Before I left on my dream holiday I was contemplating whether I should take my full frame camera equipment weighting in around 5 Kg or not!
Well, we have all been there before - do I break my back for a great shot or do I carry something lighter more portable and easier to carry around.
No I didn't take the full frame equipment!
I decided to take an Olympus OM-D E-M10 compact system camera, complete with the standard 14-42mm compact lens.
This was accompanied by:
This little lot fitted into a Lowepro Nova 160AW gadget bag. I was ready for action.
When arriving in Italy, the first thing I thought of was WOW look at these views, where is my camera, I need to take some pictures now!!!! But then I realised I needed to drive to Lake Garda first.
Once there, the views were even more stunning and so the camera gear came out. I took the obligatory pictures of the pool side and the hotel, then later on the first walk around Lake Garda itself.
The weather wasn't the best but the great thing about the Olympus was its portability and being able to carry it around without breaking a sweat. And the saying "The Best Camera Is The One You Have With You" is probably very true for this camera outfit, it went everywhere.
I love landscape photography and the 9-18mm was an ideal lens to use around the Lakes with its extreme wide angle. I used a Circular Polarizing filter to cut down reflections which helped bring out the colours.
The speed of focusing was one of the things that really delighted me and how accurate it was as well. Using the electronic viewfinder was also a joy to use. It showed me all the info I needed and more. Having vertical or horizontal activation in the viewfinder certainly helped lining up the subject matter, and getting it right first time!
When we got into Florence, the landscape changed as there was a lot more architecture and people to take some photos of. I'm not a street photographer in any shape or form, but with the OM-D E-M10 that changed. With the camera being so compact, it didn't really stand out, so I carried on shooting. Candid photography was fun using the 3” LCD tiltable touchscreen - by just touching the screen you can focus and shoot from your hip or above your head. The one lens in this outfit that I thought I wasn't going to use was the 75mm f/1.8, How wrong was I (there is a first time for everything)!? This lens was ideal for street photography. Using the OM-D E-M10 with the 75mm f/1.8 it was easy to nail the focus or manual using focus peaking, even with its shallow depth of field it was very accurate to use.
The 3-axis image stabilisation was always handy to use, especially with the 75-300mm and in low light situations i.e. in Church's, museums etc.
I do like to take long exposure images and the OM-D didn't let me down – I found that using the Live Bulb function was a doddle. You can see the image develop in front of you via the LCD screen or viewfinder, perfect for fireworks and night scenes. You can also use this facility by using the Wi-Fi in the camera via the 'Olympus Image Share' for Android Tablets, phones iPhones and iPads. You can control everything from this, (iAUTO, P, A, S, M, Live Bulb or ART) and drive mode (Single, Burst and Self timer) and the white balance etc.
Once you have taken your images you can simply save them onto your device and then even edit them if you wish. While away, we did upload a few images on Facebook so friends and family could see we were having a great time on holiday, just to rub it in!
If you are considering purchasing this camera, Olympus are running a scheme available at both Park Cameras stores called "TEST AND WOW" you can test drive anyone of the three OM-D models with a selection of lenses for 24 hours.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is available in stock at both our stores in Central London and Burgess Hill (West Sussex), so if you’re local, please pop in and try out the camera and range of Olympus lenses for yourself! Alternatively visit www.ParkCameras.com where you can see the camera online.
If you've got a question about the OM-D E-M10 or the range of lenses, why not post a comment in the box below and we’ll do our best to answer them for you.