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sabbey51

Saddle River, US
649 posts

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sabbey51 Gold Member Nikonian since 10th Jan 2010
Sat 27-Apr-13 03:22 AM

I gave the Nikon 1 V1 a good shot, I really did. I finally lost it a couple of weeks ago fighting with it at a party and trying to get grand kid shots and other interesting images. It was just too dark, the puny flash most just created P&S glare, the slow lenses (10-30, 30-110) were slow, the sensor puked at ISOs that worked in the light, 10mm wasn't wide enough, the blasted mode dial moved all the time, ... .

I did get a bunch of great pictures with it over the last 15 months, but I mostly felt like I was fighting it. It was really great at fast focusing In decent light, and of course is small and light.

So my choices were to double down on the system - upgrade to the V2, try the new 18.5/1.8 lens, wait for Nikon to trickle out better lenses, etc. or cut my losses and try a different approach to small and light.

I chose to switch.

I jumped full-on into the m43 world: Olympus OM-D E-M5, 17/1.8, 25/1.4 and 45/1.8 primes and 12-35/2.8 zoom. An expensive jump.

Here's the 72 hour report.

Small and light compared to my D7000 and the consumer zooms I use (11-16, 16-85, 70-300). Slightly bigger than the V1. The lenses are comparably sized to the Nikon 1 lenses - the 17 and 45 are tiny, the 25 and 12-35 are chunky, but that's attributable to their speed and build. The body and all four weight about the same as the D7000 and the 16-85.

The UI is maddening. It's a combination of my years of becoming used to the Nikon UI, and the extreme configurability of the EM5 combined with a complex menu system with many inter-related options that are not adequately explained in the manual. DPReview was driven to publish a configuration guide to help users, not something I've seen them do before. I still haven't really sorted out the button assignments yet, nor how I want focusing to work. But I'm already feeling better after several hundred pictures over the last three days.

The build quality is very high. Lots of metal, smooth dials and rings on the lenses, etc. Shooting with the primes I'm reminded of the joy of being able to shoot indoors without a flash and at reasonable ISO, and the availability of shallower DoF compared to my DX kit is welcomed. The smaller body, which of course is part of the attraction, necessarily leads to more difficulty in holding it and hitting the tiny buttons. But not excessively, and I think it will be a worthwhile trade.

The RRS L bracket and a set of step up rings for my CP and Vario ND filters should arrive tomorrow. Also a cheap flash, the Olympus FL-300R, should come - Olympus is offering it free with the camera this month via a full rebate. It tilts but doesn't swivel, so I may sell it - haven't decided yet.

Tomorrow I'm spending the afternoon in full-on shooting mode at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, which I hear is a special place.

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