Persistent and unrelenting sales service… that is what finally prompted me to purchase an Olympus OM-D. During the final few hours of the Photoworld Asia they were completely out of silver OM-Ds but they had a messenger proceed to MoA, take a few from their stock there, and bring it to Glorietta as it was the model that I had been after.
How I convinced myself to purchase an OM-D is its significant jump in capabilities from the GF3 which, in effect, would’ve been equivalent to the purchase of an EVF, a pseudo-steadicam (5-axis IBIS), the tiltable LCD which extends the vertical range for framing, the addition of a hotshoe and all manner of equipments that can be mounted on it, another lens (the 12-50mm, 3.5-6.3 EZ), as well as another body.
When I purchased the GF3 I remember thinking to myself that the absence of a hotshoe would effectively prevent me from purchasing more equipment and it did… for a time. As I understood more about the craft and what is possible with the proper tools it slowly became a detriment because I wanted to do, or at least accomplish, more (who doesn’t right?).
Even if I wanted to go all Panasonic in this field, they dont have a unit to match the features of the OM-D as of yet, and so I ended up with this one instead.
I’ve gone through an art fair with it already and what comes to mind as first impression is its weight. The OM-D is about 1.5x the heft of the GF3 when you look at them side by side and is equivalently heavy when you lug it around. Like how the full sized DSLRs are, this adds to the stability of shooting but unlike those, without the battery grip accessory, its a little bit harder to grip comfortably, the leather texture of this silver model helps of course (rubber texture on the black) and that is already a departure from the slick body of the GF3.
The OM-D kit lens is currently my widest and longest and is certainly quite handy for multiple situations. It also has a macro mode which reduces the minimum distance to focus as well as a function button for on the fly settings change. At 12mm (24mm equivalent to full frame) it already shows plenty of a space and this is great for architectural photography.
Utilizing the viewfinder is certainly a treat as this gives the user a very different approach to framing (although i did use the tilted LCD to frame the photo above haha), it allows me to go closer to the subject and allows me to fine tune the focus more naturally using both hands and shoot immediately after setting it just the way I like it.
At the 50mm tele end, around 3 meters from the subject is good enough (photo above shot around 4 meters away) however eventually I’d like to try shooting with a 75mm further… a fast 14-150mm would be a very good lens for me I think. I need to update my list of lenses to include variations from Olympus now too. And the list currently grows with faster, better ones, something/s to look out for and eventually drain resources.
If there was anything wrong with the OM-D package I’d have to say that it is the neck strap. The placement of its connection to the camera body and how you get it out of the way interferes with holding the camera properly; I’ve replaced it with a wrist strap at the moment for better ergonomics and handling.
I keep getting befuddled expressions when I tell people that I’m shooting with a digital camera. The aesthetic of the silver OM-D really looks like that of film SLRs of old only smaller. This does not only help in getting subjects interested in the camera but it also contributes to their willingness to have their photograph taken.
In this post, several photos are taken by a Canon Powershot SX110 IS, some by the Panasonic Lumix GF3, and the samples straight from the Olympus OM-D E-M5; with the quality alone (and the content of the photograph) you can actually tell which took what. It’ll be some time until I’m completely settled into this new system, but the payoff is definitely worth it. Looking forward to more events and general interesting things to point my lens at in the very near future and maybe, hopefully, some video work as well, it is, after all, one of the best capabilities of the OM-D. Here’s an unboxing of the unit for reference should you choose to get one for yourself, it retails for nearly 60,000Php in retail establishments: