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Olympus OM-D E-M5 first impressions


Andrew Reid
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[img]http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/DSCF3450.jpg[/img]

For me the OM-D is a superb stills camera with question marks for video. So satisfied I am with it as my main stills camera I’ve replaced both my Fuji X Pro 1 and NEX 7 with it for stills. Much better AF and the lens range were certainly a factor in that, but this camera also combines the retro good looks of the Fuji with the operational fluency and advanced featureset of the NEX 7, as well as offering superb 5 axis image stabilisation inside the body.

But how does it do for video?

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/8149/olympus-om-d-e-m5-first-impressions/"]Read full article[/url]

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Excellent review short and clear directly to the point.

Its seems that after years of classic DSLR video development,  the mirrorles cameras show the way out to the big companies.

Whay canon and nikon after so many years cant do it right?
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Before buying a GH2 a few months ago, I had been waiting for the OM-D to showcase its video functionalities and I found them below the GH2's, unfortunately.
But, the look and the still image quality of the OM-D are still very appealing, and I would make it my camera of choice if it would get a proper hack, that's for sure!
Vitaly, if you could extend your wonders ...
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The full review will have a comparison to the GH2. Should be interesting.

The GH2 is certainly better for video - but the Olympus might have the edge on colour and dynamic range - I shall find out soon.

Really a hack could not be better on this camera... please lobby Vitaliy to do it, everyone!
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I'm not giving up on the GH2 just yet, but it seriously falls down when compared to this camera for stills. In the right conditions the GH2 does take great pictures, but JPG's straight from the camera are poor in comparision to RAW and I always find myself having to alter the images to get a more pleasing result. The Olympus seems to nail it straight out of the box. Also I find the dynamic range of the GH2 just doesn't cut it the same as a lot of other cameras, clipped hi-lights being my main bug bear. This then leads to the inevitable -2 stops or so to allow for this and the noise then in shadows.

I guess we have to wait and see what the GH3 is going to bring to the table, but the IS on this camera is a real masterstroke, considering you can ( for stills at least) use it with any lens. This opens up a world of possibilities for my old FD collection.
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andrew, have you noticed any evidence the IS in video mode is (partially) software-based? i read speculation on this somewhere (can't remember, sorry). would this explain the slight crop?

regards, really appreciate your work.
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I still stand for my wish of a true m4/3 hybrid-hybrid.

A true Still/Video Hybrid.

Video by Panasonic - I'm considering it would certainly be hacked.

Image Processing - and IBIS - by Olympus.

It would be THE CAMERA for me. They could make it together as the only m4/3 PRO camera or something, I don't care, make it happen! hehe...

But I think that there are more chances that Panasonic improves on stills than Olympus improving the video, but Vitaly's hack could change the scenario.

One day...
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I do agree that a bit more collaboration is needed. Panasonic have more experience in video than Olympus. For the interests of Micro Four Thirds as a whole they should be advising Olympus on the best approach and providing solutions.

But the small issue of codec aside, Olympus are doing a superb job here!! The 5 axis IBIS, the quality of the new lenses, styling of the bodies, first with a OLED screen... All impressive stuff from a company with fewer resources than Canon, Panasonic, Sony or Nikon. And they feel like photographers tools too.
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Thanks for the review, Andrew!

You mentioned: [i][color=blue]"... and the HDMI output requires a proprietary Olympus cable not provided in the box..."[/color][/i]
Not quite correct  ::)  The HDMI port requires a common micro-HDMI cable.  ;)
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funny that after my whinging about stabilization in my other post, this olympus has appeared! sounds very good, albeit with qualms about the data rate... but i am a bit worried about the olympus financial situation. all this business about them losing/stealing some hundreds of millions of dollars and then sacking the new ceo who brought it all out makes me wonder about getting into their system.
(the CEO, michael woodford, has been offered a big settlement, but they still didn't let him stay on: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/tech-news/whistleblower-former-olympus-ceo-wins-dismissal-settlement/article2446264/)
i wonder how much this will affect their development. as was pointed out above, they already didn't have the deep pockets of the big boys, and now they have less...
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It looks like Vitaly isn't interested in attempting to hack the OMD.  I've been very interested in purchasing the camera but the limited frame rates and sub-standard encoding has kept me from doing so.  I don't get the sense Olympus realizes the enthusiasm they would generate by providing these features!

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/2071/olympus-em-5-topic/p1?Sort=newest
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[quote author=KlausCR link=topic=788.msg5726#msg5726 date=1338312017]
Thanks for the review, Andrew!

You mentioned: [i][color=blue]"... and the HDMI output requires a proprietary Olympus cable not provided in the box..."[/color][/i]
Not quite correct  ::)  The HDMI port requires a common micro-HDMI cable.  ;)
[/quote]

Micro? Not mini or standard? OH CHRIST not another one!!
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[quote author=MJP link=topic=788.msg5728#msg5728 date=1338324306]
It looks like Vitaly isn't interested in attempting to hack the OMD.  I've been very interested in purchasing the camera but the limited frame rates and sub-standard encoding has kept me from doing so.  I don't get the sense Olympus realizes the enthusiasm they would generate by providing these features!

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/2071/olympus-em-5-topic/p1?Sort=newest
[/quote]

A shame. Need more hackers.
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[quote author=mike_tee_vee link=topic=788.msg5735#msg5735 date=1338348554]
Could the OM-D codec be intentionally crippled in a collusion agreement between Olympus and Panasonic to protect the GH line?  Many of their products are complements to each other, and not completely direct competitors.
[/quote]

Unlikely. It is more likely to be a limitation of the Panasonic provided sensor or LSI chip. If Panasonic sold their most up to date technology to a competitor, they'd squander their advantage.
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Hi Andrew.
Great article...appreciate your work, this sounds like a pretty awesome camera, and I realize that in this camera not having 24P is considered a major oversight by many, and it would be nice to have it there.
But as you mainly shoot in Anamorphic some of the shortcomings of 24P are not as obvious in that mode, so you may not experience the frustrations I have with that mode.
Now if you are shooting in 1080P at 24 progressive frames (or even 25P) then on (practically any) CMOS based camera the problems become very obvious and very frustrating.
Namely strobing and stuttering and flickering in hi contrast areas...the 180% shutter angle does not help at all, in other words panning the camera has to be very very careful and handheld in any form is pretty much a nightmare, as is slight movement for example shooting trees where there is a bright sky.
I have done extensive testing with this, read countless forums, tested the GH2 with all the latest hacks (Dritwoods latest, plus Flowmotion etc..), used different lenses...from the kit lens to 20mm F1.7 and older Konicas, that all do it, even my sons Canon..same thing....shutter speed and ND filters only marginally help, they dont fix the problem.
But 29.97 frames is 100% better, you can actually get smooth footage and nice panning at 1080P and practically no flickering, at 24P this nasty flickering in hi contrast areas is probably exaggerated somewhat by a lot of monitors refreshing at 60Hz.
Now prior to realizing this..my GH2 was bound for ebay because I need to pan for music clips and the like.
So (for me anyway) no more 24P or 25P ( I live in PAL land) so I just set the shutter to 1/50 to solve any flickering lights, and as 29.97 is a pretty widely accepted format I will stay at the frame rate...even tho it was originally the one I was least interested in, but for me its far and away the best.
There is an interesting article on this...and its true
http://www.hdvideopro.com/technique/miscellaneous-technique/help-desk-did-i-judder.html
another here
http://www.shutterangle.com/2012/cinematic-look-frame-rate-shutter-speed/
I just wanted to point out that 24P is not for everybody, certainly not me after the hassles I had with it.
But obviously you (and others) do great work with it in anamorphic.
Cheers
Astro
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