April 01, 2013
An improvement over the PEN series
I have taken about 6,000 photos with this traveling in Ecuador, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia & Thailand. I bought it for scuba diving because its small size is easy to swim with when it is inside a Nauticam housing.
The light weight of the system is a big plus because I travel on small planes with restrictions on weight of carry-on luggage. The two dials for shutter speed and aperture are the best feature. The on/off switch is better than a button, because it doesn't get accidentally depressed. The eye-recognition in the view finder is a good thing.
Complaints: There are not enough matching quality lenses and the existing lenses try to cover a huge range of focal length. I really need a prime long telephoto lens and there is none that Olympus mentions. Also, their manual is too brief.
There is terrible chromatic aberration (CA) throughout an image, not just on the periphery. Underwater flash on a fish illuminates fish against a dark blue background, and the color flares on the edge of the fish are very tedious to remove, especially if there are a lot of fish.
All the chromatic aberration can be automatically removed by a simple mathematical algorithm. Panasonic includes this in their micro-four-thirds cameras. Olympus does not. Please Olympus, get it together! Also, Photoshop removes lens aberrations for Nikon and Canon, but seems to have no support for or from Olympus.
Yesterday, I was on a photo shoot of hummingbirds. The 70 - 300 mm lens did not quite cut it. I wished I had a prime 300mm lens with extenders. My buddy with a Canon 7D and a 600mm with extenders got much larger and sharper shots. And we were standing just 2 feet apart. I admit that his lens weighs a ton and could never be hand-held.
For an African wildlife safari, or birding shots ... something seems to be missing here. Olympus does not mention in their marketing anything about how to get maximum focal length. I'll have to research it.
Otherwise, its a good camera for around while traveling in foreign countries. I usually carry two at all times: one with a telephoto and one with a wide angle, just so I can quickly get any shot. So the light weight allows me to carry two E-M5 cameras all day, along with a backpack of other camera equipment and a tripod.
Problematic Chromatic Aberration - Visible color flaring
There are simple mathematical programs to correct Chromatic Aberration, but Olympus neglected to include these programs like Panasonic does.
I get strange flares of purple, blue, yellow or green every place in the picture where the light changes from very dark to very white. Image taking a picture of a beautiful tree covered with dense leaves, with a light blue sky behind it. Everywhere the light blue sky is visible between the leaves, there is an artificial color flare. This is extremely annoying and makes photos look that they were taken by a very cheap camera.
On a foggy day or in low contrast situations, the camera is fine.
March 12, 2013
I got my OM-D E-M5 over a month ago now, and was really not sure how useful this camera would be. I got it mainly for the 16.1 MP image sensor, did not think I would ever use the video feature, and was not sure about the art filters, since I would not have the ability to choose yellow, orange, red, or green filters in Black and White… etc. I got it with the 12-50 mm lens, which is a Must Have lens for anyone using the Micro 4.3 mount.
I really like shooting with the Art Filters on the EM-5. My favorites tend to be Pop Art, Grainy Film, Sepia, Dramatic Tone, and Key Line. Starting out, I would shoot an image in color, then move the dial to “Art”, and shoot the shot with each art filter listed above. Then ! I discovered the Art Bracket setting… you select the preferred art filters to be included then shoot ONE image, and the camera repeats an image for each art filter selected… Much Easier!!
The zoom ring has three settings; 1, pulling it back toward the camera puts you in manual zoom mode; 2, pushing it outward toward the front of the lens puts it in E-zoom (motorized) mode; 3, and pushing in the macro button allows you to push the zoom ring outward again, going into macro mode. Once in macro mode, you are set at the 50 mm focal length, so you compose your image, push the shutter button half-way, and focus is achieved very quickly! WOW, you have to try it to appreciate it!
I have used the video a couple of times, and I am really impressed with my simple effort learning to use it. I will eventually get to using it more, but for now, I am happy knowing it is available.
But my main reason for getting this camera was the 16.1 MP. And in that regard, I am really pleased. Images come out sharp and clear. Colors are rich and clean; the Art Filters produce some really exciting colors and contrast. The Sepias and Black and Whites have great tonal range! Portrait Flesh Tones are perfect!
This OM-D E-M5 is a great camera. There seems to be nothing bad to say about it. The high resolution 16.1 MP should alone be enough reason for anyone using the Pen cameras to justify an upgrade to E-M5, and at the same time, is a good reason for E-series owners to add a new body for their stables of some of the best lenses in photography!
The E-M5 beats the E-5 in MegaPixel rating, and has a slight advantage in the Art Filters, whith the Key Line and Art Bkt. But the E-5 is clearly THE FlagShip Digital Camera!!
I own the E-5, the E-500, and the OM-D E-M5, and have used all with great success. Olympus may be inclined to make the Micro FourThirds format their "Future", but that is a marketing mistake. The FourThirds System is too solid a system to phase out!
February 14, 2013
This is a wonderful camera, maybe not good for beginners though. The layout of controls is really easy to use and very fast. I love the dial controls for aperture and speed. I only wish that the focus and zoom had stop points and did not keep moving when they hit the end points. There are so many options and capabilities that I have not even used half of them yet, but am playing with it all with great success. I also love the look and feel, as well as the size. Thanks Olympus for another great camera.
February 11, 2013
I love this camera with prime lenses, oly 12, pany 20, sig 30, oly 45, oly 75. It's very compact and take great shots!
January 16, 2013
This camera finally renders my dSLR system obsolete. Finally, one camera can serve both my advanced studio and stock photography needs, as well as be a pocketable (jacket) mini camera when outdoors or with the family.
It is packed with useful features like fast AF, in body image stabilization (incredible with video as well), high quality EVF, twin control dials, fast operation, weather sealing, 9fps shooting, nearest eye face detection and more. I don't find it the easiest camera to just hand to someone and get great results, but it is so customizable that spending some time with it is very rewarding.
Olympus really got the ethos of mirrorless right with this camera. It is great to be able to own the 'best' Olympus body for less than the price of a mid line dSLR. Combined with the growing system of lenses this is all the camera most people need.
Complaints? Custom slots (mysets) are a bit complicated to use, and it can sometimes be hard to quickly check all your settings as they don't have physical switches, and battery life is lower, but basically it is a solid little camera that just gets the job done.
December 20, 2012
I've sold off my other cameras (names deleted) after I got my OM-D EM-5. I've recently also purchased E-PL5 as my second body and nearly have all m43 lenses now! This is such a great m43 body, I could do more things with it than any of my previous cameras! 5-axis IBIS is truly impressive!
December 08, 2012
I would have given this camera a 5 out of 5 but for the "on/off" switch.
I have large fingers and the switch is difficult to use, especially in a low light situation. The other complaint I have is the lack of the viewing screen's ability to have full movement- roll, pitch and yaw- as in the E-30, I have.
Now the good points. I am a Photographic Engineer and have an optical test chart that I use to test camera lenses. Considering the lens, that came with the camera, I found the quality to be to be excellent. This testing lacked all of the refinements normally used to test lens quality, but my eye and a 7x loop and a comparative lens. My friend has a Leica with a Zeiss lens- fairly close to the 12-50mm Olympus lens. We both found the Olympus lens to be sharper and yet, you might say, equal to the Zeiss. I used the Mil Std 150 AF Target and the Pin Wheel for our basic comparison. We could see no distortion or aberations.. On a shot of a steel structure, approximately 500 feet away, I was able to blow up the Zeiss image 17X, and the Olympus image 16X without seeing any pixcels. We were amazed at the results.
There is a lot more to this camera, that I have to learn; but, I am looking forward to my continuing education. Keep up the good work. I have normally used Nikons. I began my digital experience with the 5MP Olympus camera, in 2005. From there the 8MP, 10MP and 12MP. All Olympus products and all to my satisfaction. Thankyou.
November 27, 2012
I have had my OM-D for 4 months now and the experience just gets better each time I use it. I have the 12mm, 25mm, 45mm, 75mm, 7-14 and the 14-42 kit lens. My friends keep seeing my images and can not believe the resolution quality. Funny thing is that my N#### and C##### buddies admit that I have a 'nice little camera' and they are right. I have looked at past jpeg images from cameras past from many manufacturers and the EM-5 is easily better every time. So don't let your friends tell you that you need an aps-c size chip. You don't. And by the way, you can rest easy and shoot all these lenses WIDE open.
October 18, 2012
I am an enthusiast photographer, I own a number of good cameras, dating back to before the OM-1 and OM-2 cameras of the '70's and '80's, which were very far ahead of their time, with TTL exposure control (including flash), the OM-2 never missed, whether it be macro or telephoto!
For my E-M5, I purchased OM and four thirds adapters and can report that they work fine. I only wish I had better better manual focus control, for example a split focus screen or interchangeable focus screens, for such work - maybe a future release, Oly? (But no real complaint, I am delighted to be able to use these lenses.) I have 25 year old bellows for extreme macro work, and use the FL-600R remotely controlled, and find the setup awesome, maybe even as good as the OM-2, which is saying some! Using it with E-series: I have the 50mm f2.0 E series lens for "high end" MACRO work, it is ultra-sharp corner to corner, and bright. I have the 70-300mm for telephoto macro, and extreme telephoto, and can recommend it with this camera (note - some focus hunt, but lets face it, 600mm equiv. in a small handheld setup is unbelievable ... took it to sports events with very good results). The 11-22 f2.8-3.5 is also a superb lens -with this camera. For "regular" work, using the 12-50mm "kit" lens, this camera really performs, whether it be taking 4+ fps of our yellow lab running towards me at full tilt, or the grand baby in available light (shadow control is superb), or attending a class reunion in a badly lit restaurant with mixed light sources, or available light around a bonfire and marshmallow roast. JPEGS are excellent, so much so that I take far fewer RAW pix, now - reserving RAW for important occasions where I might need the extra dynamic range, colour correction, etc. I have to commend Oly on the small included flash - works very well as a fill-in flash, does not overpower the exposure. Picture quality and colour: Excellent. Focus speed: Excellent (with M.Zuiko lenses). Resolution: I am very happy with the camera - severe crops printed 8x10" are very usable. Available light performance: very good, certainly to 3200, useable past that if necessary. Gyro stabilization: simply superb, its about time somebody brought out a gyro stabilized platform in this type of camera - this is a breakthrough, lenses are consequently lighter, simpler and more rugged. Weatherproof construction: Magnesium - aluminum gasketted (with the 12-50mm lens) - I just added the weatherproof 40-150mm - I travel around the world, and appreciate being able to take a small high quality camera into imperfect weather, and not having to leave my good camera in the hotel room. Thanks Oly! This camera was well worth the wait!
October 08, 2012
I bought this camera for two reasons: so that I could shoot HD video on trips without having to bring along a separate video camera, and to get better photos. I haven't been disappointed.
I came from an Olympus E-620 and the only thing I miss about that camera is the fully articulated screen. I've gotten very used to the small size of the E-M5, and in fact, love it. Because of my previous Olympus experience I was also quite used to the Olympus way of building menus in the camera, so that has never been an issue. But the fact that virtually every button is customizable is really a dream. I've got the camera set up for the way *I* use it, and that's great.
The 12-50 kit lens is wonderful, but I did buy a 14-150 to replace it on day-to-day shooting.
I like this camera so much, I can only find "nit-picky" things to complain about: I wish the MYSET settings could have customizable names; as it is, I have to have a piece of paper taped behind the viewing screen to remind me what MYSET3 is set up for.
Second, I'm not crazy about the way the camera focuses when in video mode. It seems I constantly have to half-press the shutter button to get video to refocus. Also, I bought the external mic attachment and although it works well, it also picks up more of the Image Stabilization motor noise. However, the video quality itself is magnificent, tho I do wish you could change exposure settings on the fly. But that's a minor nit.
Art filters? Who needs 'em? It'd have been nice if the dial presets were re-settable so that I could change "ART" to one of my MYSETs. Again, a minor nit.
Great job, Olympus! Please don't come out with a better camera in the near future... I can't afford to switch and like my E-M5!