Day 1 with Olympus OM-D E-M5 with 60mm Macro

I’ve been wanting this camera for about a year.  Top on my list for it’s compactness, flip out live view monitor, and affordability, I was looking at the OM-D E-M5 as a companion to my Nikon D7000.  Because I have the basic lenses for my Nikon, I ordered a Macro, Fisheye, & Wide/Standard Zoom.  The full frame Nikon D800 is still on my list…gotta save my pennies!

I like to work with a lens for awhile when I first get it, throwing it in different situations to see what I can do with it.  I decided to start with the Macro.  It’s the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for those of you that are interested.  Macro photography is something I’ve been using my iPhone for up until now and I’m thrilled to be able get these shots with much higher image quality.  There are just certain times that only a macro will do.

Camera First Impressions: DUH!

Off the bat, I had a few “DUH” kind of moments with this mirrorless micro four thirds camera–just things I should have realized given the type of camera it is, but didn’t.

  1. It’s a four thirds sensor which means the image format is a 4:3 ratio as opposed to the standard “golden” 4:6 ratio I’m used to shooting in, DUH!.  It’s kinda like shooting 8x10s.  I can always crop to a 4×6 or even shoot in 16×9 in camera, it’s just an adjustment from a composition standpoint that I wasn’t expecting.
  2. It’s mirrorless, so that means the viewfinder is digital, DUH!  I have to admit, this was a little off putting at first, but I’ve shot less than 300 frames and I’m already used to it.
  3. It’s micro, so it’s really light and different to hold, DUH!  I’m still figuring out how to hold it super steady–with the macro it’s even more important.  The good news is the camera has a pretty bad ass 5-point image stabilizer that helps with all the versions of camera shake I could think of.  I do like the way the dials are positioned, especially with the exposure compensation on the subdial. I’m sure the rest will improve with time and use.

What I’m loving about the camera/macro combination so far:

  1. That macro lens is awesome.  It’s possible that any macro lens would be awesome, but I am really loving the speed of focus and the fact that the shutter bursts nine+ frames without stopping.  So when that bee is perched on a flower that happens to be swaying a bit in the breeze, the autofocus is doing a great job of capturing him.
f/2.8, 1/500, ISO 200

f/2.8, 1/500, ISO 200

 

2.  The image quality seems pretty good and the noise is pretty minimal even in higher ISOs.  This one was shot about 20 minutes before sunrise at 1600 ISO.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1/500 f/8 ISO 1600

3.  I think this macro is going to make a stunning portrait lens.  I have a bottom of the line Nikor 50mm F1.8 that I’ve been loving for about two years now.  (I think it cost me all of $150 US.)  I’m interested to try out some comparison shots using the 60mm Macro on the OM-D.  Here’s a loose “portrait” of one of my dogs.  Seems promising…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1/500 f/2.8 ISO 200

 

What I’m still figuring out:

  1. There is no manual focus on the Macro lens that I can tell and occasionally the auto focus gets lost.  So either I need to look at the AF settings or this is just a limitation of the lens.
  2. The monitor is on TOO MUCH.  So again, need to look at my settings to see if I can keep this from being on pretty much all the time.  It seems to be putting a serious drain on my battery life.  Which brings me to my next point…
  3. What?  300 frames and the battery is done?  I have a backup battery arriving next week, but I’m really surprised that’s all I’m getting.  Maybe it wasn’t charged all the way?  Another thing for me to look into.  It’s looking like I’m going to need three batteries at this rate.

A few more shots from today…

Wildfire, 1 Year Later

Nearly a year ago, a brush fire whipped through our extended backyard.  They called it the “Springs” fire and burned straight through the valleys we hike straight to the ocean we surf.  I happened to be in one of the burn areas this morning and thought I’d share how it’s coming back compared to some of the images I shot last year during and just after the fire.

Last year…during an just a few days after the fire…

This year…

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