How satisfied are you with your E-M5?

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Questions
apennh
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How satisfied are you with your E-M5?
Jun 29, 2013

I'm travelling through the UK and Europe for 6 weeks and i'm trying to decide what camera to take.

I currently have the Nikon D700 with a 28 - 300 lens and 50 1.8 and last year i took it on a 4 week holiday to the USA and it was a huge burden. My neck was killing me by the end of the trip so there is no way i'm taking with me again.

I had pretty much made up my mind to get the Canon 6D with the 24-105 f.4 and a 50 1.4 but then i wondered if it really is light enough for travel. I read some good reviews about the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and now i don't know what to do.

I will be shooting mostly landscapes and street photography and imagine i'll be doing a bit of low light photography and i'll probably want to blow a few up when i get back. I'm not a pro i just enjoy photography as a hobby but i am quite picky when it comes to image quality.

Obviously the better choice in regards to image quality is the 6D but my dilemma is i will be on a tour and i am only allowed a small carry-on (basically the size of a small handbag) i have not been able to find a camera bag that fits into their requirements, so i will have to carry the camera in my handbag when not in use.

My D700 with the 28 - 300 (a lens which i hate by the way) weighs approx 2.1 KG

6D with the 24 - 105 weighs approx 1.5KG add the 50 1.4 to my bag and it's approx 1.8KG but at least the most that will be around my neck is 1.5KG

Olympus E-M5 with twin lens kit 14 - 42 & 40 - 105 weighs approx 800grams

So my question is how satisfied with the E-M5 are you when your shooting or when looking back through your photos do you ever wish/or how often do you wish you had an SLR in that moment? Is it worth sacrificing good image quality for weight or is the Olympus pretty satisfying and you don't really see it as a sacrifice?

Thanks.

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Canon EOS 6D Nikon D700 Olympus OM-D E-M5
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Donald Chin
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Re: How satisfied are you with your E-M5?
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

If I were on vacation I definitely will bring along just the RX1, and if you really think interchangeable lenses is a must I suggest you think about getting a D600 to replace your D700 to save weight.

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MrPhotoBob
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Re: How satisfied are you with your E-M5?
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

I am very satisfied, I walked away from a Nikon D3s and a Nikon D800 for my EM-5 and I have no regrets for doing it.

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wazu
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Re: How satisfied are you with your E-M5?
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

apennh wrote:

I'm travelling through the UK and Europe for 6 weeks and i'm trying to decide what camera to take.

I currently have the Nikon D700 with a 28 - 300 lens and 50 1.8 and last year i took it on a 4 week holiday to the USA and it was a huge burden. My neck was killing me by the end of the trip so there is no way i'm taking with me again.

I had pretty much made up my mind to get the Canon 6D with the 24-105 f.4 and a 50 1.4 but then i wondered if it really is light enough for travel. I read some good reviews about the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and now i don't know what to do.

I will be shooting mostly landscapes and street photography and imagine i'll be doing a bit of low light photography and i'll probably want to blow a few up when i get back. I'm not a pro i just enjoy photography as a hobby but i am quite picky when it comes to image quality.

Obviously the better choice in regards to image quality is the 6D but my dilemma is i will be on a tour and i am only allowed a small carry-on (basically the size of a small handbag) i have not been able to find a camera bag that fits into their requirements, so i will have to carry the camera in my handbag when not in use.

My D700 with the 28 - 300 (a lens which i hate by the way) weighs approx 2.1 KG

6D with the 24 - 105 weighs approx 1.5KG add the 50 1.4 to my bag and it's approx 1.8KG but at least the most that will be around my neck is 1.5KG

Olympus E-M5 with twin lens kit 14 - 42 & 40 - 105 weighs approx 800grams

So my question is how satisfied with the E-M5 are you when your shooting or when looking back through your photos do you ever wish/or how often do you wish you had an SLR in that moment? Is it worth sacrificing good image quality for weight or is the Olympus pretty satisfying and you don't really see it as a sacrifice?

Thanks.

I am very satisfied with the OM-D and the various lenses other than the 12-50 kit lens I have acquired. Low light performance is superb. If you really want to not be as dissapointed switching to mft from a DSLR then get better glass. Perhaps the 12-35 and 35-100 from Panasonic.

I always wish to have DSLRs when shooting fast moving objects, but for tourist type walkaround and landscape the OM-D is great. On top of that if you shoot video at all the stabilization of the IBIS is really fantastic.

But to be brutally honest about my thoughts with the OM-D I have since purchased the Sony RX-1 and find I'm using it far more. That may be just a honeymoon phase, but it's been since last Christmas so maybe I should say I like FF compacts more than mFT.

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There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in. - Leonard Cohen

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TrapperJohn
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extremely satisfied
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

The combination of superb performance, excellent lenses, and very easy to keep with you.

And you should know it's not just weight that makes it more convenient to use, it's also size. If you haven't held one, it's a lot smaller than photos of it might lead you to believe.

The EM5 is not only quite a bit smaller, and not only are its lenses quite a bit smaller, but it's a lot thinner than a dslr. Very slender. When you're walking around with it over your shoulder, it just doesn't stick out nearly as much.

The EM5 with 45 1.8 mounted is about as thick as a dslr with no lens mounted.

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MrScorpio
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From 1-10. I rate it at an 8.
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

Miss:

  • Better RAW high ISO
  • Lower ISO setting (minimum now is 200)
  • Faster shutter (fastest now is 1/4000)

BUT:

  • Good high ISO jpg pics
  • Excellent JPG pics
  • Truly Portable
  • Excellent choice of glass, apart from high end zooms. But the midlevel zooms are very good on the other hand, if even a bit slow.
  • A feeling of being extremely fun to use. Why? I dont know...

I have a 6D and an OMD.

IF you are happy with "only" jpg output I would undoubtedly take the OMD. BUT if you are a RAW freak like myself I would go for the 6D and the 24-105, skipping the 50/1.4.

The pics below is with the 24-105 on a 5D2, when I was traveling China with that set up.

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erichK
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Re: Completely disagree-based on experience
In reply to Donald Chin, Jun 30, 2013

Donald Chin wrote:

If I were on vacation I definitely will bring along just the RX1, and if you really think interchangeable lenses is a must I suggest you think about getting a D600 to replace your D700 to save weight.
http://www.fotop.net/DonaldChin

I thought that I would always want to mainly shoot with a serious DSLR, but experience is teaching me that my OM-D can do everything my DSLR can, and sometimes more...and also be much more likely to be with me, when a photographic opportunity comes along,

I had previously lugged my Olympus E-3 and now E-5 and a second body and 3 or four lenses to places like tha Galapagos and all over Europe. On my current trip to Buones Aires and Rion de Janeiro, I took along the OM-D and also the Olympus PL5, as well as the 12/2 12-50zoom, 45 and 70f1.8's and Panasonic 45-200 zoom, the little clip-on flash and mic and chargesr and batteries and extra SD cards. It all fit neatly into the Domke F-5XC bag, which has the wonderful feature of allowing access to both cameras though the top, and to the three lenses not already on the cameras through the front. Asaide from some quality concerns with the Panasonic lens, which does not seem to be in the same league as the little Olympus jewels, I have found this lightweight outfit more than - capable of producing great images in every conceivable shooting situation (except fast-action CAF - the common of all such cameras.

I did take the trusty E-5 dslr and its excellent 7-14 and 12-60 zooms and fisheye lens along too. But except for a few occasions on which I took just it and the 12-60 along the sandy beach (becausoe the weather and sandproofing is likely better than that of the OM-D) or took out the PL-5 and a couple of lenses to make room for the 7-14 and FT>mFT adapter, the regular-sized gear has mostly stayed in the hotel room.

I will likely keep the E-5 because it is a rugged camera I am extremely familiar with, and will keep the FT lenses I have because they tend to be very good, and because most of them fairly well on mFT. But I will not be taking them travelling again! (Well, maybe one or two lenses

BTW, one huge benefit of EVF when travelling, and often having to shoot quicly and in a lot of sun is that they will show you what you will get and are getting with the settings you have currently deliberately - or inadvertantly chosen. It is very easy to, on a bright day when you can barely see your LCD and are moving from indoor to outdoor situations, forget that you have dialed in a stop or more of exposure correction, when a sudden subject, in different light, comes along. This is a mistake you will immediately be alerted to and correct on an EVF camera, but may not detect until you have ruined several potentially great shots on a dslr.

And the small size, quiet shutter and very discretely tilting LCD  on the OM-D also make it a much easier camera to shoot candids with, to quietlly hang from your shoulder inside a jacket at formal occasions, or to avoid attracting attention from thieves.  I am finding it the perfect travel camera: even more quiet, light and discrete than the Leica M4 I briefly used decades ago.

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erichK
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ernieF
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9 out of 10--- it's really that good.
In reply to MrScorpio, Jun 30, 2013

....and I also have a Canon 6D w/24-105 for really high iso work and because, well, I wanted it.

Cheers,  Ernie

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apennh
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Re: extremely satisfied
In reply to TrapperJohn, Jun 30, 2013

Thanks everyone, you were all very helpful.

I think i have decided to go with the E-M5 ... after all it's a holiday and i want to enjoy myself not not be too caught up with the camera i am using.

I'm just looking at the lenses and was thinking of getting the twin kit with the 14 - 42 and the 40 - 150 and also buying the 12mm 2.8 prime or maybe the 45mm 2.8

Are the kit lenses any good or am i better off getting the body only and different lenses?

Thanks,

Amanda

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Ellen 1
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Re: 9 out of 10--- it's really that good.
In reply to ernieF, Jun 30, 2013

It is a great camera for travel. I got it last year to go to Europe for Xmas. I got wonderful images even though the weather was pretty awful. I would think you will get such good pictures with good weather. By the way I came from a Canon 50D, no regrets at all.

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Ellen McIlroy

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Ellen 1
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Re: extremely satisfied
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

Oh by the way I had the 12-50 lens with me, it gave me excellent, sharp pictures.

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Ellen McIlroy

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Martin.au
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Re: How satisfied are you with your E-M5?
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

Exceptionally satisfied with mine.

I have a handful of little gripes, bracketing can be annoying to get to, for example, but for most of my photography I find it an absolute pleasure to use.

Since switching to the OM-D my photography has improved markedly. I think this is mostly due to the fact that the OM-D kit I carry is small enough to just grab and go, so I take it with me far more places, and I'm taking photos at about 4x greater rate than I did in the past.

It's also a lot more fun than my older DSLR kit, mostly due to the improvement from changing from the older 70-300 to the newer 75-300, and the increase in manual controls.

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Terry Breedlove
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My Nikon D2x next to my new OMD
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

I love this little bugger. I just bought it Tuesday but I know we are going to have a great relationship. I have a post on here titled OMD in Seattle public market . Check it out I have a few shots on there.

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JeanPierre Martel
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Very satisfied
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

apennh wrote:

How satisfied with the E-M5 are you when your shooting or when looking back through your photos do you ever wish/or how often do you wish you had an SLR in that moment? Is it worth sacrificing good image quality for weight or is the Olympus pretty satisfying and you don't really see it as a sacrifice?

I've made a trip in La Havana with two cameras : an OM-D and an infrared Poweshot G6.

The OM-D has 4 lenses :
A) a Lumix 12-35mm (any normal zoom would be a valid alternative). That lens was used more than 85% of the time
B) an M.Zuiko 12mm for street photography only
C) a Lumix 7-14mm (used very little)
D) an M.Zuiko 40-150mm (used a few times). Any other telezoom could be an alternative.

I took about 4,000 shots during that 3-week trip: about half these shots will eventually be used in different slideshows.

Did I miss not having a DSLR camera? no. I don't pretend the OM-D is the best camera in the World: its IQ is just enough for me. My vacations are just for my own pleasure, so it's out of the question that I would imposed on me the burden to carry any heavy camera.

All day long for three weeks, I carried that camera and its lenses: at the end of the day, sometimes I was tired walking but never because of the burden of my gear. Never.

Example of a slideshow made with that camera :
http://jpmartel.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/le-nord-de-la-vieille-ville/ (skip the French text)

Another slideshow in which there is a little bit of street photography:
http://jpmartel.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/obispo/

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novaoz
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Re: extremely satisfied
In reply to Ellen 1, Jun 30, 2013

I cannot see any system I would swap my em5 system for at the moment, it is perfect for the travelling photographer.

If I was you and it looks as if your not stressing about the budget, I would get the twin kit but leave the 14-42 at home or sell it and get the 12 & 25 primes to take with the 40-150, three lenses that will cover near every situation.

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Peter from Norfolk Is.

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apennh
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Re: extremely satisfied
In reply to novaoz, Jun 30, 2013

Thanks!

The budget isn't a huge issue ... i'd prefer the cost not to get too high but at the same time i don't want to spend money on rubbish.

I'm now just wondering if i should get the weatherproof 12-50 ... i know some people have said they don't like it but i'm guessing i'm going to come into contact with a bit of rain so is it maybe better to have the weatherproof lens?

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Ergo607
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Re: How satisfied are you with your E-M5? Very!
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

Picture wise, I could not dream any better (though I know it exist of course.)

Surely on a holiday, I wouldn't dream of carrying a DSLR anyone: been there done that. I love my OM-D, and I always carry it with me. That is sth I wouldn't do with any DSLR (be it ff or not...)

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MatsP
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Re: extremely satisfied
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

Thanks!

The budget isn't a huge issue ... i'd prefer the cost not to get too high but at the same time i don't want to spend money on rubbish.

I'm now just wondering if i should get the weatherproof 12-50 ... i know some people have said they don't like it but i'm guessing i'm going to come into contact with a bit of rain so is it maybe better to have the weatherproof lens?

The 12-50 isnt worlds best lens but its an ideal travel companion.

With the 12-50 you get a very versatile lens and you dont need to worry if its raining. There are sharper lensrs but its sharp enough for normal use, focuses very quick but is slow in the longer end.

I use it a lot myself

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Martin.au
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Re: extremely satisfied
In reply to MatsP, Jun 30, 2013

MatsP wrote:

Thanks!

The budget isn't a huge issue ... i'd prefer the cost not to get too high but at the same time i don't want to spend money on rubbish.

I'm now just wondering if i should get the weatherproof 12-50 ... i know some people have said they don't like it but i'm guessing i'm going to come into contact with a bit of rain so is it maybe better to have the weatherproof lens?

The 12-50 isnt worlds best lens but its an ideal travel companion.

With the 12-50 you get a very versatile lens and you dont need to worry if its raining. There are sharper lensrs but its sharp enough for normal use, focuses very quick but is slow in the longer end.

I use it a lot myself

Just adding to what MatsP said, the 12-50 is one of my favourite lenses. It's not a pro-grade lens, but it does a damn fine job and is very versatile.

There have been a few threads for users to post images shot with the 12-50. There's some staggeringly good photos in there worth checking out.

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DrWu
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VERY! Re: How satisfied are you with your E-M5?
In reply to apennh, Jun 30, 2013

I bought E-M5 14 months ago and in general I am so satisfied that I am probably not going to buy a new camera before 2015. I have no complaints about image quality (I shoot 100% raw) but of course there are things that I´like to see changed for the next model:

- 1/4000 sec is not enough

- back LCD has a wrong aspect ratio - why can´t it be normal 4/3???!!!

- back LCD isn´t fully tiltable

- vertical grip cannot be used without landscape grip (I have no use for landscape part)

- some buttons are difficult/impossible to operate with gloves on

Pekka

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