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OMD em5 as secondary camera for Nikon D700 user?

Wee-Ming Boon , Aug 30, 2012; 12:00 a.m.

Just checking if anyone who uses a Nikon D700, also use the OMD em5? Or even compared to the fuji x-pro? Are you happy with the oly performance in terms of AF, Noise and outright performance?

How does it compare at ISO 6400 or 12800? (some websites say its better some say it's worse so I'm confused! )

How does the AF speed compare?

How well does it work shooting kids running around?

Thanks a million for your help.


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Lex Jenkins , Aug 30, 2012; 04:56 a.m.

Documentary photographer Zun Lee has recently begun using the OM-D E-M5, and also has used the D700. I'm not sure whether he regards the OM-D as a replacement for or supplement to the D700. Here's a fairly recent discussion with links to his website and Flickr pages: Street/candid photogs: On the fence about the OM-D EM-5?

harvey steeves , Aug 30, 2012; 10:19 a.m.

I used to have the D700 and now use an OMD(among others) Hi ISO I can't help you with. No comparison in AF speed and accuracy - D700 hands down, OMD not even on the same playing field in my opinion. And I sometimes shoot beasties as well as people.

Greg Chappell , Aug 30, 2012; 10:25 a.m.

We are talking about one camera with a sensor twice the size and a phase detection AF system, so the sensor performance, from noise to resolution is going to be better and an AF system, especially for anything moving, that's going to be superior to something with a sensor half the size, with few fast options zoom-wise.

If you need a secondary camera for a D700, get another D700 or the D7000, or the D800 and make the D700 your secondary camera. Don't buy an E-M5. It ain't the same thing.

As something to use INSTEAD of the D700, the E-M5 would work great, but as a secondary/backup camera? I'd be looking to buy a backup that actually worked with the stuff I was using on my primary camera.

Ariel S , Aug 30, 2012; 11:38 a.m.

Greg, the D700 has 4 times the sensor size. Wee-Ming, those high ISOs are pretty tough for micro 4/3 cameras, and the E-M5 from what I've seen is not substantially night-and-day better than cameras like the GX1, for example. I agree with Greg about AF speed; you see the contrast-detect of the E-M5 is being touted as "fast" because the E-P1 and E-P2 were so unbelievably slow. You still run into then same limitations of the camera being unable to follow moving subjects. In fact, if you want that, you may consider the new Sony NEX-5R, which is "only" $750 with lens, and is mirrorless, but has phase detect. Another option, again agreeing with Greg, is to get yourself a lesser Nikon DSLR. The D3200 or D5100 is relatively small, especially when paired with a tinier lens, like the 18-105mm or even 35mm f/1.8G. You get to retain the full compatibility with your current lenses and flashes as well, which is a bonus. The Olympus is also relatively expensive for what you get, $1,000 is Nikon D7000 territory, not to mention the price of many of the lenses. The downside compared to the E-M5 is weathersealing and size.

Roy Skridlov , Aug 30, 2012; 12:56 p.m.

I have both, having owned the D700 from just after it was released along with some decent lenses, like the Big Three 2.8 zooms. I've owned the OMD for a few months now. I have the 12-50 kit lens, the 14/2.8, 20/1.7, 45/1.7, Samyang 7.5FE and the 100-300.

The D700 kit is like handling a bunch of stage weights after using the OMD for a while. Obviously the D700's sensor and AF performance is superior, resolution aside. But it's a huge, heavy lump and for non-commercial use where there's walking involved (ie recreational hiking, which is the majority of my photography) it's a no-brainer to use the OMD. I've hardly picked up the D700 since buying it.

If it weren't for the absurd depreciation and the periodic need for extremely low light use - where it's marginally superior - I'd dump the Nikon gear and buy some of the higher end m43 lenses. With a bit of pp shooting RAW even the low light performance is pretty acceptable. From the lenses I've used you need to shoot RAW as the CA is fairly heavy. LR4 takes care of it effortlessly.

The OMD is a brilliant little camera, not without its faults, but the sheer compactness of the system is a joy.

Geoff Francis , Aug 30, 2012; 09:41 p.m.

Having bought into M4/3 and owning both FF and APS-C Canon, my view is you get into M4/3 for the fun of being able to carry a whole system in small bag. In this sense it is great to use. Quality is acceptable once you have mastered the leanring curve of the system and know how to get good results. However, if you are after quality FF wins hands down.

John Farrar , Aug 31, 2012; 03:01 a.m.

Roy +1.
With care, and at risk of exciting some Nikon fans, I reckon I can get quality out of the OM D and a good lens similar to my old D200.The weight, or lack of it, is a joy.

Roy Skridlov , Aug 31, 2012; 05:22 a.m.

Whilst the D200 (which I also have) can still produce decent pictures in good light I would rate the OMD as vastly better on all counts. You can certainly use an OMD up to - and some would say beyond - iso 3200 with a bit of nr in pp.
For me the live histogram is one of the most useful developments, even if the implementation is a bit odd on the OMD.

John Farrar , Aug 31, 2012; 05:33 a.m.

I bow to your experience at high ISO - my landscapes are at base ISO, and there the two seem to me similar. The larger sensor of the 200 trades off against the newer sensor technology of the OMD. In DR and ability to pull up shadow detail without noise, and digital edge effects when sharpening, I'd not put a lot between them. It may be very subject-dependent; closeish intimate landscapes are a real strength of the OM D. And it is definitely lenses that rule! Sufficve it to say, I use the OM D more and more.

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