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Olympus E-M5 Mark II - love and hate at first sight


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@Bob LOL well I would have done the test but yes it is returned.  Not really the kind to buy again and return would have never gotten it had they been open about the crop for one and other issues.  Makes you wonder just how timid or questionable other reviewers were that I missed any of them mentioning these shortcomings.  Both reviewers and Olympus not bothering to be open is what is making them deal with my return. Frankly I just don't know how they could have made some of the design decisions they did. What film maker would say sure block me from changing my settings while recording or go ahead and take 25% of my field of view without at least questioning that decision.  

@noa actually in reasonably steady hands and realizing the limits of IBIS it can be a steadycam replacement.   IBIS is that good which is what makes me hate giving it up.  That being said IBIS alone was not enough for me to overcome the other negatives I noted.  I hope they will fix some things but do not trust them too.  I think internal stabilization will be the future gimbals are to cumbersome try changing a setting or focus while on one of those rigs :rolleyes:.   

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​Yes I saw that comment from Olympus. They are right and they're wrong. Pana, Sony, Samsung do need to generate 4K content for their TVs. However my question to Olympus is do you see the potential in

The impact of the sensor working at higher temperatures is that you get more noise and other sensor faults like FPN and dead pixels are more likely to show up.  These are the symptoms of sensor heatin

​ Hello. I can't say as it's beyond the bounds of what I can discuss.  But mostly everything on the list here was also on my list that's already gone in.  It's good to keep adding to it though. What I

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Well, probably can't get a subject more "typical end user" than this. 

 

So here's a few minutes of the EM5II @24fps, 25 shutter speed, Natural Picture Mode, Contrast -2, Sharpness -2, Saturation -2, Gradation Normal, FullHD.  Olympus 12-40mm 2.8 lens.  Uploaded the file to Vimeo in the native file format as shot, no grade, no nuthin.'  Flaws and all.  If you want to download it and watch it 'till your eyes bleed, feel free.

 

Sometimes I prefer motion pictures with edge blur so I shot this with 0° shutter.  That's a particular taste, keep it in mind.

 

https://vimeo.com/122338262

​Thanks for that example.  I'm not a pro and that is exactly what I use my cameras for.  The video quality looks much improved over the old EM-5, the shots look really steady.  I'm still going to wait and see what the GX8 brings, but for me I miss the IBIS (and some of the stills features) in the Olympus cameras.

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And, BTW, what's so lowly about the LX100? It seems like a great, ground-breaking camera to me. I just hope it doesn't eat into MFT sales.

​Was a little bit tongue-in-cheek.  I love my LX-100, especially for video.  I've stopped using my GX7 for most things as I get frustrated by the some of the annoying things that Panasonic has since fixed in the LX-100 and by the jitter in the P35-100 OIS that I use mostly on that camera.  I still sometimes carry the GX7 with a longer prime or zoom for stills, but the LX-100 is always in one jacket pocket, and an ND fader in the other.

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It's mainly the IBIS I want and not for walking around like so many have been doing in their test videos, as I see it that is not the main purpose of the IBIS system as it's not a steadicam replacement, but to get tripod like shots handholding a unstabilized 75mm lens and just leaving my monopod in the car and shoot exactly like a photog would with 2 camera's hanging with a strap around my neck. 

​That's what I used to do with two E-P5s, the Olympus 17 and 75 mm lenses and a couple of NDs.  I sold them due to the video quality, but was hoping to return to that way of shooting with the EM-5II.

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It has been made a big deal but it is not that cumbersome. You can just push a button before rotating the front dial.

​I kind of disagree it depends on what you are doing. I live in an area where the lighting conditions can change quickly especially on a cloudy windy day.  You can press the ok button and than the front wheel gives you control of fstop.  The problem is first you need to make sure it is in fstop mode first or you will have to change that mode after pressing the ok button first time.  It will than only stay that way for a few seconds till it reverts back.  An alternate work around though probably equally distasteful to some is put the camera in shutter priority auto and than the front dial is exposure compensation so you can respond much quicker but at a loss of total control. 

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​I kind of disagree it depends on what you are doing. I live in an area where the lighting conditions can change quickly especially on a cloudy windy day.  You can press the ok button and than the front wheel gives you control of fstop.  The problem is first you need to make sure it is in fstop mode first or you will have to change that mode after pressing the ok button first time.  It will than only stay that way for a few seconds till it reverts back.  An alternate work around though probably equally distasteful to some is put the camera in shutter priority auto and than the front dial is exposure compensation so you can respond much quicker but at a loss of total control. 

​Don't get me wrong, it is not optimal and it should be addressed with a firmware update. 

But if you want to adjust just a single parameter such as aperture or iso, it is not as "useless" as it is portrayed to be. If you set it in either parameter once, it will stay on that parameter so pushing the ok button will allow you to dial in the compensation right away. 

Now if you want to change multiple things then ... bad luck. 

Personally (again personally) I find it hard to keep up with framing and focusing at the same time so adding two more parameters will make it impossible. Sometimes though I need to adjust the exposure and I am fortunate that I have a manual lens to do so. I see the need for the easiest way to change the exposure with an automatic lens, you want to make something that is already hard a bit easier. 

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The video quality looks much improved over the old EM-5

​It is.  The nice thing is that it has a bit (pardon the pun) more leeway if you want to grade the image in post.  I've been shooting with picture settings turned down all the way and for certain stuff that I want to 'pop' I can add some sharpening and color.

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Hmm OK let's be a bit clearer here.

Image quality is almost the same as the E-M5's video mode actually. Most of the time it looks identical.

What has changed is the codec. It has a higher bitrate now, so less mud and it will grade a tiny bit better with a bit less banding, but it's still WAY behind the GH4 and others.

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What has changed is the codec. It has a higher bitrate now, so less mud and it will grade a tiny bit better with a bit less banding, but it's still WAY behind the GH4 and others.

​I can testify to this.  

It's very true and not only disappointing, but probably unnecessary if the Oly engineers had a bit more experience with video.  After all, Sony cleaned it up it's video with the A6000.  Will Oly eventually learn to do the same in future models?  Let's hope. 

If one's goal (in owning a stills camera that shoots video) is to have the best IQ possible, the EM5II shouldn't be a consideration.  Nope.  If you need a tool that offers a unique creative feature such as 5-axis, then think about it. Simple. Simple. Simple.  Why that reality should bother people in any semi-serious way is just odd. 

Wedding videographers shooting close ups and medium shots of faces with shallow DOF?  You really need to have a go with this camera; might be a godsend for your work.

If, on the other hand, you want the bestest IQ from a consumer camera for creative/technical purposes (or, as seems to be the case often, bragging rights) then grab a different product.  I personally don't see the need to have so much trepidation about something you're not even going to own.

The fact that the sentiments above can be repeated ad nauseam and some will still continue to rail becomes a study in phycological behavior rather than an exchange about cameras.  

But, it's the internet.  I understand.  I pretty sure god invented it to distract us all from the impending apocalypse.  He's magnanimous in that way.

Heck, I'm culpable in this silliness.  I'm here posting like mad because I'm blowing off steam while dealing with a difficult client --and this alleviates some of that stress.  That's my excuse anyway.

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​I can testify to this.  

It's very true and not only disappointing, but probably unnecessary if the Oly engineers had a bit more experience with video.  After all, Sony cleaned it up it's video with the A6000.  Will Oly eventually learn to do the same in future models?  Let's hope. 

If one's goal (in owning a stills camera that shoots video) is to have the best IQ possible, the EM5II shouldn't be a consideration.  Nope.  If you need a tool that offers a unique creative feature such as 5-axis, then think about it. Simple. Simple. Simple.  Why that reality should bother people in any semi-serious way is just odd. 

Wedding videographers shooting close ups and medium shots of faces with shallow DOF?  You really need to have a go with this camera; might be a godsend for your work.

If, on the other hand, you want the bestest IQ from a consumer camera for creative/technical purposes (or, as seems to be the case often, bragging rights) then grab a different product.  I personally don't see the need to have so much trepidation about something you're not even going to own.

The fact that the sentiments above can be repeated ad nauseam and some will still continue to rail becomes a study in phycological behavior rather than an exchange about cameras.  

But, it's the internet.  I understand.  I pretty sure god invented it to distract us all from the impending apocalypse.  He's magnanimous in that way.

Heck, I'm culpable in this silliness.  I'm here posting like mad because I'm blowing off steam while dealing with a difficult client --and this alleviates some of that stress.  That's my excuse anyway.

​One thing you should keep in mind is that I'm not a pro. The vast majority of people that read Mr. Reid's blog are not pros. They buy one camera and that's pretty much it.

For these people, the E-M5 II is simply not the answer IMO because the average consumer doesn't buy an ILC for stabilization. They buy it for great image quality.

Again, if money was no issue and I could have multiple cameras, I'd buy the E-M5 II. For taking videos of the important things in my life and without the resources to buy every camera under the sun, I'm sticking with Panasonic. Plain and simple. Olympus isn't even in the game for me.

If stabilization was the deciding factor and I wanted great IQ, as a typical consumer, I'd probably buy a Sony camcorder with balanced OIS. A Panasonic camcorder would also be an excellent choice.

I understand that some pros can use this type of camera on certain shots, but I think I speak more for the typical person. And I think it should be recognized that the vast majority of people reading this blog are not filmographers, aren't going to spend a great deal of time in post, and have absolutely no artistic interests. They just want the best camera to record the events in their lives. And, again, that ain't Olympus. My hope is that this blog doesn't become exclusively tailored to pros at the exclusion of the typical person.

And regarding stabilization, I'm going to say it again. Panasonic has some very nice stabilized lenses out there. And they're beginning to take the stabilized prime market seriously. Unfortunately, 3 of their 4 stabilized primes are in the 42.5mm to 45mm range, but it's a start. I think they're starting to take it seriously, having just released 2 new ones. And, honestly, in the telephoto focal length range, I'm not sure IBIS (when excluding the DIS) gives you much of an advantage (if any) over OIS. I recognize the advantage when walking and running, but I don't believe this advantage is still there once you extend the zoom and once you exclude Olympus' digital stabilizer. I've always maintained that as the focal length increases, OIS actually becomes better. I'm not sure where that focal length is at though.

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​I can testify to this.  

It's very true and not only disappointing, but probably unnecessary if the Oly engineers had a bit more experience with video.  After all, Sony cleaned it up it's video with the A6000.  Will Oly eventually learn to do the same in future models?  Let's hope. 

If one's goal (in owning a stills camera that shoots video) is to have the best IQ possible, the EM5II shouldn't be a consideration.  Nope.  If you need a tool that offers a unique creative feature such as 5-axis, then think about it. Simple. Simple. Simple.  Why that reality should bother people in any semi-serious way is just odd. 

Wedding videographers shooting close ups and medium shots of faces with shallow DOF?  You really need to have a go with this camera; might be a godsend for your work.

If, on the other hand, you want the bestest IQ from a consumer camera for creative/technical purposes (or, as seems to be the case often, bragging rights) then grab a different product.  I personally don't see the need to have so much trepidation about something you're not even going to own.

The fact that the sentiments above can be repeated ad nauseam and some will still continue to rail becomes a study in phycological behavior rather than an exchange about cameras.  

But, it's the internet.  I understand.  I pretty sure god invented it to distract us all from the impending apocalypse.  He's magnanimous in that way.

Heck, I'm culpable in this silliness.  I'm here posting like mad because I'm blowing off steam while dealing with a difficult client --and this alleviates some of that stress.  That's my excuse anyway.

​I agree and I can't really fathom why some are saying the E-M5ii is a disaster (and some with such passion).  I mean 1 year ago when the E-M1 was released, it received comments like:

"Whether you’re a professional commercial shooter, single operator film artist or an enthusiastic amateur, the E-M1 is worth considering purely because of that stabiliser, small form factor and lovely EVF."

"As for more casual users, you can do point and shoot video with the E-M1 better than most of the competition as well – again due to the stabilisation system."

"The main reason this camera is so useful for video is that it’s the only interchangeable lens camera I’d consider for handheld shooting with zero rigging, completely bare-bones as if shooting stills."

"The big surprise is just how similar video quality is on the E-M1 and GH3. They both resolve very good levels of detail (as long as you don’t turn digital sharpening off in camera and forget to apply it in post)"

And this was on a camera that is 30p only, with 24MBit codec, no live audio-levels, and no ability to change settings when recording at all.  Now I understand that times have changed and we now have the GH4, A7s and NX1 to consider but none of these have anything close to the stabilisation of the E-M1/E-M5ii, which is the reason to choose Olympus.  Now I am disappointed that image quality isn't better, as it really should be for 2015, but Olympus has improved numerous other aspects and hopefully will roll out some further updates to improve the quirks now that video is actually a feature they are promoting.    Anyway, there is no right or wrong and no camera is perfect, so we must each decide what features are a priority to you and your shooting style.  I understand and respect those who choose maximal image quality but also understand and respect those who are prepared to accept 'good enough' IQ for the freedom of in-body stabilisation..

 

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"The big surprise is just how similar video quality is on the E-M1 and GH3. They both resolve very good levels of detail (as long as you don’t turn digital sharpening off in camera and forget to apply it in post)"

​I don't believe this is correct. While I don't own the E-M1 either, I've seen the OOC video that it produces, and it was still way off the mark. But it was a little better than the E-M5 II.

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the average consumer doesn't buy an ILC for stabilization. They buy it for great image quality.

​Believe it or not, I actually agree with you on most of what you say; not this though.  It's my observation that the average consumer, for most goods and services, defaults to the lowest common denominator.  I believe the average consumer is going to use what's easiest and most readily available.  The enthusiast camera market isn't where they go for imaging.  Nope, these days it's their phone.  I think maybe you're projecting your opinion onto the broad market reality and it doesn't really fit.  Maybe you meant average consumer in the enthusiast market?

Also, I'd advise you reexamine exactly why this blog is here.  When you claim "the vast majority of people reading this blog are not filmographers."  Well, this blog was specifically built for "filmographers" or at least those aspiring to filmograph.  Check out that logo in the upper left of the webpage.  It actually has a subheading explains things rather succinctly.

FYI, it's in this particular context that most of the opinions here are shared, so I'd say, here at least, you're coming at things sideways.

Post your opinion on dpreview.com and I'd agree, but post it here?  Not so much.

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​Believe it or not, I actually agree with you on most of what you say; not this though.  It's my observation that the average consumer, for most goods and services, defaults to the lowest common denominator.  I believe the average consumer is going to use what's easiest and most readily available.  The enthusiast camera market isn't where they go for imaging.  Nope, these days it's their phone.  I think maybe you're projecting your opinion onto the broad market reality and it doesn't really fit.  Maybe you meant average consumer in the enthusiast market?

Also, I'd advise you reexamine exactly why this blog is here.  When you claim "the vast majority of people reading this blog are not filmographers."  Well, this blog was specifically built for "filmographers" or at least those aspiring to filmograph.  Check out that logo in the upper left of the webpage.  It actually has a subheading explains things rather succinctly.

FYI, it's in this particular context that most of the opinions here are shared, so I'd say, here at least, you're coming at things sideways.

Post your opinion on dpreview.com and I'd agree, but post it here?  Not so much.

​I didn't say it wasn't made for filmographers. I simply said the vast majority reading it aren't film makers. There is a difference. I think it should be at least recognized that this is the case.

And my point was that people in the market for a higher end camera (which any ILC is) are doing so because they want better image quality than a phone or a compact can give them. They're not doing it for stabilization. Great stabilization (as good or better than 5-axis IBIS) has been available in the compact and camcorder market for quite a while. What's been lacking in a big way is GH4-like video quality.

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​the vast majority reading it aren't film makers.

​I understand that's what you're trying to say.  I disagree.  I think most here are indeed just that or trying to be.

Great stabilization (as good or better than 5-axis IBIS) has been available in the compact and camcorder market for quite a while. 

 

​I don't know what to tell you.  My experience tells me that this is just wrong.  

Oly's 5-axis stabilizer is the best it gets.  This is why the video is such a let down.  You don't hear too many people expressing serious disappointment about the video on a Fuji camera, for instance.  There's a reason for that.  A Fuji camera doesn't have a killer stabilization feature that we'd like to see paired with great video capability.

I do make a living at this low-end video production and own or have used almost all of these systems that you mentioned.  On the other hand, from your own admission, you're forming an opinion based on internet testimony and examples.  As such all I can say is that your writings are based on a bit of self-professed ignorance.  So comment what you will, but I'm not going to hold your opinion in the highest regard --and I suspect others here on EOSHD might share that outlook.

The reason Oly's 5-axis stabilization is touted is because it's superior, that's why it matters.  As they say, "if you haven't tried it, don't knock it."

Look, I can tell you that the Sony A7s camera has such great low light capability that a single candle will illuminate an exposure of the grand canyon.  Now, you've read that.  It still doesn't make it a reality.

I think we've gone full circle and round around enough.  I promise I'll lay off responding to you now.  FWIW, I have been entertained by your posts.  Thanks for that.

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