After I have chosen an equivalent to my previous equipment, firstly, I started to look for a convenient bag pack, because Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW black was way too spacious, thanks to the compactness of OM-D. Eventually, I have decided to get Lowepro Whistler 450AW, about which I have been writing in this article and here I have uploaded a video, why I have chosen this product and what can be fit inside.
And what is OMD like after approximately half a year, about 20 Czech zoos visits, 5 Bavarian Forests, trip to Russia and expedition to rainforests of Thailand?
Since it is the top model by Olympus, it is obvious, that the technical processing should be exquisite. And yes, it is really like that. I always chose equipment according to these criteria, because I take photos of animals and nature, therefore the camera often ends up lying on the grass, it rains on it, and also, I am in places with high humidity levels or in places of high temperatures. And under every of these conditions I demand only one thing, so that it would work… During the past 5 months I have shot more than 55000 photos with OMD (of which 23000 from Thailand during 16 days). So, after such a good run, I can say that nothing has gone wrong so far, nothing fell into pieces, broke down, stopped working or simply act up. Notwithstanding, there are two things that I found annoying about OM-D in the beginnings. Respectively, one still annoys me till today but I have already managed to solve the second one...
At first, I did not like the grip (without battery grip), body is compact of course, small and my hands large. After buying BG, my attitude has changed and now I am satisfied. Perfectly fits into my hand, I manage to reach all of the functional buttons and also, even with a 300mm lens, it can be carried on two fingers.
Camera and button setting variability:
It is one of the things that I like about Olympus. You can set all of the buttons on the camera according to your needs (also on lenses, if they dispose of them). Initially I have appreciated it at the beginning, when I was switching from different brand and there wasn’t a tiniest problem to set all of the buttons and revolving selectors according to the previous one, so that you would familiarize with the controlling as soon as possible. I was used to things such as focusing with the button AE-L on the back of the body, setting ISO and aperture on revolving selectors next to the trigger in the mode of aperture priority (A), or displaying the water level on the camera’s display (Olympus has it in the viewfinder, thanks to being digital). Simply, you can set largely all of the buttons that you can find on the body.
Focusing, Focus Tracking and serial imaging:
Focusing on OM-D and all of the lenses that I possess (see above) is more than sufficient. Its speed is utterly amazing and thanks to features such as focused area highlights directly in the viewfinder or the capability to zoom in the focused object, you always know what is focused and thereby what will be sharp. Mainly, aforementioned feature of highlighting focused areas, for example, of an animal, is priceless. On the fur you can see in red (or whatever colour you set) exactly the areas that the camera focused on. Same applies even in case of manual focusing, so you exactly know what you are focusing on and what will really be sharp.
Focus Tracking, is a feature, where on a continual (AF-C) and AF-S focusing, you focus on a bird sitting on a branch and in the moment, when it takes off and you keep your selected focal point, they automatically start to change according to the animal’s movement. I have tried it out several times and it works in an acceptable manner. Of course, you cannot expect that if you focus on a white seagull or heron, the camera will flawlessly monitor its movement against light sky. It always works at its finest, when the animal is contrastive to the background. Also at different equipment brands.
Serial imaging, respectively, its speed is at OM-D E-M1 Mark II breath-taking. Up to 60 frames/s in the mode AF-S and up to 18 frames/s in the mode AF-C. And how do I perceive this in practice?
Output quality, image stabilisation and discard:
Concerning discard (badly done photos), I think that it is slightly higher than at FF. But it is not because OMD would focus badly, but it is because of the imaging speed. If we take into account the mode AF-S for quick serial imaging and we would hold the trigger for 5 seconds, we have 300 photos. And it is evident… that we will not keep all of them. Well, depends on each person :)
Quotation: " ISO is not constant for all of the systems. Between particular systems, logically, beside focal point and aperture, it is necessary to also converse ISO. A lot of photographers don’t even know this, thus they assess picture quality completely wrong. For better understanding, here is one example: MFT 1/100, f 1,4, ISO 400. APS C 1/100, f 2, ISO 800. Fullframe 1/100, f 2,8, ISO 1600. In this manner we would have to set different systems, so that we would have the same sharpness depth. And it is a significant difference. I really recommend it to those, who have the opportunity to try it by themselves in practice. Afterwards, they will also find out, that Olympus, with identical focal depth and identical resolution has lower noise that most of the competition. See also here, tests Dpreview"
After these 5 months I am still satisfied. In the beginnings I have had hard time with setting the AF, also a bit with the fact, that thanks to 20Mpx I had to get used to that I cannot crop so much, if I want to have a sufficient resolution to print the image. I have also been bothered with the aperture 40-150mm and it also took time before I got used to digital viewfinder (now I take it for granted, and when I take a SLR, I miss a lot of information in the viewfinder, regardless of the impossibility to display the highlight of focused areas etc.).
I have taken the best out of what OMD system offers, I have learnt to take advantage of it and I have also adjusted my photographing style to smaller resolutions and higher noise on higher ISO values.
I would put it that way... Every system, every brand or lens or body simply have its pros and cons and one should always learn to take full advantage of its assets. The fact, that we will whine that certain model has slow AF, this small resolution, this one too large resolution and my PC does not handle it, or thousands of arguments, that the Czechs are able to have (our nation is #1 in the world in complaining about anything and in any way) very excellently, we will never achieve reasonable results... Surely, before choosing some equipment let someone more experienced give you an advice, respectively, from more experienced people and then make your own conclusion and choose what precisely fits you. It is not a best idea to follow marketing of various companies or retailers who will recommend you products that they have highest profit margin on, when you need a camera that suits you.
I have chosen Olympus, tested it few times and finally decided to buy it. Even the weight played its role there, because “the same” equipment by Olympus saved me 8kg on my back. And am I satisfied? Yes, I am and honestly, I do not have any desire to return back to FF. Who is supposed to carry it all... ;)?
And how does it perform while taking photos? Have a look into my gallery :-)
I’ve been organizing courses of animal photographing in Czech Zoo’s, where you can learn to handle your DSLR camera quickly and effectively. You can also learn what’s incorrect composition, what should you beware of and the fact that it’s worth waiting for the right moment.
You do not like courses with a lot of people? Do you have specific requirements for a course? Do you want intensive attention for the whole day? I offer you individual photography courses and photo postproductioning in Photoshop or Zoner.
Photoshop is an equivalent for dark room, there won’t be such a photography level without postproduction, to make a photo publishable except for reporting photo.
Do you have a dog, a cat or a horse and you would like to have their professional photos? I am offering you photography of your pets anywhere in the Czech Republic. Do not hesitate to contact me.