Specs or performance, which is most important?

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Adrian Harris
Adrian Harris Veteran Member • Posts: 5,590
Specs or performance, which is most important?
14

Regarding the new em1-mk3, many people here are criticising the new camera for its stated specs. However as a heavy user and in many branches of photography what I see are many improvements that look like they will make a substantial difference to obtaining superb results from an already incredible camera.

To those who are more concerned about paper specsheets than photos I understand your disappointment. But for those out in the field that have to bring back results this new camera looks like a real winner.

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technotic Contributing Member • Posts: 592
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?

Adrian Harris wrote:

Regarding the new em1-mk3, many people here are criticising the new camera for its stated specs. However as a heavy user and in many branches of photography what I see are many improvements that look like they will make a substantial difference to obtaining superb results from an already incredible camera.

To those who are more concerned about paper specsheets than photos I understand your disappointment. But for those out in the field that have to bring back results this new camera looks like a real winner.

I always go with specs.

rgs_45
rgs_45 Senior Member • Posts: 1,235
Performance!
11

What's good are specs if it can't perform?

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3dwag
3dwag Veteran Member • Posts: 4,319
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
2

Adrian Harris wrote:

Regarding the new em1-mk3, many people here are criticising the new camera for its stated specs. However as a heavy user and in many branches of photography what I see are many improvements that look like they will make a substantial difference to obtaining superb results from an already incredible camera.

I’m with you, Adrian.  I’m preordering the EM1iii from my local dealer after they open a bit later today!

I have been very happy with my EM1ii for nearly 3 years, but so many UI, operational, and performance tweaks all add up to a significant improvement for my purposes.

To those who are more concerned about paper specsheets than photos I understand your disappointment. But for those out in the field that have to bring back results this new camera looks like a real winner.

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Denjw
Denjw Veteran Member • Posts: 6,440
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?

I see a number of improvements/additions which will make the EM1.3 a more well rounded camera than the EM1.2.

But performance is the overriding factor.

For me its the performance in the AF system which will be the key to whether I consider it a worthwhile upgrade.

Olympus continually pump up the AF performance when they release each E-M1 iteration.

From Olympus press release:

"High Speed Sequential Shooting

"This camera is equipped with 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor for tracking subjects across a wide range quickly and accurately. AF information from recorded images is also used even during sequential shooting, more easily tracking subjects that move unpredictably. It offers 75% vertical coverage and 80% horizontal coverage of the screen for a wide focusing area. Paired with the advanced AF algorithm, this feature can continually focus on fast-moving subjects with a high degree of precision. Unlike DSLR cameras, there is no degradation in AF precision when using a fast lens."

I look forward to reviews confirming this but I fear it will still lag behind other format mirrorless competitors like Sony.

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Wu Jiaqiu
Wu Jiaqiu Forum Pro • Posts: 25,438
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
1

surely the specs have to fit into your wants so you can buy or try and see if the performance is actually what you expected, to be honest most gear is good enough these days, i'll happily use anything if the price is right

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the computer says no

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Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 8,809
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
3

Adrian Harris wrote:

Regarding the new em1-mk3, many people here are criticising the new camera for its stated specs. However as a heavy user and in many branches of photography what I see are many improvements that look like they will make a substantial difference to obtaining superb results from an already incredible camera.

To those who are more concerned about paper specsheets than photos I understand your disappointment. But for those out in the field that have to bring back results this new camera looks like a real winner.

On what are we to base our pre-purchase assessment Adrian ?

We have the published specs and the opinions of reviewers, and hopefully soon we’ll get reports from owners who are not affiliated with Olympus Corp.

So far I see nothing that tells me the camera does CAF-Tr any better than the Mark II, or that its PDAF with the legacy 4/3 lenses is any faster or more precise.

In order to try it in the field I’d have to take a risk and buy one. If the specs jumped right up and told me that the basic camera was much better then I would take that risk. But as it stands it just looks like a Mark 2 with some new features I don’t need.

So not much enthusiasm here

peter

Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 20,074
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
1

It depends on what you mean by “specs”.

The specifications sheets published on this site are badly out of date. They include many items that have little or no interest, e.g. whether the camera supports PASM modes, and miss some really crucial specs like maximum fps rate with Liveview and the sensor readout time.

The specs tell you almost nothing about how well the camera handles, not even whether it has one or two control wheels. They don’t mention any of the computational photography capabilities like HHHR, pre-capture, HDR, focus stacking, ND filter simulation, etc. They also don’t tell you anything about how well the AF system works.

Feedback from actual users is much more useful.

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Chris R

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G Dickson Contributing Member • Posts: 819
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?

Chris R-UK wrote:

It depends on what you mean by “specs”.

The specifications sheets published on this site are badly out of date. They include many items that have little or no interest, e.g. whether the camera supports PASM modes, and miss some really crucial specs like maximum fps rate with Liveview and the sensor readout time.

The specs tell you almost nothing about how well the camera handles, not even whether it has one or two control wheels. They don’t mention any of the computational photography capabilities like HHHR, pre-capture, HDR, focus stacking, ND filter simulation, etc. They also don’t tell you anything about how well the AF system works.

Feedback from actual users is much more useful.

Exactly. Beyond certain basics like FPS, number of pixels and similar it is all about user feedback from people I know have similar use cases to my own. Which is why I bought (and am very satisfied with) a canon 6dmkii. A camera which on specs alone (DR in particular) got slammed.

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cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 4,505
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?

Denjw wrote:

I see a number of improvements/additions which will make the EM1.3 a more well rounded camera than the EM1.2.

But performance is the overriding factor.

For me its the performance in the AF system which will be the key to whether I consider it a worthwhile upgrade.

Olympus continually pump up the AF performance when they release each E-M1 iteration.

From Olympus press release:

"High Speed Sequential Shooting

"This camera is equipped with 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor for tracking subjects across a wide range quickly and accurately. AF information from recorded images is also used even during sequential shooting, more easily tracking subjects that move unpredictably. It offers 75% vertical coverage and 80% horizontal coverage of the screen for a wide focusing area. Paired with the advanced AF algorithm, this feature can continually focus on fast-moving subjects with a high degree of precision. Unlike DSLR cameras, there is no degradation in AF precision when using a fast lens."

I look forward to reviews confirming this but I fear it will still lag behind other format mirrorless competitors like Sony.

Read the existing reviews of the e-m1mk2 it is identical spec's.

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Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 8,809
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
5

Denjw wrote:

I see a number of improvements/additions which will make the EM1.3 a more well rounded camera than the EM1.2.

But performance is the overriding factor.

For me its the performance in the AF system which will be the key to whether I consider it a worthwhile upgrade.

Olympus continually pump up the AF performance when they release each E-M1 iteration.

From Olympus press release:

"High Speed Sequential Shooting

"This camera is equipped with 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor for tracking subjects across a wide range quickly and accurately. AF information from recorded images is also used even during sequential shooting, more easily tracking subjects that move unpredictably. It offers 75% vertical coverage and 80% horizontal coverage of the screen for a wide focusing area. Paired with the advanced AF algorithm, this feature can continually focus on fast-moving subjects with a high degree of precision. Unlike DSLR cameras, there is no degradation in AF precision when using a fast lens."

I look forward to reviews confirming this but I fear it will still lag behind other format mirrorless competitors like Sony.

Dennis, I’ve already read one of the reviews (PetaPixel ?) where the Tr Mode was dismissed as not very usable and the reviewer switched back to ordinary CAF Mode. That to me sounds like the Mark II all over again. After all this time have they not got it to work ???

After 2 major updates of the Mark II, then the X and now the Mark III I reckon OLYMPUS has had ample time for testing and development to achieve a truly superb camera. And each time we just get the same - nice pics from Iceland or Costa Rica and a lot of talk about IBIS improvement and HRes mode.

I get the feeling that Olympus has hit their ceiling, and the other makers have a lot more headroom.

peter

cba_melbourne Senior Member • Posts: 1,769
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
1

What is the difference?

Specs are the guaranteed minimum performance.

Any performance above the specs is of course nice to have, but you are not entitled to.

If the spec of a car say it does 200km/hour on a flat highway, and your neighbor's same car does 220kmh and yours only 201kmh, you have no claim.

If the spec say it has an ashtray and yours doesn't, you have a claim.

Trivial things like frame rate you can easily check. But the really important things are not even listed in a camera spec sheets. Like DR or noise or shutter accuracy etc..

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Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 16,245
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
1

I think there is something more important than either; are you comfortable with the camera.  I feel like I was the crash test dummy for the G9 and it was made especially for me.  It stands to reason that any camera where you fill the affinity is likely to perform better than one which is uncomfortable.  Obviously it has to perform in the way that you are asking but when it all comes together you have a great camera.  Specs are completely irrelevant other than as a guide to whether it is likely to perform for you.

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Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 16,245
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?

cba_melbourne wrote:

Trivial things like frame rate you can easily check. But the really important things are not even listed in a camera spec sheets. Like DR or noise or shutter accuracy etc..

….or can you reach the buttons

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Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 4,112
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
2

technotic wrote:

Adrian Harris wrote:

Regarding the new em1-mk3, many people here are criticising the new camera for its stated specs. However as a heavy user and in many branches of photography what I see are many improvements that look like they will make a substantial difference to obtaining superb results from an already incredible camera.

To those who are more concerned about paper specsheets than photos I understand your disappointment. But for those out in the field that have to bring back results this new camera looks like a real winner.

I always go with specs.

Is this one of your images? Good job.

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Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 4,112
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
2

Messier Object wrote:

Denjw wrote:

I see a number of improvements/additions which will make the EM1.3 a more well rounded camera than the EM1.2.

But performance is the overriding factor.

For me its the performance in the AF system which will be the key to whether I consider it a worthwhile upgrade.

Olympus continually pump up the AF performance when they release each E-M1 iteration.

From Olympus press release:

"High Speed Sequential Shooting

"This camera is equipped with 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor for tracking subjects across a wide range quickly and accurately. AF information from recorded images is also used even during sequential shooting, more easily tracking subjects that move unpredictably. It offers 75% vertical coverage and 80% horizontal coverage of the screen for a wide focusing area. Paired with the advanced AF algorithm, this feature can continually focus on fast-moving subjects with a high degree of precision. Unlike DSLR cameras, there is no degradation in AF precision when using a fast lens."

I look forward to reviews confirming this but I fear it will still lag behind other format mirrorless competitors like Sony.

Dennis, I’ve already read one of the reviews (PetaPixel ?) where the Tr Mode was dismissed as not very usable and the reviewer switched back to ordinary CAF Mode. That to me sounds like the Mark II all over again. After all this time have they not got it to work ???

After 2 major updates of the Mark II, then the X and now the Mark III I reckon OLYMPUS has had ample time for testing and development to achieve a truly superb camera. And each time we just get the same - nice pics from Iceland or Costa Rica and a lot of talk about IBIS improvement and HRes mode.

I get the feeling that Olympus has hit their ceiling, and the other makers have a lot more headroom.

Next time you get a feeling be sure to let us know.

peter

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cba_melbourne Senior Member • Posts: 1,769
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
1

Trevor Carpenter wrote:

cba_melbourne wrote:

Trivial things like frame rate you can easily check. But the really important things are not even listed in a camera spec sheets. Like DR or noise or shutter accuracy etc..

….or can you reach the buttons

Yes. You would not buy a car without a test drive. Yet, the controls in cars are far more similar and standardized, than those in cameras.

Specs are good to find out if a camera would by and large fit your wants. And if it is reasonable value for money. One can download the user manual too.

Reviews help to narrow the selection for those that cannot simply go to a camera store nearby, and try for themselves.

But in the end, nothing beats your own test drive.

There is also a risk though with a test drive. You just visit that store for an informal look, just to see what it is about. And you may fall in love and simply take her home. Happened to me with the Pen-F. Luckily, turned out we are not too bad a match. But honestly, it would not have made a difference if she had only 16MP, it was an unplanned impulse decision without spec sheet. And the strange thing is... I do not regret it at all.

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DLBlack Forum Pro • Posts: 14,283
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?

It takes a lot of knowledge of Olympus cameras get C-AF and C-AF with Tracking to work at it's best.  A initial reviewer that is not knowledgeable of Olympus cameras and how to set them up is not going to get the best out of C-AF with Tracking.  Let's see how a few of the wildlife and bird photographers that use the E-M1X has to say about the E-M1 Mkiii.

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Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 4,112
Re: Specs or performance, which is most important?
1

G Dickson wrote:

Chris R-UK wrote:

It depends on what you mean by “specs”.

The specifications sheets published on this site are badly out of date. They include many items that have little or no interest, e.g. whether the camera supports PASM modes, and miss some really crucial specs like maximum fps rate with Liveview and the sensor readout time.

The specs tell you almost nothing about how well the camera handles, not even whether it has one or two control wheels. They don’t mention any of the computational photography capabilities like HHHR, pre-capture, HDR, focus stacking, ND filter simulation, etc. They also don’t tell you anything about how well the AF system works.

Feedback from actual users is much more useful.

Exactly. Beyond certain basics like FPS, number of pixels and similar it is all about user feedback from people I know have similar use cases to my own. Which is why I bought (and am very satisfied with) a canon 6dmkii. A camera which on specs alone (DR in particular) got slammed.

http://www.sulasula.com/en/olympus-e-m1-mark-iii-in-costa-rica-1/

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Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 4,112
If you want to use an automobile analogy use F-1
2

cba_melbourne wrote:

What is the difference?

Specs are the guaranteed minimum performance.

Any performance above the specs is of course nice to have, but you are not entitled to.

If the spec of a car say it does 200km/hour on a flat highway, and your neighbor's same car does 220kmh and yours only 201kmh, you have no claim.

It is the driver that enables top performance but the performance capability has to be there for the driver to win in F-1.

If the spec say it has an ashtray and yours doesn't, you have a claim.

Trivial things like frame rate you can easily check. But the really important things are not even listed in a camera spec sheets. Like DR or noise or shutter accuracy etc..

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro +1 more
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