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Author Topic: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."  (Read 13354 times)

FrankStark

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Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« on: October 31, 2016, 05:33:16 pm »

I understand that Kevin (and his wife) are big fans of Olympus cameras and lenses. But in this and other reviews, Kevin completely ignores that Olympus is part of the M4/3rds system that includes Panasonic bodies and lenses, and other manufacturers as well. You would think from listening to Kevin that Panasonic does not exist, or that Olympus developed the m4/3rds system all by itself. Kevin isn't reviewing Olympus cameras as much as simply expressing his personal prejudices about them and his admiration for them.

Olympus makes good cameras and lenses. Personally, and this is my personal preference just as Kevin has his, I think Panasonic makes equally good or better ones. But we don't hear about Panasonic on the Luminous Landscape. In fact, in his video, Kevin says its not necessary to review the Olympus (M4/3rds) system. That is a bit of a put down. He says that Olympus is not to be underestimated, but but that sounds a bit patronizing to me.  I would be grateful for a bit more depth of analysis.

Carry on with your OMD cameras, Kevin, and enjoy them. :)

F.

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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 07:02:02 pm »

Maybe Kevin's wife should do a review!
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BobDavid

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2016, 02:00:43 am »

I've been shooting with the OMD E-M5 II for a couple years. I disagree with Kevin on one point: I routinely print 18" X 24" from the RAW files. At base ISO, I've printed up to 21" X 28." The 75mm f/1.8 lens is about the sharpest lens I've ever shot with. The 40-150mm is extremely sharp and it works beautifully with the 1.4X extender. The 300 f/4 is extraordinarily with or without the 1.4 extender. I've taken razor sharp photos with it at 1/60 second. Despite its wonderful qualities, I ended up selling mine. I don't photograph wildlife and it wasn't a good match for the subjects I like to photograph.
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Telecaster

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2016, 05:03:06 am »

I've had a mix of Olympus and Panasonic m43 lenses all along, but am a more recent fan of the Panasonic cameras. Well, one particular camera: the GX8. I haven't used my Oly bodies since getting it. In fact I've hardly used any other camera over the last ~14 months. The GX8 isn't as configurable as the Oly E-M series cams but it's configurable enough, and for me in terms of handling & feel it hits the sweet spot. On my current sojourn it's got a few of its Panasonic lens buddies for company along with the Oly 12mm.

-Dave-
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FrankStark

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2016, 08:24:35 am »

BobDavid, In stressing 16 mp sensors for m4/3rd (the Olympus camera system for him,) Kevin didn't mention that both Olympus and Panasonic now have 20mpx cameras. In fact he has one himself, the Pen F. Apart from the fact that you are not alone printing larger than 17 by 22, it is not clear how large the new sensor will allow prints to be.

Telecaster, good to hear about the GX8. I take delivery of mine this week. But I am not putting down Olympus. I have one of their lenses, the 40-150mm 4-5.6. A terrific lens for the money.

F.
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BobDavid

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2016, 09:02:22 am »

BobDavid, In stressing 16 mp sensors for m4/3rd (the Olympus camera system for him,) Kevin didn't mention that both Olympus and Panasonic now have 20mpx cameras. In fact he has one himself, the Pen F. Apart from the fact that you are not alone printing larger than 17 by 22, it is not clear how large the new sensor will allow prints to be.

Telecaster, good to hear about the GX8. I take delivery of mine this week. But I am not putting down Olympus. I have one of their lenses, the 40-150mm 4-5.6. A terrific lens for the money.

F.

A lot of how large one can print from a super clean file shot with a super sharp lens and the 16MP sensor depends on the subject matter. There are some pictures I've taken that will blow up larger than the width of my 24" Epson. ... The newer 20mp sensor models have 25% more resolution than 16MP with improved dynamic range. I've heard that the high ISO noise has been reduced by a stop.

The EM5 II high res mode is fantastic for table top setups, copy stand setups, and static scenes. The native files are around 24" X 18" (at 300 or 360 DPI). The hi-res mode is a miracle of modern science if it is implemented intended correctly. Back when I had a fine art repro studio, I used a Hasselblad multi-shot camera. Getting excellent results from a multi-shot camera requires fastidious technique.

The Oly premium and Pro lenses (including the zooms) work well.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 09:13:13 am by BobDavid »
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Kevin Raber

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2016, 09:13:25 am »

When I mention 17x22 I say that because that is what I have found to be an ideal large size from a 16mpm sensor.  I'd the same about Fuji in the past.  I use a RIP as many of you know and that does allow me to pull more out of a file and print bigger.  However, seeing how I have used many large MP cameras I get tp be a bit picky about print quality.  Yes, I have worked with last week the new MMD E-M1 II camera and new lenses. I'll have a first-hand report on these in the next 48 hours.  The Olympus system is just a darn good system and the lenses are excellent and it deserves attention as aa capable camera in a lightweight package.
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Kevin Raber
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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2016, 10:01:58 am »

I find a lot of people seem to skimp on the "technique" when going to smaller cameras.  I have found if I expect the same results (as in, ideal, sharp, well toned, and aesthetically beautiful and technically competent) I do from my large, high MP sensors, I need to use the same discipline.  When I do, the prints below 30" are just as great as any other camera i've used or own.  80% of my prints are 18" or smaller.  I'm happy as a clam not hauling the size and weight any more of larger systems.
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FrankStark

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2016, 10:56:12 am »

Kevin, it seems like you still have your blinkers on. In my opinion, to speak of the "Olympus system" by itself without acknowledging that is part of, and integrated with, the larger m43rds system seems like tunnel vision. The relative merits and demerits of Olympus cameras and lenses within the m4/3rds system is another question.

F.
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FrankStark

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2016, 12:11:45 pm »

I hope that doesn't sound too harsh.
F.
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Mousecop

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 04:13:40 pm »

I've had a mix of Olympus and Panasonic m43 lenses all along, but am a more recent fan of the Panasonic cameras. Well, one particular camera: the GX8. I haven't used my Oly bodies since getting it.
I prefer Olympus, particularly the lenses. It's difficult to describe, but I find the look of the P/PL lenses to be too... clinical.

I did like the ergonomics of the GX8, though.
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Mousecop

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 04:39:04 pm »

I find a lot of people seem to skimp on the "technique" when going to smaller cameras.  I have found if I expect the same results (as in, ideal, sharp, well toned, and aesthetically beautiful and technically competent) I do from my large, high MP sensors, I need to use the same discipline.  When I do, the prints below 30" are just as great as any other camera i've used or own.  80% of my prints are 18" or smaller.  I'm happy as a clam not hauling the size and weight any more of larger systems.

No kidding. I just finished a week of day hikes in the Sierras with an M43 setup. A 35mm DSLR would've doubled the weight of my camera kit. Pass....
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Telecaster

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 05:49:08 pm »

I hope that doesn't sound too harsh.

Frank, I wouldn't equate having a preference to wearing blinkers. Also, a person can simply lack the hands-on experience necessary to say anything evaluative about a particular camera maker or model.

I enjoy sampling various tequila brands and types, but there are some I haven't yet got to and may never get to. So when someone asks me to evaluate tequlias or recommend some (the new Casamigos aƱejo is sublime!) I just tell 'em what I like, leaving out any "you could also try this out, though I personally haven't" stuff.

-Dave-
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DanLehman

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2016, 07:13:19 pm »

Also, a person can simply lack the hands-on experience necessary to say anything evaluative about a particular camera maker or model.

I enjoy sampling various tequila brands and types, but there are some I haven't yet got to and may never get to.  ...
Still, it's worthwhile to note of these M4/3 systems the existence in full --i.e., of both makers--, for it does add considerable value to have the selection.  Does Olympus have as good a tiny body as the Panasonic GM5 (per one's desires)?  Is the Oly 40-150/2.8 just over large for one's needs vs. the (internal zooming) Pany 35-100/2.8?  And so on.  There are many (good & otherwise) choices in the bodies & lenses, and while it's likely too much for anyone to know well, knowing the availability is a plus to this dual-maker "system" --yes?!

 :)

ps: Btw, Dave, I'm liking much my GX7 but noticing your praise the GX8, thanks.  (Others have opined that the GX80/85 is a closer bump-up match.)
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FrankStark

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2016, 07:34:50 pm »

Dave, preference is one thing, acknowledgement that Olympus is in a camera and lens system not completely of its own making is another. It is fine to prefer one brand or another, but perhaps a misnomer to talk about the Olympus "system" as if the other companies in the m4/3rds camera and lens system, including Panasonic, do not exist.  I have no doubt that Kevin is aware that m4/3rds exists, but he seems reluctant to mention it for reasons of his own. I cannot force him to do that, but think it would be better if he did. This seeming reluctance over a few posts about Olympus finally led me to comment. Now perhaps we can get on to other things like photography, and enjoy whichever camera we prefer to do it with.

F.
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Kevin Raber

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2016, 08:20:30 pm »

Frank, I am perfectly aware of other system and relationships to the 4/3rd system.  My article was about a system that is compact and well built and in a sense of things it is a system.  I am fully aware of Panasonic and we use Panny's for our video work.  Maybe we'll do a story on that.  This was about the Olympus system that I own and how I use it and how it is small and powerful.  No different from my articles on Sony, Fuji, Phase One and Hasselblad. 

So, let's get out there and use the cameras, and take some photos.  I'm off to Antarctica where I'll give the Olympus, Fuji, Phase One and Hasselblad X1D a workout.

 
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 09:16:16 am by Kevin Raber »
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Kevin Raber
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FrankStark

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2016, 09:11:06 am »

All the best on your trip.

F.
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viewfinder

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2016, 11:51:51 am »

....interesting read!

After looking at the internet for the past 15 years I disbelieve what I read as my basic benchmark position.   Anything that I can actually verify myself then becomes a bonus, hopefully.

i'm not sure of the current 'disclaimer' status on this site and have to assume that Kevin is as honest and pure as the driven snow and really does think the olympus is great and that he bought his oly with his own money.  However, there are plenty of photo people online who seem to be pushing particular cameras with a persistent determination that one can only be wary of......

In any case, we should remember that 'one mans meat is another mans poison'........and cameras are a very personal choice.

Because of enthusiastic coverage on this site particularly,  I took a look at olympus OMD at the end of last year.   it's quite well made stuff but far too complicated for reliable use when there's a good image on the hook!    This seems to be a failing of m4/3 in general....massive over engineering (to give it a kind description) is counter productive to any serious image maker and is found in most of the m4/3 offerings.   I grew up with Rollieflexes so four types of RAW is a bridge too far for me!...as is the 'rogue button' and flawed logic issues that abound in these "systems".

In photography as in many other matters; 'less is frequently (read, 'usually') more.

....While we are on the subject, a full disclaimer heading on the front page would not be a bad thing perhaps.....
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pegelli

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2016, 12:20:06 pm »

it's quite well made stuff but far too complicated for reliable use when there's a good image on the hook!    This seems to be a failing of m4/3 in general....massive over engineering (to give it a kind description) is counter productive to any serious image maker and is found in most of the m4/3 offerings.   I grew up with Rollieflexes so four types of RAW is a bridge too far for me!...as is the 'rogue button' and flawed logic issues that abound in these "systems".
I don't fully understand this logic. To me a camera cannot be too complicated or over engineered because there is no obligation to use it all. I don't have and M4/3 camera but on the digitals I use maybe 10% or less of the options available. Just choose one file format and put the camera on Manual and it won't be much different from ancient film cameras with the only exception that changing film is easier (just turn the iso dial  ;)). I come from manual M39 Leica viewfinders and don't find that much difference with now using my modern mirrorless cameras other then the in-built exposure meter and different way of manual focus (magnified view vs. rangefinder split image). I'm probably missing something so I wouldn't mind if you explained which options get in the way of serious image making. I'm not doubting you, just trying to learn what I'm overlooking.
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pieter, aka pegelli

Mousecop

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Re: Kevin and the "Olympus OMD camera system."
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2016, 12:55:09 pm »

I don't fully understand this logic. To me a camera cannot be too complicated or over engineered because there is no obligation to use it all.
The potential issue is with the interface and buttons.

Olympus cameras are highly customizable, and has a simplified top-level menu interface (Super Control Panel). However, the menus can be frustrating for new users; and advanced features often require a bit of perplexing menu diving.

Olympus also didn't have dedicated Custom slots on the mode dials until recently (though you could assign a custom set to an existing dial slot). That helps simplify things.
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