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Can the E-PM1 ve considered a serious camera?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by hionhifi, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. hionhifi

    hionhifi Mu-43 Regular

    53
    Oct 21, 2012
    California
    I have a part time job and want to start a photography business to help supplement my income.

    I'm been interested in taking weddings, boudoir, architectural,and landscape photos. However, I'm going to try several different areas to see which I prefer.

    Currently I own an Olympus E-PM1 with VF3 viewfinder. Is the Olympus E-PM1 a serious enough camera to be used in a wide range of situations mentioned above?

    I plan to pickup a flash in the near future, maybe an Olympus FL-600R. I'd like to put a few lens on my wishlist as well. I want to pick lens that can do double duty being valuable in several photography settings.

    I know that indoor photos are all about lighting which requires certains types of lens. Same thing for outside shooting which itself requires possibly a different set of lenses.

    I have two questions:
    1. If you were on a $500 (used market) budget which lens would you buy to cover as many bases? Note: I just ordered a micro four thirds adapter for use with Canon FD lens.
    2. Which flash would you buy to cover the bases above?
    3. Is the Olympus E-PM1 capable of performing in all the above mentioned situations?

    I'm not necessarily married to the E-PM1, but I do like the camera. I'm just not sure it's robust or competent enough for the work.

    Thank you for all your help.

    Thomas

    PS.
    I may be doing a wedding in the coming weeks. With the right lens, and a flash can the E-PM1 get the job done well?
     
  2. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I'll be blunt, this is the wrong question. The question you should be asking is 'Im shooting a wedding in a week, will I embarrass myself.'

    Weddings are serious business, the price of stuffing them up significant. The fact that you're asking the question makes me think the answer is probably 'no'.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    939
    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    People who think they can do weddings without knowing anything upset me. If you want to shoot weddings you should start with learning how to do them...take a class on wedding photography.

    You need backups of everything, back up cameras, backup lenses, backup flashes...if you think you can shoot weddings professionally only owning one consumer camera, you've got a lot to learn.

    What are you going to do if your one camera/lens/flash dies in the middle of a wedding? "Sorry, we have to stop the wedding until my camera gets fixed."

    Not to mention it's the easiest way to be sued...the happy couple are emotional on their day, and if you don't live up to their expectations you can be expect to be sued. There was one photographer just recently sued for $350,000! You also should have business/photographer insurance.
     
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  4. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    Apr 12, 2012
    Can you shoot a wedding with an epm1? Absolutely. You can shoot a wedding with a phone camera.

    Will it be any good? What do you think?
     
  5. Leif

    Leif Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Sep 28, 2012
    Germany
    Leif
    The camera doesn't matter that much although you want a good low light performance, good dynamic range and a backup system. To be honest, a wedding is the last thing you should start with and don't even think about getting a flash and "learn" this combo on a wedding job. A wedding can get stressful, there is much going on, it happens only once, you don't want dead blacks or a white blown out bride, you don't want to have them wair for you....

    Learn the gear before..especially when you consider a flash. Shoot weddings for friends to learn...but not as thw main and only photographer. Or find one who is doing it for a long time and see if he needs an assistent...also a good way to learn more and get used to it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    +1
     
  7. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    Is the E-PM1 a serious camera?

    It can be, but only when used by a "serious" photographer. Which level are you at yourself? I suspect from your need to ask the question that you are very keen, but not particularly experienced and probably not yet competent to start weddings.

    By all means concentrate on architecture and landscapes, targeting calendar, greeting card, editorial and gallery print markets. Boudoir can be fun and will help improve your knowledge of lighting set-ups, but be aware that there is a fine line between tasteful and tacky. Do you have any models in mind or will you need to hire one? How about studio facilities?

    As a first step towards weddings, why not do some portrait sessions to build up your knowledge, confidence, experience and establish a reputation? Having a bad portrait shoot is normally not nearly so bad as screwing up a wedding.

    Regarding weddings, this is where things get serious. You definitely need public liability and indemnity insurance. You need two camera bodies, two flashes and lenses that double up or at least overlap at your most used focal lengths. It's no use making excuses to the bride and groom that your camera jammed near the start of the procedings! If you are really serious about getting into this line of work I'd recommend enrolling on a course or workshop run by an established wedding pro.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    The others are correct - a wedding is a very significant event, emotionally charged and incredibly important to most couples. I've been the second shooter upon occasion, helping the primary photographer but I would hesitate to be the only shooter. I have an E-P3, an E-PL2, an E-P1, a Nissan flash with multiple batteries, Gary Font Lightsphere, tripods, wireless flash units, two studio lights and multiple lenses - I also have years of experience and I STILL would not tackle a wedding unless I did it as a gift to a couple who couldn't afford to hire someone. I would also warn them up front that there were no guarantees.
    Start with portraits, something like high school Sr. Portraits that can be reshot if you make a mistake. Weddings are playing with fire and, no, an E-PM1 is not enough - sorry.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. hionhifi

    hionhifi Mu-43 Regular

    53
    Oct 21, 2012
    California
    Got it. Starting with a wedding is a very bad idea. I'll take the advice given and start with some of things mentioned above.
     
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  10. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    You're right, doing a wedding as a favour to someone who could not afford a photographer is fine so long as they appreciate the limitations. I've done three on this basis and by all accounts did a very good job on each occasion. However, I cannot say I enjoyed it and all were shot on film so really heart in mouth stuff. Although I'd probably do it again if asked, I hope I don't! :biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    656
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    I was at a friends wedding last year where the booked photographer dropped out on the day. They'd seen a few landscapes from my recently aquired G2 on facebook, so I was asked if I would step up. It was hard work and very stressfull, you need eyes everywhere. I decided the best pratice was to shoot relentlessly hoping there would be safety in numbers. There were a number of ok shots, but far from pro quality. I think I'd have struggled even more with the EPM1.


    Never again!
     
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I don't know anything about starting a photography business, but t is possible to do serious work and get high quality results with an E-PM1. With a $500 budget, I would look for a used Panasonic 14mmf/2.5 lens and an Olympus 45mm f/1.8. It won't cover every need, but it will cover a lot of things.
     
  13. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    939
    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Sorry if I came off a bit harsh, but shooting weddings is serious business, and if it's something you want to do take a class, or find a wedding photographer mentor, or someone you can assist...most likely they will insist on 135/35mm format if you want to be a "2nd shooter".

    I've done various pro jobs, but today I shoot still life miniatures for an online store.

    If you want to make money find a niche that matches your current likes.
     
  14. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I shot two weddings in my life, one a simple home affair, which was nonetheless nerve-racking because it's a lot of responsibility. You can't resit a wedding. The photos turned out reasonably well (this was with an OM-1 shooting film), but I'd never do a wedding again; it's just too stressful.

    It's tempting to make a little extra money doing something you are not ready for because you have a camera that can produce a decent quality image ---IF everything else goes all right. If you screw up a friend's wedding, they'll never forgive you; if you screw up someone else's, they'll sue you. Think about it long and hard.
     
  15. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I shot very few events, two weddings and one optometrist convention, and at two of them one of my cameras died. DEFINITELY NEED BACKUP EVERYTHING to shoot events.
     
  16. chemophilic

    chemophilic New to Mu-43

    1
    Sep 19, 2012
    I had a EPM1 and OMD with the usual 14/20/45 lenses. But when my friend asked me to help shooting a wedding, I went straight to borrow all the DSLR and white lenses I could get my hands on. Though I also got an Olympus 50mm f3.5 macro with an OM-m43 adapter to shoot some of the details (rings, etc.) and I think that's when I felt the m43 was quite decent to get the job done.
     
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  17. hionhifi

    hionhifi Mu-43 Regular

    53
    Oct 21, 2012
    California
    I get the picture and thank you all for being upfront and not sugar coating it for me. I'm passionate and confident, but I would have bitten off a bit more than I could chew at this point.

    I agree that I need a photography class or three before delving into photography as a business. I could get by doing it casually, but doing it as a business IS serious business.

    No worries, thanks for the wake up. Regarding lens 135/35mm. So 135mm, and 35mm prime lens would be the first you'd buy to shoot a wedding? Allow me to think out loud here, with a magnification factor of 2 (for m4/3 dslr's) I think this means I need a 65-70mm lens to cover 135mm and a 14-20mm lens to approximate 35mm lens?? Am I understanding this correctly?

    I agree weddings do seem stressful. I think some people perform better under pressure and then are still others who just take weddings in stride without the overwhelming stress. Of course, after getting a bit of training, competent equipment, and experience, I'd have to do one first to see which camp I'm in.

    All this talk about weddings being stressful reminds me of our wedding in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Our main photographer got blindsided in his vehicle on the back streets of Ponce while we were all caravanning to the wedding from taking pictures in the city. I felt bad for him, but he came away uninjured and he was prepared with an assistant. He eventually made it to the wedding after handling all the insurance paperwork. Everything came out ok, but I do wonder what our pictures would have looked like if he were the one leading the charge instead of his assistant. Oh well we had a great time.

    I probably should start as an assistant, as some have suggested.
     
  18. troutgeek

    troutgeek Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Aug 15, 2012
    Madison, WI area.
    135/35 is a term for the 35mm film format, and denotes the film/sensor size, and not lens focal length. 135 was the Kodak designation for 35mm film.
     
  19. hionhifi

    hionhifi Mu-43 Regular

    53
    Oct 21, 2012
    California
    OIC. My question still stands however. If someone was referring to a 135mm and a 35mm focal length, would they be talking about the actual focal length on the lens ie. 35mm/135mm, or the focal length after the 2x magnification of the m4/3 system?
     
  20. troutgeek

    troutgeek Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Aug 15, 2012
    Madison, WI area.
    For me, I state the actual focal length. So a 45mm would just be a 45mm. The 2x is a crop factor, and not a magnification.