Ten months with my Olympus OM-D E-M5


I know I’m VERY late to the party in writing this but I don’t really post much about camera equipment. Back in March of this year I purchased my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera. Photographically speaking this has been somewhat of a life-changing event. I’d compare it to meeting an old friend that one hasn’t seen for years, a mixture of nostalgia and the re-discovering of old interests but with a contemporary twist. I’m part-referring to my Olympus OM film camera days but also to enjoying the latest in technical innovations like the amazing five-way image stabilisation and electronic viewfinder .

For some years I sort of existed in what I’d describe as a photographic “limbo”, caught somewhere between my lightweight, go anywhere, Olympus OM film camera days and what I’d consider to be a true digitalย  camera system successor. During this time I abandoned my film cameras and was an early adopter of digital cameras but I could never find one with which I was truly happy. One prime concern for me is weight, that’s one of the things that I best-loved about the OM cameras and lenses but, even so, carrying half a dozen or so lenses and a camera body with winder was still tiring after a day out and about, that’s a lot of heavy glass but, putting the clock back, I was twenty-five to thirty or so years younger at the time and considerably fitter and stronger than I am now so this was, at that time, a good solution..

So, when I discovered that Olympus had produced the Micro Four Thirds OM-D system I became excited at both the concept and the prospect of re-experiencing my OM camera days. I certainly haven’t been disappointed in any way. The E-M5 perfectly suits my style of photography, I guess theย  auto focus system in E-M1 is a lot better suited for those with an interest in sports or action photography and it has many more programmable dials and buttons if that is of interest but is also heavier and I only require three programmable buttons to satisfy my tastes, one for exposure compensation, one for ISO adjust and one for depth of field preview.

Throughout the course of the year I’ve steadily expanded my range of fast prime lenses which primarily consists of Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm f/2.0, 17mm f/1.8, 25mm f/1.8 and 45mm f/1.8 as well as Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 and Sigma 60mm f/2.5 lenses. In 35mm/full frame sensor terms 15mm fisheye, 24mm, 34mm wide angles, 50mm standard, 90mm and 120mm telephoto focal lengths.Here’s the great bit, the total combined weight of all these lenses plus the OM-D E-M5 body with HLD-6 grip attached with memory card and battery fitted is, quite remarkably, only 1.5 Kg (3lb 6oz)ย  or 1 1/2 bags of sugar!!. Throw in a few extra memory cards, spare batteries, filters, lens hoods and my Gorillapod Hybrid (holds up to 1Kg) and you still have an extremely portable lightweight camera system which I’ve carried around all day without being overly fatigued.

Of course although I’m very concerned about weight it would all be totally pointless if the camera equipment wasn’t capable of producing extremely high quality photographs and the OM-D system excels in that department. Cameras come and go with every new innovation but I think it’ll be a long time before I find a better quality more versatile system that meets my requirements so well.ย  In the last ten months I have taken hundreds of photographs with this camera and lenses and the quality of the results has been consistently excellent.

PS. I have no association with any of the photographic equipment manufacturers referred to in this post.

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