A quick day out with the Olympus E-M1 and the SONY a7

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Daniel Wee
Contributing MemberPosts: 529Gear list
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Re: aperture equivalence and the E-M1's power switch
In reply to William Porter, 11 months ago

Concerning the use of "aperture equivalence", what I actually wrote was "aperture equivalence where depth of field is concerned." I agree with you that for the amount of light, there is no translation. But as I qualified it for DoF, I thought that would have been sufficiently clear.

The reason why I prefer the switch on the right is because of my habit (and I suspect many others too) of turning the camera off in between shots to conserve battery power. I would take a shot or two, and turn it off, and keep walking. But then I may immediately see something else of interest, as can always happen during street photography, and need to bring the camera up again. This probably won't be an issue if you're shooting landscapes or portraits, for example. It was an issue when you wanted both to be able to shoot spontaneous, and still conserve battery power by turning the camera off as soon as it is not in use.

The reason why the a7's slower start up time is less of an issue is primarily because the differential there is so small. We're talking about a difference in order of less than a second. On the other hand, having to bring the camera up to my left hand and turn it on before putting it to my eye seems to be a bit more of a hassle. Imagine this scenario - I have my camera in my hand, turned off to conserve power. I approach an interesting scene of a street performer. As I approach, I keep walking and turn the a7 camera on in my hand without even looking at my hand. Once I'm in range, I bring the camera up and start shooting. With the E-M1, if I see the opportunity coming up, I'd have to stop to look at the camera to turn it on. This is made worse if you're having to carry something in the other hand, such as a tripod or a bag.

You could call this a subjective issue, and I think that it is. A lot has to do with one's shooting style and what you're shooting. In the end, I actually left the E-M1 in the ON position because I was handling two cameras and with the E-M1, I had to put down the a7 just so I could turn it on because I needed both hands to do it.

Why don't I just try turning the E-M1 on without looking? Well, I also have my lens cap off on my lenses and swinging my hand to the camera will likely get my prints on the glass. This has happened a few times and I try to avoid this as much as I can. As such, turning on the E-M1 is slightly more involved than turning on the a7, which hardly requires any shift in attention.
Your last point, I don't really get. I had no problems controlling the a7 camera. I was referring to the fact that the EVF display was rather cluttered compared to the one on the E-M1. This was because they were really showing a lot of information, which is a good thing. But the fonts are slightly bigger than on the E-M1's EVF display. Some of the displayed items eventually turn themselves off. The a7 is better in that the battery status can always be seen whereas on the E-M1, for some unfathomable reason, Olympus decided that we would not care about battery life after turning the camera on for a few seconds.

 Daniel Wee's gear list:Daniel Wee's gear list
Canon PowerShot SD750 Olympus C-2000 Zoom Nikon D70 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Olympus E-M1 +17 more
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