For a while I was running the risk of sounding like a massive Sony fanboy. Most of you will know that this isn’t true, I’ve been using Canon DSLR’s for years and my first mirrorless was an Olympus OM-D E-M5. Sony has always been an extremely innovative company that’s not afraid to push the boundaries. Let’s face it, Canon and Nikon are too afraid to put a full frame (FF) sensor in their compact system cameras because that’ll destroy their sub $2000 AUD DSLR market. Olympus is unlikely to make a FF OM-D because they have an extensive m43 lens range which happens to be extremely popular and extremely sharp. Going FF would mean a whole new lens range for Olympus and Pansonic.
Don’t get me wrong, my OM-D E-M5 is one of the finest cameras I’ve ever used, some of my best photos were taken with the OM-D.
Sydney Town Hall, Taken with OM-D E-M5 and 12mm f2.0. Speaking of lenses, the m43 range of primes is one of the finest out there for compact system cameras. I have and still use the Olympus 12mm f2.0 and Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4. Sharpness is incredible, focusing speed is quick and build quality is as you would expect for a fast prime (especially in the Oly 12mm). The versatility of the m43 lens system is worth mentioning too, in case you didn’t know, Olympus and Panasonic “mirrorless cameras” share the same lens mount, which means you can use either brand on their bodies.
Did I mention how good the in body Image Stabilisation (IS) is on the E-M5? In short, it’s incredible. I can shoot hand held 1/15 shutter speeds with no issues. Definitely not something I would try with my 5D2 or even the a7. Olympus seems to have 5 axis IS figured out before the other manufacturers. The harbour bridge photo above was taken hand held with E-M5 and Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4.
I can’t have a post about the OM-D without mentioning just how awesome the kit lens is. Yes, I said it, kit lens .. and yes, it’s good, REAL good. The bee photo was taken with E-M5 and 12-50mm kit lens. It has a neat little push action to activate macro mode and the image above is typical of the kind of quality you would get. Obviously a lot of luck comes into these photos with timing and lighting but you can rest easy knowing an OM-D kit straight out of the box has the ability to get you quality like that!
With all these qualities, it’s unlikely I’ll officially retire the OM-D. There are too many lenses I have for it that I love and it has taken SO many great photos for me. In fact, I might go get it out now to have a play around …
PS. This post was mainly about the E-M5 but a lot of the qualities apply to the new OM-D versions as well. Personally I prefer the look of the E-M5 over the newer and more improved E-M1.