My new camera, the Olympus OM-D E-10 MarkII, a mirrorless ‘micro four thirds’ which is a sort of lighter, scaled down version of a digital SLR, a middle of the range camera but with almost all the features of its big brothers. It has a smaller sensor but one that’s capable of filming 4K video and with enough definition to allow you to print out the photographs at A4 size.
Jessops are currently doing a deal on a kit that includes the camera body plus an everyday kind of zoom lens and another that is more powerful, which I look forward to trying the next time we visit a bird reserve. I’ve also treated myself to a macro lens as at least 50% of my photography involves close-ups of flowers, fungi and fossils.
It’s certainly one up on my previous bridge camera, which has given me a useful way of getting into more serious photography over the last three years.
When it comes to throwing the background out of focus, for instance in this close-up of germander speedwell taken with the new camera on our front lawn, the bridge camera was rather limited as you were given a choice of only two apertures. You need a wide aperture, which lets in more light but gives you correspondingly less depth of field, and a faster shutter speed to isolate a subject in this way.
I was inspired to take the plunge and finally go for the camera by our walk around Askham Bog with members of the Wakefield Naturalists’ Society last weekend. Several of the Nats had flip up viewfinders on their cameras which made photographing a flower at ground level a whole lot easier. I was using my little Olympus Tough, which is the size of a bar of soap, on the day and, with the viewfinder hidden down amongst the grass stems the process involved a lot of guesswork. My bridge camera was also lacking in this respect.
The viewfinder/touchscreen also tilts downwards so that I was able to hold the camera above my head and take this close-up of a clump of moss on the garage roof.
The Olympus E-10 also gives you the option of a regular viewfinder. When you put your eye to the viewfinder it switches on and the touchscreen viewfinder on the back switches off. Perhaps holding the camera braced against my eye will help me keep it steady.
I feature that I’ve yet to drill down through the menus to activate is the 5 way image stabilisation, which is reviews suggest works even better than the 3 way image stabilisation in the previous model of the E-10.
Olympus OM-D E-10 MarkII at Jessops.