Olympus OM-D E-M1 mark ii: Micro 4/3rds for Landscape Photography? (Ep #070)


Hello and thanks for joining me again. As
you can see this morning I’m down at Llanddwyn Island, down here for a couple
of reasons: one is that there’s a bunch of photographers due down here in a while
so there’s a couple of people I’d like to say hello to. The other will become apparent
very shortly so I’ve got a couple of asked me anything’s to cover off in a
moment and funnily enough I had a comment in from a nice gentleman called
Philip Culbertson and he said I really like your ask me anything series but why
don’t you do some while you’re out on location so Philip this one’s for you
I’m out on location but before I get to my answers I’ve got something that I
want to have a chat with you about it’s something that I haven’t covered at all
in my vlogs up till now and that’s the equipment that I use and by that I mean
my stills equipment and the camera that I was
using was a Nikon d50 500 crop sensor and about six months ago I found that I
was kind of reaching the limits of its capabilities
one of the things that I’m always really keen to do is to travel as light as
possible when you get to my age and you’ve got a gammy leg the most
important thing about your landscape photography is being able to get into
the landscape and so if I equipped myself with the finest photographic
equipment I would struggle to get it out to where it needs to be to capture the
images I want to capture so I thought about what my options were and it came
down to a choice of two completely new camera systems and it was actually quite
an easy win for the one that I chose it came down to the Fuji XT three which
fantastic camera absolutely no problem with the quality at all the fact that
it’s a crop sensor no issue for me whatsoever
I don’t print big so it doesn’t matter but it still would have required a
couple of pretty chunky pieces of glass and I really really really wanted to be
able to walk around with one do-it-all lens but that gives me the quality that
I need so the question was what’s going to do that for me and the answer is the
olympus om-d e-m1 mark ii with the 12 to 100 olympus lens this camera is built
like a tank it’s weather sealed really rugged so it’s going to be perfect for
the sort of lack of respect I’m going to show it and I actually struggled I
worked really hard over several months researching my buying decision I really
struggled to find much in the way of specifically landscape reviews of this
camera and lens combination and that surprised me because when you’re out
backpacking which is what a lot of landscape photographers tend to do a lot
of a sensible not stupidly heavy weight it’s not light I mean it still weighs a
kilo with this glass so a couple of pounds the difference is though that’s
all I need I’m only gonna have one lens hello oh
dear that would be on the blooper reel anyway as I was saying I didn’t want to
have a whole bunch of glass I love walking around with a camera either on a
strap or on a belt pouch so that when I see some interesting light and I’m
halfway up tenner over when I can go click and not be thinking oh if only I
had my long lens on well I’ll take my backpack off I’ll get it all out I’ll
get it said oh well I might as well set the tripod up while I’m at it the other
thing about this particular camera is the image stabilization system is
legendary I took an image last night in my room as
I was playing around with it I’ve only had it a day a four-second
handheld image pin-sharp I couldn’t believe it so I’m hopeful that the
images that I used to grab with my old camera that were tidy compositions but
technically not very good that I’ll be actually able to get something that I
could be a bit more proud of so I’ve got a couple of thank-yous about the the
purchase of this camera before I go any further
the first thank-you is to the lovely mrs. G because she was good enough to
allow me to blow a huge wad on this particular camera system so thank you
the lovely mrs. G the second thank you are to the people that sold me this
camera I went to a lovely little family-run business in : bay called
Cambria and photography if you’re anywhere near North Wales and you want
any sort of photographic equipment and service with a smile and all sorts of
help I highly recommend them but let me be a bit more specific than that
it’s easy to say oh yeah they’re nice people shop there when I got the sealed
olympus box home yesterday morning there was no battery in it I rang the shop and
said mmm unfortunately there’s no battery in my box what they said was we
are really sorry about that mr. Griffis we know you’ve driven an hour to come
and pick it up specially don’t worry we’ll send someone round with it oh and
by the way we’ll throw in a freebie by way of apology seriously I mean you’re
never going to get anything like that sort of customer service from your
average camera shop so thank you cambrie and photography and you have my very
strong recommendation so I’ve got a new camera system I haven’t taken any images
apart from that one hand-held test image except that I was here a bit earlier on
for sunrise there wasn’t one but I did put it on a tripod and take
the classic photograph of Tour de mal Atlanta in Ireland
and that was my second reason for coming here today very specifically what I was
after was the first image with this camera system to be my local iconic shot
now unfortunately I haven’t picked the best conditions to take my new camera
out for its inaugural test shot I would have been up on the headland for the
classic landing island composition the one that you may have seen me capture
when I was here back in August on that day I was taking advantage of the
sunrise and the FIH Peninsula over on the far side there and making the most
of those mountains in addition to tour mouths no chance of doing that today you
can barely see the mainland so my composition is slightly lower down to
take advantage of the pathway as the leading line and then to try and pull
some drama out of the sky in post the image itself I expect to be really
straightforward I’m all set up here with my composition I’m shooting f11 the
landscape photographers standard aperture it’s going to give me a shutter
speed of approximately half a second which is no problem at all I’ve got my
ISO set on the low setting which on this camera is actually 64 so here we go the
very first landscape shot with my new camera let’s see how it turns out bingo let’s have a cup of coffee and
answer a couple of questions and then hopefully my fellow photographers should
pitch up I’m gonna have a big chinwag I’ll also see if I can test out the
stabilization on this and get a few handhelds on the way home which as you
know is something I’m keen to do let’s have some questions first question from
David Williams again thank you David David often sends questions in and I’m
very grateful for that because I really enjoy talking about photography David
says can you tell me more about how you use your drone well the short answer is
yes I absolutely can but I would if I may like to do that on a separate video
because I think it warrants it wants a short video in itself so bear with me
David I’ll get that done for you as soon as I
can second question from Carrie Liana who is a brand-new vlogger
she’s based in Hawaii of all places jealous much she’s done one vlog so far
check out her channel it’s an interesting blog and she apologizes for
no audio but the b-roll that she gets is really nice and the interesting to see
what she makes of her channel Carol IANA asks what are three photography goals
that you’d like to accomplish in 2019 that’s a really good question okay so
the first two I’ve already accomplished because I’ve been thinking about it
since way before New Year get a new really really top quality
camera system for those super sharp images and get a system that’s really
lightweight and you only have to have one lens so that’s all that nicely taken
care of the third one actually relates to where I am there’s an image of the
tower that’s available in August of the Milky Way coming straight out of it
almost vertically and at that time of year the
galactic core is about five degrees above the horizon at three o’clock in
the morning on pretty much every morning where there’s no cloud cover at that
time of year there’ll be a row of photographers twenty or thirty of them
up on the hilltop there I didn’t come down here last year partly because my
equipment wasn’t up to it but I’m determined to prove that I can do that
with a micro four-thirds and the people that say you need a full frame and low
noise well we’ll see how I get on it’ll be a multiple image stack of course but
I’m determined to prove you can pull it off with a micro four-thirds last
question from Roger Steele and thank you very much Roger for writing in are you
able to describe how you match up your remote voice recording and your video
recordings so accurately it’s actually a really easy process Roger what I do is
when I sit down switch the camera on switch the voice recorder on I simply
clap my hands what that does is it creates a spike in the audio to the
audio waveform and I match that up with the video of where my hands are coming
together lock those two tracks together and everything synchronized and then I
can chop the track up and edit it as necessary going forward and the audio
stay synced so that’s how it’s done so it’s coming back to this like I said I
haven’t really talked about gear at all and because I couldn’t really find much
about specifically landscape photography with this camera but I found plenty of
quite opinionated four and pieces saying that micro four-thirds is utterly
dreadful for landscapes so you might think what are you thinking all you do
is landscapes well I hope I’ve made the right decision
time will tell from what I’ve seen so far I’m very pleased with it
but what I am going to be doing is talking much more specifically about
micro four-thirds as a landscape photography tool mostly because I’m an
evangelist for your equipment being as portable as
so that you can get out in the landscape but also because I answered a question
in my last ask me anything recommending to somebody that yes a micro four-thirds
system is a good way to get into landscape photography so I’ve now put my
money where my mouth is I need to prove that I wasn’t talking rubbish hopefully
I’ll do that I’ll be reviewing all sorts of aspects of how this works another
thing that I have done is I’ve started putting all the images that make it into
my vlogs onto the vlog page on my website so there’ll always be a link in
the description to that page where you can have a look at the images in full
size because on the video it doesn’t do them justice and going forwards if
anybody wants a raw file from future vlogs that I make with this contact me
and ask I’d be quite happy to share them when I was doing my research I found
some raw files and that actually was what suede it for me because that’s
really the only way you can tell whether or not you’re going to get the quality
out of the camera so I think that’s plenty for this one thank you ever so
much for watching I really appreciate it and next time out I’ll be doing a proper
landscape photography vlog with lots of photography so if you haven’t done it
yet why not subscribe now and join me next time Cheers

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