A User Review of the E-M5 and Initial Shots

Started May 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Sinan Tarlan
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A User Review of the E-M5 and Initial Shots
May 7, 2012

This is a lengthy post and is simply my experience and my experience only. I picked up an E-M5 on Friday with the PL 25mm f/1.4 lens and M.Zuiko 40-150mm telephoto. Some background on me: I've previously owned two Pentax DSLR's (K10D and K-7) and a bunch of their top glass including 3 Limiteds (21, 31 and 70mm), a DA*, several other prime lenses and two f/2.8 Tamron zooms (17-50 and 70-200). This is probably the best work I've done to give you an idea, especially the Havana stuff: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=31264784

I also own an Oly XZ-1 as my pocket cam which I like a lot. I decided I no longer desired the heavy DSLR system with its big (although fast) lenses. As a Pentax user I was spoiled by in body image stabilization, sturdy build and excellent ergonomics. I like the Pentax brand and equipment although certain things frustrated me. Naturally the E-M5 caught my attention and I can say this is the camera I've being waiting for. I have two more lenses on order: the Panny 7-14mm f/4 and the M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8. This will likely be my kit, at least for a while. I'm missing a standard zoom such as the kit lens but decided against it. The 7-14, 25 and 45 combo will work great. The XZ-1 with its fast lens can act as my kit lens and give me the same DOF as the 12-50 with its f/3.5-6.3 lens anyways. In the future I will consider a fast standard zoom when the system does get one.

Let me hit the lenses first, the Oly 40-150 f/4-5.6 I haven't used much yet but is quite excellent from my brief testing; sharp wide open, fast to focus and incredibly small and light. I would have liked a metal mount but alas for the weight trade-off I'm not too concerned. Overall very happy with it, the only thing I will miss from my 70-200 f/2.8 is the f/2.8, and not for low-light, but for DOF control and subject isolation which coupled with the slightly larger APS-C sensor does make a difference. I think this is the only thing I will miss from my Pentax DSLR system. Everything else, good riddance!!

The PL 25mm f/1.4 which basically hasn't come off the camera since I bought it (this is why I haven't used the 40-150 much) is outstanding! Sharp wide-open, and I mean sharp, lovely bokeh, great real 50mm equivalent focal length. Well built, fast to focus, great manual focus control feel. Only thing negative is slightly high chromatic aberrations. That's it. I've been carrying the E-M5 with the 25mm attached the past couple days and it has reminded me about the joys of prime lenses and a lightweight system.

Now the E-M5. Short version: I'm thrilled.

Long version: excellent build, feels sturdy with good weight to it, weather sealed (both my Pentax DSLR's were and I've found this to be a useful if not mandatory feature to have in the past, in built image stabilization is great. Amazing selection of custom functions available and I mean this list is very extensive. I've already tailored the buttons and settings in a way that works best for me. The shutter button has great feedback, I love that a camera this size has two control dials - this makes all the difference in the world and is something I didn't want to give up coming from the K-7. High ISO looks great, not that I'm much of a high ISO guy but looks good to me (continued in Part II with images)

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 Sinan Tarlan's gear list:Sinan Tarlan's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +3 more
Olympus XZ-1 Pentax K-7
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