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Would you swap an Olympus E-M10 for a Nikon J5?

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
94
Los Angeles, USA
I currently have an Olympus E-M10, but I'm thinking of selling it fund a Nikon J5. I know the E-M10 scores better versus the J5 in DXO Mark especially at high ISO, but I notice the rest of the ratings like DR aren't too far off. Plus I've edited some J5 raws and they're not bad at all.

I also have a Nikon V1 and would like to share lenses with the J5 like the 10mm 2.8 and 18.5mm 1.8 lenses, plus my FT-1 adapter on occasion. The J5 also has the OSPDAF and I like the tilt screen for selfies with the family and for vacation snaps.

My other option is to keep the E-M10 and just bring it out when I want to do some low light type photography, but I'm trying to minimize the systems I'm running which is at 4, if I keep the M43 setup! My only issue with the J5 is lack of an EVF and the micro SD slot. The E-M10 has a decent EVF, 3-axis IBIS and the standard SD slot. If you could pick one, which would you chose?

Any opinions from users who've used both would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

Christop82

Regular
May 2, 2017
46
How inversted are you in the m43 system? Are you planning on keeping the v1 and Nikon 1 lenses regardless? What other systems are you using?
 
I know the Nikon 1 series has its fans - and many, many fine photographers have sung their praises for years - but personally, if it was me, I would keep the E-M10, which I have used a little and has been one of the few Olympus cameras recently that I truly appreciate. The EVF has a lot to do with it but the general design of the EM10 feels very usable to me. BUT - and it's a big 'but' - what it really comes down to is the lenses. The lenses you already have...and the lenses you want. If you already have a V1 - and some lenses for it that you really like - that is obviously a huge factor. Being a long-term micro 4/3 shooter myself, I have a fondness for small high quality mu4/3 bodies (with uniformly excellent sensors) coupled with a handful of lenses that I have come to love and rely on. The diminutive 20mm f/1.7 Panasonic is one such lens - a great lens for low-light photography, a great all-around focal length (roughly halfway between your classic 35mm and 50mm F.O.V.'s or field-of-views) - and they are very affordable. Pair one of those with an E-M10 and you have a great and quite high-quality 'setup' for many kinds of photography, including indoor and available light. The 15mm Panasonic-Leica (PanaLeica) lens is another superlative piece of glass, and there are also a handful of truly fine relatively fast and quite affordable 25mm lenses from both Olympus and Panasonic. So --- yeah, for me, it's about the glass. If you like the Nikon glass and you don't mind the smaller sensor of the V series (which has many advantages, as well) - and you have several lenses you already like --- then the J5 makes a lot more sense.

A final thought about DXO Mark ratings. They are useful but, honestly, in my opinion - and in the real-world - they don't mean that much. The way a camera feels, and handles - its usability and photographer friendliness, so to speak - are more important for me. Which brings me back to the EVF. I have, and have shot with, cameras both with EVF's and without, and both have their advantages --- but my preference, lately, has been for compact cameras with good EVF's. My recollection of the EVF on the EM10 is that it is quite good - but not at the level of Olympus's higher-end and larger cameras. My favorite EVF is on the much-larger Lumix GX8 I now have and use and for me, a good EVF is worth its weight in gold. If I were you, I would want to take a good look at the E-M10's EVF and if possible try it out, borrow one, or play around with it --- and see how much you like it.

Good luck. They are both excellent cameras.
 
Last edited:
Nov 11, 2011
11,332
Milwaukee, WI USA
I'm trying to minimize the systems I'm running which is at 4, if I keep the M43 setup! My only issue with the J5 is lack of an EVF and the micro SD slot. The E-M10 has a decent EVF, 3-axis IBIS and the standard SD slot. If you could pick one, which would you chose?
4 systems?

I rarely understand the need for 2.

So, we should assume the other 2 systems are for "serious" photography.... the need to keep the E-M1 for slightly better low light shooting seems unnecessary (to me)....bring your big guns.

So if I were to keep one of the systems, it would be the one with the viewfinder....I have found I don't care much for cameras without them. But if you're OK without a viewfinder, I would keep the one I enjoyed shooting more...or was smaller and more portable....or did something better than the other two systems you are keeping.

Which would likely eventually lead me to sell off both systems. And spend more time with your "real" cameras. That's not meant as a put-down if either m43 or the Nikon 1 system. It's just that if you have 4 systems and have narrowed it down to eliminating one of these two.....it means the OTHER two are your preferred systems.
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
94
Los Angeles, USA
4 systems?

I rarely understand the need for 2.

So, we should assume the other 2 systems are for "serious" photography.... the need to keep the E-M1 for slightly better low light shooting seems unnecessary (to me)....bring your big guns.

So if I were to keep one of the systems, it would be the one with the viewfinder....I have found I don't care much for cameras without them. But if you're OK without a viewfinder, I would keep the one I enjoyed shooting more...or was smaller and more portable....or did something better than the other two systems you are keeping.

Which would likely eventually lead me to sell off both systems. And spend more time with your "real" cameras. That's not meant as a put-down if either m43 or the Nikon 1 system. It's just that if you have 4 systems and have narrowed it down to eliminating one of these two.....it means the OTHER two are your preferred systems.
My other two are Nikon and Sony FF. Nikon for event work and Sony specifically for portrait work. The reason I'm using a 3rd smaller system is just for walk-around snaps or family shots of the kids at the park when I don't want to bring the serious equipment.

How inversted are you in the m43 system? Are you planning on keeping the v1 and Nikon 1 lenses regardless? What other systems are you using?
I sold off the majority of my M43 collection to invest into Sony. I like the V1 mainly because I bought for cheap and the Nikon 1 lenses I have are cheap as well. As mentioned above, my other main systems are Nikon and Sony. The Nikon stays untouched and the Sony is pretty much also set.

I know the Nikon 1 series has its fans - and many, many fine photographers have sung their praises for years - but personally, if it was me, I would keep the E-M10, which I have used a little and has been one of the few Olympus cameras recently that I truly appreciate. The EVF has a lot to do with it but the general design of the EM10 feels very usable to me. BUT - and it's a big 'but' - what it really comes down to is the lenses. The lenses you already have...and the lenses you want. If you already have a V1 - and some lenses for it that you really like - that is obviously a huge factor. Being a long-term micro 4/3 shooter myself, I have a fondness for small high quality mu4/3 bodies (with uniformly excellent sensors) coupled with a handful of lenses that I have come to love and rely on. The diminutive 20mm f/1.7 Panasonic is one such lens - a great lens for low-light photography, a great all-around focal length (roughly halfway between your classic 35mm and 50mm F.O.V.'s or field-of-views) - and they are very affordable. Pair one of those with an E-M10 and you have a great and quite high-quality 'setup' for many kinds of photography, including indoor and available light. The 15mm Panasonic-Leica (PanaLeica) lens is another superlative piece of glass, and there are also a handful of truly fine relatively fast and quite affordable 25mm lenses from both Olympus and Panasonic. So --- yeah, for me, it's about the glass. If you like the Nikon glass and you don't mind the smaller sensor of the V series (which has many advantages, as well) - and you have several lenses you already like --- then the J5 makes a lot more sense.

A final thought about DXO Mark ratings. They are useful but, honestly, in my opinion - and in the real-world - they don't mean that much. The way a camera feels, and handles - its usability and photographer friendliness, so to speak - are more important for me. Which brings me back to the EVF. I have, and have shot with, cameras both with EVF's and without, and both have their advantages --- but my preference, lately, has been for compact cameras with good EVF's. My recollection of the EVF on the EM10 is that it is quite good - but not at the level of Olympus's higher-end and larger cameras. My favorite EVF is on the much-larger Lumix GX8 I now have and use and for me, a good EVF is worth its weight in gold. If I were you, I would want to take a good look at the E-M10's EVF and if possible try it out, borrow one, or play around with it --- and see how much you like it.

Good luck. They are both excellent cameras.
Done M43 and now I'm just looking for something less serious. As mentioned the current Nikon 1 gear I currently own I purchased for cheap, and I have more serious cameras for specific needs. The Nikon V1 actually does most of what I need, but it's just in the high ISO area where it's lacking. From the raws I've edited the J5 looks fairly decent, at most I'd probably just pick up a Pan 12-32mm and leave that on the E-M10. The reason for my post is that I haven't handled a J5 in-person, so I'm not sure what to expect, hence asking for opinions. :wink:
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
3,768
If you like the Nikon 1 system lenses- then it is worth doing. As it is a discontinued system, there will not be any newer bodies. Compare the new body with the one you have. This is likely "a lifetime buy of a discontinued product."
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
94
Los Angeles, USA
If you like the Nikon 1 system lenses- then it is worth doing. As it is a discontinued system, there will not be any newer bodies. Compare the new body with the one you have. This is likely "a lifetime buy of a discontinued product."
I don't mind the Nikon 1 is discontinued. I have a feeling it will have a small dedicated fanbase similar to Ricoh GR1 cameras!

Well I just sold my E-M10 to my friend tonight, I guess it's looking like I'm leaning towards getting a J5 now! :D
 

gryphon1911

Top Veteran
Feb 6, 2015
876
Central Ohio, USA
I'm interested in trying one sometime. I'm not a fan cameras without a view finder, so I think the see spot for me would be a V2.

Interested to hear your thoughts on a newer generation camera.
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
94
Los Angeles, USA
They are a bit like hens' teeth in Australia. I've found one and its white and I don't want it.
There's a cheap silver and black one I found, but I much prefer an all black one and paid extra for it!

I'm interested in trying one sometime. I'm not a fan cameras without a view finder, so I think the see spot for me would be a V2.

Interested to hear your thoughts on a newer generation camera.
Same here, but I also have the V1 with the EVF which works fine for daytime use. I'm tempted by the V2, but the V1 has the EN-EL15a battery that fits other Nikon DSLRs. The battery also last much longer on the V1. I figure I could use the J5 when I need to go ultra compact and/or in low light situations where I don't need to rely on the EVF as much.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
3,874
Lexington, Virginia
My friend went off to China for 5 years with her new Sony RX100 VI and left her V2, 10-100, and 18 lenses here in storage. I always thought the V2 felt really good in the hand. Nikon could have made that system really work if they had paid any real attention to it. It always felt like they had decided to produce that system by a vote of 5 to 4.
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
94
Los Angeles, USA
My friend went off to China for 5 years with her new Sony RX100 VI and left her V2, 10-100, and 18 lenses here in storage. I always thought the V2 felt really good in the hand. Nikon could have made that system really work if they had paid any real attention to it. It always felt like they had decided to produce that system by a vote of 5 to 4.
The Nikon 1 has bouts of genius, but it feels as if the younger designers and engineers are being micro-managed by the older, more stubborn corporate suits up the command change. For example Sigma completely made a turn-around when the founder's son took over the business. That corporate culture change literally took place within less than 10 years, making Sigma one of the most respected lens manufacturers today.

Not to say there's no wisdom in Nikon's ways, but a company seems more willing to push the boundaries when they have the desire to prove something.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
536
Boston Burbs
CAF on the J5 will be better than the EM10, so kids in the park will be easier. I looked at the J5 when it came out, finally a style I liked with a pretty current sensor at a reasonable price. I was really tempted but never actually bought one. I seem to recall something about handling that put me off but I can't remember right now. Interaction between control dials in different modes? How you control AF points? Something.

But I will be interested in what you think. Wonder how the J5 and 10mm would compare to my X70.
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
94
Los Angeles, USA
CAF on the J5 will be better than the EM10, so kids in the park will be easier. I looked at the J5 when it came out, finally a style I liked with a pretty current sensor at a reasonable price. I was really tempted but never actually bought one. I seem to recall something about handling that put me off but I can't remember right now. Interaction between control dials in different modes? How you control AF points? Something.

But I will be interested in what you think. Wonder how the J5 and 10mm would compare to my X70.
I get the camera tomorrow, so I'll put it through it's paces. I do plan on using it more with wide lenses like the 10mm 2.8 and 10-30mm kit lens, while anything longer will be used on the V1 due to the EVF. I have to admit, I'm having more fun with shooting with the 1" cameras more so than with M43, maybe due to cheaper cost of the equipment and OSPDAF across the line. I'm just wondering why M43 doesn't do OSPDAF with all their cameras nowadays. I think it should be the standard.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
536
Boston Burbs
..... I have to admit, I'm having more fun with shooting with the 1" cameras more so than with M43, maybe due to cheaper cost of the equipment and OSPDAF across the line. I'm just wondering why M43 doesn't do OSPDAF with all their cameras nowadays. I think it should be the standard.
Well most of my m4/3 is pretty cheap compared to the Nikon FX gear I had been using. Probably 90% of what I shoot these days is not moving, so PDAF is not as important now. But yes I think it should standard at least be on all OMD bodies.
 

Jonathan F/2

Regular
Aug 21, 2011
94
Los Angeles, USA
So I just got my J5. This camera is a trip! It's super small, the menu system is similar to the V1 and easy to setup. The micro SD slot kinda sucks due to the size of the cards, but it works. Image quality is definitely quite good and easily cleans up when editing in raw. With the 10mm 2.8 it's quite compact, reminds me of the Panasonic GM1 + 14mm 2.5 setup. I admit, I sort of like the selfie mode, I don't get enough good photos of myself especially with my family! :D

The weirdest thing is the lack of a mechanical shutter. It's a fully electronic camera with OSPDAF. It has a ton of tech in what basically amounts to a small P&S. I wish they put a pop-up EVF is this camera like the RX100 models. I'll put it through it's paces later this week. I can really see this camera excelling for street photography, it's discreet!
 
Last edited:

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
536
Boston Burbs
.... With the 10mm 2.8 it's quite compact, reminds me of the Panasonic GM1 + 14mm 2.5 setup. I admit, I sort of like the selfie mode, I don't get enough good photos of myself especially with my family! :D.....
That was another factor, it really is the same size as the GM1/5 with the 14mm or 12-32mm. But the lack of a tilt screen is one of the reasons I sold my last GM5.
 

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