What I shoot with - Olympus EM5 Mark II

People ask me a lot what type of camera I own, so thought I do a little post on the camera that I shoot with.  When I first ventured into photography and was interested in purchasing a camera that was better than my iPhone, I was so confused and lost in the camera world as there are a tons of options to choose from!  I decided that I wanted to choose a camera that was small, lightweight and was easy to bring with me anywhere while also having great image quality.  The first camera that I bought was the Samsung NX300 and while it was great, small and produced great images, it was lacking a viewfinder which I thought I could live without but it ended up bothering me enough to sell it and purchase the Olympus EM5.  

The EM5 was and still is a great camera and it helped me learn a lot about photography and has helped me build a lot of my current portfolio.  I wanted to get my girl involved in photography too so I decided that I was going to get a new camera and hand down my EM5 to her and teach her everything I knew about the camera that I loved so much while pretty much getting the latest generation of the same camera that I love.  So with that being told, I went out and purchased the Olympus EM5 Mark II.  

The Olympus EM5 Mark II is a beautiful camera.  It is small and extremely lightweight. The camera only weighs about 16 oz with the battery and memory card in the camera (Body Only) and is an extremely solid build and has excellent ergonomics.  The grip and buttons on the camera are a perfect fit for my small hands and don't feel cheap at all.  The camera is built strong and is weatherproof, dust proof and freeze proof, although living in Florida, I don't find freezing a big concern of mine.

Without going into the full details of the camera which you can easily find here, I can tell you why I love this camera and have been a big fan of Olympus Cameras.

 

Olympus sticks to the classic Retro design of their cameras  

Classic Olympus OM10

Classic Olympus OM10

Olympus EM5 Mark II

Olympus EM5 Mark II

The body design of the OMD cameras are inspired from the OM line of Olympus's classic 35mm cameras.  The EM5, EM10, EM5 Mark II definitely look like a classic camera with modern internals.  The classic, vintage look was something that I loved about choosing this camera.  Another camera that stuck out to me in the vintage feel was the Fuji x100t, but i did not want a fixed lens camera at the time although that camera is amazing as well. 

 

The Olympus EM5 Mark II's remarkable Image Stabilization

The EM5 Mark II has incredible Image Stabilization and it is in the body.  One thing Olympus does very well at is stabilizing your image in low light condition.  In my previous camera, it had 5 Axis image stabilization and it did very good, giving me about 3-4 EV steps of compensation to shoot sharp, clear pictures in lower light.  The EM5 Mark II has an advanced version of the 5 Axis IS and can now compensate up to 5 EV steps.  This means that I can hand hold a clear shot at 1/6th of second, even 1 second without blur.  This is an incredible feature and since Olympus puts the IS in the body, you can use any supported lens and still get the full IS features.

Shot at 1/80th of a second, handheld and could have pushed this easily to slower speeds thanks to image stablization

Shot at 1/80th of a second, handheld and could have pushed this easily to slower speeds thanks to image stablization

The Olympus EM5 Mark II's WiFi Capabilities

Almost all new cameras have WiFi now but I did not have it in my previous EM5 and it is a feature that was overlooked by me.  On my previous EM5, I would have to shoot, then wait til I got home, plug in my camera, export my files from the camera to my computer and then edit my files and then finally transfer them to my phone.  Now,  with my WiFi capabilities I can take a shot, switch to WiFi transfer mode and then immediately transfer my photo to my cell phone and edit in my phone with apps like Snapsneed or VSCOCam.  My workflow is cut down tremendously with going out and shooting and less work flow = more time to do other fun things!  I can also remotely view the camera from my iPhone and take pictures without being anywhere near the camera. Another great feature for taking creative selfies.

The Olympus EM5 Mark II's fast shutter speeds and new silent electronic shutter

The EM5 Mark II has a 1/8000th sec shutter speed and 1/16000th sec in silent electronic shutter mode.  That shutter speed is fast, I mean really fast and the fact that is silent is pretty cool.  No weird looks when a loud shutter goes off when you are trying to do some street photography or sneak a picture of a stranger. 

Olympus has love for giving you full control of customizing your camera buttons

Almost every button can be customized on this camera, some buttons can even be customized to do multiple things. If i don't want a button to do what it was originally attended to do, no problem, Olympus gives me the ability to change that.  I change almost every button on this camera to meet my needs when shooting, sometimes I like to easily switch to manual focus, I assign a button for that that I can easily access.  You can even assign macro commands called "Mysets" which let you save complete camera settings and switch to them on the fly.  For example, I can switch to a Myset that will change my camera to operate in night time environment with high ISO, slower shutter speeds and put me into manual focus.  One button push and all those settings are changed.  I like having full control and even though the menu system on the Olympus is not very user friendly, after some learning, I really have come to love it.

The Olympus EM5 Mark II's gorgeous Electric Viewfinder and Swivel LCD

Although I don't have much experience with other camera's EVF, I can say that I am a big fan of the EVF that Olympus provides in their camera, fully custimizable and bright.  The EVF has 2.36 million dot, sporting a 1024x768 resolution that shows you real time information about what you are shooting.  The 3 inch LCD screen on the rear is touchscreen and the screen pulls out and is fully articulated allowing you to shoot from many different angles.  

A glimpse inside the Electric Viewfinder

A glimpse inside the Electric Viewfinder

Picture taken with the EM5 Mark II

Picture taken with the EM5 Mark II

Rear LCD Screen

Rear LCD Screen

Olympus has a large selection of lenses

specs_powerful_versatility.jpg

Olympus has a huge selection of lenses and the picture of above is just Olympus lenses.  Olympus cameras can support all Micro Four Thirds lenses out of the box, like Panasonic lenses for example.  They also support other manufacturer lenses via adapters including old legacy OM lenses.  You should have no problem finding a right lens for this camera.

And More...

The EM5 Mark II also has a lot of amazing features that I have not even tackled yet but I am looking forward to using them.  Those features include:

  • Hi-Res Mode - Using a tripod you have the ability to take a 40MP image.  The image sensor in the camera has the capability of being shifted by the 5-Axis IS mechanism to shoot multiple shots, all then combined into a single high resolution 40MP image. 
  • Great Video - Although I don't shoot video, I like having the option and this camera lets you shoot HD movies at 77Mbps (1080p), Olympus didn't put 4k into this camera but you still have the flexibility to record at a variety of frame rates, including 60p, 50p and 25p.  Check these awesome videos shot with the EM5 Mark II.
  • Live Bulb / Live Time - This ability to view in real time long exposure shots. 
  • Art Filters -  Ability to choose Art filters in camera and view your effect in real time.

There are tons of features with this camera that I have not even touched on but I just wanted to give you a summary of why I chose my camera and why I love it.  This camera is not cheap and will run you about $899-$999 for just the body alone but it was a camera that I saw as an investment that will definitely last a long time and so far I have been extremely pleased and looking forward to using this camera a lot.  

Olympus EM5 Mark II vs Olympus EM5

Olympus EM5 Mark II Sample Pics