Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Photography and Video:
Olympus PEN E-PM1

 


nuba  (C 666)

May 1, 2012, 9:14 AM
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Olympus PEN E-PM1 Can't Post

Hi Guys!

I've been looking into aerial photography and researching a lot about the topic.

One of the things that I would prefer to have in a camera would be a small form factor but that also has all the important features for skydiving.

I've seen a few posts regarding the mirrorless, four thirds cameras mainly because they are really small and seem to have similar quality than the more common Compact DSLRs. There seems to be some guys using Sony NEXs but the mod for the trigger doesn't look very easy to do.

The Olympus PEN series has been mentioned in some older posts and with the new E-PM1 I would like to know if has anyone tried this camera for skydiving?

From what I've seen/read it is very small and light, comes with a 14-42 lens that should be okay for tandems and similar work, has a remote plug and should even do nice 1080p video. Possible issues seem to be the battery/SD slot underneath and really close to the tripod mount.

Am I missing something essential or should this be a lightweight option to consider?

Thanks!


raceface  (C License)

May 1, 2012, 10:47 AM
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Re: [nuba] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

MFT has crop factor 2,0 wouldn't it be a bit too narrow?
each mm means a lot on wide and...

i am putting my hopes into newest samsung NX cameras:

NX 20

NX 210

NX 1000

and their wideangle pancake

NX 16mm 2,4


(This post was edited by raceface on May 1, 2012, 10:49 AM)


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

May 1, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Re: [raceface] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

They had the NX1000 at the NAB show, but I didn't get the opportunity to shoot anything with it. Form factor is really sweet.


raceface  (C License)

May 1, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Re: [DSE] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

if anyone had a chance, please try it's continuos shooting performance, this is the only thing i am concerned about regarding these cameras


nuba  (C 666)

May 1, 2012, 12:22 PM
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Re: [raceface] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

But even with the 2,0 crop factor, the 14mm lens should be equivalent to the 18mm that comes standard with the Canon 550D or the 600D for example, right? Although it might not be perfect it should be okay for normal use, no?

The new Samsungs also look great and all have the remote plug. I looked at the Samsung NX100 a while back and it also seemed to be an option.


bodypilot90  (D 24249)

May 1, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Re: [DSE] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

would the video on the NX1000 be anywhere close to a cx100-150? Anyone know if it will do stills and video at the same time?


raceface  (C License)

May 1, 2012, 1:18 PM
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Re: [nuba] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

i am only saying experienced cameramen often change their lens to 15mm or 10-22mm and there are some options for MFT

Olympus 9-18mm check video here


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

May 1, 2012, 1:27 PM
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Re: [bodypilot90] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

The quality will be superior to the CX100, simply because of the larger sensor, larger/greater glass, larger apertures. Compression is more or less the same


raceface  (C License)

May 1, 2012, 1:39 PM
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Re: [bodypilot90] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

don't know about new range but there is comparison with sony NEX, panasonic MFT and samsung NX somewhere over internet and they considered NX as worse of them (not saying completely bad or non-usable)

i am using EX-F1 "still camera" for video and i personally like it's output (using 1280x720x30p) better than from sony CX-1XX


(This post was edited by raceface on May 1, 2012, 2:34 PM)


nuba  (C 666)

May 2, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Re: [raceface] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you think the Sensor-shift image stabilization might be a problem in the Olympus for stills? I don't think image stabilization is a problem with stills, right?

On the other hand it seems to use EIS for video and can be turned off so that should also be okay for video, no?


skysark21z  (C License)

May 15, 2012, 7:31 PM
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Re: [nuba] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

I bought a PEN E-PM1 last September/October right when they came out so I've had some time to figure out the quirks and here are my thoughts on it.


Form Factor: Its form factor and weight are awesome compared with the standard Canon entry level DLSR that most skydivers use - you definitely notice the weight difference (I have a 4 year old canon). I have my E-PM1 mounted upside down on a carbon fiber plate that I mounted to my Cookie quick release plate - I'll try to get a picture or two posted and it makes for a very nice weight distribution with nothing to snag on the sides. The battery and card slot are on the bottom of the camera next to the tripod mount which would make it a bit of a pain for working photographer (I just jump for fun so it hasn't posed a problem) but I think you could probably make a cut or figure out a way to mount it that you could have easy access.

Lens - The 14-42 kit lens is ok - but it is very cheap feeling and it extends out rather far when its at 14 mm - I haven't jumped it and don't ever intend to. I bought a Panasonic 14mm Prime and it makes the whole package very small and light weight and the panasonic feels much more solid. The 14mm on a 2x crop factor give you a 28 mm field of view which is wide enough for most stuff - if not they do make a couple of fish eyes.

OS - I'm not a big fan of the menus and OS of the camera - there are some quirks that annoy me, but I've pretty much just got it set up how I want and then leave it and shoot so I don't really mess with it too much.

Continuous speed/Photo quality - The continuous speed is up to par with most DSLRs and I've had very few issues with it. I get one or 2 more out of focus shots then I do with my canon, but it also fires a bit faster (and I think it may be user error more than anything else). The photo quality is good - not as good as a brand new DSLR, but definetly comparable to one a couple of years old - if you are upgrading you wouldn't notice a difference or it would be better.

Down side. The only downside so far is the camera trigger port - it is not designed for Skydiving at all. It uses a proprietary olypmus connector. I managed to use a cheap adapter cord and a 2.5mm female to female connector to get my standard mouth switch to work so that wasn't a big issue, but the connector itself just isn't in there very solid and has started to come out midway through jumps. If they made a right angle connector you could tape it in, but I haven't been able to find any. I'm still working a solution for this, if I find anything I'll update.

Recommendations: The Olympus PEN E-PM1 makes for an pretty good skydiving camera. I however would go with the Panasonic GX1. It is slightly heavier, and slightly bigger, but not by much. It has better sensor, but the biggest advantage is that it has a 2.5mm remote switch port. Cost can be mitigated as well - the GX1 is more expensive, but if you buy just the body and the 14mm Panasonic lens you will only spend maybe 50 to $100 more than if you bought the E-PM1 and the 14mm Lens. I'm going to try and get one in the next month or so to test out.

I hope that helps out - Let me know what other questions you have.

James


(This post was edited by skysark21z on May 15, 2012, 8:40 PM)
Attachments: Camera Compare.jpg (54.4 KB)
  Helmet 1.jpg (83.6 KB)
  Helmet 2.jpg (80.1 KB)
  Helmet 3.jpg (60.2 KB)


inkogneetow  (D License)

Nov 3, 2012, 8:47 PM
Post #12 of 12 (2088 views)
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Re: [skysark21z] Olympus PEN E-PM1 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I bought a PEN E-PM1 last September/October right when they came out so I've had some time to figure out the quirks and here are my thoughts on it.


Form Factor: Its form factor and weight are awesome compared with the standard Canon entry level DLSR that most skydivers use - you definitely notice the weight difference (I have a 4 year old canon). I have my E-PM1 mounted upside down on a carbon fiber plate that I mounted to my Cookie quick release plate - I'll try to get a picture or two posted and it makes for a very nice weight distribution with nothing to snag on the sides. The battery and card slot are on the bottom of the camera next to the tripod mount which would make it a bit of a pain for working photographer (I just jump for fun so it hasn't posed a problem) but I think you could probably make a cut or figure out a way to mount it that you could have easy access.

Lens - The 14-42 kit lens is ok - but it is very cheap feeling and it extends out rather far when its at 14 mm - I haven't jumped it and don't ever intend to. I bought a Panasonic 14mm Prime and it makes the whole package very small and light weight and the panasonic feels much more solid. The 14mm on a 2x crop factor give you a 28 mm field of view which is wide enough for most stuff - if not they do make a couple of fish eyes.

OS - I'm not a big fan of the menus and OS of the camera - there are some quirks that annoy me, but I've pretty much just got it set up how I want and then leave it and shoot so I don't really mess with it too much.

Continuous speed/Photo quality - The continuous speed is up to par with most DSLRs and I've had very few issues with it. I get one or 2 more out of focus shots then I do with my canon, but it also fires a bit faster (and I think it may be user error more than anything else). The photo quality is good - not as good as a brand new DSLR, but definetly comparable to one a couple of years old - if you are upgrading you wouldn't notice a difference or it would be better.

Down side. The only downside so far is the camera trigger port - it is not designed for Skydiving at all. It uses a proprietary olypmus connector. I managed to use a cheap adapter cord and a 2.5mm female to female connector to get my standard mouth switch to work so that wasn't a big issue, but the connector itself just isn't in there very solid and has started to come out midway through jumps. If they made a right angle connector you could tape it in, but I haven't been able to find any. I'm still working a solution for this, if I find anything I'll update.

Recommendations: The Olympus PEN E-PM1 makes for an pretty good skydiving camera. I however would go with the Panasonic GX1. It is slightly heavier, and slightly bigger, but not by much. It has better sensor, but the biggest advantage is that it has a 2.5mm remote switch port. Cost can be mitigated as well - the GX1 is more expensive, but if you buy just the body and the 14mm Panasonic lens you will only spend maybe 50 to $100 more than if you bought the E-PM1 and the 14mm Lens. I'm going to try and get one in the next month or so to test out.

I hope that helps out - Let me know what other questions you have.

James

How did the GX1 fair for a sky cam? I bought one due to the fact it had the 2.5mm port for a switch. Also picked up the 20mm prime lens since it has a larger aperture and would be nice for non skydiving photos. I found out after the fact that the jack is different and I will have to cut the jack off a wired remote and solder it onto the bite switch (not a big deal). I picked up a remote switch off amazon for about $4. It sounded like a better deal than the adapter sold by hypoxic for $40.

I have taken quite a few photos to get to know the camera a bit. I don't know much about photography but am impressed with the photo quality. I haven't been able to get it in the air yet due to lack of proper camera helmet. In your opinion is that 20mm going to be wide enough for skydiving or should I get the 14mm as well? Have any recommendations for a specific setup or helmet? I'm from a small dz with a limited amount of professional experience to draw from.



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