Scott Bourne reviews the E-M5

Started Jan 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Re: Scott Bourne reviews the E-M5
In reply to Dave Sanders, Jan 8, 2013

Dave Sanders wrote:

richarddd wrote:

The biggest pros to using the MFT system

1. Stealth
2. Small size
3. Low weight
4. Easy to pack and carry
5. Amazing glass
6. Lower overall cost
7. Options not available to DSLR users

The biggest cons to using the MFT system

1. Low-light performance isn’t as good as DSLR
2. AF on moving subjects is sub-par
3. Can’t tether
4. Short battery life
5. Minimal support system

The entire column is at: http://photofocus.com/2013/01/04/olympus-om-d-em-5-micro-four-thirds-long-term-review/

Interesting take on the camera. I agree with most of what he said. I've just added Olympus and the OM-D to my Nikon kit and I must say that I've been very impressed so far. Impressed to enough to end years of lurking and actually begin to participate in the forums! Great camera...I love the size and build quality. Makes for a very high quality portable system. Every time I pick up the camera I'm impressed by the size and the fact that the ergonomics are still quite good for my big mitts. My Nikon is the D2X so I'm not that hard to impress when it comes to size and weight.

I'm also not that hard to impress when it comes to high ISO either...the D2X is basically unusable for colour photography over ISO 200. Given the size of the sensor, the OM-D is very impressive up to ISO 3200. I have just started to convert some files to B&W and 6400 looks a bit like Tri-X in terms of it's grain structure. I like grainy B&W and my old favourites were Tri-X and Ilford Delta 3200. I can't really speak to Bourne's comments vs. other cameras but I do have access to a D700 (My Dad's) so perhaps I'll do a comparison. Looking at some of the D700 files I have on my computer, I would say there looks to be about a stop, maybe more, at 1600 and above. But it's not a huge difference. I would say there is quite a difference between using high ISO in low light and in decent light. In decent light (if you're going for shutter speed, for example) I see very low noise up to 3200. In low light, 1600 is where you start to see noise. One thing that I've noticed is that there is a lot of fine detail retained at 3200, even with the OOC JPEGs. My daughter's eyelashes are still very sharp and there is nice detail in her eyebrows. I have sharpness at -1 and NR off.

As for the AF, I'm impressed at the speed of S-AF. Very quick. The touch focus/shutter using the rear screen is a great feature and it really shows off the speed of the camera. I was well aware of the C-AF shortcomings before I bought the camera so it's not a big deal for me. It's nowhere near my old D2X, which is of course while I still have it and one of the reasons why I'll always have a Nikon kit. Perhaps tracking will improve in later cameras but, for now, I don't think I'll bother using C-AF.

The battery life is one of the few disappointments for me. It is quite short, especially for someone used to getting literally thousands of shots from Nikon's amazing EN-EL4A. Oh well, not really a big deal to carry a few spares, something I've always done anyways. I do frequently go for walks without a camera bag, so I may have to get in the habit of pocketing an extra battery.

The lenses are great. So far I only have the Panasonic 14/2.5 and the Oly 45/1.8 but they are both small and good. I'm surprised that the Panasonic gets so little love. My copy is sharp and it is so small it's laughable. I love the 28mm FOV and, considering the point of the system for me is it's small size, i think it's no brainer. The 45/1.8 is amazing. Fast to focus and so sharp from 1.8 onward. I haven't done any shots that would give me a chance to check out the corners but the centre is outstanding and aperture selection seems to be mostly for DOF, not sharpness. Bokeh is nice and smooth. His (and others') glowing praise of the 75/1.8 has convinced me to start saving. My only criticism of lenses so far is colour...make them in black too, please! The camera is so small and stealthy I'd love the lenses to blend in too.

Overall, colour this Nikonian impressed.

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Dave Sanders

I'm with you on the Panasonic 14/2.5. I love this lens, too. I got it cheap from someone who de kit their camera. I can slip OM-D & 14mm into pocket or day bag effortlessly. When I need a wider reach I just the put Sony VCL-ECU1 onto it & it becomes 10.5/2.5. The Sony NEX wide converter is cheap & good. So you got 21mm f/2.5 & 28mm f/2.5 equivalent for very little money.

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