Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review: Street Shooting and Final Words

Olympus Malaysia has unveiled their official pricing for the OM-D E-M5 and they are starting to take local pre-order (9 to 31 March 2012). There are promotions with FREE gifts too, choice of MMF-3 adapter or 32Gb Sandisk EXTREME card. Do check out their official promotional page here (Click).

Important Notes:
1. This is a user experience based review.
2. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG Large SF (super fine) via Olympus Viewer 2 version 1.3 (provided by Olympus Malaysia).
3. General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal, Picture Mode: Monotone
4. No post-processing applied (except picture mode set to "monotone") to the images. All images were as good as straight out of camera with minimal cropping for better presentation.
5. Lenses used for this entry: M.Zuiko 12mm F2 and 45mm F1.8

This entry is the final part of my Olympus OM-D E-M5 review episodes, please read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you have not done so.

In this Part 4, I shall be summarizing the important highlights of my findings while shooting with Olympus E-M5 in the previous parts of my review. I shall also be discussing about a few negative points of the camera which I thought could have been improved. Basically you will find the summary of pros and cons of the Olympus E-M5, based on my brief encounter and shooting experience with it over the weekend.

In addition, I believe Olympus E-M5 is a very capable street photography machine. Street photography has been picking up pace all around the world lately. In my final shooting session with the Olympus E-M5, I have brought the camera to my usual shutter therapy session, doing street shooting at my favorite grounds in Jalan Masjid India and Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur. Therefore, I shall talk about how well the Olympus E-M5 performs as a street photography camera, and how I find it suitable for my shooting style and preferences.


Awesome music by SILENT SCENERY
Track title: Tale of a Wooden Door

This video highlights me in action shooting the streets. This was my first time seeing myself doing my shutter therapy. Quite interesting to see myself from a third person's perspective. Thanks again Sanjit for the wonderful video.


All the photographs in this entry were taken in the above-mentioned street shooting session in Jalan Masjid India and Chow Kit, hence let’s just take all the technicalities out of the way. In street photography, technical perfection is not a priority, there are many things that will help you make the shot, which I will discuss in the later part of the entry. You all have seen many photographs as examples of what the Olympus E-M5 is capable of producing in my previous three parts (almost 100 photo samples) with dozens of full size JPEG downloads, where you can scrutinize the sharpness of the images, the high ISO and dynamic range performance, as well as judging the beautiful Olympus signature colors. Since I was doing my shutter therapy session, it was a personal shooting experience, and I shall be presenting all my street photographs in black and white instead. I want to draw your attention away from pixel-peeing and being a technical nerd, and just turn your street photography mode “ON” for this entry. Why, you ask? Because I love street photography, and only by really doing what I usually do in street photography with the E-M5, can I tell you, honestly and fairly, how the camera fares in my shooting session.

Concurrent Events

Clouded by Bubbles

Play date.


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT E-M5

IMPROVED IMAGE QUALITY (High ISO, Dynamic Range and Resolution)

Olympus cameras over the years have been plagued with a universally agreed presumption that they all lag behind competition when it comes to high ISO shooting and dynamic range. Having the smaller sensor size in comparison to APS-C and Full Frame DSLR is the main attacking point used by competitors to talk Olympus down. I have to admit, despite having wonderful camera system with loads of innovative features and well thought out designs for practical photography usage, ultimately the world still chases high ISO and megapixel race (so sad, right?). It is a huge news that Olympus finally, has caught up with the best in class (APS-C DSLR) in terms of image quality.

It is a breath of fresh air when the image quality in the new 16MP LIVE MOS Sensor used inside the E-M5 has spotted a huge jump of improvement over the previous Olympus models. Usable, clean ISO6400 images with minimal chroma noise and still maintaining good amount of details is unheard of from Olympus, until the E-M5 arrived. In fact, at ISO3200 and below the images appear to be excellent, and I will have no hesitation using such settings when necessary. When I was shooting with the E-5 (my main camera), I would have had to think a lot more before turning up to ISO1600. Similarly applied to dynamic range, where transition between the bright and dark areas is smoother, and the E-M5 did a splendid job in maintaining details in both the highlight and shadow region, even being used at higher ISO settings (up to ISO800). This surely is a sign of better things to come for Olympus system, both micro 4/3 as well as the native and much neglected DSLR 4/3 system.

I was very glad to find Olympus finally breaking the barrier they set for themselves when they restricted their Pixel count to only 12MP a few years ago. I agree 12 MP is sufficient for most usage today, but sooner or later, when everyone else is having higher and higher megapixel count, the old 12MP will not be able to keep up anymore. I am not supporting the megapixel race, but having a little bit more will surely be advantageous to any photographers.

Religious Man

Gold

Difference in Decades

Food in mouth


NEW 5-AXIS IMAGE STABILIZATION

I was surprised when I found out that I was able to shoot sharp images, not just by luck, but confidently doing it again and again with the new IS system built inside the E-M5 body. The furthest I dared to push shooting handheld was the shutter speed of half a second. I believe if you want to shoot anything with ONE second or more shutter speed, you might have thought of that in mind before hand and prepared a tripod along with you. Being able to shoot half a second hand held and get away with many sharp images surely opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

As evidence, you may download half size JPEG samples (no need for full size, since the purpose to show the images is to prove that I have taken many shots with half a second shutter speed, yet they all turn out to be sharp).

IMAGE STABILIZATION TEST

The IS works wonders when I was shooting macro. Firstly, the effect of the IS can be seen through the viewfinder while I was shooting, and this helps to mitigate the “shaky and jumping” view, thus greatly improving comfort while shooting. I rarely find blur images as I did extreme magnification macro shots, holding the E-M5 with 50mm F2 macro lens (mounted via MMF-3) by one hand. The new IS certainly added a lot of flexibility when it comes to real, practical shooting.

Besides hand held slow shutter speed, and shooting extreme macro, the new IS also benefits handheld video recording, as shown in all the videos taken by my dear friend Sanjit. He shot all the footages hand-held with another E-M5 on his hand, and we shall be exploring the video capabilities of the E-M5 in a separate entry, and I shall get Sanjit to talk about that instead. As you know, I am a photographer, and I know nuts when it comes to video world.


VERY GOOD HANDLING

The E-M5 by itself is very small, and does not offer good enough balance and gripping, especially for larger hands. However, coupled with the additional battery grip pack, HLD-6, the story changes. I find myself loving the horizontal grip (landscape) a lot, and it certainly added the much needed bulk and weight to steady my shots better. I personally find the portrait grip being added to be a little too large and heavy for my liking. Nonetheless, having options to add on is a smart move, and I must admit there are people who want the camera to be as small as possible. For me, balanced handling is more important, and yes, I highly recommend the use of HLD-6, if you intend to shoot with larger lenses (eg telephoto-zoom lenses).

I also like the rugged construction and built of the camera. It felt very solid in my hands, and perhaps, up to date, E-M5 has the best built of all mirrorless (or compact system cameras) cameras in the market. I often complain on how fragile the PEN series cameras are, easily dented and cracked if you unknowingly knock the camera on hard surface, or have minor accidents. Strong magnesium alloy body on the E-M5 is surely adding confidence to the photographers like me, who usually handle their equipments very roughly.


Innocence

Looking for an answer

Negligence

Same Level


OPTIMIZED STRAIGHT OUT OF THE CAMERA JPEG

As always, Olympus produces excellent out of the camera JPEG files, with very accurate auto white balance, true to life colours, pleasing skin tones, and optimized resolution, maintaining great amount of details. I know many photographers shoot RAW most of the time, but having a reliable JPEG engine will surely come in handy in many situations when you do not have the time to transfer your images to your computer and do our photoshop magic.

USABLE ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER

I do not think that the electronic viewfinder is perfect, but having one makes a whole world of difference, especially when it comes to manual focusing works, and shooting directly under the bright sun.

IMPROVED BATTERY LIFE

The new battery is a lot better than the BLS-1 (as used in all previous Olympus PEN cameras). In most of my shooting session (except the butterfly park), I did not kill the battery, and the capacity was sufficient to last me until I reach home, with more than 400 shots each session. I cannot tell you how many total shots a single charge can last, because I immediately charge up the battery once I got home, before I head out again. I only killed the battery in butterfly park after over 300 shots, mainly because I used the add-on flash to fire and trigger the extermal flash FL-36R wirelessly in ALL my shots. Considering the heavy use of the add-on flash and incredible amount of chimping in butterfly park (yes I do chimp a lot, when I needed to ensure my focus accuracy when I manual focus), that was a respectable performance.


Plastic

Unsure

Street tailor

Crossing lines

Waiting for the world to pass


There is no such thing as a perfect camera, and obviously there are also things that I wish could have been improved in the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT E-M5

FOGGING ISSUE

I managed to test the weather-sealing of the camera twice. The first encounter was shooting in the rain at Bukit Bintang during nighttime, as I have blogged in Part 2 of my review. The second encounter was having the camera run under small sprinkling water fountain in the Butterfly Park, KL, as shown in Part 3 (the last part of the video). In both encounters, the Electronic Viewfinder fogged up from the inside, with the moisture appearing as a thick white blanket covering the view. Both my camera and Sanjit’s camera experienced the same problem, because we both shot in the rain. Logically, being a weather-sealed camera, the moisture should not have gotten inside. I have no such problem with my previous DSLR E-520 and E-5, when I brought the cameras to high humidity places such as the rainforest. I have also placed the E-5 directly under a running waterfall (small one of course) and there was no moisture ingress into the viewfinder. Being rated as weather sealed, I am surely not expecting this issue to be found on the E-M5, following Olympus’ great reputation with their previous weather sealed cameras since E-1 days.

Update (14 March 2012): In all fairness, the fogging in the electronic viewfinder did not cause any hiccups or issues to the camera's performance, everything continued to operate fine as usual. As an alternative, the live view on the 3 inch OLED screen still appear to be as clear as ever, and was used an alternative to compose my subjects instead. The fogging in the viewfinder lasted for about half an hour, on both Sanjit and my E-M5 units. I hope that Olympus somehow will rectify this issue before the first batch of E-M5 mass production hits the market.

NO SUPPORT OF PDAF LENSES

There is no doubt that E-M5 has very fast autofocus. However, there is no improvement when it comes to using the older 4/3 DSLR lenses that worked optimally with phase-detect autofocus system. I think a lot of us, long time Olympus users who have held onto the marvelous Zuiko lens lineup, would appreciate some sort of engineered compatibility on the micro 4/3 camera system to enable “reasonable fast and usable” focusing with the 4/3 lenses. That would open up the micro 4/3 to a more complete range of lenses, including some very respectable fast zoom lenses, which the micro 4/3 line up is seriously lacking at the moment. I am not sure how Olympus is going to fix this missing link, but if they did, the micro 4/3 system from Olympus will step up to another level, mainly because of how excellent their Zuiko lenses already are. It is my wish that Olympus will not take this lightly, as they still have many 4/3 system users.

Late market

Friendliness

Painful truth

Honest living


CONTINUOUS FOCUSING WITH 3D TRACKING

While I did notice some improvements with the continuous focusing on the E-M5, especially when face detection is turned on, I still feel that there is much to be improved. Do cut the camera some slack, because I have tested the camera in very difficult shooting conditions. Perhaps, in good lighting situation, the camera would have fared better. However, as I tested the continuous focusing in my shooting sessions, I did miss a lot of focus (Turkish Dance in Part 1 review). Not being happy with the results I was seeing, I decided to switch back to the default Single AF and the original single click autofocus was fast enough for me to capture a high hit rate. Bear in mind that I am not a continuous focus shooter, and probably do not exactly know how to optimize the usage of it. Well, perhaps I was being misguided by that ballet dancing girl as advertized in the youtube video (click). That sort of superb continuous AF performance was nowhere seen when I was shooting the Turkish Dance on stage !

However, the continuous focusing seems to work better in video recording, based on my observation while Sanjit was shooting. Lets explore this in a separate entry, where Sanjit will share his video shooting experience with the E-M5.


OPTICAL VIEWFINDER

As much as I have noted the importance of having the electronic viewfinder and how it has improved overall shooting experience, I still think that nothing beats shooting through a real, large, bright Optical Viewfinder. I like the idea of what you see is what you get through the viewfinder. The Electronic Viewfinder is built to mimic the end-result after you click the shutter button. It may be useful to some, but I prefer to see what is happening during the process of shooting, not after. I want to see exactly what my eye can see without any modifications, and I believe 100% real life representation of the optical viewfinder helps in this regard. Perhaps (once the technological barriers have been broken down) a hybrid viewfinder of some sort, for example an optical viewfinder with electronic display overlay will benefit the photographer with the best from both worlds.


Strategist

Different worlds

Chill

Three Men and a road divider

Now or Never


STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WITH OLYMPUS E-M5

Recently, it is interesting to note that some cameras have been designed to fit the “descriptions of a street photographer’s machine”, and being marketed as such. Street photography is an important genre of photography and is being practiced widely everywhere in the world. How does E-M5 fare in street shooting?

First of all, I really treasure the smaller sized and lighter camera for street shooting. It makes walking long distances more comfortable, and I was able to hold the camera with one hand while I was hunting for subjects. Furthermore, people are less “threatened” when you point a smaller sized camera at them, a camera that does not scream paparazzi or serious photographer who has ulterior motives when you shoot them. Generally, the locals here would quickly associate anyone who has huge black professional cameras with large lenses as someone who works for the media, being a reporter or journalists working for the local newspaper, trying to do some story in their local neighbourhood. Giving out that kind of impression when you use a large DSLR will pose some kind of intimidation to your street subjects, and they will react differently to you when you approach them. Most of the time the attention you get with large cameras will hold you down and prevent you from getting the “natural” look from your subjects. People are less friendly when they think that you want something from them.

Having the small E-M5 that appears retro (like a film camera) is less intimidating, and I find my street subjects to be more acceptable when I go near them. It is either they do not care at all since I do not look like I pose a threat with such a small camera, or I look more like just another person in the crowd. I was able to blend into the street much better with smaller cameras like E-M5 and any other Olympus PEN cameras, than larger alternatives such as my E-5. If you are serious about street photography, you would agree that blending in is an important part even before you start clicking the shutter button.

On the streets, it is not about capturing nice colours or aesthetically pleasing shots all the time. It is about capturing emotions, expressions of people passing by in that small trace of time, and moments that happen so briefly that you capture that one frame to tell a wonderful story. Being able to capture the decisive moment (as popularized by Henri Cartier Bresson, and no I am not a fan of his) will demand a lot from the camera, when it comes to Autofocus. Having very fast, accurate and reliable autofocus in the E-M5 allowed me to nail my shots at that precise moment I wanted the shutter to click. I know many people rely on zone-focusing (lets hope this statement wont spark a whole new firestorm elsewhere), personally I prefer NOT to use zone focusing because I want bokeh and I use high shutter speed on the streets, hence good Autofocus is a necessity for me. Of course you may devise your own shooting style that fits you, but you have to admit that being able to focus and freeze the moment instantaneously is crucial in street photography. Any lag or pause will surely cause you to miss precious moments, and those moments will not repeat itself. Olympus has advanced their Autofocus mechanism so well that if I miss any shots, it was due to my own fault for not pressing the shutter button fast enough.


Intense


Open

Umbrella

Stealth, is another important weapon in street photography. All street photographers will tell you the same thing: GET CLOSER to your subjects. How can you get close enough without polluting your scene with the subject being aware of your presence and that he is being photographed? This is the area where I find the tiltable OLED screen with touch screen shutter activation to come in very handy. The trick of not drawing attention from the crowd is not to have eye contact. If you do not look into your subject directly, he would not know that you were shooting him, and this is the safe and good approach to get near your subject. Shooting from waist level, with the tilt screen facing upwards towards me, I can frame my subjects just by looking downwards, without establishing eye contact with my subject, and then I do not even have to press the shutter button to cause any alarm, I just touched the screen to shoot. I have used this trick on the E-M5 for quite a number of shots in this entry, and they all turned out to be very natural and as if I was not there at all. I was close enough, and I still can get “unposed” natural expression on my subject’s faces.

Of course, another important factor not to be forgotten, would be the very muffled, soft, shutter sound. Thanks to the new shutter mechanism encased inside the thick magnesium alloy body shell, with full weather sealing, the shutter sound is soft and rounded. Being on the street, it was almost inaudible, and this added a lot of advantage when you intend to be stealthy.

I find myself enjoying shooting the street tremendously with the E-M5. In comparison to the E-P3, I welcome the better handling due to the beefier added horizontal hand grip, the tiltable OLED screen and also the much quieter shutter sound. Indeed, the Olympus E-M5 is well suited as a street photography weapon.

Small opening

I thank you all beautiful readers for being here supporting my review work on this blog, and all the kind, encouraging remarks I have received from you all. It has been a great honor and privilege to be able to test, shoot and write about the new Olympus OM-D E-M5. The encounter was very brief, but I have truly enjoyed myself, and the experience was very fulfilling. I appreciate the overwhelming response in comments, emails, and any feedback.

While I have finished my part of user experience review focusing on photography alone, Sanjit, the great friend who have shot me in video all this time will have something to say about the video capabilities on the Olympus E-M5. I shall feature him on my blog soon to talk about that.

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to say something in the comment section on this blog entry, or email me directly at hamish7ian@gmail.com






191 comments:

  1. Thanks for the in depth review. I look forward to getting my hands on one soon, unfortunately april cannot come quickly enough. i hope olympus can clear up what happened to cause the fogging on your cameras. I appreciate the time you took to go through a number of different shooting situations.

    Tony

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  2. Great work, again! Thanks for your hard work, it really helps alot of us. Like your writing style as well!

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  3. Excellent, Robin. I regret that you didn't put up color pix for these scenes; I really would have liked to see that. But your choice! You are making it very hard for me to hold out until Oly produces my dream camera -- something like the E-P3 but with the EVF built in with no hump, plus the new sensor, new IBIS and built in flash.

    That camera will detach me from the excellent E-PL3 which I love and really enjoy messing around with.

    Sorry to see your travails regarding the great unwashed, the nasty trolls who flash around the Internet swooping on anyone visibly enjoying themselves and doing a giant seagull (fly in, thrash around making a lot of harsh noise, then fly away leaving everything in a mess and covered with nasty, fishy excrement!).

    Bear up, dear chap! There are many, many more of us who enjoy your every picture, word and opinion!

    Cheers, geoff

    http://pngtimetraveller.blogspot.com/2010/12/what-does-standard-of-living-mean-in.html

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  4. Great shots Robin, by far your strongest images compared to the other sections...
    You also made a good case for this being very suitable for street shooting in your text.
    I look forward to your comments on the Fuji X-PRO 1, but give yourself some time to get used to it ;-)
    Cheers!

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  5. Hi Robin,

    Thanks for another great part of the review/showcase.

    Could it be that the water vapour enters the EVF from the accessory port? Did you use the hot-shoe cover when the fogging happened? (From pictures of the camera it looks like the cover also seals up the accessory port).

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  6. You are welcome matt.

    Thanks Tony
    April is soon !! Just a while more.

    You are welcome G

    hello Geoffrey
    Thanks for the kind comments.
    Also do not worry about me, I am doing fine. Trolls will always be there, but I do have to speak up sometime and defend myself. All is good.
    It was my pleasure to do the reviews. Hope that it has benefited the community.

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  7. Hello Kevin,
    Thanks so much for the kind compliments, and thanks for being able to see that my best photographs are in this series !!
    The X-Pro 1 is not mine, I will need to seek permission from my friend to do the testings. Hope he approves.

    Hello Martin,
    Both the hot shoe and the accessory port were covered, and we checked that already. Not sure how the moisture went inside.

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  8. Thanks again, Robin.

    Fantastic photos and a great review of this camera's suitability for street shooting. A great series overall, so timely and informative, not to mention some truly artistic pictures.

    Just one little disappointment and I hope you can do something about it, i.e. a photo taken with the 12-50mm lens using this camera, whether it is a macro shot or a photo taken with water around. like a fountain. Although I read your review of the 12-50mm lens, I am assuming that the quality of pictures should be even better when they are taken with the E-M5, compared to the E-P3 used. Would it still be possible for you to post something taken by you or by Sanjit to show off that lens?

    Dan

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  9. Hello Dan,
    Thanks for your kind compliments on my photos and review.
    Do not fret, I will be getting the E-M5 again from Olympus soon, and I PROMISE I will test the 12-50mm lens with it.
    the reason I use the 12mm and 45mm exclusively was to vanquish any shadow of doubt on E-M5's image quality, since those are two best Olympus micro 4/3 lenses. I dont want anyone to question me if the images would have been better if better lenses were used.
    Stay tuned for future updates !!

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  10. This is your best section yet Robin, love your street photography here... You make a good case for these two lenses, but wouldn't you just love a high grade 17mm f1.4 to go with the E-M5?

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work! If you ever travel to the UK, let me know and we'll organise some street shooting here :)

    Brian

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  11. Great pics again, Robin. I can't wait until April. I hope they get the fogged up viewfinder issue fixed...and I would like to see these pics in color as well....you have a lot of fans now!

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  12. Hello Brian
    Thanks so much for such kind comments !! Also thanks for agreeing that the photos in this entry are my best of all my review series. I really put my heart into them.
    Thanks for the invitation, will surely look you up if I stop by UK. Such a beautiful country you live in !

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  13. Hello Soulohio,
    Thanks so much for the compliments. April is only weeks away, and I am sure by then Olympus should be able to fix the fogging issue.
    Sorry I only intend to show the pictures in black and white. I want to draw the attention away from aanalyzing the pictures (you can do so in my previous entries) and go straight to the heart of the street photographs.

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  14. Robin, great review and marvelous photos!! Thanks!
    Regards
    Johan, Sweden

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  15. Hello Brian Mosley,
    Sorry I missed out the 17mm F1.4 part. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THAT LENS, lets hope Olympus hears this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I guess it's not on par with the two Olympus lenses mentioned, there's always the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 pancake..?

      Anyhow, thanks Robin for offering the most complete and enjoyable review, not to mention stunning photograpy! :-) I only wish I had the money to replace my Panasonic G1 with the E-M5. The G1 really struggles in low light when it comes to noise. I think I'll start by replacing my Canon FD 50mm 1.4 with the Olympus 45mm 1.8. While It's nice for what I paid for it I would really enjoy shaving off some weight and adding AF.

      I also have a magnificent Tokina 90mm 2.5 Macro lens (also FD mount) which I doubt I'll need or even want to replace with a modern alternative and that makes me wonder how Olympus approaches magnified manual focus? I've heard that it's a bit cumbersome to work with compared with Panasonics way (more buttons to press..?).

      Stéphane from Sweden

      Delete
  16. Bravo Robin and thank you for this very detailed, genuine and useful review. I had decided to pre order the cam, and your favorable comments on the AF system reinforced my decision. Hope to read the video entry soon ! Keep up the great work, and thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks Claire for the kind comments.
    Glad that it has helped your decision to get the camera.
    Do give us some time to prepare for the video part. It takes a lot MORE work than just photographs.

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  18. A Mighty camera, a great in dept review, thanks for all the good work Robin.

    Highly appreciated!!!

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  19. Wonderful review! I really appreciate your approach - user experience oriented, yet rich with technical details, such as high iso samples that gives a reader a very good overview of what the camera is capable technically and in the real world.

    The E-M5 review really makes me want the camera :) If only it was a little cheaper... and the viewfinder fogging issue certainly worries me a little. One wouldn't expect this kind of problems from a fully weather sealed camera for sure...

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  20. Hello Earwick,
    Thanks for the kind compliments !!
    Lets hope Olympus has fixed it by now.

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  21. Very interesting pictures here, thank you the review.

    Zuiko 45/1.8 is really a mighty lens for the price. I'm glad I have it. Nice beautifull bokeh without too "busy" rendering.

    The focal length (90mm on full rame) is just right for most portraits, not too short as some other options seem to be.

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  22. Hello Antti,
    Thanks !! The 45mm F1.8 indeed is a must have lens for micro 4/3 shooters !And its so cheap compared to other lenses, yet its so sharp.

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  23. Dear Robin, thank you for all the effort you put into sharing your findings and your lovely images. Be assured that a lot of Olympus fans in Germany follow every word you post. ;-) I have an eye on Olympus since the E-1 came out but it took till now that there might be the "right thing" in their offering. Small, quick, flexible composition (45mm 1.8!!!), great image quality and affordable - something FT tried to be for quite some time. To me mFT seems to be the natural result out of the FT idea and with the new OM we could as well have the first implementation of it all combined into one product. I am totally looking forward to try this camera myself when it comes to the market.

    Right now there are only two issues for me in doubt. One is the dynamics and the other is the electronic viewfinder. Both I need to try and evaluate myself.

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  24. Hello Torn,
    Thanks for the kind compliments. And a Big Hello to all German readers !! Glad you guys are reading !!
    I agree with you, before making any decision, it is still best to have the camera in your hands, test it out and see if you like what the camera offers. A prudent way to make sure you wont make any regrets.

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  25. do you know any mft nd or polarizer filter holder for MFT lenses? haven't seen anyone on the net using one.

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  26. Hello rcferraris,
    I am sure there is, but I am not too well versed with the filter department.

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  27. Hello Sir Robin

    I think I'm going shooting with landscapes. I find it hard to shoot street photography because of my shyness. hehe.

    excellent review. Hope this is not your final Words words. Still waiting for the E-M5 E-5 comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello Rcferraris,
    Thanks for your kind compliments. There will be bits and pieces of blog entries on E-M5 to be published, the main one being the video review of the E-M5 by my dear friend Sanjit.
    Landscape is an awesome genre of photography, too bad if I were to shoot good landscape in where I stay (big city area) I will need to travel rather far.

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  29. These pictures are much better than average on your site. I think they you overdone your self. Really nice work. I'm pleasantly surprised!
    Is it the E-M5 that motivates?

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  30. Hello minimaal,
    Thanks for such generous compliments !!
    I would not say it was the E-M5, I have been really into street shooting lately. Nonetheless, I did say that the E-M5 is a great camera for street photography !!

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  31. Of course, the photos taken by you. I meant that sometimes the camera invites.
    I find the use of black and white very appropriate in this case.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello Minimaal,
    Thanks for saying so !! I too was a bit hesitant to convert everything to B&W, but I knew very well that without the color, the expression and impact of the photos come out much better. I am glad I am not alone in this !

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  33. One question.

    You said half a second hand held but, what maximum focal lens?
    With my e-510 I can get up to 1/6 at 14mm.

    Excellent reviews. Hope to jump from 43 to m43 soon.

    Best regards,

    Claudio

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  34. Hello Claudio,
    The focal length, as seen in the EXIF I left in-tact with the image samples for download, is 12mm.
    Some people have steadier hands, such as yourself, but not me. When I used my E-520 at 14mm, The slowest I dared to drag would be 1/15sec and above. Anything below that is by chance or luck.
    But I can do 12mm at half second on E-M5 consistently, again, and again, confidently. That is no accident or luck, it is just that good.
    Perhaps you could drag even slower shutter speed with your steady hands !

    ReplyDelete
  35. "negligence" is an amazing shot Robin! Thanks for your review. I'm worried about this fogging issue...any residual effects on camera performance?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello Kyle,
    It does not affect the camera performance at all. Just that the viewfinder was fogged up.
    Thanks for the kind compliments, I love the negligence shot too !!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Robin,
    Thank you so much for your very detailed review of the OM-D. Now leaning more toward this camera system rather than the Fuji. The OM-D maybe the way to go for the prime lenses (12mm and 45mm), metering, AF, ttl flash and much improved dynamic range for a m4/3 sensor. Would use it for landscape and travel photography. Your thought?

    Best, Renee

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hello Robin,
    your camera is preproduction with old firmware, or is final camera with 1.1 firmware?
    You have question to Olympus this problem with seeling in viewfinder?
    thnaks

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hello Renee,
    This is a good camera for travel and landscape !! With the superb 12mm F2 lens, or even the 9-18mm ultra wide, you surely can make very compelling images. You will treasure its smaller size and lighter weight too, in comparison to X-Pro 1.
    Thanks for the kind compliments !!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hello Jota,
    The firmware was version 1.0, but approved for review and testing purposes by Olympus Japan.
    the feedback was sent about the fogging in the viewfinder issue. I am sure they are doing something about it.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you very much for spending the time to entertain us with this great series review. I will order the 45mm 1.8 ASAP :-) Got a very new Pana G3 so I will skip on this iteration of the OM-D, but I´m surtain it will be a womderful camera!

    ReplyDelete
  42. hello Tom,
    Thanks for the kind comments.
    The 45mm F1.8 is a must have lens for micro 4/3 users, both Olympus and Panasonic !! I am sure it will work very well with your G3.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hello Robin,

    thanks again for the great review - nice street shots!

    Best wishes
    Markus

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hello Robin,

    great review - Thanks a lot! Great shots!

    Regards

    OhWeh

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks for another wonderful, practical review!

    Re: Fogging. Any humidity inside the EVF will condense on the lens when there is an abrupt change in temperature. This also happens with sealed lenses, as well, as when coming inside from a cold winter's day.

    The only way to avoid this would be if the EVF is totally dry and air-sealed. Any way to find out from Oly?

    Best,
    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hello Tom,
    Thanks for the input. Lets hope to hear something from Oly soon.
    I appreciate the kind compliments !

    ReplyDelete
  47. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Robin:

    First, "THANK YOU." This review, like the three before it, is great. I can only imagine how much hard work went into it.

    For myself, I like how personal (and subjective) your reviews are. When I want an impersonal "lab analysis", then I can and do read DXOlabs, etc. What you show us is what matters - USING the camera.

    Best Regards,

    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hello Tom,
    Thanks for the kind comments, and thanks for understanding what I am doing: being practical with the camera and just shoot with it. I am glad you find that useful.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Once again thanks for your time and efforts writing up the review. Overall it seems you really like this camera which is encouraging for those of us with it on pre-order. Your IS tests look great. amazing how you can get sharp shots at 0.4 seconds or more, that's somewhere around 4 stops IS which is incredible

    Thanks

    David

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hello David,
    Thanks for the kind compliments.
    It seems like Olympus was not boasting when they rate the IS to be effective up to 5EV steps. It worked very well for my hand-held shots !!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Excellent review Robin, thanks very much. I was content with my E-P3 and E5, but I guess the E-M5 is more than a step over in image quality. I'll get one in two or three month. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Mguarini,
    Thanks for the kind comments.
    And yes, the E-M5 is a huge step improvement over E-5 and E-P3 !

    ReplyDelete
  54. Robin,

    this is by far the best review of this camera on the web. Very well done, with videos, pictures and a nice, fluid, warm-hearted prose. Perfect! Thanks a lot for it!

    Cheers, Michael

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thanks Michael for the kind comments !
    Glad that people like it so far !

    ReplyDelete
  56. Robin, thanks for another E-M5 review segment, well done! Really interesting B&W street images. Processed in camera or in PP? Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your candid thoughts. Also hope Olympus resolves the EVF fogging issue.

    Kirk

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hello Kirk,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    All images were shot in RAW, and converted directly from Olympus Viewer 2 (v1.3) with picture mode set to "monotone".

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thanks for your hard work on reviewing the E-M5. Pay no mind to the trolls, they're just jealous that the only thing they can accomplish is to tear down others. Pity them.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hello Archer,
    Thanks for the kind words !! Yes we should ignore them, thanks for reminding.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Robin, many thanks for the detailed review! Really looking forward to getting my hands on one now.

    Still can't believe you're not a HCB fan, but to each his own :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. finally - another firework of masterpiece - wow - wonderful work, warming my heart indeed !

    Also, I highly appreciate that you rise and pin point the quirks you came across - lets hope, they can bug fix it

    As it seems, the reported instability in early Firmware is already all gone now ?

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hi Robin! Before I begin reading this final part, I wanted to take a moment to say thanks for this entire review. It's been wonderful to hear your viewpoint and I know everyone (well, most of us it seems!) really appreciate you sharing your images and opinions. I will be a regular reader now for sure. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi Robin,

    Whether it's intentional or not, this new camera from Olympus is made for Travellers and especially Street Photographers who wants dslr like quality photos without the bulk.. Think about it... It's compact, light, stealthy, weather sealed, and most of all not very intimidating to your subject.

    You're really did an EXCELLENT review about this camera. Congratulations Robin and keep up the good work!

    Eric V from Edmonton Alberta

    ReplyDelete
  64. I follow a lot of photography blogs and your review of this camera is the most compelling read of any I have seen. It may be that your engineering background allows you to organize the pros and cons and provide terrific examples to illustrate these points. Your street photography images are very professional. In some future article it would be really helpful if you shared with us your workflow for post processing. I am about to invest in a new computer and software for photography and would love to hear what you are currently using or would recommend. Many thanks again for all your hard work. I live in the USA in St Paul, MN and woke up at midnight to read your Part 4.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Wonderful series of reviews man... I had been itching for someone to really get down deep with the camera since it was released and not keep rehashing the same old talking points.

    Pre-Ordered mine back in mid-February and cannot wait for it to be in my hands... Fingers crossed I'm in the first wave of shipments. ;-)

    Do you intend to continue using the OM-D for your street work or any other regular work?

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hi Robin,

    thanks for the nice review. My first thought when I read about the fogging was what lens did you have on the camera when it happened? If you were using a lens that was not weather sealed, like the 12/2.0 or the 45/1.8, wouldn't the lens allow water into the camera? Or does the camera have internal sealing so that moisture that enters through the lens cannot reach the viewfinder?

    I know very little about how weather sealing works in cameras, but it would seem logical to me that the camera is only weather sealed when used together with a weather sealed lens.

    Rasmus

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  67. Truly excellent review and outstanding images. I enjoyed these all very much.

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  68. The moisture in the viewfinder was not on the lens as far as we could read - also the EVF is in quite a different compartment.

    My guess is, that he was happy not to face complete break down or malfunction due to eddy currents.

    Most possibly only very very little water did made it through the sealing (some knobs, the accessory port, whatever ...)

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thanks so much Robin for all of your in depth reviews as well as sharing your wonderful photos and perspective. Truly helpful and a delight.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Robin, thanks so much for your work on the E-M5. I currently have a GF1 but will be upgrading. If I may suggest an alternative to Chow Kit...it'd be your local airport/train station. I once had an extra long layover at an airport and it was interesting from a human interest point of view. Reunions, farewells, ordinary life...all in 1 spot. Give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Absolutely love "Clouded by Bubbles", "Negligence", "Friendliness", and "Three Men and a road divider"

    Take Care
    Rob
    My Journal

    ReplyDelete
  72. pm.parkes@tiscali.co.uk3/15/2012 07:02:00 AM

    Many thanks for such a great review Robin. The 45mm f:1.8 shots have real bite to them, but I find the 12mm f:2 angle of view to be my fav. Interesting point about the tilting screen for candids - something one can't do with an E-P3of course I'll have to try it.

    Some 12-50 shots on E-M5 would be welcome eventually too please - as this is going to be a popular "kit".

    Quite superb sir!

    Kind Regards

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hello Dolan,
    Thanks for the kind remarks. Don't get me wrong though, I do think HCB has many nice photographs and philosophies, but still, I don't find myself "worshipping" him like so many other photographers

    Hello Mige0,
    Thanks for the kind comments!! I guess I do have to defend myself at some point. The attacks have been too violent.
    About the firmware instability, it is very hard to tell, since I was only shooting it for 2 days. Need more thorough testing to verify this.

    Cory,
    Thanks for the kind comments and support !

    Eric,
    Thanks for the compliments. and you were right, the camera seemed to be designed for a few purposes in mind: travel and street photography !

    ReplyDelete
  74. SteveB,
    Oh my goodness, I can't believe you woke up at midnight just to read this !! Should have waited till the morning, it would still be here !
    Nonetheless, thanks so much for the very generous remarks. I enjoyed myself doing this, and I am glad many people find it useful.
    I will surely share more about street photography. I shoot every weekend and will put in whatever random thoughts that come out of my mind together with the photographs.

    Hello RE Casper,
    Glad that you are waiting for your OM-D, I am sure the first shipment should have no problem as Olympus usually have very good quality control.
    I have already returned the E-M5 to Olympus, hence for now I shall be using my current system to shoot street. Takes time for me to save enough cash for E-M5 or any other upgrades.

    Hi Rasmus,
    While doing the weather proof testing, the 12-50mm was on at all times. I may have changed lens (when shooting in the light rain) but Sanjit never did, he stayed with his 12-50mm at all times and still it fogged up.
    Whatever reason that caused the fogging it should never have happened.

    Thanks for the compliments Armin.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hello Mige0,
    True, the camera worked perfectly and no issue was encountered while shooting with the OLED screen. Everything operated smoothly. Still, no excuse to have fogging in the viewfinder.

    Thanks thoughtofsoda

    Thanks anonymous for the suggestion, that is a good one. Please leave a name the next time you comment.

    Thanks Robert !!
    Those are my favourite photos too !!

    Pm.parkes,
    Thanks for the kind compliments, and yes, the tilting screen works wonders for "natural unposed" shots !!

    ReplyDelete
  76. Thank you Robyn! Great write up and great photos!

    ReplyDelete
  77. "About the firmware instability, it is very hard to tell, since I was only shooting it for 2 days. Need more thorough testing to verify this."

    As for me, its definitely enough that you did not come across anything strange for now !

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hello mige0,
    Nope, completely no hiccups in the two days shooting duration. Everything worked smoothly.

    ReplyDelete
  79. "...I will be getting the E-M5 again from Olympus soon..." hhmmm...really ??

    pa' Cik, please test it with ZD 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 mk II...so many guy said it work great with CDAF but no real life review like your E-M5 blog...it would be a great do-it-all lens for traveling for many backpackers coz ZD 12-60mm & any other f/2 zoom are to expensive...positive confirmation from you I will get the package with MMF-3 as a bonus

    do I need to say that its the best user review on the NET, you are doing a great job & i will buy E-M5 ??
    hehehehe....thank you very much, pa' Cik

    ReplyDelete
  80. Thanks Konikonaku for the kind compliments.
    However I will not do any tests with any 4/3 lenses mainly because Olympus has already mentioned that there is no improvement in terms of AF when you mount 4/3 lenses on E-M5 in comparison to older bodies such as the PEN E-P3. I do not want to give false hope that people will buy 4/3 lenses to be used on the E-M5 and in the end get disappointed, because the AF of 4/3 lenses are not optimized to be used on E-M5, there will be a lot of hiccups, struggling and hunting. I hope you understand this.
    Even if there is small improvement, it is not significant.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hi Robin,

    Thank you very much for your honest work on the Olympus.
    Once again you have produced some great shots.
    The ones in this post are the best of the complete review on the OM-D.

    I think you have done a great job, especially as you went outside and shot under real conditions and not in a Studio with perfect light and conditions.

    You have also helped me in my choice to come back to micro four thirds again. I have used a GF1 and a E-PL2 with different lenses but use the X100 at the moment.
    This I will be keeping, but I am sure that I am going to get myself the OM-D for myself, as I do miss the ability to change lenses sometimes.

    Due to your review I am sure about my choice.

    Please do keep up the great work you are doing and do not get to upset when critics get loud about little things. (I liked the way you handled the critics and clarified this in your own way.)

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Greetings from Germany

    Daniel

    www.stockografie.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  82. Hello Daniel,
    Thanks so much for commenting and all the kind words. Really appreciate it.
    Thanks for the show of support too, yes, sometimes I do need to defend myself but I try to do it as peacefully as I can.
    I am glad you will be able to breathe life into your micro 4/3 system, and I agree, changing lenses is advantageous in many situations.

    ReplyDelete
  83. hhmmm...not that much ya...how much is not significant ??
    can you say it will work properly like when it mount on 43 body ?? a little bit better/worst ?

    this is become my biggest curiosity because speck said it CDAF ready (http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/support/imsg/digicamera/compati/di004043e.cfm), it weather seal & it within my budget...a proper working order should be enough for me...i don't have any friend who own this lens so i can try it myself...hehehe

    ok lah...i'll try dig around the NET about this setup...thank you, pa' Cik

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hello koninonaku,
    The 4/3 lenses will still work on micro 4/3 body like E-M5, but the AF will be very slow and sluggish.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Hi Robin,

    I have made a pre-order of this camera after reading part 1 to part 3 of your review. Its an excellent piece of job and u have definitely help me made my choice.

    Part 4 was out after i made the pre-order and it have further confirm that the choice is right. Looking forward to your OMD review with the 12-50mm lens, cause your review will determine if i will need to buy another prime lens as this is my first M4/3. Hope the camera can come in soon so i can bring it along to Europe for my holiday in mid April.

    Once again, keep up the great work.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hello Kim,
    Thanks for writing and your kind compliments !! I hope your camera reach you as soon as possible too !

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hi Robin,

    I have really enjoyed reading about your experiences with the M5. Thanks for all the time and effort you have put into your reviews.

    The only bad thing about your reviews is that they make me want to go out and buy the M5, and I have only had my E-P3 for six months...

    In your first review, you said that you considered the 12mm 2.0 to be over-priced. I agree with you entirely (I think it should be around $500 instead of $800), but I see from your final review that you used it quite a lot when doing street photography. Have you changed your opinion of the lens a little bit?

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hello Newzild,
    Thanks for the kind compliments !! Glad that you find the reviews helpful.
    I think that the 12mm F2 is a wonderful lens, no doubt about that. The built quality is solid, and the optics are sharp. However, I still think it is overpriced. If it is only cheaper, surely it will be in every micro 4/3 uder's bag by now.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Although you've commented highly about the E-M5 high iso performance, how would you compare it against the GX1 high iso performance (assuming RAW & no noise reduction)?

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hello Vinay,
    Sorry I already said I wont do any comparisons. There are many other websites you can find such references to.

    ReplyDelete
  91. robin, you're the best.love your reviews and your photos are just awesome. too bad about the fogging, but that's not a deal breaker for me, just something to be aware of. this camera sounds exciting and olympus got it right, finally. especially with the 16mp. i just needed a little more and 16 does it for me. the viewfinder sounds delicious. i can't wait until mine arrives. i probably would love a grip, just can't imagine paying 300$ USD for it, but we'll see. thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Great job Robin.. Looks like a great camera for street photography. Can't wait to get my hands on one.. Just love your phrase... SHUTTER THERAPY... !!!! Vow...!

    ReplyDelete
  93. Another accessible, real-world post. Having never visited Malaysia, I also really enjoy learning about KL and its many sites!

    ReplyDelete
  94. Another accessible, real-world post. Having never visited Malaysia, I also really enjoy learning about KL and its many sites!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Hello stephane,
    Thanks for the compliments.
    I did not use any aids or magnification, I just trusted my eyes when I view the zone in focus through the electronic viewfinder. It is my shooting preference.

    Hello Valerie,
    Thanks for the kind words !! I am sure you will love your coming E-M5. The grip will surely help if you handle larger lenses, but if you are using the kit lens and smaller primes, there is no need for the grip of course.

    Hello Samir,
    Thanks for the generous comments. Spread the love of Shutter Therapy !!

    Hello John Feit,
    I hope you come to Malaysia and explore the beauty here one day !

    ReplyDelete
  96. Hi this is David from iPhotoCourse

    This was an excellent hands-on review, much appreciated with the depth and commentary on the OM-D

    I wanted to buy it from HK in my recent trip but it won't be available until the end of March so I guess I have to get it here in Singapore instead.

    How much is it in Malaysia (street price) would you know?

    Also, which of the M4/3 prime do you think work best with the new sensor?

    Kudos!
    Dave Tong

    ReplyDelete
  97. Hello David,
    The E-M5 is not available anywhere yet, certainly not in malaysia, hence no street price until its actually on the streets.
    You can pre-order it online.
    Any m4/3 lenses will work fine with E-M5.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Hi Robin, Shawn from Singapore. Nice work! I actually sold my D7000 and lenses before i read your review.

    Initially i was worried that the EM-5 couldn't match up in terms of image quality. After seeing your images taken at high ISO, It put my mind at ease for selling away my D7000 (I'm not doing any pro work. So, a DSLR is too heavy and bulky)

    Currently i'm using the Ep 3 i bought for my GF. Its a good camera given the proper lights and etc. The worst come during the night, noisy even at base ISO on shadowed areas. Anyway, am glad to have read through your review on the EM-5, tho i'm pretty sure i can only get my hands on one in june due to the overwhelming pre-orders.

    ReplyDelete
  99. hi robyn,
    like others , i really enjoyed the review. what was unusual about your review, as compared to other reviews, was that the photos were wonderful . i especially liked "unsure" and "chill". however the one that really caught my attention was "painful truth". i imagine that this individual is a drug user.for me, a powerful photo.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Hello Shawn,
    Thanks so much for the kind words !! Rest assured the image quality has been improved, some websites suggest that E-M5 may even surpass D7000 in terms of high ISO performance.
    Waiting till June? Oh no, did Olympus Singapore release an official statement or something?

    Hello Nacha,
    Thanks for the kind compliments !! Those are my favourite photos too. In "painful truth" that was a homeless lady, possibly drug living on the streets.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hi Robin, happy to hear that from you. Feel more assured. Haha.

    Olympus Singapore didn't release any statement. But based on the local dealers, the 1st and 2nd shipment are all taken up by pre-orders. That's how popular the EM 5 is right now.

    Hopefully I can get it earlier and start shooting!

    Shawn.

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  102. Hello Shawn,
    Lets hope that is not the case !! they should at least allocate certain quantity to go on the local stores. Not all pre-orders !!

    ReplyDelete
  103. My thanks, as well, for your capsule review and the tale of your street shooting experience with the OM-D. I take exception, however, to your complaint about the limitations of the electronic viewfinder. Your are complaining about an essential aspect of this camera type. Remember, it is still early days for EVF, and later iterations are sure to outperform any perceived advantages TTL may now claim. To see your image as rendered by the sensor is true WYSIWYG; to see the three dimensional world rendered in 2-D is a genuine help for photographers.
    A parallel might seen in the aha! moment when Robert Ballard discovered one of the passengers on his submersible watching the TV monitor instead of looking out the portal. The TV picture was better than the real thing, obviating the need for a person to be in the submarine at all.
    Just as press photographers finally migrated from their Speed Graphics to 35mm SLR cameras, we will some day migrate from bulky, complicated, retro SLR to slimmed-down, better-in-every-respect EVF cameras. I hope you are not a Luddite, committed to your Speed Graphic.
    Just my humble opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Hello Coyote,
    Serious photographers will treasure the WYSIWYG advantage, because they need to adjust their cameras and gauge the lighting conditions on the REAL situation. I never said that the EVF is not good. I said it is a HUGE advantage to have it. You mentioned that it can be improved in the future, I agree. Lets see how the improved version is, before I can make say it is better than optical viewfinder.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Dear Robin,
    regarding the issue
    "the Electronic Viewfinder fogged up from the inside, with the moisture appearing as a thick white blanket covering the view":
    Could it be possible, that the tropical humidity inside the EVF was simply condensating due to cooling-off by the water from outside? Did happen the same in case you are entering a airconditioned cool building after being outside with the camera?
    Best regards, and many thanks for sharing your impressions.
    I have already placed a order for a OM-D E-M5 :-)) - whether the EVF foggy or not, and in Germany the air-humiditiy is normally much lower than in KL.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Dear Robin,

    Thank you for a series of comprehensive and thoughtful reviews on the OM-D E-M5!
    As a final compliment to the camera, and one which will probably be the ultimate 'review' as it were, will you be buying one for yourself?

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hi Robin,

    I own a E-30 & E-PL2. It is very easy & fast to select the 11 focus point on the E-30 compare to the not so little green box on the E-PL2 (although the focus area is larger).
    My question: Is the E-M5 focus point same with the E-PL2?
    I can compose my photo fast with E-30 11 focus point but the green little box on the E-PL2 is just too slow too move around.
    The box size also not allowed me to focus accurately (I may focus on the nose instead of the eyes I intend to). I know I can press the magnify button but again it will be slow when I want to capture the photo fast.
    Appreciate your advice on this & thanks for your great effort for this E-M5 review :)

    Kit

    ReplyDelete
  108. Hi Robin,

    Thank you for the great real life review and for sharing those awesome street photos. Based on your review, it's much easier for me to decide on my second body if approved by my FC (Financial controller)aka wife. You are right about the image 'painful truth' as every time I did my street shots she is always sleeping at the same place.
    Happy Easter,
    John Ragai

    ReplyDelete
  109. Hi Robin,
    I one among many grateful individual who follows your honest opinion regarding any gear you put into a test. The other night, I'm about to hit 'place an order' for a body-lens kit of this wonderful OM ressurected camera but for some reason I hold myself and read some more reviews.
    One that concerns me about is what I read regarding the 'fogging' issue inside the viewfinder. It confirms on this article you wrote that you actually experienced it and lasted for about half an hour or so. Would you be so kind to give any updates or (inside) news from Olympus or any of your recent experience that rectified the issue?
    Wonderful photographs BTW! Keep on shooting.
    Kind regards,
    Ron

    ReplyDelete
  110. I have just discovered your blog today. Thanks for this review, your enthusiasm for making images and being out there really comes through. So many are obsessed with the technical but not the actual act and art of photography. You seem to understand both. This review will help me decide if I should consider an OM-d, though I too wish for an optical viewfinder. For now, my ep-3 is doing great, though I'd love the greater iso reach this seems to promise.

    ReplyDelete
  111. hello Robin,

    i must add my admiration for your photography and objective evaluation of the camera. i notice you used the 45mm and 12mm lenses, but i didn't notice whether they are weather sealed or not? did you only shoot with the 12-50mm lens in the rain?

    thank you!
    jerry

    ReplyDelete
  112. Hi Robin,

    thank you very, very much for your splendid reviews.
    I learned a lot from them.
    With this Olympus camera I thought it was time to go from my big Canon (5D MkII+ good lenses)
    to the OM-D.
    But as I could read and have learned from you, the Four Third lenses can't be used proparly.
    Meaning, I can't use "Pro" (lightsensitive) lenses like the 12-60, or 50-200 on it.
    Maybe in the (near) future.
    So the wishes stay, excellent quality and a speedy AF.

    Again, thank you.
    Ad from the Netherlands, Europe

    ReplyDelete
  113. Thanks for the excellent review, Robin - you've done an outstanding job.

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  114. Great job with this review...and very nice photography skills!

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  115. Greetings from Alaska:
    Question: Is it possible to use film bracketing to take a B&w shot together with color shots using a single shutter press? I loved this feature on my GF-1, but haven't found another camera that has it. Sadly, my X-100 does not. Your reviews have been enormously helpful to me, thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  116. I find your review very refreshing and very useful taking from photographer user experience. I found myself reading and understanding every words coz I can relate with them. It's totally refreshing and felt close especially compared to those professional website reviews who don't bother to find interesting subjects to test the camera.

    It's been a delight, I hope you continue in this path. Btw where can I get a good price for this camera in Malaysia? You poisoned me to get one lolz

    ReplyDelete
  117. Robin,

    i just wanted to thank you for such an exceptional review. Enjoyable to read and greatly informative. To say it was thorough would be an understatement. Two elements really make the review stand out. Firstly, the balance: it's serious but neither boring nor homourless, it's a user review but not afraid get technical where needed, it's accessible and light but not at the expense of being informative. Secondly, your pictures back up your words and visa versa. Many of the pictures shown are not only great in their own right, they fully illustrate the point you are making. You have a real talent - please keep it up!

    Best regards,
    Alec.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Hi Robin. With your new OM-D, what lenses do you usually carry around? What's in your gear bag? Thank you!

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  119. Hello everybody, hello Robin, thanks a lot for this review. It's great to read about some real life experience with this interesting camera. And wonderful pictures you mad, by the way.
    I'd like to say something regarding the Fogging Issue. Don't know, if maybe somebody already said something about it (didn't read all comments).
    I don't think, that this is an issue of the weather sealing. Actually, each and every hollow body (the OM-D isn't hollow hopefully, but physically spoken here) contains an amount of air, unless it is hermetically closed. The OM-D isn't, as far as I know, it's just weather-sealed. Air always contains a certain amount of moisture, more or less, depending on circumstances and environment. Thus, if the OM-D isn't closed hermetically, there must be some moisture inside the camera body anyway, weather-sealed or not. If so, then it's quite normal, that there occurs some condensation under certain conditions. When operating in regions like India or Kuala Lumpur, the amount of moisture in the air is significantly higher than in other regions of this wonderful planet. The moisture has to get into the camera body, you can't avoid that. So, if you bring the slightly colder camera body to a (relatively) warm place, there occurs some condensation of already enclosed moisture inside the camera.
    I'd like to read your opinion about that. I'm currently working with the Panasonic GH2, and I experienced some condensation at least on the outside of the viewfinder under tropic conditions, couldn't tell about the inside at that same moment, because the glass wasn't transparent anymore. Did you do similar observations on the OM-D?

    Greetings from Hamburg, Germany

    ReplyDelete
  120. I picked up mine 2 weeks ago and love it but also had fogging in the EVF after shooting in the rain in the Pacific Islands.I'll see how it goes.Tony ,Tasmania

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robin for the very interesting EM-5 presentation !

      Now, having 4/3 lenses (14-54/50-200 Mk.I) and knowing there are not that very performant on the EM-5, do you think Olympus will issue an upgraded version of the EM-5 for the 4/3 lenses later this year ?
      I have the money to get an E-5 but a boosted EM-5 would be great of course...

      Thanks and nice Sunday !

      Delete
  121. Dear Sir

    It is not quite clear to me whether the photos are converted to B&W in PP or shot that way?

    Kind Regards

    ReplyDelete
  122. Thanks so much Robin with this great revieuw of the camera. Is it also a camera for people who are not so well know with photography?
    I am using now a Canon 600D but I want something else.
    Have a nice evening
    kind regards Marijke from Holland

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  123. one question. you write about an improved battery. What battery is this? I cant find anything about it

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  124. thanks for sharing your experience

    ReplyDelete
  125. Hi Robin,

    Earlier this year, a friend introduced me to your blog. As a result, I was inspired to buy the EM5 and am currently loving it. It sure beats lugging around a DSLR and 2-3 pieces of glass. Presently, I only have the kit lens and was wondering if you can recommend a lens (or two) that I can add to my collection.

    Thanks,
    Sheila

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    I enjoy your reviews. I read your blog constantly. Congratulations..!
    I have an OM-D, Lumix 20mm F1.7, M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 and 12-50mm f3.5-6.3.
    I am a street photographer. For me the focus speed is very important and I feel that the Lumix's AF is slow.
    I wanted to ask you an opinion:
    I want to have a good equipment for street photography. Do you consider a better choice to change my Lumix 20mm for a
    Panasonic-Leica 25mm (high quality, faster AF and 50mm equivalent focal length)? Or it is better choice to get first one angular lens as the M.Zuiko 12mm F2?
    If you like you can see my photos on Flickr in order to make you a better idea of my needs as a street photographer.
    Thank you very much.Success!

    ReplyDelete
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      great question. I have the same query but also the question of would the panasonic 12-35 2.8 be worth giving up the 50mm and 20mm?
      I will have still the 45mm

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