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  • Jun 10th, 2017 10:13 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 22, 2017
143 posts
51 upvotes

OMD EM10mkii or D5500

I'm looking to buy my first camera. Budget of about 1k. Which one is better? A Nikon D5500 with AF-S 18-55mm VR II lens kit or an Olympus OMD EM10 mkii with the 14-42 IIR kit lens plus a 25mm 1.8 prime? Both are currently around 1k more or less.

Camera will be maybe mainly used for
Travel
Street
Portrait (family)
Last edited by throwawayRFD on May 27th, 2017 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
23 replies
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Jul 13, 2009
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Two very different cameras.

Disclaimer: Olympus fanboi here, workhorse Canon though (hate it)

I love my Olympus for the compact size of the entire system. If portability is important to you, Olympus or other mirrorless cameras are awesome. Currently my setup on Olympus is 12mm f2, Pana 20mm f1.7, 8mm pancake, 40-150 kit zoom. If I didn't have the 20mm I would get the 17mm f1.8 and a 25mm f1.8. I love/hate my 20mm.

If you want tons of room to grow and get crazy serious and eventually attain full frame nirvana peace and harmony...Nikon.

Final answer: Get Fuji
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 22, 2017
143 posts
51 upvotes
bhrm wrote:
May 27th, 2017 2:23 pm
Two very different cameras.

Disclaimer: Olympus fanboi here, workhorse Canon though (hate it)

I love my Olympus for the compact size of the entire system. If portability is important to you, Olympus or other mirrorless cameras are awesome. Currently my setup on Olympus is 12mm f2, Pana 20mm f1.7, 8mm pancake, 40-150 kit zoom. If I didn't have the 20mm I would get the 17mm f1.8 and a 25mm f1.8. I love/hate my 20mm.

If you want tons of room to grow and get crazy serious and eventually attain full frame nirvana peace and harmony...Nikon.

Final answer: Get Fuji
Thanks for sharing. Which Fuji are you recommending? I still have time to do research before I commit to buying one.
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throwawayRFD wrote:
May 27th, 2017 2:25 pm
Thanks for sharing. Which Fuji are you recommending? I still have time to do research before I commit to buying one.
Not sure if there's any XT-10s left, but the low to midrange xa-3 and 10 seem to be decent if you can find a deal.

Another RFD favourite is the Sony A6000 but my only gripe with Sony is the lenses are all huge/gianormous and makes it only a tiny bit more compact than a DSLR setup.

You should visit a store to try them all! Don't read reviews only.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 22, 2017
143 posts
51 upvotes
bhrm wrote:
May 27th, 2017 2:34 pm
Not sure if there's any XT-10s left, but the low to midrange xa-3 and 10 seem to be decent if you can find a deal.

Another RFD favourite is the Sony A6000 but my only gripe with Sony is the lenses are all huge/gianormous and makes it only a tiny bit more compact than a DSLR setup.

You should visit a store to try them all! Don't read reviews only.
[/quote

Thanks!
Deal Addict
May 17, 2012
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the best camera is the one you are willing to take with you and use. this is the reason i went m43 - compact size with good image quality.

i'm a fanboy as well and own the em10 mk1, panasonic 25 1.7, olympus 45 1.8 and the 14-42iir. I am also looking for a wide angle prime. the 14-42 IIr is just OK. if i had the option of hindsight i would have bought body only. one thing the zoom does do is give you an idea of how you like to shoot

i consider the sony and fuji systems but was put off by the limited, large (in size) and expensive lens selection compared to m43.
Newbie
Feb 12, 2017
45 posts
36 upvotes
Calgary
The Olympus and Nikon kit zoom lenses have the same field of the view. Both the Olympus and Nikon cameras will take excellent pictures under most day and indoor conditions, although the Nikon may be somewhat better in low light (indoors or outside at night). The Nikon having 24 megapixels compared to the Olympus having 16 MP is only an advantage if you make poster prints or might occasionally enlarge after cropping. Both camera would be fine for travel, street, and portraits.

I own an Olympus E-M5 (original model) and Nikon D90. I used the E-M5 for the last 4 years without touching my D90. I bought the Olympus on the premise of its purported fast focusing and small size so I could photograph new baby (now 4 and my second baby now 2). The E-M5 image quality is excellent, and my 3 Olympus primes plus 2 zooms cover most shooting scenarios outdoors, indoors, and in the studio. However, I am finding the Olympus focus system woefully slow at the playground and any time my kids are moving toward me up close. Also, my Olympus shutter button (half-press) and mode dial frequently trigger by themselves so the camera focuses at the wrong time, is not ready to shoot when needed, or image playback cancels prematurely.

I put my D90 and previous D80 through years of outdoor landscape use with no button failures. A month ago, I switched from the Olympus back to the Nikon. I couldn't believe how much more rapidly the Nikon acquires and maintains focus. That said, I miss the tilting screen and compact size of the Olympus, especially for food photos, nature closeups, and child portraits. On the other hand, I love that my Nikon batteries and third-party versions last over 1000 shots (all day). The batteries for my Olympus die after 250 shots so carrying 2 or even 3 batteries is necessary on a photo outing. In the winter, my Olympus is not even a viable landscape camera due to the small batteries going dead while shooting; continuously shuffling batteries between shots to a warm pocket is a hassle.

I can push the Olympus to its limits and deal with its physical issues, but every time I hold it, I realize it is not built to the same standards as my Nikon and will wear out soon despite its very convenient ergonomics. I can get better low level shooting with a Nikon by buying a right-angle viewfinder attachment or going to a new Nikon with a tilting screen (D7500) or flipout screen (D5500, D5600). Olympus wins on convenience and low-level shooting ergonomics, but Nikon wins for performance, durability, and value (for the lenses and focusing performance I want).

If there is a possibly you will use your new camera avidly (very often) for long periods (all day while on a trip) and value high durability, you might want to consider the Nikon D5500 over the Olympus E-M10 II. I also suggest holding both in your hands and seeing which feels better. Finally a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G to round out the D5500 kit is roughly half the price of the Olympus 25mm f/1.8.

Happy shopping!
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 22, 2017
143 posts
51 upvotes
Kevin3840 wrote:
May 29th, 2017 3:17 pm
The Olympus and Nikon kit zoom lenses have the same field of the view. Both the Olympus and Nikon cameras will take excellent pictures under most day and indoor conditions, although the Nikon may be somewhat better in low light (indoors or outside at night). The Nikon having 24 megapixels compared to the Olympus having 16 MP is only an advantage if you make poster prints or might occasionally enlarge after cropping. Both camera would be fine for travel, street, and portraits.

I own an Olympus E-M5 (original model) and Nikon D90. I used the E-M5 for the last 4 years without touching my D90. I bought the Olympus on the premise of its purported fast focusing and small size so I could photograph new baby (now 4 and my second baby now 2). The E-M5 image quality is excellent, and my 3 Olympus primes plus 2 zooms cover most shooting scenarios outdoors, indoors, and in the studio. However, I am finding the Olympus focus system woefully slow at the playground and any time my kids are moving toward me up close. Also, my Olympus shutter button (half-press) and mode dial frequently trigger by themselves so the camera focuses at the wrong time, is not ready to shoot when needed, or image playback cancels prematurely.

I put my D90 and previous D80 through years of outdoor landscape use with no button failures. A month ago, I switched from the Olympus back to the Nikon. I couldn't believe how much more rapidly the Nikon acquires and maintains focus. That said, I miss the tilting screen and compact size of the Olympus, especially for food photos, nature closeups, and child portraits. On the other hand, I love that my Nikon batteries and third-party versions last over 1000 shots (all day). The batteries for my Olympus die after 250 shots so carrying 2 or even 3 batteries is necessary on a photo outing. In the winter, my Olympus is not even a viable landscape camera due to the small batteries going dead while shooting; continuously shuffling batteries between shots to a warm pocket is a hassle.

I can push the Olympus to its limits and deal with its physical issues, but every time I hold it, I realize it is not built to the same standards as my Nikon and will wear out soon despite its very convenient ergonomics. I can get better low level shooting with a Nikon by buying a right-angle viewfinder attachment or going to a new Nikon with a tilting screen (D7500) or flipout screen (D5500, D5600). Olympus wins on convenience and low-level shooting ergonomics, but Nikon wins for performance, durability, and value (for the lenses and focusing performance I want).

If there is a possibly you will use your new camera avidly (very often) for long periods (all day while on a trip) and value high durability, you might want to consider the Nikon D5500 over the Olympus E-M10 II. I also suggest holding both in your hands and seeing which feels better. Finally a Nikon 35mm f/1.8G to round out the D5500 kit is roughly half the price of the Olympus 25mm f/1.8.

Happy shopping!
Sold! You pretty much covered all the questions I have in mind. For that, thank you.

I'll just have to wait it out and see if the D5500 kit will go on sale.
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certainly the Nikon is overall the more capable camera, but the extra performance comes at a cost of size (a lot larger to carry). If you're going to want to have the camera with you a lot, a larger DSLR with its larger lens set is going to get tiresome. That's why I moved away from my D90 to the EM5 and now EM10 and I won't go back. I can tell you after lugging my Nikon hiking around for weeks all over Hawaii, Japan, and China, the DSLR got old fast.

Anyways, decide what you want out of your camera and make your pick....if you want something that's easy to carry, m43 cameras like the Olympus might be a sweet spot to be in.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and not paying full price like Joe Shmoe did. This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
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I wouldn't necessarily call D5500 more capable. Slow live view autofocus, single control dial, tiny VF, no ibis, big, bulky.
It's really hard to go back to a DSLR after experiencing mirrorless. Mirrorless is the future
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In body image stabilization is amaaaaaaazing. Plus you can do fun stuff cheaply like panning shots of moving things (bikes, cars, etc)
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maybe more capable is the wrong choice of words, but if you need the advantages of the larger Nikon's sensor (DOF, higher usable ISO, tracking focusing, higher res), then the Nikon is the natural choice. The difference between the sensors in the cameras is approximately 1 f-stop and that's a fair trade for a much smaller and portable camera. Especially for travelling, there is no way you can get me to take a DSLR for travelling unless I was paid to do it.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and not paying full price like Joe Shmoe did. This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
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bhrm wrote:
May 30th, 2017 11:11 am
In body image stabilization is amaaaaaaazing. Plus you can do fun stuff cheaply like panning shots of moving things (bikes, cars, etc)
I love it for video. It seems so archaic to have to buy lenses that are VR stabilized when you can slap any tiny prime onto the OMD and get smooth video
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and not paying full price like Joe Shmoe did. This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
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warpdrive wrote:
May 30th, 2017 11:12 am
maybe more capable is the wrong choice of words, but if you need the advantages of the larger Nikon's sensor (DOF, higher usable ISO, tracking focusing, higher res), then the Nikon is the natural choice. The difference between the sensors in the cameras is approximately 1 f-stop and that's a fair trade for a much smaller and portable camera. Especially for travelling, there is no way you can get me to take a DSLR for travelling unless I was paid to do it.
Fair point. There's also the A6000 offering best of both worlds - APS-C sensor, tracking AF, small size, low cost. The lens lineup is not complete but probably enough for most.
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RFDQ1016 wrote:
May 30th, 2017 7:09 pm
Fair point. There's also the A6000 offering best of both worlds - APS-C sensor, tracking AF, small size, low cost. The lens lineup is not complete but probably enough for most.
definitely. I think most people are better off with mirrorless as an everyday camera. On vacation, I see people with a big DSLR around their neck with a kit zoom and wonder why bother.
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and not paying full price like Joe Shmoe did. This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.

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