Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)

Started Jul 2, 2012 | Discussions
Marcello Zini
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Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
Jul 2, 2012

Hi there

I kind of put photography on standby for a few years (no time) and now I'm finally about to get back to it (way more time than before) and upgrade my glorious d70. My interest is general/street photography and small events with careful use of multiple flash.
I have 2 paths to follow:

1. buy a d700 and keep using Nikon gear: flash, Tamron 28-75 2.8 and a few primes

2. buy an Olympus OMD EM-5 + Panasonic 12-35 2.8 to start and eventually the Oly-Pana dedicated flash system which I tried and works well.

If I go with choice #1, I have the advantage of the professional and professional looking tool and the few gear I already own;

If I go with #2, I have the convenience of the reduced size, (people less scared), the tiltable lcd, in body stabilization ecc - but, even with the grip on, it may look too small for formal assignments.

As far as image quality goes I think I could go with either (they don't seem to be that far) and the EVF is not that bad for me.

I know it sounds just like a boring rant, but I'd appreciate a word from somebody who had/has the same doubt

Thanks all
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apiron
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to Marcello Zini, Jul 2, 2012

I'd begin by posting in the right forum... This is not news.

Marcello Zini wrote:

Hi there

I kind of put photography on standby for a few years (no time) and now I'm finally about to get back to it (way more time than before) and upgrade my glorious d70. My interest is general/street photography and small events with careful use of multiple flash.
I have 2 paths to follow:

1. buy a d700 and keep using Nikon gear: flash, Tamron 28-75 2.8 and a few primes

2. buy an Olympus OMD EM-5 + Panasonic 12-35 2.8 to start and eventually the Oly-Pana dedicated flash system which I tried and works well.

If I go with choice #1, I have the advantage of the professional and professional looking tool and the few gear I already own;

If I go with #2, I have the convenience of the reduced size, (people less scared), the tiltable lcd, in body stabilization ecc - but, even with the grip on, it may look too small for formal assignments.

As far as image quality goes I think I could go with either (they don't seem to be that far) and the EVF is not that bad for me.

I know it sounds just like a boring rant, but I'd appreciate a word from somebody who had/has the same doubt

Thanks all
--
...slowly building my gallery at
http://picasaweb.google.com/marcellozini

/\arcello

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Marcello Zini
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to apiron, Jul 2, 2012

You are totally right, I just realized

thanks for pointing it out

apiron wrote:
I'd begin by posting in the right forum... This is not news.

Marcello Zini wrote:

Hi there

I kind of put photography on standby for a few years (no time) and now I'm finally about to get back to it (way more time than before) and upgrade my glorious d70. My interest is general/street photography and small events with careful use of multiple flash.
I have 2 paths to follow:

1. buy a d700 and keep using Nikon gear: flash, Tamron 28-75 2.8 and a few primes

2. buy an Olympus OMD EM-5 + Panasonic 12-35 2.8 to start and eventually the Oly-Pana dedicated flash system which I tried and works well.

If I go with choice #1, I have the advantage of the professional and professional looking tool and the few gear I already own;

If I go with #2, I have the convenience of the reduced size, (people less scared), the tiltable lcd, in body stabilization ecc - but, even with the grip on, it may look too small for formal assignments.

As far as image quality goes I think I could go with either (they don't seem to be that far) and the EVF is not that bad for me.

I know it sounds just like a boring rant, but I'd appreciate a word from somebody who had/has the same doubt

Thanks all
--
...slowly building my gallery at
http://picasaweb.google.com/marcellozini

/\arcello

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Essai
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to Marcello Zini, Jul 2, 2012

D700 , no doubt

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panoviews
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to Essai, Jul 2, 2012

Used Panasonic G3 and a new rumored Nikon D600.

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Marcello Zini
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to panoviews, Jul 2, 2012

panoviews wrote:

Used Panasonic G3 and a new rumored Nikon D600.

ok this is definitely an idea to take into consideration, thanks
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John Pennington
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to Marcello Zini, Jul 3, 2012

E-P3 plus 45mm f1.8 plus 12mm f2.
Perfect street / general kit.

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SeeRoy
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to John Pennington, Jul 3, 2012

I have had a D700 and a very good set of lenses since the camera was released. It's a wonderful photographic tool that's hard to fault. If someone's paying me and/or I don't have to carry the kit very far it's unbeatable (well, I'd like a D800, but...) Given that most of my photography is done for my own enjoyment the problem - and it's a very real one - is that FF DSLR systems are absurdly heavy and horribly conspicuous: in fact I would say that they're bloated dinosaurs on the verge of extinction.

A few weeks ago I bought an OM-D. With the kit lens or the two primes I currently have, it accompanies me almost everywhere. I did a couple of informal tests against my D700, using a 24-70 2.8 at equivalent lengths and was astonished how good the OM-D's performance was. I'm currently using Olympus Viewer to convert the RAWs and it compares very unfavourably with Nikon CNX2 but you can still get excellent results.

If I had an obligation to shoot predominantly available light in dimly lit environments I'd use the D700. Otherwise I can easily see myself almost abandoning it except for one context where I definitely need it for commercial reasons.

Given the brilliant range of lenses already available for MFT - a format I'd totally discounted until I tried the OM-D - and the lenses that are scheduled to appear soon, it's a compelling choice. And of course if the OM-D is this good, those lenses are likely even better on subsequent high-end MFT bodies.

As for street photography I can't imagine why, given the choice and bearing in mind the available darkness issue (and maybe not even then...) I wouldn't buy the OM-D in preference to the D700. The articulated screen alone makes it a better choice than the D700 for this application. The DOF issue, unless this becomes the obsession that it often appears to be, is a minor consideration IMO, providing you own and use the optimum lenses for the task in hand. There are sports af issues too, and no doubt a host of other ifs and buts, however I'd say buy an OM-D

Personal opinion only.
Roy

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Marcello Zini
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to John Pennington, Jul 3, 2012

John Pennington wrote:

E-P3 plus 45mm f1.8 plus 12mm f2.
Perfect street / general kit.

Hi John,

I like the E-P3 very much indeed, even more than the EM-5. Too bad the 12mp sensor lacks high iso capabilities compared to the new 16mp one. The 2 lenses you mention plus a pro standard zoom would probably be all I need

thanks!
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Marcello Zini
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to SeeRoy, Jul 3, 2012

Hi Roy,

it's very helpful for me to read your experience. If you think about it, many magnum photographers of the past (and some of the present time) don't use big SLR and spoke/speak of them as scary dinosaurs.

As far as raw converter qualit, I'd be curious to compare both outputs in acr - I don't know if Nikon still encripts wb info, though, the d70 files can't be well interpreted by acr.

After all, for me also is true that most of my photography is done for my own enjoyment and this makes your reply spot on. If I take the mirrorless route, I see myself bringing the old d70 along just for the looks - maybe with a compatible grip to beef it up

or, I might buy a used d700/d600 later on to get the best of both worlds...

thanks!

SeeRoy wrote:

I have had a D700 and a very good set of lenses since the camera was released. It's a wonderful photographic tool that's hard to fault. If someone's paying me and/or I don't have to carry the kit very far it's unbeatable (well, I'd like a D800, but...) Given that most of my photography is done for my own enjoyment the problem - and it's a very real one - is that FF DSLR systems are absurdly heavy and horribly conspicuous: in fact I would say that they're bloated dinosaurs on the verge of extinction.

A few weeks ago I bought an OM-D. With the kit lens or the two primes I currently have, it accompanies me almost everywhere. I did a couple of informal tests against my D700, using a 24-70 2.8 at equivalent lengths and was astonished how good the OM-D's performance was. I'm currently using Olympus Viewer to convert the RAWs and it compares very unfavourably with Nikon CNX2 but you can still get excellent results.

If I had an obligation to shoot predominantly available light in dimly lit environments I'd use the D700. Otherwise I can easily see myself almost abandoning it except for one context where I definitely need it for commercial reasons.

Given the brilliant range of lenses already available for MFT - a format I'd totally discounted until I tried the OM-D - and the lenses that are scheduled to appear soon, it's a compelling choice. And of course if the OM-D is this good, those lenses are likely even better on subsequent high-end MFT bodies.

As for street photography I can't imagine why, given the choice and bearing in mind the available darkness issue (and maybe not even then...) I wouldn't buy the OM-D in preference to the D700. The articulated screen alone makes it a better choice than the D700 for this application. The DOF issue, unless this becomes the obsession that it often appears to be, is a minor consideration IMO, providing you own and use the optimum lenses for the task in hand. There are sports af issues too, and no doubt a host of other ifs and buts, however I'd say buy an OM-D

Personal opinion only.
Roy

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John Pennington
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to Marcello Zini, Jul 3, 2012

Marcello Zini wrote:

John Pennington wrote:

E-P3 plus 45mm f1.8 plus 12mm f2.
Perfect street / general kit.

Hi John,

I like the E-P3 very much indeed, even more than the EM-5. Too bad the 12mp sensor lacks high iso capabilities compared to the new 16mp one. The 2 lenses you mention plus a pro standard zoom would probably be all I need

thanks!
--
...slowly building my gallery at
http://picasaweb.google.com/marcellozini

/\arcello

Hi Marcello,

If it helps, I regularly use the E-P3 up to iso 1250 with all noise reduction off in jpeg with virtually no noise and very sharp, colourful images.
Good luck with your choice.

John.

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Marcello Zini
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to John Pennington, Jul 3, 2012

Hi John,

I have first hand experience on the E-P1 only, I'll look into the E-P3 for the high iso thing.

One reason I like m43 is that - considering that I hate changing lenses on the field since I droppep my Nikkor 85 1.8 on the asphalt - I could get more than one body, even one for each lens and carry the multiple combo as needed. The bag wouldn't be that heavy... or that expensive with the current oly pen/pana body prices

thanks
Marcello

John Pennington wrote:

Hi Marcello,

If it helps, I regularly use the E-P3 up to iso 1250 with all noise reduction off in jpeg with virtually no noise and very sharp, colourful images.
Good luck with your choice.

John.

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John Pennington
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to Marcello Zini, Jul 3, 2012

Marcello Zini wrote:
Hi John,

I have first hand experience on the E-P1 only, I'll look into the E-P3 for the high iso thing.

One reason I like m43 is that - considering that I hate changing lenses on the field since I droppep my Nikkor 85 1.8 on the asphalt - I could get more than one body, even one for each lens and carry the multiple combo as needed. The bag wouldn't be that heavy... or that expensive with the current oly pen/pana body prices

thanks
Marcello

John Pennington wrote:

Hi Marcello,

If it helps, I regularly use the E-P3 up to iso 1250 with all noise reduction off in jpeg with virtually no noise and very sharp, colourful images.
Good luck with your choice.

John.

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/\arcello

Hi Marcello,

I have looked at old images made with my D300 and 85mm f1.8, and compared to my E-P3 with 45mm f1.8, and the Olympus images look better to my eyes.

Kind regards,
John.

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ChinaM43User
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to Marcello Zini, Jul 6, 2012

-Given that you say you will be using the flash a lot, I would think that the Nikon wins in that respect.

-For general street photography, the Olympus wins with better exposure, nicer colors, and being more discrete (while being lighter as well).

-However, you lose the OVF, and whether you prefer OVF or EVF is also very personal. I personally do not like EVF in any camera I have seen so far (especially when used in dark environments, maybe this is partly because I have good night vision and what I get in the EVF is always noisy and less detailed that what I can see through an OVF (let alone with my own eyes without the OVF).

About Flash on my EPL1 vs. Multiple DSLRs:

I don't know whether the situation has changed with the EM5, but the EPL1 is much more difficult to get good flash pictures with vs. the Canon and Nikon DSLRs I have used. The issues include:

-In truly dim lighting, the flash cannot be use to assist focus very well with CDAF, a DSLR with its PDAF can strobe the flash for a fraction of a second, focus and then fire. This does not work well on any micro 4/3 camera I have tried

-For direct fill flash, the color of the light from the flash and the white balance settings don't work as well on the EPL1 vs a DSLR

-When set to aperture priority mode, the way the exposure is set with the flash is much less intuitive on the EPL1 vs the DSLR I have tried. The DSLR will expose for the background, but the EPL1 exposes primarily for flash. This gives me bad pictures unless I use manual settings with the flash.

Marcello Zini wrote:

Hi there

I kind of put photography on standby for a few years (no time) and now I'm finally about to get back to it (way more time than before) and upgrade my glorious d70. My interest is general/street photography and small events with careful use of multiple flash.
I have 2 paths to follow:

1. buy a d700 and keep using Nikon gear: flash, Tamron 28-75 2.8 and a few primes

2. buy an Olympus OMD EM-5 + Panasonic 12-35 2.8 to start and eventually the Oly-Pana dedicated flash system which I tried and works well.

If I go with choice #1, I have the advantage of the professional and professional looking tool and the few gear I already own;

If I go with #2, I have the convenience of the reduced size, (people less scared), the tiltable lcd, in body stabilization ecc - but, even with the grip on, it may look too small for formal assignments.

As far as image quality goes I think I could go with either (they don't seem to be that far) and the EVF is not that bad for me.

I know it sounds just like a boring rant, but I'd appreciate a word from somebody who had/has the same doubt

Thanks all
--
...slowly building my gallery at
http://picasaweb.google.com/marcellozini

/\arcello

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Marcello Zini
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Re: Another EM-5 vs DSLR thread (what would you do?)
In reply to ChinaM43User, Jul 6, 2012

Hi, very good analisys..

ChinaM43User wrote:

-Given that you say you will be using the flash a lot, I would think that the Nikon wins in that respect.

I don't know, I haven't had the possibility to test what happens with m43 when trying to do what is easy with CLS: in a normal white ceiling room, 1 flash as primary on the subject and another, remote, at 60+ degrees from the other at reduced power - CLS never fails with spot metering on a face. I tried the E-P1 with the Oly flash and it did a good job, I count on doing soon some tests with the em-5. I don't think the onboard flash of the Oly system can contribute to the exposure as the nikon bodies after the d70 do, though . In any case, I use M and spot with flash sometimes even for fill-in.

-For general street photography, the Olympus wins with better exposure, nicer colors, and being more discrete (while being lighter as well).

Definitely, this is the main reason for changing camera "concept"

-However, you lose the OVF, and whether you prefer OVF or EVF is also very personal. I personally do not like EVF in any camera I have seen so far (especially when used in dark environments, maybe this is partly because I have good night vision and what I get in the EVF is always noisy and less detailed that what I can see through an OVF (let alone with my own eyes without the OVF).

My eyesight is not THAT great, I'd like to use some manual focus every now and then but on the dim d70 ovf it has never been comfortable, not even a f 1.4. I do get along with decent evf, also because the mf magnification should make it possible to use nikon lenses on the em-5 I guess

About Flash on my EPL1 vs. Multiple DSLRs:

I don't know whether the situation has changed with the EM5, but the EPL1 is > much more difficult to get good flash pictures with vs. the Canon and Nikon
DSLRs I have used. The issues include:

-In truly dim lighting, the flash cannot be use to assist focus very well with CDAF, a DSLR with its PDAF can strobe the flash for a fraction of a second, focus and then fire. This does not work well on any micro 4/3 camera I have tried

as I said above, more experiments on the em-5 are needed.

-For direct fill flash, the color of the light from the flash and the white balance settings don't work as well on the EPL1 vs a DSLR

this may be improved in higher end m43 bodies, I hope

-When set to aperture priority mode, the way the exposure is set with the flash is much less intuitive on the EPL1 vs the DSLR I have tried. The DSLR will expose for the background, but the EPL1 exposes primarily for flash. This gives me bad pictures unless I use manual settings with the flash.

same as above..

Thanks a million
Marcello

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Berghof
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I got tired of the heavy DSLR and enjoy my new Olympus Pen very much
In reply to Marcello Zini, Jul 10, 2012

I would definitely go the 4/3 system, unless you are a pro shooter then I don't really see need for burdening myself with the heavy duty equipment of DSLRs
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GodSpeaks
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what would I do? I would ignore the thread
In reply to Marcello Zini, Jul 12, 2012

Yeah, yeah, I know.

Couldn't resist.

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Marcello Zini
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Please do :) nt
In reply to GodSpeaks, Jul 15, 2012
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Marcello Zini
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Re: I got tired of the heavy DSLR and enjoy my new Olympus Pen very much
In reply to Berghof, Jul 15, 2012

As a matter of fact, my... style (read lazyness) does not get along with dsrl size for street and general photography. More than once I brought the d70 on a vacation or business trip but ended up taking no pictures at all. Things go much better with the Pana lx3, of course, due to the small size and the discrete impression on people. Things are different when I take pictures on a semi-pro assignment where I can hold the camera for the whole time, I can leave the bag somewhere safe, I can use Nikon CLS and all that. I think I'll test how Oly flash system works and, if too far away from Nikon one, I'll keep the 2 systems. Unless Oly/Pana come out with some hybrid professional m43 system, we'll see

Thanks for replying

Berghof wrote:

I would definitely go the 4/3 system, unless you are a pro shooter then I don't really see need for burdening myself with the heavy duty equipment of DSLRs
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