E-M5 & 7-14, then later in pouring rain
E-M5 & 7-14, then later in pouring rain
Apr 3, 2012
finally had some time to take a few photos. I like taking photos in raw format, which these all are. unfortunately, LR4 does not support the E-M5 yet, thus Olympus Viewer 2 was used. don't like it much, and didn't want to mess around with it, so these are simple exports to jpeg with no processing. for the purpose of this post, I think they are fine. probably will be shooting in jpeg+raw for a while until LR4 support is added.
the first series of shots are with the panny 7-14, in response to a request to test this combination. nothing spectacular, taken around a random part of town on the way back from a trip. then there's a random one with the 2/150 SHG 4/3 lens... I'll visit use with more of my 4/3 lenses later. the last series is a quick test in wind and rain conditions with the kit 12-50. had some time while waiting for new tires to be fitted to my car, so decided to walk around in the rain.
all shots done in P mode, with everything set at the default automatic settings. for any shots with EV compensation, those are unintentional... as to why explained later on. the ISO range for auto ISO is set to 200~1600 by default. I think it did a fair job selecting the ISO in this series, although I'd prefer it less aggressive with using the higher ISOs. probably the last time this camera will be used in fully-stock P mode for me.
in terms of handling, I like it. feels fairly natural, although I'm still getting used to the controls and I don't know my way around the settings too well yet. I'm left-eye dominant, so my nose ends up around the back buttons. it appears I managed to press the menu button with my nose during my first few uses (that was an odd surprise, suddenly getting a blank EVF screen for no apparent reason), but haven't experienced this oddity after the first few uses. a bit cramped, but not too different from using the E-620 or GH1. about the right size for me, so I like it.
one common issue I've encountered thus far is that the control dial around the top shutter of the optional grip can be turned too easily IMO, and I find the camera set to unintended exposure compensations at random times (as hinted earlier). in comparison, the control dial around the shutter on the camera body is half-recessed and doesn't have this issue. you have to move your finger deliberately to move the dial on-body, but I find that the fully-exposed dial on the optional grip can be turned accidentally if you tend to lay your trigger finger flat on the grip. it isn't an issue of the dial being too easy to turn though, I simply need to change my style so I approach the button more from the top. the configuration on the E-3/E-5 where the dial is recessed into the grip below the shutter button would have been more preferable, and I don't see why this couldn't have been done.
otherwise, I'm not accustomed enough to the body to comment much more. it isn't as intuitive as the 4/3 and m4/3 bodies I already own, being more menu-driven and similarly-placed buttons having different functions. will need to read the manual and simply use the camera more.
one thing I'd like to add though, is while the E-M5 is I think overall geared towards prosumer / pro use compared to other m4/3 bodies, some things seem a bit lacking. for example, even with the customization options available, not all buttons can be customized, and the options are limited for the ones that are. for example, it'd be nice if I can replicate the E-620 layout I'm used to using for the directional pad... but this doesn't seem possible at the moment. I want a dedicated button to switch between SAF/CAF/MF/SAF+MF/CAF+MF. certain buttons can be set to be a MF button, but 1) the button I want to assign to this does not have this option and 2) it only allows switching between MF and whatever other mode you are using. need to use the on-screen "super control panel" instead it seems.
stopping for a snack. fairly naturally-lit indoor setting with shade.
outside the burger joint, which happened to be by a bus garage. the built-in electronic level was very nice. first body I've owned to have one.
in search of more conditions where a wide is often used, I took some shots around city hall:
here is a shot with the superb 2/150 SHG 4/3 lens. it's a well-balanced combination if you add the two optional grips to the E-M5 IMO.
and a few shots testing the E-M5 in the rain. it was a harsh day today in Tokyo, with my area getting wind gusts over 35 m/s and heavy rain. I didn't protect the E-M5 from the rain at all, and it worked without issue as can be expected.
had a slight issue with the rain slightly interfering with the touchscreen operations, in addition to slight visibility issues. not sure how to prevent that, but it seems that I'll have to carry a small towel to wipe the screen so water doesn't interfere with touchscreen operations. having an option to hide the screen as with the various weatherproof 4/3 bodies would have been very nice.
another small issue is the cover for the DC input located on the optional grip can be opened accidentally too easily... but it's location on the side should prevent any serious issues even if opened accidentally. one thing to think about before attempting anything around extreme amounts of water though.
haven't used it too much yet, being occupied with other tasks thus far, but it is turning out to be a great camera.
MOS burger! My favorite japanese burger joint!
Thanks for sharing happy to see you kept the water off the front element quite well!
Cloverdale, B.C., Canada
Currently shooting: Nikon D3S, D700
Regarding viewer and lightroom, if you have some raw shots you really like, try changing the settings to Adobe 1998 color, lower the contrast a bit if needed (contrast will increase with this change) and turn off noise reduction, and then save as an 8 bit exif tiff. Viewer only lets you save no-exif 16 bit tiffs and I've never been able to see a quality difference.
I think you'll find the resulting files are pretty malleable in Lightroom. It also can help to use the curves feature in Viewer, but just to bump up the black point a tiny bit or take down the white point a little (grab the end of the line and slide up slightly).
well, those are the shots without rain on the filter.
it was raining pretty hard (although not as bad as later in the day) and many images had visible artifacts. the wind was fairly calm at that point (later became 35+ m/s gusts) so the rain was falling straight down... which a lens hood should eliminate, but the store was all out of the appropriate lens hood when I went to purchase one the day before.
must be a new marketing gimmick for olympus to not bundle hoods with the lenses. being my first olympus m4/3 lens, I went searching for one in the box initially, since all my 4/3 olympus lenses came with one, and the same for my m4/3 panasonic lenses.
You say you used the camera in the rain. Did much water fall on the camera itself? In Malaysia, Robin Wong deliberately exposed an OM-D E-M5 to a sprinkler to test the weather sealing. The inside of the EVF became foggy for several hours.
the camera was definitely wet. hopefully you can gauge the amount of rain by looking at the puddles and raindrop splashes in the photo. I didn't protect the camera and used it as I would on a sunny day. once wet, I kept the water on it and let it dry on its own. unfortunately, I didn't have a second camera handy to take an image of the wet E-M5.
as for the foggy EVF, as far as I can tell, I saw nothing like that. when I hopped into my car, the car windows got very foggy, but the E-M5 saw no difference between use outside and indoor conditions.
but then I was only out in the rain for maybe 10~20 minutes. I had no rain gear on, not even an umbrella. got cold after a while. so perhaps under extended use, moisture may build up inside the body somehow, leading to foggy EVF conditions.
perhaps I'll try dunking it in the river seen in image 5! was careful not to when taking the photo, with the panny 7-14 on it... but with the 12-50? things may get interesting. I'll be reviewing the literature on its waterproofing functionality thoroughly beforehand though.
seems like it'll rain again in a couple days. I'll try a longer test in the rain then given I have time.
How did you find the grip? Helps the handling? Would you say you benefit from it's use?
thank you for the various pointers, but I think I'll refrain from using viewer. most annoying is how long it takes to convert each file to jpeg or tiff, and I cannot do anything else while it does this.
hopefully LR4 will support the E-M5 soon enough... I have a huge backlog of files from my E-620, GH1, RD1s, S95, and probably some other bodies to go through in the meantime. no hurry to manipulate E-M5 ORF files.
I really like the grips. haven't used the camera without them yet, other than for a quick handling comparison at the desk. similar deal with the E-620 for me. bought it with grip, and rarely take it off. there are some who prefer not to use the grip of course, so all this is very much based on personal taste and type of use.
with the grips off the E-M5, there is no place for my palm to rest, so the body is effectively being held by my right-hand fingers, i.e. compact camera mode. no biggie if I'm also holding the lens with my left hand, but an issue if I want to take a quick snapshot holding it with one hand since it isn't a rigid configuration. adding the first grip gives a more substantial location to grasp the body with my fingers, helping stability. the second grip allows my palm to stabilize from the rear bottom, for further stability. makes single-handed operations stable. of course, this is with the 12-50 and larger lenses... pancakes, which I don't own, may be a different story.
I think it also depends on whether you use the EVF or the screen for the majority of your photography. the grip makes EVF operations more comfortable, since there is more camera to grasp while controlling the camera by touch. if you frame via the rear LCD, it might be better to have a more nimble setup, since I doubt you'll be grasping in the way the grip necessitates.
also consider that if you rotate the camera 90 degrees, having a shutter release on the lower grip is a much more natural operation. there are also two additional programmable buttons on the button (separately programmable from the body fn buttons) if you find the need for more buttons....
as for me, I plan on using the body with some large 4/3 lenses so the grips are a must IMO, and I'll leave them on even for the small m4/3 lenses for familiarity and the factors listed above. note that I'm not your average m4/3, but someone whose gear is mainly 4/3. so I'm bulking up to meet my size requirement, versus adding grips to something considered normal size.
I am sold since I do have mainly 4/3 lenses. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing your first E-M5 shots, nice early effort! The IQ continues to great and the color rendering is nice. Did you shot any OOC JPEGs?
I posted two OOC JPEG earlier as quick indoor test shots. here they are again. quick shots with the 2/150 SHG indoors. seems the auto ISO picked the max ISO 1600 setting. really paid no attention to the settings, since these were some of my first images and I wanted to simply obtain an output.
I'll be experimenting with manual camera settings and more involved shooting hopefully today. stock settings are fine, but as others have stated, they are more of your everyday snapshots thus far, and I want to try it in conditions that I'll eventually use it, i.e. as a replacement for my 4/3 bodies.
Thats very clean and excellent detail on the pens at ISO1600.
Your other shots are good too.
Any 'funnies' with the EVF like smearing, jerkiness or lag when panning?
How is it in low light?
there are two settings for the EVF frame rate, Normal and High.
High reduces blurring, but the manual says it may hinder the finder image when under fluorescent lighting.
there is some lag and smearing when panning under Normal mode, but nothing I can note when in High. High mode is like viewing an OVF in terms of response time and clarity, although the image itself is an electronic image obviously.
I don't notice any of the fluorescent lighting issue, and High mode is a big improvement over Normal mode, so I've set it on the High setting.
not sure what the respective refresh rates and other specs are....
I only have the GH1... didn't see a need to get the GH2 as an upgrade for what they were going for earlier. IIRC they were 70,000~80,000+ yen for a used body. that's quite a lot for small improvements in still quality.
seems like a good upgrade if you are doing a lot of video, but that's not my primary use.
Try converting from raw and doing some PP. Jpegs don't look too good on full screen: spots with blotchy colors, sharpening halos, sky has noise and artifacts visible, contrast is too high.