The OMD EM5 in the Nation’s capital By Jose Miguel Constantino

The OMD EM5 in the Nation’s capital

By Jose Miguel Constantino

Dear Steve,

After reading the user reviews and watching your reviews about the EM5 and the Zuiko lenses, I decided to pull the trigger and replace my cumbersome Nikon D5100. After nearly 8 months shooting with the EM5, I am one happy camper! I love the size and versatility of the camera coupled with the 17mm F/1.8. The image quality is fantastic, and the OOC jpegs are great even up to ISO 3200. Parking in Washington DC is terrible, so I usually ride my motorcycle with a small backpack. The EM5 leaves plenty of room for my lenses and a change of clothing in my backpack. The summers in DC get extremely humid, and the heat of the engine does not help.

After a few months of eating ramen noodles for weeks to save money, I finally had enough to purchase the amazing 75mm F/1.8 lens. Wow! The images are amazing, and the bokeh is to die for! It does take quite a bit of getting used to because of the super long focal length, but I guess when I am wandering aimlessly in the city it isn’t much of an issue. The build quality is fantastic; it just feels exquisite and expensive like a piece of jewelry.[email protected]/









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  1. I understand why people go for smaller cameras, I went through the process of wanting to go for something more compact (changing from a Nikon D40 DSLR) and in quick succession had the Nikon V1, then the OM-D E-M5, the Fuji X-E1 and then the Nikon D7100. What did I end up with? A Nikon D600. Why is this? The E-M5 I found to be worse than my D40 when pixel peeping (and I confess that I pixel peep) and it quickly got worse as ISO increased. The X-E1 was great but I missed the speed and the handling of a DSLR. I then went back to APS-C DSLR in the D7100, but I didn’t bond with it and somehow didn’t get what I wanted in picture quality. And then I decided to go full frame and I haven’t looked back.

    I concluded that carrying my D600 with a 35-105 lens and a wrist strap or just having it in a normal bag didn’t feel much more bulky than having an E-M5 with a lens or two and when travelling I don’t like swapping lenses anyway. I honestly think that the size and weight issue is really not an issue at all when comparing micro 4/3 with APS-C or full frame in a D600 format. You still can’t put an E-M5 in your pocket and the weight is not such an issue. If size and weight is really an issue, then the micro 4/3 in the E-M5 or E-M1 format is not the way to go. I got a Nikon Coolpix A as my pocket camera and for all the rest I use my D600 with the 35-105D which is quite compact and that’s it. I really wanted to like micro 4/3 and the E-M5, but it was an unhappy middle ground. Full frame is gorgeous, for everything else there is APS-C.

    • I’m with you on not swapping lenses, but I still think that an em5 with a 17mm f.18 lens will be much easier to carry around than a D600. Its less conspicuous as well. I’d like to one day have an xt-1 or maybe something with a full frame, but I just don’t feel like shelling out cash for a new system when I am still happy with the results of my em5. Glass is less expensive for m43 as well.

  2. the point is, u still can’t leave DSLR if u make money from photograph … but, the small micro4/3 surely can company u while u shot wedding, yes … i all ready did … olympus e-pl 5 + 45mm 1.8, shot really really fine together with my old 5D mk2, some times (but this happen a lot) my client chose the picture that takken by olympus, but the client never know or ask, that the picture takken by 5D or e-pl5 … 😀

  3. I agree with you on the Oly 75, it’s an exceptional lens, really amazing. However, I do wish that Oly or Panny had a similarly high spec offering at 14-20mm. The Panny-Leica 15mm is a sharper lens than the Oly 17 (though the Oly has nicer bokeh), but neither is exceptional in micro contrast and sharpness in the way the Oly 75 is.

      • The 12-40 pro is a great lens, but no zoom lens is ever going to match a great prime. Plus the zoom is relatively slow at f2.8. I’m inclined to agree with sgoldswo – I have the PL 25 & 42.5 along with the Oly 75 and all three are great, but I’ve failed to pull the trigger on anything wide as they are all just ‘good’. Now the black version of the Oly 12mm f2.0 is available as standard I’ll probably buy it but it doesn’t really excite me. I was really hoping the PL 15 would be as good as the other PL primes, but sadly it is not.

        • I’m very tempted to sell my 75 oly and pick up a PL 25 or that 42.5. But I just can’t get over how awesome the 75 is when I actually use it, which is rare. The PL 42.5 is quite expensive though.

          • The 75 is awesome, but since getting the 42.5 it rarely gets on the camera. The 150mm equivalent focal length is pretty awkward for most situations I find myself in. The 42.5 on the other hand is optically every bit as good as the 75, but is much more useable. Beware though – I used to have the E-M5 (E-M1 now) and I don’t think the 42.5 will balance well on that body at all. I also suspect that if you add the first part of the grip to try to improve matters that you will find there’s not enough space for your fingers, as the lens barrel is so large. It’s a shame Panasonic had to fit it with the IOS which increases the size and is of no use to users with Olympus bodies…

  4. Nice photography! I was wondering if you had an opinion on the image quality (in particular, sharpness and detail) as compared to the Nikon D5100. (I shoot a D5300.) Thank you!

      • went through the exact same ‘journey’ – sold off my DSLR and went right back to basics using premium compacts for a bit, quickly relaising of course it wasn’t enough. After messing with a friends OMD I was sold, got one, never looked back!

    • I do not pixel peep at my photos so it is hard for me to tell the difference between the d5100 and the em5. Both are very sharp and have fantastic details. I do prefer shooting with the em5 due to its small size and easier menu system. I guess what I’m trying to say is that today’s cameras are so good that it is difficult to say which is better without looking at pictures under a microscope. However, I think that the D5100 had better noise control in the upper ISO based on a quick glance I took on some of my older night photos.

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