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Olympus OM-D E-M5 II opinions?

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by mi000ke, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. mi000ke

    mi000ke Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Massachusetts & Grand Cayman Island
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    After recently starting with underwater photography using a Canon Powershot s120 (I have been doing land photography for many years w/Canon 5D) I am ready to upgrade. I don't want to invest in housing and outfitting the 5D yet, so have been looking at the Olympus OMD EM5 II as a less expensive option (camera, housing, port, 14-42 lens, and gear for $1600).

    While it is getting great reviews as a land camera, I have not seen much discussion about it as an underwater camera. If anyone here is using one, could you give your opinion? thanks.
     
  2. jmartel

    jmartel Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Seattle, WA
    38
    16
    8
    I use one in a Nauticam housing. I don't have a ton of complaints with it. Focusing isn't great compared to a DSLR, but it's a fact of life with the micro 4/3rds system. Really, most of the micro 4/3rds stuff will be the same underwater. Just different access to buttons/menu items.

    One thing to note is that the E-M5II is a few years old now. The mkIII should be coming out this year I'd think.
     
    Titatom and mi000ke like this.
  3. vsc

    vsc Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    38
    11
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    While I have not used the E-M5 mkII, I have used extensively the prior version of the body in an Olympus housing with the Olympus 12-40 f2.8 pro, 8mm f1.8 fisheye and 60mm f2.8 macro. A prior comment said focusing isn't great compared to a DSLR. I'm not happy about that generalization, but in fact the focus performance was the limiting factor of the first generation E-M5, especially problematic with the macro. Otherwise the balance of the experience was very good.

    All that said with the E-M1 mk II, the focus performance is totally resolved approaching point and shoot even with a macro. The weight and volume alone is a consideration between a DSLR body and micro-4/3, but in fact the performance of the E-M1 mk II is just as good as a DSLR, though I'm sure there will be people who argue that point.

    A limiting factor will be the 14-42 (kit) lens. You might find the resulting images to be a little soft.
     
    Titatom and mi000ke like this.
  4. WS007

    WS007 Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Empersdorf (Austria)
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    Hi Mi000ke,

    I have EM5MII in Nauticam housing with Zuiko 8mm FE, Pana 7-14mm, Zuiko 9-18mm, Zuiko 12-40mm, Pana 45mm Makro and Zuiko 60mm Makro...

    It is an excellent camera for underwater and its predecessors, the EM5MI and EM1MI are legendary...

    You can read here e.g.:
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Camera Review
    Olympus E-M5 Mark II Underwater Camera Review - Underwater Photography - Backscatter


    When buying everything new, I would now go for the EM1MII (1k Euro more for camera body, rest costs the same), or maybe wait EM5MIII (in case it has the new sensor as EM1MII, nobody knows yet) . We are talking about expenditures in the 6-12 kEuro range, depending on lenses and ports, so 1k is not so much of a difference...

    The great advantage of Nauticam housing is that you invest once and when upgrading you just exchange the camera body and the bare housing. This will not be so easy with the set you have in the mind at the moment I presume. My wife has Oly EPL6 in Oly housing, but my ports are not compatible. When I upgrade to EM1MII, she will continue with my present EM5MII and NAEM5MII housing and we can share all other euipment, e.g. ports...


    When your final goal is to go underwater with the Canon it is no good idea to switch intermediately to a completely different system, unless you intend to stay with MFT format. I would then go right now for a Canon housing, but it depends what 5D version you have, some old versions are not so great any more and the investment in housing is not worth...


    Wolfgang
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
    Titatom and mi000ke like this.
  5. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
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    I have a Canon land system and Oly UW system have no intention of housing a Canon camera, I was using an EM-5 II before upgrading to an EM-1 MkII, using it with the 12-40 lens and 60mm macro, AF is generally not a problem at all with the 12-40. The 60mm gives trouble occasionally and tends to hunt in temperate water with floaties for it to focus on, but perfectly usable. All in all a great little underwater camera.

    You can buy a Nauticam housing, the EM-5II, a 12-40 lens for $3150 while the 5DIV Nauticam housing alone costs $3800. You can go the olympus housing route as well and obviously much cheaper, but I think the 14-42 behind a flat port is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and the lens range you can house is a little limited. Work fine for macro and snap shots of fish etc. , but not so good for wide angle Olympus don't offer any dome ports for that housing, Zen have a 100mm dome to use a fisheye and the 9-18mm The issue is the Oly EM-5II housing has the narrow port opening of the PEN series. A wider range of ports and lenses can be used with the EM1-II housing, but that camera is much pricier.

    Going with something like the nauticam housing is much more future proof if you stick with olympus (or even Panasonic) as you can keep using the lenses, gears and ports, while with olympus housing you could well be buying your ports again. The quality of the 12-40 lens behind a Zen 170mm dome is great.

    If you were absolutely sticking with macro the Olympus housing would be fine as you only need flat ports for that.

    .
     
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  6. jmartel

    jmartel Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Seattle, WA
    38
    16
    8
    For what it's worth, you can use the Olympus 9-18mm lens behind the flat port. It's not ideal, but it's a good way to get cheaper wide angle. I had that setup for a bit before switching to a Panasonic 7-14mm and a dome.
     
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  7. npole

    npole Barracuda

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    I own a M5-II in a Meikon housing (with dry port) that I would highly recommend, considering the price (a fraction of a Nauticam housing) I've had zero issues with it (up to 50m).
    The camera is coupled to a zuiko pro 12-40 2.8, and to a 12-50 3.6 EZ (this last one let you operate the zoom electronically, a big big advantage to increase the versatility of the cam underwater).
     
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  8. Titatom

    Titatom Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tx
    86
    8
    8
    I just bought the OLY MK5M2 with the OLY PT13 housing. I tried it underwater last week. I used the macro 60mm lens and noticed the focusing issue. On dry land, I can get it to focus where I want it by touching the LCD screen. I tried to use the grid but found it a bit challenging. Underwater however, the touch screen is not an option. How do you get it to focus on the subject of interest?
    Thank you ahead for suggestions/advice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  9. npole

    npole Barracuda

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    If you don't use the arrow keys for anything else (I use them for the zoom), you can assign the point of focus on the grid by moving it (probably the one you said it's a bit challenge..).
    Otherwise u set the pin point focus in the center (the method i prefer because it's much faster), you half press the trigger and the focus will remain on the subject, the you move the camera to compose the picture and fully press the button to take the shot.
     
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  10. Titatom

    Titatom Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tx
    86
    8
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    Thank you Npole. Will try that. Appreciate your suggestion.
     

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