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Author Topic: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions  (Read 2770 times)

armand

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Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« on: June 01, 2017, 12:30:18 PM »

I'm thinking of getting it with the 12-100 to use specifically for backpacking trips. I would gain worry free kit for moist/wet conditions vs my Fuji and better sensor, better battery and more coverage vs the E-M5 mark ii with the 12-40 PRO that I already have.


I have a couple of questions though. I was just looking through the DxO rating and I see it has practically the same high ISO performance as the Nikon D500. I don't buy that particularly as the prior m43 were much lower. Any experiences to confirm of deny this?
I can believe the DR and the color depth but have a hard time with the ISO.


What's the average shutter speed that you can regularly still have sharp pictures? I'm not talking about the exceptions. I've been somewhat underwhelmed by the IS performance of the E-M5 mark ii compared to some rave reviews. It would be helpful as I will likely leave the tripod at home and if I can get 1-2 sec consistently then it will good enough.

armand

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 12:42:49 PM »

PS. Significantly better IS and sensor vs the E-M5 mark ii are deal breakers as I have also both the 12-40 Pro and the Pana 35-100. Together they are just under 200g more so with the 12-100 it will be mostly convenience (I hike with others and have limited time, would rather spend it refining the compositions than changing lenses) and extra IS; I lose the 2.8 but I don't expect I'll need much for landscapes.

TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 03:37:42 PM »

The 12-100 can also close focus pretty darn well...so that is a plus for it.  I have considering buying it myself for convenience as you say.  A single camera setup with a polarizer on the front that goes from wide to a good tele length and can do near macro is VERY convenient.  Especially when its quality through and through.  It seems made for the landscape and nature enthusiasts for sure. 

As far as IS goes... it is way better.  However...you also cannot take that as the final line.  How well the IS delivers depends on the focal length and your ability to be steady too.  I have gotten tack sharp images at 400mm equivalent, single handed, at 1/80th of a second.  That to me is breathtaking.  Virtually unbelievable.  At the same time I am rarely steady, and even at a short to medium tele length I can get a fuzzy shot at 1/60th because of my own hands.  I have gotten 4 - 6 seconds sharp with the new IS and the 12-40.  Only at 12mm for sure.  1 - 2 seconds is possible.  I HIGHLY recommend taking multiple images though.  Your idea of acceptable sharpness and mine might differ.  Honestly, it is not a replacement for a tripod.  You can get away with a lot... but I always still look for a way to stabilize the camera without me in the equation even when I don't have a tripod.  I have gotten a A LOT braver though, even on client shoots.  I will hand hold shots I never would have dared without a tripod.  I am a strong believer in tripods and still use a massive 4 or 5 series equivalent tripod with a BH55 head as my basic tripod even with M43.  So I might be a little overboard.

The ISO is good.  In fact, i don't always apply noise reduction at 6400 any more.  The files look good.  It's got some grain, but its pleasing.  It actually has character.  I don't go beyond 6400.  ISO 800 - 6400 are definitely nicer on the em1 mkII.  They are at least a stop cleaner, a bit sharper, and the highlights and color retention are much more usable than they were on the mkI.

The mkII has a lot of small refinements that add up to a very functional camera.  The little features that go beyond the sensor.  At 20mp, it was just enough to allow for some cropping if needed too.   
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BradSmith

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 03:43:10 PM »


What's the average shutter speed that you can regularly still have sharp pictures? I'm not talking about the exceptions. I've been somewhat underwhelmed by the IS performance of the E-M5 mark ii compared to some rave reviews. It would be helpful as I will likely leave the tripod at home and if I can get 1-2 sec consistently then it will good enough.

Your IS expectations are unrealistic.   I don't think anyone can consistently get good handheld images with any image stabilization at 1-2 seconds.  A 4 stop improvement from 1.5 sec is about a tenth of a second.  Anyone getting consistently good handheld images without stabilization at 1/10th?  I doubt it.
Brad
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armand

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 08:03:12 PM »

Your IS expectations are unrealistic.   I don't think anyone can consistently get good handheld images with any image stabilization at 1-2 seconds.  A 4 stop improvement from 1.5 sec is about a tenth of a second.  Anyone getting consistently good handheld images without stabilization at 1/10th?  I doubt it.
Brad

I wouldn't have had these questions if the claims were different. I think they said up to 6.5 stops stabilisation and there are people achieving that, or claiming.
As far as expectations I have none.

I carried a tripod last time I went in this type of hike (where hiking is the primary activity, not photography) and I barely used it. Now with my back being worse I'll take my chances, I'll find some rocks if I really have to.

armand

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 11:20:52 PM »

The 12-100 can also close focus pretty darn well...so that is a plus for it.  I have considering buying it myself for convenience as you say.  A single camera setup with a polarizer on the front that goes from wide to a good tele length and can do near macro is VERY convenient.  Especially when its quality through and through.  It seems made for the landscape and nature enthusiasts for sure. 

As far as IS goes... it is way better.  However...you also cannot take that as the final line.  How well the IS delivers depends on the focal length and your ability to be steady too.  I have gotten tack sharp images at 400mm equivalent, single handed, at 1/80th of a second.  That to me is breathtaking.  Virtually unbelievable.  At the same time I am rarely steady, and even at a short to medium tele length I can get a fuzzy shot at 1/60th because of my own hands.  I have gotten 4 - 6 seconds sharp with the new IS and the 12-40.  Only at 12mm for sure.  1 - 2 seconds is possible.  I HIGHLY recommend taking multiple images though.  Your idea of acceptable sharpness and mine might differ.  Honestly, it is not a replacement for a tripod.  You can get away with a lot... but I always still look for a way to stabilize the camera without me in the equation even when I don't have a tripod.  I have gotten a A LOT braver though, even on client shoots.  I will hand hold shots I never would have dared without a tripod.  I am a strong believer in tripods and still use a massive 4 or 5 series equivalent tripod with a BH55 head as my basic tripod even with M43.  So I might be a little overboard.

The ISO is good.  In fact, i don't always apply noise reduction at 6400 any more.  The files look good.  It's got some grain, but its pleasing.  It actually has character.  I don't go beyond 6400.  ISO 800 - 6400 are definitely nicer on the em1 mkII.  They are at least a stop cleaner, a bit sharper, and the highlights and color retention are much more usable than they were on the mkI.

The mkII has a lot of small refinements that add up to a very functional camera.  The little features that go beyond the sensor.  At 20mp, it was just enough to allow for some cropping if needed too.   

Thank you. I know that the 6.5 stops are quoted for 12 mm and from there it goes down. A 5 stop will get me just above 1 sec which would be quite impressive.

I wasn't aware Olympus made such dramatic changes with this sensor, DxO rated the Pen-F at ~ 900 ISO while the E-M1ii is at ~ 1300.

Last year I went with the Fuji X-T2 and 10-24 and 18-55; the E-M1ii with the 12-100 would be about the same weight, less wide but more telephoto with the weather resistance (I can keep it outside most of the time) and better stabilization (I can get up to 0.5 sec at 10 mm on Fuji). Plus convenience, last year changing the lenses was annoying as nobody was waiting for me and could have been even worse if the focal lens coverage wasn't overlapping that much.

jeremyrh

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2017, 03:45:49 AM »

I have the E-M1 mk2 as a replacement for the mk1, and it has many advantages for backpacking and even for any photography that involves travel, but I would not list high ISO performance as one of its features (though maybe that is not as big a factor in landscape as it is in low light event photography).
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StephenStarkman

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 11:18:26 PM »

The IS is damn good. You have to know it's limits (and yours), but results can be, well, awesome.

Photos attached - but of course low res for the forum. The image is tack sharp 1:1.

.4sec at f/11 handheld.

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pcgpcg

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2017, 01:48:19 PM »

I can't speak specifically to ISO because, being a former E-M1 user, I'm still gun shy about shooting with high ISO. However, I think your decision to couple the mk ii with the 10-100 12-100 zoom is a good one, and one I am tempted to do myself, but because I already have the 12-40 and 40-150 I probably won't do it. The 40-150 is a fantastic lens, but heavy for backpacking.

Aside from the increased resolution, the biggest surprise for me is that the AF in the mk ii is vastly improved over the original E-M1. With the E-M1 I rarely used AF because I often needed to tweak it with MF anyway and sometimes it would get confused and hunt around for focus while the window needed for a quick shot disappeared. Not so with the mk ii. It is very fast, spot on sharp focus, and I have yet to see it get confused when there was no obvious reason. My shooting habit is changing so that I am now depending on AF which has allowed me to get some shoots I would have otherwise missed, and they are tack sharp.

Like Tony said, there are many small improvements as well. Customizing is easier. The mk ii is a MAJOR improvement over the original E-M1.  It is clear that Olympus listens to its customer base and acts on the feedback received.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2017, 06:36:48 PM by pcgpcg »
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armand

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2017, 05:20:57 PM »

I can't speak specifically to ISO because, being a former E-M1 user, I'm still gun shy about shooting with high ISO. However, I think your decision to couple the mk ii with the 10-100 zoom is a good one, and one I am tempted to do myself, but because I already have the 12-40 and 40-150 I probably won't do it. The 40-150 is a fantastic lens, but heavy for backpacking.


That should make even more difficult for me as I have both the 12-40 2.8 and the 35-100 2.8 (the Panasonic) with just under 200g increase in weight but 1 stop better. Convenience is the key word here. Also for what I will be shooting I won't likely need the extra stop except for some occasional wildlife as  I will prefer an increase in DOF.

PS. talking about the increase DOF a devil's advocate could mention the Sony RX-10 mark ii with the same light gathering ability as the 12-100 F4 and same equiv focal length for only 800g. Weather sealing will be worse though and so will be the IS and as said above I won't be bringing a tripod. I want to be able to keep the camera outside for light rain, for what could be hours, to try to get those fleeting moments.

armand

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017, 10:16:49 PM »

Got to do a quick test with my E-M5ii at 12mm and 100mm (Oly 12-40 and Pana 35-100). It seems I am able to get more than half of the shots sharp at ~ 4 stops lower, meaning 1/1.5 at 24 mm equiv and 1/8-1/10 at 200mm equiv.
The E-M5ii is rated at 5 stops stabilization while the E-M1ii with 12-100 is rated at 6.5 stops so 5-5.5 stops stabilization seems doable for me which will get 1-2 sec at 24mm and ~ 1/4 at 200mm equiv.
I'm not sure how some people manage to get 6-8 sec.

ChrisMax

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2017, 08:12:09 PM »

Just got the Oly 12-100 and use it with an E-M5ii which can take advantage of the Sync IS system (meaning using the in body stabilization with the lens stabilization).  It's like having a new camera!  This lens lives up to the hype.  I've even got a way to mount the camera and lens on a tripod though with the 12-100 it is possible to handhold some very long exposures.  At present I don't feel the need to buy a M1ii seeing the results from the M5ii.
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armand

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2017, 10:54:01 PM »

Crap, I wish I didn't see this! I'm leaving in two days so I won't be able to get it now anyway but now I have second thoughts about my decision.

I gave up on buying the E-M1ii as I think it's a little too overpriced for what it is. I can afford it but doesn't feel right to spend 2K on the Oly when a Nikon D750 is 1.5k (with almost 0.5K of extras).

For the 12-100 I gave a lot of thought but decided that it will likely be too top heavy with the E-M5ii that I have right now.

So for hiking when going light is essential and weather will be unpredictable I will take the E-M5ii with the 12-40 2.8 +/- the 35-100 2.8. For all others I will likely stick to the X-T2 with some lighter zooms and primes. It will be a pain to go with 2 systems but the X-T2 just brings better quality shots and even if it didn't I just enjoy shooting with it more. Simple, no drama, easy to change settings fast.

BradSmith

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2017, 08:06:03 PM »


I'm not sure how some people manage to get 6-8 sec.

I am.  No one.
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armand

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2017, 06:26:01 PM »

Some updates

Shutter speed
- while at home and in controlled conditions I can get slowish shutter speeds when hiking that doesn't seem to be the case; multiple shots do help in getting a sharp one

Shutter shock
- still didn't put my finger on it exactly but I think the E-M5ii has a good amount in an intermediate range, as in 1/20-1/50 range

Had an extended trip, part with the 12-40 and for the second part I was able to get the 12-100. For hiking the 12-100 is the better option. While I occasionally missed the F2.8 it was rare as most of the times the increased DOF was actually beneficial and the OIS compensates the slower shutter speed. Without very rigorous testing they look similar sharpness wise.
Yes, the 12-100 is heavier but the difference when carrying it doesn't feel like much. It's slightly more annoying the increased length as I had it hanging on a Peak Design on the shoulder strap.

Overall quality seems to be good. Losing some in the DR and color depth, particularly compared to the Nikon D750, but good enough for the bulk of the shots.

Geods

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Re: Olympus E-M1 mark ii questions
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2017, 02:13:59 PM »

The E-M1 Mk II with 12-100 IS is a superlative combo. Like Olympus did with many reviewers, I took this system to Iceland, as a backup to a Nikon D800e system. Most of my shots on the trip were from a tripod and stitched to achieve LF quality. In a significant number of cases, I preferred the Olympus images. While the 12-100 is not as good as a good prime lens, it's close. The 12-100 has sufficient reserve resolving power to allow the high resolution mode to work well (depending on focal length; from noticeably better resolution on the long end to a super awesome improvement at 12mm). If the system gets wet, one does not have to worry about it. If I were to go hiking, cycling, or on a Himalayan trek and couldn't take a tripod, I'd bring this system.
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