Two weeks with the Olympus OM-D E-M5
So I have had my Olympus OM-D E-M5 for a couple weeks now, and I wanted to talk about a few of the quirks and a few of the things that I love about it.
I was a fairly early adopter of the Micro 4/3 system, and have loved it for a few years now. Last year I came up with a blog post on my own website stating what I would like to see in a higher end M4/3 camera. And I am happy to report that most of my list was addressed when they introduced the OM-D E-M5.
Just to recap what I said on my own blog post about what I wanted to see out of a high end camera for this system:
- 12mp + (Check)
- Low Noise (Check)
- Higher ISO performance (Check)
- 5+fps (Check)
- 1+fps whisper mode (Check-ish)
- Dual SD Card Slots
- Bigger Battery
- Bigger Grip (Check)
- Front and Rear Dials (Check)
- Weather Sealed (Check)
- Built in EVF (Check)
- Ability to mount flash while still using EVF (Check)
- Weather Sealed Lenses (Check)
- Function Buttons: on the Function 1 & Function 2 buttons, when I was first setting up the camera, I wanted to select ISO for the Fn 1 button, and it was not an option, as with pre-set white balance on Fn 2… I have the buttons set to the reverse I would ideally like. This is not a huge thing for me, the camera still does what I want it to do, I just think that both of those user definable buttons should have the same options to select from.
- Battery Life: while I have not really shot any big events with it yet, I know the battery life is not what I would have expected out of a $70 battery. With the viewfinder set to the high refresh rate for smoother look in the viewfinder, I get about 300ish images per charge. If you set the refresh rate of the viewfinder to the lower setting, I get about 400ish images. But as I stated earlier, if you use the HLD6 grip, you can use 2 batteries to give you more shooting power.
- Supplied Rubber Eyepiece: for the love of… someone please make me an eyepiece that just stays on. I carry my camera on the BlackRapid Strap, and you have no idea how many times I hear a “click… plink” as I am walking, and I look behind me, and see the eyepiece on the ground. I am THIS close to putting a dab of epoxy on each side of it to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere. But I haven’t decided if I am going for the optional eyecup yet or not. So I do not want to do anything permanent to it quite yet.
- On/Off Switch: I am not sure where I would want to put it, but even Canon has gotten away from putting it there. It is not a horrible location… but it’s not ideal either. (That said, I do like how I can operate that switch from both landscape and portrait orientation)
- ISO: Yes, the ISO in this camera is #EPIC … I can comfortably shoot ISO 3200 in this camera and not even worry about how they will turn out, I just know that it will work. I regularly shoot ISO 640, and even ISO 1600 and I have not needed to use the noise reduction in Lightroom at all with any of those images. On my older E-P1 anything about ISO 400… I would have to do some clean up on it.
- Battery design: I love how something so simple as shaping the battery to only fit in one way, makes me so happy. On the older BLS1 for my E-P1 you could put the battery in upside-down or backwards and it would fit, and you would only know that you did it wrong when you are wondering why it doesn’t push in that last 1/4”… On the BLN1 of the OM-D E-M5 they have rounded two edges of the battery, so the battery only fits in one way. SOOOO much nicer, I can now put a spare battery in without looking at the camera and just know I got it right. Thank you Olympus! :-)
- Shutter Sound: I think Kirk Tuck said it best on his blog post here ”The camera had me at……’snik’.“ I can not argue with that at all; I asked for a 1+fps whisper mode, and Olympus countered my request by making the shutter overall quieter regardless of which frame rate you are set for. So I say again… Thank you Olympus.
- Dual Control Dials: This is a HUGE improvement, and I love how you can set the dials to which way you want them to function. Brilliant!
- Grip (HLD6): I love how much the grip of the camera is changed by simply adding this optional grip, it balances so nicely even. You can take off the lower battery part of the grip as well, if you just want an improvement on the way the camera holds, and just add the lower part for when you need the second battery and extra controls.
- Long Exposure Previewing: You can select this setting, and during a long exposure, you have have the camera update your preview on the back screen up to 25 times, just so you can see the progress of your image. WHY IS NOBODY ELSE TALKING ABOUT THIS!?! This is an epic feature, so if you are like me, and you like using a 10-stop ND filter, and you are using a 2 minute + exposure, you can see how your image is coming along, AS you are shooting it. And stop it when it looks right… SERIOUSLY… #EPIC #ThatIsAll
- Straight out of camera JPG’s: I have always been a fan of shooting in RAW + JPG, and I like to have a low rez JPG that I can just post online and use right out of camera. The Olympus JPG’s have always been really good right from camera. And while they are not the epic right from camera JPG’s that I loved from my older Fuji S3Pro & S5Pro camera. I LOVED the colours straight from camera with those cameras. The skin tones were amazing, and to this day, I still find myself wishing my cameras did as nice of JPG’s right from camera. I just couldn’t afford a Fuji X-Pro1 at this time.
That is all I have for you at this time. As time goes on, I might have more for you; but I am sure that the 2 people that do read this all the way thru had to go get a coffee mid way anyway. Hope I didn’t put too many of you to sleep with my post here.
Have a good day, and good shooting.