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James Farrell
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EM1.2 Experiences and Sample Images - Vancouver Island, BC Marine Wildlife

Thought I'd share a few thoughts, a few lessons learned about the EM1.2 and some sample images here following a trip to Vancouver, Island, BC, Canada this past August. I had bought into m4/3 system last winter when I sold all my Nikon stuff. After several short 'regional' outings here in Arizona and New Mexico, I took my first serious trip with my two EM1.2s and a couple of Oly Pro lenses on an 8-day trip exploring the coastal waters north of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Quite an experience. The trip gallery is here - https://jamesfarrell.smugmug.com/Archive/Site-Pages/Wildlife-Potpourri/MarineMammalsVancouverIslandBC/ - a sampling of images is below.

99% of my shots were using matrix metering, C-AF focus, 10 FPS low sequential - all electronic shutter, and IBIS IS Priority. All shots were hand-held. Rolling shutter was never a problem as any motion was not fast enough to cause the rolling shutter effect.

What did I do wrong … where do I start? Well, I did cause myself a few issues due to my habits from my 10 years of shooting Nikon gear. In reviewing my images, I noted that I stopped down the apertures too much as a result of doing that with Nikon full frame bodies for years. I did not need to do that due to the m4/3 2X crop factor and the sharpness of the 40-150/2.8 Pro and 300/4 Pro lenses wide open or near wide open. So, stopping down excessively resulted in pushing the ISO too high many times given the shutter speeds I used due to being bounced around a lot while shooting.

I also out-smarted myself by simply not taking full advantage of the EVF option of seeing the exposure - WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) - as I fiddled with exposure compensation too much - mostly underexposing. I simply over-thought exposure too much instead of just accepting what I saw through the EVF (boost not on). As I shoot raw exclusively, I note that I am able to 'rescue’ highlights nicely in post processing with Capture One Pro 10. Not sure how the EM1.2 meters, but I seem to have some leeway in highlights that I was unaware of. Also, the live view histogram was misleading to me in that it often suggested highlights being blown out whereas I noted in post processing that I could recover any highlights (assuming that I really did not overexpose too badly).

One final thought is that I wish I would have had the HLD-9 battery grips (bought them after this trip) as they would have made hand-holding even easier - look at the Steller Sea Lion images to understand why. Playing with these grips now, I note that the balance even with the 300/4 lens is much better. And the extra battery in the grip is great as I am finding more uses for Pro Capture mode which can eat battery power if used a lot. They really increase the weight and size of the body alone. It sure doesn’t look like a mirrorless camera anymore with the grip attached !!!

One equipment failure item to note: The fancy 40-150/2.8 retractable lens hood fell apart in pieces after our last shoot on the last day, I noted that the hood literally had burst into three parts and the tiny springs and bearings had flown out all over the place, never to be recovered again. When this happens you simply cannot put “Humpty-Dumpty” back together again. The hood is toast. I think that any sideways force on the hood causes it to fail. It’s more fragile than you think. There have been some reports of this on the DPreview M43 forum. When I got home, I contacted Olympus and they sent me a replacement at no cost. That said, I saved the broken hood and super-glued the major parts back together and will use it on these outings where things get bounced around a bit. It does store in the reverse position so that’s a plus. Also, perhaps of interest to some of you is that a Canon ET-78II lens hood will fit the Olympus 40-150/2.8 Pro lens albeit it’s a little loose. Some “gaffers’ tape” on the flanges of the lens hood will make it snug.

Bottom line: My adventure with my Olympus gear was a complete success. Pro Capture is really awesome - recording whale action. And I really, really enjoyed the more compact system compared to my tour colleagues who were shooting with some really, really big Nikon glass. Sorry to be so long winded. Regards, Jim

Sep 19, 2017 at 06:28 PM

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