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Using a Olympus for professional portraits

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by lifeinphotos, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. lifeinphotos

    lifeinphotos Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Nov 12, 2015
    Dave
    I currently use a Fujifilm X100t (great little camera) i want to invest in another system and was thinking about getting a EM5 mark 2. I want something that can still do street photography which im sure it will be perfectly fine for and also im gonna start to do indoor portraits baby photo's etc.
    Does anyone use their Olympus for these types of shots?
     
  2. Sniksekk

    Sniksekk Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Apr 7, 2015
  3. lifeinphotos

    lifeinphotos Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Nov 12, 2015
    Dave
  4. TonyVentourisPhotography

    TonyVentourisPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Nov 1, 2015
    I will withhold comment on that link and the images...I do not believe it is representative of what is possible. The m4/3 system is wonderful for portraiture. I will tell you why.

    First, the lenses are excellent, especially wide open. The Leica 42.5 F/1.2, the Oly 45 F/1.8, and the Oly 75 F/1.8 are all stellar. The Pro zooms are also fantastic for portraiture. If you know how to shoot, know how to light, and understand composition for this style of photography, you will do no less than if you had any other pro system.

    Second, the smaller cameras are much less intimidating to children and adults alike. You can get closer and they won't freak out as much as some people do if you have a 70-200 F/2.8 on a Pro Nikon for example.

    Third, if you went with an E-M1 you get 1/320 sync speed with flashes.

    Fourth...depth of field. You are shooting with an F/1.8 lens at F/1.8 but you get the depth of field of approx. F/3.6. That means you get the eyes and nose in focus while still pushing everything else out of focus in tighter shots. Faster shutter speed, more light coming in, but slightly more DOF. A lot of people complain about this...but in practice its actually quite a benefit.

    Fifth, flash recycle speed. Since you are shooting at F-stops below F/4 generally...your flashes will need to work less. Your recycle speed is quicker. If shooting kids this comes in REALLY helpful if you are using flash.

    Six...Wifi... take the best shot, do a quick edit with one of the nicer portrait art filters and send it to your cell phone during the shoot. (or after ...) You can text your client a quick shot as a sneak peek bonus to get the excited to see the rest. Make sure the image is awesome though.

    Seventh... smaller files mean less critical retouch. If I open up an Olympus RAW file and I open up a Phase One RAW file of the same portrait, I guarantee my client will choose the Olympus file EVERY TIME if they are a personal client and not an advertising client. A family portrait client, especially women, will take the Oly file. Why? Less biting detail. The Oly files are smoother and don't have the resolution to scare people with skin defects. They still have excellent sharpness and detail...just its..different. I hate showing clients 100% views of files from my medium format gear. It makes them self conscious because the camera shows way more than our eyes see. The Oly seems to flatter instead. At least from my experience.

    If I were you, I would go for either the E-M5II or the E-M10mkII. Both will do the job well. The E-M10 is smaller and lightest of the bunch. Easier to slip in a pocket with a small lens. I much prefer the E-M1...but its less of a street camera compared to the 10. I also have the X100 and love it. I have the original because I don't like X-trans files. For street photography, I actually prefer the X100, but the E-M10 with a 25mm lens or the 12mm are great fun and the viewfinder blows the X100 away. As does the focus.
     
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  5. lifeinphotos

    lifeinphotos Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Nov 12, 2015
    Dave
    thanks Tony, Yeah i will still keep the x100t for my street stuff as its great for that. The orginal x100 has the same sensor as the xpro1 if im not mistaken they are special my other half she uses a xpro 1 and the files are lovely from that. I have done a bit of research and i think its the price of the lenses and the quality thats making me consider m4thirds. I think I'll probably go with the EM5 mark 2 with the 12 to 40mm pro and then buy the 75mm to start with. I've mainly shot just as a hobby but a recent shoot for my sister went down a storm after she posted the photos to Facebook. I had someone asking if I would do some for them.
     
  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    This is very timely. With the recent acquisition of the Oly 75/1.8, I've almost completely switched all my portrait photography over to my Olympus kit (EM1 and EM5 mk2). Between the 45/1.8 and the 75/1.8 you have some real powerhouses in m43 mount for portraits. You can also add in the 40-150/2.8 and have some great options for portraits.

    My Nikon kit is D700/Df with the 50/1.8 and 80-200/2.8. No slouch either, but I've had quite a few people that work with me prefer the Olympus color palette for portraits.

    Once you learn any system, then getting what you need out of it is not as bad as you think.

    On to street, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE using my Oly gear. S-AF is super fast and accurate, giving me the speed and reach to get the shots in a way I like to shoot. The only thing better to me is the Nikon Df...but there is not technical reason, it is a purely fanboy/mystical bonding thing that I don't even understand enough to explain.

    Anyway...the Oly kit is up to snuff on whatever you need it to do. Believe me, I would not put my business in jeopardy taking images with the gear if I thought it was not up to the task.
    I'll post some links later of portrait sessions I've done with the Olympus gear.
     
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  7. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I don't see why olympus can't be use for portraits. CAF and high ISO are arguably the weaker points of m4/3, neither of which should be an issue.

    I guess the other potential issue, is if you want shallow DOF in wide angle (35mm equivalent or wider). This is harder to achieve without resorting to manual focus f0.95 lenses.

    I'm hardly pro, but here are some baby shots I took for a friend:
    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/78794/
     
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  8. lifeinphotos

    lifeinphotos Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Nov 12, 2015
    Dave
    thanks
     
  9. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    562
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    Have you done a search on this forum for this subject? In addition there is a Portrait specific thread.

    You might consider renting a E-M5II and see if you like the results. One thing you may notice is that the color's will be different.
     
  10. lifeinphotos

    lifeinphotos Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Nov 12, 2015
    Dave
     
  11. lifeinphotos

    lifeinphotos Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Nov 12, 2015
    Dave
    thanks alot guys i was 95% there now im 100%. I cant wait to get my hand on one now. i was thinking of getting it with the 12mm to 40mm is that the best lense to get to start with?
     
  12. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    488
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    I did my first bit of "portrait" work last weekend for some friends. First time jumping into this aspect as I usually like to be more candid when it comes to people. I think almost any camera system is capable of doing portrait work. It really boils down to can YOU do portrait work. Taking good pictures technically is a separate thing from getting good pictures compositionally. Directing the action and engaging with the subjects is the hardest part for me. Even with friends. Anyway, that said, I posted my (brief) experience with a couple shots: https://www.mu-43.com/threads/81332/

    Also, the 75mm f/1.8 is king if you have the space between you and your subject.
    21744134565_2b5895c970_b.
    21556160200_bd59f4f237_b.
     
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  13. MichaelSewell

    MichaelSewell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Sep 1, 2015
    Burnley, UK
    Michael A. Sewell
    We're using the Olympus system far more than expected. These are from a Movie Con at Bolton on Sunday 8th November
    _EM12279alt. _EM12296ab. _EM12308b. _EM12312a.

    All shot with an E-M1 and 12-40mm f2.8 Pro
     
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  14. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    You can find many good samples in the showcase section of the forum for lenses like the Oly 45mm, 42.5 (1.2 and 1.7), 60mm Sigma and the Oly 75. Or in threads like these:

    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/5031/page-79
    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/21273/page-137
    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/25114/page-12

    Here are a few recently posted (by a member of this forum @rav@rav ): http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2015/11/11/the-olympus-e-m10-people-of-mumbai-by-raviraj-kande/

    You can also check out these: http://www.mirrorlessons.com/category/mirrorless-on-the-job-photographers/

    And finally here there are a few I took myself of my nephew (my sister is gonna kill me...): https://www.flickr.com/gp/133025950@N04/s1Udw0
    If you are worried about DoF check out the third one where I got only one eye in focus...grrrr...
     
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  15. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    562
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
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  16. lifeinphotos

    lifeinphotos Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Nov 12, 2015
    Dave
    Thanks guys I was 95% convinced now I'm 100% you really have helped me. i am looking forward to getting my hands on one now. i was thinking of getting the em5mark 2 with the 12 to 40mm pro. is this a good lense to start with?
     
  17. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Yes, the 12-40mm is a great lens, but if you want shallow DoF you should also look at the 4xmm and 75mm primes.

    Barry
     
  18. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
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  19. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    The m4/3s system is very suitable for professional portraits. The 12-40mm is very nice for portraits, but I much prefer the 45mm and 75mm.
     
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  20. rav

    rav Mu-43 Top Veteran

    641
    Jul 28, 2015
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