Olympus OMD or Canon 650D

Started Aug 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
Dixa Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: Olympus OMD or Canon 650D

Kia Heng wrote:

Hi All,

1) Autofocus speed and accuracy

a) Is Olympus OMD contrast detection AF as fast as Canon 650D phase detection AF for well lit and low light situation for single shot? Reviews have been saying that Olympus OMD autofocus is amazingly fast, but did not make a comparision to phase detection AF used in 650D.

the 600 and 650d use hybrid focusing. it's both pdaf and cdaf. in live view it's cdaf and extremely slow compared to the om-d. if you have no problem keeping the camera to your face all of the time, then the pdaf of the 650d will perform better when using ai servo and following fast moving objects.

b) Comparing both cameras, which one has a more accurate autofocus? Understand that contrast AF is more accurate that phase AF in general, but not sure about these 2 cameras.

right out of the box the om-d will give you more accurate autofocus. canon cameras have for the last 8 years a history of hit or miss af, requiring you to send both body and lenses back to canon for calibration. the only exception to this appears to be the 5d mk3 and 1dx with the new lenses.

2) Image quality

a) Although Olympus OMD has smaller sensor than Canon 650D, several reviews state that the jpeg quality is great. But how good is it as compared to Canon 650D?

the om-d has some of the best jpegs out of the camera, at the expense of exposure on the raw if you do raw+jpeg. it tends to underexpose the raw file by 0.5 to 2.0 ev and this can lead to more noise than expected

b) Comparing colour accuracy, which is better?

neither. one may be more pleasing to you than the other if you are a jpeg shooter. if yo are not shooting in a wide gamut color space and doing custom white balance for every lighting condition, your color is not accurate. accurate color also tends to be somewhat flat when you actually see it in print or on a monitor.

c) For ISO noise, Canon 650D having a larger sensor, should perform better that Olympus OMD. However, many have said Olympus OMD made a vast improvement in ISO noise. How good is it as compared to Canon 650D?

if you are shooting jpeg, both cameras will do noise reduction and it may not be noticeable up through 1600 iso. technically the 650d should have cleaner iso 100 files than the om-d has iso 200 files.

Appreciate some advice in the following. Feel free to input some of your personal opinions and experiences as well.


the decision is - dslr with large lenses, or small mirrorless with small lenses

you need to look at the entire system and evaluate your needs.

Canon - small camera. plastic body, yet heavier than the om-d (0.52 kg vs 0.43 kg). 650d one of the only dslr's that will auto focus in movie mode, but does so very slowly. live view focusing (using the lcd to take the picture) uses cdaf, not pdaf and is very slow, however the camera does have an optical viewfinder. 2 more megapixels than the om-d which may as well be zero more megapixels the difference is that small. shoots in traditional 3:2 ratio at full resolution so 4x6, 8x12, 12x18 don't need cropping. the kit lens is decent but if you have a discerning eye you will be yearning to replace it very quickly. no weather sealing. smaller buffer, less fps continuous shooting. will give you substantially more shots per battery charge provided you don't shoot entirely in live view.

pricing for accessories : grip - 136, battery - 44 and actually available

lenses: about the same price as m43 with a few outliers mainly in primes. canon has primes that are both more and less expensive than olympus/panasonic equivalents.

Olympus - small body, slightly smaller than the om film camera it's based on. full af in movie modes. super fast af, decent af on moving subjects. electronic viewfinder that works quite well. shoots 4:3 aspect ratio so no cropping needed for 8x10, but cropping needed for most other sizes. both kit lenses are fantastic and blow away the canon and nikon kit lenses. weather sealed. good sized buffer, write speed and fps. you will want a second battery but they are hard to find. in body image stabilization means that every lens you use is stabilized, even old manual focus lenses with adapters.

accessories: grip - 299 (about same price as 5d grip btw), battery - 49 (if you find one)

lenses: usually people compliment the kit camera with the 199 olympus 45-150 which is an amazingly sharp and contrasty lens for the price. panasonic has recently put out an image stabilized 12-35 2.8 which is equivalent to a 24-70 2.8 on canon. the lens is 1200. the canon 24-70 2.8 II is 2299 and not image stabilized. you can find the previous version used for 1200-1500. panasonic 12-35 2.8 weights 305 grams. canon 24-70 weighs 803g.

financially once you add future lenses purchases the systems are about even. the dilemma is that the choice lenses for m43 (panasonic 25mm 1.4, olympus 75mm 1.8) are hard to find as are bodies and batteries. you have more pancake lens options in m43 than dslr, and you can go to even smaller bodies like the panasonic gf5 or olympus PEN cameras to compliment the om-d for when yo uwant something that will actually fit in your jeans pocket. you can't go any smaller or lighter than the digital rebels. the m43 system has serious holes lens wise at the telephoto range (100mm+, which is 200mm on the camera) and due to the fact it uses actually shorter focal lengths to achieve equivalent field of view, depth of field is greater. if you want to isolate your subject from the background you need both fast glass and less distance to subject, even with the 45mm 1.8

you can't go wrong with either. based on your two questions though the om-d comes out a little ahead - if you can find one.

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