Tagged: Olympus E-M10


160307-173902-16JEH-EditWe are undergoing some changes in our weather.  For once we are getting a taste of the coming spring and summer with the high temperatures this week getting up into the 70s; but the mornings are still cold with temperatures in the 30s.

I am still fine-tuning my thoughts relative to what changes I wish to make with my photography.  With respect to cameras, I had to return the Olympus E-M10.  I loved the camera and the images I could make with it but I had an increasingly difficult time changing the lenses.  The mount was quite tight and I could only, with great difficulty, put the Panasonic 20 mm lens on and off.  With the combination of the tight mount, the small grip area, and my arthritic hands, it was too difficult to deal with on a frequent basis.  With a little research on the web I discovered that this problem wasn’t uniquely mine.  It appears that many of the E-M10 cameras have tight mounts, so I returned the camera; but, I haven’t changed my mind about the micro 4/3 system.

I have ordered an Olympus E-M5 II camera.  It should arrive later today.  Reviews on the web indicate that it doesn’t have the tight mount problem.  I will see.  The E-M5 II has advantages over the E-M10 in that it is weather resistant and built to tighter specifications; i.e. it should be of higher quality.  I haven’t sold off the Fujifilm gear (yet?), so I used it to make the above image.

I haven’t decided on what other aspects of my photography to change.  I am still thinking about additional styles and subjects in order to expand into other types, etc.  As time goes on I will be experimenting.  This picture includes some changes.  What you see isn’t what you would have seen with your naked eye.  The one thing I am sure of is that I need to make more images, but within our local limited area.  Due to limited subject material this will require me to alter how I see the world around me.

Round 2: Micro 4/3 vs. Fujifilm

I recently obtained a Panasonic 20 mm F1.7 lens so I put it on my Olympus E-M10 camera and made comparison images with it and the Fujifilm X-T1 and its 27 mm F2.8 lens.  I wanted to see how they compared as walk-a-bout setups when traveling or photographing events.

The Olympus E-M10 camera plus the Panasonic 20 mm F1.7 lens weighs 495 grams, the X-T1 with the 27 mm F2.8 lens weighs 525 grams.  The following is a picture of the two setups that I took with my Apple iPhone 6.


For the following images I set the aperture to F2.8 for both and then cropped them both to the same aspect ratio and approximately the same size in pixels.  I also set the WB and the white and black settings on both using LR.  I used the center point to focus on the center white structure.

The first image below was from the E-M10 and the second from the X-T1.  You can click on either of them to view them in slideshow mode and then select an even larger size below each picture.

From looking at these images, at these settings, and at these conditions, I see no practical reason to choose one over the other in terms of image quality … even when pixel peeping at 100%.

The biggest differences are in the weight and handling and downloading of the pictures.  The X-T1 has nice external controls and you can see at a glance what the settings are before you raise the camera to take a picture.  Both cameras have EVFs and LCDs and these need to be viewed to see the settings after the shutter has been half pressed on the E-M10.  Normally the differences in determining the settings isn’t significant.  One big difference when downloading the images to a computer when using LR is the time it takes.  The X files of the X-T1 take a lot longer than the Olympus files.  For this round I am going to declare that the micro 4/3 setup has a slight advantage.

I bought the E-M10 to take longer focal length pictures with the Olympus 75 – 300 mm lens.  I went this route since the long focal length micro 4/3 lenses are smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the Fujifilm lenses.  I then bought the Panasonic 20 mm lens to carry in a pocket, just in case I needed a shorter focal length when I was out photographing with the 75 – 300 mm lens mounted on the E-M10.

I fully expected the Fujifilm images to be superior based on all the hype on the internet.  Based on what I saw here, and in Round 1, I see no reason why I couldn’t use micro 4/3 for all of my photography.  Now I have to decide whether I need to keep both systems.  One reason for keeping both would be to keep a wider prime lens on the X-T1 all of the time and the 75 – 300 mm lens on the E-M10 all of the time so that I don’t have to change lenses as often.  It hasn’t been easy for me to change lenses since I fell and injured my thumb in January.  Another advantage for keeping the X-T1 and at least the 35 mm F2 lens is that they are weather resistant and the E-M10 setup isn’t.

The advantages for me to sell the Fujifilm gear would be to regain some of the money I spent on it and have the advantage of only needing to know one system.  I find that switching back and forth tends to slow me down sometimes as I remember how to do things differently.  Having the money from the sale would also enable me to flesh-out my E-M10 system with additional lenses, especially with small fast prime lenses.  I could even obtain an additional E-M10 so that I would have a two-camera, but one-system setup.

Round 1: Olympus better than Fujifilm

I have been trying an Olympus E-M10 with the Olympus 75 – 300 mm lens to see if it would enable me to get longer focal length images with reasonable image quality than I can get with my Fujifilm long focal length setup.  Since I have the Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fuji 50 – 230 mm lens, I decided that I would compare similar images taken with both cameras in the same manner that I tend to take pictures.  I chose to do this comparison at an ISO of 6400 in lower light since I was concerned about noise using the E-M10 with the smaller micro 4/3 sensor.  I also chose the longest focal length that I could get with my Fuji lens (230 mm).  The focal length for the E-M10 was 171 mm, which gave me a close comparison.  Both raw images are shown below as processed in LR using the Adobe standard settings for each system.

The first image is from the E-M10, second (your right) is from the X-T1.  As you will note there are slight differences in exposure and color balance.  Both images were taken in program mode.  The X-T1 chose ISO 6400, f/6.7, and 1/20 sec.  The E-M10 chose ISO 6400, f/5.9, and 1/25 sec.  Both images were taken handheld.

The following set are the same two images with the color balance chosen for each using the LR eyedropper and with the exposure of the X-T1 image (on your right) increased by +.75

The following set are crops from the last two images.  The first is from the E-M10 and the second from the X-T1.  The images have different aspect ratios so they aren’t quite the same but are close enough to see any differences.  Please note that no noise reduction was applied to either image!

I will continue with my evaluation of the Olympus E-M10, but so far I am quite pleased with it.  Considering that the E-M10 and lens weighs 100 g less than the X-T1 and lens, and that the Olympus lens focal length was 171 mm but that it goes on out to 300 mm, in my opinion the Olympus micro 4/3 setup is better than the Fuji setup for my long focal length use.

Walk with a Different Camera

I have an Olympus E-M10 with an Olympus 75 – 300 mm f4.8-6.7 II lens that I am trying.  Since the camera has a micro 4/3 sensor it gives me an effective focal range of 150 – 600 mm.  My reason for trying it is to see if it will give me the ability to photograph wildlife and up-close landscape details.

This morning I took it with me while I walked down to the main buildings.  The first image is just to remind folks that we still have piles of snow even though it has melted from most surfaces.  The second two images were taken at the 300 mm focal length so that I could get an idea of how the camera focuses as well as the quality of the images.  So far I have found no problems and I am satisfied with it for making these types of images; but, I could always use even longer focal lengths.  I crop-zoomed the last two images to get even longer focal length.  It is light enough and small enough with sufficient image quality for me to carry as a walk-about camera and lens to make pictures of opportunity; but, I have more testing to do before I decide whether to keep it.