OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?

Started Apr 14, 2012 | Discussions
kangaroo in oz
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OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
Apr 14, 2012

Or should i go with the plan to upgrade my pen to a sony alpha or canon rebel?

I am an olympus pen user and love it however i am limited with it as i like shooting surfing and occasional snow sports with fast moving targets...

I was going to move up to an SLR but the olympus OMD-e5 does appeal to me..

However is its performance with fast moving subjects likely to be on par with entry level dslrs? or should i keep to the original plan and step up to DSLR if i want to shoot action?

Any thoughts appreciated

p.s i do realise most people probably havent actually used this new camera yet but hopefully a few might have

agc1976
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to kangaroo in oz, Apr 14, 2012

For outdoor sports I think you'd be better off with a Nikon D7000 or a used D300s.

Personally, I'd go with the D300s. I've owned both and the D300s AF is more reliable. Inferior bodies like the Rebels and D3100, D5100 won't have a good enough AF to track fast moving subjects.

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Promit
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to agc1976, Apr 14, 2012

I just bought a D3100 to see how it compares to the GH2. It hasn't arrived yet. If AF tracking on the lower end bodies sucks, why is everyone always talking about how you can't rely on mirrorless CDAF for the best results and you should get a DSLR? I am confused.

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richarddd
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to Promit, Apr 14, 2012

Promit wrote:

I just bought a D3100 to see how it compares to the GH2. It hasn't arrived yet. If AF tracking on the lower end bodies sucks, why is everyone always talking about how you can't rely on mirrorless CDAF for the best results and you should get a DSLR? I am confused.

Sports photographers, wildlife photographers, etc. usually shoot with higher end DLSRs for C-AF. CDAF isn't as good as PDAF for C-AF and low end bodies tend not to be as good as higher end bodies for C-AF.
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agc1976
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to Promit, Apr 14, 2012

Promit wrote:

I just bought a D3100 to see how it compares to the GH2. It hasn't arrived yet. If AF tracking on the lower end bodies sucks, why is everyone always talking about how you can't rely on mirrorless CDAF for the best results and you should get a DSLR? I am confused.

Autofocus accuracy and tracking capabilities is one of the main reasons professionals spend thousands of dollars on higher end equipment.

Even in single AF mode it is not uncommon for lower end bodies to misfocus when using lenses with large aperture wide open.

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illy
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to Promit, Apr 14, 2012

Promit wrote:

I just bought a D3100 to see how it compares to the GH2. It hasn't arrived yet. If AF tracking on the lower end bodies sucks, why is everyone always talking about how you can't rely on mirrorless CDAF for the best results and you should get a DSLR? I am confused.

it will track and focus pretty good, it's just not as good as the top bodies, i wouldn't worry
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Henry Richardson
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to kangaroo in oz, Apr 14, 2012

kangaroo in oz wrote:

I am an olympus pen user and love it however i am limited with it as i like shooting surfing and occasional snow sports with fast moving targets...

I think it probably depends a lot on the distances involved too. If the subjects are moving fast and very close then that will be a challenge for even many DSLRs.

In Hawaii I sometimes for fun shoot some surfing and bodyboarding. I use DSLRs, but I never use tracking AF or continuous shooting mode. I just use single AF mode and single shot mode. The camera needs to acquire focus and lock on fast, but I don't need tracking or multiple fps. You can see examples in my Hawaii gallery (check out some of the bodyboarding/surfing photos in Hawaii 1, Hawaii 4, Hawaii 5, Hawaii 8, Hawaii 9, Hawaii 10, Hawaii 11, Hawaii 12, Hawaii 16 sub-galleries). They were all taken with the Sony A700, Sony A100, and Canon 60D using lenses that are all famous on the Sony/Canon forums for being slow-focusing. The EM-5 is supposed to be very fast (faster than the A700/A100/60D) to acquire focus and lock on so if it is true then it should easily handle those types of photos. If it isn't true, then it will be more difficult.

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PerL
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In the same price bracket....
In reply to kangaroo in oz, Apr 15, 2012

...as the OM-D you could get a Nikon D7000, a Canon 60D, Sony A77 or Pentax K5. All these will very likely be better for action shooting with moving subjects. The reason is PDAF for AF-C and no problem with EVF and live view stutter (except for the Sony).

kangaroo in oz wrote:

Or should i go with the plan to upgrade my pen to a sony alpha or canon rebel?

I am an olympus pen user and love it however i am limited with it as i like shooting surfing and occasional snow sports with fast moving targets...

I was going to move up to an SLR but the olympus OMD-e5 does appeal to me..

However is its performance with fast moving subjects likely to be on par with entry level dslrs? or should i keep to the original plan and step up to DSLR if i want to shoot action?

Any thoughts appreciated

p.s i do realise most people probably havent actually used this new camera yet but hopefully a few might have

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Henry Richardson
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EVF for action shooting
In reply to Henry Richardson, Apr 15, 2012

The way I shot my bodyboarding and surfing photos using single shot AF and single shot advance mode I suspect that an EVF would still work okay, but for people who shoot long photo sequences at high fps and are using continuous tracking AF an EVF often doesn't work well. Lots of complaints about that from Sony A77 users since you see a sort of slide show effect in the EVF of the previous photos while you are trying to track the current action and are shooting. Some say they get used to it and can sort of do okay with it, but I suppose it depends on the type of action.

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to kangaroo in oz, Apr 15, 2012

OM-D is fast and a good alternative and smaller, and very good fast lenses to choose
from the whole micro 4/3 offer

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tommiejeep
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to Aleo Veuliah, Apr 15, 2012

I do not see any fast m34 lenses for sport at the moment The new Oly 75 1.8 may work for mms but the question of AF for fast sports will still be there. The 25 1.4 and 45 1.8 are long enough for some sports. I will be most pleasantly surprised if the E-M5 performs well with continuous AF

Even with a top of the line sports camera lenses play a very big role. I am looking forward to trying the E-M5/Pany 100-300, for Kite Surfing but do not expect the results I get with a D300s/D3S. If I can learn to get some good shots, even with a very reduced number of 'keepers', it would be great for trekking across the sand as opposed to a Nikon DSLR with a 300 2.8 w/tc

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tommiejeep
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to Henry Richardson, Apr 15, 2012

Henry Richardson wrote:

kangaroo in oz wrote:

I am an olympus pen user and love it however i am limited with it as i like shooting surfing and occasional snow sports with fast moving targets...

I think it probably depends a lot on the distances involved too. If the subjects are moving fast and very close then that will be a challenge for even many DSLRs.

I totally agree. I can get caught out on the shutter speeds with the target getting very close. For lowest iso I try to pick a shutter speed which will stop action but if the play directly comes at me or is 'crossing my bow' at short range... can be a bummer for sharp image! Fortunately my DSLRS do a good job of tracking so it is not normally a focus problem... that sometimes happens with small fast, erratic birds in flight .

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kangaroo in oz
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to tommiejeep, Apr 15, 2012

i'm in the same boat as you tommiejeep

trying to get that balance between great shots and not having to lug heavy cameras around my neck on the sand and snow

i'm probably leaning towards the sony alphas at the moment seeing as they are probably cheaper (exc the a77) or around the same price as the OMD.

However i may also wait and see with the OMD as i love my PEN and the olympus jpegs.. if i could manage to get plenty of fast action keepers with an OMD i'd be over the moon..its weatherproof body would also be handy around the water too

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szlevi
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Re: In the same price bracket....
In reply to PerL, Apr 15, 2012

Rrriiiight except Olympus' main claim about OM-D's CDAF that it's now better than PDAF (in the same price bracket, presumably.)

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szlevi
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to Henry Richardson, Apr 15, 2012

Very good point, I also know more than few people who stick to single shot and spot for action shots.

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PerL
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Re: In the same price bracket....
In reply to szlevi, Apr 15, 2012

szlevi wrote:

Rrriiiight except Olympus' main claim about OM-D's CDAF that it's now better than PDAF (in the same price bracket, presumably.)

I am pretty sure they dont mean AF-C - predictive AF of fast moving things. Sorry to say there is a history of inflated AF-claims from makers of CDAF cameras.

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cinemascope
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to kangaroo in oz, Apr 15, 2012

People are so used to AF these days, but you could also try manual focus lenses (as in not focus-by-wire ones).

When you get the hang of it, it can be faster than autofocus, and a lot more precise, since you always know what you want to focus on, but the camera may not... And its fun too...

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Husaberg Grok
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to cinemascope, Apr 15, 2012

cinemascope wrote:

People are so used to AF these days, but you could also try manual focus lenses (as in not focus-by-wire ones).

When you get the hang of it, it can be faster than autofocus, and a lot more precise, since you always know what you want to focus on, but the camera may not... And its fun too...

I agree. These posts are quite funny when you consider the incredible action shots taken when everything was manual. I appreciate the incredible advances but there still no substute for understanding the sport or action you are shooting.

When shooting a place kick I turn off the "af" off and focus on the ball, or the cross-bar when shooting a high jumper. I shoot lots of action stuff and often the best, crisp images when I use "manual predictive focusing".
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brandonsarkis
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Re: OMD an alternative to DSLR for amatuer action shooting?
In reply to kangaroo in oz, Apr 15, 2012

lets not forget- weathersealed. not a lot in that price range that are sealed AND fast. K5, D7000 and maybe A77 not to mention the new high end Canon and Nikon bodies.

for what you shoot, it seems like this would be a big factor with sand and spray. i cant wait to really use an E-M5 for more than a few minutes in store and from what ive seen its very fast assuming you have the correct lenses.

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