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Is the OM-D for me?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by wilvoeka, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. wilvoeka

    wilvoeka Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2012
    Hello All,

    I have a question regarding the OM-D and how I shoot.

    First a little background. I have been into photography for over 30 years. Over the years my area of interest has come down to only pet photography. I do some paid work on occasion but primarily shoot for rescues and shelters to help animals get adopted. The economy in my area is absolutely terrible and I was out of work for over 18 months. During that time I sold all my camera gear to pay the mortgage. Now that I am back on my feet I am looking to rebuild my kit.

    When I am shooting 95% of the time it is one handed because I am using my other hand to get the animals attention and guide their eyes to me. I have always shot in continuous focusing mode. I keep my focus point on an eye and wait for the animal to get were I want it, then I make some sort of noise to catch the animals attention. I will usually only have a spit second to get the shot while the animal stops and looks, then they go back to doing their own thing.

    The animals tend to move sporadically and in unpredictable directions so using continuous focus to track them until the right moment is the only way I have found to guarantee I get usable shots.

    This style is not very demanding for cameras like my previous D700 and D7000. But they are heavy when shooting one handed for hours at a time. Plus the added DoF at wider apertures is a bonus since I have had times where shooting at f/2 and wider is needed because of the light available, but shooting this wide ruins as many shots as it gets.

    So my question is, and my major sticking point with going to the OM-D, is the AF up to the challenge of how I shoot?

    I can create a very long list of things that are benefits to what I shoot by switching to the OM-D, but the AF performance trumps them all if it will not perform as I need it to.

    Any input any of you may have is greatly appreciated.
  2. Uwharrie

    Uwharrie Mu-43 Veteran

    May 10, 2012
    North Carolina
    Lynne Ezzell
    I also shoot primarily animals. I am learning to use the M43 system but have been challenged by slower lenses and not as shallow a DOF that I get with the canon equipment. However the fact it is light and compact does make the M43 system worth learning.
    If you go to my sight two recent zoo galleries as well as the Maddie & Giles gallery and the lulu/ Fi are all shot with the G3 post using the Pany 100-300
    Uwharrie Studios | SmugMug
  3. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    I would imagine that OM-D's effective image stabilization (IBIS) and good high ISO IQ are good points for you.
  4. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    I agree with that!

    What I'm not entirely sure of is that if the AF-tracking of the OM-D is up to the challenge when compared to phase detection AF cameras. Most reviews have indicated it's probably the best m4/3 camera yet for AF speed, but not quite up to DSLR levels yet.
  5. btango05

    btango05 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    Lathrop CA
    I think you will be pleased with the OM-D. Based on your gallery you can achieve similar results with the OMD. Its super fast! Your gallery is shot mostly outdoors so you have plenty of light+fast shutter+9fps=fantastic photos...You may not even need AF tracking. I read a thread/post on here where a forum member details his/her use of the tracking and the shots are amazing of his/her dogs running...I'm trying to find it so I can show you but I can't seem to locate...I think you're gonna love the ability with 1/4 of the weight of your heavier DSLR's!
  6. wilvoeka

    wilvoeka Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2012
    Don Parrot is who you are talking about as far as the tracking goes. That is really not the kind of tracking I need though. For the way I shoot the AF would only need to to make very minor adjustments, but constantly in motion. The examples Don shows are more of a predictive AF situation, which I rarely need.

    Here are some more typical shots I take.
    8452 by wilvoeka, on Flickr

    20100316-DSC_7239 by wilvoeka, on Flickr

    Gabriella and Guinevere by wilvoeka, on Flickr

    Adoptable at SICSA-15-2 by wilvoeka, on Flickr

    These are all indoors under fluorescent lights. My flickr stream doesnt have many of my typical shots in it.
  7. btango05

    btango05 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    Lathrop CA
    Nice shots...I'm not a cat lover but your kitten shots make me want one ;-)

    I think you will be happy with the OM-D based on these images. But I would only suggest getting the body only and buying the Oly 45 and or the Panny 25. I'm basing this only on what I've seen scourging this forum in the last week looking at all the wonderful images people are achieving with these lenses. I'm getting mine today! C'mon big brown!

    EDIT: Can you please link the thread Don Parot wrote? It's driving me nuts I can't find it!......... never mind...found it!
  8. mr_ed

    mr_ed New to Mu-43

    Aug 7, 2012
    If AF tracking is most important to you, then the Nikon 1 system has the best AF tracking performing, according to DPreview:

    Nikon 1 V1 / J1 Review: Digital Photography Review

    However, I don't own the Nikon system, so I can't comment from a users perspective. I am a new owner of the OMD :) 
  9. sphexx

    sphexx Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2010
    Harrogate, Yorkshire
    Does eye detection work with dogs and cats? I thought I had read that it did.
  10. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Sometimes, hit and miss for me.
  11. rfortson

    rfortson Mu-43 Veteran

    I replied in your Flickr thread, but I'll make some other points here.

    If you're relying soley on AF-C, then your Nikon will serve you better. However, the OM-D is much smaller/lighter, and S-AF is very fast. So if you can slow the dogs a little, you should be able to get good shots, especially for the type shelters use (very small, low resolution).

    I like the OM-D for many reasons, but I've been shooting my new dogs using the LCD and touch focus/release. I got these but the dogs were taking it easy.


    This one was focused on the barking dog.


    Here's a shot of them playing. Some motion blur, but generally in focus.


    I also occasionally shoot dog agility, but I haven't used the OM-D for it yet. For that, I've used my Pentax dSLR. However, I feel like I could use the OM-D given that I know where the dogs are going, and the 9FPS should help up the keepers.

    Given your 30 year history of photography, I'm sure you could make any camera work. You'll give up a little in the AF area (vs Nikon), but you'll gain a smaller camera (vs Nikon). It's all a trade off.
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