Let's be clear, the ONLY thing about E-M1 that matters is...

Started Aug 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,488
The difference isn't nearly as obvious as it once was

In the old days of 5D vs E1, the larger sensor was better in just about any photograph. These days, you have to be in a very demanding situation, or claim to have a demanding situation, to notice any serious difference.

At the low to mid ISO's, up to 3200, I don't see much difference between the EM5, the 5Dxxx the D800, 1Dx or Dx, at least by DPR's comparitive images. That's not true under all situations, the dpr image is a limited one, but the hard fact is: years ago, 5D vs E1 in the dpr images showed a big difference in IQ, whereas EM5 vs contemporary FF today using the same scene doesn't show much if any difference. Don't take my word for it - go look for yourself.

MP difference? 5mp E1 to 10mp 5D made a huge difference. 16mp EM5 to 20mp 5DIII... meh. Even the 32mp D800... who among us actually has a use for 32mp, when most photos are displayed as web images at around 2-3mp?

ISO difference? E1 was noisy beyond ISO400, while 5D was clean to 800, cleanable at 3200. My EM5 is clean to 3200, cleanable at 6400. How many of us have a practical use for ISO57600? Not many.

Shadow noise? Not on my EM5. Looks great, as is the ability to really crank shadows and highlights. I see why FF owners of years past really raved about the PP headroom. This is sweet. You potential EM1 owners are going to love this PP headroom.

Shallow DOF? Quite true, until you go to long tele, and that shallow DOF becomes a real problem. You buy a $5k 300 F2.8, but have to stop it down to 5.6 just to get enough DOF back. That was an expensive exercise. The same holds true with lesser force for very close macro - 4/3's deeper DOF is a real bonus there.

And size... I've used a 1DsIII. With grip and fast L glass, it is not small. Great setup, unbelievable C-AF, but geez, it's like holding a cinderblock up to your face. I'm in good shape, but even I can see the advantages of the sleek little EM5 as compared to that monster.

True the EM5 won't shoot at ISO100. I can spend $7k to get a pro grade FF body and glass. Or I can spend $50 on a set of ND filters.

Another bonus for the EM5: it's 5 axis IBIS is more effective for both stills and video than the OIS that Canon and Nikon stiff their customers for. In all fairness, the extra bulk and weight probably add to the FF system's stability, so maybe they're about even with that factored in. You still have to pay for OIS on lenses.

I fully concede that the pro grade FF bodies are very good tools, superior to the EM5 in many ways. They're also huge, as is the glass, both are very expensive. DR on both FF and EM5/EM1 are very good, to where further improvement is hard to notice. Current sensor tech has boosted both FF and 4/3 sensors so far that the old two stops advantage doesn't come into play in any but very rare situations. Is it worth the difference in size, weight, and price?

The answer to that is not nearly as clear cut as it once was. If my experience with EM5+ZD zooms is any indication, the EM1+ZD glass will only blur that dividing line even further.

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