Olympus E-M1 or …

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
ZodiacPhoto
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Olympus E-M1 or …
10 months ago

As a M4/3 user, I asked a similar question on Micro 4/3 forum, and some replies were, quite understandably, just a little bit biased

So I would like to rephrase the question a bit:

- If you are on the market for a new camera,

- and you are not yet “married” to a particular lens system,

- and you are considering Olympus E-M1, what other camera would you buy if Olympus did not come up with the E-M1? In other words, what cameras does E-M1 compete with?

Thank you!

Olympus E-M1
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Donald Chin
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Re: Olympus E-M1 or …
In reply to ZodiacPhoto, 10 months ago

As a M4/3 user, I asked a similar question on Micro 4/3 forum, and some replies were, quite understandably, just a little bit biased

So I would like to rephrase the question a bit:

- If you are on the market for a new camera,

- and you are not yet “married” to a particular lens system,

- and you are considering Olympus E-M1, what other camera would you buy if Olympus did not come up with the E-M1? In other words, what cameras does E-M1 compete with?

Thank you!

At its price, I don't see it can compete with any larger sensor cameras in the market.

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Promit
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Re: Olympus E-M1 or …
In reply to ZodiacPhoto, 10 months ago

Coming from a long-time m4/3 owner:

Depends on your needs and wants, but I find the E-M1 a really difficult sell. Maybe if you've got a lot of money in 4/3 and m4/3 lenses, and you need PDAF, and you need a small camera. $1400 body, $2200 kit is a steep, steep price and it puts the E-M5 in competition with the top of the line APS-C cameras and even the bottom of the full framers.

$1400 will buy an E-M1. $1500 will buy an A77 AND an excellent 16-50/2.8. Apart from size, what's in favor of the Olympus in that case? Sure a few things here and there, but I struggle to see it in favor of Olympus. I own both the A77 and E-M5.

For that matter, the going price for a refurb E-M5 is $750 body only. That's $650 left to spend on grip, glass, whatever before you hit the E-M1 body only price.

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sderdiarian
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Re: Olympus E-M1 or …
In reply to Promit, 10 months ago

Promit wrote:

Coming from a long-time m4/3 owner:

Depends on your needs and wants, but I find the E-M1 a really difficult sell. Maybe if you've got a lot of money in 4/3 and m4/3 lenses, and you need PDAF, and you need a small camera. $1400 body, $2200 kit is a steep, steep price and it puts the E-M5 in competition with the top of the line APS-C cameras and even the bottom of the full framers.

As an E-M5 user (and owner of E-PM1, E-510 and E-620), I have to agree. I see this as part of an unsettling habit of Olympus pricing their upper tier cameras at a premium compared to their actual market placement.

This started with the $1700 E-5, continued with the $1000 E-P5 that requires an additional $270 for a viewfinder, and now the $1400 E-M1, an E-M5 upgrade with a grip. An awful lot of money for having a smaller body and lens system.

I can see no justification for pricing the E-M1 higher than the 24MP APS-C sensored weathersealed D7100 selling for $1200. The APS-C sensored weathersealed K5-II at $750 or K-50 at $625 make the price seem even sillier.

The E-P5 has been a slow seller, we'll see how the E-M1 fares after the initial bubble of interest passes.

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Sailin' Steve

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Macx
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Well, it depends on what attracts you to the E-M1
In reply to ZodiacPhoto, 10 months ago

Is it the splash-/dust-/frost-proofing?

Is it the "wireless tethering"?

Is it the large viewfinder?

Is it all the buttons?

Is it the image stabilisation?

Is it the sensor performance?

Is it the frames per second?

Is it the auto-focus system?

Is it the looks?

Is it the price?

There are lots of alternatives to the E-M1, but you need to tell us what's important to you.

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Dennis
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Re: Well, it depends on what attracts you to the E-M1
In reply to Macx, 10 months ago

Macx wrote:

Is it the splash-/dust-/frost-proofing?

Is it the "wireless tethering"?

Is it the large viewfinder?

Is it all the buttons?

Is it the image stabilisation?

Is it the sensor performance?

Is it the frames per second?

Is it the auto-focus system?

Is it the looks?

Is it the price?

There are lots of alternatives to the E-M1, but you need to tell us what's important to you.

Right.  If we assume, for the sake of argument, that the image quality you get with the EM1 (and other recent m43 cameras) is more or less on par with APS-C (close enough for most people) and that you can get sufficiently shallow DOF with available lenses, and basically ignore the sensor size debate, then you're still looking at a $1400 camera versus others in the market.

It does offer things that others don't; it's more compact, though how compact depends a lot on your choice of lenses.  It's full time live view ... that alone is a significant deciding factor.  With the right lenses, it's apparently more weather resistant than anything similarly priced.  And it probably has great build.  There are IS & AF differences.

But you can get great competing cameras for far less money, so you really have to value one of those things.

I use a D7000; a camera you can buy for less, and a couple of the lenses I use with it cost less than the m43 counterparts I would choose to buy.

Personally, even if I were interested in buying into the m43 system, I would have a hard time justifying the price of the EM1.  I don't value the weather resistance enough to want to spend hundreds more and don't see it offering more (at least more that I care about) than I can get for $1000 or less in other systems.

Here's an interesting comparison:

EM1 with 12-40/2.8 for $2200

D600 with 24-85/3.5-4.5 for $2400 (normally $2700)

One is a fair bit more compact than the other, but that's a hard sell.  Interestingly, it's tough to put together an APS-C alternative that looks more compelling.

- Dennis

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Red5TX
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Re: Well, it depends on what attracts you to the E-M1
In reply to Dennis, 10 months ago

Everyone keeps saying the E-M1 + lens kit costs $2,200. Is any retailer actually offering this at the moment (in the US)?

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Chris R-UK
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In reply to ZodiacPhoto, 10 months ago

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

As a M4/3 user, I asked a similar question on Micro 4/3 forum, and some replies were, quite understandably, just a little bit biased

So I would like to rephrase the question a bit:

- If you are on the market for a new camera,

- and you are not yet “married” to a particular lens system,

- and you are considering Olympus E-M1, what other camera would you buy if Olympus did not come up with the E-M1? In other words, what cameras does E-M1 compete with?

Thank you!

I have both a Canon 7D and a Panasonic GH2.  I use the 7D primarily for wildlife.

This opinion is based on my personal requirements.

If the PDAF continuous focusing works as well as earlier indications suggest the E-M1 is a direct competitor to my Canon 7D:

  • 16MP v 18MP resolution
  • 6.5 fps v 8 fps
  • Better high ISO noise
  • Similar dynamic range
  • Similar handling
  • Different viewfinders - EVFs and OVFs both have pros and cons
  • Much better video (can hand hold and AF during clips)
  • E-M1 + 100-300mm is half the size and weight of 7D + 100-400mm

The big one for me is the last one and I will probably be trading in my 7D for the E-M1 once the price has come down to sensible levels and I have seen how the next generation of Panasonics compares.

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peevee1
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Re: Olympus E-M1 or …
In reply to ZodiacPhoto, 10 months ago

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

As a M4/3 user, I asked a similar question on Micro 4/3 forum, and some replies were, quite understandably, just a little bit biased

So I would like to rephrase the question a bit:

- If you are on the market for a new camera,

- and you are not yet “married” to a particular lens system,

- and you are considering Olympus E-M1, what other camera would you buy if Olympus did not come up with the E-M1? In other words, what cameras does E-M1 compete with?

1. The best deal in similar cameras right now is Pentax k-30 for $470 body only (about 3 times cheaper than that E-M1). All in all it is a LITTLE BIT worse than E-M1 - 6 fps vs 6.5, 650g vs 497g (but put the included flash on E-M1 and difference becomes smaller, put comparable flash and who knows what is actually lighter), no wifi, a bit fewer controls (although 2 control wheels so it is no Rebel etc), smaller viewfinder (pentaprism though, not the cheap pentamirrors), 3-axis IBIS vs 5-axis, but the difference matters mostly in macro, plastic over steel vs mag alloy, non-tilting and non-touch screen, 1/6000 maximum shutter speed vs 1/8000. And comparable lenses are bigger on k-30. And viewfinder is OVF, so not stabilized by the IBIS, no blinkies/preview/magnification in VF etc.

But both are weather-sealed, about the same size (until you put a flash on E-M1), k-30 has flash built-in which is more powerful that the small external flash included with E-M1, and k-30 has a little better image quality at the same aperture and shutter speed.

Also, k-30 has a kit 18-135 WR, going to 200mm equivalent, pretty handy travel lens - the only similar lens for E-M1 - 12-50 - goes only to 100mm equivalent.

2. NEX-6, goes as low as $620 new for body great EVF, but no IBIS, choice of AF lenses is poor (unless you put heavy and expensive autofocusing adapter for heavy A-mount lenses, but no stabilization then). No weather-sealing, so it is not really the same class.

3. Pentax k-5 II, almost the same as k-30, only a little heavier (due to much bigger battery for much longer shooting compared to E-M1 and even k-30), LCD on top and actually slightly faster sequential shooting (7 fps vs 6.5 with AF).

4. Canon 70D, Nikon D7100, $200-300 off the price of E-M1 for better (I suspect much better) tracking AF and slightly faster sequential shooting (in case of D7100, in crop giving 2x crop factor similar to m43). But bigger/heavier, smaller viewfinders, no IBIS and no DX/EF-S lenses which are actually weather-sealed AFAIK. Also better selection of lenses, including really cheap 3rd party lenses (Sigma 18-35/1.8 alone!).

5. If you couldn't care less about tracking and sequential shooting as many have claimed in my thread, but more about landscape and low light etc, then Canon 6D (from $1500) with 24-105/4 L IS (from $660) is actually cheaper than E-M1+12-40/2.8, and IQ especially at high ISO is significantly better, viewfinder is about the same size, body+lens is weather-sealed, the gimmick of wifi is also there, and of course huge selection of lenses starting from $90 50/1.8 (not replaced even by $500 Pana 25/1.4). Body is only as heavy as K-5 II, but lenses usually bigger (just select a stop slower, you will still be a stop ahead).

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Gary Martin
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In reply to ZodiacPhoto, 10 months ago

This may sound like heresy (especially around here), but every major ILC/DSLR manufacturer offers excellent bodies and enough nice lenses to bankrupt most users. The differences between these systems is more likely to be personal preferences and/or advantages to particular types of photography - of which you provided no information to offer a suggestion targeted toward your needs.

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Jorginho
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Re: Canon 7D
In reply to Chris R-UK, 10 months ago

Chris R-UK wrote:

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

As a M4/3 user, I asked a similar question on Micro 4/3 forum, and some replies were, quite understandably, just a little bit biased

So I would like to rephrase the question a bit:

- If you are on the market for a new camera,

- and you are not yet “married” to a particular lens system,

- and you are considering Olympus E-M1, what other camera would you buy if Olympus did not come up with the E-M1? In other words, what cameras does E-M1 compete with?

Thank you!

I have both a Canon 7D and a Panasonic GH2. I use the 7D primarily for wildlife.

This opinion is based on my personal requirements.

If the PDAF continuous focusing works as well as earlier indications suggest the E-M1 is a direct competitor to my Canon 7D:

  • 16MP v 18MP resolution
  • 6.5 fps v 8 fps
  • Better high ISO noise
  • Similar dynamic range
  • Similar handling
  • Different viewfinders - EVFs and OVFs both have pros and cons
  • Much better video (can hand hold and AF during clips)
  • E-M1 + 100-300mm is half the size and weight of 7D + 100-400mm

The big one for me is the last one and I will probably be trading in my 7D for the E-M1 once the price has come down to sensible levels and I have seen how the next generation of Panasonics compares.

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Chris R

I agree partially. First of all, even though the C_AF is now much much better it is on E5 level. They clearly note that it is okey, but not great. I think 7D is still better here.

Otoh: the dynamic range of these two cams is not similar. The E-M5 is already 2/3 of a stop better. That is usefull as I can compare to my GH2 and it is really realy better. Now GH2 and 7D are comparable. If E-M1 has a sensor that is not only capable of PDAF on chip, but also better in the IQ department the difference will likely grow.

I think you can already assess how the next generation compares in the IQ depaertment: it is rather similar. But we have to wonder: if that is the latest Panny chiop, are they again going the Sony route for their faux DSLR styled cam? Otherwise, on chip PDAF might be more than just one generation away. Also: I have seen that NX300 and Sony NEX6 PDAF is not nearly as good as E-M1 or Nikon1. So to me, it remains to be seen how well Panny will implement it.

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Jorginho
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Re: Olympus E-M1 or …
In reply to Donald Chin, 10 months ago

Donald Chin wrote:

As a M4/3 user, I asked a similar question on Micro 4/3 forum, and some replies were, quite understandably, just a little bit biased

So I would like to rephrase the question a bit:

- If you are on the market for a new camera,

- and you are not yet “married” to a particular lens system,

- and you are considering Olympus E-M1, what other camera would you buy if Olympus did not come up with the E-M1? In other words, what cameras does E-M1 compete with?

Thank you!

At its price, I don't see it can compete with any larger sensor cameras in the market.

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So buying a D4 or a D800E is just folly? The D600 can be had at a fraction of their price and the sensor is the same size, so...

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Jorginho
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In reply to ZodiacPhoto, 10 months ago

The best spec'd mirrorless cam around. In each and every way, bar video (Gh3). Its weathersealing, dustsealing and coldtolerance are really notable. I have seen pics of the cam shooting contiuously under a 10 minute shower while shooting continuously (intervalometer I guess). It did kept on functioning just fine.

So it is for those who are in the market for really the best APS-c DLSRs, but want to get rid of that size and weight. And these tow will always, always come up in comparisons like these. If you do not mind size and weight, you can easily get a D7100 that will get you very similar specs.

if you need a D7100 or 7D, but can't live with the weight there is currently only one option in mirroless land: the E-M1.

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Jorginho
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Re: Well, it depends on what attracts you to the E-M1
In reply to Dennis, 10 months ago

It is the size and weight. It is a hard sell to some, but not to others. Now I think people who shell out this kind of momneuy for a cam are also interested in a good set of lenses. It is not necessary, but more likely to happen than on a 500 dollar DSRL where people buy a 18-250 mm lens that sits on it the rest of its life.

First of all. The E-M1 with the 12-35 mm and 35-100 mm Panny lens weighs less than the D600 with that 24-85 mm lens. It is 1160 gram versus 1335 gram. That are tow of the heaviest m43 lenses (bar the 100-300 m versions) out there. If you exchange the 12-35 for the somewhat hevaier 12-40, you are still 100 gram below the D600 with just one lens that is not a stellar performer it seems (just looked up some reviews).

So to me, again, the size and weight are not a hard sell for those who value those things. I for opne, hike a lot. And 2 Kg of glass in my back is whole lot of different than 5 Kg. With this m43 system I can have my EPL5 with me at my work all the time. Just put the cam+ 20 mm in one pocket and the 45 mm in another for instance. I do not notice them in my (coat) pocket at all. And it are not large pockets at all.

To me, that is the beauty of this system. To others not. And for those who for instance wants shallowers depth of field, better IQ and do not mind the size all too much: go for the D600 or D800E or whatever. Of course! But if you do mind, I think the E-M1 as a fantastic proposition.

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Martin.au
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Re: Olympus E-M1 or …
In reply to ZodiacPhoto, 10 months ago

I'd get the E-M5. Oh, wait. I did.

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peevee1
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Re: Well, it depends on what attracts you to the E-M1
In reply to Red5TX, 10 months ago

Red5TX wrote:

Everyone keeps saying the E-M1 + lens kit costs $2,200. Is any retailer actually offering this at the moment (in the US)?

Actually, it is $2400, they are still offered only separately. Silly, silly pricing on their part.

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Chris R-UK
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In reply to Jorginho, 10 months ago

Jorginho wrote:

I agree partially. First of all, even though the C_AF is now much much better it is on E5 level. They clearly note that it is okey, but not great. I think 7D is still better here.

Otoh: the dynamic range of these two cams is not similar. The E-M5 is already 2/3 of a stop better. That is usefull as I can compare to my GH2 and it is really realy better. Now GH2 and 7D are comparable. If E-M1 has a sensor that is not only capable of PDAF on chip, but also better in the IQ department the difference will likely grow.

I think you can already assess how the next generation compares in the IQ depaertment: it is rather similar. But we have to wonder: if that is the latest Panny chiop, are they again going the Sony route for their faux DSLR styled cam? Otherwise, on chip PDAF might be more than just one generation away. Also: I have seen that NX300 and Sony NEX6 PDAF is not nearly as good as E-M1 or Nikon1. So to me, it remains to be seen how well Panny will implement it.

The question for me is when to buy into a hybrid AF system.  I try to keep my bodies for at least 3 years before upgrading and, except for C-AF, the GH2 meets most of my current needs and I would prefer a better quality long M4/3 lens (perhaps a 300mm f4) for wildlife to a new body.

Like you, I suspect that really good on sensor PDAF may be more than one generation away.

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ultimitsu
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Re: Olympus E-M1 or …
In reply to ZodiacPhoto, 10 months ago

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

- If you are on the market for a new camera,

- and you are not yet “married” to a particular lens system,

- and you are considering Olympus E-M1,

That is not possible. There simply is not reason for this to happen, whatsoever. I mean it.

what other camera would you buy if Olympus did not come up with the E-M1? In other words, what cameras does E-M1 compete with?

EM1 is not competing against any other non-m43 camera. People who are not atteched to EM1 has zero reason to consider it. The only people would consider EM1 are those who already own m43 system and considering upgrade body. EM1 is competing against GH3 and EM5.

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Martin.au
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Re: Olympus E-M1 or …
In reply to ultimitsu, 10 months ago

ultimitsu wrote:

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

- If you are on the market for a new camera,

- and you are not yet “married” to a particular lens system,

- and you are considering Olympus E-M1,

That is not possible. There simply is not reason for this to happen, whatsoever. I mean it.

what other camera would you buy if Olympus did not come up with the E-M1? In other words, what cameras does E-M1 compete with?

EM1 is not competing against any other non-m43 camera. People who are not atteched to EM1 has zero reason to consider it. The only people would consider EM1 are those who already own m43 system and considering upgrade body. EM1 is competing against GH3 and EM5.

What, you mean like the E-M5, GH3, etc are not supposed to compete with DSLRs?

***Looks at all the users who have moved to M4/3s from DSLRS***

If you say so....

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ultimitsu
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Re: Olympus E-M1 or …
In reply to Martin.au, 10 months ago

Mjankor wrote:

ultimitsu wrote:

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

- If you are on the market for a new camera,

- and you are not yet “married” to a particular lens system,

- and you are considering Olympus E-M1,

That is not possible. There simply is not reason for this to happen, whatsoever. I mean it.

what other camera would you buy if Olympus did not come up with the E-M1? In other words, what cameras does E-M1 compete with?

EM1 is not competing against any other non-m43 camera. People who are not atteched to EM1 has zero reason to consider it. The only people would consider EM1 are those who already own m43 system and considering upgrade body. EM1 is competing against GH3 and EM5.

What, you mean like the E-M5, GH3, etc are not supposed to compete with DSLRs?

I can see why you are confused. no need to apologize. I did not mean that.

Just because EM1 cannot compete against DSLR but only against E-M5, GH3, does not mean E-M5, GH3 are also incapable of competing against DSLR.

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