At last, got myself an Olympus OM-D EM-5 with 12-50mm zoom

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by PeterB666, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Not an early adopter as I was with the Olympus E-P1 and E-P3, I have finally managed to get around to buying an Olympus OM-D E-P5 with the 12-50mm zoom. I was originally going to get the body only but the price difference between the body and 12-50mm kit price wasn't great, so thought it may be useful to have a weather-proof lens.

    Initial impressions were mixed but it didn't take long to realise that good things do come in small packages and the benefits of the OM-D are quite deceptive.

    The fold out LCD is brilliant and I love the EVF - nice, large and bright. It is taking a little while to get use to the controls. I like the positive nature of the on-off switch, but I am less warm about the location of the switch. I guess I have to get use to it. The size and location of the playback and Fn1 buttons is poor but I will get use to it. The lack of labelling on the control buttons is odd but understandable - I have reassigned most of the buttons to suit my needs anyway. In general the controls are more positive than on the E-P1 and E-P3 and the off-set location of the two control wheels took a little while to get use to. Overall- a lovely body and great to use.

    The 12-50mm lens was a real surprise. It has had some poor reviews and I am less than excited about the f/6.3 aperture at the wrong end. The lens cannot even manage to maintain f/3.5 at 14mm and is a poor f/5.1 at 25mm. This really isn't good enough. The lens should be a half a stop faster across the entire range.

    The macro function works really well, I have no issues with sharpness or distortion and the 12mm to 50mm range is excellent. In practice, I haven't found the f/6.3 aperture to be a problem and the lens seems quite sharp and excellent for a low-cost kit zoom. Build quality of the lens is excellent other than the slightly noisy and course geared feel of the manual zoom. Other than the aperture, that is the only time I feel the lens has been built to a price. It would have been nice to have a variable speed to the power zoom, or at least two speeds. I find it a bit slow to go from one end to the other but it would be good for video work. No problems with vignetting or general image quality.

    It is taking me a little while to get use to the camera. My first real play was with some low-light work and I haven't been using the Olympus E-P3 much for that as I have not been satisfied with noise control or colour balance for long exposures. Neither are a problem for the OM-D. In fact, low light performance seems better than my Nikon D90 in all respects other than one and that is hot and stuck pixels for long exposures. It isn't bad, but forgetting that when left on sequential shooting, the Olympus doesn't apply dark-frame noise control, there is a little bit of an issue there but it isn't bad. While I never have to bother about it with my Nikon D90, the Olympus E-P1 and E-P3 would result is totally unusable images with the E-P3 slightly worse (in when it became an issue). I was shooting 30 and 40 second images and all were usable. I would be having serious problems at 8 seconds with the E-P3 without the dark-frame noise reduction.

    Overall, this is a winner of a camera. Now for some foul weather to test the weather sealing!

    Here are some pics...

    Clifton Gardens Pool by peterb666, on Flickr

    12mm 1/60s, f/7.1 and ISO1250 (a mistake as I left the camera on auto ISO)

    Clifton Gardens 2_1 by peterb666, on Flickr

    12mm 8 seconds, f/16, ISO200 with a 4-stop (ND16) ND filter.

    Clifton Gardens 3 by peterb666, on Flickr

    14mm 30 seconds, f/16 and ISO200 with a 1-stop (ND2) filter.
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  2. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Hall of Famer

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Congratulations. I loved my E-M5 from the time I picked it up, especially for the two control wheels that finally allowed me to change shutter and aperture when shooting manual without the use of fiddly buttons or dials on back. Every camera takes getting used to the layout of the buttons, and I supposes there is no perfect way to please everyone with every choice, but I find the customization of the buttons really helpful: for instance I never shoot video or do most of the other things the red button is dedicated to, but I use manual lenses all the time, so programed it to enlarge the view for manual focus. Love it!

    If you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine, you'll be loving it a lot. Good good and happy shooting.
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  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Enjoy your new rig. Walking around in the rain and not worrying about the camera is a real treat.
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  4. Pelao

    Pelao All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Congratulations. Enjoy the new friend, and keep posting photographs.
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  5. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    Nice photos and a very nice camera - well done Peter.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    There is a bit of a "wow" moment when switching from a Pen to the E-M5, although perhaps less so with the E-P3 since it is already quite speedy and has a similar OLED touchscreen.
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