OM-D and G5 side by side comparison with surprising results

Started Oct 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
Bob Meyer Veteran Member • Posts: 5,375
Re: A question of durability:

That's really hard to guess. The OM-D certainly has a more rugged body, but I've never broken the body on any camera, no matter how "plasticky" it might be. Unless you're a PJ, I don't think the body is likely to be a point of failure.

edit:  I take that back.  I did have an OM-2 back in the 70's that literally fell apart, and it wasn't even abused. But I still have an all plastic Canon G2 that works fine.

OTOH, the OM-D seems to have more warranty issues reported on this and other forums than any camera I've seen in the recent past. Failing EVFs, the top dial falling off, a few other things. A small percentage, no doubt, but it's still somewhat concerning. My suspicion is that if an individual camera makes it through the first 5 or 6 months without any problems, it'll be fine, but...

A key factor in product reliability (in general, not camera specific) is complexity. The more complex a product is, the more failure points there are. I think there's not a lot of difference between these two over all, except for one thing.  The 5-way IBIS is brand new, and certainly more complex that the fixed sensor in the G5. If OIS fails in a lens, the lens is probably still usable. If IBIS fails in an OM-D, will that be true?  I have no idea. The old IBIS hasn't been a trouble spot, either.

I'm not trying to say the OM-D will be unreliable. Mainly I'm trying to say it's hard to predict, and the construction of the body shell probably isn't a good indicator.

I think, in general, both manufacturer's have an enviable record of reliability, but the OM-D has been a bit disappointing, IMHO, based on forum reports.

(I bet this post gets me a bunch of thumbs down from the Oly faithful. God forbid someone should criticize the love of their lives.)

Oh, one more thought:  A decade is an eternity. Who can predict what will happen. Maybe just more of the same:  better DR, more MP, lower noise, better IS, etc. But 10 years in electronics is a very long time. At least 5 generations of processors. We could see dramatic changes in the next 10 years. Think Lytro, but with excellent resolution and color, true 3D, and the ability to shift perspective. Think liquid lenses with a 10X zoom range in something the size of the current 20mm (probably a stretch, but the technology exists in the lab today). How about gigapixel sensors that eliminate the need for zooms at all: just crop to get the composition you want? Or sensors with today's pixel density but low noise from ISO 25 to ISO 256,000?  I don't know if any of these will come to pass, but I'm pretty sure there will be other advances we can't predict.

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I've stopped thinking in terms of "equivalent" focal lengths on m43. 25mm is what it is, and what it might be similar to on some other format doesn't matter to me any more. We need to learn what to expect from our current equipment, not keep mapping it to the old. No one refers to their 50mm FF lens as "equivalent to 80mm on MF."

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