Used EM1 vs eventual EM1-II vs your suggestion

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by emorgan451, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. emorgan451

    emorgan451 Mu-43 Veteran

    My current camera is the EM5 that I've had for the last 2 years, which has served me well and I still love. The one thing that really has me considering an additional camera is the inability to perform adequate focus tracking. It's not been a huge issue as I can get some keepers just using single AF and trying to time my shot, but I have a 10 month old and he's only getting more mobile. I have been saving money from odd photography shoots to put towards a new within the next year when he will be running around playing with other kids. By next month I will have enough saved up to purchase an used EM1 which would have me covered in that department, but I have a hard time plunking down that much cash for a basically equivalent sensor (not trying to start a discussion on this point but to me the IQ is essentially the same when not pixel peeping :) ). So that's where the potential for the EM1 II comes in assuming that the sensor will be upgraded, but my timeframe it will be very expensive.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome. All my lenses except the FE are olympus so if a panasonic body is recommended it would need to have in body stabilization.

  2. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Well, the E-M1 is certainly capable of tracking a subject. You also state that you have a 10 month old who is getting more mobile. The E-M1 II likely won't come out for about another year, so you'll miss those opportunities/pictures by waiting for the E-M1 II. Personally, I would get an E-M1, and when the II is released, you can decide if you want to upgrade at that point. But that way, you don't miss those opportunities. E-M1's can be had for about $700, +/- $50, so they're not terribly expensive any more. And with FW 4.0 being released shortly, it's still a very capable and full featured camera.
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  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I've heard good things with Panasonic's DFD tracking. It even bested Sony's hybrid AF system during The Camera Store AF shootout. The G7 I believe has the same system, so it might be worth checking out if you want a fast tracking M43 camera at an affordable price. Maybe some Panasonic users could chime in as well.

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  4. emorgan451

    emorgan451 Mu-43 Veteran

    Thanks. Yeah I had watched that when it came out and was pretty impressed as well. Doesn't the DFD only work for Panasonic lenses though? I'm pretty heavily invested in Oly glass
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  5. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    The E-M1 II will be very expensive I think and judging at the performance of the Panasonic GX-8 with its new 20MP, you are not going to get any monumental increase in image quality like you would from 12MP 43 sensor to the E-M5 16MP sensor. The E-M1 II probably will have impressive AF features on par to or better than the GX-8, but its main feature will be the 40MP hi-res which should be handhold-able by next year hopefully. But that won't help you in the AF tracking department. I wanted to recommend you the new Panasonic G7, which is a fantastic sports camera and very reasonably priced. A cheaper version to the GH4, but it does not have in body stabilization. You have to depend on lens stabilization. However, not only does the G7 have DFD, it also has a new motion tracking feature similar to what a DSLR like Nikon has -- 3D tracking and its 4K still burst is impressive. If I want a cheap action sports camera which also shoots 4K video and I have a set of Panny lenses (which I do), the G7 would be the camera to get. Best bang for the buck.
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  6. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Given all of the fantastic motorsport images that GRID is regularly putting up using an E-M5 and E-M1 I would think that your existing camera or the E-M1 would be fine. Might a different technique be more useful? I have shot running wildlife with an E-M5, E-M10, etc.
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I forgot about that part! I'd probably just pick up a used or grey market E-M1 then. An E-M1 II will probably be way expensive (and price inflated) when it does get released. I think for a current work around you can try shooting with wider lenses that have more DOF or if you're shooting telephoto, stop the aperture down slightly so you still have a bit of leeway even if they're slightly out of the plain of focus.

    I think the difference is that when shooting small kids, you're at much closer distances and kids have faster "micro" movements that are harder to predict with normal focus tracking. I have two small kids and I even had trouble shooting them with something like a Nikon D3S and fast 2.8 glass!
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  8. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    You can tell that I don't shoot pictures of kids!
  9. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    You can't take pictures with a camera that doesn't exist. Your kid won't wait for you.

    Go for a used EM1. You can sell it down the road when a newer model is real.

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  10. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Yes. Even if the EM1 II actually has better tracking AF, it not coming for while yet. The EM1 is a really good camera and you can get them surprisingly cheap these days.
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  11. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    my brother bought Panasonic FZ1000 and now i have im on test for a few days, that camera is almost perfect, it is all in one, af in low light is better than E-M1 and PRO lens, it have has absolutely fabulous 4k video, and picture taken by FZ1000 is great is at least on pair of kit lens like 14-42 and 40-150 4-5.6 or same from Panasonic and it is same DOF, but you wont have to change lens and you will have fabulous video ( even if you dont have 4k TV, you will some day and Full HD is far better from 4k downsamplenig than from camera that have only fullHD ) ... only thing it dont have is chance to get fast prime like 45 1.8 for portret but hey it is not same price tag than...

    If I need camera now for my baby on the way while waiting fro E-M1 mk2 to came in end of 2016 I would buy FZ1000 and use it and than when E-M1 mk2 finally get out you will have 2-3-4 tb of photos and video and you will be happy for it ;) 
  12. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The OP owns two good primes, the Oly 17 f/1.8 and Oly 45 f/1.8. The slower glass, in addition to the smaller sensor in the FZ1000 is going to give poorer results when it comes to image quality.
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  13. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    A toddler isnt going to move so quickly or abruptly that the current e-m1 won't handle it well.

    Buy a used one and when you think you need better one day sell it and you'll get most of your $$$ back to put towards what's next.

    An e-m1 may not be as capable in C-AF as a 7Dmk2, or a D4s, but it is as good and better than most entry-level to mid-tier DSLRs. There are pros shooting sports with it so your toddler will be handled just fine.
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  14. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I have an E-M5 which, overall, I've been really happy with. But the CAF was largely not useable and I wanted to be able to take pictures of dogs out on hikes and at the beach. You can't really do the pre-focus thing because you never know where they'll go. I used SAF with pumping and could get some keepers but this was the feature that I was not satisfied with. Was not going to buy the E-M1. Until firmware 3 my take was that CAF was considerably improved but still not great. After firmware 3 I decided to buy the E-M1. I don't know how CAF compares with dSLRs with good focus systems, but I'm pretty happy. I find it very useable for chasing dogs. Though it's an entirely personal thing, I think it really has terrific ergonomics too. I use the E-M5 without a grip and with primes when I want to go light. No one knows when the next generation will hit the shelves and no one knows just what features it will sport. In the past Oly was on about a 3 year cycle with flag ship cameras and with the announcement of big firmware upgrades coming next month I think it's unlikely we'll see an E-M1ii for some time.
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  15. emorgan451

    emorgan451 Mu-43 Veteran

    Thanks everyone for your good discussion points and opinions. You guys make very good cases for getting a used/grey market EM1 vs waiting for something else. I had pretty much talked myself into that as my path when I started saving, but some of the rumors and threads about the "next one" got me off track. But if I can get a ~$750 EM-1 you guys are right the eventual successor won't be a $550 better camera on release day for my purposes. I guess I was also looking at it like I bought my used EM5 2 yrs ago with a 17 2.8 lens for $650 so it feels like paying $750 just to focus track with the same IQ (I know there's multiple other pluses, but focus is my only real complaint). Not selling the EM5 so I can keep a backup hurts the money equation too lol.

    How low do you guys expect the EM1 to go in the next couple of years on used prices? With it being the pro level body I don't imagine the prices would dip below $600 at least until the replacement has been out and gotten a price drop.

    I wish olympus put something like the G7 3D tracking into the EM5II or 10II, or that the it worked with Olympus glass on the G7, but such is life
  16. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    I've come from using Olympus to Panasonic bodies, and I have the Oly 40-150 pro other than a few Panny lenses.
    IBIS is good to have, but you probably don't need image stabilization. if you shoot a kid your shutter speed needs to be fast enough to avoid motion blur, G7 should do really well with predictive AF, and beyond that you'll gain touchpad AF, which could be quite useful for kids.

    When I used the EPL5, it was hard sometimes to focus on the subject no matter what focus box size was chosen, so it seems to me that if you want the best AF that includes accuracy, handling, speed, you'd go with Panasonic.
  17. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Keep on eye on Olympus's refurb store and for 20% off discounts which they offer a couple times a year (but stuff sells out fast with the 20% discount so you have to jump on them). With the refurb direct from Oly, you get a 90 day warranty and all refurbs are eligible for purchasing an extended warranty.

    Right now there are only E-M5 models in the refurb store. But the E-M1s show up periodically. That is how I got mine.
  18. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, here's my 2c worth:

    - The E-M1ii doesn't exist and even though it's probably coming next year, we don't know when and we know almost nothing about its potential AF capabilities.

    - The E-M1 (like all CAF-based cameras) isn't that good at acquiring focus on moving subjects (whatever the AF mode) when compared to most mid-range or better DSLRs

    - If shooting stuff that moves is important to your photography, then m43 probably isn't the best choice.

    Now, I'm not saying that it's impossible to take good shots of stuff that moves with m43 - just that the keeper rate will be much higher using a more appropriate tool.

    So far as kids are concerned, then personally I think m43 is fine. They don't move all the time and the best shots are usually the ones when they're not! Shots on the hoof of kids running around the house are unlikely to be good shots even if you nail the focus. If you're doing BIF or sports, then it would be a different matter.
  19. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    I have the em1 and two little of which is very active. Go for an em1...the upcoming firmware update should be awesome.
  20. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I would agree with that when the grandchild visits. I think S-AF Lo probably is better for them. I have both the E-M5 & E-M1 but also I bought a Stylus 1 that has a constant f2.8 zoom lens (10.7 X) equivalent to using a 4/3's 14-150mm & it does surprisingly good for chasing a 2 year old around the house & captures the moment better than OM-D models in a lot of respects (but I don't have the Pro 12-40 lens which would make a difference on the OM-D's). It can do up to 7fps & with the little pop-up flash it works well & has been good at firing 2-3 times per second (depending on existing lighting & distance etc). On the other hand, I would recommend going for an E-M1 now.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
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