E-M5 Does Professional Headshots

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by steve, May 16, 2012.

  1. steve

    steve Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2010
    Havertown, PA
    I had an opportunity yesterday to photograph corporate headshots and decided to put the E-M5 to the test in a professional setting. Coincidentally, on the way to the session, I met with a local photographer to sell my Canon 5Dmk II. Since I no longer do a lot of professional photography, I decided to sell off my Canon gear.

    The E-M5 performed admirably. I set it to manual, and shot at iso 200, 1/200 @ f/9 with the 45mm lens. Not one of the 7 people I shot said a thing about the camera not looking professional. I showed everyone what their images looked like on the screen and I even let a couple of people hold the camera. Not one comment about the camera size!

    This image is straight out of the camera, converted from RAW in ACR and cropped and watermarked in PS. I'll do some cleanup in PS after the client provides their selections.

    So, after my first professional job with the E-M5, I have no regrets about selling my Canon gear.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. geek0_1

    geek0_1 New to Mu-43

    Apr 11, 2012
    Steve, really nice job with the new camera and cool lens. I think the camera is super amazing and can add to my arsenal as a camera that I can go to when I need to do something quick. I am interested in the 75 F1.8 slated for release soon.
  3. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Nice work, Steve. Could you comment on your lighting? Interesting that you chose f9 - I guess for corporate shots a large DOF is preferred?
  4. steve

    steve Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2010
    Havertown, PA
    Thanks, Tom.

    For the lighting, I used 2 monolights; one bounced into an umbrella on camera left at f/9 and one as a hairlight at f/11. I used a reflector on camera right. For this kind of shoot, I try to keep things as simple as possible because the people want to get in and out of the chair as quickly as possible. This was shot in a bright conference room, so I set aperture to f/9 to keep ambient light from the windows out and to give plenty of DOF to keep everything in focus.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. MirrorlessMan

    MirrorlessMan Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 19, 2012
    Actually shutter speed is what determines how much ambient light gets in.
  6. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Shutter speed AND aperture. With strobes you're limited to the highest sync speed. Any further reduction of ambient light is accomplished through aperture changes within the power available from the strobes.

    • Like Like x 2
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Nice photo Steve! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    I'm no pro and have never done studio work - so pardon my question (which might sound very elementary). Why shoot at f9? Is it just to make sure you get the entire head in focus? Or is there any other reasons when taking photos in combination with studio lighting?

    • Like Like x 1
  8. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012

    try to incorporate the xrite passport to your colour management. Works quite well in LR4.1

    I've done some studio work with the E-M5 and the image quality was easily on par with my 1dmk3 and 5dc. However my 5dmk2 is still king without a doubt.

    My issue I had was that i needed my modeling lights ON to assure I can see the subject properly. Since the electronic view finder bases the exposure on aperture and SS you have to deal with this "dark" viewfinder at f/8 and slow shutter speed.

    I used f/8 since I'm assuming the dof of a m43 sensor is much deeper than a full frame/crop sensor.

    I'll have to say the E-M5 did perform extremely well in ideal studio lighting.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    To have the bright viewfinder you're looking for, go to
    MENU : GEARS : D : Live View Boost : ON

    This setting however; will not show the effects of exposure compensation. Hope this helps.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    With regards to high DoF, I think it's a "corporate headshot" type of thing.

    I was in a local Sheriff's office (don't ask) and looked at the professional photos of the Sheriff bigwigs - all were shot at very high DoF.

    Anyway, nice picture Steve!

    Edit: love the watermark, lol!
  11. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    The big f stop in this type of shoot is to make sure one has the nose, eyes, and ears in focus, while having one eye and one out can be very artistic, most of these clients just want something fairly conservative.
    While one is certainly welcome to shoot whatever you want on a job, I find the lack of support from Olympus absolutely preventing me from even making the attempt, my not being able to find a second body and the inability of Olympus to be able ship extra batteries or chargers, I find using this camera when I am getting paid out of the question.
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