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Thread: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

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    Question Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    I joined this forum in early 2006. I owned several E-1 bodies from 2004 to early 2011. Time has passed by the E-1, IMO, in most things other than ergonomics. Yes, E-1 image quality remains excellent for what it is. Now I'm shooting m4/3 exclusively using an E-PL3 body and four premium primes. Here is my question: For those of you with experience in both camps (4/3 and m4/3), is the E-M5 the spiritual successor the the E-1 but in the m4/3 arena? Are the ergonomics, especially with the grip, exceptional? Does image quality make it a candidate for legendary status in m4/3 much the way the E-1 has enjoyed its standing in the 4/3 community? Or in the end, is the E-M5 just another (rather good) camera introduction?
    Regards,

    Jim Pilcher
    Summit County, Colorado, USA

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    Jim, I never really used the E-1, I owned one for a while, but by the time I could afford a well-used body the technology had passed it by enough that I ended up not using it and sold it. But even so, I could tell it had something that none of the other Oly digitals I have owned (E-10. E-20, E-500, E-520, E-30, E-5) had. The E-M5 has that kind of quality to me. Ergonomically, its not in the same class as the E-1, but that's in large part because of its size, also because it's a lot more angular. But to me there's something magical about it, like the E-1 it just feels really really right. I shot the E-PL2 for about 6 months before I got the E-M5, and while the E-PL2 was a nice little camera it didn't have that something special the E-M5 has.
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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    I still have, and occasionally still use, my E-1. Of all the many SLR cameras I've owned since 1969, it remains a singular favorite. Even though technological progress has gone well beyond it, and the E-5 is indeed a far more capable piece of equipment, there's still something about the E-1 that keeps me happy beyond all the other DSLRs I've had. Even my L1, which was a remarkable piece of equipment too.

    The E-M5 is good looking, nostalgic in its styling, and a tremendous performer. But the durn thing is just too small, crowded and too chock full of stuff for me. One of the charms of the E-1 is its apparent simplicity ... Simple features, simple menus, simple controls. The E-M5 has stuff and stuff and stuff. More than I need or want these days. And my hands are largish.

    The new kid is a wonderful camera, but the old beast is still what I prefer.

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    I still have my E-1, and had an E-M5 for a while. Ergonomically, the E-1 is better IMO. The size and grip of the E-M5 seemed fine to me, but the buttons on the back are a bit mushy, and the two up near the dial (playback and fn1) are too recessed and hard to press because of the thickness of the screen and thumb rest. The E-M5 menus are complex, but once customized it's fairly easy to mostly avoid them (unless your a bracketing fan, which I'm not). IQ-wise, it's a huge improvement on the E-1 of course. Overall I mostly liked the E-M5 and would have happily kept it, but so many of my photos are in the 1/60 - 1/125 range that I couldn't live with the IBIS flakiness there. That may or may not be a universal problem, but after trying two different bodies, I gave up.

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    The biggest downfall in the M4/3rd area are lenses. I have two Carl Zeiss lenses and the Olympus HG lenses are all but as good as those in every way at a fraction of the cost. I think there is just to much abundance of kit quality lenses in the m4/3rd camp. I have seen nothing that would touch the 12-60mm. It depends on what you want in a camera. If you were mostly shooting lower ISO landscapes the E5 would be a no brainer. Also the lack of ISO below 200 on the E-M5 is a problem for me. I am going to shoot waterfalls in the next couple of weeks and I have to hike in. I would really like to take the E-M5 but I need longer shutter speeds and lower iso. I think the E5 is as good as anything on the market below 800iso as far as image quality.
    If you are just a casual shooter the the E-M5 is your ticket, I would think.


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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    I'd compare the satisfying "thwack" of the E-M5 shutter favorably to any dslr I've ever used (a list that doesn't include an E-1). It's more like a Contax G. Some of the controls are fiddly due to the very small real estate they're spread across but I find myself limited to the the two dials and shutter release 90% of the time, and those are great.

    With small zooms and reasonably sized primes, the camera handles very well indeed. As lens size increases it begins to feel small. However, it never fails to feel solid.

    Cheers,

    Rick

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    Can't help on EM5 recommendations, but I got E-1 only because of the praises on this forum (mainly about it's ergonomics). I don't take it out to often, but last weekend I used it both days with my oldest lens (40-150mk1) and except slow focus motor in the lens and really heavy weight I had no other complaints. This is why I don't understand your statement the image is excellent for what it is.

    Can't help but think that all these "inovations" through generations of new technology, sensors and camera bodies doesn't do anything more for my photography except it moves technological limit a bit further. And to me photography is not the way of extreme sport where I need to hit limit of my equipment. So if you find yourself hitting the limit then body upgrade is smart thing, if limit is only 10 or less % of your photo opportunities then upgrading is not that feasible.
    Anyways for anyone wanting to see my album the pictures are here. They turned to warm but that's another thing I learned about this body.

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    I am pretty sure that EM5 or my E-5 with 12-60 wouldn't give me any better files except focus would be faster.
    Cameras:E-5; E-3; E-1; E-620; GH-1
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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    Quote Originally Posted by darkesha View Post
    ...I don't understand your statement the image is excellent for what it is.
    I did not mean to belittle the E-1. I owned several E-1 bodies and loved each of them. "For what it is" is merely a reference to how times have passed by a 4.9Mp DSLR with slow (but accurate!) autofocus. My E-1 files are wonderful in their color. We can't enlarge them as much as newer files and we can't really crop them much at all. That's all I meant.

    Can't help but think that all these "inovations" through generations of new technology, sensors and camera bodies doesn't do anything more for my photography except it moves technological limit a bit further. And to me photography is not the way of extreme sport where I need to hit limit of my equipment. So if you find yourself hitting the limit then body upgrade is smart thing, if limit is only 10 or less % of your photo opportunities then upgrading is not that feasible.
    Anyways for anyone wanting to see my album the pictures are here. They turned to warm but that's another thing I learned about this body.

    This one is my favourite:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	320244_366425856767743_1563137398_n.jpg 
Views:	700 
Size:	124.8 KB 
ID:	43908

    I am pretty sure that EM5 or my E-5 with 12-60 wouldn't give me any better files except focus would be faster.
    The 16Mp of the E-M5 will certainly give you some cropping opportunities. I think its dynamic range might give you some subtleties in color that escape the E-1. But, again, that E-1 is a special camera. I'm just wondering if the E-M5 will someday hold a similar legendary status that the E-1 now does.
    Regards,

    Jim Pilcher
    Summit County, Colorado, USA

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    E-1 is a special camera definitely, but it's simply not something you'd want to use a lot if you're accustomed to modern SLRs (or mirrorless).

    I'm not sold on it's ergonomics though, but grip is fantastic, VF is better on E-3/5 though.


    Regarding E-M5 - it's a fantastic piece of camera but I must agree with a lot of people here that it's a bit too small to handle comfortably. Haven't used it with grip enough so I can't testify how much it helps.

    E-M5 is the first camera with 43 sensor that you don't have to think about how will the sensor perform. I'm processing 5D2 and OMD images regularly and OMD is even better in terms of DR and shadow lifting, so you can really consider it "good enough" for virtually any application.

    I hope Oly will release a camera with it's sensor for 43 glass soon as it will be a great combo and something people have been waiting for. If it happens I expect a lot of people to get (back?) to 43 because other APS systems are not nearly as complete with lens lineup or body toughness while FF gear is still quite bigger and much more expensive.
    Cheers,
    Marin

    E-M5, 7.5mm fisheye, 12mm, 45mm, various flashes and misc.

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    I doubt it because I think the camera marketplace is vastly different than when the E-1 was imagined and built. I don't believe there's a single digital camera made today that won't be replaced with a "better" camera in the public's eye. Adjusted for inflation, "serious" digicams are a lot cheaper and model lifespans are shrinking too, as befits their "disposable consumer electronics" status.

    What I suspect the E-M5's success means is Oly has greenlighted several future O-MD series models and attenuated their Pen roadmap. I further think the E-M5's success means we'll see a no-holds-barred pro O-MD model and who knows, maybe that will be sprinkled with the E-1 magic dust many folks hope for.

    We still don't know whither an E-5 replacement, and I'm trying not to pay any mind to the various Oly utterances. They don't have what we might call "message discipline."

    Cheers,

    Rick

    Quote Originally Posted by James Pilcher View Post
    I'm just wondering if the E-M5 will someday hold a similar legendary status that the E-1 now does.

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    Quote Originally Posted by James Pilcher View Post
    I'm just wondering if the E-M5 will someday hold a similar legendary status that the E-1 now does.
    I don't think so, Jim, and here's why:

    Every so often, a camera company introduces a ground-breaking camera. Both the Leica III and Leica M3 were such cameras. The Nikon F shares a spot on that list as the first true system 35mm SLR. There was a period of one-upsmanship in the late '70s and early '80s with automation. Konica and Canon were the leaders. Hasselblad revolutionized medium format. Canon set the 35mm world on end with the introduction of the EOS 620 in 1987 and the EOS1 in 1989. There was nothing like it... everyone else was caught with their pants down. The Olympus E1 had the same impact as the introduction of the EOS1. Pros who were switching to digital switched to Olympus in droves. The camera wasn't merely a superb performer, it was bullet-proof, weather proof and had some of the most amazing glass available on the market. On top of that, it was priced reasonably. That time everyone else, ESPECIALLY Canon got caught with their pants down. They had nothing to compete with, and it took them some time to bring their pro digital bodies up to the point where they'd sell to pros. The 35mm lens/APS sensor conversion factor was an issue, and their sensors just didn't have "it" yet. Meanwhile pros were snatching up Olympus equipment as fast as Oly could turn it out. The E1 introduced thousands of pros and enthusiasts to a company that hadn't really had much presence in the pro market for years. EVERYONE sang the praises of the E1 and it deserved the credit and plaudits.

    As time went on, Canikon developed equipment that had better specs and nearly as good color, and those folks who still had armories full of branded glass bought bodies that they could use their glass on, but the legend of the E1 had been cemented in the Digital world just as the Leica III, the M3, and the EOS1 had been milestones in their day. The E3 was an improvement in resolution, but was mediocre in execution. The E5 is better yet, and I like mine, but it's still not inspiring like the E1 was.

    Today, though the new Olympus OM-D body is merely evolutionary. Oh, it's cute and quirky like the OM-1 was when it was introduced in 1970, but Olympus hasn't broken any ground with the OM-D like they did both with the OM-1 and E1. The OM-D is merely a tuned-up EP-series camera with a smaller viewfinder at eye level where we used to expect an honest-to-God optical window viewfinder. It'll be popular like the Pentax Spotmatics and sell a bazillion copies, but in five years I doubt you'll see much of a used market for them, and in ten years it's doubtful that they'll have any value at all. I'm amazed that the E1 still trades. AND it's a tribute to the Oly engineers who designed it that it's lasted over ten years as a viable workhorse body in a world that has a two-year turnover cycle. I don't see that happening with the OM-D at all.
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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    Still have the E-1 and looking for something more performant but for the 4/3 lenses... hoping something will come up soon ?
    Or then an E-5, which is already a huge improvement compared to the E-1...

    I do not want to change of brand as very happy with the 4/3 lenses

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    Quote Originally Posted by roger h View Post

    Today, though the new Olympus OM-D body is merely evolutionary.
    Have not have the pleasure to use and hold the E-1, and I'm sure you're right that the OM-D is merely evolutionary.

    However, at least here (sweden) the OM-D has attracted many from other brands to switch or to hold two systems. And seeing the decline in Oly shooters, that must mean something.

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    In six(?) years of toting Oly gear I've been asked about my stuff twice by other-brand shooters (i.e., everyone else). One asked about the 150/2.0 and the other asked about the E-M5. Photographers KNOW this camera and are interested in it. Lord knows, they'll never see one in a store.

    Cheers,

    Rick

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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_D View Post
    Photographers KNOW this camera and are interested in it. Lord knows, they'll never see one in a store.

    Cheers,

    Rick
    It's novel, but it's not revolutionary like the E1 was.
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    Default Re: Olympus E-1 vs E-M5, Legend vs Upstart

    ...have to say that, although I loved my E-1 and had two of them (still have one) I never had anyone come up and ask me about them. If anyone ever made a comment it was a canikon shooter making slightly derogatory remarks and feeling sorry for me...
    ...for me, the E-M5 has brought greater productivity and enjoyment back to my photography, over the last while my back has started to give me issues and the big guns and their accompanying glass tended to stay home instead of being used, the go everywhere camera I'd been using was a Canon G10, but now it's my pair of OM-D's, and they are definitely delighting me just as much as my E-1's did...
    cheers,

    Lorne Miller

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    4/3rds stuff: E-1 w HLD-2
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    m4/3rds stuff: OM-D E-M5 x 2, mZD 12-50, mZD 40-150, mZD 14-42

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