Landscapes,  Photo Gear

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is now my Go To Camera for Landscape Photography

On a recent trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, I brought along my Canon 24 – 105mm f/4 lens and Canon 17-40mm f/4 lens and didn't even use them.

The Teton Range in the Spring, Grand Teton National Park

Instead I used an Olympus OM-D E-M1Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro Lens and a Rokinon 7.5mm F3.5 Fisheye Lens.  It's not that I don't like the Canon Lenses; they are both terrific lenses.

It’s just that I wanted to keep the Canon 5d Mark III set up for wildlife with the Canon 500mm f/4 as I drove around Yellowstone. I also really like the usability and quality of the images from the Olympus OM-D E-M1.  The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has some features that make it very suitable for landscape photographers that might not be available on your DSLR.

Tower Falls, Yellowstone National Park

Here are some of the Features on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 that I really like for landscape photography:

  • Histograms are displayed in the electronic viewfinder making them easy to read in bright conditions and allow you to more quickly check your exposure.
  • The OM-D E-M1 has a button on the top left side of the camera to select HDR mode and autofocus mode.  These selections can also be viewed and changed in the viewfinder allowing for quicker changes to/from exposure bracketing.
  • Programmed buttons for zoom and focus peaking.  I programmed the fn1 button to magnify the image and the fn2 button for focus peaking.  These are really helpful tools for manual focus that help with manual focus only lenses like my Rokinon Fisheye lens.
  • The zoom and focus peaking features are also usable in the viewfinder making manual focus quick and easy.  You can also view taken images and zoom in to ensure sharp focus in the viewfinder using the programmed zoom button.
  • The camera and lenses are Lightweight and small making it great for hikes in the back country.
  • The 2.0 crop factor of the micro four thirds also helps to keep both the foreground and background both in focus for landscape photographs.

Image Quality

Sunrise Over Duck Lake, Yellowstone National Park

While it doesn't have the low light quality of a full frame DSLR, I find the 16 megapixel images to be quite good.  With the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 Pro lens, I find very little chromatic aberration and the images are quite sharp.

I also found good quality of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 images in low light conditions like the photo above of the sunrise over Duck Lake in Yellowstone National Park.  For this photo, I had the OM-D mounted on a tripod and used remote shutter release.  While I alternated between exposure bracketing and single exposure photographs, this photo was not processed as an HDR.

All of the photos in this blog were taken on my recent trip to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  Click on the photo in the blog to see a larger version of the photo.

Written by Martin Belan

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Tips for Using the Rokinon 7.5mm Fisheye Lens with the Olympus OM-D
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Panasonic 100-300mm lens for Travel Bird Photography
The WiFi Feature on the Olympus OM-D E-M1

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