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Took the plunge Olympus OMD EM5

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by cheeks69, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    Well decided to buy the Olympus for Landscape and Portrait photography although the latter has always been the most difficult part for me but with time and practice hope to get better. Some initial impressions are it's a solid camera, very well built. The menu options are overwhelming for me right now since I haven't touched an SLR for so many years but Dpreview had some recommended settings that I've applied. The auto WB is just a little to warm to my liking had to go into settings and shut off warm color on, also the in camera default settings seem to me to go overboard particularly sharpening. I'd appreciate any tips from those that are using the camera or have used it. I bought it with the kit lens the 12-50mm and so far haven't been very impressed with it particularly indoors but I do like that fact that it has macro capability so i'll probably keep it for now. I have seen some great photos from it at the "other" forum so it's probably me not the lens...lol

    Eventually I'd like to get an all around prime lens not sure if I should go with the Oly 17 1.8 or the Oly 25 1.8, which would you suggest ? I plan to keep the Sony RX 100 because it's such a great little camera and I've really gotten comfortable using it but I'm excited about the versatility of the Olympus. Any tips or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.:smile:
     
  2. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Congratulations! It's a wonderful camera. I turned off warm color too, and even then adjusted the auto WB toward a bit cooler. I usually shoot raw, so don't worry about jpeg settings, but when I do, I always dial down contrast and sharpening, sometimes significantly. It's much easier to sharpen and increase contrast afterwards than it is to lower it. The sharpening in most photo editing software will do a better job than in camera. Unless you absolutely don't want to do any manipulation on the computer, I'd recommend -1, at least on both sharpening in contrast. And personally, when I was using jpegs, I shot contrast at -2 and brought it up as necessary after the fact.

    But that's me. You'll undoubtedly discover what works best for you.

    Where in MA are you? I grew up in Braintree and lived for years in Boston, until the long, cold winters caught up with me. I've been in NM 21 years now, a third of my life.
     
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  3. conyon

    conyon SC Rookie

    12
    Sep 3, 2013
    Philadelphia
    I have the Oly 17mm 1.8 -- an excellent lens. You mentioned portrait so perhaps consider the Oly 45mm 1.8? I personally find it very high quality and more versatile than I'd originally anticipated. (I'm thinking too of adding the 25mm -- as fast standard normal)
     
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  4. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    Thanks Lawrence, I'll try those settings and see how I like it. I was using some of my presets in Lightroom not realizing the in-camera settings and the photos looked terrible so I'll definitely have to adjust, I also usually shoot RAW and prefer to PP.

    I live in the armpit of MA Fall River to be exact not that far from Braintree, my brother worked out of Braintree for many years. BTW after this past winter I may join you in NM...lol
     
  5. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    I have heard and seen great things from the 45 so probably will get that one to eventually when the funds become available but for now it's between the 17 and 25.
     
  6. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Congrats on the E-M5, Robert.

    I was going to suggest the 45/1.8 also, but of the two you list, I think I would go for the 25/1.8. One other lens I would recommend, if you like the FoV, is the Panasonic. Can be found new on Ebay for $175ish from dealers in Asia (assume they are breaking up kits).
     
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  7. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen SC Regular

    110
    Jan 10, 2014
    If funds are tight, consider the Sigma 19mm f2.8. It's a bit less bright in the aperture, but it's optically outstanding, and you can get nice condition 2nd hand ones for ~$125 or so. I also happen to prefer the field of view of the 19mm (and the Panasonic 20mm) to either the 17mm or the 25mm. The Sigma 19mm also focuses noticeably faster than the Panasonic 20mm - especially on Olympus bodies. For around $400, you could get BOTH the Sigma 19mm and the Olympus 45mm.
     
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  8. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    618
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    When I showed my Dad the EM-5, he was so impressed that he bought himself one. And one of his friends was so impressed that he got one, too. Dad said it was like 'a real camera', not having to wait for focusing or shot to shot times. I'm still very happy with mine when I'm primarily shooting stills; otherwise I use the Panasonic GH3.

    The Pana 25/1.4 has a habit of rattlesnaking on the EM-5, where the aperture changes are loud and constant. The Oly 17/1.8 doesn't have this problem, and from what I've seen, is a really nice general purpose prime. It still gives you gently blurred backgrounds if you shoot portraits from the shoulders up, and focus is fast and silent on the EM-5.

    If you didn't mind a slower aperture or startup time, the Sigma 19mm f2.8 is a really good lens. It doesn't have the great build quality of the Olympus, and it unfortunately adds 2-3 seconds to startup time, but it has excellent image quality. Very sharp and nice microcontrast. I believe that it takes so long to start up as the camera 'indexes the focus range' each time the camera starts. It seems to be a design flaw in the Sigma 19 and 30, not sure about others in their m43 range.

    As for tips:

    - set the Fn1 button for exposure lock, and the front dial for exposure compensation. This puts everything under your fingertips for when you need it.

    - set focus for AF + MF. This allows you to autofocus with a half press and adjust focus with the lens ring if necessary.

    - although ISO goes pretty high, I limit Auto ISO to 2500. That's high enough for f2.8 lenses.

    - buy the battery grip, and use the top grip section all the time. It transforms the camera's handling. And make sure the rubber stops cover the electronic contact ports to prevent water from getting on them.

    - enable Face Detection! I used to think face detection was for soccer mums, but it really helps a lot. The EM-5 has particularly fast and accurate face detection, although if you are shooting a sea of faces, it might be difficult to focus on the one you want.

    - as for image quality and look, it's just a matter of experimenting until you find a combination you like.

    - the menu system is atrocious. It's worse than the old Fuji menu system. Fortunately, you can use the Super Menu or whatever it is called to access the most used functions.

    - if you decide to shoot raw, be aware that Lightroom doesn't handle Olympus colour the way Olympus Viewer 3 does. OV3 does colour beautifully, whereas LR is kind of muddy and grainy. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same level of image control as Lightroom in terms of individual Saturation, Luminance, shadow/highlight recovery, etc. If you want good looking skin tones, use OV3. If you shoot landscapes or other non-people oriented things, or don't need attractive skin, Lightroom is fine.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  9. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen SC Regular

    110
    Jan 10, 2014
    Small world - about 28 years ago, I used to live right on the Quincy/Braintree line in a place called Faxon Commons - around the block from there, there used to be an Electric Boat dry dock facility with a huge crane that they used to haul ship hulls out of the water for maintenance. Is that still there?
     
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  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I hope that you'll like it. For the last two years the E-M5 has been the camera for me that just gets things done. No fuss. However the 12-50mm isn't a lens that I'd nominate as a shining light of the system. I notice that you're deliberating between some of the Olympus lenses, but also don't be afraid to mix-and-match with some of the Panasonic and Panasonic/Leica lenses.
     
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  11. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    hoping to see a few nature shots

    unfortunately I think that I'm getting the D4S bug
     
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  12. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    Thanks ya'll appreciate the feedback ! The weather is starting to get better so can't wait to start shooting.

    That's what I suspected but the fact that it can be used as a macro and it's got a relatively wide angle gives me a reason to keep it for now and will do, thanks Nic

    I remember going there as a kid as my neighbor used to work for General Dynamics but haven't been there since I was about 12 years old so not sure if it's still there or not.
     
  13. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    Thanks never thought of Sigma and Micro four thirds and that's an excellent price !
     
  14. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    Thanks Archiver appreciate all the info !
     
  15. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    Thanks Krugorg, are you referring to the panasonic 25 1.4 ?
     
  16. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Ah, sorry, I was talking about the newer Olympus 25/1.8. A bit cheaper and smaller (both lens and hood) than the Panasonic 25/1.4. Of course, it doesn't do f1.4. I did really enjoy the Panasonic on my E-M5, but if I had to do it over again, I may start out at least with the Oly version.
     
  17. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    Sorry but I'm back :rolleyes:
    I have been trying to use some of the scene modes particularly the panorama and monotone but they can only be used as jpegs not raw and for some reason lightroom doesn't recognize these, what am I doing wrong ? I tried using the software from olympus but it's extremely slow and I'm not familiar with it yet. Lightroom recognizes and transfers my RX100 jpegs why not the EM5 ?
     
  18. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Even smaller world: I'm from Fall River (South End) as well. I moved away at 22 and finally settled in VA in 1986. I still miss the unique food items and always over eat when I visit my family who still lives there.
     
  19. cheeks69

    cheeks69 SC Veteran

    274
    Aug 5, 2013
    Southeastern, MA
    Robert
    No kidding my brother lives in the South end near the Tiverton line, I live in the North end near BCC, love the Portuguese food in particular.! Unfortunately there's only a couple of decent P. restaurants left, it's a good thing my mother-in-law is close !
     
  20. dannybgoode

    dannybgoode SC Regular

    28
    Feb 13, 2014
    Having never even considered an m43 camera I have fallen for the OM-D series also - in my case the 10.

    Wonderful system - enjoy the 5. I have bought the 45mm f1.8 and it is a fine lens for the money when you want something a bit longer than the c. 20mm length.

    I have also got a few legacy lenses including a 70-300mm tele which with a x2 teleconverter gives a crop of 1200mm on an m43 body. Lens was around £10 and another £10 for the x2 and £10 for an adapter.

    Some great value to be had buying old but good glass...
     
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