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Upgrading from EPL5 to either a EM5 or EM1. EM1 worth the price difference?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by nickbawt, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. nickbawt

    nickbawt New to Mu-43

    Sep 3, 2013
    British Columbia

    I'm interested to hear some thoughts from owners who have upgraded from an EPL5 (or any PEN series) to the EM5 (mk.1) or EM1. Ive had the EPL5 for well over a year and feel like Ive outgrown it and am looking for something with more manual options, 5 axis IS, and inbuilt view finder etc that a more featured body will give.

    Im looking at a 2nd hand or refurb'd EM1 (approx. £500) or EM5 (approx. £300) but am wondering if the EM1 is worth the extra money?

    For what its worth I shoot mostly on Lumix lenses and use it for everything from wide angle landscapes, close & fast panning motorsports and wild life etc etc. Im leaning towards the EM1 as the EM5 has been out a while and the EM1 might future proof a bit better.

    Any opinions would be appreciated.

  2. scott rawson

    scott rawson Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 17, 2015
    west yorks
    Srsmicrosystems had the EM5 ELITE version (same as original...just nicer skin cover I think) new for £299 delivered...I bought one and sold it straight away...fifty quid profit for an instant sale in local shop...nearly kept it as it did look nice and still is a great image maker.
    As for EM1 ...I played with it but didn't feel I was going to gain anything more by using it ...so I stuck with GX7...half the cost ,but nearly as feature rich.
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    E-M1 vs E-M5 is an interesting question. In most ways the E-M1 is the better camera - faster, better EVF, more features, much more up-to-date firmware, PDAF for 4/3 lenses, better handling/ergonomics, ... However, the E-M5 is a lovely camera that delivers the goods and the IQ is still excellent from it.

    Having said all that - I now have both and when I reach for a camera it's invariably the E-M1. It's just much more capable and up-to-date. I couldn't personally recommend an E-M5 now against the E-M1, despite the E-M5 being a cracking camera.

    If you want to spend less than the E-M1's price, then I'd go for the E-M10 in preference to the E-M5. It's a very similar camera, but is more up-to-date in firmware and features.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I upgraded from an E-PL5 to an E-M1 and E-M5 and the handling is a significantly better experience IMHO, especially for the E-M1. In addition to very useable EVF's, you get two control wheels that make using the cameras a pleasure. The E-M1 is my normal goto camera, but I do pick up the E-M5 on occasion, especially when I need a slightly smaller body. I do not miss the E-PL5 at all (and suspect that it may have had bad shutter shock), and I just recently picked up a GF7 and find that more in keeping with that type of design philosophy (small with no EVF).

    Good luck,

  5. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Personally I'd go for an E-M10 before an E-M5 m1 unless weather sealing is a must have. The 3 axis IBIS may not be the 5 of the others but it's much closer to the 5 axis than it is to what the E-PL5 has. In many ways the E-M10 is an improved E-M5 m1 (better buttons, AF, image processor, etc). At this point I think the better/closer comparison is the E-M1 vs E-M5 m2.

    Also of note the E-M1 is a MUCH bigger body (all things being relative).
    • Like Like x 1
  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I have had E-P1, Em-5 and now my two cameras are E-M1 and a recently acquired E-PL6.

    The EM and the EPL are different beast is terms of ergonomics and feature

    The E-PL6 I uses as a casual walkaround camera, mainly with the 17/20/14 pancakes. Its a fantastic camera.

    However the E-M1 is my main camera because

    1) EVF - holding a camera to your eye to me is part of the photographic process

    2) better controls, the 2 dial etc

    3) better balanced, especially with larger lenses

    4) Support for decent focusing with the larger 4/3 lenses - I use a 50-200 now with a teleconvertor and even this combo does not feel imbalanced at all, and indeed just walking around holding it by the grip is a pleasure

    5) weather sealing is a comfort, though I dont have the lenses that support it

    6) Wifi can be useful, though I find the implementation a bit awkward - once you are in wifi you lose access to the adjustments on the camera

    If you are shooting motor sport, presumably with a long lens, the grip on the e-m1 to me would be invaluable, especially as you will probably want to work with longer and longer lenses :) 

  7. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I have an E-M1 and an E-M5 and Kevin's first 3 points plus his point 5 (I have the weather sealed lenses) are what makes the difference for me with the lenses I have and the way I use the camera. As far as the cameras go just as cameras, the E-M1 is definitely preferable. Whether the E-M1 is worth the extra over the E-M5 is a question you have to answer for yourself based on how important the advantages of the E-M1 over the E-M5 are to you.

    I think there is one area in which the E-M5 has the edge over the E-M1 and that is in low light performance. That's rarely an issue for me and I can use my E-M5 anyway, but if you do a lot of low light work it is something you do need to think about. The E-M1 isn't bad in low light but the E-M5 is marginally better in my view.
  8. nickbawt

    nickbawt New to Mu-43

    Sep 3, 2013
    British Columbia
    Thanks for much for taking the time to reply, you've all raised really good points and have highlighted some things I hadnt even considered. The EM1 sounds like the preferable option but Ill pop into a store and see how it feels in the hand.

    Thanks again everyone!
  9. The single thing that pushed me over the deciding line on upgrading to an E-M1 (used) from an E-M5 was holding the grip and trying the EVF in store (ironically during the local Olympus E-M5 Mk2 launch event). The grip and EVF are superb compared to the E-M5. All the other features, CAF improvements, extra controls etc were just icing on the cake.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Your 50-200 is weather sealed, but you would need the MMF-3.
  11. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    If you are shooting sports of any kind I would get the EM1 as its much better at C-AF. The PDAF ability is just not for using 4/3 lenses, although it is nice being able to use those amazing lenses on the EM1.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    • Agree Agree x 1
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