Friday, January 4, 2013

Olympus OM-D E-M5 very slow wakeup

I use an Olympus OM-D E-M5 for street stuff and it is pretty good, but there is one thing that really, really annoys me about it.

The E-M5 is slow, much slower than a DSLR, to wake-up from sleep or when you turn it on. In my street photography I sometimes miss shots because the camera is waking up very leisurely. When possible I do my best to anticipate when I might want to take a shot and start the wake-up process, but sometimes things happen very quickly and by the time the camera is finally ready the moment has passed. In most ways the E-M5 is fast and very responsive, like a DSLR, but in this area it is like a digicam. Even if a DSLR was as slow as the E-M5 it would still have an advantage because while you are waiting for the camera to be ready to shoot you could still look through the OVF, do quick framing, adjust zoom, and then shoot as soon as the camera is ready. With the E-M5 you can't even do the quick framing and adjust zoom while you are waiting and waiting and waiting for the camera to wake-up.

Since the E-M5 does not have an OVF it uses battery power pretty fast.  If you set it to never sleep then the camera is ready all the time, but the battery will run down fast.  Also, the sensor and EVF will be on all the time even during the long periods when you are walking around watching for a potential shot.  The sensor will be heating up and getting noisier.

I just got back from a month in Nepal and there were a few times when I almost threw my E-M5 against a brick wall when I missed a sudden photo opportunity while the camera took its sweet time waking up.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You might be interested to have a look at an article on Steve Huff site where they discuss settings so you can black out the E-M5 rear LCD (like on Canon G-series) which gives far longer battery life and might help the problem:
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/11/07/how-to-tweak-your-olympus-om-d-e-m5-to-shoot-sports-by-jim-huffman/

Henry Richardson said...

Thanks for the link and I will read it. I, of course, from the very first day turned off my E-M5 rear LCD to save battery power and to make it respond faster. So, I already have the benefit of that and the slow wakeup still exists.