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Wednesday, 26 August 2015


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As I understand the development of gorilla glas (if I remember what I read a while ago correctly) is; Corning developed it a fair while ago, but didn't have a market for it (or didn't know what to do with it). It wasn't till apple came knocking that they realised what they could use it for (and the rest is history).

Having never touched, or even seen, a Leica S camera I have no basis for confirming or denying your "world's best camera" claim, Mike. (I'm imagining you're being a bit sarcastic?) I must, however, at least register my suspicion having now used the Sony A7 cameras for nearly 1.5 years.

Nevertheless, I found it interesting that Leica is apparently feeling the heat from competition. According to an email blast from the Leica store in Miami this week they seem to have dropped the price of the new S body by $9,000 (from an original $25,000 to $16,000)? In my experience the "best" never get cheaper. ;=/

Say, can someone sketch out a chart of those Olympus models? Which one does what, for how much? The nomenclature is baffling.


I believe I read the IBIS unit is said to be different from the E-M5 mkII so you might want to fact check that.

For the rest, I don't quite share your analysis :-), due to other little factual mistakes...
The E-m5 mkII for instance, feature a true 1/8000s mechanical shutter. This, in the light of faster lenses that I believe will be part of 2016 strategy (just that Olympus will have to come with close to f/1.0 for a few primes,some very early rumours already, but all seems logical) should make a difference irl. The hi-res mode is also a potent feature no other olympus has. And the lack of that extra E-M1 bulk & grip puts the EM5 mkII right in the middle as a truly desirable option by itself.


Gorilla Glass has been around for decades in various commercial/industrial applications. But you're right that it was rolled out for the proles in the iPhone.

Two points:
1) I believe that the E-M5 mark II has an improved 5-axis IBIS (which is where the hi-res mode comes from). I have to think that the E-M10 mark II got the old 5-axis IBIS from the original E-M5 (and E-P3 and E-M1).

2) Gorilla glass was invented in the '60s, but only commercialized once Apple found out that it existed.

Am I the only one confused by the name. numbers, abbreviation in the Olympus range?

Do you have any thoughts on a refurbished or used E-M1 for $800 versus a new E-M10 II at $650? The 5-axis IBIS and the new focus bracketing features are causing my wallet to itch for an upgrade from my Panny G6. The ability to move the AF point while using the EVF (my favorite G6 feature) is an advantage over the E-M1.

The Mark II looks like a worthy refresh of the E-M5, mostly because it changes the originals horrible ergonomics. I want to say "fixes" but I'd need to try it. In the meantime, the E-P5 is still my favourite Olympus. Excellent combination of size, features, and ergonomics.

Mike Reichmann has done that shootout on Luminous Landscape.

Michael Reichmann has just published a comparison of the big leica against the Sony A7RII and the Pentax 645Z, an article which no doubt will draw many thousands of readers.
I wrote my own experience of a year's ownership of my EM10 (mark I) on my blog just a week or so ago and so far it has drawn a somewhat smaller readship :-) but to sum up - I've really enjoyed owning it, I've liked the EVF (my first) much more than I expected, and it seems set to replace my bigger Pentax DSLR in my bag, pocket, heart and mind. The only weakness is the flimsy battery cover, I'd like to know if they've improved that in the mark II but I have neither need nor intention of upgrading to it.

Michael R's informal assessment of S007 vs A7RII vs 645Z...


"The E-M5 Mark II is the orphan in the lineup, to be honest. (From a cost/value perspective, anyway ... it's only $200 less than the E-M1, and we'd much rather have an E-M1."

Perhaps it's in the line-up because there are people - like me - who would never be happy with the E-M1. Why pay more for a larger, heavier camera that has a grip I don't like?

Leaving aside the preferences of my body's ergonomics, you say nothing about why one might prefer an E-M1 to an E-M5 II.

The E-M1 has one stand-out feature, PDAF sensors, so it can work well with 4/3 legacy lenses. I have never owned any, nor do I see any reason ever to do so.


1. The 5-axis IBIS in the E-M1 & E-M5 is the same; that in the E-M5 II is significantly improved. DPreview says 5 vs. 4 stops. I say I can see a distinct improvement in use in the field, especially in long tele use.

2. The E-M5 II switches to a fully articulated LCD from a tilt screen. This will be a plus for some, not for others. It is less convenient for quick up or down, but allows shots otherwise requiring circus level gymnastics.

3. The E-M5 II adds an high definition mode, using ultra precision sensor shift to get real 40MP images with "true' color, much like Foveon and without moiré. The results are in most ways superior to the Nikon D850 and superior for high detail pattern subjects to the D900.

4. E-M5 II ups the video ante to 60p, bitrate from 17Mbps, E-M5, 24, E-M1, to 77Mbps.

4. 1/16,000 sec (electronic) vs. 1/4000, E-M5, 1/8000, E-M1.

5. Drops the no longer needed accessory port, lowering the profile of the top hump, making the flash shoe less prone to catching in things.

6. The E-M5 II has the same resolution VF and LCD as the E-M1, as well as the same WiFi, focus peaking, HDR, etc.

7. The really impossible on/off switch of the E-M5 has been moved to a sensible location, reminiscent of the Early OMs. Still not as good as the inspired GX7, but a LOT better for me.

To my mind, the E-M5 II is functionally a superior camera to the E-M1, as well as fitting my hands better.

I've voted with my $, using two E-M5 IIs, and up to 3,500 shots with them. I logged 12,600 on the E-M5.

If you're going to evaluate cameras from a cost/value perspective, then you really need to consider all three prices, not just the retail price. I agree the E-M1 is the jewel in the Olympus line, but you don't have to pay $1,300 for it. Olympus occasionally offers refurbished E-M1s at very attractive prices; I bought mine in June for $835 (including tax). And pristine used E-M1s are in the $600 range on eBay.

Did I miss it in your writings what u think Leica Q?

The EM5 Mark II was, I thought, a good buy at $899 with the recent Olympus discount. For that, you got weather resistance and an articulating LCD screen. And Kirk Tuck likes it!

The E-M10 is a fantastic camera, so no doubt the mark II will be also. The old one occasionally goes on mega sale (and certainly will now, with a new one on offer). I switched from Canon to a M43 system, and by making some targeted purchases with KEH, buying an E-M10 on sale and adapting some M42 lenses, I got a pretty extensive kit for pretty close to the price of an E-M1. You're right, I wanted the E-M1, but I can say if anyone's considering the E-M10 it is pretty awesome.

I've never had much interest in mounting a bayonet, stainless steel or otherwise, to a camera. Maybe useful for wildlife photography using a macro lens.

[satire /on] For the first time in my life, I can't tell whether or not I actually own a camera. I have an Olympus DLSR. It possibly could be an OM-D, then again, it could have "5" its name, I really can't remember. I just caught myself looking at the B&H link in Mike's piece and thinking, "If I could just see the prism from the right, then I could know whether it has the button-thingy to change from the screen in the VF to the screen on the back. And _then_ I would know whether I already own this or not. . . .durn, the B&H photo is a little dark. Is there a button-thingy or isn't there?" So either this article will hone my regret for the thing I wished I owned but don't, OR the article will burnish my self-image by praising a camera I had the perspicacity to purchase already. But I really just don't know. [satire /off]

I have both the E-M5.2 and E-M1. Your statement that "what one wants is the E-M1" (Mark ii?) makes me realize that you probably have fairly large hands. The M5.2 is an improvement over the M1 in many ways -- slight improvements claimed in IS, the novel 64 megapixel superresolution mode for landscape and macro/product shots, faster buffer... But the controls are a bit more finicky and more tightly placed on the M5.2. People with medium sized hands see it as a better camera. I can pick up a basketball from above on a good day, and find it a bit cramped. Still, I may end up saving the M-1 for use with one or two fabulous older M43 lenses from the good old days when things got corrected optically, not in postprocessing software. (The M1 supports phase detection AF for the old lenses, and has a few more pixels.) And I see the M-1 price dropping fast, so an M1Mark ii seems likely.


It's a good time for product designers, with the race to be in front of the opposition, and in a different way, in front of the consumers. (New! New! buy this!)

I do wonder if the production life of camera models is tied to how long they last. It would not do for increasing numbers of cameras of a given model to get cranky in their old age while still in production, or even when they are just a model or two behind the latest one.

Mark 2 versions do show that the makers have faith in their camera, if it only needs a few tweeks.

The M5II won't be the orphan when the M1 replacement comes out, because it will cost $1500 or more. IMHO it is wiser to compare initial release prices when evaluating a range of models and their 'fit' in things.

Corning first produced what became "Gorilla Glass" starting back in the 1960's, initially called "Chemcor", which was used up through the early 1990's by various industries needing stronger, less brittle glass.

They started playing with it again in the early 2000's, to make something thin enough to be useful for personal electronics, which Apple decided that they needed for their then-new iPhone. Others subsequently adopted it.

The lack of a good grip may look kool. Although I would not want to hold a camera without an ergonomic grip for 8+ hours. So scratch the E-M5-2 and E-M10-2 from my list.

The Leica S (type 107) is announced at a Fire-Sale-Price of $8,000.00 less than the previous model. This kind of pricing does nor bode well for Leica's future.

Bully for Olympus. But my Mark I versions of the E-M5 and E-M10 (both purchased for almost pennies on the dollar while on sale at Olympus's refurb store) will hold me until the E-M1 and E-M10 Mark II can be purchased at similar savings. Besides, not having the E-M1 has allowed my to hold off on buying Oly's expensive 12-40mm and 40-140mm f/2.8 PRO zooms. No sense having those on a camera body that doesn't balance that well with them.

Why do you like the E-M1 over the E-M5ii ? The latter has an electronic shutter that can be perfectly silent, a high-rez mode (tripod required) that would be ideal for landscapes, and a more articulated viewscreen.

" the Leica S lenses are the best you can buy for pictorial photography"

I didn't even read the Leica S section at first. When I did, I was amused at the above, as I was playing with some images taken with LenBaby Spark 50/2 and Soft Focus lenses - sort of the antitheses of Leica S lenses.

O. simply make cameras in batches, and if that number is almost gone, they wont produce another batch of the same old, then it's Mark II.

If we were smart, we would never buy mark 1, but wait for mark II - which is mark 1 with all the fixes and new features - and then skip each odd numbered mark thereafter.

There is a story (perhaps apocryphal) about Steve Jobs convincing Corning that they were capable of producing enough Gorilla Glass for the iPhone.

One re-telling is here ...

@Pstu, if you like weatherproofing, usable C-AF, a larger grip, and the ability to focus 4/3 lenses fairly well with on-sensor pdaf, the EM1 is for you. But the EM10.2 looks like a good camera with some fun new tricks, and it's more compact.

The new E-M10 is actually cheaper than its predecessor, which at launch, was $699 body-only.

So not only new users can get a better camera, they can have it for less. A very nice refresh all around.

Hope that Focus Bracketing will make its way into E-M5 Mark II and E-M1 by a firmware update. It would be a shame to leave such a nice feature only in the low-end body.

People seem to forget that the E-M1's PDAF sensors are also used for C-AF with mFT lenses in addition to being used with legacy FT lenses.

I'm not sure I like the new position of the on/off switch of the E-M10mII though. It would mean that I'd need to hands to turn on the camera. I agree with Moose that the GX7 switch looks to be in a great place!

The Leica price drop has more to to with the Euro / Dollar exchange than the "demise" of Leica. I use the S for professional work and I would challenge users of a micro 4/3 camera to print images that match the Leica at 24" and above. The detail and color depth is unique to medium format images including those from a Phase or Hasselblad.

Back in the "old days" no one used APS film but amateurs, and 4/3 is in the realm of 110 film. (and yes I understand the whole digital sensor advantage over film but you can't fight physics) It's just tiresome to have the internet comparing the images off a 4/3 camera with medium format (or even 35mm). It's fine if you don't use it but there is no need to knock a camera system unless you are insecure in your choice of camera.

Use what works best for you and do your best work with it.

The Leica S 007 sounds great and the best part is that it is cheaper than the S2. If I win the lotto, I'll get it.

Dear Bill,

“…there is no need to knock a camera system unless you are insecure in your choice of camera.”

Oh, physician, heal thyself!

I'm a physicist. I know what physics does and doesn't mean. It's not what you think.

I was a Pentax 67 user for 40 years, bought the fifth one into the United States (according to my usually reliable camera dealer). And, not so incidentally, I made 16 x 20 prints from those 6 x 7 negatives that were second to none.

Nowadays I'm using a 16 megapixel micro 4/3 camera. And I've demonstrated to all and sundry, including 800 readers here, that the typical 16 x 20 print I can make from that camera is the equal of the prints I can make from my 6 x 7 negatives. In fact, on average, the image quality by any metric for such is better in those micro 4/3 prints. The vast majority* of those who have seen both my film prints and my digital prints agree with that.

I do not know this entity called the “internet” of which you speak [smile] but it's just possible that I might know what I'm talking about, y'know?

Now, anybody who pooh-poohs the Leica without having used it… well, I won't mince words. They are a fool, and their opinion is entirely dismissible. The Leica would be on my short list of wonderfullest** cameras (no, I haven't used it, but I've seen enough prints).

But assertions that micro 4/3 is in the realm of 110 film… or even 35mm film… ??? Equally dismissible.

I will further not-mince words. Anybody who isn't seeing medium-format film quality from a good micro 4/3 camera with a good lens is using it improperly.

(*nothing's unanimous)

(**what do you mean that's not a word?)

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

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