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(Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

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  • (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

    I'm no pro, just a very passionate enthusiast. I dunno too much about pixel peeing, so my impressions are based on normal usage in common situations - streeting, architecture, urbanscapes, landscapes and family&friends photography. YMMV

    This review was originally posted on my blog. Reproduced here for the sharing with the PM community.

    I enjoy taking photos on the street. Candid, unassuming photographs of people i see on the street. Sometimes, i stalk these people for a little while, if i find them particularly interesting. Follow them around for a bit, hoping to catch them in that "decisive moment" when interesting transforms into art. It doesn't always happen, but that's part of the fun.

    The camera you choose to take with you to the street does have a direct impact on the ease or difficulty in how all of this is achieved. Generally, larger is worse, smaller is better. A large camera (say, a full frame DSLR) attracts a lot of attention due to it's obvious size -- point the camera at someone and odds on you'll be noticed; being noticed will almost certainly affect the behaviour of the subject. A smaller camera reduces the risk of being noticed, and also often provides additional mobility to take photos from unconventional angles. Plus the fact that streeting = walking, and walking around with 5-10kgs of gear gets tiring very quickly. Smaller = lighter.

    How does the OM-D fare as a street camera? Very well. We've already covered how well it handles in High ISO/low-light scenarios. A lot of street shots, those in the evenings, can be done in very low-light settings. How about the 5-axis image stabilization? It works great here. While streeting, you're moving a lot, your subject is probably moving as well and chances of motion blur can sometimes be high. This is mitigated somewhat by the built-in IS.

    And finally, the tilt-screen. In 3 of the 5 photos below, the photos were taken by swiveling the screen upwards 90 degrees and looking directly downward into the camera to get the photo, almost like how you would should with a top-down viewing medium format camera. Being able to see the subject without even looking into his direction is what this feature allows you to do; and it works great in reducing the chances you'll be noticed, thus adding to the level of candidness in the shot.

    The following photos we taken with a mix of lenses: Olympus 45mm f/1.8 and the Panasonic 14mm f2.5. Click on them for the larger version.

    1.
    Angel in white by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

    Street angel.

    2.
    Always open by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

    Always open.

    3.
    Thank you, come again by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

    Thank you, come again. Down the hatch.

    4.
    Leaning to exist by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

    Leaning to exhale.

    5.
    A chance meeting by aizuddindanian, on Flickr

    A boy meets man.

    SEE ALSO, other Olympus OM-D Posts here on PM:

    Lens Choices: http://www.photomalaysia.com/forums/...mpus-OM-D-EM-5
    First Impressions: http://www.photomalaysia.com/forums/...mpus-OM-D-EM-5
    Low-Light Performance: http://www.photomalaysia.com/forums/...mpus-OM-D-EM-5
    Last edited by adic88; 21-06-2012, 10:55 AM.
    Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

  • #2
    Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

    Nice.. Me like B&W

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

      nice series of photos, and beautiful B&W!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

        Nice series. Looks like the Olympus is a good 'weapon' for street shoot!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

          Originally posted by noordin View Post
          Nice series. Looks like the Olympus is a good 'weapon' for street shoot!
          Originally posted by basnojj View Post
          nice series of photos, and beautiful B&W!
          Originally posted by Chan Fong Ming View Post
          Nice.. Me like B&W
          Thanks fellas.

          One more thing i forgot to mention is the fast AF. This also contributes significantly to effective streeting because it allows you to "drive by shooting" and "ninja sniping".

          In two of the photos above, i only had a second to get the shot. I didn't even have time to look at the LCD or the EVF. I just pointed the camera in the general direction of the subject, pressed the shutter and prayed i got it. The AF lock was almost instant in both cases and the shutter released immediately. Can you guess which two photos were taken this way?

          I'll bet it's hard to guess, the photos are critically sharp despite the hurried shots (and motion blur coming from my hands moving and shooting the camera, but that's thanks to the 5-axis IS).
          Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

            looks really good. are pics heavily edited? thx
            http://www.behance.net/photodelics

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

              Originally posted by photodelics View Post
              looks really good. are pics heavily edited? thx
              Not at all. Just basic burn and dodge, adjust some curves, and apply some unsharp masks. Do all my processing in Lightroom, spent about 2-3 minutes of each shot.
              Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

                I like it, the composition esp buka 24 hr cobbler.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

                  I think the pics are over sharpened. The Oly could have sharpened the images by default.
                  Maxby has a facebook too

                  PhotoSafari - each experience is a different

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

                    Originally posted by maxby View Post
                    I think the pics are over sharpened. The Oly could have sharpened the images by default.
                    Flickr recently changed their compression algorithm that effectively adds another layer of sharpening.

                    The original files i have are alright, and will look alright when printed.
                    Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

                      The image entitled "Always open" is a good capture. I've only had a brief encounter with the OMD but it does look and feel quite nice. Very impressed with the image output. Nice set you have there by the way.
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/beautiful_oblivion/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

                        Originally posted by daniel_lkk View Post
                        The image entitled "Always open" is a good capture. I've only had a brief encounter with the OMD but it does look and feel quite nice. Very impressed with the image output. Nice set you have there by the way.
                        Thank you!
                        Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

                          I'm having problems with my OMD when I put my eye to the view finder it does not turn on. I have to put my eye to it several times to turn it on. Any suggestions?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

                            Originally posted by f8 and be there View Post
                            I'm having problems with my OMD when I put my eye to the view finder it does not turn on. I have to put my eye to it several times to turn it on. Any suggestions?
                            I get the reverse, i want the LCD to turn on, but it stays off. LOL.
                            Photoblog: http://www.aizuddindanian.com/voi

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: (Review) Street photography with the Olympus OM-D EM-5

                              Nice....hope you could post more in future time..

                              Comment

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