Leaving DSLR - pros and cons of X-E1 vs OM-D EM-5

Started Mar 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
Timur Born
Timur Born Veteran Member • Posts: 4,770
Re: Leaving DSLR - pros and cons of X-E1 vs OM-D EM-5

The 45/1.8 turns this

into this

I only handled the X-E1 at Photokina, but own the E-M5. Some things to mention:

- The EVF on the X-E1 lags even in relatively good light. The EVF of the E-M5 only lags in low light when exposure live preview is used, it can be made not to lag at the cost of getting a darker EVF image in low light.

- While the E-M5 offers eye detection as part of its face detection much too often it does not detect eyes and then focuses on the tip of the nose instead of in between the eyes. With shallow DOF this means that the eyes get out of focus. Additionally it often detects faces in objects that don't even closely resemble a face. Face detection on my Fujifilm X10 is more reliable and even detects faces from the side, but does not offer eye detection.

Just to mention it, albeit you don't seem to need it: Shallow DOF of a larger crop sensor is a disadvantage for face detection, because faces get soft enough to not be detected until the plane of focus is close enough.

- Shallow DOF of the larger sensor is a disadvantage when you need more DOF at fast apertures. But again, this likely is not a problem for your usage case.

- The buttons are really too small on the E-M5 and especially the FN1 button is placed badly. But in practice you press those buttons a lot less than when testing a camera in a shop or for the first weeks of usage. My hands are far from being delicate (I am 1.90m), but I have little to no issues handling the buttons without accidentally hitting something wrong. Still the trend of larger screens and smaller buttons is not in my interest.

- Left eye shooters may or may not prefer the center placement of the E-M5's hump. You need to get used to being in the way of your own hand trying to reach buttons and wheels. Still works well enough, especially since the eyepiece seems to be a bit farther away from the screen compared to the X-E1. Right eye shooters are still better off, not only because of more room for the hand, but because their nose and right hand block off more light from the viewfinder.

- Focusing on the E-M5 is quick for several reasons. One of them being that it tries to stay close to the last plane of focus when the frame didn't change much. Unfortunately I did not specifically test how the X-E1 handles this, but the X10 does a full focus re-hunt every time you half-press the shutter button even when your last target is still perfectly sharp in focus. This not only takes more time, but also can lead to different results when two planes are within the focus frame. If you have two planes within the focus frame of the E-M5 it tends to stay on target, which usually is an advantage. The two images above were done for testing the AF behavior, that's why there is a green box drawn in.

 Timur Born's gear list:Timur Born's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +3 more
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