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Olympus OM-D E-M5


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#701 TedJ

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 05:02 AM

I am considering buying BarbaraJ a new rig to replace her Sony NEX-5n/Nauticam setup.

She had an Olympus OM1 film camera when I first met her in 1975 that she loved.

I'm trying to decide between the EM-5 and the new EM-1.

Total cost difference for the camera and housing is probably close to $1500 or so.

I'm zonering if the EM-1 is overkill?

Anyone want to offer advice?

You can see the kind of shots she takes at tjanssen.zenfolio.com 

 

Thanks,

TedJ


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#702 Phil Rudin

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 08:06 AM

Hi Ted,

 

You are way off base on the cost difference between the two systems all things being equal assuming you are buying a complete new system. First the difference in the cost of the two systems is the difference in the cost of the camera body and the housing. The ports, gears and lenses you chose will be the same with both systems, so no cost difference. 

 

At B&H the cost of the E-M5 body is $999.00 and the E-M1 body is $1399.00 so a $400.00 difference. The Nauticam NA-EM5 housing is $1450.00 and the NA-EM1 housing is $1850.00 so another $400.00 difference for a total of $800.00 system to system all else (lenses, gears and ports) being equal. 

 

Now you need to compare what you get with each housing. The E-M1 housings comes with the grips, 1" ball heads and stainless handle brackets as well as the vacuum system electronics built in. The E-M1 housing also has vertical shutter trigger and AEL/AFL trigger for rear auto focus along with several more function buttons for the E-M1 which is the most programable camera on the planet.

 

At the very least the E-M5 housing would need the Flex II tray, second grip and "1 ball heads to mount dual strobe arms. Flex tray $130.00, second grip $40.00, two 1" balls $16.00X2=$32.00 for a total of $202.00. Add the handle brackets $60.00 and the vacuum electronics around $220.00 installed by local dealer and now you are at $482.00 in add-ons which are standard with the E-M1 housing. Both housings would require the vacuum valve and pump about $220.00 for the complete vacuum system. I also have the $30.00 wrist strap with my E-M5 system because I hold the housing with my right hand to allow better assess to the shutter release rather than holding the right grip. Just the ability to use a vertical trigger and hold the housing by the grip makes the E-M1 housing very compelling. 

 

So with tray only you have about a $602.00 difference between systems. Total difference with all items added to both both housings would be around $318.00. If you add the wrist strap you are now under a $300.00 difference system to system.

 

I own both systems and I can tell you that the E-M1 system is head and shoulders above the E-M5 system in terms of ease of use, function access, AF triggering and more. The difference in size between the two systems is not that great.

 

I realize you can probably find bigger discounts on the E-M5 than you can on the E-M1 but then the E-M5 is nearing the end of its run and the E-M1 is just at its beginning.

 

You can also get over $300.00 in incentives with the E-M1, with the 12-40 zoom I got a $200.00 rebate and the MMF-3 ($180.00) adapter for 43 lenses which work very well on the E-M1 and not well at all on the E-M5. 

 

The E-M1 has been chosen camera of the year by several highly respected organization and is a true "pro" camera by definition. I think the E-M5 system is a great value with excellent image quality but the E-M1 system is truly a step above and it could be argued that it is a value compared to DSLR systems with the same image quality and less features. 

 

Phil Rudin



#703 MikeO

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 08:52 AM

Hey Phil,

 

     Since you now have both, could you post a photo of the two housing systems next to each other?  Would really help appreciate the not so great size difference.

 

Mike


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Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#704 TedJ

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:01 AM

Phil,

I was hoping that you would chime in.

Thanks for the updates.

I am particularly thankful for your comparative comments.

The EM-1 it will be.

 

I assume that the 12-40mm lens would be the best choice for someone who likes to take fish portraits and occasional macro shots.

I'm sure that I will have a few more questions once I really get into this potential rig.

 

Thanks again,

TedJ

 

Edit:  I haven't been able to find any incentives for the EM-1.  Perhaps they have expired?


Edited by TedJ, 31 December 2013 - 11:11 AM.

Ted Janssen

NEX-7, Nauticam,  INON, and ULCS


#705 Phil Rudin

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:58 AM

Hi Mike,

 

These photos were taken at DEMA and the E-M1 housing is a prototype. The final housing is the same size but there are differences in the control configurations.

 

Some of the notable differences are that the aperture dial on the top left side of the housing has been moved to a dial under the shutter release so you can change stops without moving your finger of the shutter release. The Nikonos type port lock on the side of the housing has been replaced with the signature Nauticam DSLR port release and it has been moved to the front of the housing near the lens release. A great AEL/AFL vertical lever (like the shutter release) has been added to the rear door. I have set this up for auto focus so I focus with my thumb and then trip the shutter with my forefinger. This allows you to set focus once and then shoot as much as you like without the shutter release refocusing the camera, great for macro. I set the E-M5 housing the same way using a rear button but it made the camera lockup and I had to go back to shutter release focus. This is a well documented issue and it has never been fixed in all cameras that I am aware of. Go to Nauticamusa.com for photos of current housing.

Attached Images

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Edited by Phil Rudin, 31 December 2013 - 12:11 PM.


#706 MikeO

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:56 PM

Thanks Phil.  I'd seen those before but forgotten you'd posted them.  I'd be curious to see how the E-M1 housing compares to, say, a 70D housing. I did try both the E-M1 and the E-M5 in the store and the E-M1 does feel clearly better.  Now that the E-M5 is back up to 999 at most places, the price difference isn't so off-putting.  It was down to 799 in several Black Friday sales.  Regarding the 12-40:   Do you see it as being a superior lens to the 12-50 for underwater given the 12-50's macro capabilities?  The 12-40 is surely better above-water (and making it a must-have for people who will use the camera above water a lot), but . . .  Having said that I have never been quite satisfied with the Sigma 17-70 on my Canon.  It is certainly a versatile lens, but I don't find it wide enough for wide angle and close enough for true macro.  It does, however, make a great fish portrait lens.  Maybe that is where the 12-40 would excel.

 

Mike


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#707 Deep6

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 03:18 PM

Hi Phil,

What is that optical thing on the M5 back?

Bob


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#708 Phil Rudin

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 09:18 AM

Hi Bob,

 

Both the E-M5 and the E-M1 have user replaceable rear LCD windows as an option to allow installation of the excellent Nauticam 45 and 180 degree accessory optical viewfinders. Both housings come with a pickup finder for those using the EVF, but the optical finders greatly inlayer the viewing area and are very popular with DSLR users. It is all about how much you are willing to spend to maximize results. 

 

Mike,

 

Much larger size difference between 70D, D-7100 and other DSLR housings than between E-M1 and E-M5 housings. The DSLR housings have a larger port mount because of the much larger lenses so it is not really apples to apples. The Olympus 12-40 is without question a better lens than the 12-50 image quality wise, in fact it is at this time probably the best M43 zoom made. For underwater use it depends on how you intend to use these lenses. With the 12-50 behind a flat port you will get better results at the quasi macro end of the lens. The 12-40 needs a dome port for best results and is a shark/diver/reef/fish portrait/1:3 or 4 lens with better image quality. It requires Nauticam's seven inch dome for best results. I used it yesterday with the ZEN optical glass 170mm dome port using 20mm and 30mm extensions. Still trying to work out what extension length will give best results with both 7-14 and 12-40 zooms. For me it will be 60/50mm for macro, 8 fisheye and 7-14 for wide angle and the 12-40 for everything in between using the Nauticam 65 macro port, Athena 50 macro port for Olympus 43 50mm macro lens and the ZEN 170mm port for 7-14 and 12-40. I am sure other will be quite happy to shoot the 12-50 in the Nauticam port and a W/A lens of their choosing. 



#709 MikeO

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 10:37 AM

Thanks Phil,

 

     While having the flexibility is nice, I tend to like my wide angle wide and the macro macro.  I currently use the Canon 100 on APS-C, so maybe the 60 would suit me just fine.  I could always look at the 45 for a fish portrait lens as well, given that it should probably use the same port as the 60.  Correct?  I doubt I would want to spring for the extra ports and extensions for a zoom I may or may not use, especially if it requires a large dome AND extensions.  Went down that path with the Sigma 17-70 and a large flat port for my current Seatool setup.  Haven't used it enough to have gotten my money's worth.

 

Mike


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Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#710 Phil Rudin

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 11:26 AM

With a Nauticam housing you have three choices for the 60mm macro, #1 the Nauticam 65 port which will accommodate the 60 macro and the 12-50 zoom, #2 the 12-50 zoom port which does the same, #3 the Panasonic 45 port for the 45 macro and a 20mm extension for the 60 macro and 12-50 zoom. #3 is the choice I have been using but the Panasonic 45 mm macro and port will soon be going up for sale as I have been using the 60mm much more often and now have the 65 port. I like you like my wide wide so I use the 8mm fisheye and the 7-14 zoom. 



#711 TedJ

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 04:40 AM

Will the Nauticam flat port that BarbaraJ uses with the NEX-5n housing fit on the EM-1 housing and be usable with the 12-50?

This discussion is very helpful to me. Thanks to both Phil and Mike.
TedJ

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#712 Phil Rudin

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 06:19 AM

All of the ports for the Nauticam Mini housings are interchangeable. I don't know what port BarbaraJ has so I don't know if it will work with 12-50.



#713 MikeO

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 07:48 AM

Thanks again, Phil,

 

So if my top priorities are to get the 8mm and the 60mm housed, it sounds like the most cost effective approach would be one of the mini domes and the 65 port.  Unless I think I will have the need for a "versatile" lens.  Which probably means the 12-50, and getting the port for that and using it with the 60mm (and paying an extra $500 (over the 65) for the port).  Unless,of course, I really want the image quality of the 12-40, don't need the quasi macro ability in a "versatile" lens, and don't mind paying extra for a third port combo that includes a larg(ish) dome.  Only other approach I can think of would be to pass on the mini dome and use the larger dome with extensions for all wid(ish) angle.

 

Mike


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Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#714 TedJ

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 04:41 AM

BarbaraJ has been using the 18-55mm with the flat port 72.


Ted Janssen

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#715 guyharrisonphoto

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 06:44 AM

As between the 12-50 and 12-40 I am staying with the 12-50.  Like Phil said, the 12-40 is best suited to (1) large subjects like larger fish portraits at a distance, divers, and semi-wide scenics or (2) available light photography without flash where the larger aperture might help, or (3) fill flash photography with the highest sync speeds (think, models in a pool).  The useability of the 1:3 magnification is highly questionable underwater because of the big dome plus extensions.  The glass will be right up on the subject.  I would not expect much macro use out of the lens because of that.  The dome is mandatory due to the very long lens physical extension during zooming, so no flat port for macro use is even an option.

 

The 12-50 serves a different purpose.  It is the "do anything instantly" lens.  Even in the flat port, it has decent wide angle coverage.  Its macro capabilities are far superior to the 12-40 and the Nauti port-gear makes it instantly accessible (with the port also holding the 60 macro as well).  Personally, I also shoot video underwater sometimes, and like the power zoom.  YMMV.  I can best illustrate with an experience.  A night shore dive in Florida.  Out on the reef, in macro mode, getting shots of flamingo tongues.  A turtle swims by, in three seconds I am shooting wide angle turtle shots and then face portraits.  The turtle is swimming fast and so am I and I have to kick hard for quite a while to keep up.  The compact port is a real boon here (or in a strong current on a reef drift when you have to stop in the current for a shot).  This scenario never could have happened with the 12-40 behind a big dome.

 

So, consider what you want in a semi-wide zoom and choose accordingly.  Don't let obsessive internet pixel-peeping over lens quality drive the choice because many other things are even more important, like getting the shot!

 

Also, the image quality differences might not be that great in normal use.  For most u/w shooting, especially with flash and macro, you are shooting small apertures.  All lenses tend to get closer in image quality at smaller apertures.  There will not be a decisive difference in the image quality of the lenses for most underwater shooting.  I have never seen a file from my 12-50 that would not make an excellent large print or be perfectly publishable at magazine scale.

 

For wide, I use the 7-14 behind the nauti 6" dome for that lens.  Still nice and compact.  the 8mm fisheye even more compact.

 

The 12-40 is king on land due to quality and speed, but not so much underwater where versatility tips to the 12-50.  I have a 12-40 on order, but it is not going underwater.  I am keeping my 12-50 permanently encased in its gear and dedicating it to underwater.


Edited by guyharrisonphoto, 03 January 2014 - 06:51 AM.


#716 MikeO

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 07:02 AM

 

 

Edit:  I haven't been able to find any incentives for the EM-1.  Perhaps they have expired?

 

There was an up to $200 rebate on select lenses with the purchase of an OM-D body.  From what I can tell, it expired in December . . .

 

Mike


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#717 Phil Rudin

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 07:54 AM

Hi Ted,

 

Flat port 72 is not used much with the M43 system lenses, Panasonic 14-42 "kit" zoom (not the power zoom) is the only lens it is recommended for. If you own the 4.33 dome port it will be of more use to you. 



#718 TedJ

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 04:33 AM

Phil, Mike and Guy,

This has been most helpful.

BarbaraJ just never took to the NEX-5n.

As I mentioned she had a Oly OM-1 back in the film days and loved it.

Thanks to you guys it looks like the EM-1, Nauticam housing, 12-50mm and the geared port.

You're killing my bank account.

And Phil, we will probably be joining you in COZ. (I think I can say that here)

 

BTW,

BarbaraJ won first place in the Reef Photo sponsored 2012 Bonaire shoot-out with Ryan and Chris.


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#719 Phil Rudin

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:11 AM

Hi Ted,

 

We will have several Olympus users at Underwater Digital Fiesta in April so I hope to see you and Barbara then.



#720 MikeO

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 10:46 AM

Very cool, Ted.  Will be watching to see how you like it.  I'm in a bit of a hold pattern still trying to figure out what to do.  My bank account is telling me to stick with the 40D a while longer but we'll see how it goes.

 

Mike


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