The Incredible Resolution of the Olympus OM-D E-M1

By | 2014/12/18

And by “resolution”, I mean, I am making the resolution to take more pictures with this camera in 2015. See what I just did?

I like cameras.

Olympus OM-D E-M1

OM-D E-M1 Action shot with Sony RX1

Cameras have always had a special place in my heart. Designed to be held in your hand, a good camera feels like it belongs there. As an imaging instrument, they capture a scene by gathering photons through a focusing mechanism – usually a lens – and stacking them on a sensor. At least that’s what happens in a digital camera.

Think about that for a second. Photons.

When you take a picture, you are literally capturing a moment in time. My inner physics nerd freaks out a bit when I think about this too deeply. Photographs may well be our best proof of time’s existence. Sidebar, if you want to read about the elusiveness of proving time, Dan Falk’s In Search of Time: Journeys Along a Curious Dimension (Amazon.ca link) has nothing to do with photography but is pretty interesting.

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Man hovering outside of GDC. Shot with the OM-D E-M1 and a Voigtlander 17.5mm F0.95. Manual focus.

Show a picture to one or more people who were in that place at that time and they will tell you, “Oh yeah, I remember that.” The image can take you back there.

Humans have been taking pictures (or, if you’re more serious about photography and want to sound like a prat, “making photographs”) for almost 200 years now. In that time, we’ve seen a couple of technologies come and go, though the death of film is somewhat up for debate. For the sake of argument, I’m going to claim it’s over.

As 2015 closes in, we’re seeing mirrorless cameras finally usurping the dominance of the once-ubiquitous DSLR. The tech is moving quickly too. Late last year, Sony released the first interchangeable lens full-frame mirrorless cameras. They’d previously managed a proof-of-concept with the RX1, a camera that can produce stunning images if you can put up with its incredibly poor performance and quirky controls and happen to like shooting in 35mm focal length (I do). The A7 series is an impressive line of cameras that one year later is already seeing its first revision in the form of the A7 mark II. Reviews are starting to come in and most of them have people gushing over it. “It boots up in under 2 seconds!” exuded one reviewer. “It focuses pretty fast!” wagged another.

Balls.

If you want a camera that’s properly fast, look no further than the still amazing Olympus OM-D E-M1. Behind that mouthful of letters is a camera that screams capability. It will blow your doors off it takes pictures so fast. It will melt your face with its incredible electronic viewfinder.

It will boot up and shoot about six frames before the A7m2 has powered-up. (not actually tested with science!)

That’s right.

“But you can’t get a good image with that tiny sensor.”

Balls.

Yes you can. This thing produces really sharp 16MP images.

sony a7r + voigtlander 15mm f4.5

Deb’s Sony A7R with Voigtlander 15mm Heliar M-mount lens on a Metabones adapter. Shot with OM-D E-M1 and 12mm F2 Olympus prime lens.

Olympus is making some really excellent cameras these days. Rumor has it, they’re coming out with a new E-M5 in the spring with some kind of crazy sensor shift technology that boosts the sensor up to an “effective” 40MP. Who cares? The E-M1 is the bomb. And the old E-M5 is still a plenty capable camera.

oli

“Oli” on an Oly E-M5, Voigtlander 17.5mm prime at F0.95.

This post is my commitment to get out and shoot more pictures.

2 thoughts on “The Incredible Resolution of the Olympus OM-D E-M1

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