shot.

OLED viewfinders also tend to saturate the colors more than TFT viewfinders. IMHO, the TFT viewfinders tend to be closer to what you get when you look at the photo on the computer before editing.

In case you haven't thought about it, the E-m5 mark I/II and E-m1 mark I use a BLN-1 battery, while your E-m10 mark II uses a BLS-5/BLS-50 battery. So be sure to figure in the cost of extra batteries in any upgrade. The Pen-F also uses BLN-1 batteries, but the E-m5 mark III uses the BLS-5/BLS-50 batteries.

The BLN-1 batteries use a slightly different chemistry than the standard lithium-ion used by most generic batteries (and the BLS-5/BLS-50). This means that you don't want to mix chargers and batteries (i.e. if you use an Olympus BLN-1 battery, use the Olympus BCN charger, and if you use a third party battery use the third party charger). Due to the voltage differences, a third party battery will likely last less time than the BLN-1 because the camera will think it is empty sooner. There are a number of reports of bad BLN third party batteries (I had 2 Wasabi BLN-1 clones swell up within a year of purchase, and a lot of other people did also). I have been using Watson BLN-1 clones, and they seem reasonable.
 

ac12

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Another option is a lightly used EM1-mk1. Prices of used mk1 is about $300.
That was my first Olympus, and I really like that camera.
For me, the only weakness is fast sports. For everything else, it is just just fine.
 

Michael Meissner

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Another option is a lightly used EM1-mk1. Prices of used mk1 is about $300.
That was my first Olympus, and I really like that camera.
For me, the only weakness is fast sports. For everything else, it is just just fine.
Though for an E-m1 mark I make sure it doesn't have one of the frequent complaints a few users have:
  • When you use certain diopters, the viewfinder can get burned by a brief exposure to the sun, resulting in green blobs in the viewfinder (but not in the ultimate photos);
  • There was an issue with the mode dial (when I sent my E-m1 mark I in for service twice, both times they mentioned checking the mode dial);
  • Also the strap holders came out in a few cameras (again mentioned in the report after service).
  • As with any of the weather sealed cameras, some users tend to abuse their cameras (or at least spend time shooting in wet/dusy/etc. conditions), so make sure it appears sound.
 

delkhouri

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Correct me if I am wrong but the em1 my 1 doesn’t have things like in camera focus bracketing/stacking or a high res mode.
 

LilSebastian

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I understand the desire to try another body, even when you might love your E-M10 II. That was my very first m43 body and I still use it (and love it) today. I bought a used E-M1 to try out legacy 4/3 lenses that needed the PDAF that only that model had until very recently. I just didn't connect with it for some reason and when I finally bought the 12-40 PRO, I sold the E-M1 and returned to just the 10 II. More recently, I picked up a used Pen-F because of GAS. Can I tell the difference in 20mp vs 16mp images? Not really, but I have not pulled out a tripod to try the high resolution mode either. Both produce very clean images when light is good. I do like the C1-C4 settings on the Pen-F mode dial however. C1 is my indoor setup with Aperture priortity, Anti-shock single mechanical shutter, minimum shutter speed of 1/60 and other settings I like. C2 is outdoor general purpose with Electronic shutter etc. C3 is for Continuous Low Anti Shock mechanical shutter, 1/125 minimum shutter speed etc. C4 is for Live Composite.

As you can read in the link below, there are some other clear differences like swivel vs tilt screen, faster mechanical shutter on Pen-F, built in flash for the 10 II....

If you can find a reasonable deal on a used body, go for it. Just sell it along if it doesn't spark joy.

https://www.apotelyt.com/compare-camera/olympus-e-m10-ii-vs-olympus-pen-f
 

Michael Meissner

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E-M1 Mark I has focus bracketing but not in camera stacking or hi-res.
Ummm, firmware version 4.0 (November 2015) added focus stacking for select lenses for the E-m1 mark I. Firmware version 4.2 (December 2016) added a few more lenses to the list of supported lenses.
Note, Hi-Res mode was not added to the E-m1 mark 1. It first came with the E-m5 mark II. I suspect there might be a physical reason why it couldn't be done as a firmware update to the E-m1 mark I.

There is a thread on this site that has modified firmware to allow focus stacking on any lens (though evidently there are issues with lens breathing on some of the lenses).
 

comment23

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Ummm, firmware version 4.0 (November 2015) added focus stacking for select lenses for the E-m1 mark I. Firmware version 4.2 (December 2016) added a few more lenses to the list of supported lenses.
Note, Hi-Res mode was not added to the E-m1 mark 1. It first came with the E-m5 mark II. I suspect there might be a physical reason why it couldn't be done as a firmware update to the E-m1 mark I.

There is a thread on this site that has modified firmware to allow focus stacking on any lens (though evidently there are issues with lens breathing on some of the lenses).
Ah you’re probably right about focus stacking. It’s been a while since I had that body.
 

RS86

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You're in similar situation as I was two weeks ago. Wanted to upgrade my first ILC camera E-M10 II, mostly because of GAS. Although it has 40k shutter count already. Waited for E-M5 III (which would be perfect), but realized it's too much money for a camera and won't be under 1000 euros for a long time.

Thought about new E-M5 II for 400 euros, but went for used PEN-F for 550 euros as one Finnish camera store had it with 1500 shutter count (another cameras store has it for 800 euros with 25 000 shutter count). Even if there will be PEN-F II, it will have things like 4K video (I have GX9) and PDAF, which I don't really need, and will likely cost over 1400 euros.

E-M5 II has it's "back button" in very weird place and was the final tipping point for me. I got interested in B&W photography while reading about PEN-F and realized I have good B&W possibilities in my GX9 too, which PEN-F resembles in it's rangefinder form. I'm not very good at imagining in B&W so seeing it through the screen is great. Both of these have Exposure Compensation with Auto-ISO & Manual Mode, E-M5 II doesn't. Now I have both Tilt and FA screens in my bag.

Have you thought about keeping E-M10 II as your 2nd camera? I like to have two cameras in bag ready with different focal lenghts. I won't sell mine for under 200 euros I could get. Rather keep my first love, and take it out when mountain biking, roller blading or drinking with friends etc.
 

ac12

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About keeping the EM10.
I got my EM10 after I got the EM1-mk1.
I got the EM10 specifically for a "smaller" m4/3 kit.
While I don't use the EM10 as much as the EM1, I do LIKE it, and it comes out when I want a smaller camera to carry, without going down to a P&S.
And the EM10 is my preferred light travel camera.
 
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davidzvi

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Feature wise the E-M5.2 is a step up from the E-M10.2. If the features are worth the upgrade is only something you can decide. Image quality is pretty much the same with the exception of high rez.

I would add that while the E-M5.2 is heavier, I also found it felt better in the hand to me. But that's personal preference.
 

delkhouri

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Thanks for your responses. I did get to swing by a local shop recently that happened to have a new pen f. I played with it a while and really really liked it. I liked the buttons and dials and the tactile/mechanical feel of it. (Anytime I can have a button or dial instead of having my to go into a menu it makes it more enjoyable for me. Unfortunately the only one they had was new and it was $1000. So now I'm just going to keep my eyes open for one and hope I get lucky and find an affordable one.

I will say that i also looked at the Fujifilm xt-30 and x-e3. They also have many tactile controls and feel really nice. I must admit that a new xt-30 with all it's pro's and new tech for $799 is a really tempting proposition. I know fuji lenses are often bigger, more expensive, or both and those fuji bodies do not have ibis but I really like their look, their IQ, as well as their affordability.
 
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gary0319

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Thanks for your responses. I did get to swing by a local shop recently that happened to have a new pen f. I played with it a while and really really liked it. I liked the buttons and dials and the tactile/mechanical feel of it. (Anytime I can have a button or dial instead of having my to go into a menu it makes it more enjoyable for me. Unfortunately the only one they had was new and it was $1000. So now I'm just going to keep my eyes open for one and hope I get lucky and find an affordable one.

I will say that i also looked at the Fujifilm xt-30 and x-e3. They also have many tactile controls and feel really nice. I must admit that a new xt-30 with all it's pro's and new tech for $799 is a really tempting proposition. I know fuji lenses are often bigger, more expensive, or both and those fuji bodies do not have ibis but I really like their look, their IQ, as well as their affordability.
Good plan......

I have had the E-M10 and the E-M10 II, and the E-M5 II, and the Pen F and now the E-M5 III. FWIW, I had the E-M10 II and the E-M5 II at the same time and sold off the 5.2 in favor of the 10.2. The 10.2 remains my all time favorite MFT camera and even though I bought the 5.3 as a super turbocharged, weather sealed, 5.5 stop IBIS replacement for the 10.3 (which it is), I will most likely keep the 10.2.
 

delkhouri

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Just as an update.. I just picked up a used but in really good condition Pen-F from another forum. I will do some comparisons with my EM10II and see which I like better or if there is much difference. Looking forward to my new camera.

If you have any resources on how to use the pen-f and all of its creative controls let me know.
 

RS86

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Just as an update.. I just picked up a used but in really good condition Pen-F from another forum. I will do some comparisons with my EM10II and see which I like better or if there is much difference. Looking forward to my new camera.

If you have any resources on how to use the pen-f and all of its creative controls let me know.
Congratulations! Same update as I did a while ago. :) Rob Trek has some videos on Youtube about PEN-F.
 

RS86

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Haven't photographed too much yet, it's not currently very nice looking outside in Finland.

Getting used to fully-articulating screen takes some time, but now I have both screens in GX9 & PEN-F so gives more opportunities.

Also what I like is now I have in both cameras Manual Mode & Auto-ISO, f/1.8, 1/80 to Custom 1 mode, so especially when it gets dark or there is movement I can easily take photos fast without needing to set ISO or other stuff, and both of these cameras have Exposure Compensation with those settings.

I didn't sell my E-M10 II. I put it in a smaller bag with some other lenses, and take it with me when I don't want to carry two cameras and heavier bag. When going to the grocery store or similar. And I can grab it for example if I drink alcohol some weekend.

Not much more to say. I bought dark brown half-leather case for under 20 euros from eBay. It's a beauty to handle. Testing some black & white for the first time too. And the film emulation that is found on these forums & Rob Trek video.
 
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