Day 1 with OM-D EM-1 & m.zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8

I’ve quipped with people that the M.Zuiko 12-24 f/2.8 is $2300, the same price (Australian) price as the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L lens* – except when you buy the Olympus, they throw in their latest to-of-the-range camera body.

That’s what I paid for the EM-1 & 12-40, and so far I’m very impressed. The lens is beautifully built and features the sliding focus ring – push it forward for AF, pull it back a few millimetres – which it does with a satisfying click – and it’s manual focus, exposing a distance scale in the process. It’s an awesome solution to the problem of quickly disabling AF.

I used the camera and lens today to shoot the media preview of the Sydney Motorcycle & Scooter Show – everything’s handheld, mostly available light (sometimes with on-camera fill flash), auto settings – primarily Aperture Priority, but sometimes Program and even a few on iAuto just to see what I’d get.

The shots here have been imported into Aperture and exported at 2000px, not modified in any way – and the originals were JPEGs. I’ll start playing with RAW files soon.

The EM-1 and 12-24 lens is a great combination. One batch of shots was focussed on the background instead of the subject, but Aperture showed me the focus point is one the background, so I suspect I’d bumped the focus point with the toggle on the back – which I feel is a soft spot of the Olympus system – it’s too easy to move the focus point inadvertently.

I’m impressed with the JPEGs today – although there are a few I consider overexposed, generally I’m very happy with the images straight out of the camera, especially colour balance under terrible artificial light conditions. My gut tells me it’s handling the colour much better than the EM-5 of 5DMkIII.


• These lenses have effectively similar focal lengths of you compare the Olympus micro 4/3 field of view to full-frame on Canon, which works for me because I have a Canon 5D MkIII system in addition to the Olympus equipment.

First Day with OM-D EM-1 and 12-40 f/2.8

I’VE been using the Olympus OM-D EM-5 for the best part of a year, the outfit purchased primarily for travel photography – the Canon 5D Mark III was simply becoming to heavy, especially when I also had to travel with motorcycle riding gear (I’m a motorcycle journalist, photographer and videographer).

I didn’t think I’d be able to get an EM-1 with the 12-40 f/2.8 lens, the Pro Kit, so soon, but when I saw one by chance in a shop in Sydney, I snapped it up. And so far, I am very impressed, despite not having even read the instructions.

Focussing seems very snappy, the camera feels familiar. The important thing is the new lens is well-made, feels great in the hand, isn’t anything like as heavy or expensive as a Canon 24-70 and the first JPEGS off the sensor look impressive (but I’m no pixel-peeking yet).

I hope to post more images and articles over the weekend – I’m at the Sydney Motorcycle & Scooter Show and will be covering the event for Cycle Torque, my magazine. Enjoy!