why I love my olympus.

First things first, the winner of the milk paint giveaway is Vicki Bougie.  Congrats Vicki!  And thanks so much to everyone who left a comment.  You all have so many great projects lined up, I just wish I could send milk paint to all of you!

OK, so I’m not a techie person, let’s just get that straight right up front.  I rarely have the patience to sit down and learn the ins and outs of a new device.  I’ve never loaded a single app on my phone.  And I should probably spend a little more time tweaking the design of my blog.  But all in all, I’d much rather be painting furniture.

That being said, I do occasionally force myself to try and learn more about my photography equipment so I can take good photos of the aforementioned painted furniture.

Today I thought I’d share an update regarding the camera I purchased back in September since I promised to report back on how I like it.  For those of you with absolutely no interest in camera equipment, this is the point where you should go do something more interesting with your time.

For the rest of you, the camera I purchased is an Olympus OM-D E-M10 mirrorless camera and I paid $399 for it.  If you want to refresh your memory regarding why I made this choice or what a mirrorless camera is, go back and read the post.  It’s OK.  I’ll wait.

This is a great little camera in a decent price range.  If you want a little more than just the camera on your phone or a simple point and shoot, this camera is a great step up.

 Here’s why I love it.

the size.

Whoever said ‘size doesn’t matter’ would be just plain wrong when it comes to having a camera that you want to carry around with you.  The Olympus OM-D is just so much smaller and lighter than my Canon Rebel (which is a DSLR camera).  This is one of the major pros to a mirrorless camera.

 I can throw it in my regular purse without having to switch to a larger bag.  If you don’t want to carry a big bag of gear around, this is a great feature.  Just to give you an idea of the size I took a photo of it on my Salvage Style book because I thought that would put it into perspective for many of you.

In comparison, here is my Canon with the Tamron lens that I normally use.

I’ve found that I’m much more likely to throw the Olympus in my bag when taking a day trip somewhere, like when we went looking for bald eagles back in March.  Even though I don’t have much of a zoom lens on the Olympus, I find that it takes such good quality photos that I can crop my photos with photo editing software later to ‘zoom in’ on my subject.  That’s how I got so ‘close’ to this eagle.

the touch screen shooting.

I totally underestimated how much I would love using the touch screen, especially when I want to redirect the camera’s focus.  Here’s how that works, the LCD screen displays the image you’re about to take and to choose the spot where you want the camera to focus you just touch the screen there.  The camera focuses and takes the shot with just one touch, no need to depress the shutter release button.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.  In this first photo I touched the screen over the vintage tablecloth in the foreground.

And here is that same shot, only this time I touched the screen over the bread box.

 Is that slick or what?  It’s something that I use really frequently.  When taking photos for the blog I often want to focus on a specific spot that isn’t centered in the shot, such as the drawer pull on this dresser …

With my Canon I have to reset the focal point, and then change it back every time, requiring multiple button pushes.  With the Olympus I can take unlimited photos one after the other with different focal points by just touching the screen in a different spot for each.

the LCD display.

I really like the LCD display more than I thought I would as well.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit the reason, but here it is.  I can take photos without having to remove my reading glasses!  I can see how my photo is composed, I can see all kinds of settings around the perimeter of the screen including a histogram, and then I can take the shot without have to take off my readers first.  I still have the viewfinder as a backup for outdoor shooting on bright, sunny days, but I rarely find myself using it otherwise.  With my Canon DSLR I am constantly putting readers on, then taking them off, putting them on, then taking them off.  You younger punks may not appreciate this feature, but those of you closer to my age know exactly what I’m talking about here.

Another handy feature of the screen is that it tilts, even as far as perpendicular to the camera.

This can be super handy when you want to hold the camera at about waist level and shoot straight on at your subject (usually a piece of furniture for me).  You can still easily see the screen.

how easy it is to adjust the exposure.

It’s also far easier to make quick changes to adjust the exposure on this camera.  You just turn the ring that is around the shutter button.  It couldn’t be easier to go just a hair lighter or darker and you can immediately see the results either through the viewfinder or on the screen.  With the Canon I have to hold down the AV button with one finger, move the ring with another and you can’t see the results until after you take the photo and then check it on the view screen (take the readers off, put the readers back on).

photo quality.

 After reading all of these glowing reasons why I love my Olympus camera you must be assuming that I don’t even use my Canon any more, but no, that’s not true.

The biggest reason that I continue to use the Canon is that I have several expensive lenses for it, and I don’t want to fork out the money for similar lenses for the Olympus.  At least not all at once.  And personally I find that the lens I’m using makes the biggest difference to the quality of my photos.  Lately I’ve been experimenting with prime lenses and have found that the sharpness of my photos (especially in lower light situations) is much better with a prime lens.  I have a 50 mm prime lens for my Canon, and it takes really sharp photos.  The 50 mm is not quite wide enough for taking photos of furniture indoors though.  At least not in my house.  I can’t get far enough away to get the whole piece of furniture in the frame.  That’s why I’ve been doing a lot of outside shots lately.

However, I did just splurge on a wide-angle 17 mm prime lens for the Olympus both in anticipation of my upcoming trip and so that I can work on my indoor shots (the 17 mm for a mirrorless camera is approximately equal to a 35 mm prime for a DSLR, so a bit wider than the 50 mm that I’ve been using, I know, this all gets so confusing, doesn’t it?).  I have two weeks to decide if I love it enough to justify the expense (it cost more than the camera itself at $599 including a good quality UV filter), so I plan to do a lot of practicing with it between now and then.  I used it to take the photos of the watering can in Monday’s post, and so far so good.

The other reason I don’t always reach for the Olympus is that little thing I mentioned at the beginning of this post.  I’m not patient about learning new technologies.  The Olympus has so many bells and whistles that it’s a serious challenge to learn about all of them.  I’ve been using it for over six months now and I still struggle with making adjustments on the fly.  But the more I learn about this camera and the more I practice, the more I use it.  I suspect that I will be using it a lot in Norway and Scotland, so I’ll be sure to report back on how it worked out for me after my trip, which is coming up soon!

In the meantime, I’ll be back next week with some more furniture makeovers so be sure to stay tuned.

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10 thoughts on “why I love my olympus.

  1. This looks like a camera for me…it’s smaller and looks easy to focus. I’d love to see more tutorials on using this camera and how you composed your shot. ( and maybe Olympus might sponsor your blog ). I look forward to more lessons or an ebook!

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    1. Thanks for leaving this comment Janice! Whenever I write posts like this I wonder if anyone gets anything out of it. If I’m helping even just one person that makes it worthwhile to me. I’ll be happy to share more camera posts down the road 🙂

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  2. I’ve always admired your photography skills. I remember taking a photography class in high school and how challenging it was for me learning just the basics. I can only imagine learning it on your own, either through books or trial and error. Good for you because your photos are a direct extension of your artistic and creative side. And everyone reading your blog or just looking at your pgotos gets to benefit as well! Keep up the good work!

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    1. Yep, there has definitely been some ‘trial and error’, but another good resource is YouTube. I found a great tutorial for my camera by Tony Northrup.

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    1. What’s nice about this camera is that you can just use it simply on “auto” or maybe “P” setting, or you can get more technical and start adjusting your aperture or shutter speed on your own. And you can buy different lenses for it depending on your needs. And that touch screen thing is pretty darn awesome.

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  3. Funny, I just purchased a Canon today with 2 lenses. Need lenses for far away shots of Grand kidlets and their sports, dance events. So excited to get started learning about it. Thanks for this post. Your photos are fabulous. Thanks for all you do.

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