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Author Topic: Got the Olympus E-M1, First Thoughts  (Read 7949 times)
Telecaster
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« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2013, 01:56:30 AM »
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The first pic is of hardware attached to a utility pole in my backyard. Uncropped. 283mm, f/4.9, 1/400th sec., ISO 250.

The second pic is a full-res crop of the first pic's point-of-focus.

The third pic is of a utility service vehicle parked across the street from my house. Uncropped. Exact same stats as in the first pic except ISO 200.

The fourth pic is a full-res crop of the third pic's point-of-focus.

-Dave-
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« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2013, 02:09:45 AM »
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To note: I have my E-M1 set up to provide fairly flat JPEGs out-of-camera...minimum sharpness & contrast settings along with a mild reverse S-curve, "Natural" color profile and neutral saturation. So for these posted images I tweaked the histograms, punched up the contrast a bit and added a touch of USM. These days I only process the RAWs when I intend to print 'em.

-Dave-
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« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2013, 07:12:05 AM »
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To note: I have my E-M1 set up to provide fairly flat JPEGs out-of-camera...minimum sharpness & contrast settings along with a mild reverse S-curve, "Natural" color profile and neutral saturation. So for these posted images I tweaked the histograms, punched up the contrast a bit and added a touch of USM. These days I only process the RAWs when I intend to print 'em.

-Dave-

Nice comparisons.   I've thought about buying the om1 but have decided to wait, as panasonic is coming out with a 4k gh something and I bought into the 43 system for the video, the stills were just a bonus.

What I have found interesting is how pretty the fuji cameras files look.   They really do look different and the only issue I have is I think the xe2 will be surpassed by a xpro something and I don't really want to buy into another lens system.

Anyway, thanks for posting.

BC
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BJL
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« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2013, 08:19:51 AM »
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Dave,

    firstly, thanks for the examples, though I am waiting for some with greater focusing challenges, because I already know how nice the 50-200 is when I can get it in focus on my E-M5.

Secondly:
To note: I have my E-M1 set up to provide fairly flat JPEGs out-of-camera...minimum sharpness & contrast settings along with a mild reverse S-curve, "Natural" color profile and neutral saturation. So for these posted images I tweaked the histograms, punched up the contrast a bit and added a touch of USM. These days I only process the RAWs when I intend to print 'em.
Advice that many forum participants should heed! Raw processing clearly has its place, but I also practice "JPEG+raw", and find that appropriate camera settings [on Olympus cameras anyway] give completely satisfactory in-camera JPEGs for a great majority of images that are destined for on-screen display, with the main exceptions being scenes of unusually high subject brightness range or with other unusual lighting challenges.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 01:18:08 PM by BJL » Logged
TMARK
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« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2013, 09:13:49 AM »
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Fuji jpegs are incredible as well.  This is very good advice.

Dave,

Raw processing clearly has its place, but I also practice "JPEG+raw", and find that appropriate camera settings [on Olympus cameras anyway] give completely satisfactory in-camera JPEGs for a great majority of images that are destined for on-screen display, with the main exceptions being scenes of unusually high subject brightness range or with other unusual lighting challenges.
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Glenn NK
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« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2013, 04:37:09 PM »
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Does anybody that has the em-5 know or believe that the em-1 produces a better file?

With all it's quirks everytime I use the em-5 I smile, it's built so beautifully and just feels right, but I'd like 20% better image quality and better track focusing.

So what's the real verdict?

BC

I don't know for sure but:

1)  I looked at the images from the EM-1 to those of the EM-5 posted on DPR:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m1/14
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m1/16
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m1/17

On the second and third references (second is daylight, third is low light), I looked at numerous "shots".  I couldn't discern any practical difference.  What I typically look for is how things like hair and feathers are rendered.  Images of numbers aren't typically what I shoot.  Wink

I played around with RAW images at various ISO settings.


2)  On FM, there was comment awhile back stating that the EM-5 was a bit better, but I couldn't see it.

From my point of view it seems that the image quality between the two is a wash.  If I had the "5" I'd keep it.  Since I have neither, my choice (neglecting price) would the "1" for it's other features (such as a better grip).

Glenn






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« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2013, 10:22:59 PM »
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From my point of view it seems that the image quality between the two [E-M1 & E-M5] is a wash. If I had the "5" I'd keep it. Since I have neither, my choice (neglecting price) would the "1" for its other features (such as a better grip).

I'd say that's right. The E-M5 has a helluva time autofocusing Four-Thirds lenses. The E-M1 handles 'em, at least the 50200mm in my experience, quite well. Other things like the higher-res EVF and rear LCD are nice too but not game changers. If I hadn't been planning to turn the E-M5 into an infrared camera I would've passed on the E-M1. The 50200 is a really impressive lens, though, and I'm glad the E-M1 lets me use it properly. One of the best longer zooms, maybe the best, I've ever had my hands on.

-Dave-
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« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2013, 12:13:14 PM »
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Thanks for putting those samples up, Dave.  They look good, but I am  going to need to see it for myself.  The only way I can judge sharpness and contrast that suits my needs is with feathers or fur.  I decided this week that the 75-300 just isn't good enough for me.  At 200mm, it is pretty good, but not excellent.  At 300mm it is mediocre.

I rented the 50-200 with the adapter and bought a 1.4x converter to test the combo this weekend.  It is in competition with my Canon 7D with my 100-400 that is a very decent compromise of size and quality. This Olympus combo will have a slightly shorter focal length and be a bit lighter.
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« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2013, 12:25:54 PM »
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Since I upgraded from the E-M5 to the E-M1, let me provide a few more observations about my reasoning for the upgrade.
  • The E-M5 is a fabulous street photography camera, but it isn't very snappy.  The E-M1 has a much faster feel.
  • The focus on the E-M1 is better because it has smaller focus points and faster operation.  This was a big annoyance for me on the E-M5
  • viewfinder doesn't overlay shot data on top of image area when manually using the EVF switch
  • bracketing is much easier, more flexible, and better integrated
  • Most operations can be done with buttons that never require you to lift your eye from viewfinder

Yes, there is nothing here about image quality.  There is no noticeable difference. I am hoping to find that in-body lens correction is good, but I haven't used it extensively enough to decide that yet. 

There are a few things I didn't expect to like but have liked a great deal:
  • remote shooting with a smartphone is very well integrated.  It will make a very nice system for surreptitious shooting (don't judge me). I found it worked really well with my dog who has grown afraid of the camera in front of my face.
  • focus peaking is really cool.  I didn't imagine it would be so useful
  • With a RRS dovetail plate, the grip is perfect
  • HDR works well
  • Focusing is much faster. I know I already said that above, but it REALLY is much faster

This is a camera to get if you care about snap-shooting or ergonomics or are serious about photojournalism work.  If you are a travel photographer or shooting family, the upgrade is probably lost on you.
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BJL
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« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2013, 01:06:54 PM »
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Since I upgraded from the E-M5 to the E-M1, let me provide a few more observations about my reasoning for the upgrade.
...
Yes, there is nothing here about image quality. ...

There are a few things I didn't expect to like but have liked a great deal:
  • ...
  • Focusing is much faster. I know I already said that above, but it REALLY is much faster
So there _is_ something about image quality: getting a moving subject in focus is a vastly greater improvement in IQ than any pixel-peeping in search of sensor tech differences! I wish I could justify upgrading from my E-M5 so soon, but will bide my time.
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« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2013, 03:46:50 PM »
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This is the first time I have bought a new camera body without any expectation for substantive improved image quality. In some ways, this is me maturing as a photographer and in other ways it is the market maturing. I bought it exclusively for ergonomic improvements, and it hasn't disappointed me.

Here are some disjointed thoughts about this camera:
    .....
  • Bracketing is fixed.  You can easily fire-off two, three, or five shot bracketed sets. On the E-M5 you had to shoot them individually with multiple button presses.
......
[/list]

I shot in bracket mode all the time on my EM5 and have no problem shooting 5 in a row with 1 button press.
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Mike Broomfield
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« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2013, 02:23:05 PM »
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Okay, I finally got out with my rental 50-200, and I agree that with the 1.4x teleconverter it is SHARP!!!  Focus speed with this combination is somewhat poor.  The ability to zoom focus is fantastic because you can focus on critters behind branches and twigs.  Here are some image samples to illustrate my points.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/trailpixie/10783667694/in/photolist-hqUvh6-hqUvrV-hqUvPt-hqUEvs-hqV6Ms-hqUETw-hqUEZo-hqUFgq-hqVPfg-hqV7Ej-hqV7H5/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trailpixie/10783664584/in/photolist-hqUvh6-hqUvrV-hqUvPt-hqUEvs-hqV6Ms-hqUETw-hqUEZo-hqUFgq-hqVPfg-hqV7Ej-hqV7H5/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trailpixie/10783550325/in/photolist-hqUvh6-hqUvrV-hqUvPt-hqUEvs-hqV6Ms-hqUETw-hqUEZo-hqUFgq-hqVPfg-hqV7Ej-hqV7H5/


The rest of the test set can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trailpixie/tags/50200/
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« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2013, 09:34:31 PM »
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I see Michael has restated his (high) regard for Olympus' upper-end Four-Thirds lens lineup.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/one_upon_a_time.shtml

My artist friend Bruce bought a 50200mm after trying out mine on his E-M1. We both think it's the finest long zoom in the 4x range we've ever used. At least it's certainly very well matched to this camera and its sensor.

-Dave-
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« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2013, 12:25:37 PM »
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As I stated before, S-AF works fine...

One of my first images with the EC20. I've had both sharper and not as sharp images with the adapter. This image was difficult because I was on a slope and I couldn't hold the tripod as still as I wanted. Don't remember if I had IS on or off. Not sure if the latest rev of ACR would have done anything different to the image, this was v5.2.

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« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2013, 05:33:44 AM »
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Thanks for putting those samples up, Dave.  They look good, but I am  going to need to see it for myself.  The only way I can judge sharpness and contrast that suits my needs is with feathers or fur.  I decided this week that the 75-300 just isn't good enough for me.  At 200mm, it is pretty good, but not excellent.  At 300mm it is mediocre.

I rented the 50-200 with the adapter and bought a 1.4x converter to test the combo this weekend.  It is in competition with my Canon 7D with my 100-400 that is a very decent compromise of size and quality. This Olympus combo will have a slightly shorter focal length and be a bit lighter.

Fike,

Thanks for sharing your results.  How did you think the EM-1 compared to the 7D + 100-400?

Marc
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« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2013, 02:24:53 PM »
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That's a wonderful owl photo.

My Scorecard comparison with my 7D and the 100-400 goes something like this:

Auto Focus:
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--poor
7D with 100-400--Good

Image Quality
E-M1 with 50-200 +1.4x--Very Good
7D with 100-400--Very Good, maybe a tiny bit better than the 50-200

Weight and handling
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--Easily hand holdable, not tiring to carry
7D with 100-400--hand holdable, tiring to carry all day

Manual Focus
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--Excellent because of zoom to focus
7D with 100-400--Difficult

Color and Contrast
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--Very Good
7D with 100-400--Very Good

Tracking
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--Poor
7D with 100-400--okay

The 50-200 would benefit by the inclusion (in software if possible) of a focus limiter.  One of the big problems with auto focus is that when it hunts, it has to go all the way back to the closest focus and then all the way back out and this is slow.  I probably won't get many BIFs (birds in flight) but I can easily do perching or stationary critters. 
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« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2013, 05:08:11 PM »
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That's a wonderful owl photo.

My Scorecard comparison with my 7D and the 100-400 goes something like this:

Auto Focus:
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--poor
7D with 100-400--Good

Image Quality
E-M1 with 50-200 +1.4x--Very Good
7D with 100-400--Very Good, maybe a tiny bit better than the 50-200

Weight and handling
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--Easily hand holdable, not tiring to carry
7D with 100-400--hand holdable, tiring to carry all day

Manual Focus
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--Excellent because of zoom to focus
7D with 100-400--Difficult

Color and Contrast
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--Very Good
7D with 100-400--Very Good

Tracking
E-M1 with 50-200 + 1.4x--Poor
7D with 100-400--okay

The 50-200 would benefit by the inclusion (in software if possible) of a focus limiter.  One of the big problems with auto focus is that when it hunts, it has to go all the way back to the closest focus and then all the way back out and this is slow.  I probably won't get many BIFs (birds in flight) but I can easily do perching or stationary critters. 

Thanks.   The reports out there on how good the EM-1 is on continous AF are varied.  The best I've heard is that it's on par with the D200, which if true would put it about 1-2 generations behind the 7D.  Thom Hogan also provisonally rates it better than most other mirrorless  options but below the Nikon 1 series.  Perhaps not surprising, I'm told Oly SLRs were never terribly good at C-AF and in any case it'll take a lot to match  Canikon's expertise in that area. 

All that being said, I'm expecting the EM-1's C-Af to be leaps and bounds better than the EM-5 (not that that's saying much) and usuable for basic tracking.  But from what I've seen on thr net, those looking for great BIF capabilities have been disappointed (though IMO they were expecting too much).
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« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2013, 09:56:49 PM »
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Thanks.   The reports out there on how good the EM-1 is on continous AF are varied.  The best I've heard is that it's on par with the D200, which if true would put it about 1-2 generations behind the 7D.  Thom Hogan also provisonally rates it better than most other mirrorless  options but below the Nikon 1 series.  Perhaps not surprising, I'm told Oly SLRs were never terribly good at C-AF and in any case it'll take a lot to match  Canikon's expertise in that area.  

All that being said, I'm expecting the EM-1's C-Af to be leaps and bounds better than the EM-5 (not that that's saying much) and usuable for basic tracking.  But from what I've seen on thr net, those looking for great BIF capabilities have been disappointed (though IMO they were expecting too much).

Have an em-5, two gh3's, Canon 1dx, Nikon D3 and obviously on tracking nothing focuses like the 1dx, next the D3, next the gh3.  The gh3 actually is quite good, unless your shooting fuel dragsters or 100meter track, but the gh3 does well, even in video.

Regardless I use the 1dx mostly for stills, the Gh3's mostly for video, the em5, mostly because I just like it and would buy an em-1 in a heartbeat if it would track focus, especially with the legacy 43 lenses, as I love the 150 f2.

In fact I don't think they should make any 43 lens slower than f2 but that's just me.

I do know on slow tracking with the em-5 it focuses so fast on single af, that I can touch and release, touch and release and hit it most of the time.

I really think Olympus should have produced an optical finder version for the pro line of 43 lenses, but I guess the market just wasn't there.  It's a shame because those older lenses are very nice.

To note; at first I found the em-5 to be a somewhat non intuitive camera to work, but lately have used it a lot, worked around it's quirks and think it's a great little camera.

Also in regards t focus one thing I've noticed on the gh3 and the em5, on single autofocus they will lock on in virtual darkness, or darker than I will ever shoot.

If you can find anything with contrast on the image, in very low light they really lock on.

With the new Sony A series, micro 43 has a challenge.  Now they can't just compete on size and cost and they can't just compete on 3rd party lenses, because the A series will take a lot of lenses.    Though it shouldn't matter, the em1 compared to the Sony A looks purposeful and well designed and the A looks a little lego block simple.

M43 needs the same focus ability as a dslr, especially olympus as they are pretty much  a still centric camera with limited video.

That said, I think the quality from these m43 cameras is very good.   A little better than my leica m8 in detail and noise probably 1 stop down from the Canon 1dx, though if done right you can get more than a stop from the lenses with the same depth of field, so it would be a wash, if all the lenses were faster and the focus was equal to optical view finder cameras.

IMO

BC
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« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2013, 03:46:55 PM »
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My first thoughts:  I'm a Canon 1Dii and 5Diii shooter, and I think they're great, although the 1Dii is very long in the tooth.  I got the EM1 for my wife, who has arthritis and no longer can handle heavier or large cameras.   Lenses are the 12-40 2.8, the 14-150 for a walkaround lens, and the 75-300 for long reach. 

I tried the camera and lenses out for her and was quite pleased.  Prints up to 13x19 are quite good up to ISO 1600, and with some judicious NR from LR5.2, ISO 3200 cleans up beautifully.  (I shoot RAW.)
In fact, ISO 6400 can print well at the same size but needs very careful NR tweaking in LR.

The 12-40 appears to be as good over all as the 16-35 f/2.8 on my Canon 5Diii.  The 14-150 is a fun lens and surprisingly good through its range, but the big surprise was the 75-300, which was much sharper than I had expected, through about 250mm.  And at 300mm, it was not significantly softer than my 100-400 on the 5Diii.

At C-AF and 6.5 fps, I was able to pan with subjects ranging from people and pets walking, to boats in the river, to autos on the city streets.  In-focus rate was 80-90% and surprised me.  Using the C-AF + Tracking on moving cars and boats was less accurate, but in-focus was about 60-70%.  My wife is not a sports shooter, but does a lot of shooting of dancers at Native American pow-wows, and the camera seems as if it will handle that situation quite adequately.

I think Oly outdid themselves on this generation of OMD.
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