Featuring the EM5 micro four thirds system
What would be the perfect camera for a street photographer? One might wonder. Well, I do believe that it’s quite up to every individual photographer to decide for themselves. But I can name a few things that might apply to the majority of people:
- The camera needs to be lightweight
- It needs to be relatively compact
- It shouldn’t be all to noticeable
- It needs to have fast AF (except if you prefer manual focus of course)
And for most street photographing ends it would be nice to have a focal length of approximately 50 or 35mm (full frame equivalent). These are the old standards from the days of film photography, back when all camera’s had full frame sensors (35mm film that is). A 50mm will give you a nice field of view to frame your subjects, and a 35 will give you a bit more wideness in your FOV.
I used to own a Fujifilm X100, which seemed to be the perfect street photography camera, it has everything any street photographer could ever want, fast 35mm lens, lightweight an compact construction, yet retaining a high quality and very good looking build (it’s so damn sexy looking). And I still love it! But the doubtfull autofocus combined with a limited manual focus function made me miss too many shots, and caused me to get rid of it eventually. So it was back to the old Pentax K5. But that wasn’t too proper either, because it has that DSLR bulkiness. I then opted for the Olympus OM-d EM5 (they should’ve done something about that name though). An advanced Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens camera, the Pro Pen system. And as you might have seen/read in my previous posts, I took it out for a spin on the streets of Newcastle.
I combined the Oly with a Sigma 19mm f/2.8 (38mm FF equivilant). Which by the way, is a great value lens, bought it down at my local camera store for €100,-! And after the €100,- mail-in rebate offer from Olympus I had the entire set-up for just €899,- which is an amazing price for a system like this.
I will summarize my experience with this camera in a good vs bad comparison:
- Good quality photos for the small sensor size
- Very Lightweight. Had it slung around my neck all day, never bothered me.
- Small size
- People barely noticed it, so it makes candid shooting much easier
- Autofocus is amazing, spot on every time
- It had delays sometime in booting up or switching from LCD to EVF
- It froze up on me twice (needed to take out the battery to get it to work again)
- The battery drained itself on me after just one day of shooting
- I personally prefer OVF over EVF, but that’s just personal.
So there you have it, the good and the bad. I really don’t want to give you a conclusion or whatever, because I do believe that everybody has to decide for themselves what camera would be good for them. All I can say is that this camera has worked quite well for me on the streets and I’m sure it’ll make a load more people out there happy photographers. But with cameras like the X-pro 1 or the X100s, or for the overly rich amongst us the Leica M and X series, the competition is fierce. But this system delivers, and it does it at an amazing price, and that’s something that for a lot of people out there still is the #1 criteria.