Moving Toward Mirrorless Camera

It’s inevitable that a mirrorless camera is in my future. I shot with Nikon film cameras for 15 years. Then I moved to Canon for digital SLRs and have been happy for 16 years. Will I make a brand shift when I go to mirrorless?

The nice folks at Olympus were kind enough to send me an OM-D E-M1 Mark II to test. (Thanks to Gary Farber at Hunt’s Camera & Video for your help!) This camera retails at $1,699 with a 20.4 megapixel sensor and 15 frames per second shooting. Check, check, and check on price, file size, and shooting speed.

There were some other features that were intriguing. The camera can shoot 60 frames per second is silent mode which would be amazing for birds. It has in-camera focus stacking and in-camera time lapse. Both of these are important to me.

I’ve used the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for a week and here are my initial impressions. (Check back tomorrow for more.)

  • Weight — Let’s get that out of the way first. I thought there would be more difference.
    • 4.9 lbs OM-D E-M1 Mark II with 300mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter
    • 4.9 lbs Canon 5D Mark IV with 300mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter
    • 4.7 lbs Canon Rebel T6i with 300mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter
  • Size — Smaller than my DSLR camera by an inch.
    • 5-inches wide by 2.25-inches deep on the Olympus
    • 6-inches wide by 3-inches deep on the Canon 5D Mark IV
    • 5-inches wide by 3.25-inches deep on the Canon Rebel T6i

Set-up — I wasn’t looking forward to this step. I’ve taught photography for 25-years and know Canon and Nikon cameras well. The Canon R was intuitive right out of the box. Sony, Olympus, and Fuji tend to put things in different places and call them by different names.

The OM-D E-M1 forced me to go to the user’s manual. I was able to get the camera set to my liking with the help of the manual. Dials and Fn buttons have to do double duty since the camera body is smaller.

Once I got the camera set-up to my liking, the features I needed were easy to reach and adjust. ISO, exposure adjustment, focus points were at my finger tips and I could shoot.

But — What about the picture quality? So far, I’m impressed.

Check back tomorrow for more about this camera and the OM-D M1X. Once again, thanks to Gary Farber at Hunt’s Photo & Video for your help with this loaner.

Author: kathyadamsclark

Professional photographer leading workshops and tours.

8 thoughts on “Moving Toward Mirrorless Camera”

  1. You know I had a love/hate with that camera in Costa Rica. I’ve made adjustments and have used it quite a bit and am now totally in love with it. Like you, I expected it to be lighter than my Nikon but not so much. I do like the grip, find it easier to handle and with the image stabilization in oth lens and camera body I am able to hand hold at slower shutter speeds than possible with the Nikon. Lens are far superior to any nikon lens I had. Very happy with my camera. So glad you have one now. When I get confused or mad at it in Norway I can yell for help.


  2. Olympus doubles the reach of the lens so the 300 mm with the extender on the Olympus would result in 840 mm equivalent, while the 300 mm with the extender on a full frame would give 420mm. While weight would be the same, the Olympus would have much longer reach. I love Olympus!


    1. Correct, Vicki, and glad to know you like the Olympus system. I used the weight comparison since I suspect most people who own a Canon or Nikon 300mm f/4 would buy the same if they moved to Olympus. The weight is the same but the reach is more like carrying a 500mm lens and a 1.4x or even a 600mm. Thanks for the input.

      Feel free to comment on my other posts since you’re already using the Olympus system. Input from existing users is always helpful.


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