EM-5 at Focus on Imagining, quick first impression

Started Mar 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Julie Sinar Regular Member • Posts: 239
EM-5 at Focus on Imagining, quick first impression


I went to Focus on Imaging at the NEC Birmingham, England yesterday and managed to have a little play with the EM-5.

There only seemed to be couple of cameras to go around, and there were lots of people queueing to hold it so I only had a little time, I held the chrome one and the black one with the grips.

First impressions when I saw the camera was how small it was, much smaller than the pictures suggest. I was impressed at how really well made the body felt, it felt very good in the hand, much better than my Panasonic G2 (not that that is much of an achievement , the G2 is very plasticy) The body certainly felt more like my Nikon D700 in build quality than the G2.

It looked really nice in Chrome, it reminded me of the first camera i owned, an Olympus OM 10.

I must admit to being a bit disappointed with the feel of the buttons, the mode dial was very loose, and the buttons on the back of the camera did not feel particularly brilliant, that said, they were not bad, certainly better than the G2, and would probably be something you would quickly not even notice.

As I only had a short play i can't really comment on performance, it certainly did seem to AF very quickly, and generally it felt very responsive.

The viewfinder did seem smaller than my G2, I wish I had bought my G2 with me so I could compare it, sadly, Panasonic were not at the show so I could not go to there stand and check the viewfinder of the G3/GH2 to compare, but as a first impression (that could be wrong) I did seem a bit smaller.

I did not like the kit lens, it had a small diameter but it was quite long, I did not like the zoom feel (zoom by wire?), it did not feel direct, that said in the UK it's only an extra £150 over the body only, so if I got the EM-5 I would get the kit lens as well just so I had something I could use in inclement weather, I don't think I'd ever use in for shooting in good weather though.

The grip on the black EM-5 felt really nice, I"m not sure I'd use it, but its definitely a nice addition.

Overall I got a very positive impression of the camera, I was really hoping once i'd handled it i'd know if I wanted it or not (especially as there was such a good pre-order deal at the show), but I left it undecided. I am going to upgrade my G2, but I'm not sure if it will be to a GH2, OMD or wait for the GH3 to see what that brings to the table.

If the EM-5 had a swivel screen instead of a tilt screen i would have pre-ordered for sure. One of my main wants in a new camera is the highest dynamic range at base ISO (using RAW) , so I"m going to wait for tests to the EM-5 to see how it compare to the GH2.

The offer at Focus on Imaging was if you pre-ordered the EM-5 you got the following free:

Grip (rrp: £230)
Case ( £100)
Battery (£60)
Grips Strap (£30)

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Nikon D700 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
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