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Sample Images: Benefits of Shooting Olympus and Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds

Gear Talk

Mirrorless cameras and the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system are gaining in popularity. From Panasonic’s GH3 to the Blackmagic, more and more cameras are coming out in MFT mount. Olympus originally pioneered the Four Thirds system and, along with Panasonic, announced a new Micro Four Thirds standard in 2008. This new system increased in quality while decreasing in bulk.

Olympus Micro Four Thirds Cameras and Lens Variety

Olympus carries three main breeds of camera: Digital SLR, OM-D, and the Pen. Their DSLRs are Four Thirds Mount and the OM-D and Pens are Micro Four Thirds. While Four Thirds and MFT lenses cannot be used interchangeably, what is nice about  MFT is that it aims to be a universal mounting system for mirrorless cameras. There are several brands outside of Olympus that make MFT lenses that mount well on the OM-D and Pen cameras. This opens up your lens experimentation options.

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There are brands outside of Olympus that make Micro Four Thirds lenses that mount perfectly well on the OM-D and Pen cameras. This really opens up your lens experimentation options.

For instance, while manual-focus only, the Voigtlander Nokton 25mm and 17.5mm lenses for MFT open up to a very wide 0.95 f/stop, a rare feature. You can also use extremely low-profile pancake lenses, such as the Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 for MFT. For reach, there is the Panasonic 45-200mm Mega Optical Image Stabilization lens or Olympus’ own fast 75mm  f/1.8, whose 9-blade diaphragm produces excellent bokeh. If you are into experimenting with many lenses at once without being married to 1 particular brand and without killing yourself trying to carry them all, then give the MFT system a shot.

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Extremely low-profile pancake lenses for MFT allow for packing a vast variety of lenses without breaking your back.

Keep in mind when choosing your MFT lens that MFT sensors have a crop factor of 2.0 (as opposed to 1.6 or 1.5 so commonly seen in Canon and Nikon crop sensor DSLRs). All focal lengths are an effective 2.0 x that of what is listed.

Olympus Micro Four Thirds Camera Features

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Pioneered in 2008, Micro Four Thirds aims to be a universal mounting system for mirrorless cameras.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5

  • Tilting display for easier over-head shooting.
  • 5-axis image stabilization to reduce blue no matter what kind of movement you make.
  • OLED display, which is thinner, lighter, and consumes less power than its LCD counterpart.
  • Touch-screen focusing.
  • 9 FPS – quite good for a camera so small.
  • Small, stylish, and lightweight.
  • Can shoot RAW.
  • High-sensitivity image sensor allows for easier low-light shooting.
  • Can sync with flashes up to 1/4000th of a second.
  • Internal wireless flash-triggering system.
  • 35 focus points.
  • Weighs in at under a pound (most non-pro-body DSLRs weigh in at 2 lbs).
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Small, stylish, and lightweight, the OM-D E-M5 and E-P5 Pen cameras shoot RAW, can trigger off-camera flash, and sport tilting displays.

The Olympus E-P5 Pen

  • Inspired by the Pen-F camera from 1963 – retro chic.
  • Built-in WiFi.
  • Remote shooting capability from your phone.
  • User-friendly interval time shooting for time-lapse.
  • Histogram overlay in Live Bulb mode to track your precise settings during long exposures.
  • Tilting display for easier over-head shooting.
  • Built-in level.
  • Can shoot RAW.
  • Can sync with flashes up to 1/4000th of a second.
  • Can fire external flashes with built-in flash.
  • Very slim, very lightweight.

Sample Images

Jamie MacDonald is an Olympus Trailblazer who shoots nature and wildlife in the Mid-Michigan area exclusively with the Olympus Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds camera systems. He is also a contributor for Small Camera Big Picture. He has taken a bunch of sample images for us with Olympus Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses. If you are an MFT shooter, share your own favorite images and what you shot with in the comments below. For more information on how to operate Olympus cameras be sure to check out MacDonald’s Mirrorless Minute series.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus E-3, 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/400th of a second.

©2012 Jamie A. MacDonald

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus OM-D E-M5, M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8, ISO 200, f/1.8, 1/1000th of a second.

©2012 Jamie A. MacDonald

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko EZ 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3, ISO 200, f/9.0, 1/80th of a second.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus E-3, 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED, ISO 400, f/3.5, 1/20th of a second.

©2013 Jamie A. MacDonald

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75 – 300mm f/4.8-6.7, ISO 500, f/6.7, 1/320th of a second.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus E-3, 50mm f/2.0 Macro ED, ISO 200, f/5.0, 1/320th of a second.

©2013 Jamie A. MacDonald

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8, ISO 200, f/1.8, 1/640th of a second.

©2013 Jamie A. MacDonald

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus E-P5 PEN, M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro, ISO 200, f/11, 1/60th of a second.

©2013 Jamie A. MacDonald

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus E-P5 PEN, M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro, ISO 200, f/11, 1/125th of a second.

©2013 Jamie A. MacDonald

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus OM-D E-M5, Rokinon 8mm on an Olympus MMF-2 Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds Lens Adapter, ISO 200, f/5.6, 27 seconds.

©2013 Jamie A. MacDonald

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro, ISO 200, f/10, 1/60th of a second.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus E-PL2, ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6, ISO 200, f/5.0, 1/125th of a second.

©2012 Jamie A. MacDonald

©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus E-3, 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED, ISO 100, f/3.5, 1/3200th of a second.

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©Jamie MacDonald. Olympus E-P5 PEN, Minolta ROKKOR-X 50mm f/1.4, ISO 200, f/1.4, 1/80th of a second. Taken in the evening.

Special thanks to Olympus Trailblazer Jamie MacDonald for providing us with sample imagery of some of Olympus’ offerings. Rent Olympus here and share your images with us in the comments below!

 

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Alex "2.0" Huff is a portrait photographer based in San Francisco. Her tutorials can be found here on the BorrowLenses Blog, 500px, Shutterfly, Snapknot, and SmugMug. She specializes in studio lighting. Follow her work on 500px.

Comments

  • Terry Ross says:

    You are going to be carrying the OM-D E-M1, right?

  • […] Special thanks to Jamie MacDonald for these tips. To read more about why Jamie shoots with Olympus, see his Benefits of Shooting Olympus and Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds. […]

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