Why I Switched to Olympus Micro 4/3

It's been debated over and over... DSLR or Micro 4/3?? Well I'm not here to continue the debate or even say one is better then the other. I'm simply going to tell you why I decided that Micro 4/3 is right for me. I shot a DSLR system for a few years before I gave micro 4/3 a chance; but once I did it was a real eye opener.

The first Olympus camera that I used was the E-M5. Although there are a few things that I do not like about that camera; I couldn't deny that the image quality was fantastic and the size/weight were extremely convenient. My complaints for the E-M5 were the lack of function buttons to make changing settings on the fly faster which I was used to having dedicated buttons on my DSLR. The other was the ergonomics of the finger grip. I prefer a bit more to hold onto when shooting. Both of these issues which were more of a preference problem then anything were corrected with the launch of the Olympus  E-M1 which I now have as well. 

Lightweight and Convenient

The more time that I spent with the E-M5 I found myself drifting further and further away from my DSLR. I was using it exclusively for my landscape/nature work and would only pick up my DSLR for client shoots where I needed specific gear to do the work. That was mainly due to not having fast glass and speed lights for my Olympus yet. Back in June 2014 I was shooting a wedding with my 2 DSLRs and started thinking to myself... why in the world am I carrying these heavy cameras and glass around all day when I know there are smaller lighter options that can produce the same quality of images?  I had been working with the Olympus images for months and knew that for what I shoot there was nothing that a micro 4/3 system couldn't handle. I find that like a lot of others;  the size and weight make a micro 4/3 system hard to turn away from. It's much more convenient for travel and all day shooting. I can pack 2 bodies with 3 or 4 lenses in a pretty small bag and it still weighs a lot less then 1 DSLR with a lens or 2. 

 Olympus E-M5 with 25mm 1.8

Olympus E-M5 with 25mm 1.8

Now for the fun stuff....

When it comes to innovation and features there is NO ONE like Olympus! Other manufacturers are adding features as time goes by but it seems like Olympus is always the first to the party. I'll run through a few of my favorites that make turning back to a DSLR unthinkable.

EVF, Electronic View Finder

There is nothing like seeing instant feedback, when you make adjustments to your cameras settings you see them in real time. It takes the guess work out, what you see is what you get! You can also see the image right in the viewfinder after you take the shot. Lastly when manual focusing you can magnify your view and clearly see what you're focussing on.

Live Composite

This feature for me is simply Brilliant!!! Longexposures will never be the same with this. If you've ever wanted to shoot star trails but were intimidated by the amount of work involved in post processing 100+ images you will love this. Live Composite lets you take a base image exposed correctly and then start taking images at your selected frequency to stack on top of the base without ever blowing out the base image. The best part is the camera stacks all of the images in camera in live time so you can see it happening and once you decide the image is complete you're done! It's really that easy. The camera only records changes in light so everything else remains unchanged. This is also great for light trails around the freeway and light painting. 

WIFI

Who doesn't love to share their images to social networks as soon as possible these days? Well if you prefer to work with a "real camera" and not your mobile phone the built in WIFI is a great solution. You simply take the photo and upload it to your mobile device via WIFI using the Olympus share app and you can send it to IG, FB, Flickr, etc. I know some DSLRs have this now but it's still one of my favorite features.

Built in 5 Axis Image Stabilization

Simply put, the in camera stabilization system works unbelievably well. The 5 Axis system makes shooting handheld in low light much easier then anything I've used before. The best part of this is you don't have to buy a lens that has this function built in. Every lens you own will have IS!

Glass

Just going to touch on this briefly but there are a lot of options now for micro 4/3 from a Pro level to consumer. A few of my favorites are the 40-150mm 2.8 pro, 12-40mm 2.8 pro, 75mm 1.8, and the 25mm 1.8. These are all fantastic options, fast, and Sharp! With the 2x crop factor on a Micro 4/3 system there are options for everything from wide angle to super telephoto available if you want it.

 Olympus 40-150mm 2.8, 12-40mm 2.8, 75mm 1.8, and 25mm 1.8

Olympus 40-150mm 2.8, 12-40mm 2.8, 75mm 1.8, and 25mm 1.8

For me the lightweight system and a camera jam packed full of amazing features that a DSLR doesn't offer is more then enough to make the switch. I'd love to hear your thoughts one way or the other. Leave a comment below


Until Next time,