Checking out my New Toy

Olympus Em-5, 14mm f/2.5, 1/5 Sec, f/6.3, ISO 1600

I don’t normally post test shots from a new camera, but I think this one may turn out to be special. It certainly has created a lot of buzz on the Internet and is still very hard to get. I got lucky when I caught it in stock at B&H during a very short window of opportunity last Monday and ordered it. It arrived on Wednesday so Thursday I took off with my friend Cornell Johnson and we headed down to DC (Thanks for driving Cornell!). We finally found a place to park in front of the National Archives and had two hours before they started towing from that spot. So we walked down to the Natural History Museum.

Olympus EM-5, 45mm kf/1.8, 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 200

The Olympus OM-D EM-5 is the latest in a line of so-called “Micro Four Thirds” cameras. The 16 megapixel sensor is about 25% smaller than the “APS-C” size sensor in my workhorse Nikon D300. But the size and weight differential is extreme. Using three very small prime lenses – one on the camera and one each in my two shirt pockets – I had all the lenses I needed for this outing.

I’ve posted a small gallery of the images here.

I have also been shooting with a Panasonic GH2, also a Micro Four Thirds camera.

Why am I considering these cameras? I suppose that if image quality was the only concern I would be selling off as much stuff as I could and getting ready to buy a Nikon D800

But I am getting to the point where size and weight in a camera kit matters and so I am exploring these small cameras, which are still marvels of new technology. That’s not to say I will not ultimately yield to the temptation to acquire the D800, but in the meantime I am really enjoying working with these small, light cameras and I have been very impressed with the images.

Finally, using a new camera (or anything else for that matter) for the first time will provide many opportunities for mistakes. Yesterday I was fiddling with the settings and accidentally captured a couple of shots at ISO 25,600! Noisy? Definitely, but certainly usable for some things.

Olympus EM-5, 20mm, f/1.7, 1/250 Sec, f/6.3 ISO 25,600

~ by Rsmith on May 4, 2012.

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