I Finally Have My Bearings - and They Point to Fuji and Panasonic Full Frame

RichardC

Top Veteran
Location
Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
Name
Richard
Despite being a fairly committed Olympus user, I've dabbled with practically every camera system out there - Canon EF, Nikon Z, Sony A7, Fuji X, Panasonic GX/GM, ... But I've never tried Panasonic FF and I'm sort of thinking of giving it a go, just for the hell of it. The S5 can be had at a good price used and I can probably have a play and move it on for little loss if I don't like it. But, for those who have used the S5, I have a few questions that are important to me:

1) Can I setup the liveview (EVF and rear screen) to show over/under exposure indicators ("blinkies", "zebras" etc)?
2) Can I setup the dials (in A mode) with f-stop on the front dial and exp comp on the rear?
3) Is there an equiv of the Olympus LiveTime or LiveComp features?
4) What's the max FPS using electronic shutter?
5) Can I set up a custom mode to do a fast 5-stop bracket (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) with the electronic shutter?
6) What starter lens might you recommend? The 20-60 looks an interesting option since I do like wide-normal.

Thanks!!

Hi Paul,

1) Yes
2) Yes
3) Live comp
4) 7 fps S-AF, 5 fps C-AF.
5) Yes. Save settings to C1 etc. Enable bracketing and set burst mode on a dial, save as a custom setting to say C1. Then with the left knob set to single frame, setting C1 will override the left knob and put you in burst mode.
6) I bought the S5 with 50mm f1.8 as a kit with cashback, then sold the 50mm on ebay and bought an ex demo Sigma Art 24-70 f2.8. It's a heavy but beautiful lens, but I've got my MFT kit at the moment if I want to travel light. Also picked up a smallrig l-bracket for next to nothing (compared to RRS!) which is an excellent fit to the camera.
 

RichardC

Top Veteran
Location
Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
Name
Richard
Swings and roundabouts.

There is an improvement, but it's subtle. I wanted to try some shallow DOF macro and use some vintage macro lenses in the format for which they were designed.

On processing, it quickly became evident that there is a noticeable amount more shadow recovery possible compared to MFT and that the images are perfectly usable up to ISO 3200 without having to resort to DXO. The images do not fall apart at 200% in Lightroom. My micro four thirds images can look a little 'crunchy' in comparison.

Despite holding on to the EM1X and EM1 Mk2, the reality is that I've hardly used either camera since getting the S5. I'm reluctant to let the EM1X go though because I believe it will be a better option for aircraft (with the 100-400mm), plus the extra depth of field is useful with small insects.

If I sold my MFT gear, I'd probably get a used S1R and Sigma 150-600 to replace it. Trouble is, the EM1X has such wonderful ergonomics.
 

pdk42

Top Veteran
Location
Royal Leamington Spa, UK
Name
Paul
Swings and roundabouts.

There is an improvement, but it's subtle. I wanted to try some shallow DOF macro and use some vintage macro lenses in the format for which they were designed.

On processing, it quickly became evident that there is a noticeable amount more shadow recovery possible compared to MFT and that the images are perfectly usable up to ISO 3200 without having to resort to DXO. The images do not fall apart at 200% in Lightroom. My micro four thirds images can look a little 'crunchy' in comparison.

Despite holding on to the EM1X and EM1 Mk2, the reality is that I've hardly used either camera since getting the S5. I'm reluctant to let the EM1X go though because I believe it will be a better option for aircraft (with the 100-400mm), plus the extra depth of field is useful with small insects.

If I sold my MFT gear, I'd probably get a used S1R and Sigma 150-600 to replace it. Trouble is, the EM1X has such wonderful ergonomics.
Thanks Richard. I'm a bit of an oddity in terms of the gear I use for what I shoot (e.g. Flickr stuff here => Paul Kaye). I do mostly landscapes so I should value low noise and high DR over fancy C-AF or compact long tele lenses. Yet here I am using Olympus m43 which is the exact opposite!

I know that FF is definitely better in the IQ stakes, especially since I do a lot of PP on my files, usually with a lot of shadow pushing. But I've tried Sony and Nikon FF mirrorless and always have scurried back to Olympus for reasons of lenses, IBIS, and features like LiveTime, LiveComp, and LiveND. And in practice I can make my Olympus gear do very nearly all I need with a little extra effort on my part (e.g. exposure bracketing, or use of LiveND or HHHR to improve DR) - esp if I don't go pixel peeking which, as we all know, is the road to madness! And I do like the form factor and size of Oly gear which is still smaller and lighter than FF once you have a decent 16-200 equiv lens setup.

But I still accept that a larger sensor would give me better IQ and an easier PP path - so long as I can find a system that meets what I need. The S5 looks very nice in terms of features and size. But looking now at the lens lineup, I can see that to get that 16-200 range, it's going to get big and expensive:

- Panasonic 16-35 f4
- Panasonic 24-105 f4
- Panasonic 70-200 f4

That lot would weigh almost 2.5kg and set me back over £3k. By comparison, I can get the same range in m43 with two lenses - the PL 8-18 and the Oly 12-100 f4.

Decisions, decisions...
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
Thanks Richard. I'm a bit of an oddity in terms of the gear I use for what I shoot (e.g. Flickr stuff here => Paul Kaye). I do mostly landscapes so I should value low noise and high DR over fancy C-AF or compact long tele lenses. Yet here I am using Olympus m43 which is the exact opposite!
The E-M1 MkII has much the same DR as the beautiful Nikon D3 (actually, slightly better ... ), Paul. I never heard anyone complaining about the DR of the D3 ...

I know that FF is definitely better in the IQ stakes, especially since I do a lot of PP on my files, usually with a lot of shadow pushing. By comparison, I can get the same range in m43 with two lenses - the PL 8-18 and the Oly 12-100 f4.
Even better, the Olympus f/4 8-25 plus 12-100. Amazing how much more useful that extra 7mm on the long end is with the UWA. Mine happily replaces my FTs 7-14 and 11-22.
Decisions, decisions...
Never, NEVER, look at photos at over 100% ...
They all fall apart, even the Sony A7r RAW files I am playing with ATM (41+ MB).
 
Location
Seattle
Name
Andrew
The E-M1 MkII has much the same DR as the beautiful Nikon D3 (actually, slightly better ... ), Paul. I never heard anyone complaining about the DR of the D3 ...
Yet you have heard people complain about the DR of the Olympus cameras, more than once. Which makes this a bit of a red herring logical fallacy.

To respond to your argument, however, I might point out that the D3 is a very old camera, and what was considered good dynamic range at the time might not be up to modern standards.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
Yet you have heard people complain about the DR of the Olympus cameras, more than once. Which makes this a bit of a red herring logical fallacy.

To respond to your argument, however, I might point out that the D3 is a very old camera, and what was considered good dynamic range at the time might not be up to modern standards.
Fair comment. The comparison with the D4 and D5 thrown in. Note that the D5 is actually slightly worse than the D4 and the E-M1 MkII ... Also, the E-M1 MkII is also an old camera, but little has really changed since 2016.


It really demonstrates how much BS is spruiked about this.

And, no monitor or printer can produce more than about 6-8 stops of DR, specially not in a wide gamut colour space.

Now noise is a different matter, and Paul would certainly benefit from that with using a bigger sensor, in most cases.
 

MountainMan79

😎💩➡️📸
Location
Minnesota
Name
Chris
Despite being a fairly committed Olympus user, I've dabbled with practically every camera system out there - Canon EF, Nikon Z, Sony A7, Fuji X, Panasonic GX/GM, ... But I've never tried Panasonic FF and I'm sort of thinking of giving it a go, just for the hell of it. The S5 can be had at a good price used and I can probably have a play and move it on for little loss if I don't like it. But, for those who have used the S5, I have a few questions that are important to me:

1) Can I setup the liveview (EVF and rear screen) to show over/under exposure indicators ("blinkies", "zebras" etc)?
2) Can I setup the dials (in A mode) with f-stop on the front dial and exp comp on the rear?
3) Is there an equiv of the Olympus LiveTime or LiveComp features?
4) What's the max FPS using electronic shutter?
5) Can I set up a custom mode to do a fast 5-stop bracket (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) with the electronic shutter?
6) What starter lens might you recommend? The 20-60 looks an interesting option since I do like wide-normal.

Thanks!!
I didn’t say anything, wink wink, but used prices may get even better on that camera early next year. Around February.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Name
Steve
I’ve decided to move away from FF, the cost of which would push me toward lower end or older bodies. I am hoping that Fuji will give me high end APS-C bodies at a lower price than their FF counterparts. (I’ll still have my m43 collection which I enjoy using.) The FF bodies with any new tech will out perform its APS-C counterparts but I’m betting/hoping that Fuji with provide me with enough performance and IQ to keep me happy. The new XH bodies are impressive and the XT5 will be here soon. Heck, the XS10 and my XF primes are only a bit of WR from being good enough now.
 
Location
Kansas
Name
Mel
Camera manufacturers and retailers must absolutely love photographers who subscribe to the theory that the grass is always greener on the other side. Unless Olympus stops working for me and by that, I mean, it ruins my photography, then I will probably stay with them. I imagine that the latest models will outlast me at my age and will have every feature I need to do what I want to do. We faced that decision when my wife wanted to upgrade all of her equipment. She was a Canon gal when she was a news photographer, and married a Nikon guy (me) with more bodies and lenses than we needed so she switched to Nikon. The weight caused our change to Olympus and after checking all the systems, she is staying with Olympus with the new OM-1 and batte3ry grip, remote, e3xtra batteries, and charger to go with her pro-grade Oly lenses.
As I see all the new bells and whistles on the new mirrorless cameras, I am reminded that many years ago, I shot sports with (gasp) Nikon bodies with manual focus lenses. The keeper rate was lower than now but the satisfaction of getting a keeper was greater for me than having to sort through 1000 shots that are all good but trying to find that one magic one.
I am not criticizing anyone for enjoying the differences but unless one is making their living from the camera, it seems to me to be a little hunt for the holy grail.
 

RichardC

Top Veteran
Location
Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
Name
Richard
I am not criticizing anyone for enjoying the differences but unless one is making their living from the camera, it seems to me to be a little hunt for the holy grail.
No different to any other hobby.

The road to perfection is a combination of personal skill and gear - ratios of each will vary immensely according to the individual.

I recently watched an indoor archery competition shot over 18m. A guy with the 'right' £2500 Olympic recurve bow set up, the 'right' £40 arrows, the 'right' £500 illuminated sight, counterweights x 3, chest guard etc etc - got absolutely thrashed by a 14 year old girl using a £60 club bow and odd arrows.

When it comes to camera gear I freely admit it. I like owning nice things and I buy and sell regularly to try new things out. It's probably some sort of insecurity because when I was younger, money problems always got in the way.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Name
Steve
Camera manufacturers and retailers must absolutely love photographers who subscribe to the theory that the grass is always greener on the other side. Unless Olympus stops working for me and by that, I mean, it ruins my photography, then I will probably stay with them. I imagine that the latest models will outlast me at my age and will have every feature I need to do what I want to do. We faced that decision when my wife wanted to upgrade all of her equipment. She was a Canon gal when she was a news photographer, and married a Nikon guy (me) with more bodies and lenses than we needed so she switched to Nikon. The weight caused our change to Olympus and after checking all the systems, she is staying with Olympus with the new OM-1 and batte3ry grip, remote, e3xtra batteries, and charger to go with her pro-grade Oly lenses.
As I see all the new bells and whistles on the new mirrorless cameras, I am reminded that many years ago, I shot sports with (gasp) Nikon bodies with manual focus lenses. The keeper rate was lower than now but the satisfaction of getting a keeper was greater for me than having to sort through 1000 shots that are all good but trying to find that one magic one.
I am not criticizing anyone for enjoying the differences but unless one is making their living from the camera, it seems to me to be a little hunt for the holy grail.
My first real camera, a Pentax SP500 with a Takumar 55mm f/2, still sits in my office. I was a teenager with a makeshift darkroom in my basement. I shot a lot of Tri-X. Sometimes I think I’m still trying to recapture what photography felt like back then.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
Camera manufacturers and retailers must absolutely love photographers who subscribe to the theory that the grass is always greener on the other side.
That's almost exactly what the tech at the computer supplier said to me about gamers, Mel.

They (the computer suppliers) just love that they spend up big on gear that is totally unnecessary for their actual purpose, thinking that it will somehow miraculously make them better. The flashier the better.

Even though my new PC didn't even come with an OS, let alone installed, they charged me for a server build because of two things: 1) it was a totally non-standard build, and 2) they knew I wanted it done carefully and well, not just a standard "throw it together" build.

Thirdly, they know what I expect, after nearly 25 years doing business with them.
 

davidzvi

Hall of Famer
Location
Boston Burbs
Name
David
I consolidated to one "system" a couple of years ago and I'm glad I did (plus an X70, again). Lenses and handling are the only things I look at these days when I ponder switching. And I don't need or want the size, weight, or expense of FF

@Biro Still have the G9 and 100-400mm? Fuji now has the 150-600mm, that could solve that want.
 

davidzvi

Hall of Famer
Location
Boston Burbs
Name
David
Yes, I do. Dunno if I would get enough money from the sale of both for the 150-600. Money is a bit tighter these days.
Probably not and no question it is.

The question is what is consolidation worth? I'm happy I did. It's also one of the things that I recognize I'd lose if I just "added" another system camera. Helps with GAS. There is no right answer for everyone. And in this specific instance there is no question the Fuji 150-600 is bigger and heavier than the Panasonic 100-400. So that might also be a consideration.
 

pdk42

Top Veteran
Location
Royal Leamington Spa, UK
Name
Paul
I watched the videos that Rob Trek did on comparing the EM1.3 with the Panasonic S5 (do a search on YT). It was very interesting. Bottom line:

- Regular shots at ISOs under 1600 are practically indistinguishable
- S5 does better at high ISO - by about two stops
- S5 files can be pushed much more in terms of shadow boosting (2-3 stops)
- EM1.3 files fare better with highlight recovery (I was surprised by this)
- HDR bracketing virtually levels the S5 advantage in terms of shadow pushing
- EM1.3 IBIS is notably better
- EM1.3 ergonomics are notably better
- EM1.3 does better on video AF
- EM1.3 does slightly better on face detect AF (works with face being smaller part of frame)

From my point of view, I’d add that lens range, price, and size/weight are heavily in Olympus’s favour too.

So the question is, do the advantages of better shadow noise really outweigh the other downsides?
 

RichardC

Top Veteran
Location
Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
Name
Richard
I watched the videos that Rob Trek did on comparing the EM1.3 with the Panasonic S5 (do a search on YT). It was very interesting. Bottom line:

- Regular shots at ISOs under 1600 are practically indistinguishable
- S5 does better at high ISO - by about two stops
- S5 files can be pushed much more in terms of shadow boosting (2-3 stops)
- EM1.3 files fare better with highlight recovery (I was surprised by this)
- HDR bracketing virtually levels the S5 advantage in terms of shadow pushing
- EM1.3 IBIS is notably better
- EM1.3 ergonomics are notably better
- EM1.3 does better on video AF
- EM1.3 does slightly better on face detect AF (works with face being smaller part of frame)

From my point of view, I’d add that lens range, price, and size/weight are heavily in Olympus’s favour too.

So the question is, do the advantages of better shadow noise really outweigh the other downsides?

Paul, I'd agree with most of what Rob says. HDR bracketing probably will level the shadow advantage - but perhaps Rob's assuming that S5 owners don't bracket :)

I disagree that regular shots at low ISOs are practically indistinguishable, at least from the EM1X and Mk2 (I don't have a Mk3). I can tell, but maybe my Sigma Art lenses are better than my Olympus Pro lenses?

Then there's post processing. I've uploaded a RAW file, shot handheld at low ISO on a nice day. Load it into Camera RAW or Capture One and see how far you can push the sliders. To my eye, the biggest differences are indeed apparent in post processing.

I only shoot RAW and I don't do video - I am in a minority but post processing is part of the enjoyment for me - not everyone will take the same approach.
 

bpcs

New Member
No different to any other hobby.

The road to perfection is a combination of personal skill and gear - ratios of each will vary immensely according to the individual.

I recently watched an indoor archery competition shot over 18m. A guy with the 'right' £2500 Olympic recurve bow set up, the 'right' £40 arrows, the 'right' £500 illuminated sight, counterweights x 3, chest guard etc etc - got absolutely thrashed by a 14 year old girl using a £60 club bow and odd arrows.

When it comes to camera gear I freely admit it. I like owning nice things and I buy and sell regularly to try new things out. It's probably some sort of insecurity because when I was younger, money problems always got in the way.
There are many individual reasons for owning whichever camera or lens... as long as enjoyed, it's the best choice, sometimes at the time or later one day. For enthusiasts, the user experience can be as important as the end result.
I have way too much gear, but each item has a usage scenario that it is earmarked for. The struggle is to find the time to do it. If I sold it down to 3 lenses and a body, all able to fit in a small bag and be carried all day, that would be good for those days I need that, but only that. I am too passionate about what I still intend to do, to be able to make any drastic decisions... yet. But I have a feeling that day will come.
 

RichardC

Top Veteran
Location
Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
Name
Richard
There are many individual reasons for owning whichever camera or lens... as long as enjoyed, it's the best choice, sometimes at the time or later one day. For enthusiasts, the user experience can be as important as the end result.
I have way too much gear, but each item has a usage scenario that it is earmarked for. The struggle is to find the time to do it. If I sold it down to 3 lenses and a body, all able to fit in a small bag and be carried all day, that would be good for those days I need that, but only that. I am too passionate about what I still intend to do, to be able to make any drastic decisions... yet. But I have a feeling that day will come.
Hi, and welcome to this forum :)

:Welcome:
 
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