A New Camera

Why?

Well, we have had a very useful micro four-thirds Olympus SLR camera (for about seven years, which has given us good service). However there are a number features that I want that are missing, and there is a considerable amount of new work for our camera to do in the near future.

I did a fair bit of  research around the features that I/we wanted, and selected another Olympus micro four-thirds camera. The OM-D E-M1. I shan’t review it here, but check this out for a comprehensive critique. Basically, it’s semi-professional, small, light and mirror-less. It has a good view finder and LCD touch screen, and the usual stuff now – video and wi-fi.

I also elected to get a package with a top of the line lens, the  Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens (reviewed here). It’s equivalent to 24-80 mm for a full frame camera, so a very useful (and critically acclaimed) workhorse lens.

HDR

The main reason for upgrading our camera was so I could engage more easily in HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. I have been really taken by the idea of extending the relatively narrow dynamic range of a photo, compared to that of the eye, to produce more representative images. I find a lot of HDR photography disturbing because it is often highly saturated during processing, but with the right software, this can be easily controlled. I use HDR Expose 3 on my Mac.

Basically, the E-M1 is great for HDR because is can rapidly shoot a number of bracketed exposures. Automatically, it can do up to seven exposures at 2 stop intervals in one burst, so from +6 to -6 EV. The old camera could only do three, at one stop, from +1 to -1 EV. The much more sophisticated five axis lens stabilisation means I am much more likely to get sharp, aligned photos suitable for combining. The camera also does HDR on board. I’ll test that later.

Here is a quick example. This is our home when we are not on Neo Vita.

The first shot is allowing the camera to select it’s own best exposure (i.e. EV=0), the second is after processing five exposures from +4 to -4 EV. It wasn’t an especially sunny day, so not a big challenge, but I still prefer the HDR image, and feel it is more natural.

Normal 0 EV version

Normal 0 EV version

HDR Version

HDR Version

Very happy so far.

One thought on “A New Camera

  1. Impressive results so far. Good to see that the rapid fire bracketing works so far. Have you tried using this with the EVF to see it showing live? Built in WiFi too! The f/2.8 on the lens is going to be great for the shots in lower light and hopefully good for bokeh too. Being splash and dust proof plus the fact that it is internal focus will make it great for protecting it and using polarising and ND filters.

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