Wednesday 31 May 2023

Late Spring Updates

OM System OM-1, 12-40 PROmII, 6 stop LiveND

 Well, it’s been a hot minute since I posted here. What’s been happening? Both a lot and not very much. I spent most of the winter and early spring cooped up for various reasons. Not much photography happened until recently, although I did get one good outing mid-spring. I also started an RC-related YouTube channel which has been eating a lot of time. That’s somewhat relevant to this blog as I’m shooting those videos on my OM-1, which has proven to work very well for my needs for video. 

Overall I’ve been very happy with the OM-1, I’m up around 2300 exposures on it, limited mostly by the lack of outings. At this point I have very few complaints about it. The handling is great, the IQ is up to par, even coming from the outstanding A7RIV, I don’t find myself going ‘I wish I had the Sony instead’ when I look at the files from the OM-1. Is it a match for the Sony in IQ? No for resolution and Dynamic range, yes for colour. But with the computation capabilities, i rarely find myself in a situation where I can’t get the IQ I need while also getting the shot. I had more issues with the Sony due to the need for ND filters, poor LCD articulation for low-angle shooting and lower-quality LCD resulting in worse viewing angles in sunlight. The LiveND feature is probably the biggest win for me, I can carry one filter, a polarizer, and almost always get the shot I need. I do carry a 10 stop ND just in case, but rarely ever fit it, 6 stops is enough for most of my uses. 

On the handling side, the OM-1 beats the pants off the A7RIV. I just really like shooting with this camera, it feels right, the controls are better laid out, not cramped and I have full confidence in the camera in every condition. The A7RIV was good enough at handling, but just not as good as the OM-1. 

On the lens front, I have the 12-40/2.8 Pro mII, the 40-150/4 Pro and the 17/1.8, I haven’t used the 17  much at all yet (I’ve owned it a couple times before, so I know what I’m getting). My only complaint with any of them is the close focus on the 40-150/4, it’s a little restrictive. 

There’s surprisingly been more cases where I wished I had longer lenses than wider. I was expecting to miss not having an UWA more, and not having a longer telephoto (>300mm-e) less, but it’s actually been the opposite. Regardless I do see adding lenses at both ends of the spectrum over time. The 8-25/4 Pro and 40-150/2.8 Pro would make a good working pair, sharing a 72mm filter thread (and I already have a polarizer that fits), and the 40-150/2.8 is TC-compatible and known to work vey well with the Oly/OM TC’s. That way I’d have the current pair of zooms for minimalist carry and the bigger set plus a TC or two for wider-ranged carry. Stretch setup would add the 100-400 and 60 or 90 Macro. 

I have been somewhat interested in adding a second body, more as a B cam for YouTube than anything else. No idea where I’d go there, there’s so many decent options so long as all I need is decent 1080p60 with manual focus. I honestly will probably add an action camera first.

On the pure photography side, getting up north has been a big win for me. I love the geography of the Canadian Shield and getting up there to shoot has just been good for the soul, and also for the bank of images to process. I suspect there’s going to be more overnight and short weekend trips north in my future. While I have concentrated on the Muskoka’s and Ontario Highlands since getting into Landscape Photography, it’s the North that is where my true passion for the subject lies.