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Thread: Olympus OM-D initial impressions ...

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    jeffryscott's Avatar
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    Default Olympus OM-D initial impressions ...

    I have always been a big fan of small and light for camera gear. I migrated toward Leica M's after I first used a friends, then moved to Contax G's. Both those cameras traveled the world with me leaving the SLR gear at home, or in the hotel if I had to take it. Recently I sold my Canon 5d kit and received an Olympus OM-D black kit with the 14-42 lens two days later.

    As a former rangefinder guy and owner of both the EP-1 and EP-2 Olympus pens, I found myself smitten by the weather sealing, build quality, size and apparent image quality of the OM-D. I also started my professional career as an OM shooter and have used Olympus gear at various times over the last 25 years. However, as it is a new camera, I was too impatient to wait for a kit with the equally weather sealed 12-50 opting for immediate gratification instead.

    Going from full frame, the holy grail of digital, to m4/3, a sensor half the size, is probably a bit contrarian to popular thought. However, the perceived tradeoffs, for me, were worth the risk. I did and do have concerns about making the switch. Would I be happy with the smaller sensor (I knew the quality would be quite satisfactory from my previous experience with m43, but would this modern marvel compete with the 7-year-old 5d? And would it be viable for the few professional jobs I still do?)

    I had many questions about the camera. Electronic viewfinder vs. optical. Ergonomics, etc ... Well, the first impression when I unpacked the camera was how small it is. Even after having owned two previous m43 cameras, this felt and looked small (especially after having just sold a Canon 5d). It feels solid, but not solid like a brick like the OM-1 it is reminiscent of.

    So, onto the camera. It is small, did I say that? But it packs a punch. Nine frames a second in bursts, instant AF and in extremely limited testing with the images, I find the camera more than useable up to ISO 6400. RAW is not yet supported in either Aperture or Lightroom so I really don't know just how well the images will hold up, but initial impressions are quite positive.

    I can't wait to get some real pictures with the camera, I think it's going to be a fantastic machine.

    The first attached image is a quick shot of my daughter at ISO 6400. No post processing , straight from the camera except resized in photoshop. Obviously WB is off, but I was pretty pleased. EDIT 5/9/12: quickly processed same shot in LR (raw) and resized to 1024 pixels in PS.
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    Last edited by jeffryscott; 05-09-2012 at 06:53 PM.
    2002 Isuzu Trooper. OME suspension, Michelin LTX AT 265/75/16, ARB 47l fridge. A few of my photos here: http://jeffryscott.com/

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    Thanks for the post, I am very interested in your review and impressions.
    Ryan
    '06 Toyota 4runner Sport v6
    Icon Coilovers & Total Chaos UCAs, Icon Piggybacks, 265/70/17 BFG ATs, Shrockworks sliders, Garmin NUVI

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    jeffryscott's Avatar
    jeffryscott is offline 2006 Rally Course Champion: Expedition Trophy
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    Raw is now supported in Lightroom's current beta ...

    This shot is straight from the camera imported into Lightroom. No sharpening, no noise reduction, only change made was white balance. ISO 2500, 45mm 1.8 at 1/100. Imported it into Aperture for the screen grab showing a 100% loupe.
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    2002 Isuzu Trooper. OME suspension, Michelin LTX AT 265/75/16, ARB 47l fridge. A few of my photos here: http://jeffryscott.com/

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    My OMD is being delivered on Friday.

    I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas.

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    haven is offline Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    DPReview.com just posted their review of the OM-D:
    "... without question, the most accomplished Micro Four Thirds camera we've yet seen"
    "...vies for the title of most capable mirrorless option yet."

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusem5

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    Hey Jeff - whose kids did you steal for those pictures? Last time I checked - yours aren't that big yet.

    I'm still getting used to all that extra space on the 5D sensor -- I'm sure I'll adapt though.
    "Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured" ~someone

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    Default Robin Wong review of the OMD


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    I've had mine now for a few days.

    I could not be happier with this camera. Excellent image quality, terrific controls and lay out. Beautiful, rugged build. Awesome view finder. Image stabilization is outstanding. And best of all, the camera is very SMALL and compact. This camera pretty much checks all the boxes for my needs. Really close to perfect for a backcountry camera with interchangeable lenses.

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    jeffryscott's Avatar
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    Have had the camera for a few weeks now and am still smitten.

    Image quality is outstanding and compares quite favorably to the 5d I sold to fund this purchase. The 5d certainly has advantages, but also has disadvantages as well.

    Thus far my collection includes the OM-D, 14 2.5 and 45-200 Panasonics, 45 1.8 and 14-42 Oly lenses. The camera is very comfortable to use and hold with the primes and small zoom. It will certainly benefit me to have the optional grip for the 45-200. While not a big lens, it is just big enough that the extra bit of surface area on the camera would be helpful.

    I have not done any "serious" photography as of yet, just playing around with shooting the kids, etc ... but the camera fits my style. The option of a viewfinder or tilting LCD panel is magnificent (I can't stand composing on an LCD at arms length, but love to use one at my waist or on the ground or over my head).

    High ISO is outstanding, no hesitation to use up to 6400, as is the dynamic range of the new sensor. Oly does things right with jpegs and RAW support has come to Lightroom. I prefer Aperture so am patiently waiting for the Apple update.

    A few more sample pics, very little, if any, post processing on any of the images except to crop/resize.
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    2002 Isuzu Trooper. OME suspension, Michelin LTX AT 265/75/16, ARB 47l fridge. A few of my photos here: http://jeffryscott.com/

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    jeffryscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodtimes View Post
    Hey Jeff - whose kids did you steal for those pictures? Last time I checked - yours aren't that big yet.

    I'm still getting used to all that extra space on the 5D sensor -- I'm sure I'll adapt though.
    Crazy how big they've gotten, Chloe turned 10 a week or so ago. You'll enjoy the hell out of the 5d, it is magnificent. If I could have bought the OM-D and kept the canon kit, I would have, but to buy toys I've got to sell toys.
    2002 Isuzu Trooper. OME suspension, Michelin LTX AT 265/75/16, ARB 47l fridge. A few of my photos here: http://jeffryscott.com/

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