Monday, September 10, 2012

A Fabulous Day Out Shooting in London with Olympus E-PM1

Sunday 9th September was the last day of the London 2012 Paralympic.  I spent a day shooting the marathon and the streets around central London.  I decided small and light was the order of the day and I used my Olympus E-PM1 with 14-42mm and 40-150mm lenses only.  The E-PM1 with the two MSC (Motion Still Compatible) lenses are recent purchases.  It solved a couple major short comings, slow focus speed and dim LCD screen in bright day light, of the E-PL1 I had before.  Interestingly, the E-PL1 with MSC lens do not focus any faster.

Women's wheelchair race
First off the continuous focus of the MFT cameras are still very poor despite the fast focus speed.  The camera just can not keep up with a marathon runner.  It does not help the LCD freezes and exposure locked once you start shooting.  In the end I prefocused the camera and set it to shoot at continuous high speed at 5FPS and panned the camera blind.  I got some good photos after some practice.  In conclusion, sports photography is no place for MFT cameras.  Working within their limitations, you can still get some good results.  What Olympus and Panasonic need to do is to produce cameras that can continuous focus and the LCD screen do not freeze while shooting.  Unless they do that, they will never displace DSLRs.

Truck carrying photographers

Within the limits of the camera, I shot with both the 14-42mm and 40-150mm lenses to see what they can do.  I also decided early on to try to get some photos of the crowd to get some ideas of the atmosphere and try out some art filters built into the camera.  Here are a few photos taken with the camera and lenses combinations.

I was also interested to see what the bokeh is like from the 40-150mm lens.  I am happy to say it is sort of OK if you shoot at 150mm wide open.  It is never going to be wonderful but it is acceptable and does better than I thought.  Here are a couple of photos showing how the out of focus is rendered.

After shooting the marathon, I had a walk around London to the various events been held there.  Here are a few photos taken during the walk.  Some of the photos were taken using the art filters.  All the photos were taken as jpeg straight from camera without any post processing.

Overall, I am very happy with the results I got.  This is be my light weight camera outfit of choice now.  I am looking forward to trying out a 45mm f1.8 lens in future as I've read very good reports.

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