Question About OM-D for the OM-D Users

Started May 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sergey Borachev Veteran Member • Posts: 4,260
Re: Question About OM-D for the OM-D Users
1

kcamacho11 wrote:

Greetings to all. I am actually using my brother's account here to get some feedback from some of you. I rather get it from here, as I am tired of asking the salesmen from a few camera shops which gave me short answers, trying to push me to finalize the purchase. He tells me he spends a lot of time here and thinks it's a great forum, where a lot of questions are always greatly answered.

Hi, I have studied the mirrorless cameras available in huge detail before buy the E-m5.

Anyways, I have few questions which I am sure have been brought up before in this forum, but I cannot find the answer to them. Do not get me wrong, but I would just want some honest answers, and nothing biased. If I were asking these same questions in an NEX forum, I would ask for the same.

I am ditching my DSLR gear (tired of carrying it around) and I am switching to mirrorless.

My brother has an NEX-7, and his wife an NEX-6. He is trying to sway me towards the NEX-6 / 7 but I am willing to do some research first. The only other camera I have in mind aside from the NEX-6 or NEX-7 is the OM-D. I know when it comes to video, the NEX 6/7 are far better, but I never shoot video, so I could care less about that issue. No local camera stores have the OM-D in stock where I can go and try them out, so I wanted go get some input from OM-D users.

A few concerns I have:

- Image quality......I am aware the OM-D contains a smaller M43 sensor, as compared to the larger APS-C sensor. How is the overall image quality? Dynamic range? High ISO performance? Detail?

Image quality is very close to NEX-6 or 7. Unless you blow up very big, the difference can be neglected. DPReview's review of the E-M5, in the conclusion, said you have to go to Full Frame DSLR to get any significant improvement.  Image quality also depends on lens quality and here, M43 lenses have an advantage.  They are in general better, unless you go for the super expensive and big Zeiss for the NEX.  There are also many more choices, meaning less cropping or unsuitable lens applications, again compensating for any small difference in IQ.

I guess my question is, does an OM-D with kit 12-50 lens compare in image quality as to the NEX-7 with kit lens? Or because of it having a smaller sensor, would I need to have some nice glass on the OM-D for it to match to the APS-C image quality, depth of field, etc?

The 12-50mm is an extremely versatile lens, the most versatile of all lenses ever made based on what I know. As such, it has compromises and is softer than other lenses, but is still about the same as most kit lenses.  The Sony kit lenses has less features.  I use 12-50mm all the time as it is great travelling, for inclement weather, for super wide shots, macro, motorised zooming in video, as a short tele or portrait lens, all without changing lenses.  With a great camera like the E-M5, you really should get some other lenses, which will then give you best IQ for those times when you need it.  For general purposes, the 12-50mm is so convenient, but it is not as sharp as some shorter range zooms or narrower view zooms.  And for landscape, a more expensive quality lens would provide much better results.

I shoot family/vacation and landscape photos with some low light as well.

Another reason I ask is because I have seen some photos of certain OM-D users around the internet (Flickr in particular), and some do not look right to me. In some pictures I saw of someone who took them on a cruise vacation, when he took pictures of his family in a certain distance (not close to him), the depth of field seemed pretty bad. The family looked a bit "Washed out" and it was hard to determine the depth of field between them and the cruise they were standing in front of (which seemed pretty far away). He was using the 14-150 lens, could it have been a bad copy????

It is not good to rely on flickr photos to assess cameras as we do not know how skilled or careful the photographer is when making the shots displayed. Even the most professional cameras have been used to take mediocre photos.  Better check the reviews.

- The grip of the OM-D? From looking at pictures, it seems a bit rather uncomfortable to firmly hold. The grip on the NEX 6 and 7 sure makes them rather easily to firmly hold and shoot away.

The lack of a proper grip is the biggest complaint from me.  However, it can be corrected with an add-on grip. That adds additional bulk, but it does provide more grip than what is available in the NEX cameras then.  The J.B. Designs grip, for example, does a good job with negligible additional weight and costs $46 from Amazon, but you can also get fancier ones.  The Olympus ones will cost $260 or so and are much more flexible and well featured, but they also mean a lot of screwing around, as you need to remove them to change battery.  Compared to NEX cameras, however, a cheap grip will give you a more comfortable grip, albeit with more bulk.

- Low light photography. Does anyone have some photos they can upload or any links which show sample photos of night sceneries, or city skylines, or basically any low light photography in particular with long exposures? This is a big thing for me, and I would like to see how the OM-D holds up.

Not my forte but I am sure others will show you photos.

Note the LiveBulb feature.  It is made for you.

- The EVF....is it really that bad as some say it is?

The EVF is the best in real-life use according to many reviewers due to the high response rate and the wider view (important for glass wearers).  While the NEX-7 has higher resolution, they picked the E-M5 as the one having the best EVF because it is more comfortable in use, e.g. Thom (sansmirror.com) and the reviewer in Luminous Landscape. The main problem seems to be eye movement or the difficulty of keeping the eye dead centre as apparently required for some EVF to avoid issues.  You may not be affected however.

- If I want to shoot my pictures in 3:2 ratio instead of 4:3Th, would it still maintain 16MP in resolution? Or would the OM-D crop the image making it smaller in resolution, like 14MP for example?

Yes, the resolution would be reduced.

Any other input or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

The E-M5 has tiny dials and buttons, which is any problem for some people, although the NEX is just as bad.  However, due to weatherproofing, the E-M5's buttons are more rubbery or not as responsive.

If you are a left eye dominant person, your right thumb could be too close to the face and eyes for comfort when using the E-M5, when turning the back dial.  I am used to it, and others have compensate by using their forefinger to turn that dial (from the front), i.e. using the same forefinger to turn both the front and the back dial. Many do not have a problem.

The E-M5 would be more likely to be affected by shutter shock than a NEX. This also depends on the lens used as some lens are particularly prone to this due to the vibration of the shutter.  Based on reports, it is only a problem when you shoot at around 1/125 sec and with a few particular lenses and only if you need very big enlargements. Many users do not notice this at all, but many do.  This affects most cameras to varying degrees, but the E-M5 has a specific setting to deal with this, unlike other Olympus models.  There shutter delay setting (e.g. setting it to 1/8 sec delay) allows vibrations to die down and fixes this if it does become an issue.

Another complaint of mine is that the flash is not built in the E-M5.  The NEX-6 is definitely better here.  This means you will have to choose whether to use a flash or an accessory like a microphone, and also fiddle with putting them on.  Annoying as there are little parts and covers to take off and keep, and to do so for a tiny weak flash was too much.  Leaving it on mean an awkward shape for storage and potential damage.  This and the tiny buttons are the worst points for me in the E-M5.

However, there are many other differences in favour of the E-M5, e.g. the much better AF compared to the NEX, and the excellent IBIS, the higher flash sync speed (1/250s) possible, and of course the weatherproofing, that together make the camera better when considered as a total package of all the parts.

There are weaknesses with all cameras and I can tell you a lot more weaknesses for the NEX cameras, but it would be wasting time.  Don't be put off by the weakness I mentioned.  I have done the hard detailed work going through a lot more details than I can write here.  All I will say is that I check very very thoroughly over nearly a year before I bought, and I bought the E-M5.  I do landscape, street, travelling, family, event and also model shooting.

Thanks in advance!

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