What Camera gear do i use? Simple.. Olympus.
One of the questions I get asked most often via Instagram, Facebook and Email is “What camera gear do I use?”.
The simple answer is Olympus.
I started using Olympus just under a year ago, in April 2017. Prior to that I had been using most of the big name camera brand DSLRs, which I loved, they are all great brands, however I found that as a travel & adventure photographer lugging all the bulky bodies and lenses around was just too heavy and causing a strain on my back and neck, especially when walking and shooting upto 10 hours a day and carrying all of my gear. I was also finding it a struggle to carry all of my camera gear as carry on during flights - as airline carry on weight limits are 7kgs - and anyone with a full kit of DSLR and lenses knows that most brands kits weigh way more than 7kgs (mine used to weigh around 14kgs). So not only was i looking for something that was lightweight and compact, I was looking for something that was just as good in both image quality and performance. That’s when I was introduced to Olympus, it was all of that and so much more.
Not only is the image quality and performance amazing and second to none, camera and lenses lighter and more compact (with my full kit of 2 camera bodies, 4 lenses, teleconverter, 4 batteries, charger, filters and laptop all in my camera bag i now come in under 7kgs), the image stabilisation is so good that I don’t even carry a tripod with me anymore when I want to capture the movement of water. Whether it be bushwalking to shoot waterfalls or when i want to capture the movement of water when shooting the ocean, i don't use a tripod. I'll explain a bit more in-depth about this feature later in the Blog. Keep reading for all the gear that i use, why i love it and some of the features.
This is the only camera body I use. It’s a Micro Four Thirds camera, which is lightweight (only 498grams), compact, with a weather resistant body – splash-proof, dust-proof and freeze-proof (I’ve had it in some pretty decent rain and it just wipes straight off, as well as really hot conditions and freezing conditions and it’s stood the test). The colours I can capture on this are phenomenal and I feel like I don’t need to do much colour adjustment when it comes time to edit – to capture the pastels that I am known for I tend to shoot at certain times of the day when the light is just right.
One of my favourite things about this camera is that you can shoot handheld images up to 5 seconds (I’ve heard you can shoot longer than this but I haven’t tried to shoot longer yet – apparently you can even shoot the Milky Way without using a tripod!). This is due the 5-axis in-body image stabilisation system, which basically means that I can shoot slow shutter speed images without having to use a tripod. This was a game changer for me. It meant that most of the time, I no longer use a tripod – unless I’m shooting astro or need to capture an image with me in it. I travel a lot and love to shoot sunrise, sunset, seascapes and waterfalls and I love to capture the slow water movement. Being able to shoot up to these speeds means that I can go bushwalking and not need to take a tripod, I can rush out the door in the morning to shoot sunrise and I don’t need to carry my tripod with me – winning!
I love the design of this camera, with fully articulating 3" LCD touchscreen display i can see what i'm shooting no matter what angle i'm shooting from, it's easy to use and fits perfectly in my hand (not to mention it pretty much fits in my daypack or handbag if i'm just going out for a quick walk but i don't want to miss a photo opportunity).
People often ask me if i miss using a full frame camera and to be honest, no i do not. Unless you're a really picky pixel counter or you're planning on using your images to blow them up onto mega sized billboards, you won't notice a difference. I sell a lot of my images as prints and i print quite large - over 115cm x 75cm and the image quality is amazing. I couldn't be happier that i am now using the Olympus system.
It has so many special features on this camera, which you won’t necessarily find in others, which can take your creative side to a whole new level. Here are just a few:
Wifi & Olympus OI.Share Ap for Smartphone - The Live View Function
One of my favourite things and something i use quite often is the Wifi function, especially if i am travelling alone and i need to capture a photo with me in the shot. You simply download the Olympus OI.Share App for your smartphone. With this app, you can release the shutter remotely and easily import photos from the camera to your smartphone, perfect for uploading images straight to social media, or to share with your loved ones.
For capturing photos of myself in a scene, i use the Live View function, which basically allows you to operate the camera from your smartphone screen. You can see the cameras live view on your screen, set the auto focus point, release the shutter - you can even change the shooting mode, drive mode, ISO, aperture and shutter speed as well as control the zoom for electronic lenses. That way i can get the perfect shot with me in it and not have to guess if i have the composition right or if i am in focus, i can do it all right from the palm of my hand via my smartphone.
An in camera feature where you have the ability to capture 8 images of slightly different focus and then the in-camera feature automatically merges them for a single photo in focus from the foreground to background. Perfect for macro shooting and making your photos stand out.
High Speed Sequential Shooting
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II has some of the worlds best high-speed performance in a camera. With high speed performance of 18 fps in AF/AE tracking and 60 fps in AE/AF lock. The electronic viewfinder provides smooth and fast display at a 120-fps frame rate and a 0.005-second display time lag, so you will never miss a shot. Perfect for shooting wildlife and sports.
I learnt how to use this feature when I traveled to Sydney with Olympus to shoot Vivid Festival. Basically a live composite image is one made of several separate photographs that are combined in the camera over a period of time. In Live Composite mode the camera shoots a series of images continuously using the same exposure time. All the images are combined together into a single composite, in camera. The first image is used to record the ambient light. After the first exposure, only the brighter pixels in any following images are used. If nothing becomes brighter in the scene, nothing changes in the picture. Which makes it perfect for star trails, capturing street scenes with car lights and cityscapes at night. You can watch the shot come to life on your LCD screen on the back of your camera and see exactly how the shot is looking at all times, so you can stop it whenever you are happy with the shot.
Hi Res Mode
This camera gives you the ability to capture an 80MP Raw shot (or 50MP jpeg).. in camera. It captures 8 consecutive shots in one second, then composites the images into one ultra-high resolution shot. Pretty amazing when you see the final image.
Live Time Exposure
When capturing long exposure shots, you can watch the shot come to life on your LCD screen, which means you can stop it when the image looks just right.
Below are some of the key specifications of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark ii:
20MP Live MOS sensor
5-axis in-body image stabilization system
121-pt hybrid AF system
60 fps burst shooting (18 fps with continuous AF)
Fully articulating 3" LCD touchscreen display
High-res electronic viewfinder
Cinema (DCI) and UHD 4K video
50MP High-Res Shot mode
Focus Bracketing and Stacking
Lightweight Weather-sealed body
For more details on the OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1- Mark ii including it’s specifications, features and Design click on this link:
Equivalent to 24-80mm
This is my goto Lens, it’s pretty much always on my camera body. I take most of my sunrise and sunset shots on this lens, as well as most of my travel photos. You can shoot objects within a distance of only 20cm, so it makes this lens pretty versatile. If i had to choose just one lens to take on a trip with my Olympus OM-D E-M1- Mark ii then this would be the lens i would take.
M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm F1.2 PRO Equivalent to 50mm I use this lens for most of my portrait shots. When I do family shoots, couple shoots, brand and products shots or portrait shoots, I always use this lens. I also use this lens if I am shooting travel shots with myself in the shot, as it gives the image a bit more depth and life.
Equivalent to 14-28mm
This is my goto astro and landscape lens. It captures some of the most amazing astro and star shots that I have taken. I also use this lens for some of my landscape shots where I need a good wide angle to fit the whole scene in.
Equivalent to 80-300mm This is one of my other favourite lenses to use. I use this for sunset and sunrise shots when i want to zoom in, when shooting wildlife, i also use this when capturing family shoots, anything that is that little bit further away or where I want the image to look really dramatic. It comes everywhere with me and for a telephoto lens it’s actually quite light at only 760g.
I use this with my 40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens. For any shots that i need that little extra zoom for, i just pop the extender on the camera and it brings it upto 56-210mm (420mm equivalent).
So there you have it, all of my camera gear that i use. I would recommend this camera for anyone, whether you are a professional or amateur. Whether you shoot travel, weddings, portraits, adventure, underwater, wildlife. Olympus have a great range of cameras to suit every budget, so make sure you check out their whole range.
Click on each product below and it will take you to the Olympus website where you can read some more in depth information straight from each product page.
For some of my photos captured on my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark ii and the lenses, see the photos below.
Just remember having a great/expensive camera does not mean that you will take great photos. Sure it helps with the quality of the camera and images, however you can still use a cheaper camera and have great results - it's all about the person using the camera - than the camera you are using. I'll be writing a Blog Post about this subject soon.
I hope you enjoyed reading the list of camera gear that i use. If you have any questions whatsoever, if you need recommendations, advice or you just want to say hi and let me know what you thought of the Blog Post, please write it in the comments below.
Disclaimer – All photos in this Blog Post were taken and edited by myself. All opinions are my own, honest and unbiased.
Shot on 12-40mm F2.8