Monday, October 1, 2012

A Day of Shooting with Olympus E-PM1

This camera is now being replaced by the new E-PM2 and there are some shops doing great deals.  Body and kit lens can be bought for £225, twin lens kit can be purchased for £299 (prices correct for September 2012).  You need to look around as prices does vary a lot.  For £299 for the twin lens kit it is a bargain when you consider the 40-150mm F4-5.6 IIR lens can cost £180 on its own.  While the E-PM2 will sport the new 16MP sensor from OM-D, E-PM1 has the now very old 12MP sensor.  There are many reviews of the camera on the web so I won’t try to do one here.  All I will say is it is very usable up to ISO 1600, go beyond that picture quality rapidly degrade.

Since I have the camera for three weeks now, I have learned to work around the menu, settings and work around its short comings.  At the weekend I went to the Newham Waterfront Festival with my E-PM1, 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 IIR, 40-150mm F4-5.6 IIR and 45mm F1.8 lens.

When I first got there, it was bright sunshine and I was able to shoot at ISO 400 and got over 1/1000s shutter speed.  There were some people doing wake boarding on the water and I managed to shoot some great images with my 40-150mm lens wide open at F5.6.  From previous experience I know continuous focus on moving objects is not one of its strengths, so I prefocused on and shot at 5FPS.  Using this technique, I was able to get good success rate.

There were quite a few bands playing on the stage that day.  Even using the kit lens, I was able to get some great images when it got dark.  The stage was well lit, but I noticed the camera metering was easily fooled by the stage lighting.  I had to dial in -2EV exposure compensation to get correctly exposed images.  I limited myself to ISO 1600 throughout the performances.

After the last band played, I set my camera on a small travel tripod and shot the firework display.  I received a remote shutter release from Amazon the day before and made good use of it.  It is an aftermarket shutter release which cost 20% of the Olympus remote.  It also has many additional functions like timer, fixed number of photos and intervalometer. It all worked perfectly and highly recommended.  Here are a few photos of the firework display.

After shooting with the camera for a whole day, I am delighted with the results.  The bonus was the camera with three lenses weighted less than my DSLR kit.  It also fitted in a small shoulder bag.  The only area where I could have got better result was when I was shooting the wake boarder with my DSLR.  But then I do not have the equivalent focal length lens with my DSLR.  In fact using the rear LCD, I was able to raise the camera over my head to shoot some great images.  Although my DSLR have live view, the focus speed is so slow it would be frustrating to use.  The built in IS did a great job as there were only a handful of blur images due to shutter speed.  Most blur images were due to people movement.  ISO 1600 images were very usable and I was happy with them.  All the images were shot RAW and processed with Capture One.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi, This is Naveed from Mumbai, India. I am planning to buy a mirrorless camera and while searching for reviews for Olympus PEN Mini E PM1 i came across your blog. I found your photos great even in low light conditions. I am considering to buy E PM1 and since i am more into street photography, would like to know whether E PM1 is best buy or not. Thanks!..............and yes a very Happy New Year to you