Saturday was the Olympus LCE Lincoln day with Steve Gosling. Olympus was there lending equipment and buying the coffee while Steve gave us his advice on Steet and Urban Landscape Photography.
I will not bore you with the details apart from suggest you attend a training day yourself on a subject that interests you, it will do more for your photography then buying new gear, but the gear was also an important part of this day.
Its one thing using a camera in a shop for five minutes and reading reviews, quite another to actually go out and shoot with it for real for a whole day.
I started the day with the Olympus 14-42mm compact zoom, on the OM-D M10 this is a tiny CSC option and can easily replace and does out perform most compacts, you could argue that you might get better results from a Ricoh GR, Nikon Coolpix A which are similar sizes but they don’t have the EVF or flexibility that this little Olympus brings to the table.
We started off after coffee at the excellent independent coffee shop ‘The Angel’ and after a discussion walked up to the cathedral quarter to start shooting.
Steve kept coming round offering his advice, making us try and think before we tripped the shutter about what we were trying to say.
On the picture taking front, I did a mix of architecture, street photography and some fine detail shots.
Half way round the walk I switched lens and tried something a little different, the Olympus super zoom, 14-150mm, this on micro four thirds gives you a 300mm reach.
The lens is a little slow and I did suffer from noise in some of my shots, it was not the brightest of days but for such a little lens with a huge zoom range it performs better then expected.
On the camera front, the little OM-D is a fantastic performer, while noise can come in at higher ISO’s the images are still pleasing if not quite as malleable in post processing as say a Nikon D800 file, but you would not walk round with a D800 and 300mm lens.
Some of my images were soft, I have to admit I was using the camera in a very casual fashion and not using what I would call proper camera technique, the think I liked was the movable rear screen, allowing me to shoot from the hip, but this does mean camera shake can be an issue.
In many of my street shots I was shooting 1/250 second at f/8 and auto ISO, these generally where sharper but had noise, when I was in aperture priority my shutter speed dropped and I had more subject motion in my shots.
When I stopped and took care then the shots were sharp and excellent quality.
Apart from Steve’s advice I took three things away from the day.
- Not matter what the camera, good camera technique is still required.
- The OM-D system is fantastic and hard to fault for its size advantages.
- I really appreciate the simplicity of my Leica after all that technology.