What are the real world differences between the PEN series and the OM-D series?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by imahawki, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. imahawki

    imahawki Mu-43 Regular

    195
    Aug 12, 2014
    The title says it all but to clarify, it seems many of the cameras share the same sensor but differ in processing engines and some have 5 axis IS and others have 3 axis. Are there major differences in other areas? I recently bought an E-PL5 and am very pleased with it to date but am just wondering what the additional $200 for an E-M5 gets you (more because I'm unfamiliar with the line as opposed to being able to cite all the significant and insignificant differences between Canon SLR bodies that I came from).
     
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    $200 also gets you an EVF which is $50 less than the VF2 for the E-PL5.

    The 5 axis IS alone is worth the $200 IMO.
     
  3. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Mainly, it's a viewfinder, an additional control dial, and better image stabilization (in the case of the E-PL5, it's marginally effective 2-axis, vs. VERY effective 5-axis for the E-M5, and almost as effective 3-axis in the E-M10).

    The E-M5 also has a weather-sealed body (E-M10 doesn't).

    There is also a difference in shooting ergonomics, which is a function of the additional control dial and the viewfinder.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Also,

    The option of the addition of a battery grip.
     
  5. imahawki

    imahawki Mu-43 Regular

    195
    Aug 12, 2014
    Thanks for the information. That is very valuable. I always think real world feedback on product differences is better than comparing spec sheets.
     
  6. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Neil
    I upgraded from the E-PL2 to the EM10. Besides the sensor quality, the biggest differences to me are the control dials and the built-in EVF. I always used the viewfinder on the EPL2, and with it attached it's considerably bulkier than the EM10. The control dials are much easier to use than the little wheel on the back of the EPL2.
     
  7. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    I thought that the E-PL5 only had only a single mode dial?
     
  8. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    It's the OM-D series that has the additional control dial.
     
  9. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Nov 18, 2013
    If you like the Pen format, EP5 has the best specs this side of the EM1 and with a Pany 14mm and no VF fits in a large pocket. 5 axis IBIS, 1/8000 top shutter speed and "0" shutter shock makes is a very viable alternative to the EM's.
     
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  10. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    Sorry to be confusing, I thought that the E-PL5 only had a mode dial (A, S, M, Video, etc.) and no controls. I have the E-P5 and it has three dials: mode, control one (front) and control two (rear) as well as the Mode 1/2 switching of control one/two.
     
  11. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I was talking about the E-M5 relative to the E-PL5. Yes, the E-P5 has a full compliment of controls. But in addition to the mode dial, the E-PL5 also has a multifunction wheel, which is also extensively user-programmable, and several function buttons that are also user-programmable.
     
  12. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    Yes, same as the E-PM2. I really don't see the added value of the top mode dial on the E-PL5 over the E-PM2 which has no top dials, as I mostly stay in one mode (A normally or P when using as a point-and-shoot).
     
  13. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Neil

    It's easier to "drive" the top dial than the wheel on the back, for me at least . . .
     
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  14. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    True, that's what I found using the E-PM2. Looks like the E-PL7 is going to have a top control plus the Mode dial, however it loses the back wheel so it only has one control, effectively. If they had two control dials, it would essentially be too much like the E-P5.
     
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  15. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    921
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I own both the EPL5 and EM5. Having a one top dial to control aperture/shutter and a second to do EV adjust is handy on the EM5. On the EPL5, you just learn to do it via the wheel and arrow buttons, so it take a few button presses. Then there is always the EVF on the EM5 when looking thru one is required. I like using the LCD as much as I can though.

    Being able to run IBIS with the focus button half pressed is very useful on long lenses that need manual focus. I wish the EPL5 could do that. The EM5's 5-way IBIS is superior for video too. IBIS on the EPL5 video is worse than having no IBIS and it should be turned off.

    I'd prefer to use my EPL5 because of smaller size, but there are times when I want the video. I miss not having a flash on both.
     
  16. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    The viewfinder and the 5-axis IBIS were what sold me on the E-M5 above other M4/3 cameras. The awesome control layout and weathersealing were the icing on the cake. The fact that it looks like I had been wishing a digital camera would look like for years and years and years was just a neat bonus. ;)
     
  17. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    639
    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Yes, this.

    I prefer the ergonomics of the E-P5 to the OMD series. Plus it is smaller when I decide to leave the viewfinder at home (increasingly often). When I want an EVF I am not locked in, but can get the latest tech. And it has a flash.
     
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  18. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    We all know the answer is about $250.
     
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  19. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    362
    Dec 15, 2009
    I had the EM5 and hated it's mushy feeling buttons (yes I know it's the weather sealing) and went back to the EP5 but decided that I really missed having the EVF along all the time - probably a result of changing my P&S from the XZ-2 to the Stylus 1 - and got the EM10. Great EVF, nice relatively compact size/weight, wonderful control layout and don't miss the 5 vs 3 axis IBIS at all.
     
  20. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Poor E-M5...will forever get bashed for the mushy buttons haha.

    I agree, though...they're annoying and it was the first thing I instantly disliked about the camera. Let's not forget that it's built like crap too. (Sure, it's a tank...a tank that loses eye cups, main dials and the LCD bezel cracks for no reason, unforgivable at its price point). It's the poorest-built camera I've owned in a long, long, long time.

    But...we humans adapt rather easily...you'll forget all about how horrible those buttons feel soon enough. Just don't touch other cameras. I'm not even joking. As long as I don't play with other cameras, I forget all about the buttons...as soon as I pick up and fiddle with another camera I'm hit with a "Wow...these controls feel GREAT!" emotion, quickly followed by "Wait a minute...no, they feel normal...it's the E-M5 that feels like wet tissues." :D
     
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