A question about compatibility

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by kyteflyer, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. General question: Are all Panasonic and Olympus micro four thirds lenses interchangeable? Identical mounts?

    Secondly, more specific: Is the VF-2 viewfinder compatible with the EP-5? I know there's a VF-4 which is better/brighter, but I can't afford that, and I already have a VF-2.

    Thanks in advance (back on the wanna-sell-pentax-and-get-Oly bandwagon)
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Yes, and yes.

    The m4/3 standard is based around a common physical lens mount as well as the electronic communication protocol between camera and lens. There is a little more to it than that but that is the basics of it in a nutshell.

    Olympus had maintained the one hotshoe accessory port on every camera after the first E-P1 so the older eye-level EVFs will work on the newer bodies and the newer EVF will work on the older bodies with a firmware up date. If you can snag a VF-4 it well worth it, but the VF-2 is still very decent.
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  3. Thanks, Nic. Now to put the Pentax gear up for sale and hope it covers the cost of switching. After Christmas, though, methinks. I've been trying to move a few things lately but not having lots of luck. I think everyone is all spent out.
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Good luck with the sale of your Pentax gear. It probably is a more difficult time to be selling right before Christmas but I still see second-hand gear moving and I just sold a lens myself a few days ago. Perhaps be careful if you are selling by auction with less potential bidders around.

    A full system swap is a pretty big move; are you comfortable with the decision?
  5. Pretty much. I just have not been using it. I have pain in my wrist most of the time these days, and using the K5 just aggravates it, with or without a brace. I need something a lot lighter (and this, about two weeks after I bought another tamron 70-300 zoom because I just never bonded with the pentax 55-300). Even the Nikon1 stuff is a bit heavy and it may be that I need to just content myself with compacts. I thought I might make a stop at MFT though.
  6. usayit

    usayit Veteran

    Sep 4, 2010

    * Olympus relies on in-body IS while panasonic relies on in-lens IS (exception is the GX7). So non-stabilized lenses are stabilized on Olympus bodies but not Panasonic. Olympus bodies can still use Panasonic lenses and leverage their OIS system... just make sure you don't have both inbody and inlens turned on at the same time.

    * Some lenses are corrected in camera only if used with like branded camera and lens combinations.
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  7. Well, I'm moving closer to buying something, and yes, usayit, I want an Olympus body for that exact reason.

    However, where before I was considering a PEN, I'm now in the OMD camp. But what to buy. There are some very decent specials on at the moment for the E-M5 twin kit... but are those lenses any good? There have been so many more released, I'm no longer certain. I already have the 75-300 on my list of must haves... but for basic kit, I am unsure.

    I'm also unsure about the relative "value" of E-M1- vs E-M5. Seem that the 10 has some features not on the 5: more AF points, better LCD and so on... but theres a 5 MkII coming I believe so I am all of a dither. I *am* challenged financially, I'll be buying before I get round to selling anything else (for some reason I just resist selling my Pentax gear even though I am not using it) so the twin kit fior $635 or so seems like a good deal not to be missed.

    Also, it seems to me that the Olympus kit could potentially replace both my Pentax *and* Nikon1 stuff.

  8. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    With the Mark II looming you might get a good deal on the original EM5 is going pretty low right now. It's not really much different than its newer cousins and the VF is built in.
  9. MoonMind

    MoonMind All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Sue: I take it you're a RAW shooter? In that case, the E-M5 will serve you fine. The TruePic VII engine of the E-M1/E-M10 is noticeably better than the TruePic VI engine in the E-M5, though. Other than that, do you need more autofocus points and a 40MB dither-and-wait mode?

    I'm pretty much alone with this as far as I can see, but I honestly don't much like the handling changes I see on the E-M5II, even though the new dials (taken over from the E-M1, obviously) are a welcome upgrade. The on/off switch is on the left side now - pity, because it further impedes one-handed operation (it's difficult enough on the E-M10, just about doable in a pinch - the same goes for the E-M5). While I don't usually do that, it'd come in handy sometimes, especially when using one of the small and light primes that balance perfectly on the E-M10. The E-M5 is a tad heavier, but not at all heavy - so it should lend itself even better to that kind of usage.

  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    There are newer Olympus models than the E-M5 but it hasn't been made obsolete by them nor by anything else in it's class, really. I would still recommend it (hardly surprising since I still use one!). I like that the new E-M5 II seems to have a fully articulated screen but to be honest I would have preferred that on the larger E-M1, and with the smaller OM-D and Pen models having the tilt-only screens.
  11. Ultimately, weight and size will be a consideration. If I dont gain much in terms of lighter weight once lenses are added, I'll just stick with what I have. Lots of sums to be done, in relation to that, and the dollars too. Just that the twin kit at $635 seemed too good to pass up.
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    The only thing to note about viewfinders. There is a Panasonic DMW-LVF2 that is NOT compatible Olympus bodies.

    With the lenses thought you can actually update lens firmware from or for either. As in update firmware for a Panasonic lens while mounted on an Olympus body.
  13. Well, I haven't sold my Pentax gear and right now doesn't seem I am likely to. Theres a new one coming with weather sealing and a twisty screen, and its bound to be a lot lighter than my K5, and in addition I've committed to a 2nd hand K200D which should be in my hands within the month. I loved my K200D and anything else I do, Pentaxwise, will depend on how much I like it this time round.

    IF I was going to get an Olypus now, I think it would be the EM10.
  14. Sue -

    I made a similar switch from Pentax DSLR's to micro 4/3 cameras a few years ago - mainly because of weight - what really got to me was taking some long multi-hour treks in a national park and lugging my wonderful (I still miss it) Pentax around and thinking with each step that it was getting heavier and heavier and heavier -

    So I switched initially to Olympus and then, later on, for various reasons, to some Panasonic/Lumix'es as well. The weight savings floored me. Which is not to say that I don't (still) miss my old K200D because in some ways I do - it was a phenomenal camera. But to be honest, several of my Olympuses (is the plural of Olympuses....Olympi?) and some of my Lumixes are phenomenal cameras as well. My current favorite is a GX7 which somehow seemed to hit a sweet spot for me in terms of usability, feel, and photographer-friendliness. And, yes, all the mu-43 lenses are interchangeable - I've used my micro 4/3 lenses on a variety of different Olympus & Lumix bodies, with excellent results.

    To second Nic's earlier answer, the VF-2 should be compatible with the E-P5 - and it's quite a fine viewfinder in my opinion.

    The only other camera that I would suggest adding to your list is the E-M10. Though it's the 'baby brother' to the E-M5, it's quite an amazing camera in its own right and its combination of size and weight (very small), usability (very high) and general cool design ranks it probably at the top of my favorite Olympus cameras. And, no, I don't have one - but were I to get another micro 4/3 body, it would probably be at the top of my list.

    Though, I must say, Pentax lenses are second to none. The good news is that Pentax K-mount to micro 4/3 adapters are relatively inexpensive (some of them, anyway) and quite good; I bought one which allows me to use a wonderful old analog Pentax lens, a 50mm f/1.7, which though it's technically now a manual-focus 'legacy' lens, still pairs wonderfully with my current Lumixes.
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  15. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    A weight comparison might REALLY shock you. I don't have a Pentax system, my other system is Nikon FX. But my D800 plus Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 is heavier than my entire m4/3 system. Which includes:

    E-M10 gripped
    Sigma 30mm & 60mm
    Olympus 12-50mm and 9mm body cap fish eye
    Panasonic 14mm & 45-175mm
    3 batteries, misc cards & filters

    Oh, that includes the weight of the think tank retrospective 5 that holds it all.
  16. David, I can't even hold a D800 with no lens on it. Arthritis. Its a pest.

    My cameras are gradually getting lighter and lighter (I'm even finding the Nikon 1 stuff difficult, not so much of the weight, but because of the weight/size thing... maybe awkward for my decreasing range of movement or something). I was thinking I might just buy a walkabout lens like the Tamron 28-75, or the new pentax 16-85... but the weight is prohibitive for me, so its the kit lenses or LTD primes. I can't even consider Sigma lenses as an option, seems like none of them weigh less than half a kilo. Mentally I restrict lens weight to under half a kg... I can manage that, more or less.
  17. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    Have you considered the Panasonic LX100? I greatly prefer the Olympus menus/function buttons system over the Panasonic. But that said the direct control of shutter, aperture, and exposure comp means you might be able to limit your need to use the other stuff.

    Just a thought.
  18. Thanks David, yes the LX100 looks very nice, I could see that as a replacement for all my short zoom cameras... but at its current price, and with me on a pension... bit out of my league. In Australia, Panasonic prices never change very much, it might dip under $1000 in the near future but won't go a lot lower.