First thoughts on the EM1 Mk2

So I’ve had my new Olympus EM1 Mk2 for a couple of weeks, and thought I’d share my initial impressions of it.

The first thing I found I had to do was download a proper user guide for it from the Olympus website because a printed version doesn’t come with the camera, and it’s absolutely essential as this thing has 1,000’s of settings you can change (well, perhaps not 1,000’s but “lots”) and it can be quite bewildering to even know where to start.

Fortunately it does allow you to save presets (3 if you want, called C1, C2 and C3), so I immediately started configuring the camera for motorsports and decided to save my settings to C2. I also then created a preset for “everything else” and saved it to C3 (I figured I might leave C1 as a “default settings” preset). I might write up an article on exactly what I changed and how but for now I wanted to show the results of my first few outings with the camera.

On Saturday 26th April 2018 I went to Swaffham Raceway with my step-son and his friends, motorsport photography being one of my interests and for which I specifically chose the EM1 Mk2 as it shoots at insane burst rates and is supposedly a great camera for motorsports.

I can happily confirm that it is, here are some pictures I took using a panning technique to blur the background (to inject motion into the picture) taking advantage of the camera’s frame-rate to hopefully ensure some keepers out of each sequence of shots:- 

f16 – 1/80th – 38mm (76mm equivalent) – ISO 200 

f20 – 1/50th – 40mm (80mm equivalent) – ISO 200

These are as good if not better than I could capture with my Nikon D3300, and thanks to the faster (and longer) burst mode it was easier to capture these images, in fact I was getting a keeper or 2 (or 3) out of every sequence of shots, something I was struggling to achieve before.

One aspect that made me nervous about buying the EM1.2 was what effect going down to a smaller sensor would have on image quality. On the one hand I never cared enough about pure image quality to move up to full-frame in the first place, because I’m not a professional photographer, I’m not selling images, and I’m not printing them at huge sizes either, but I didn’t want to spend all this money and end up with worse images than I was getting before either.

Happily I can report the image quality from this camera is everything I’d hoped for and way better than I need!

Here’s a picture of a Tiger taken (through a fence) from about 10m away:-

f2.8 – 1/500th – 150mm (300mm equivalent) – ISO 200

 And here’s a 100% crop of the Tiger’s head:-

I can’t imagine I’d ever need anything better than this!

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