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Olympus OM-D E-M5 update

OM-D E-M5 update

If you read my last post with My relationship with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 you know I have some annoyances with this camera.  I thought I would provide a further update.

I’m using the E-M5 for a lot of day trips while here in Southeast Asia.  The portability, weight and quality of the images are all considerations when compared to my Canon gear.  With the busy streets in many locations the E-M5 is a great camera to take out onto the streets and not draw as much attention to myself.  Trust me I can draw attention fast when I’m using my BlackRapid Doublestrap with two Canon 1D series bodies and two pro quality lenses (24-70mm f/2.8 & 70-200mm f/2.8); it looks like I’m ready to go to war.  On this trip the ratio of E-M5 images taken is increasing but not near what I’m shooting with the Canon gear.

I only have two batteries for the E-M5 (one in the body and a second in the battery grip) so I have found a reasonable workflow that extends the battery life.  Simply… I shut it off.  🙁  However the camera fires up very quickly so when I grab for it from my waist hanging on my BlackRapid strap, turn it on, it is ready for shooting by the time it gets to my eye.  This simple action has allowed me to use the camera for a solid two days without recharging.  NICE!  I should note that battery availability is better now, at the time I bought they were in short supply.

Another thing I found is that when I have the camera hanging from my shoulder when not in use the battery life is constantly draining.  This is because the E-M5 uses an electronic view finder and it requires power to activate it.  The camera has an EVF sensor that senses when you bring the camera to your eye and turns on the EVF, HOWEVER it also senses when it is hanging next to your body (either around your neck or as in my case next to my hip) thus powering up the EVF even when not required.

While we are on the topic of the EVF sensor, it is absolutely annoying when you are attempting to use the rear LCD panel.  With the E-M5 you can actually set focus point and take pictures while simply pressing on the rear LCD screen.  Very cool feature!  However, if you tilt the screen upwards and use your finger to press on the LCD screen the EVF sensor kicks in as a result of your finger moving in front of the sensor and turns off the rear LCD panel you are just using.  UGHHH very annoying.  A simple firmware fix could resolve this.  If I’m using the rear panel I’m likely not using the EVF, so turn the sensor off.

The other annoyances I’ve had with dials getting moved or the battery door opening inadvertently have been solved by using Gaffer tape.  I’ll write an article on this useful tool shortly.


New Lens from Olympus

Olympus just announced a new  M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II lens.  Given I do a lot of wildlife & nature photography this lens could be a great addition to a backpackers kit.  Think of it you have a 150 – 600mm in 35mm dSLR equivalent terms in a small package while you are in the backcountry for a nice hike.  SWEET!


While I still have many frustrating moments with the E-M5 it’s still a camera that I won’t let go of anytime soon.  The portability, weight, image quality and video quality are all attributes that offset the annoyances I have to put up with.  Will it replace my Canon gear, NO NOT A CHANCE!  But it’s refreshing not to have to lug around the heavy Canon gear at times and not compromise a quality product.




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