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Using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 for Sports Photography

On my last trip to India this year, I was able to attend and photograph a Cricket match.  This wasn’t a professional Cricket match.  It was more of a pick up game.  However, this was still a great opportunity to test my Olympus OM-D E-M5 for sports photography.

Cricket Match Olympus OM-D E-M5

I used the Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm f/4.0-56.6 lens for photographing the cricket match.  The lens may have been a bit long to photograph the event.  But due to travel space restrictions, it was the best lens that I had for the event.  There was good light during the Cricket match and the Panasonic 100-300mm lens performed well in photographing the match.

Here are the settings that I used in photographing the Cricket match. 

Aperture.  I kept the aperture between f/5.6 and f/7.1.  I wanted to find the compromise to keep the entire subject in focus while also trying to blur out the background. 

Shutter Speed.  I varied the aperture and ISO in order to keep the shutter speed over 1/1000 of a second.  This was essential to freeze the action and to capture the ball in flight.

Cricket Match Olympus OM-D E-M5

Sequential High Shutter Mode.  The Olympus OM-D is capable of 9 frames per second in sequential high mode.  However, the camera does not refocus between frames.  This works well when the subject is on the same plane.  Some of the bowlers ran forward a good distance when pitching the ball.  This caused me to refocus during the pitch in order to ensure sharp focus.

Single Auto Focus.  I am not a big fan of the focus tracking of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 so I used single auto focus mode versus continuous focus.  This worked well with sequential high shutter mode.

Cricket Match Olympus OM-D E-M5

I wouldn’t trade my Canon 7d or 5d Mark iii for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 for sports photography.  But, overall the Olympus OM-D performed well and took sharp, in focus sports photos.  This was quite a bonus from my travel camera.

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