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Don Kotlos

A7RII - E-M1 IBIS Test

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E-M5II for the naysayers that's all about 'cinema-quality movies', 'Top-class movie performance', 'all at top-class level', 'Advanced movie features for professional level movie making', 'professional level movie editing', 'professional level movies making' and 'Functions that go beyond flagship models'.

Yeah, that's all marketing hoo-haa, and I for one certainly don't expect Oly products to ever truly rival what Sony or Panasonic does with video, as those companies will be vangaurd and ahead of the rest when it comes to motion picture specs.  However, a rising tide lifts all boats.  In a few years it'll all be 4K so that'll be nice. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

 and I for one certainly don't expect Oly products to ever truly rival what Sony or Panasonic does with video, 

The stabilization system they have gives them a significant upper hand, I expect they will rival sony/panasonic/canon because of IBIS, just when the next generation comes with sharp HD/4K and 24/25p. Don't forget their colours are great too. I'd never use any other camera if I had an olympus with sharp video, 25p and the magical IBIS. 

Just imagine going out to shoot a documentary with an em-1 in your hand, and coming back with all great results that are steady and sharp and has nice colours off the card. It'll be a smashing hit once the new gen. comes around.

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I'd never use any other camera if I had an olympus with sharp video, 25p and the magical IBIS.

Me either.  

I just think they'll be a generation behind other's spec sheets.  And, really, I don't care.  Everything is looking good enough already for my tastes these days given what I do for a living.  And it's only going to get better, so I'm not too worried about Oly not being on the cutting edge of IQ.  When they offer 4K I'll be grateful and happy, but in the meantime the EM5II is a really fun camera.

Honestly, if you've never shot with the Oly 5-axis, and you do run-n-gun, you deserve to give yourself a chance with it.  It's pretty damn cool.

 

And yeah, I've been inter-cutting for awhile now with a 5DII and the EM5II, colors are so close it's a breeze to work with.

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Anyways, this stabilization hype is completely overrated. We have motion pictures since 1895 over the big screen, but maybe those guys were merely too naive then ;-)

I am not that sure. Personally the 4K is much more overrated than having stabilized recording. Of course I value high quality HD and definitely Olympus can work on that, but the type of shots that you can get with such a small package is very very very useful. At least to me. 

If you see the type of setups they had to stabilize their cameras (huge cameras by the way) and how shaky the footage can look on handheld small cameras like BMPCC you can also imaging how useful a proper IBIS system is. 

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You're also forgetting something most important if not from ages, at least since when a camera left the shoulders of the operator (considering a camera had left a tripod for first time some time earlier): steady hands!

Me and my friends have a technique we call the Polish Steadicam. It's the guy with the steadiest hands and a wide angle lens, who we push around on a little cart. We look like clowns on set, but the results are great.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Anyways, this stabilization hype is completely overrated. We have motion pictures since 1895 over the big screen, but maybe those guys were merely too naive then ;-)

So lets do it the 1895 way, you know since they were able to do it. 

Get the Mitchel and french dolly out and lets go shoott black & white at 25 ASA 5 stops of DR film with lower than SD resolution in a 100KG camera package that does not record sound on set due to horrible noise and operated with a crank. Also lets get the scissors and tape out for editing. 

Digital aquisition, digital storage, infinite media, higher quality lenses, IS, AF systems, 4K, 6K, 240fps, small cameras, DSLRs, audio recording, internal NDs, internal WB, IBIS, glidecams, small video tripods, EVFs, external monitors, NLEs, grading software, projectors, these are all overrated as they didn't have them in 1895 and weren't naive. 

Come on, Olympus IBIS as you see is a feature that completely transforms motion picture shooting, if it's anything it's underhyped actually. 

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I am not that sure. Personally the 4K is much more overrated than having stabilized recording. Of course I value high quality HD and definitely Olympus can work on that, but the type of shots that you can get with such a small package is very very very useful. At least to me. 

If you see the type of setups they had to stabilize their cameras (huge cameras by the way) and how shaky the footage can look on handheld small cameras like BMPCC you can also imaging how useful a proper IBIS system is. 

Aside the fact 4K gives better 1080p, the remainder is very true. I meant the hype, not the stabilization tools.

So lets do it the 1895 way, you know since they were able to do it. 

And ain't we already? OK, the frame rate has changed since then... LOL ;-)

No, it is very hyped, actually. People believe moving camera makes the film. People forget everything that can make "a film" to begin with ...framing.

My dear Ebrahim, I am in this métier for more than 20-25 years and I proud myself to have suffered for entering in a very tough film school and not necessarily in my first attempt to arrive there. People now tend to think in order to have a good shot, we only need some Oly camera! : D  They've even forgotten what a tripod does mean... :-(

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

There is always that view when a new technology comes along, and it's understandeable. When Dual Pixel AF comes and we feel sad people will forget how a focus puller works, a7s sensitivity and we feel people will stop lighting, ibis, people will stop shooting properly, I think moderation of use is the key and embracing the newest technology.

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Anyways, this stabilization hype is completely overrated.

I was skeptical of Olys 5-axis.  Then I used it. 

I can do stuff handheld with discipline that looks indistinguishable from a slider or something shot on a tripod. 

Its creative freedom. And it's a tool that allows me to get shots really quick when run'n'gun'in'. 

It's not perfect, but it is very useful for a certain style. 

I do docu style, so it fits.  I don't use it for EVERYTHING, but what I do use it for, it's pretty nice. 

I sure as hell don't think that ANY camera I decide to use makes me in any way more accomplished of a shooter. I'm very camera agnostic.  But I do like Oly's 5-axis feature. It's a fun tool to have.  It's almost like cheating. It allows me to get that good framing easier...

Mind you, if you kinda stink as a shooter an EM5II isn't going to magically make you frame better compositions, but if you have some compositional skill, it'll let you grab those shots in a quick and practical way. 

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There is always that view when a new technology comes along, and it's understandeable. When Dual Pixel AF comes and we feel sad people will forget how a focus puller works, a7s sensitivity and we feel people will stop lighting, ibis, people will stop shooting properly, I think moderation of use is the key and embracing the newest technology.

I don't feel much sorrow for focus pullers or film stock or whatever trace of technology already outdated. My beef is the way people in general tend to neglect essential aspects of craft for the ultimate gimmick to rule a geeky POV over our heads. Moving image is beyond technology. Pity YouTube generations have no clue at all, lost in translation.

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Well, here's a very simple shoot as an example.  I did this for a friend over the weekend on a moments notice. It was basically a 1 hour shoot. I grabbed shots as fast as possible. 

Sure, I could have placed a tripod in a lot of spots and had the subject wait for me to compose... Or I could have let her do her thing and I would just follow, and still get cool shots along the way. 

With the EM5II, I just did the latter  

Slider shots without a rig, static shots without a tripod...it's a very nice capability to have. 

Granted, this isn't groundbreaking stuff, but this particular camera does give me some worthwhile footage. 

I don't know what else to say.  It's fun for me.  That's all  

 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Well, here's a very simple shoot as an example.  I did this for a friend over the weekend on a moments notice. It was basically a 1 hour shoot. I grabbed shots as fast as possible. 

Sure, I could have placed a tripod in a lot of spots and had the subject wait for me to compose... Or I could have let her do her thing and I would just follow, and still get cool shots along the way. 

With the EM5II, I just did the latter  

Slider shots without a rig, static shots without a tripod...it's a very nice capability to have. 

Granted, this isn't groundbreaking stuff, but this particular camera does give me some worthwhile footage. 

I don't know what else to say.  It's fun for me.  That's all 

 

Wow that all you holding the camera? like in with your bare hands?!

The movement actually looks better than slider/dollys/rigs, it looks like it's floating in the air and making organic moves, not static point A to point B. 

 

Whenever somebody tests IBIS for some reason they walk, almost nobody shoots walking, that for full fledged 5 axis mechanical steadicams WITH a skilled steadicam operator. But this is the first example I've seen with normal shooting. 

If you'd shot that with a DSLR and primes, the entire video would simply be thrown to recycle bin, I've tried!

Good HD 720P image too. Good job.

 

The grade and over-exposure really fit the happy story and conveys a clean sterilized environment for food. I've used that technique when shooting an ad for our radiology center, over exposed a stop and more and it gave a sterile clean message for the labs shots. (and yes shot on an expensively rental epic + cine primes as the producer wanted the best, and ended up on 720p broadcast and 360p youtube, I said whatever, I am out of here.)

 

Tools...

Sorry mates, not Warp sample this time! : D

Canon IS is much better than both IBIS and IBIS + Canon IS (to be fair the 24-105mm has one of the best video IS available and not all canons perform like it, but still)

I am really seeing such bad results all over the web. Wouldn't have imagined that, I guess a FF sensor is hard to IBIS and/or perhaps Olympus has superior technology from the start.

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I am really seeing such bad results all over the web. Wouldn't have imagined that, I guess a FF sensor is hard to IBIS and/or perhaps Olympus has superior technology from the start.

I'm guessing it's a sensor size/mass thing. Yet another advantage for M4/3. :d

The E-M10 II looks to be a pretty great video option, sharing the same IBIS and video quality as the E-M5 II. Wait 6 months, buy one used for moving shots, and boom--you're set.

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The stabilization system they have gives them a significant upper hand, I expect they will rival sony/panasonic/canon because of IBIS, just when the next generation comes with sharp HD/4K and 24/25p. Don't forget their colours are great too. I'd never use any other camera if I had an olympus with sharp video, 25p and the magical IBIS. 

Just imagine going out to shoot a documentary with an em-1 in your hand, and coming back with all great results that are steady and sharp and has nice colours off the card. It'll be a smashing hit once the new gen. comes around.

Agreed !!

... but it's never gonna happen.

In relation to video, Oly would have to be the most disappointing and the most totally clueless of all camera manufacturers. They have this awesome IBIS and just repeatedly fail to capitalise on it time and time again in as far as video goes. 

You would think with the constantly crappy financial results they report that they would be looking to their IBIS / 4K /  decent video for extra sales ... but no ... "Panasonic does video not us" Panasonic & Sony must do 4k because they sell TV's" ... totally weird. Pokemon would do a better job than who ever is running the Imaging group at Oly.

They are a pretty shoddily run outfit ... Tom Hogan always has some interesting insights into their financial reporting and results. They'll go under eventually or sell and have no one to blame but themselves.

http://www.sansmirror.com/newsviews/olympus-results.html

 

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In relation to video, Oly would have to be the most disappointing and the most totally clueless of all camera manufacturers. They have this awesome IBIS and just repeatedly fail to capitalise on it time and time again in as far as video goes. 

I'm not so sure about that.  I just think they're not willing to be on the cutting edge of video specs, because they can't really devote serious resources and development to it.  However, they can adopt the technology a little bit behind the curve.  They seem about 2.5 years behind.  So, eventually, they'll get there.

Now, if your thing is to have the bestest and coolest video IQ from a consumer stills cam, then you'll always be drawn to those models offering it.

I, however, tend to think that even median video IQ from 2015 cameras looks "good enough" already.  If you're a competent shooter, you can make most cameras work for you.  

Here's an example:  Last week I did a quick documentary style corporate shoot for 20K.  I hired a guy that I know likes to trick out his GH4 and likes to run around with a bunch of grip stuff.  Now, I did that not because I knew he was going to get wonderful footage, (I know his capabilities and that was expected anyway) but I needed him there so the set looked "professional."  And it did.  Big lens, matte box, c-stands, silks, reflectors, dead cats, audio harnesses, etc.  Okay.  So that put the client at ease.  Their money was on display.  Meanwhile, while he was doing all the A-Cam interview stuff and some misc B-roll, I was running around with a little EM5II grabbing shots non-stop.  In the end, over 90% of the b-roll shots in the final edit are from the EM5II.  Final delivery is for the web @720.  Unless you're super-discriminating, you can't tell the difference in the edit between the EM5II footage and the GH4 footage.  As a casual viewer you're just not really going to see it.  

So this is how I view the whole camera IQ debate.  What I can do practically matters.  I think I've come to terms with the fact that many people will always chase the technical holy grail with IQ, but my focus with many of my jobs (and my philosophy on how to approach those jobs) lies elsewhere.

And let's not loose sight of the fact that in 5-7 years we're all going to have robust DR, great low light capability, and 4K.  Sure, there will ALWAYS be superior IQ devices, but even if you have that capability, what are you going to do with it?  I DO get excited to shoot with awesome cameras, love being blown away with great images when I rent pro camera gear, and I know they are an absolute necessity for certain productions.  But not for all.  Not for your cat videos --or cityscape videos set to emo music.  

At a certain point when are we all just arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?  I mean, even this lowly Oly camera has better IQ than the greatest auteurs of the mid 20th century had access to during most of their careers, so I say the tools are great and wonderful, just go use them effectively and you'll be happy.

Finally, as a camera manufacturer, nobody can outdo Fuji when it comes to offering lousy video in their stills cams.  They set the bar so low that it's unacceptable even for me!

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Hey Fuzzy,

 

Sentimental topic done with a light hand and great craftsmanship. 1hour- great job! Skintones looking good. Video looking great and very well done.

I also agree on your statement about the median of video tech. Great write up. But VLOG on GH4 is really looking nice, at least the 10bit side of it.

Nick Driftwoods samples were very easy to handle to get great colors out of. But who knows what nice setup of lights the have been using.

Wouldnt see that on the LOG file, just after the Grade or LUT:)

 

Well, here's a very simple shoot as an example.  I did this for a friend over the weekend on a moments notice. It was basically a 1 hour shoot. I grabbed shots as fast as possible. 

Sure, I could have placed a tripod in a lot of spots and had the subject wait for me to compose... Or I could have let her do her thing and I would just follow, and still get cool shots along the way. 

With the EM5II, I just did the latter  

Slider shots without a rig, static shots without a tripod...it's a very nice capability to have. 

Granted, this isn't groundbreaking stuff, but this particular camera does give me some worthwhile footage. 

I don't know what else to say.  It's fun for me.  That's all  

 

 

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