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Olympus OMD (EM-5) - MetanoiaMetanoia

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January 2013

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Olympus OMD (EM-5)

Written by , Posted in Gear Reviews, Personal, Photography, Technology

Taxi shot

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I‘ve decided to start from scratch, scrapping any sort of knowledge I had (if I ever had any) of photography. When I was young My mom taught me how to shoot film but I wasn’t able to follow through so the meager skills I had then faded into the abyss. Still, the visual side of me kept on wishing I could study photography seriously. Last year I decided to go through with it.

So this here is a noob’s review of the Olympus OM-D EM-5, the first of many (hopefully) articles that I am going to write regarding photography. I’m creating a post category here entitled ‘FromZeroToHero’ to mark the documention of my photographic adventures. Some of you may wonder why I chose the EM-5, or even the Micro 4/3 platform? Some of you might wonder why did’nt I start with a proper DSLR? Or why Olympus? The answer to these questions stem from my love of street photography, the discipline I want to get into. I love the stories from these kinds of photographs and adored these black and white snaps ever since I was young. So I decided I want something light and unobtrusive yet powerful. Why olympus then? Actually I love Canon and Fuji colors and I seriously considered the Fuji Xpro1 but ended up picking the EM-5 for its features: from the good lens selection (Oly + Pana = win!) to the programmable menus and ergonomics that remind me of the old cameras.

For now, I have the EM-5 body plus the 12-50mm kit lens (24-100mm equivalent in 35mm) and this setup is what I am going to review today. I bought it at CameraHaus MegaMall on promo (47.5K PHP for the package).

Key Features

  • 16.1mp Live MOS CMOS sensor
  • EVF 1.44million with eye-detection, dioptre adjustment, vignetting correction
  • 3inch OLED tilting capacitive touch-screen 610k dots (equivalent to VGA)
  • World’s fastest*2 FAST AF auto-focusing system plus 3D tracking
  • World’s first*1 5-axis Image Stabilisation (Photos / Video)
  • 9fps shooting, 4.2fps continuous shooting with AF
  • ISO200 – 25600
  • Full HD Video, MPEG4
  • Flash Hot Shoe
  • AP2 – Accessory Port
  • Electronic spirit level
  • 2 Function buttons
  • Front and Rear Dials
  • Dedicated video button
  • Weather-sealed magnesium alloy body
  • Focus assist lamp
  • AV/HDMI Out
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
  • Lithium Ion Rechargeable battery
  • New “Key Line” Art filter

 

Size Comparison

Since I live in the Philippines I used a 5 PHP coin and threw in an SD Card Adapter just to make sure. The camera itself is not much larger than a regular point and shoot: its a little bigger than an LX-5. The kit lens is a bit long for my tastes but atleast its very slim.

(Apologies for the pics, they were shot using a Galaxy S3 and an iPad 3 with minor corrections)

sizecomparison2 zps311a73f6 Olympus OMD (EM 5)

 

sizecomparison zps2909e61b Olympus OMD (EM 5)

Handling

I love the way the camera is constructed. It doesn’t feel cheap in anyway (well, it really isn’t… atleast for me) and the body reminds me of old SLRs like the Canon AE-1 (sorry I never had the chance to hold the old Olympus OM so thats as close as it gets for me). The size and weight is a perfect match for my hand size.

twohanded zps1fae3df3 Olympus OMD (EM 5)

 (Yes friends, that is DoTA in the background)

palm2 zps135cd811 Olympus OMD (EM 5)

palm3 zpsdb0e0914 Olympus OMD (EM 5)

palm zps8eb6c4c8 Olympus OMD (EM 5)

 

If there’s one thing that I don’t like with this camera its the grip, or the absence of one. When I hold the thing singlehandedly I’m always scared that I’d drop it (good thing there’s that thumb grip but it still feels awkward though). Ok, there’s the battery grip/holder but come on, another 300$ for that? And what about availability in the Phlippines? I haven’t found any of these babies sold locally so I’m gonna have to pay premium for one (base cost + shipping fee + customs fee, do the math :p).

onehand zpsb29cd2b8 Olympus OMD (EM 5)

 

Kit Lens: 14-50mm (28-100mm equivalent)

They say its the shooter not the camera and I believe that is true but in this case I’m a little confused. Its either the lens is really not that good or I didn’t learn much within 3 months with shooting with this thing. I achieved good results with using the macro though.

On the street

I’m quite happy with this camera and I’ve been using it every day. Even with the size of the lens it is still unobtrusive. Most of the time people do not notice that I am taking pictures of them. And when they do, I already captured the moment. Its very light and I can whip it out faster than my Mom’s 550D. I’m looking forward to having the Panasonic Lumix G Micro 4/3 LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm f/1.4 Leica Aspherical Lens for my first prime.

Photo Samples

Here’s some of the shots I’ve had so far. Also, if you would be so kind to please follow me at 500px (or view, vote or favorite any of my photos :p).

4 Olympus OMD (EM 5)

4 Olympus OMD (EM 5)

 

Future plans

I plan on investing on primes from both Oly and Pana, a better zoom and an ultra-wide lens:

Optional/stretch goals:

If i get any of these I’d go and get shooting then start blogging! icon smile Olympus OMD (EM 5)

Conclusion

This camera is not for everyone. Some would opt for a NEX, Xpro1 or the new EOS-M. But if you have the same reasons like mine, I highly recommend this camera. Its small, powerful, noob friendly and fun to shoot with! I bring it wth me every day!

  • http://plazacameras.com.au/olympus-om-d-e-m5-mirrorless-camera Olympus Cameras

    Brilliant post mate, keep up the good work J

    • http://johnvinnymarquez.net John Vinny “Basti” Marquez

      Olympus Cameras Thanks mate! :)

  • http://photographytechs.com/ Photography Techs

    Great post. I will be going through some of these issues as well..