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11-17-2014, 03:07 PM   #1
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K5iis vs OM-D EM5 vs FF (Landscapes)

I was hoping you good folks over here could help me out with something that's been eating at me recently.

I've been in M4/3 for about a year now (EM-5) and I'm playing with the idea of attempting to dabble with landscape photography at the (entry level) professional level - (Still could use LOTS of practice)

I am well aware of the differences lenses and techniques can play into these types of scenarios - let alone composition, lighting, subject matter....and so on....


BUT from strictly the sensor output level:



1. Will I be blown away by the difference in files out of the K5iis vs the EM-5?


2. Might I be better off saving my pennies and to make the jump to a FF sensor system such as Nikon D800 or one of the A7s?

11-17-2014, 03:13 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by NWright Quote
2. Might I be better off saving my pennies and to make the jump to a FF sensor system such as Nikon D800 or one of the A7s?
Why not a 645D?
11-17-2014, 03:20 PM   #3
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Yep if you are going all in on landscape 645d or 645z is the way to go.
11-17-2014, 03:23 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by NWright Quote
I was hoping you good folks over here could help me out with something that's been eating at me recently.

I've been in M4/3 for about a year now (EM-5) and I'm playing with the idea of attempting to dabble with landscape photography at the (entry level) professional level - (Still could use LOTS of practice)

I am well aware of the differences lenses and techniques can play into these types of scenarios - let alone composition, lighting, subject matter....and so on....


BUT from strictly the sensor output level:



1. Will I be blown away by the difference in files out of the K5iis vs the EM-5?


2. Might I be better off saving my pennies and to make the jump to a FF sensor system such as Nikon D800 or one of the A7s?
QuoteQuote:
...attempting to dabble with landscape photography at the (entry level) professional level.
You are either a pro - people paying for your photos and/or services - or you're an amateur.

How large do you plan on printing?

Modern m43 cameras are easily good enough for landscape prints. The difference between a Nikon D800 and Pentax K-5 IIs is greater than the difference between the Pentax and the Oly EM-5. Whether you are "blown away" or not is your call. Personally, I am not.

You could try one of the Sigma DP Merill cameras, reputedly the output is as good as FF and a fraction of the price.

11-17-2014, 03:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by NWright Quote

[deleted]
I've been in M4/3 for about a year now (EM-5) and I'm playing with the idea of attempting to dabble with landscape photography at the (entry level) professional level - (Still could use LOTS of practice)
Welcome to the forum.

It would help if you clarified your last sentence some. What is an entry-level professional for landscape photography? To recommend a tool, in this case a camera system, it really helps to know your presentation and output requirements. Do you have some commission work already lined up that has particular sizing needs for an interior? Or gallery showings with exhibition spaces already known?

Perhaps a link to some online shots would help provide an idea of your style.

Thanks,

M
11-17-2014, 03:48 PM   #6
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As somebody who has both an E-M5 and a K-5 II (non-S). . . No, you are not going to be blown away by the difference in sensors. The M4/3 sensor is only a little smaller, and any difference in performance is trivial. Doing away with the AA filter will add a little definition -- but again, the improvement is barely visible. To choose between these two cameras, the big differences you will notice are: form factor (size, shape, weight), OVF vs EVF, and maybe the aspect ratio.

If you're really serious about landscapes, medium format is the way to go. And if a medium format camera is out of reach, have you thought about medium format film? A lot of landscapes are still shot on it.
11-17-2014, 03:53 PM   #7
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Hey, welcome!
Will you be blown away? Hard to say. It will definitely be different, according to reviews it should be better. But you might as well buy the K-01, as it has a very similar sensor, if all you care about is the sensor. The K-5IIs is a great camera not only because it delivers 14bit 16MP and a good dynamic range, has no AA filter, but because of all the other top tier features, like buttons and ergonomics, WR, AF, shooting modes and options, access to all sorts of legacy K-mount lenses, modern compact primes,.. and it is much more compact than any FF DSLR (though, to be fair, these days some FF DSLRs are getting small, too. And the Sony A7 is a very small FF, as well).

Just one more thing, for landscapes, you usually want a wide depth of field, so a crop sensor works well. But you will also need good lenses, and much skill. This is what a top tier DSLR gives you - potential. It won't take stunning, mind boggling photos on its own
Go here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/samplesearch.php
And choose to search by a landscape lens, like DA 12-24mm. Are those photos good enough? Then the camera is capable enough
11-17-2014, 03:55 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tony Belding Quote
And if a medium format camera is out of reach, have you thought about medium format film? A lot of landscapes are still shot on it.
Good point, it just struck me that you can get into a 645 film system quite reasonably. And a landscape shooter might only take a couple of exposures on an outing. I have a friend who shoots with a 4x5 folder, no idea what brand, and when he goes out he takes two film holders. So two exposures for the whole day. And he does quite remarkable work.

11-17-2014, 04:33 PM   #9
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Wow!!

First off - I'm blown away by the responses here. I posted this at work and by the time my commute was over there is a TON of feedback here - Thanks for all of the input!

I've had a keen eye on the K5iis even when making the decision between it and the OM-D I currently have. I was comfortable with my selection then and I believe the OM-D has allowed me to grow a ton as a photographer (it's so easy to take it everywhere and anywhere that I shoot about 6 of 7 days a week) - even if it's just taking a few back roads on my way back from work and snapping a few!

Only recently have I been re-interested in the K5iis when I noticed the INSANE prices it's been at on amazon for the past few days.

It felt like a total steal at it's current price and I am getting more and more comfortable with the idea of a two body setup as well as looking for a little more DR in some of my photos.

THAT SAID: I totally am on board with the skill of the photographer being the most important part of a photo..I told a friend the other day when they asked about taking "good photos" as a function of buying a "good camera" and my response was that I could buy them a "good guitar" but it wont help them play guitar any better (I knew they were not a musician)

I think I should take some GAS pills - slow my roll with these "black friday deals" - and focus on what I have and how to become better at the craft. After all - money doesn't buy happiness nor flicker views, let alone spots in a gallery.

Thanks again for all of the responses!
11-17-2014, 05:59 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
a friend who shoots with a 4x5 folder, no idea what brand, and when he goes out he takes two film holders. So two exposures for the whole day. And he does quite remarkable work.
actually that is potentially 4 exposures, each holder carrying 2 4x5 films.
11-17-2014, 06:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
actually that is potentially 4 exposures, each holder carrying 2 4x5 films.
So two sheets in each holder? Did not know that, I only shot with him once, helped carry the gear
11-17-2014, 06:06 PM   #12
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I use my OMD-EM5 for landscape and travel photography at a "semi-professional" level. What does that even mean? In my case, it means I am not a full-time pro but do sell some of my images.

The body and controls of the OMD series are equal or better than most DSLRs as to build, weather resistance and convenient access. The difference is primarily in the sensor and processor. For full-time pro work, you might consider a move up to the EM1 but the M-5 is plenty good to get started. I know a number of highly regarded pros who use both the EM5 and EM1. The best advice I can give you is to invest in lenses. The kit lenses are ok for casual photography but for professional results you really should move up to the PRO line. For travel, I use the 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO at least 75% of the time. For landscapes, I prefer sharp primes so I use the 12-40 some of the time but more often the Oly 12 mm f/2, the Panasonic 25 mm f/1.4 and the Oly 45 mm f/1.8, which is also a very good portrait lens. For longer reach, the 40-150 mm f/2.8 PRO is very good but a little pricey. I almost never shoot landscapes in telephoto anyway so haven't gone there, staying with the less expensive M. Zuiko 40-150 mm. My kit also includes an Oly 60 mm f/2.8 Macro for more intimate "landscapes."
11-17-2014, 06:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by NWright Quote
I think I should take some GAS pills - slow my roll with these "black friday deals" - and focus on what I have and how to become better at the craft. After all - money doesn't buy happiness nor flicker views, let alone spots in a gallery.
I think a good rule of thumb is to move up when your current gear no longer does everything you want it to. In other words, when you reach a level in the journey of photography that you see something lacking in what you are doing then and only then have you reached a point where you can take advantage of better gear. Until you have developed the 'eye' to discern the difference there is no point in upgrading.

I occasionally look at images I took a year or so ago, that looked absolutely wonderful at the time. Now I look at them and I am embarrassed. What on earth was I doing? But they were the best I could do at that time. It is all a journey and every time you reach a new peak of discovery all that happens is you can now see a little further and higher up the road.
11-17-2014, 06:19 PM   #14
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The grass is definitely always greener...
What accessories do you have now? Got a decent tripod and head? Polarisers? ND filter? Flash? Nice bags? Nice wide lens? There's some wide lenses in m4/3 that make me a little jealous. Filters and tripods are often the main difference between normal photos and "by golly that's an amazing photo". The advantage you have with m4/3 is that you can carry a complete "Pro style" set-up with lots of filters, spare lenses, a flash and so on and maybe two bodies in the space occupied by a FF camera with it's kit lens. So go take advantage of that! Plus you will have a smaller tripod and no mirror slap.
11-17-2014, 07:24 PM   #15
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I had m43 (GF1; G3).
The files broke up in processing earlier than the K5 files.
Also, the UWA were more dependent on software correction (not to my pref since all these are at the cost of processing mileage)
The OMD files should be better, but I have not play with it enough to gauge.


m43 to apsc, advantage depends on whether you need/use it (eg. large printing; a bit more DR; lens options)
This is the same between aps-c to FF.
Many folks do exposure blending nowadays, so that narrows the advantage of DR somewhat between all of them.


A 36mp FF (Sony A7r or D800E) is very unforgiving on technique and lenses (usually the good ones are big, heavy and expensive).
I've seen enough casual shots by the non too disciplined with both cameras to see that the resolution advantage was wasted.
So keep that in consideration.


Edit :
Having used quite a few brands over the years, or tried them on friend's cameras, imo, very few handle as well as a Pentax. (Sony being the worst so far..thought they make good tech)
Its those little bits of interface and features that 'makes sense' photographically that makes Pentax cameras a joy to use.

Eg.
Histogram on same screen as image review (fast check for clipped highlights, shadows as well as check on the image)
One click zoom image review that can be customized.
Timer release of bracketing
User configurable exp compensation for bracketing
Green button to get to 'default' selections
etc




Oh.. yes, there is also Foveon used on the Sigma cameras.
Resolution the match of a 36mp FF camera, but quirky to work with.
Do some readup on them if you can.

Last edited by pinholecam; 11-17-2014 at 07:46 PM.
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