I received my E-M5 yesterday. The camera feels rugged, slightly heavy for its size, which I like. Compared to my Fuji X100S, it is a tank. The 14-42 kit lens however is a cheap piece of plastic. No wonder they only go for about $55 on Ebay. Image quality isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but dealing with a 3.5 to 5.6 aperture isn’t something I like to do. Even 2.8 is a bit dark in my opinion. The menus are more complex that on my X100S, and the OM-D has a bunch of useless features no photographer worthy of the name will ever use. Those who would are better off buying a cheap point-and-shoot camera.
Image quality isn’t as good as the X100S, which is to be expected. 6400 ISO on the X100S is like 1600 ISO on the Olympus. What I was pleasantly surprised with was the low speed at which you can take sharp photos with the image stabilization. I tried down to 1/5sec, and yep, sharp as a tack. Now I need a good lens to replace the el-cheapo zoom that came with it. Contenders now are the Voightlander Nokton 25mm f0.95, Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 and even the Mitakon 35mm f0.95. Later I will get the Panasonic Leica 15mm, a telephoto and a fisheye. The f2.8 PRO zoom is tempting, but quite expensive, and still only f2.8.. Maybe later..
Are Micro 4/3rds good enough?
I think so. As long as you don’t expect to take them to the studio. The E-M5 is an outside, rugged camera, not meant for art photography, though some people seem to do decent work with it in that respect. The grain of the E-M5 sensor is more film-like than the X100S, which has a more plasticky look. I don’t like what the X100S does to skin tones at high ISO, but I rarely use it that way. The big advantage of the Olympus is the weather sealing and image stabilization. If only they would simplify the menus by deleting half of the functions in there.. For street and documentary types of photography, I think it will do quite well.
Keep an eye on my Flickr page for more images, both with the X100S (if I get it back!) and the OM-D E-M5.