Olympus?

Ron Niebrugge Photos Leave a Comment

Horned Puffin, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
Horned Puffin, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
The same photo as above zoomed in 160%

I’m getting lots of questions about how I’m liking the Olympus 4/3 system.

Just to recap, Olympus over-nighted an E-m1X along with a few lenses for me to try over the summer. No strings attached, not even the expectation of a positive blog post – clearly they have a lot of confidence in their camera gear! I received it just before my two bear trips, and I decided to only bring Olympus along and leave my trusted Canon 5D IV and 500 f/4 at home. So what did I think?

Well so far I’m loving the Olympus. To have the equivalent of a 600 f/4 hanging around my shoulder without the need for a big tripod was so freeing! And the equivalent of a 80-300 f/2.8 reminded me of my Canon 24-105, but with so much more reach! That alone is enough for me to make the switch. Never mind all the other great feature such as the time machine feature called Pro Capture (more on that in the future), flip up monitor, ridiculous minimum focus distances, and ridiculous frame rates of some 50 fps to name a few!

One of my concerns was the auto-focus with fast action, and I was eager to give it a try. I can’t think of any better challenges then photographing puffin from a boat! These, small fast moving birds are notoriously difficult and my success rate with my Canon gear is very low. This wasn’t a scientific side by side test, but I was really pleased with the success I had with the Olympus, and felt like it definitely out performed my Canon 5D IV. I still had plenty of throw aways, but I came away with far more keepers then normal. I should also mention, conditions were also perfect on the two days we did photograph puffin which certainly favored the Olympus. That said, I have no hesitation is using it in action situation. In fact, I’m leaving soon on my Southeast Alaska Bear and Whale trip, and will only be traveling with Olympus again.

At this point, probably my only remaining question mark is how it will perform in low-light, night skies, aurora and similar situations which is something I won’t be able to really test until a bit latter in the summer once we lose our endless sun!

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