OMD E-M5 Vs G5?

Started Dec 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: the great G5 / GH2 versus OM-D video debate ...

Kim Letkeman wrote:

Anders W wrote:

I just pointed out the video advantages of the E-M5 that I had in mind and you couldn't mention a single one favoring the G5.

I thought you were just being passive aggressive the first time, and when you repeated the question I realized that is simply how you like to debate. I ignored the questions because there is a lot of info out there ... but since you and a few other kindred souls are going to bleat incessantly about it, I will answer as best I can below.

I have asked the question in earnest quite a few times and never got a response, just a restatement of your general claim. As to debate style, I find it perfectly in order that if somebody makes a general claim, as you did, to ask for a specification of the particulars behind that claim. I also think it's the responsibility of the person who makes the claim rather than to the party who questions it, to provide those particulars. That's all.

So in that department, we have the following plus points for the E-M5 over the G5:

  • Stabilization with any lens, not just OIS lenses
  • Higher-quality stabilization (stabilization specifically adapted to video shooting)
  • Less noise due to better sensor
  • Less jello effect

Regarding the four points (I'd do it inline, but this is a serious weakness in the DPReview editor right now.)

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True. I prefer to shoot from tripod, but this is useful for people who want to chase kids with unstabilized primes.

-- False. Panny lenses are adapted to video as well.

If they are, they are not quite as well adapted. The E-M5 IBIS works quite differently in video mode than in stills mode, focusing on minimizing jumps across frames rather than on minimizing shake within frames. If Panasonic does that too, it does it to a lesser extent in my experience.

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False. Video noise comes from many sources, including compression. This is going to be pretty much a tie with the G5 and probably a slaughter by the GH2 / GH3 (especially hacked) ...

What's your basis for saying it's a tie. While photon noise and read noise is not the only factor affecting video quality it certainly is one of them. So what does the G5 offer to compensate?

As to hacks, we are talking about the G5 versus the E-M5 here. Presumably, the hackers will be interested in hacking these two cameras too, and when they have done so with can come back to the comparison with the GH2.

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Might be true. Looks similar to the GH2, and the G5 has the same sensor. However, with very fast panning, the OM-D might be a bit more resistant. The rest of the Oly bodies are awful, so there is no decent cheap solution as there is with Panny.

Again, we are talking about the E-M5 versus the G5 here. Don't know what the other Olys are good for when it comes to video except that they lack the stabilization advantages provided by the E-M5 IBIS.

Additional comments on video ...

1) I like to record long sequences, so the 5m limitation on many dSLRs really bugs me. The MOV container seems to improve on this for Olympus, allowing up to 29m at 17mbps ... but that still requires that I have access to the camera and try to stop and restart at a good point for a break.

On the other hand, the Panny allows you to record until battery runs out, and of course you can record very long clips on AC power. I've even done this with the old ZS3 ...

All I know is that there is a general limit 30-minute limit for video recording on hybrid stills-video cameras to avoid having them classified as camcorders, which implies extra duties/tarifs. See here:

Are you saying there are any differences between the G5 and the E-M5 as far as this is concerned?

2) A commentary by Steve Huff mentions other obvious stuff ...

Although it does lack fine-grained audio levels control, built-in microphone connectivity, and the fine-grained control over framerates that are sometimes found on competing models, most non-professional videographers likely won't notice the absence of these features.

But, of course, the G5 shares some of those limitations. I suppose we'll wait to see if there are hacks forthcoming. The GH2 is cheaper now than G5 and about 1/3 the price of a fully decked out OM-D, so maybe that is the real competitor for the OM-Ds amazing video And it suffers none of these limitations.

3) Another Steve Huff comment.

Just as in the earlier PEN E-P3 model, Olympus has missed one trick with the M5's video-mode AF, however. Although the camera has a touch-screen panel, this is disabled during video recording, which to our mind is where Touch AF is at its most useful.

This can really matter if you like to do pull focus effects. The G5 can certainly do this. It also allows you to easily force focus where you want it if the camera cannot seem to find the preferred subject.

4) Another comment, although this relates as competition against the GH2.

There are, of course, some provisos. The ISO sensitivity range is reduced to ISO 200 to 3,200 equivalents during video capture, and Auto ISO isn't available in Manual mode. The slowest available shutter speed is 1/30 second. It's also worth noting that while Program Shift is available for still imaging, it isn't applicable to video capture.

The G5 has a low light recording mode, but I do not know if it is able to exceed 3200ISO. The GH2 absolutely is able and looks pretty amazing at much higher ISO.

In that clip, note also how little the rolling shutter effect is noticeable on staright upright lines like on the fence. I don't think it is a big deal.

5) And again from Steve ...

Perhaps more useful, though, is the ability to capture a still by fully pressing the Shutter button during recording. This does interrupt video capture for around four seconds or more, and the video is spanned across multiple files. The delay between video capture stopping and the still being captured is a good couple of seconds, even when using manual focus, so you'll need to anticipate the crucial moment if your subject isn't static, but it's still likely of more real-world use than the Movie + Still function.

On the other hand, the G5 has similar behavior (less destructive, but still pauses momentarily) in the same mode, but has the alternate mode where a 1080p still image is recorded silently and instantly. Obviously much more useful for the purpose of capturing a clean image for later freeze frame. And up to 30 of these freeze frame images can be recorded.

So ... there are some of the obvious differences ... The OM-D is definitely competition for the G5 with video, owing mainly to the ability to set exposure and hold it. But other ergonomics might matter more, as they do to me. Unlimited clip length, pull focus, that kind of thing.

The GH2, on the other hand, especially when hacked, stomps the OM-D at a much lower price. But then, most people don't seem to be buying the OM-D for video anyway ...

Edit: Just noticed this post:

I think you should now turn your attention to this fellow. After all, he has not substantiated his comments either. Else I would have to think that you really are just being passive aggressive with me specifically

OK. So the score is now 5-2 in favor of the E-M5 (exposure control added for the E-M5, touch-screen AF added for the G5).

And don't worry, if being "passive aggressive" is tantamount to just checking if people know what they are talking about, it's an art I am ready to practice on anyone.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
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