Why the Olympus E-M5?


Why did I decide to buy an Olympus E-M5?

Let me back up a little.

Well, several factors came into play for me. I had switched from my beloved Pentax K20D with several nice high quality lenses I owned a little over a year ago with my 1st m4/3 Panasonic G1. Along with a Panasonic G 20mm f/1.7 ASPH followed by the purchase of the Olympus M Zuiko 14/42mm ED MkI, then followed by the Panasonic G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH. These my only native lenses. But, I also owned several Leica M mount lenses for my Leica M5 (which I no longer own). I had a very nice Voigtlander 24mm f/4 SnapShot, a Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 Nokton SC, and a Voigtlander 50mm f/1.1 Nokton, followed by a Carl Zeiss ZM 50mm f/1.5 Sonnar T*, all really great manual lenses on my G1. But, my film cameras have changed over the last year to find “My Perfect Film Camera”, I tried the beautiful Contax G1 Auto Focus interchangeable lens  rangefinder with a Carl Zeiss 45mm f/2, but the AF was too slow. AS time passed, I had collected a few Nikkor branded lenses to use on my Panasonic G1, Namely a 24mm f/2.8 AiS, 55mm f/3.5 micro ,and a 135mm f/2.8 Q, I researched different Nikon film bodies I could use both Non-Ai, and Ai/Ais lenses with, since I owned both. I bought a very clean (almost Demo) Nikon FE, one of 4 non Nikon “F” models that took all the Nikkor lenses Nikon ever made (Except the G series which has no f/stop ring).

As time passed, I was needing a camera that had cleaner from ISO 1000 and up. I found myself using ISO speeds as high as 1600 for my Micro Photography, and the Panasonic G1 was not cutting it. I thought about the G2, but, that was not a big improvement over the G1. I wanted a SLR style m4/3, and I did not want an add on viewfinder that Olympus offered for their Pen Series.  So, I waited, and Panasonic introduced the G3, with a great new 16mp senor that can deliver clean files up to ISO 2500 to my taste.  Many Panasonic G3 users gladly go as high as ISO 5000 with great results. It is a very capable sensor indeed.

Some of the things I was noticing with using my manual focus manual lenses, is that I was not getting 100% sharp images. It might my age have a role (I am 58 at this writing), but, whatever it may be, I wanted (needed) a camera with built-in image stabilization, and, Panasonic had non in their line up. (Although, they do have a patent for one). from about 4 months ago, the rumors of an SLR style “Pro” Olympus m4/3 with a built-in EVF was it’s way. And the rumors had said it was styled after their last OM series film camera, the OM4Ti. Well, I think I was reading about my future m4/3 camera, and since I had owned an Olympus OM1n, OM2S, and an OM4 in the 1980’s, I was exited to say the least. As more and more leaked images emerged, it obvious that Olympus had indeed designed this new camera after the OM styling. And, gave this new higher quality line the “OM-D” designation. The E-M5, being the 1st in this new line.

Among some of the “New” feature were:

  • A Touch Screen that use a “static” based activation, like the iPhone. Not Pressure based activation.
  • A LCD with 610k resolution that tilts up and down
  • A new 5 axis on-board sensor image stabilization unit.
  • A new 16mp sensor that has a tested 13.2 step Dynamic Range (Previous Pens have an step11 range).
  • Clean ISO up to ISO 3200 that is very usable, very good ISO 6400, and an extended ISO to 25,600.
  • An available 2 stage grip, with an optional power grip attachment. The 1st in the Olympus digital lineup.
  • A new 1.44mp EVF that has 100% coverage.
  • The first weather sealed m4/3.
  • An available 12-50mm weather sealed kit lens.
  • A weather sealed attachable mini flash.
  • A great OM Retro look

So, for me, I liked:

  • A new 5 axis on-board sensor image stabilization unit.
  • Clean ISO up to ISO 3200 that is very usable, very good ISO 6400, and an extended ISO to 25,600.
  • An available 2 stage grip, with an optional power grip attachment. The 1st in the Olympus digital lineup.
  • A new 1.44mp EVF that has 100% coverage.

These are the main points I wanted in a new  m4/3 camera. And the OM-D E-M5 is to date, the best m4/3 camera in built quality and  Image Quality!

That’s why I chose the new Olympus OM-D E-M5.

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