OK, the E-M5 does look slick (1st impressions)

Started Apr 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
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kenw
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OK, the E-M5 does look slick (1st impressions)
Apr 20, 2012

I'm really not one for appearances of camera gear, primarily a function over form kind of photographer. But I've got to grudgingly admit when I put the 25/1.4 on the E-M5 it gave me a kind of giddy feeling I haven't gotten from camera gear in a long while. So insufferably so that I was provoked into taking a quick phone picture of it (I had a phone camera app I've been meaning to play with anyway). Apologies for sharing a cliche "I have a camera" photo passed through requisite "grungifying" iPhone app (hey if I'm going to go all Emo on this I might as well go all the way):

I've barely had any time to play with it yet. What I can say quickly is:

  • I'm liking the IBIS with primes. I need much more testing and experience, but I did a quick indoor shot series with the 25/1.4 hand held at 1/5 second exposure with little attempt at steady technique and out of five shots I got one perfectly sharp one, two mildly soft, and two unusable. To me that's pretty good for a first try. IBIS on primes is my primary reason for getting this so I'll be playing with this a lot in the coming days I think.

  • AF is snappy, comparable to my GH2 I think. Very fast with the 25, slow with the 20. Will have to try more lenses, but for G3/GX1/GH2 owners I think you should expect about the same. Haven't tried cranking live-view refresh rate up yet either, should have some impact on focus.

  • EVF is nice, a little smaller magnification than my GH2 which is a tad disappointing but which I knew going in. I like it overall.

  • It is nice and small. No trouble holding it really, I'm used to smallish cameras. It is appreciably thinner than the GH2. Smaller in other dimensions as well, but most obvious is in front to back thickness.

  • Dual dials are really nice. I like that the "main dial" (closest to the hump without the shutter in the middle) can easily be turned either with your index finger from the front or thumb from the back. Appears you can even customize the direction of this dial to account for your preferred front or back use!

  • Holy customization Batman! Haven't had an Olympus before, wow those configuration menus go really deep and touch everything. I really like that. You can customize so many buttons - so glad the "useless" record button is one I can switch to something I'll actually use. Fortunately the "important" menus are short and sweet with all the customization packed into a separate deep tree.

  • Many of the buttons are a bit "gooshy" when pressed. Doesn't bother me, but does seem a bit out of place with the rest of the construction.

  • The "hum" or "woosh". Yep, it makes noise. Those who have compared it to a 2.5" laptop drive have it about right - or one of those tiny fans in netbooks. Obvious to the photographer, still audible held at arms length in a quiet room. It is essentially band limited white noise - not an objectionable whine or buzz or anything like that. I don't expect it will bother me but it is definitely there. Wouldn't surprise me if the magnitude of it varied from camera to camera.

  • Couldn't get my 25/1.4 to "rattlesnake" but I didn't try very hard - mostly pointed out the window into bright light and back inside. Tried A and P modes.

  • Ugh, why do so many companies make a tiny camera and a giant charger? What is up with that? Can't wait for a smaller third party charger to come out for this thing.

I'm mostly booked with activities tomorrow so I'm not sure I'll get to do much this weekend beyond the basics. Not going to do any IQ tests just yet as I have a hunch (more like a hope) that we'll have LR/ACR support come Monday when CS6 is officially released and I suspect the DNG converter and LR4.1 final as well. I'm banking on the fact that DPR has had alpha ACR support for this camera for over a month and so Adobe should be going live with it on this release.

There are a fair number of owners on the forum now, but feel free to ask me questions and I'll try to respond. I've got a fair collection of m43 lenses to try out. I suspect if I play with anything the next few days it will be EM-5 IBIS vs. GH2 OIS comparisons in JPEG.
--
Ken W
See profile for equipment list

 kenw's gear list:kenw's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS +25 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
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