Down the Road

I have a Canon S95, a Pentax K-5, and an Olympus E-P3 camera with multiple lenses for the K-5 and the E-P3 … more cameras than I need or use.  I mostly use the E-P3 because of the quality, size and weight compromise.  In addition, I seem to be gravitating towards using a prime lens on the E-P3 … the Panasonic 14 or 20 mm, or the Olympus 45 mm.  My dilemma is what will I need in the future?  It’s always easier to look back in time, and these cameras have all served me well under different circumstances.  The question is, what will I need down the road?  Will one of the newer cameras better serve my future needs?

I’m contemplating replacing my cameras with the new Olympus OM-D, E-M5.  It would give me the weather protection that I have with the K-5 but in a much smaller, easier to carry system package.  It would also allow me to continue to use the micro 4/3 lenses that I have and love, but it might not have the image quality that I can get with the K-5. The E-M5 might be the single camera solution that I have dreamed about.

My current reservations are:

  • Will I use a camera enough to warrant buying a new one?
  • Will I really need an all-weather camera?
  • Will I do a lot better with the EVF of the E-M5 due to my eye-sight?
  • Will I be able to handle the E-M5 with one hand if my other hand is holding a cane or walking stick?
  • Should I keep the E-P3 for backup?

If I only knew what was down the road.

5 comments

  1. NR | ExPlanet

    Strong image, excellent lines.

    I found this camera to be interesting as well, but that would also mean a completely different lineup for me and I don’t know if I’m really willing to spend that much money on another camera system. I was actually looking at the Nikon J1 as well, it seems like a nice backup camera that has some really great potential.

    The thing that interest me the most about Olympus offerings has always been their lenses. Even after shooting with Canon for over a year now, I’ve gone through several lenses and the optical quality for their “L” is marginally better than some mid-to-high end Olympus at a fraction of the cost, except for a few of Oly’s SHL.

    Another thing that interest me about Oly, typically not on a spec sheet, is the amazing JPEG quality they produce straight off the body. superb white balance control and clarity of the images I’m yet to find from Canon without doing some PP magic.

    I expect the EM5 to be the same in all aspects and improving on other weaknesses.

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    • John

      At the moment I’m being driven by size and weight, and the Olympus and Panasonic lenses for micro 4/3 are certainly smaller and lighter than Canon lenses. I agree with you about jpeg images … you can’t beat the Olympus rendering, but that isn’t significant to me since I always shoot in raw format.

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  2. Mike Cannone

    John, thanks for your quick response! I agree with you in that size is a huge factor. If I decide on the K-5, I would certainly use a few of the DA Limited pancake lenses. But the upcoming E-M5 sure is interesting. If I go that route I’ll be able to use my 20mm 1.7, the 14-42 kit lens and the 40-150 that I currently have. I occasionally print up to 13X19 but mostly I print for Apple iBooks or homemade books where the prints are no more than 5X7. Sounds to me like the dynamic range would not be quite as important with the smaller files. I also shoot RAW. Thanks for the feedback and for the opportunity to browse through your photography – very nice!

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  3. John

    Mike, There are some big differences between the K-5 & micro 4/3 cameras. Up until the OM-D I enjoyed the weather resistant insurance of the K-5. I don’t find major differences in the IQ since I only display pictures on the web. The K-5 high ISO capabilities are great compared to my E-P3. I sometimes notice differences in the ability to take low light pictures but it isn’t so great when using f/1.8 lens on the E-P3. The biggest difference to me is the major differences in size of the systems … combined camera and lenses. I don’t usually travel with my K-5 because of the size and weight. I also have had back trouble and there have been times that I couldn’t carry the K-5.

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  4. Mike Cannone

    I came upon your website after I Googled “Pentax K-5 or Olympus E-M5.” I am also an Olympus m43 user, currently using an E-P2. I have the new E-M5 of preorder however for months I have gone back and forth between the K-5 and the E-M5 as my new camera. So I have been searching for someone who has both for some feedback on IQ. Do you see significant improvement from the APS-C files compared to the M43 files? Other than better quality files at high ISO I haven’t been able to determine if getting the K-5 will bring any significant advantage. Is the K-5’s high dynamic range improvement very noticeable in your photography vs the E-P3? I would be interested on your take on this. Thanks in advance.
    Mike

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