My Olympus Challenge #10
10 Reasons Why I’m Switching to the OM-D from the Canon 5D Mk 2.
1. Sometimes it’s just nice to be ahead of the curve.
2. If I thought I wasn’t going to get the image quality I both need and desire I wouldn’t be doing it.
3. Sure, one can put the full-frame Canon against the Micro Four-Thirds Olympus and tell the difference (possibly). But that isn’t going to make me a better and more creative photographer. If clients commission me it’s not going to be because of the size of camera I’m using. Not any more. There are way more successful pro photographers than me who’ve already done what I’m about to do.
4. Amongst the best portrait lenses in the world is the f1.8 90mm (efl) M. Zuiko Olympus. Its quality is sensational, it’s made of metal, it weighs less than five ounces and costs £200 (except that Olympus are currently giving them away free with the camera).
5. Amongst the best portrait lenses in the world is the f1.2 85mm Canon L. Its quality is sensational, it weighs 2.3lbs (7 times the weight of the Olympus) and it currently retails for £2060 (though you can pick them up for around £1700).
Good enough for Vogue Italia, good enough for me. OM-D with 90mm (efl) M.Zuiko - 1/160 @ F1.8, ISO 200
6. The OM-D fits the hand like a glove, is exceptionally well designed and is a dream to shoot with. Its build quality is equal to, if not better, than the Canon’s. The 5D2 is ugly, heavy, old-fashioned and slow and unintuitive to use (has anybody ever dared criticise the three stupid dual-function buttons on the top plate? Well I am.) Oh, and there’s no reason whatsoever to think that the 5D3 is any better in these respects.
7. The OM-D = brilliant design + huge sensor advances + sophisticated processing engine + superlative optics.
8. This small camera has the world’s first 5-axis in-body image stabilisation system. Which means what? That you can shoot with a telephoto lens at 1/20 second - and publish the results.
9. It’s small (have I already said that?) The body and the four lenses that I’m getting for this camera will comfortaby fit into the sponge-bag I take on holiday. It’ll fit into my two coat pockets. I can shoot professionally with the OM-D in all kinds of locations and hardly attract any attention. Try shooting with a Canon 5D and L lens in the London Underground and see how far you get. And it means I can carry the whole lot in a tiny shoulder-bag while I’m shooting.
10. I’m sentimental. The Olympus OM-1 was the first grown-up camera I owned. It was revolutionary in its day - and also the most beautiful camera ever made. Twenty years after I bought it it accompanied me across 32 American states and 14,000 miles. I used it every day.
When digital arrived, Olympus lost their way - and they lost me. So now, is the OM-D as beautiful as the OM-1? Not quite, but never mind. The important thing is that I’ve come home - and for all the right reasons. For all those reasons, this now is the camera to beat, and this is the camera I’m about to own.
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