Before I get lost in the 1000 emails in my inbox for missing work for over a week, I wanted to write down somethoughts on my gear. If you missed my camera gear list for Iceland, that can be found here. The only change from that list is that I decided to not bring the Leica Q. It was too distracting as it's output is stunning, but it was also not weather sealed and given our repeated days in snow, ice and rain, I made a good choice.
Regarding my m43 kit I brought, here is what I learned and what thoughts I have. Given I am new to this camera, some of the issues called out below may be solvable by navigating the difficult menu system but maybe not. Leave a comment if you know how to solve the issue.
- I did use every one of the lenses and pieces of my kit that I brought. I was pleased about that.
- I fully tested the weatherproofing of all my equipment and never once did it disappoint or fail. I was blown away at how good this equipment is and what I put it through with ZERO issues!
- I wish I had brought two bodies with me. I was forced many times to leave the lens on that I started with, often the 12-100, because I just didn't want to deal with changing lenses in the rain, sleet, snow and wind. Thankfully, the 12-100 is so good!
- 2 second hand holding with the 12-100 on the EM1ii with good, sharp results is astounding. I often didn't have to use a tripod to show movement and flowing water and waterfalls. So amazing.
- Output on m43 is outstanding at base ISO of 200 and even at 400. Above that, noise does start to creep in a bit. Usable, but given how much we shot in the dark in Iceland, I often was above ISO 800.
- I also had trouble with understanding how accurate the EVF is? In reviewing images, it appears that I underexposed images frequently. I did this because I was concerned that I was blowing out the highlights. In actually, I was actually just making it harder to pull detail out of the darks and added noise to the darks. Bummer on that. I will trust the metering a bit more going forward.
- Dang buttons on the EM1ii. I often would remove the camera from my bag and after a few shots notice changes to my settings including things like ISO changes, Raw to jpeg, etc. The only thing I can fathom here is that I was putting the camera away in my bag without turning the power off and as a result was hitting buttons and turning control dials. I am now making sure it is off when placing in my bag.
- Shutter button is too sensitive. Often before removing the lens cap, which I had to use always due to rain, I would start a long exposure. I have read many reports from the camera launch stating something similar. I can conclude it is real. The flipside though is that when the camera is on and I am ready to shoot, I appreciate the sensitivity.
- Olympus or someone needs to make a proper base plate with the standard Arca style fitment for tripod heads. I used something that was not designed for it and each day I had to reposition the tripod mount. Come on Really Right Stuff. Get that thing finished. It is critical!
- For landscape, invest in a great tripod and a great ball head. There was one day while trying to shoot the Panasonic 100-400 that I could get a solid shot on the tripod due to wind.
- I used my ND filters a lot, but looking back I wish I would have invested in something like a Lee filter system so I could use an ND with a graduated and buy adapters to fit other lenses.
But honestly, other than a few rookie operator mistakes and wishing I had a rented a second body, I am very pleased the gear I brought and the results I came home with. I think that is the key thing.
So....More to come, but I just wanted to write this stuff down before it fades from my aging mind and memory.