Nature,  Photo Gear

My First Nature Photo Walk with the Olympus OM-D E-M5

I tested out my recently purchased an Olympus OM-D E-M5 on a late summer nature photo walk in one of my favorite local parks.  The main goal of my photo walk was to test out the Olympus OM-D on nature photography. The subjects matter for my nature walk were summer wildflowers and insects for macro photography.  I also took an occasional landscape photograph. 

Yellow Coneflower Portrait

I brought along the Olympus 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 kit lens, Panasonic Lumix 45-200mm f4.0-5.6, and my Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT Tripod.  What a light set up.  Usually I carry a lot more and heavier gear.  I have to say, I really didn’t miss carrying all that gear.

Here are my first impressions using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 on a nature photography walk.

  • The camera was extremely light and small compared to my Canon DSLRs, yet it still felt comfortable in my hands.
  • The tilting LED screen was very convenient for low and high shots where the viewfinder wasn’t easily accessible.  It was a partly cloudy morning and I didn’t have any difficulty viewing the LED screen.
  • I normally shoot in aperture mode and it was easy to change aperture settings with the main dial and exposure compensation with the sub dial.
  • The Super Control Panel was easily accessible with the OK button.  With the Super Control Panel, you can quickly change most shooting settings including ISO, white balance, autofocus mode, shooting mode/self-timer, etc.
  • The photo playback button is really small.  I accidently pressed the fn1 button a few times.  Once in playback mode, an image can be zoomed in and out quickly using the main dial.
  • The camera worked well taking photos of flowers and insects both handheld and on the tripod.  The macro mode on the Olympus 12-50mm lens was very convenient when you wanted a tighter composition on a subject.
  • Manual focus is a bit tricky.  When you touch the focus ring on the lens, it zooms in really close.  So make sure you set the focus point to exactly where you want to focus prior to moving the focus ring.  I also found the LED monitor to be grainy during manual focus in lower lighting conditions.

Bumble Bee on Goldenrod

Overall, it was a good test run of the Olympus OM-D on the nature walk.  The camera performed well and I was happy with the quality of the photos.  The photos in this blog post were shot in RAW and processed using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

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