Informal High ISO Comparison: Panasonic GH3 vs Olympus OMD EM5 vs Olympus EP5

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Micro Four Thirds High ISO comparison (4 of 4)ISO 1251-30 sec at f - 5.6

Three of the best Micro Four Thirds cameras currently out on the market all have been noted to exhibit exceptional high ISO image quality. Those three cameras are the Panasonic GH3, Olympus OMD EM5, and the Olympus EP5. Statements around the web have claimed that the cameras have the same sensor, but the firmware inside of these cameras is really what helps to determine the final image quality as well.

And in a very quick and super informal test, we decided to put the three up against one another.

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Rumors State That a High End Olympus OMD Is Nigh

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM5 product images (6 of 6)

You may not want to spring for that awesome Olympus EP5 premium deal yet, or at least that’s what the rumors are saying. Apparently, a high end OMD camera may be coming. When Olympus first announced the Olympus OMD EM5, they stated that they’re at work on both a higher end model and a lower end model, and that the EM5 would be placed right in the middle. And said camera will be the one that is above the OMD EM5.

For what it’s worth, many a photographer have also stated that it was the camera that they got right. Indeed, the camera incorporates weather sealing, some blazing fast AF performance, a small body that reminds someone of an older SLR, and an excellent sensor.

Even though I personally use larger sensor cameras, every time I go back to my OMD EM5 I can’t find a single fault with it. But we’re really hoping that Olympus doesn’t do what they did for years with using the same sensor over and over again.

Via 43Rumors

DxOMark: Olympus EP5 Beats All Other M43 Cameras, But Not APS-C Competitors

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 9.48.52 AM

DxOMark just released their findings on the brand new Olympus EP5. In summary:

– The EP5 beats the OMD EM5 and EPL5 in high ISO performance

– Outperforms the Panasonic GH3 in Color Depth and High ISO performance

– It can’t beat the Samsung Nx300 and Sony NEX 6

When we were in our briefing with Olympus on the EP5, they said that it was the same sensor as the OMD, and they didn’t state that there were ISO performance changes.

We’ve got the camera in for review right now, and we’re really liking it. Though in the end, we should really state and reiterate that it’s all still about what you can do with the camera–no lab test in the world simulates the real life experience of trying to shoot in a dark bar with a camera.

More of the findings and comparisons are after the jump.

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First Impressions: Panasonic 100-300mm f4-5.6 (Micro Four Thirds)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic 100-300mm product photos (5 of 5)ISO 8001-320 sec at f - 2.8

Seriously, where was this lens when I was still in the paparazzi business? The Panasonic 100-300mm f4-5.6 is a compact telephoto zoom that renders a 200-600mm field of view on a Micro Four Thirds camera. The lens also incorporates Panasonic’s Mega OIS system for stabilization when you’re shooting out at focal lengths like this. With seven aperture blades and 17 elements in 12 groups comprising its build, we’re still scratching our heads in wonderment as to why Panasonic decided to forego the incorporation of weather sealing.

But in our testing so far, we believe that this is the lens for the weekend warrior–and adventure types will have loads of fun with it.

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Essentials: The Street Photographer With a Strobe

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials for th Strobist Street Photographer (9 of 9)ISO 2001-200 sec at f - 3.5

Essentials is a brand new series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

Every Street Photographer has their own style, and many prefer to work with natural light. But once you start to work with strobes, you begin to realize just how much different your work can start to look. Taking photos of people candidly in the street already requires some bravery, and we’d be lying to you if we said that adding a strobe into the picture (pun not intended) also didn’t require some major stugots.

In the end though, you’ll be rewarded with not only different photos from everyone else but also with the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve learned a new skill.

Here’s what we recommend.

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Olympus’s New EP5 Is Lip-Bitingly Sexy

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EP5 images (5 of 8)

Today, Olympus is announcing the brand new EP5 that has been highly rumored for a while. It’s been quite some time since the flagship Pen camera received an update but that update was well worth the wait. First off the camera has the same sensor as the OMD EM5 but boasts a couple of differences that in some ways make it better than the OMD. The focusing is faster, it sports focus peaking for manual focus users, and has Wifi built in for starters. But otherwise, it has an aluminum body, no weather sealing, a flip up LCD screen with barely any external screws to the entire build, and an interesting new design layout.

Tech Specs and more images are after the jump. But also be sure to check out our first impressions and our comparison to the Olympus OMD EM5.

Editor’s Note: The EP5 is available body only for $999.99 in black, silver and white or with the 17mm f1.8 and new VF-4 viewfinder for $1,449.00 in black or silver.

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Which One? Olympus OMD EM5 or EP5


Today, Olympus is announcing their EP5 Micro Four Thirds camera. It is now the top tier of the Pen family of cameras under the Olympus brand and in some ways challenges the flagship from Olympus–the OMD EM5. Everyday, we see and hear about new people purchasing the OMD EM5, but if you want to go with the Micro Four Thirds system you’ll be able to now take a look at another very good option within the Olympus world (though Panasonic does offer some good selections as well).

At the moment of publishing this article, we’ve reviewed the OMD EM5 and have tested it in the long run. Additionally, some of our former staffers have sold everything they own to convert over to it. The EP5 hasn’t been reviewed yet, but there is more than enough to compare the two.

Editor’s Note: The EP5 is available body only for $999.99 in blacksilver and white or with the 17mm f1.8 and new VF-4 viewfinder for $1,449.00 in black or silver.

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First Impressions: Olympus EP5


It’s been rumored for a while now, and guess what–it appears that the rumors were true. When I walked into my meeting with Olympus and saw the fabled EP5, I immediately asked them to take my credit card away from me. Today’s announcement marks the upgrade to the top tier of the Olympus Pen line of cameras. And in some ways it is outdoing its bigger brother, the Olympus OMD EM5. This is very typical of Olympus, though, as they often tend to cannibalize their own products very quickly and in different ways.

With that said though, there are some differentiating factors between this and the current king: the OMD.

Editor’s Note: The EP5 is available body only for $999.99 in black, silver and white or with the 17mm f1.8 and new VF-4 viewfinder for $1,449.00 in black or silver.

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Review: Olympus EPL5

The Olympus EPL5 is the successor to the very successful EPL3. Though it was previously stated that the camera didn’t have an Anti Aliasing filter, it actually does but it is weaker than in previous cameras and so retains extra details in the images. The body is compact, sleek, and has an LCD screen that veteran photographers may actually take quite the liking to.

The Olympus EPL5 has a lot going for it and is designed for a multitude of users. But is it worthy of being in your hands?


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New York Comic Con 2012 Is Happening: Photos Using the Olmypus OMD EM5, Paul C Buff Einstein E640, and PocketWizard Plus III Triggers

I’ve just returned from California after an extremely awesome trip, thanks to Sony. But there was and still is no rest for the weary. This is just a quick update to let people know that Comic Con 2012 is happening right now in NYC. Yesterday, I used to the Olympus OMD EM5, Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95, PocketWizard Plus III triggers, and the Paul C Buff Einstein E640. In my opinion, the kit was excellent. The only major issues I had was that I forgot to turn off the IR triggering mode so that whenever someone else’s flash went off, mine would too. But eventually, I looked at the manual and figured it out. The color output from the Einstein is super consistent and all the images were shot bare bulb or bounced off of a ceiling of some sort. Accounting for the fact that the Javitz Center has 45 foot high ceilings, I was amazed at how just how much power the light could output. The Voigtlander was a bit tough to focus sometimes so what I often did was opened the lens up and then stopped it down; otherwise it created a super dark viewfinder.

And the results so far? Well, you tell me. A full report is yet to come, so stay tuned.

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Review: Tokina 300mm f6.3 Mirror Lens (Micro Four Thirds)

The Tokina 300mm F6.3 Reflex lens was designed natively for the Micro Four Thirds mount, and perfectly holds ture to the philosophy of making the entire package smaller and more portable. Because it is a mirror lens, it is also a fixed aperture, has a curious looking mirror on the front, is manual focus, and has some interesting quirks.

On a Micro Four Thirds camera like my Olympus OMD EM5, it renders a 600mm field of view due to the crop factor. I’ve spent a month with the lens. Getting used to shooting at such a telephoto focal length has taken a lot of getting used to, and even as I’m about to send the product back off to where it came from, I still don’t think that I’ve become accustomed to the field of view.

However, that doesn’t mean that is can’t deliver some stunning images.

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A Weekend of Extended Use With the Fujifilm X Pro 1 and Olympus OMD EM5 (Slightly NSFW)

The two cameras above are my two current workhorses: the Olympus OMD EM5 and Fujifilm X Pro 1 (my 5D Mk II comes out only for the highest of paying gigs.) After firmware 2.0 came out for the Fujifilm X Pro 1 and 35mm f1.4 X, I put it to the test on the streets. After receiving some feedback from you guys, I went back out and shot for an entire weekend with the camera and one night with my highly trusted EM5.

So how did they perform? Let’s just say that both cameras have their strengths and weaknesses. This is the story of each.

Editor’s Note: You’ve been warned that this post is slightly NSFW.

2nd Editor’s Note: There have been questions about our coverage and reviews. Here’s my review of the X Pro 1, 35mm f1.4 x review, my impressions of firmware 2.0 (part 1), the Olympus OMD EM5 review, a cosplay shoot with the OMD, and my three way comparison including the Sony NEX 7.

Update: As of July 2013, the Fujifilm X Pro 1’s focusing has vastly improved. It still isn’t as fast as the OMD, but damn did they do an awesome job.

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Quick Autofocus Test: Fujifilm X Pro 1 (Firmware 2.0) vs Olympus OMD EM5

Fujifilm recently updated their X Pro 1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera’s firmware to deliver blazing fast results. Indeed, the camera is much improved over its past performance. But to see just how far it has come, I decided to put it up against the current autofocusing king: the Olympus OMD EM5 with an MSC Fast AF system lens.

Check out the quick, informal video after the jump. Which one would you use?

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Long Term Comparison Review: Fujifilm X Pro 1 vs Sony NEX 7 vs Olympus OMD EM5

After an exhaustive amount of time, we’ve finished reviewing the Olympus OMD EM5, Sony NEX 7 and Fujifilm X Pro 1. Each camera has their own strengths and weaknesses and represents the pinnacle of what each company has tried to achieve so far in the mirrorless camera market. With all of them being targeted at the high end enthusiast/semi-professional, they all bring a unique set of features to the table that makes them all appealing to various types of shooters. But in the end, only one can actually be called the current king of the crop.

This post is a result of the findings of various exhaustive tests, the least amount of pixel-peeping possible, and based on how someone may actually use the cameras.

Now, let’s dive right in.

Editor’s Note: All of these cameras have had significant time to have firmware updates, and so we are updating our findings in bold and italics.

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Review: Think Tank Retrospective 7 Camera Bag

The Think Tank Retrospective 7 is the latest in the line of Think Tank’s much loved Retrospective line of camera bags: which have all been very positively reviewed here on The Phoblographer. The new bag is designed for use by mirrorless camera users on the go and sits between the company’s 5 and 10 camera bags. I’ve been testing the bag for nearly two months now, and at one point was able to carry an incredible amount of gear.

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Review: Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 Lens (Micro Four Thirds)

Do you see that lens up above? That is the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 Nokton for Micro Four Thirds; and it is perhaps the lens that has locked me into the system and also renewed my faith in it. Using this lens I can do so much. Not only is it characterized by its fast aperture, but it is also a 35mm equivalent field of view: which is honestly my favorite focal length.

Before I even get into this review, know that it is an overwhelmingly positive one even though swallowing the cost of the lens was a bit much for me. After weeks of use though, that has all gone away.

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Review: Olympus OMD EM5

When the Olympus OMD EM5 was originally announced, I wasn’t very impressed. In fact, I still firmly believe that what I saw in that room wasn’t near the level of amazingness that I spent a good two weeks testing. Yes, the Olympus E-M5 was really quite wonderful and was able to stand up to quite a bit.

But did it stand out in a world where APS-C mirrorless cameras are seemingly trying to take the edge?

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Using the Olympus OMD EM5 on a Cosplay Photoshoot

Last weekend, a friend asked me to photograph her cosplaying as Link from the Legend of Zelda. The theme was to have a dark and a bit foreboding scene/atmosphere to them. At the last minute while shooting though, she said to me, “Oh but I want them to be really nice too though.” That essentially means that I needed to try to find a way to mix both beauty (which is what I usually do) with my darker side. I usually keep the two separate when it comes to shoots, but in this case that needed to be put aside.

So if you were in the same position and shooting in Prospect Park, Brookyln (in NYC), how would you try to pull this off with multiple looks in a couple of hours?

For starters, I threw in a strange challenge: I put my 5D Mk II away for this one and used the Olympus OMD EM5 still on loan to me from Olympus.

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Olympus Announces EM5 (OMD): We Fondle

Yes, the rumors have been true for the most part. Olympus has finally decided to let the cat out of the bag with the new OMD (or OM-D) modernly coined the EM5 (or EM-5). Pitched to me as their new professional Micro Four Thirds camera, the reps stated that the system is now complete with both consumer products and professional products. Additionally, new lenses and accessories were also announced.

We got some fondling time with the camera; and our thoughts aren’t everything you might think they would be.

Update: B&H Photo and Amazon has it available for Pre-Order

Black (body only)

Power Battery Holder

FL-600R flash

EM-5 with kit lens (Amazon is body only in silver and Black with kit lens)

EM-5 in silver with 12-50mm

Weatherproof Four Thirds lens adapter

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