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Olympus OM-D E-M1 or wait for Sony A6000

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Sony A6000 Sony Olympus Olympus vs. Sony

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#1 optikgee

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 01:21 PM

hey 

 

i'm new here and i would like to purchase a underwater photo equipment and i need some advice. so far i was thinking of getting a olympus om-d e-m1 with a nauticam housing. the only thing i dont like about it is the sensor size and the fact that there will most likely never be a olympus with a larger sensor. well maybe some time but not in the near future and i dont want to invest in equipment i can hardly upgrade and still use the lenses

 

so there is sony which also seems to be interesting, especially the Sony A6000. i know there are no housings for this camera yet but i think this is just a matter of months. what do you think? the A7r or some successor would then be the camera for the future and i still could use the e-mount lenses.

 

these are my major thoughts till now. so my question(s). what speaks for sony what for olympus? does anyone have one of the mentioned cameras and has some experience? any comparaisons?



#2 DecidedlyOdd

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:33 PM

Some of the new Sony cameras themselves look great--nice sensors, small, lots of features. Unfortunately, the lens options are currently limited especially for underwater use. There are roadmaps that have been announced, but until the lenses are actually on sale you've got to take that with a grain of salt. On top of that, Sony has gone through quite a number of different mounts in the past few years (I think 4?), not all of which are compatible even with adapters.

 

When it comes to MFT, there are a couple generations of cameras from Panasonic and Olympus at this point with various strengths (different sizes, emphasis on video, etc.) But where MFT shines is the lens selection. Although the sheer number is still less than Nikon or Canon, there are now multiple high quality primes and zooms in almost every lens category. For underwater, there are 2 macro lenses (Panasonic 45, Olympus 60), at least 4 rectilinear wide angle lenses (Panasonic 7-14, Olympus 9-18, Olympus 12, Panasonic 14), several mid-range zooms, and even a fisheye (Panasonic 8).

 

There are certainly limitations of the smaller sensors used in MFT, but on the upside this allows not only the bodies but also the lenses to be much smaller and lighter. Although cameras like the A7r are about the same size as the E-M1, the lenses are still much larger than comparable MFT lenses. Moreover, a full frame sensor using larger lenses still requires larger ports (especially dome ports). Even though the sensor size difference between MFT and APS-C is not really that large (about 80% of the area), a MFT system is noticeably less bulky than a cropped sensor DSLR system.



#3 optikgee

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:46 AM

yeah was also concerned because of the availability of lenses. but since the zeiss touit 50mm macro is coming soon i think the situation is much better than it was till now. and with the 10-18mm there is also a good wide angle available. 

 

i really think the olympus om-d e-m1 is a great camera with some great advantages like the lenses available, the splash- and dustproofnes, live-bulb mode, etc. but there is also the question of the price, the oly cost about the double or even more than the sony. 



#4 jmauricio

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:52 PM

DecidedlyOdd's comment was very thoughtful.

 

I would add that if lens upgrade-ability is a priority, then you should re-think your Sony strategy. Although the 10-18mm is available and the 50mm Macro is due soon, neither are full frame lenses so will only be usable in crop mode or with heavy vignetting. So you are still stuck moving to an A7R. Sony has a 16-35mm in the works as well as a 90mm Macro coming but both look like 2nd half '14 products at best.

 

Also if you are thinking full frame in the future, why not just go full frame now, instead of paying twice (once for a6000 and again for a7 or its iterations)?

 

I know that doesn't make the decision easier but more info can't hurt.



#5 optikgee

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 10:46 PM

that's true but i wont go for full frame within the next 2 years. and why i dont do it now is just because its to expensive, A7r around 2000-2500$, lenses xxxx$ housing around 3000-3500$, strobes around 2000$, etc... i really would like to go for it but thats far too much for me especially i'm still a student. A6000 or some Oly would be affordable within this year. 

 

how do you mean, the 16-35mm works as a 90mm macro?

 

so you both think olympus is the better choice for now?



#6 gobiodon

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 11:49 PM

I don't see the point why not to go for the A6000 (if housings would be available). The "lack of lenses" argument for sony is not really valid anymore. Some test shoots with the zeiss macro are availble on the net and they are promising. The arrival is delayed but it will be very soon I guess. The 30mm macro is also an excellent lens. Back to the film days 50mm macro was a normal, frequently used lens. 90mm macro lens is also on the roadmap. I think the wide angle options are also quite OK for sony including fisheye, Zeiss Touit 12mm, 10-18mm high quality zoom.

Considering the excellent sensor, fast AF, good EVF and moderate price, the sony A6000 is (in my opinion) the best buy mirrorless camera for underwater.

 

Cheers

 

Marcell

 

(I'm considering this camera to buy in near future)


Marcell Nikolausz
Minolta Dynax 7000i, KonicaMinolta Dynax 7D, sony a100, Ikelite housing for 7000i and sony a100, two Ikelite Ai strobes
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#7 A.Y.

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 06:55 AM

 

Reality vs myth! :pardon:

 

I'm happy with the 5R and will definitely upgrade to A6000 for its AF speed. No Contrast Detection AF can even come close to tracking moving subjects like the A6000 at the moment.


Edited by A.Y., 10 May 2014 - 07:02 AM.


#8 gobiodon

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 11:32 PM

sigma has 3 more cheap AF prime lenses with excellent quality that missing from the list. Tamron has also 2 zooms (more or less the same) and Samyang has many good quality cheap MF lenses.


Marcell Nikolausz
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#9 jmauricio

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 05:57 AM


how do you mean, the 16-35mm works as a 90mm macro?

 

I was referring to two different lenses. Sony just announced a 16-35mm wide angle zoom (for FE). Additionally there are rumors of a 90mm macro for year end. This would provide the basics for the Full frame system underwater (i.e. wide angle and macro). Hopefully the wide angle will be suitable for underwater (i.e. close focus distance).

 

also the nikonos fisheye lenses work well on the sony a7 full frame system. I did a post on that a while back. http://wetpixel.com/...=51533&p=341634

 

fair point on costs for full frame. am in a similar position. I have a nex 7 and would love the a7 or a7r but am facing upgrade costs for camera, housing, and new lenses & ports (nex ports won't fit on an A series housing.) tough pill to swallow, even upgrading within the same system. just wanted to make sure you know what you were getting into. you could jump into an a6000 but make sure you only buy FE lenses, then at least its one cost you won't have to contend with later.

 

good luck in your decision. Loads of people here to support you whatever way you choose.


Edited by jmauricio, 12 May 2014 - 10:31 AM.


#10 bvanant

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:11 PM

While the lens list at first appears impressive, there are only 2 lenses that say macro. The first is the sony 30 mm macro which is mostly useless underwater with a very very small working distance. The second is a $1000 lens that isn't widely available but might be great, sample images underwater are quite rare. The A mount lenses might be useful but early on they focused ridiculously slowly. That being said, if Nauticam built an A6000 housing I would be tempted. Have to wait and see. 

Bill


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#11 Jock

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:04 PM

Hi optikgee,

Maybe you could tell us why you do not like the sensor size, this could be helpful to answer your question or to discuss if - in your case - it does matter or not.

Jock

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#12 tdphoto

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:42 PM

Hey optikgee,

 

If you want test a Sony-NEX System you can contact me, i use a Sony NEX-5N in a Nauticam-housing with the 30mm F3.5 Macro, 16mm Wideangle (with Fisheye-Converter) and INON-Flashes. The new ZEISS Macro is ordered and i hope it will comes in the next 2-3 weeks. 

 

 

Grettings from Goldach (Switzerland),

 

Tino


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#13 optikgee

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 01:41 AM

Thanks for all the answers. Well i don't like the sensor size cause i do make photo-books for personal use and some times i also do gallery-prints and stuff like that. So the bigger the sensor size is, the less i'm limited with the size of the printings and they are still good quality. thats the main reason. Or am i wrong with that? 

 

Thanks tdphoto, that would be great. Right now have a lot of work to do in University but if we could meet in July or so i would be really glad!

Gruss aus Melchnau



#14 Jock

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 08:06 AM

... So the bigger the sensor size is, the less i'm limited with the size of the printings and they are still good quality. thats the main reason. Or am i wrong with that? 

 

I would say: At least this is debatable (with no result in the end, I'm afraid...  :evilgrin: ).

 

I could show you a coffeetable book (30x30cm) with my photos from an Olympus SP350 , tiny sensor, 5MP. The shortcomings are for sure NOT from the camera, more from print (and, of course, my ability). A couple of my friends thought it was a professional book until they stumbled over a pic with my wife... 

 

IMHO discussions about sensor size in terms of image quality are more or less academic for the average photographer. Better resolution for a gallery print? Even if there is a difference at all, who in the world would go 2 inches/5 cm close to a large picture to count pixels?

 

One of the reasons a good friend of mine shoots full frame is quite simple: He has all the ports and some very expensive lenses from his analog days!

 

Or if you already have a stock of full frame (or APS-C) photos and want to add/mix them with M43, this might be a problem due to the different aspect ratio (3:2 vs. 4:3) - you need to crop.

 

Cropping might be an advantage of full frame. Have you done a lot of cropping up to now, say, crop 50% of the pic, regularly? 

 

The internet is full of high resolution pics taken with the E-M5, just find some 100% magnification photos and decide for yourself if they are "good enough..." Seems there are quite a few professional photographers who think so.

 

For me (!) sensor size has been absolutely no point in deciding which camera to buy. As has been said above, lens availability for U/W and availability of a housing with an ergonomic layout have been more important.

 

Just my 2 cents, greetings

 

Jock


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#15 bvanant

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 02:12 PM

It is quite easy to make stunning 17x22 inch (430 x 558 mm) prints from the EM-5, the EM-1 and the Sony Nex 5. If you want to go much bigger than that you might argue for a bigger sensor but even u4/3 can make great large prints.

 

I am printing the photos for the LAUPS scuba show (11x14 inches) and it is hard to tell what camera was used to make what pics. Of course the more pixels you have the more you can crop but out of the camera making 17x22 prints is quite reasonable.

 

Bill


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#16 Phil Rudin

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 10:34 AM

Your Sony A6000 housing has arrived, my vote is clear the E-M1 is a much better overall system.

These two cameras are not even in the same arena, you should really be looking at the Olympus E-M10 v. the A6000 as they are much closer in specs and price range.

http://www.nauticamusa.com/news/

Edited by Phil Rudin, 26 May 2014 - 11:36 AM.


#17 coroander

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:58 PM

I think you're also limited to 1/160 sync speed with the A6000 using optical cables. The E-M10 does 1/320 over optical.



#18 Mark K

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 03:17 AM

A6000 does have a high flash sync. I believe that calls a dedicated converter to utilize this.

EM1 is a higher rank camera with better RAW buffer size. 

A6000 has much higher pixel density 

The image quality from both are similar except at extrem ISO

At low ISO, A6000 has better dynamic range at iso 50

At higher iso A6000 shows some advantage.

Both AF system works fast

Olympus, together with other M4/3 lens makers, form a very robust and high quality one. From wide to tele.

Sony has started taking the lens system more seriously since 2013. At wide side, there is the option of Zeiss 12 f2.8, Sony 10-18 OSS. There is a shortage of macro lenses. Currently there are only two options Sony 30 f3.5 and Zeiss 50 f2.8.


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#19 Jock

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 08:23 AM

Another point which might be worth thinking about: as far as I know, the Sony is not splash proof, the Olympus is. Not a bad thing if you consider in which environment you will use the camera. (It COULD save the camera in case of a minor flooding, or if you need to open the housing on a wet RIB or so.)

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#20 optikgee

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 11:44 AM

again thanks for all the replies! well i sometimes print 750mm x 1000mm and i'm quite happy whit the results when i use my nikon which has an aps-c sensor.

 

@Phil Rudin. you're right, the comparison might be a little wrong. the oly brings some features which the sony can hardly beat and also the built quality is much higher, not forgetting the price.

 

@Jock. thats one of the main reasons why i would love the e-m1 and also the built in image stabilizer is a nice feature.

 

for me it wouldn't be a question if the oly had a bigger sensor thats the only point which speaks against it but still a important one. 

 

does any one of you use one of those cams?