Yes, I went with the Silver Model 🙂 So Sexy! — Image from ZDNet

I have recently become very interested in switching over to mirrorless. In part, inspired by Trey Ratcliff and his words on the future of Photography. That match with, firing away with my trusty dusty 550D for a bit, getting more and more in touch with my personal style… I found that having a smaller form factor will fit me better. I have also been fading more and more into street and in-route photography.

What I mean is, I do very little planned on-location work. All images shown on my page are throgh photowalks, or while traveling. An approach that would benefit greatly from a smaller, lightweight, high quality setup. Because thats the goal right? If your not armed, your not shooting. If you lug around a fat DSLR all the time, then of course your shooting. But are you really carrying it around… all the time?

More after the break.

Finding your pictures by foot, snatching one of a kind moments from urban streets, spur of the moment shoots. When I have to strap a bunch of gear on my back, my desire to walk out the door will diminish.
In comes mirrorless, and more recently (in my crosshairs) – the micro 4/3s system. When I first laid my eyes on the x100 (APS-C), I feel in love. I yearned for it, I envied friends who had it. But I never could bring myself to purchase it. Besides the obvious nature of a moth infested wallet, I had a difficult time justifying the purchase. A fixed lens, buggy camera, that is twice the price of my current main rig. I’m cheap, but usually efficient. I don’t need the best and most expensive cameras…and this yanked me back.

I also had the chance to give the x100 a test run, and the more I played with it… the more I loved and hated it. Now, if you read any blogs on photography, then you’ve heard this song and dance often. So I won’t beat that dead horse. That’s the nature of the x100. I moved on, but became further gunshy because of the pro and con of the leaf shutter. Pro: fast sync, no noise. Con: high chance of sticky leaf shutter. That Con is a big one for me. I need something that is reliable, something that won’t fall down. Also, I completely detested the EVF. Laggy and irritating. The hybrid OVM was awesome though. Oh yes, it is…

Anyway, I decided against the x100 due to the many personal grips and fears I have of it. Moving on to the X Pro1. Let’s just say my jaw dropped when I saw this one first released. I knew at that moment, THAT’s the camera for me. But then reality hit. $1700.00, body only. Ouch! That was deflating and surpassed my limit of what I’m willing to pay. So I guess, not the camera for me. Least not right now.

I’ll note at this moment that I am not a professional shooter. More an enthusiastic photon-hound. Attempting to capture the world through my eyes, for art rather than self-support. The heart of it all, than for the bank. Thus the reluctance to leap that lofty price bar.
So the X Pro 1 was thus eliminated….

At this point, I returned to the drawing board. I started looking over the Micro 4/3s system and have seen the light from these little gremlins. Then within 24 hours of becoming interested in M4/3, here comes the Olympus E-M5. The gem of the night it seems. Completely shadowed by the Fuji-dom going on in the media. Where for has this item been during my search? But alas, here it was… from the specs, meeting everything I desire in a camera. I love what I have read and really dig what I have seen in the hands-on video reviews. Then I saw the price and wow… A viable contender against the X Pro1 and nearly half the price. Not to mention the wicked nature of the M43 and legacy lenses available to this lil guy.
Plus, It’s exquisitely beautiful to boot…  🙂

So I have been facing an internal debate for a couple days now and as of last night, could not hold back my desire any longer. This release of will-power brought with it an authorization email from B&H, confirming my Pre-Order of the remarkable Olympus OM-D E-M5…..

Specs:

Some highlights that perk my interest in this little gem:

  • Resolution Range: 16MP ( not a big deal as I am more concerned with the sensor, but hey… I’ll take it)
  • Exposure Bracketing: 2, 3 or 5 frames in 0.3/0.71.0EV steps selectable, 7 frames in 0.3/0.7EV steps selectable.
  • Max Frame Rate: [H mode] 9.0 fps, [L mode] 3.5 fps/ 4.2 fps in case of “I.S” Off”. 
  • Up to 17 continuous frames before buffer slow down* (*alegedly)
  • Super FP: 1/125, Up to 1/4000 sec Flash sync speed.
  • WEATHER SEALED (Dust/Splash)!!!!!!!
  • Built in EVF (looks great built into the Olympus pyramid peak)
  • 3″ TILTING – OLED Touchscreen
  • Iso Sensitivity: 200 – 25600
  • Fastest Auto Focus in the industry (supposedly)
  • Micro Four Thirds lens compatibility, as well as Legacy lenses
  • Manual dials for Exposure and Shutter speed
  • Hot shoe mount for flash, flash trigger and VL-2 secondary EVF* (*bioptic viewing on portrait would be interesting, however impractical)
  • Updated Sensor* (*TBD on quality advancement with this sensor)
  • 35 point AF
  • 5-axis – In-Body Image Stabilization 
  • 3 Image Overlay in camera Editing
  • Three… Yes THREE customizable function buttons* (*one is lens specific)
  • HD1080p Video Recording
  • And most importantly (not really, but its great)… The OM-D is just down right Sexy

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Update: I pre-ordered my camera from B&H in the early AM, and alas… a warner must be given to those unfamiliar with this procedure.

Upon pre-order one will read the following in the subtext. 

“This is a new item being released in limited quantity, We are accepting orders and they will be filled in the order they are received. An authorization for this product will be processed upon placing the order. Your order will only be charged at time of shipment.

The word of warning is as followed: be ready to pay at the time you place the order. It will not be fully charged at that time, but the money will be held for a few days. So if you cannot part with the full price shown on B&H for any pre-orders, for at least a few days… steer clear for a bit. 

Now this is the first time I had pre-ordered anything of this measure before, but had always been prepared for percentage authorization charges. Not 100%. Never the less, thankfully I was in a position to do this, others may not be. That is my warning… be ready when you hit checkout.

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I do wan’t to make one tinsey-winsey remark that always comes up when speaking on gear. Now, many of you are saying… Hey, it’s not the gear that matters… its the person using the camera. Well, yes thats half true and a common battle cry from many out there. But the fact of the matter is this. Without a camera, the person taking the pictures… ain’t taking squat.

You’ll have evangelists, preaching the sermon from both pulpits. The reality is, in the end, its 50/50… The gear can be (but not always) just as important as the person holding it. But its never more important.
Regardless of anything. I am a gear head and here comes the worst part… the wait…. COME ON APRIL!!!

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EDIT: I wanted to throw in some handy links for anyone interested in the new OM-D series from Olympus. Oh and by the way, don’t get hesitant because of Olympus’s recent squabbles. Olympus is still a powerhouse and even if they stumble, the brand isn’t going anywhere.