fmian: Got to play with a pre production model today with 12-50mm lens. Here are my thoughts.
Pros- Feels reasonably well built. Does not feel cheap.- Curve tweaking (and other functions I'm guessing) can be performed in the viewfinder, so less need to take eye away from it.- AF was very fast and responsive.- Hi speed shooting was very satisfying.- Not too long a delay in recording to card.
Very interesting insight! How did you get a hold of it? Many of your info is useful, so I'll just respond to some of it. Is this your first time using an Olympus 4/3 and m4/3 camera? Because some of your responses sound suggests that, just curious.
About the cramped buttons and ergonomics issues. My first time use my E-620, I felt the same way about it also. It turns out I just have to get used to it. Every brand has their own hand position, and your hands will get used to one and not another. It's like wearing a new brand of shoes, you just need some break-in period. If that still doesn't improve within the return period, just return the camera.
1/16s shutter speed. Is the AUTO ISO caps set to very low? Maybe firm who loan you one doesn't want you to see high ISO.
Everyone complains about focus-by-wire and I don't know why. 4/3 and on are completely digital design, no need to support legacy AF motor so the digital driven MF feels more real, not digital turn mechanical.
yukonchris: I've never been a fan of image stabilization but that probably reflects the sort of photography I do which realy doesn't require it. While Olympus's new stabilization technology looks quite impressive, I can't help but wonder: a) how much power it will draw, and ; b) if it will effect focus accuracy due to small variances in the flange back distance. I'm no expert in optical design but I wonder if anyone else can shed some light on this? IS focus accuracy better served by a fixed sensor, or not?
You can turn IS off. I always turn it off when I use my camera on tripod. In many cases, image quality loss because of IS is negligible (you have to be a pixel peeper and scrutinize your photo to see it). It has nothing to do with focus accuracy, as far as I know, but I shoot on tripod and MF most of the time. When I do handheld, I turn IS mode 1 on on my E-620 (both x and y axis). You can only turn on x axis only IS or y axis only IS to reduce the impact, but so far, I only see using IS Mode 1 gives me sharper images because my hands shapes too much, and see no benefit by reducing the level of IS. It all depends on how steady your hands are. But like I said, it's not about focus accuracy (which you can always turn on C-AF tracking to alleviate) but about noise introduced by IS mechanism. Hope that helps.
schaki: Yet not even APS-C sensor size...
E-620 body onlyWeight: 1.04 lbs ~470 gramsDimensions: 5.11" (W) x 3.7" (H) x 2.36" (D) ~ 130mm (W) x 94mm (H) x 60mm (D)
OM-D body onlyWeight: 15 oz. ~368 gramsDimensions: 4.8" (W) x 3.5" (H) x 1.7" (D) ~ 122mm (W) x 89mm (H) x 43mm (D)
So yeah, it's a lot smaller, and less weight (considering it has magnesium weather sealing, so it's pretty light!).
Though I have no problem with E-620's size, because the lenses I hood it with are pretty large, so it has to be larger. It's just OM-D is so small. OM-D is slightly smaller than E-P3 from the pictures, and that itself is smaller than E-620.
I really love E-620, and hoping it'll have a proper upgrade path with a 4/3 body, but (*sighs*). E-5 is both too big and too expensive. OM-D looks like the way to go, but maybe E-M6 would have Fuji style hybrid VF, which is useful for some scenes. EVF is getting better, but I really wish it has OLED and low light visibility of the OVF.
Francis Carver: Video capabilities here are bare-bone, nothing much better than what one can expect these days from a sub-$300 P&S. "Echo effects" -- plueeeese.
If you are looking to get the E-M5 primarily for quasi-serious VIDEO work, there are much better choices out there, it seems. Fortunately.
If I remember correctly, the optimal aperture for video is f/8 for more depth of control (not shallower depth of control). Larger sensor may mean depth of control is not as comfortable for most scenes. Shallow DoF has its use, of course, but most of the time, a scene must have context (background) in place to set the scene, not just focus on the characters or some random subject (like a flower).
Ashley Pomeroy: Also, given that you've got an OM-4, how about an article on that? Not exactly a digital camera, but it'd be fascinating to run it through the standard battery of tests (with e.g. TMAX and Velvia) just for yucks. You could add a really high-quality 35mm film scan to the comparisons section, just to show what our grandparents had to put up with.
Yes, very low ISO. It's Velvia 50. Provia 100F is 120 line per inch, I think. You can go to Fuji Film's website for official data.
And yes, by ISO 400, it'll get coarse, but modern generation of films are acceptable at ISO 400 (Kodak Portra 400 comes to mind). And it does make the photo looks a little less clean, but Portra 400's grain is kind of nice looking. Actually Olympus's "grain" (if you can call it that) is kind of good looking also. I rarely turn the NR up, and can even turn it off if lighting is good. It's mostly luminance noise, not chroma noise, so very little false color.
Jens_G: The Nex 7 is better looking, more compact, and has a much larger sensor.Then there's also the bonus of focus peaking.
@dbateman The new m.Zuiko 12-50mm is a weather sealed lens, so it's bigger. I can't imagine 4/3 lenses with adapter mounted would be smaller than that. Keep in mind the camera is really small, so the disproportional long lens looks kind of big on it.
Velvia's resolution is ~160 lines per mm and about 4300 pixel per inch. (somebody please do the calculation for me...). But 160 lines is official data.
Paul Farace: The OM-1,2,3,4 s used to have such beautiful HUGE prism viewfinders... and this EVF, no matter how nice, is never gonna rival glass! They teased me with this camera only to realize it has an EVF! Even if (and they are NOT) EVFs come to rival glass prisms, they still require power and are tough to build... com'on, don't tell me polishing glass prisms is that tough!
I think your argument about OVF size limitation is too technical for most people to understand. They'll probably read your post and move on to ramble about the look of the camera. ;-)
I do care for OVF, and wished this would have the hybrid VF of Fuji X Pro 1.... But a big viewfinder is better than nothing. BTW, the spec only mentioned the magnification, but no coverage. Though it's pretty given EVF usually have 100% accurate EVF. 92% 115% are just magnifications. If those are in FF figure, then it's really big already.
My 4/3 E-620 (with "only" 12MP) never embarrasses me when it comes to final outputs enlarged to 11x14" and compared with big cameras like Canon 5D or Nikon D300, seriously. The excellent Olympus 4/3 lenses (one day people will remember HG and SHG 4/3 lenses as legendary, if they aren't already) is what make the regular 4/3 systems so much better. The sensor size difference is negligible between 2 crop sensors, I don't know why people keep mentioning that. Compared to FF, then the argument holds, but like T3 said, it's about DoF control. I prefer Olympus's design that f/5.6 is most lenses' optimal aperture because it matches that f/4-8 optimal sensor range, so everything from f/4-f/8 will give you sharpest photos, which is under most normal daylight conditions. It's very easy to select proper lens for 4/3 cameras, because most Oly lenses start at f/2.8 so the sweet spot is that f/4-f/8. Coincidence or excellence in engineering?
cleverinstigator: FASTEST AF in the world.... that is something to take notice.
We'll see the result. Though I kind of having a suspicion about the claim myself, since E-3 with SWD lenses for 4/3 made the similar claim. I use an E-620, and SWD lenses are fast but not accurate in some situations (so I pick my AF point myself, which is a lot faster AND accurate at the same time, taking advantage of Oly's all cross-hair type focus point).
And what you said about tracking is also true. Unfortunately I find Panasonic's offering (in m4/3 world) is better at this. Though I prefer Oly's output color, IBIS and most of other features better, not to mention to use Oly lenses, I need that IBIS (Olympus lenses are better and cheaper, period). I buy things based on the entire package, so I'll wait until OM-D has better lenses line up (the two new lenses are too niche for me).
citizenlouie: Impression about this camera:
-There are other photos on other sites that offers photos of OM-D in people's hands and it's not really that ugly. Though I agree, classic OMs are nicer looking.-Finally they brought the E-PL2 grip to PEN line....-Buttons layout is too similar to E-5, even the nomenclature E-M5. I am suspecting it's to lure pro 4/3 crowd to m4/3 platform. This sounds like 4/3's unofficial eulogy.-Omission of IS button is unacceptable, not even programmable to one of the Fn buttons.... Weird.-Love the mesh textured grip. My OM4Ti is sure in hand even without the pronounced grip.-Weather seal Olympus style, head to toe, flash to grips, not just marketing tokens like competitors'.-The new FL-600R flash is extremely interesting. Hopefully it's weather sealed.-Hopefully the comment about f/6.3 diffraction limit about this sensor is false.... 4/3 lenses are optimal at f/5.6, with diffraction limit at f/11. This is a downgrade if it were true, despite the 16MP.
I mean a speech given to the deceased..., which is the definition of eulogy. (*googles*) Elegia is Spanish.
pacogwapo: why so ugly?
@T3 - Yeah. I think people quickly forgot about Fuji X100. So many people said it's an ugly camera, the same sort of attack people have here. But it's one of the most innovative products that possibly spores all the current trend of well-built, retro designs. Style is a very personal thing. I hope people could just remember it's a free market. If nobody wants it, it'll die itself. And then someone would just resurrect it as a cult classic.... Kind of like a Holga. LOL!
Lucas_: I understand old-timers Olympus owners liking the retro look, however to me it's quite ugly and "square". It looks a bit better with the optionalgrip. Anyway, I'd rather a G3 ( in the Oly line... )
@Lucas_ I guess round-square thingy is relative. When I first saw it, I thought it was too rounded to be called an OM....
Anyways, I hope you intend to buy it for shooting. I didn't like my E-620 at first (I thought it's too boxy, the irony), but grow fond of it with age. Hopefully you feel the same about OM-D (or your wife, or girlfriend or whatever, because it's flattering to them).
Don051348: There was a time (I'm 63) when I thought the OM line was drop dead gorgeous, almost jewel like, and while I can appreciate the resurrection of this shape (except for that way too high hump), it just doesn't really work for me anymore. I don't understand this current retro styling craze that's going on. In my opinion the Lumix GH2 is a much better looking camera but the in lens stabilization is a negative in my opinion. I'd prefer in body stabilization like the OMD. Why pay extra for In lens stabilization on every Panasonic lens, when you can pay for the stabilization one time on a Olympus body. I would have preferred an resurrected updated E620 style body to this OMD shape. The younger generations probably couldn't care less about this current retro thing.
I guess tastes do change, but it's nice to have a variety for people to choose from isn't it? I remember when I used to think the boxy rangefinder style to be really ugly, but now I am using some boxy rangefinders from 60's and 70's, and they really aren't as ergonomically bad as they look (if designed right! Material used is just as important as the look!).
Anyways, agree about E-620 style, but I am afraid while very functional, younger kids may not find that style exciting. It was the built-like tank feel that sold me the E-620, not the style.... But nowadays I feel it's an almost perfect design for my use. IF Olympus would use the E-520 style grip, it'll be the perfect DSLR design. But I am tempted to upgrade my E-620 to OM-D. And yay to no more mirror lock-up necessary (at the expense of no OVF...).
arhmatic: I think the design is briliant. A great departure from the 'melted soapbar' that everyone is following for no reason. This includes the latest Nikon d800. Curvier than ever. Why not make it a sphere, do it can double as a football?
Only comments on design: bump is too big. Move the AP port to the side and add internal flash built in. Also, it needs a more substantial grip, like it has with the accessory grip. It just has to be built in. This way battery space increases, for better functionality and aesthetics.
I don't think the bump is too big, but more like disproportional. Hopefully the final production model has some fine tuning about it. If it's a little wider, then the bump will look better especially when you consider it has to match the size of the lens mount to look aesthetically pleasing. Many of the Nikon's professional models look pinheaded also, despite of their good specs (actually look is never Nikon's strength..., but they're good cameras).
Moving the AP around is an interesting idea, but external flash is usually sit on direct top of the lens for a reason. Built-in flash with a relative small bump cannot raise high enough and will cause red-eye and cast a "lens shadow." Design a functional camera is a tricky business, isn't it?
Jens_G: Can't believe they actually stole the Nex tilting mechanism for the LCD.
Can't believe NEX 7 stole Olympus's WB preview in LiveView, and the styling is a boxier version of Olympus E-330 (actually many Olympus P&S cameras uses that styling).
Bob Meyer: Why in God's name are you comparing this to the G3? It's natural competitor is the GH2, not the G3, in spite of the fact that they share (probably) the same sensor. The OMD and GH2 are both the top models in their respective lines, they both have lots of external controls (the GH2 ever more than the OMD, it would seem).
It looks like a nice camera, but I have to wonder what's happened to DPR. You guys are looking less and less knowledgeable with every preview and review you publish.
To editors.... I hope this come across as a constructive criticism, but please do check for spelling errors before post the articles. My grammar isn't perfect myself, but I do strive to correct it if I catch it. But thank you for bringing out updated articles. I know it's not a small task.
zapatista: Well, the things that attracted me to switch to the Nex 5Nfrom a G3/E-PM1 are all addressed here, except maybe focus peaking.
-Higher Resolution Screen-Flip Up & Down (This is a really nice suprise)-More manual physical controls (Nex isn't good on this anyway except 7)-IBIS that would be better than E-PM1 would be awesome-Weather proofing is a nice +-Built in EVF is nice, but resolution still not that great.
However after all this, my biggest suprise might be that the MSRP-launch price isn't sky high! I need to read the full preview 1st, but i wonder if there's improved manual focus control.
hmmm, decisions, decisions...
Also much larger lenses....
ispress: Can the people who are claiming the OM-D is "butt ugly" kindly tell us which camera(s) you think are good looking? I don't ask this to be snarky. I'm genuinely curious, because I think the OM-D is drop dead gorgeous. If you don't like this kind of styling, what floats your boat?
I do find Fuji X1 Pro attractive, especially if you consider the lenses line up. But I think you guys are talking about external beauty, not internal one.... :-p
rusticus: against the Fuji Pro X1 is rather ugly, but Weatherproof