Daily Inspiration #338 by Devid Mosca

David VS Goliath

Hi Steve,

In my long search for a compact high quality alternative to the bulky 5DmkII, I have passed through Sony Nex5, Ricoh GXR-M+35mm zeiss (published by you), Panasonic GX1 and now I’m landed on a Olympus E-M5 + Pana 14-42X + Pana 20mm. I’ve been in holiday on the mountains near were I live, the Dolomites, and I had with me just the Oly in a small bag hanged on the backpack. If you see in the picture the dimension difference between my 2 cameras, is easy to understand the advantage. I took the Panasonic X zoom because I need a zoom on the mountain (your Leica People’s motto “my zoom are my legs” can be very dangerous up there…). It’s an honest kit lens, but has the advantage to be so thin, much more than Sony, Nikon, Canon, Samsung and original Olympus one. But is with the razor-sharp 20mm that the OM-D really shines.

After these 2 weeks, what I can say is that I have completely fallen in love with this camera! It’s so nice to touch, to handle, to shot with. It’s a bulky, small, quick, solid jewel. I’ve never been excited by a camera as with this one (OK Ok, Steve I’ve just tried M9 but I don’t own one… I know, I know it is the most sexy camera ect… 😉 If you look to the picture of the cat, took at 2000 ISO (the max I set for auto-iso), also the low-light performance is enough for me. The other images are shot at 200 iso. All images shot with low noise reduction and as shot in raw, converted with no adjustment in PS.

Yes DOF is wider than 5D with fast primes, and I’ll keep my DSLR for some exit dedicated to photography, where I don’t care if I have to transport an “iron boiler” with me… But for sure, my travel companion will be the OM-D (+ in future 45mm 1.8 and 14mm 2.5)

Bye Steve, and thank you for your helpful reviews!


  1. I am wondering how many comments are complaining about putting the battery grip, zoom lens on the Canon..I stopped counting after the third or the fourth comment.. we all know when it comes to size there’s no comparison to argue about but.
    This is a PERSONAL experience guys, maybe that’s how he used to apply the Canon so the difference was simply huge or much more huge than he thought it could be.

    Thanks to Devid for sharing and a permanent thank to Steve for this constant outstanding work.

  2. Nice, I have to say that this site take all my doubts about the OM-D away. I use to have a 5DMKII with several lenses, but I have a back handicap and a combo like the 5D and lens is to heavy for me to walk around.
    So I have bought the OM-D with the 45mm 1.8 lens, the images are very good and I love the camera, not only the looks but also the settings and build quality.

  3. This is an apples and oranges comparison. The Olympus m43 cameras are fantastic as long as they are paired with compact, high quality primes. Put an L zoom on that Canon and it’s a different story: a m43 camera can never offer that type of zoom lens performance. Then again a DSLR + fast zoom lens can never fit inside a jacket pocket.

    My Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 zoom smokes my Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 in every aspect: better contrast, sharper, better bokeh, better colors, less vignetting. Nevertheless, the Panasonic comes close enough. It then comes down to what is more convenient: pocketability or zoom. Either way, I’d travel with both and pick whatever is the most convenient at the time.

  4. Some very bad uninspiring uncorrect horrible but high res images can be seen in my flickr account “devid1975”, set “OM-D test” (the link has been censored)


    • Hi Devid, I must say there are some nice shots on your Flickr account, many which I consider much better than the ones you selected for this contribution. As far as cameras are concerned, the output form the GXR-M with the ZM 35mm looks best to me, clearly beating the OMD. Do you still use the GXR-M combo?

  5. I’ve posted a link but is waiting for administrator approval.
    On my flickr account “devid1975” in the set “OM-D test” there are some horrible, uninspiring, over/underexposed, very bad, but high resolution images (just minor exposure adjustments, no sharpening)…

  6. Dear David,

    for some reasons my reply from yesterday got lost (?).

    If you really want to know what a OMD is capeable of look at http://blog.mingthein.com. Just yesterday he posted incredible photos shot with a OMD.

    The same post contaisn photos shot with M 9 plus Zeiss glas. Hard to tell if more expensive is better as well!

    This quy is not only technically advanced but also has the eyes you need to become a great photographer.

    He also uses M 9, Nikon 700/800 or Mini Pen etc.

    If you ever want to restart a discussion like” is it the camera of the photographer” his blogg is the answer to this question.

    Am I brutal? May be if you are sensitve. I am lightyears behind guys like Ming Thein but it does not frustrate but motivates me. I really appreciate very much than you and others post photos on this web page .I hope in the next lightyear I gain this courage.

    Keep on shooting.

    Best regards

    • Heiner,

      thanks a lot for posting a link to Ming Tein’s website, I haven’t seen it before and photos are just brilliant, also I can’t remember when I saw such a consistently high quality of photos. Haven’t looked at his background yet but based on the range of equipment he uses he must have a store of photographic equipment :). Robin Wong is another person who shows quality of OM-D very nicely

  7. I’m still not sure what my take from this post shall be. Not to buy a OMD or not to visit the Dolomites? But then I don’t need a new camera anyway and I heard the Dolomites to be beautiful and inspiring 😉

  8. I have both OMD and 5D Mark II and to be honest the OMD only has size over the 5D as with battery grip the OMD gets heavier and bulkier. The 5D can take more shots without grip. Unless your shooting primes the OMD advantage evaporates quickly. The pics I get with the 5D at 3200 and with the sigma 50 1.4 are so smooth and colorful in low light. Whereas the OMD granted at 2.5 with the 14mm is grainier and does not have that rich color.

    Unless the 25mm 1.4 can make the OMD compete at low light with the 5D than I’m afraid on trips with friends the 5D is a must because the quality of the images.

    In daylight and low iso yes the OMDis good but again using primes as my 24 105 has no equal in M43 land.

  9. Holy crap, I feel sorry for the guy who posted his pics here, everone seems to be jumping on his bones like a school of hungry sharks.lol. You guys need to understand, that the title “daily inspiration” was created by Steve for others to show some stuff they may have been inspired from. I don’t think anyone who posts pics here claim to “inspire” anyone or anything. Man, some of you guys are brutal. I’d hate to see what you guys are like at a camera fire sale. LOL

      • Devid, there is nothing wrong with using the om-d or 5d or even a disposable camera. i used to be a gear head too, and then i understood that it’s all really in your head. Some people shoot better with a 7 thousand dollar camera because their head tells them that a 7 thousand dollar camera will get them better pictures, which in turn will psychologically help them. Some folks, like to use “inferior” equipment cause they feel that they have something to prove, and that they want to show that they can do “better” with lesser equipment. Whatever works for them, then all the power to them. Im all for anyone who likes to use whatever camera they want…cause in the end, its how you move the camera before you shoot that counts, not with what camera.

        One big annoyance for me is when some people says things like ” you can only get great pictures with this camera” or ” this CAMERA shoots great pics” or the tired ” my camera shoots pics with less noise so it must be better”. The truth is, all fun aside about gear, it’s the person, never the camera. The old saying is, ” less is more”

        I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some kid out there in the world using a cheapo disposable film camera who”s shooting better pics then me, you and everyone who goes on this site. That’s ok too, because I don’t believe in egalitarinism anyways. If everyone were exactly the same, there would be nothing to aspire to. There’s nothing more annoying then some folks in this world who think everything is great and everything they do is great. Remember devid, if there were no ugly people in this world, there wouldnt be beautiful ones to look at. LOL .So I say this with humility,and a little bit of humor….. let us all rejoice in our ugliness and go forth to find beauty! Beasue it’s..OK. LOL

  10. Pictures don’t do the dolomites or OM-D justice. Go shoot some more Devid.
    I dare you to do better!

  11. Hi, Steve and Devid, thanks so much for the post. It DOES inspire me to get out and shoot some mountains!

    I’m glad you’re enjoying your new camera. I think it’s normal to be excited about it, talk about how it’s different from what you normally shoot with, etc. So, thank you for the insight about that.

    For everyone else, there’s no need to be rude. Feel free to go shoot and write own daily inspiration article! I look forward to reading it and to seeing everyone’s comments about it. 🙂

  12. Hi! Steve, I have a pana Lumix GX 1, I, just want to know, what kind of lens, should I put, I’m just started to take photos, for your advice maybe I can shoot better, I really admire tha guys, showing their owesome,photos,,,,,,xoxo and 2nd Q? What is the best brand of film that you use, for indoor and outdoor, n what is the significant of DX film,,,thnx you, have Moore power!!!

  13. WOW! Despite someone has stated that “I’m not sure what the point of this is…one camera is larger than the other? That deserves an article?” I’m confident with Steve choices, and if he post something, I’m sure he sees something interesting.
    Anyway is clear also to my 90 years old grandmother, that I can simply take grip off the 5D… was just to emphasize the difference. I use the grip when I carry the camera in big bags with all the lenses.
    The key points are just 2 for me: when I climb I need something that I can pack in a small bag that I can attach to the front of my backpack and use with one hand, and the 5D as other dslr aren’t small enough. Second is that I would like just to share that the OM-D is the most exciting digital camera I have used.
    This is just my taste and not questionable.
    Reading Steve posts has helped me sometime to decide about equipment, technics ect. Maybe someone interested in OM-D and/or the pancake zoom find the article useful.
    Bad image quality is due to resize and compress needed for the post as written in Steve’s rules.

    Bye, Devid

  14. It’s nice for someone to take the effort to write these articles. Maybe it’s not an exact science on this one, but there is constructive criticism and then just plain rudeness. Thank you for the article,

    • It is nice to take the time to write these articles, but it’s a little disconcerting when you do so and it gets ignored. I don’t know if it’s because it was shot with a Canon DSLR and a Sigma zoom, or whether Steve’s mad at me about something.

  15. Nice post. Indeed we live in interesting times. Sometimes I wonder if Barnack got so much resistance from fellow photographers when comparing his Leica with contemporaries professional models. Times have changed? I don’t think so everyone still wants that Barnack camera dream.
    Personally I feel this mirrorless cameras are about freedom, freedom to create, choose, feel, shoot. I love my collection of Schneider’s 1.4 and Bell&Howell’s, Zuiko’s, Zeiss, Voightlander on my GH2’s and OMD. You just can’t match the personality of those lenses. But for professional work I agree with steve, 12mm f 2; 25mm f 1.4; 45mm f 1.8 and now the 75mm f 1.8 and coming 35-100mm f 2.8 are all I need.
    What surprises me most, is the resistance by so many photographers to live in the XXI century…and seize modern tools that give us more than most of us were expecting in 2000!
    Things have changed quite dramatic, this post only shows that.

    Kind regards everyone!
    Steve, love your site, I plan to read it for year to come, so…. 😛 keep on the good work!


  16. Sorry…not much ‘inspirational’ about today’s ‘daily inspiration’….a little lackluster IMO. The difference in size is obvious…while we’re at at why don’t we throw a Nokia 808 next to them both…..just think than the OP could have taken these with a camera-phone he carried in his back pocket.

  17. You would have gotten better tonal range with your 5d. if it’s the wieght you’re concerned about, just take off the grip. You 5d has inspired me to pick one up whenever the price goes down a bit someday.

    • Hi Gary,

      I’ve not tryed NEX7 EVF but this in OM-D is the best I’ve seen so far and very usable. Looks very close to the eye, avoiding the tunnel effect you seen in some others. You see the difference with the fast refresh rate it has. Don’t expect the quality of a nice FF optical viewfinder! This still be much better

      Bye, Devid

  18. I like the images! Thanks for sharing.

    I am still using DSLR cameras, with no immediate plans to change anything, but it is good to see the smaller-format cameras improving, and the OM-D is certainly pleasing to the eye.

  19. Bu for pete’s sake guys. I think it is pretty fair to leave the battery grip on the 5D. Using it without the extra juice can be somewhat limiting. Especially if your out trekking. Its either the grip or a couple of backup batteries. You need a decent power backup with the Oly too but it’s still very much smaller.
    Whats up with the sarcasms? The pictures are very nice. Must be a sign of the times when someone demands the use of HDR in a landscape photo…
    Well this is what real photography looks like. Rather refreshing to NOT have to bear another photoshop wonder…

    • Huh? The 5d’s battery yields, what, 1000-1200 shots and the OM-D battery is about 1/3 of that.

      • Well, actually it yields approx 850 shots. The OM-D manages 330 shots with Live View and approx twice as much using the vf. Not much of a difference is it… (The numbers were taken from DPReview)

        These capacities are at 20 degrees celsius (room temperature for all you Fahrenheiters ;)). At lower temperatures the actual yields could be substantially lower. Lower temperatures are just the sort of thing you would experience while trekking in any mountain area.

        So, all in all. It might have been better to have added a battery grip to the Oly too. But come on. The point was that the writer felt that he had enriched his photographic experience by going lighter and smaller. It wasn’t a millimeter for millimeter comparison of the two cameras… Lighten up a bit. Some of the commenters here really need to cut down on the sarcasms…

        • Nick, I agree when you say that Devid’s point was to show lighter and smaller works better for him. Still no reason to photographically misrepresent the comparison.

          You seem to agree with that, as you said he should have put the grip on the OM-D. As pictured, the battery life of a 5D with a grip vs. an OM-D with no grip is kind of silly.

  20. Nice comparison. I sold my 5D to found the M9 + E-m5, so i never got to line them up side by side. But what a difference sizewice.

    Btw. love your advise about ” zooming” with Leica in the Dolomites.

    Nice shots aswell…

  21. If it’s still “bash the big bulky dslr” day, I’ll go out tomorrow and get myself a D3s, or x,l to complement my D700.; at least that one has the battery grip permanently attached, so no cheating will be involved. Then I’ll take a picture of it next to my Contax S2, and be surprised by the difference in size.

  22. I think you should have put Canon 100-400mm lens on 5d, put both in as large suitcase as you can find and then take the comparison shot just to make the case stronger

  23. That zoom lens is pretty small… Didn’t see that is was a zoom lens!

    I was just thinking, how many contributions about bulky dslrs vs smaller cameras can a reasonable man (that includes reasonable women 🙂 ) take, without resorting to the first of a number of stiff drinks? Not very interesting. The OMD is a pretty interesting camera though, but we knew that.

    So, on to the images, and well…

  24. David HAS put a zoom lens on the Oly. Admittedly though, he should also put the grip on it. Or, Take the grip off the Canon if he doesn’t own the Oly grip. The photos don’t reveal too much. I’d have tried a bit of HDR in the mountain shots. Or, maybe even a hard ND filter for number one at least. Interesting contribution anyway David. Thanks. 🙂

  25. Fair comparison, putting a battery grip and a zoom on the 5D, and a pancake on the Olympus. It’s called underestimating your audience, in your haste tommake a point that’s pretty obvious in the first place, and has been made so many times it’s grown a beard a mile long.

    So, on to the images…

  26. Hi Devid,

    Thanks for your thoughts on the comparison. I’m not sure why the need was felt to put the extra battery/grip on the 5D, as even without it, it’s still much bigger than the Oly. Or maybe putting the battery/grip on the Oly?

    Also, if we’re talking apples to apples, that Panasonic lens doesn’t have the same reach as the 24-105 mounted on the 5D, but the larger OM-D kit lens does.

    I definitely see your point, though. You can go much smaller and lighter with the OM-D AND get that nice EVF.

    Can you post more pictures that show more of the punchy color contrast that the OM-D is capable of doing?


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