My new Oly E-PM2, initial pics and a few thoughts...

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by Yeats, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Well, yesterday evening I received my new Oly E-PM2 + kit lens. I haven't had too much time to play with it, but so far I like it bunches.

    A few early thoughts, and then some snaps...

    - Red + silver is not unattractive. Then again, I also own a bright yellow Pentax K-01. :biggrin:
    - The LCD is not so hot. Low-res by today's standards, and the image viewing area is only about 2.4". It's better in bright sunlight than some other LCD's I've used, though.
    - The kit 14-42 II r lens is decent. I'd read both positive and (very) negative comments about it, but I think it's a perfectly acceptable kit lens. Also...
    - The kit lens has really nice bokeh. Not necessarily in terms of subject isolation, but there is a lack of harshness in the OOF regions that I do not find in the Pentax kit lens.
    - Compared with my Pentax K-01 and just-sold Panny LX7, AF is very quick. In fact, I'd describe the camera, as a whole, as "nimble".
    - High-ISO RAW images are a bit noisier than I expected, and the files don't seem to like to be pushed too much - or perhaps I simply need to develop a better technique. The noise characteristic is peculiarly harsh, compared with the K-01. That said...
    - The IBIS seems to be superior to my Pentax's. This certainly helps mitigate the lesser high-ISO performance.
    - Touchscreen focus-points is awesome. Really.

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  2. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    The two pen minis (pm1&2) are low stress cameras. Small with few controls so you tend to think more of composition than settings. The pm2 has that nice sensor as well.
     
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  3. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I'm not stressing with mine! :biggrin: For $299, I feel like I got a steal! :thumbup:
     
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  4. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    820
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    nice writeup and pictures. the sensor seems to have nice clarity throughout the frame. and you certainly got a great deal. may i ask a couple questions:

    does it have auto iso feature? if so, can you set minimum shutter speed?
    when in aperture priority can the aperture be easily changed?
    are exposure compensation and metering modes easily accessible or is there menu hunting involved?

    i was surprised at your high iso experience as this is supposed to be the same, slightly tweeked, sensor as the em5, which if nothing else was a lowlight workhorse. what issues did you notice at what iso's? what were your NR settings?

    thanks and congrats on your new cam!
     
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  5. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Nice, Chris! A bit of a departure from our super-zoom expert isn't it, lol?

    They are great cameras with great output. I had both an E-M5 and an E-PL5 at one point and except for the oddly reflective sensor that bedeviled my ultrawide work, they were both very high quality.

    The E-M5 was indeed a "low light workhorse" -- for micro four thirds. In that context it was unsurpassed though nearly equaled by Panasonic's GH2 at the time.
     
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  6. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    Nice photos. Nature shots look very crisp, I guess they are lower ISO's. You got a very good deal...
     
  7. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    E-PM2 has been my main camera for months. Love it. Looks like you're off to a great start with yours!
     
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  8. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Hey Tony, I'll do my best to answer your questions!

    - There is an auto-ISO feature (200-1600), but so far I haven't found a way to set a minimum shutter speed.
    - Adjusting aperture in Av is pretty simple, in terms of not having to enter a menu to do it. You press up on the little dial on the back of the camera, and then you press either up or down on the same dial to change aperture. The only difficultly is that the "strike zone" for each press is about 3/16".
    - Exposure compensation is easy enough, similar to changing aperture. Press the little +/- segment on the rear dial, then either press the dial left/right or roll the surrounding wheel. Easy enough, just requires a little delicateness.
    - Changing metering requires that you press the OK button in the center of the rear dial. This brings up a menu on the right side of the LCD, and then you select metering via that.

    - I wouldn't read *too* much into my high-ISO commentary. My expectations were probably a little too high going in. And, if you think about it, the fact that the Oly sensor is even comparable at all to the larger Sony 16MP APS-C sensor (which, when introduced, gave FF sensors a run for their money in some measurements) is really quite impressive. I simply find the high-ISO noise harsh, edgy, compared with the slightly more muted and softer noise from the Pentax K-01. I shoot RAW, and process in Adobe Camera Raw with NR settings all set to 0. And, even though there's noise aplenty at ISO 6400, there's still a lot of detail, which is more important to me. I'd imagine part of the EM5's rep as a "lowlight workhouse" is due to the 5-axis IBIS; the 2-axis IBIS in the EPM2 is good - better than Pentax - so I imagine the EM5's is awesome.... great news for those of us reluctant to haul around a full-size tripod!
     
  9. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    John, after my 3rd Fuji superzoom broke, I drifted away... :rolleyes: I do eventually plan to acquire the Panny 20/1.7 and that will make my camera a "P&S", and also acquire the Panny 100-300, and that will be my "superzoom". :tongue:
     
  10. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    820
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    hi john
    i hope youre enjoying your new fuji gear and look forward to seeing some of your wonderful pictures with your new gear.

    i have and love the x100 and had and very much disliked the em5. just my subjective feeling on how each rendered and for my taste i found the em5 flat amd lifeless. nonetheless, i did also feel it was the equal of my much loved x100 at iso16-3200. just my opinion, but i have seen similar remaks made in em5 reviews. i never shoot above 3200, so i cant vouch for or have any opinion on what goes on above that.
     
  11. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Thanks. The 1st cat shot was ISO 3200 @ 1/3s, the 2nd cat shot was ISO 3200 @ 1/80s and pushed at least 1 stop in PP. The others are at base ISO 200.
     
  12. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Amin, I can see why, it's a really fun camera to use and the output is excellent. As I grow more acclimated to it, I find that the controls are better than some people give it credit for.

    Sometimes, though, my right index finger reaches for a little zoom lever, a la the Panny LX7! :redface:
     
  13. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    820
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    chris thank you so much for your reply, its very helpful to my thought process on how i will reenter the m4/3 world. i guess i'm looking at the epl5 (combo of new sensor and articulating touch/fire/focus lcd) and the gx7. though i think im much more likely to find a great price deal on the oly...

    i had an ep2 and really liked it and used it with lots of mf lenses. i tried the gxr m mount and found as much as i hated to admit it, it blew the ep2 away when used with rf glass. and i love love love my x100. i think id like to complement the x's 35mm fov with an AF portrait cam/lens and ive settled on the oly 45/1.8 which seems like an extraordinary lens. imo, the IQ ive seen from that combo rivals any other at that FL ive seen from any other mirrorless combo, m4/3 or apsc. and while i do love the new fuji interchangeable lens products, the size difference with native fuji lenses is just too close to the dslr world i couldnt wait to leave.

    wow, sorry for the totally OT ramble, just thinking out loud! thanks again!
    tony
     
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  14. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Yes, images from the EPM2 do seem a little flat compared with my Pentax K-01. Perhaps it's a case of there being "no substitute for cubic inches". OTOH, maybe it's my composition skills. Or my PP skills. With my Pentax K-01, if I take 2 identical pics, one with the kit lens at 24mm and the other with my Takumar 24/3.5, the photo with the Tak will look more lively, with a subtle touch of 3D-ness to it.
     
  15. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    No problem, Tony, feel free to ramble on! :biggrin: Sometimes I get my best (worst) ideas while rambling. :rolleyes:

    I'm infatuated with the Fuji X-system, but it would simply be too much money to replicate my Pentax kit. Same with Olympus or Panasonic.
     
  16. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    I definitely like the renderings I can coax out of the Fuji sensors better than I did the new Olympus sensors. It's not that they're BAD as such, they just don't suit me. In fact, I liked what I got out of the old GH2 sensor better.

    The Fuji is different yet, but both the X100 and now the X100S and X-E1 I have are pleasing me very much, though I've not enough time with them to know all I can do with them.
     
  17. Stan

    Stan SC Regular

    164
    Apr 19, 2013
    California
    Stan
    Congrats on the new camera and great images! I also have the EPM2 and enjoy using it very much. I agree with your comments about the EPM2, and it's quite a bargain for the imaging that it's capable of. Enjoy!
     
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  18. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Thanks, Stan. Once I get the Panny 20/1.7, I'll have a combo to fit in a coat pocket or a small pouch on my belt... it will be real nice to have such easily transportable quality.
     
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  19. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Sounds like you're missing the high-ISO raw smoothing that the Pentax provides.

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Database/Pentax/K-01#measuretabs-2