Friday, August 3, 2012

Downsizing - The Little Mighty Olympus OM-D E-M5

It's been a while since I've posted - hey, life happens!

Since then, I've managed to sell off my entire Sony setup and switch back to Canon (yet again).  I equipped myself with the following:

  • Canon 5D Mark II
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 70-200 2.8 IS Mark I
  • Canon 17-40L
  • Canon 100 f/2
  • Canon 24-105L
  • Canon 430EX II flash

It's been fun, but all this time I haven't really shot that much.  The reason?  This stuff just starts getting too heavy.

So today my new (to me) package arrives - the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (try saying that three times quickly).  The setup is tiny, but the image quality and features are mighty.

Here's a comparison sitting next to a Canon 5D Mark II and the 100mm f/2.  Both cameras give nearly the same field of view in this setup (Canon 100mm, Olympus 90mm in 35mm FF terms) (to be fair to the Canon setup, it's got the hood on, the Olympus lacks it):

As for weight?  There is no comparison.  The Canon combo weighs in at about 1350g, the Olympus at 540g, give or take a gram here or there.

Of course, there are some things you give up if you move down to a smaller camera - generally, the ergonomics of it all.  The OM-D handles fairly well, but it won't replace the nice feeling of a great camera that fills the hand.  Still, it handles surprisingly well (to me) for as small as it is, but I have the grip coming also for a bit more hold (and battery power).

As for the image quality?  So far, so good.  I also got in the Olympus 45mm 1.8 (mounted, above) and the excellent Panasonic Leica 25mm 1.4.  Below are a few shots I was able to take without knowing too much about the camera.

More thoughts to come, though.  Getting the Olympus control scheme under....control is not an easy task, at least not for me.  It's quite obvious Olympus doesn't hire user interface people, and just let their engineers design the menus.  

The camera handles a bit like Linux - pretty darn powerful, but it's going to take some reading to get there.

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