OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.

Started Jun 17, 2012 | Discussions
Tony Hall
Senior MemberPosts: 1,555
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OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
Jun 17, 2012

Growing a bit bored of the small (autofocus) lens selection and sluggish NEX autofocus, I was seriously considering switching to OM-D. After getting to try one out, I made some observations that some of you might find useful if you've been lusting after the OM-D as I have.

There are tons of things to like about the OMD, but I was mainly interested in weatherproofing and fast autofocus as well as the customization that I was fond of on the E-5 and E-P1. Not to mention the much wider selection of lenses. The OM-D is an awesome camera. Here's what I like about it:

  • Autofocus speed is incredible.

  • I love the design (as far as looks go).

  • Super control panel is awesome and all cameras should have this.

  • You can touch the screen to both focus and take the shot simultaneously. Brilliant!

  • Art filters produce unique and amazing effects that would be challenging to duplicate exactly with the usual photo editing programs.

  • Other small stuff: A real hot shoe, a dedicated movie mode, four user presets, the quiet shutter, and auto ISO in manual mode.

However, I decided to stick with NEX for the following reasons:

  • Unflattering, red caucasian skin tones. Yellow is warmth, orange is warmth, red looks like an injury. Olympus is praised for their saturated, contrasty jpegs, but I find they don't look as realistic as Sony's jpegs. I prefer to the more yellow skin tones of Nikon and Sony. You can overcome this by shooting in raw and tweaking, but I'm not crazy about having to do that all the time. And I'm sure EVERY Oly user would argue with me about this and say it's a matter of taste and that they PREFER Oly's skin tones and that it's actually the best. And to that I'd just say: you have terrible taste.

  • Ergonomics. The 5N is super comfortable and easy to use with one hand. I can take pictures one handed from any angle I can reach without feeling like I might loose my grip on the camera. It would be hard for me to drop the 5N. The OM-D, on the other hand, is not fun to hold and is uncomfortable. The position of the dials and buttons often feels unnatural and hard to reach without holding with two hands. I agree that the buttons feel squishy and I found the tilting LCD to be a bit stiff and slow compared to the 5N.

  • Image quality. Somehow the DPR test shots always make Olympus cameras look like they have better image quality than they do in real life. I can't explain this, but I still think the 5N has the edge in everyday photos. I also noticed that the OM-D seems to be about 1/3 of a stop darker given the exact same settings on the 5N.

  • The rear LCD appears to have a bluish tint when viewed from extreme angles, which can make you doubt your white balance settings.

The control freak in me really wanted to go with the OMD (customization options), but for the following reasons, I decided to stick with NEX system:

  • Next NEX bodies will have even better image quality and auto-focusing. New lenses will be coming along too.

  • IBIS is nice, but it’s useless when taking pics of moving subjects, especially children. It's rare that I photograph static subjects in low light.

  • Weather sealing is nice, but an underwater housing can be purchased for the NEX for around $100. Also, it's not hard to just be careful and use an umbrella.

  • On the OMD, I like how you can scroll through your pictures while zoomed in to check focus, but to zoom all the way in you much turn the wheel several clicks (same to return to viewing the entire picture). On the 5N, you just touch what you want to zoom in on and it takes you to 100% magnification. To return to viewing the whole image, you just press the center button. You can't scroll through your images at 100% magnification on the 5N though. You have to zoom in one at a time, which can be a pain.

Bottom line: I want to love the OM-D, but it's uncomfortable and I don't like the jpeg skin tones.  Also, even with all it's customization options, I still find the NEX gets out of your way more and is just a better designed tool for taking pictures.

On the other hand, autofocus is painfully slow with the new Sony 50mm (and just about any lens but the kit lens) and I've missed many of shots that I could have gotten with the OM-D. I believe this will be remedied in the 5N's successor though.
--

Tony

Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-P1 Sony Alpha NEX-5N
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ChrisKramer1
Regular MemberPosts: 323
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Re: OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
In reply to Tony Hall, Jun 17, 2012

I was considering going back to M4/3 too mainly due to (what I consider) Sony's abysmal lack of planning for the NEX system and the Olympus colour scheme, which I find the best of any system (from the samples I have seen). I find the AF with the two Sigmas and kit lens ok. However, the OMD is simply too small and thin for my hands. Sony is small and simple, but the OMD is small and complicated. Someone once said that Olympus and Canon design their consumer models for Japanese women and I think it shows. The weather-proofing is a boon though, especially with our weather in Europe. Still, a plastic bag and rubber band does equally well. As for image quality, the advantage of bigger sensor shows when you crop images.

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blue_skies
Senior MemberPosts: 6,341Gear list
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Re: OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
In reply to Tony Hall, Jun 17, 2012

Nice and useful summary

As to your first comment, in AF, I have, for the Nex:

  • 16mm/2.8 with 12mm and 10mm adapters

  • 19mm/2.8

  • 24mm/1.8

  • 30mm/2.8

  • 30mm/3.5

  • 50mm/1.8

  • 18-55mm

  • 18-200mm

And, on the LA-EA2 adapter, with dSLR-like fast AF, I have

  • 35mm/1.8

  • 50mm/1.8

  • 85mm/2.8

  • 18-55mm

  • 75-300mm

And, in MF, a variety (20) of RF and SLR lenses.

Still waiting for the SEL35F18, but otherwise not searching for lenses.
May pick up the SAL1118, just may.

As to MFT, am not a fan of 2x crop factor, nor 4x3 aspect ratio.

The OMD seems to narrow the noise gap, but it won't make me a convert...

Another funny thing is that I both like the Nex-5N EVF, for its tilt capability, and dislike it, for its awkward bulk, when mounted.

I really miss this tilt and touchscreen on the 7.

Am using the 5N more often now that I have flash solution. Also with RF lenses.

And yes, do expect future Nex to have much faster AF. Unsure if current Nexes can get this in firmware upgrades.

Tony Hall wrote:

Growing a bit bored of the small (autofocus) lens selection and sluggish NEX autofocus, I was seriously considering switching to OM-D. After getting to try one out, I made some observations that some of you might find useful if you've been lusting after the OM-D as I have.

There are tons of things to like about the OMD, but I was mainly interested in weatherproofing and fast autofocus as well as the customization that I was fond of on the E-5 and E-P1. Not to mention the much wider selection of lenses. The OM-D is an awesome camera. Here's what I like about it:

  • Autofocus speed is incredible.

  • I love the design (as far as looks go).

  • Super control panel is awesome and all cameras should have this.

  • You can touch the screen to both focus and take the shot simultaneously. Brilliant!

  • Art filters produce unique and amazing effects that would be challenging to duplicate exactly with the usual photo editing programs.

  • Other small stuff: A real hot shoe, a dedicated movie mode, four user presets, the quiet shutter, and auto ISO in manual mode.

However, I decided to stick with NEX for the following reasons:

  • Unflattering, red caucasian skin tones. Yellow is warmth, orange is warmth, red looks like an injury. Olympus is praised for their saturated, contrasty jpegs, but I find they don't look as realistic as Sony's jpegs. I prefer to the more yellow skin tones of Nikon and Sony. You can overcome this by shooting in raw and tweaking, but I'm not crazy about having to do that all the time. And I'm sure EVERY Oly user would argue with me about this and say it's a matter of taste and that they PREFER Oly's skin tones and that it's actually the best. And to that I'd just say: you have terrible taste.

  • Ergonomics. The 5N is super comfortable and easy to use with one hand. I can take pictures one handed from any angle I can reach without feeling like I might loose my grip on the camera. It would be hard for me to drop the 5N. The OM-D, on the other hand, is not fun to hold and is uncomfortable. The position of the dials and buttons often feels unnatural and hard to reach without holding with two hands. I agree that the buttons feel squishy and I found the tilting LCD to be a bit stiff and slow compared to the 5N.

  • Image quality. Somehow the DPR test shots always make Olympus cameras look like they have better image quality than they do in real life. I can't explain this, but I still think the 5N has the edge in everyday photos. I also noticed that the OM-D seems to be about 1/3 of a stop darker given the exact same settings on the 5N.

  • The rear LCD appears to have a bluish tint when viewed from extreme angles, which can make you doubt your white balance settings.

The control freak in me really wanted to go with the OMD (customization options), but for the following reasons, I decided to stick with NEX system:

  • Next NEX bodies will have even better image quality and auto-focusing. New lenses will be coming along too.

  • IBIS is nice, but it’s useless when taking pics of moving subjects, especially children. It's rare that I photograph static subjects in low light.

  • Weather sealing is nice, but an underwater housing can be purchased for the NEX for around $100. Also, it's not hard to just be careful and use an umbrella.

  • On the OMD, I like how you can scroll through your pictures while zoomed in to check focus, but to zoom all the way in you much turn the wheel several clicks (same to return to viewing the entire picture). On the 5N, you just touch what you want to zoom in on and it takes you to 100% magnification. To return to viewing the whole image, you just press the center button. You can't scroll through your images at 100% magnification on the 5N though. You have to zoom in one at a time, which can be a pain.

Bottom line: I want to love the OM-D, but it's uncomfortable and I don't like the jpeg skin tones.  Also, even with all it's customization options, I still find the NEX gets out of your way more and is just a better designed tool for taking pictures.

On the other hand, autofocus is painfully slow with the new Sony 50mm (and just about any lens but the kit lens) and I've missed many of shots that I could have gotten with the OM-D. I believe this will be remedied in the 5N's successor though.
--

Tony

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

 blue_skies's gear list:blue_skies's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS +27 more
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nzmacro
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,600Gear list
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Thought about John
In reply to Tony Hall, Jun 17, 2012

Tony Hall wrote:

Growing a bit bored of the small (autofocus) lens selection and sluggish NEX autofocus, I was seriously considering switching to OM-D. After getting to try one out, I made some observations that some of you might find useful if you've been lusting after the OM-D as I have.

There are tons of things to like about the OMD, but I was mainly interested in weatherproofing and fast autofocus as well as the customization that I was fond of on the E-5 and E-P1. Not to mention the much wider selection of lenses. The OM-D is an awesome camera. Here's what I like about it:

  • Autofocus speed is incredible.

  • I love the design (as far as looks go).

  • Super control panel is awesome and all cameras should have this.

  • You can touch the screen to both focus and take the shot simultaneously. Brilliant!

  • Art filters produce unique and amazing effects that would be challenging to duplicate exactly with the usual photo editing programs.

  • Other small stuff: A real hot shoe, a dedicated movie mode, four user presets, the quiet shutter, and auto ISO in manual mode.

However, I decided to stick with NEX for the following reasons:

  • Unflattering, red caucasian skin tones. Yellow is warmth, orange is warmth, red looks like an injury. Olympus is praised for their saturated, contrasty jpegs, but I find they don't look as realistic as Sony's jpegs. I prefer to the more yellow skin tones of Nikon and Sony. You can overcome this by shooting in raw and tweaking, but I'm not crazy about having to do that all the time. And I'm sure EVERY Oly user would argue with me about this and say it's a matter of taste and that they PREFER Oly's skin tones and that it's actually the best. And to that I'd just say: you have terrible taste.

  • Ergonomics. The 5N is super comfortable and easy to use with one hand. I can take pictures one handed from any angle I can reach without feeling like I might loose my grip on the camera. It would be hard for me to drop the 5N. The OM-D, on the other hand, is not fun to hold and is uncomfortable. The position of the dials and buttons often feels unnatural and hard to reach without holding with two hands. I agree that the buttons feel squishy and I found the tilting LCD to be a bit stiff and slow compared to the 5N.

  • Image quality. Somehow the DPR test shots always make Olympus cameras look like they have better image quality than they do in real life. I can't explain this, but I still think the 5N has the edge in everyday photos. I also noticed that the OM-D seems to be about 1/3 of a stop darker given the exact same settings on the 5N.

  • The rear LCD appears to have a bluish tint when viewed from extreme angles, which can make you doubt your white balance settings.

The control freak in me really wanted to go with the OMD (customization options), but for the following reasons, I decided to stick with NEX system:

  • Next NEX bodies will have even better image quality and auto-focusing. New lenses will be coming along too.

  • IBIS is nice, but it’s useless when taking pics of moving subjects, especially children. It's rare that I photograph static subjects in low light.

  • Weather sealing is nice, but an underwater housing can be purchased for the NEX for around $100. Also, it's not hard to just be careful and use an umbrella.

  • On the OMD, I like how you can scroll through your pictures while zoomed in to check focus, but to zoom all the way in you much turn the wheel several clicks (same to return to viewing the entire picture). On the 5N, you just touch what you want to zoom in on and it takes you to 100% magnification. To return to viewing the whole image, you just press the center button. You can't scroll through your images at 100% magnification on the 5N though. You have to zoom in one at a time, which can be a pain.

Bottom line: I want to love the OM-D, but it's uncomfortable and I don't like the jpeg skin tones. Also, even with all it's customization options, I still find the NEX gets out of your way more and is just a better designed tool for taking pictures.

On the other hand, autofocus is painfully slow with the new Sony 50mm (and just about any lens but the kit lens) and I've missed many of shots that I could have gotten with the OM-D. I believe this will be remedied in the 5N's successor though.
--

Tony

Yeah thought about it myself John after having the Panasonic G2 for quite some time. Then I thought I would wait and see what a GH3 might be and upgrade to that.

You know what, for what I shoot the only things that interest me now (never thought I would ever say this) is focus peaking and sensor. Nothing else actually matters with what I take. IBIS, AF, etc, etc don't even come into it. Now, if a camera does not have focus peaking, I lose interest real quick.

All the best John and I guess I'm a little different to most.

Danny.
...........................
Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3

http://www.birdsinaction.com

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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ottonis
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Re: OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
In reply to Tony Hall, Jun 17, 2012

Great post, Tony! this is very useful information for all those being in the process of decision makgin what camera to get or who are thinking about whether it is worthwile to "upgrade" their 5N or not.

I can only say that the more i use the 5N the more overwhelmed I am by the IQ provided by it. Sure, it's not the first choice for action shooting / sports etc., but it can be used even for that in some situations.

What impresses me most is the sheer amount of raw "information" that is in the pics taken with a 5N and that allows to do some incredible things in postprocessing. THe only thing I wish is that they would provide some more firmware updates, but even without them the Sony 5N is just a golden piece of hardware, considering its price. Especially for those who love to use manual lenses.

Tony Hall wrote:

Growing a bit bored of the small (autofocus) lens selection and sluggish NEX autofocus, I was seriously considering switching to OM-D. After getting to try one out, I made some observations that some of you might find useful if you've been lusting after the OM-D as I have.

There are tons of things to like about the OMD, but I was mainly interested in weatherproofing and fast autofocus as well as the customization that I was fond of on the E-5 and E-P1. Not to mention the much wider selection of lenses. The OM-D is an awesome camera. Here's what I like about it:

  • Autofocus speed is incredible.

  • I love the design (as far as looks go).

  • Super control panel is awesome and all cameras should have this.

  • You can touch the screen to both focus and take the shot simultaneously. Brilliant!

  • Art filters produce unique and amazing effects that would be challenging to duplicate exactly with the usual photo editing programs.

  • Other small stuff: A real hot shoe, a dedicated movie mode, four user presets, the quiet shutter, and auto ISO in manual mode.

However, I decided to stick with NEX for the following reasons:

  • Unflattering, red caucasian skin tones. Yellow is warmth, orange is warmth, red looks like an injury. Olympus is praised for their saturated, contrasty jpegs, but I find they don't look as realistic as Sony's jpegs. I prefer to the more yellow skin tones of Nikon and Sony. You can overcome this by shooting in raw and tweaking, but I'm not crazy about having to do that all the time. And I'm sure EVERY Oly user would argue with me about this and say it's a matter of taste and that they PREFER Oly's skin tones and that it's actually the best. And to that I'd just say: you have terrible taste.

  • Ergonomics. The 5N is super comfortable and easy to use with one hand. I can take pictures one handed from any angle I can reach without feeling like I might loose my grip on the camera. It would be hard for me to drop the 5N. The OM-D, on the other hand, is not fun to hold and is uncomfortable. The position of the dials and buttons often feels unnatural and hard to reach without holding with two hands. I agree that the buttons feel squishy and I found the tilting LCD to be a bit stiff and slow compared to the 5N.

  • Image quality. Somehow the DPR test shots always make Olympus cameras look like they have better image quality than they do in real life. I can't explain this, but I still think the 5N has the edge in everyday photos. I also noticed that the OM-D seems to be about 1/3 of a stop darker given the exact same settings on the 5N.

  • The rear LCD appears to have a bluish tint when viewed from extreme angles, which can make you doubt your white balance settings.

The control freak in me really wanted to go with the OMD (customization options), but for the following reasons, I decided to stick with NEX system:

  • Next NEX bodies will have even better image quality and auto-focusing. New lenses will be coming along too.

  • IBIS is nice, but it’s useless when taking pics of moving subjects, especially children. It's rare that I photograph static subjects in low light.

  • Weather sealing is nice, but an underwater housing can be purchased for the NEX for around $100. Also, it's not hard to just be careful and use an umbrella.

  • On the OMD, I like how you can scroll through your pictures while zoomed in to check focus, but to zoom all the way in you much turn the wheel several clicks (same to return to viewing the entire picture). On the 5N, you just touch what you want to zoom in on and it takes you to 100% magnification. To return to viewing the whole image, you just press the center button. You can't scroll through your images at 100% magnification on the 5N though. You have to zoom in one at a time, which can be a pain.

Bottom line: I want to love the OM-D, but it's uncomfortable and I don't like the jpeg skin tones.  Also, even with all it's customization options, I still find the NEX gets out of your way more and is just a better designed tool for taking pictures.

On the other hand, autofocus is painfully slow with the new Sony 50mm (and just about any lens but the kit lens) and I've missed many of shots that I could have gotten with the OM-D. I believe this will be remedied in the 5N's successor though.
--

Tony

 ottonis's gear list:ottonis's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Voigtlander 40mm F1.4 Nokton Classic Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF +4 more
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nzmacro
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Sorry Tony
In reply to nzmacro, Jun 17, 2012

Calling you John, gulp !!. Sorry about that.

Danny.
...........................
Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3

http://www.birdsinaction.com

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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kristoffel
Regular MemberPosts: 347
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Re: OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
In reply to ottonis, Jun 17, 2012

I have been using my Nex 5N for a while now (and before that the nex 3) and I'm very happy about this camera, especially the jpg output and sharpness of the photos, even with the kit lens (but the 50mm and 55-210 make the camera shine even more)

I had bought the OM-D as a second camera, because the reviews were very positive about it... But i'm quite disappointed...

The camera does look great and photos at 25% or less of the size look great but when you enlarge...
for example look at this photo, taken at iso 800
just look at my beard...

I do agree that the camera feels sollid and is very fast, though the viewfinder lags quite often. the camera also needs the batterygrip.
however this adds another 280 euro to the cost.
This camera isn't worth 1300 (body + battery grip)

the nex 5n at 550 euro (or less) is WAY better value for money.

And you don't need a battery grip for the nex because it feels great in the hand.

Did i already mention that nex photos are quite a lot sharper too ?

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rtol
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Re: OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
In reply to kristoffel, Jun 17, 2012

Can you post EXIF for that photo please? Was it handheld or tripod?

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hishouken
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Re: OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
In reply to rtol, Jun 17, 2012

I brought the OM-D E-M5 last week and sold it in favour of my Sony NEX 5n. More or less same reasons as per the previous posts. I want to like the E-M5 but if I'm forcing myself to do so, then its no longer fun to shoot with it anymore...

The main reasons I've considered the MFT system are portability and lens availability. E-M5 is heavier and almost similar in size to my NEX with 50mm. I'm sure the E-M5 is smaller with the 20mm. Having said that, lens are just as hard to find and not exactly cheap. In terms of controls and usability, I thought NEX's menu system is difficult to use, however I find that its more difficult on the E-M5. Maybe that's just me. For EVF and weather sealing, I don't miss them.

 hishouken's gear list:hishouken's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS
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GaryW
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Re: Thought about John
In reply to nzmacro, Jun 17, 2012

Interesting comments and comparison. Where are the photos?

nzmacro wrote:

Yeah thought about it myself John after having the Panasonic G2 for quite some time. Then I thought I would wait and see what a GH3 might be and upgrade to that.

You know what, for what I shoot the only things that interest me now (never thought I would ever say this) is focus peaking and sensor. Nothing else actually matters with what I take. IBIS, AF, etc, etc don't even come into it. Now, if a camera does not have focus peaking, I lose interest real quick.

I still like my AF, but being able to use higher ISO makes you realize how many of these other things (flash, IS) are often a crutch to get past the fact that cameras couldn't get the shutter speed to be fast enough.

All the best John and I guess I'm a little different to most.

Danny.
...........................
Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3

http://www.birdsinaction.com

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

-- hide signature --

Gary W.

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normsmith
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thanks Tony
In reply to hishouken, Jun 17, 2012

Tony - an interesting post and especially valuable as you have first hand knowledge of both cameras and you moved towards the OMD with a positive exxpectation, so your balanced report is more interesting for that.
--
my blog http://pinkfootstudio.blogspot.com
never more than 3 posts per page so you will not be overloaded with images.

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kristoffel
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Re: OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
In reply to rtol, Jun 17, 2012

no sorry, it was just a quick handheld shot in my room (just some testing in my room, as i didn't have much time)

no tripod ofc

rtol wrote:

Can you post EXIF for that photo please? Was it handheld or tripod?

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Tony Hall
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Re: OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
In reply to blue_skies, Jun 17, 2012

blue_skies wrote:

Nice and useful summary

As to your first comment, in AF, I have, for the Nex:

  • 16mm/2.8 with 12mm and 10mm adapters

  • 19mm/2.8

  • 24mm/1.8

  • 30mm/2.8

  • 30mm/3.5

  • 50mm/1.8

  • 18-55mm

  • 18-200mm

Does the 18-200mm focus faster than the 50mm?

And, on the LA-EA2 adapter, with dSLR-like fast AF, I have

  • 35mm/1.8

  • 50mm/1.8

  • 85mm/2.8

  • 18-55mm

  • 75-300mm

I'm really considering the LA-EA2 adapter and 75-300mm. And with focus peaking, I'm thinking about getting some manual focus lenses too.

And, in MF, a variety (20) of RF and SLR lenses.

Still waiting for the SEL35F18, but otherwise not searching for lenses.
May pick up the SAL1118, just may.

As to MFT, am not a fan of 2x crop factor, nor 4x3 aspect ratio.

I agree about the 4:3 aspect ratio. Not a huge deal, but it's not a 16mp camera after cropping to 3:2.

The OMD seems to narrow the noise gap, but it won't make me a convert...

Another funny thing is that I both like the Nex-5N EVF, for its tilt capability, and dislike it, for its awkward bulk, when mounted.

I really miss this tilt and touchscreen on the 7.

Am using the 5N more often now that I have flash solution. Also with RF lenses.

And yes, do expect future Nex to have much faster AF. Unsure if current Nexes can get this in firmware upgrades.

Tony Hall wrote:

Growing a bit bored of the small (autofocus) lens selection and sluggish NEX autofocus, I was seriously considering switching to OM-D. After getting to try one out, I made some observations that some of you might find useful if you've been lusting after the OM-D as I have.

There are tons of things to like about the OMD, but I was mainly interested in weatherproofing and fast autofocus as well as the customization that I was fond of on the E-5 and E-P1. Not to mention the much wider selection of lenses. The OM-D is an awesome camera. Here's what I like about it:

  • Autofocus speed is incredible.

  • I love the design (as far as looks go).

  • Super control panel is awesome and all cameras should have this.

  • You can touch the screen to both focus and take the shot simultaneously. Brilliant!

  • Art filters produce unique and amazing effects that would be challenging to duplicate exactly with the usual photo editing programs.

  • Other small stuff: A real hot shoe, a dedicated movie mode, four user presets, the quiet shutter, and auto ISO in manual mode.

However, I decided to stick with NEX for the following reasons:

  • Unflattering, red caucasian skin tones. Yellow is warmth, orange is warmth, red looks like an injury. Olympus is praised for their saturated, contrasty jpegs, but I find they don't look as realistic as Sony's jpegs. I prefer to the more yellow skin tones of Nikon and Sony. You can overcome this by shooting in raw and tweaking, but I'm not crazy about having to do that all the time. And I'm sure EVERY Oly user would argue with me about this and say it's a matter of taste and that they PREFER Oly's skin tones and that it's actually the best. And to that I'd just say: you have terrible taste.

  • Ergonomics. The 5N is super comfortable and easy to use with one hand. I can take pictures one handed from any angle I can reach without feeling like I might loose my grip on the camera. It would be hard for me to drop the 5N. The OM-D, on the other hand, is not fun to hold and is uncomfortable. The position of the dials and buttons often feels unnatural and hard to reach without holding with two hands. I agree that the buttons feel squishy and I found the tilting LCD to be a bit stiff and slow compared to the 5N.

  • Image quality. Somehow the DPR test shots always make Olympus cameras look like they have better image quality than they do in real life. I can't explain this, but I still think the 5N has the edge in everyday photos. I also noticed that the OM-D seems to be about 1/3 of a stop darker given the exact same settings on the 5N.

  • The rear LCD appears to have a bluish tint when viewed from extreme angles, which can make you doubt your white balance settings.

The control freak in me really wanted to go with the OMD (customization options), but for the following reasons, I decided to stick with NEX system:

  • Next NEX bodies will have even better image quality and auto-focusing. New lenses will be coming along too.

  • IBIS is nice, but it’s useless when taking pics of moving subjects, especially children. It's rare that I photograph static subjects in low light.

  • Weather sealing is nice, but an underwater housing can be purchased for the NEX for around $100. Also, it's not hard to just be careful and use an umbrella.

  • On the OMD, I like how you can scroll through your pictures while zoomed in to check focus, but to zoom all the way in you much turn the wheel several clicks (same to return to viewing the entire picture). On the 5N, you just touch what you want to zoom in on and it takes you to 100% magnification. To return to viewing the whole image, you just press the center button. You can't scroll through your images at 100% magnification on the 5N though. You have to zoom in one at a time, which can be a pain.

Bottom line: I want to love the OM-D, but it's uncomfortable and I don't like the jpeg skin tones.  Also, even with all it's customization options, I still find the NEX gets out of your way more and is just a better designed tool for taking pictures.

On the other hand, autofocus is painfully slow with the new Sony 50mm (and just about any lens but the kit lens) and I've missed many of shots that I could have gotten with the OM-D. I believe this will be remedied in the 5N's successor though.
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Tony

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Cheers,
Henry

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Tony Hall
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In reply to Tony Hall, Jun 17, 2012

I forgot to mention that on the NEX, I can reach all the buttons and power switch with my thumb, while holding the camera with one hand. I can turn the camera on and off easily with just my thumb. I like the 5N's more simplified design and the touch screen is more useful on the 5N for choosing things from the menu than the OM-D.

And Sony needs to solve it's video overheating problems. As it is, I don't even bother trying to take video because it always leads to overheating. I forgot to test it, but I assume that the OM-D doesn't have this problem.

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viking79
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OLED not LCD
In reply to Tony Hall, Jun 17, 2012

Tony Hall wrote:

  • The rear LCD appears to have a bluish tint when viewed from extreme angles, which can make you doubt your white balance settings.

Actually, the rear display on the EM-5/OM-D is not LCD, it is OLED. I have noticed that OLED displays have a white balance shift at extreme viewing angles. Nice to be aware if reviewing images on the display, but doesn't hurt much. I have noticed the same on my Samsung NX.

Eric
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Just Having Fun
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In reply to Tony Hall, Jun 17, 2012

Tony Hall wrote:

  • Unflattering, red caucasian skin tones. Yellow is warmth, orange is warmth, red looks like an injury.

Did turn-off the warm tones setting? You can always customize these things. I personally dislike yellow skin tones. It makes people look jaundice, very unappealing.  I quickly changed that on my Sony.

  • Ergonomics. The 5N is super comfortable and easy to use with one hand.

At first I disliked the OMD, but quickly learned the best way to hold it. I prefer the twin dials over the NEX 7 because you can use both at the same time. Olympus seems to "get" photography, while the Sony NEX menus are a pain (The Alpha menus are much better and I see Sony is switch to them). This is all subjective and different people like different things.

  • Image quality. Somehow the DPR test shots always make Olympus cameras look like they have better image quality than they do in real life. I can't explain this, but I still think the 5N has the edge in everyday photos. I also noticed that the OM-D seems to be about 1/3 of a stop darker given the exact same settings on the 5N.

It is the tone curve and contrast. Lights are the smae with the OMD and darks are darker diving the impression of slight under-exposure. I prefer this to having "grey" blacks, but sometimes tone down the contrast. IMHO, the E-M5 IQ is unbeatable, but different people like different things.

  • The rear LCD appears to have a bluish tint when viewed from extreme angles, which can make you doubt your white balance settings.

The rear LCD is looks and feels about twice the size of the NEX.

The control freak in me really wanted to go with the OMD (customization options), but for the following reasons, I decided to stick with NEX system:

  • Next NEX bodies will have even better image quality and auto-focusing. New lenses will be coming along too.

But they don't today. You could say tha about Canon, Nikon or Olympus. "Someday" they will have more lenses and the IQ will be better and they will focus faster. If you step back and think about it, it makes no sense.

  • IBIS is nice, but it’s useless when taking pics of moving subjects, especially children.

This is not true, but would take several pages to explain. Read about Mode 2 sometime.

  • Weather sealing is nice, but an underwater housing can be purchased for the NEX for around $100. Also, it's not hard to just be careful and use an umbrella.

You can also buy cheap baggies that help, although you have to remember to bring them. As for the OMD, only one lens is weather-sealed, so not much help.

  • On the OMD, I like how you can scroll through your pictures while zoomed in to check focus, but to zoom all the way in you much turn the wheel several clicks (same to return to viewing the entire picture). On the 5N, you just touch what you want to zoom in on and it takes you to 100% magnification. To return to viewing the whole image, you just press the center button. You can't scroll through your images at 100% magnification on the 5N though. You have to zoom in one at a time, which can be a pain.

On the other hand, autofocus is painfully slow with the new Sony 50mm (and just about any lens but the kit lens) and I've missed many of shots that I could have gotten with the OM-D. I believe this will be remedied in the 5N's successor though.

I went with the OMD because I prefer the IQ, the IBIS is truly revolutionary, the lenses are more abundant, the lenses will always be smaller, the AF is faster, and I really don't want to spend my life waiting for something to improve so I can replace what I have today. Also, you buy lenses for life.

My overall advise is, stick with whatever you have right now and learn to use it and love it. Don't waste your time wishing for more. The 5N is a great little camera.

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nzmacro
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Love that focus peaking
In reply to GaryW, Jun 17, 2012

GaryW wrote:
Interesting comments and comparison. Where are the photos?

nzmacro wrote:

Yeah thought about it myself John after having the Panasonic G2 for quite some time. Then I thought I would wait and see what a GH3 might be and upgrade to that.

You know what, for what I shoot the only things that interest me now (never thought I would ever say this) is focus peaking and sensor. Nothing else actually matters with what I take. IBIS, AF, etc, etc don't even come into it. Now, if a camera does not have focus peaking, I lose interest real quick.

I still like my AF, but being able to use higher ISO makes you realize how many of these other things (flash, IS) are often a crutch to get past the fact that cameras couldn't get the shutter speed to be fast enough.

All the best John and I guess I'm a little different to most.

Danny.
...........................
Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3

http://www.birdsinaction.com

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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Gary W.

LOL, how many photos you want Gary :). Nothing I take is without focus peaking, used 100% of the time. I use a tripod and fast shutter speeds, so OIS or IBIS you would have to switch off anyway. So the only feature I really make use of is focus peaking.

All the best Gary.

Danny.
...........................
Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3

http://www.birdsinaction.com

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

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Kiril Karaatanasov
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Likely Olympus cheat on purpose
In reply to Tony Hall, Jun 17, 2012

Tony Hall wrote:

  • Image quality. Somehow the DPR test shots always make Olympus cameras look like they have better image quality than they do in real life. I can't explain this, but I still think the 5N has the edge in everyday photos. I also noticed that the OM-D seems to be about 1/3 of a stop darker given the exact same settings on the 5N.

I think many manufacturers optimize for DPR and alike tests and ignore the everyday shooter.

DPR ignore some key aspects of camera performance and this has given leeway for camera manufacturers. I think Nikon and Olympus consciously optimize for DPR.

Here are some omissions:

1. DPR tests only noise and detail at high iso. Dynamic range, color range and color accuracy are not measured at anything but base iso.

2. High iso is measured only on studio lighting i.e. at very well color balanced lighting.

3. Dynamic range is now measured only in JPEG. I recall back in the days they used ACR and looked at "ACR best" results

4. The scenes shot are very specific and one can optimize the algorithms for this. Olympus in particular do that. If you see other tests they often mention mixed performance across a frame - basically the camera and its algorithms are all tuned to cheat the test NOT do consistent IQ.

So you can see how a camera manufacturer may forfeit critical IQ attributes and optimize for DPR. Note that these are just my amateur observations consider how Olympus and other folks think about tricking the system day in and day out.

Soi for sensor testing I would rather trust imaging-resource and DxOMark.

For in use testing I would read more posts like yours - denoting how camera handles in everyday use. I would also pick up one in store and try myself.

DPR still provide very in depth review of all aspects of camera use so there is a lot of value to be had by reading the review here too - all I am saying is one should look at the broader picture.

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Kiril Karaatanasov
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Here is another look at IQ
In reply to Kiril Karaatanasov, Jun 17, 2012

I copied this from DxO Mark web site. You can see how close NEX-7 is to full frame performance and how immense the difference to m43 actually is.

Same picture repeats for color accuracy and range. So the small sensor really is a small sensor.

Olympus still has the build in stabilization so probably camera is great overall

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Nell27
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Re: OM-D vs. NEX-5N first impressions.
In reply to Tony Hall, Jun 17, 2012

Don't know how long you had your Olympus or if you had prior experience with Olympus 43rds or Micro 43rds cameras.

Anyway, I have to disagree with you about the Olympus colors and say that, once you figure out the menu/user interface, an Olympus camera (colors, etc) is infinitely adjustable.

I like the NEX 5n and think it has a great sensor but I believe you're the first person I've ever heard that thought Sony colors were better than Olympus.

Indoor skin tones, in less than perfect light, are not good with the NEX cameras and indoor white balance, especially under incandescent light, is a hit and miss situation if you don't set a custom white balance for each venue.

YES, you can always shoot raw and avoid many of the problems but how many people always want to shoot raw? Only a few strange people would completely disregard JPEGs and shoot raw for everything.

Unless this new Olympus is different than all other Olympus cameras I'd find it hard to completely agree with your evaluation.

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