Going Small – Part 3

May 24th, 2012

It finally arrived 2 weeks ago, just before my trip to Houston. By now the Olympus OM-D has been widely reviewed and has been hailed by some as a breakthrough camera, the best of the new mirrorless offerings. Here’s what it looks like next to by Canon 5D Mark ii (image taken with my iphone camera):

It is a beauty to look at and, at 13 ounces for the body, a joy to carry. The camera is so light compared to the big boy next to it that the body plus the three lens I got to use with it together weigh less than the body of the Canon all by itself. I can carry it all day without any strain.

Much has been made of the cost of this camera, which at $999 for the body alone is pricey for a 4/3 camera. Here’s how I justified it. I needed a second camera (OK, I wanted a second camera) and I could either buy the new Canon 5D Mark iii or go for a different system. This camera with three terrific lens plus the cute little braided leather strap together cost less than the new Canon. Plus it reminded me of my first serious camera. Think I mentioned that in an earlier post.

When the camera first arrived Lightroom was not yet available for images taken with this camera so my initial shots are JPEGs. The image on the right is the first one I took. It is a JPEG, right out of the camera, no post-processing. I shot it at very low light levels, wide open. I was impressed with how sharp the image is and how well the camera captured the lighting from Bob’s iphone. I was also impressed that even with a low shutter speed there was no camera shake. Thank you, Olympus, for the internal stabilization.

Later, in Houston, I took the camera to the playground to see what I could do with playing children. My grandson was happy to oblige with a scary face. Another low light situation and another JPEG.

A few days later Lightroom made it possible to process images from the Olympus so I ungraded, changed over to RAW, which I typically shoot, and went out to the Port of Houston with my son and the Olympus 12mm lens. Here is what I found:

The Port of Houston, by the way, is the second largest port in the country and well worth a look if you’re ever in that neck of the woods. In the full size of the image above you can read every word on every sign.

So after two weeks I’m in love. The Olympus OM-D is light, stylish, and very very capable. It’s fun to shoot and so far I’m impressed with its performance. ¬†For now I’m also keeping my Canon. For now.

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