Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus M.ZUIKO 12-40mm F2.8 PRO, 1/25 sec., ISO 400 at F/2.8, 40mm focal length
With nearly two decades of experience, commercial wedding and portrait photographer and Olympus Visionary Laura Hicks knows great technology when she sees it. “I used a DSLR system for 15 years; I shot full frame,” she explains about her decision to switch to Olympus.
“I had been testing one of the Olympus cameras designed for the enthusiast, and it focused so fast, even faster than my professional DSLR gear. I thought, ‘If the focus is so fast in this camera, what must their pro cameras be like?’” Hicks got her hands on the original OM-D E-M1 and made the switch from DSLRs. “Switching to Olympus really changed my life, and I’m not looking back,” she says.
Hicks spends long hours at events with multiple cameras and lenses around her neck, and the reduction in weight over her DSLR gear is a lifesaver. “Portability is so much better,” she says of the light weight of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and lenses. “What I was really drawn to, though, was how much fun it was to shoot with the system. It really brought back the joy of photography, the joy of creating what you see in your mind.”
Many features have changed how Hicks captures images, including the ability to use the fully articulating 3.0” touch screen to frame and capture shots when shooting high angles or low to the ground. “I find myself shooting from angles I never dreamt possible before, and with tremendous accuracy,” says Hicks. “I could hold my DSLR over my head, but I’d have to ‘spray and pray,’ because I couldn’t see what was going on. With my OM-D E-M1 Mark II, I just flip out the screen and shoot with perfect composition and accuracy, and I don’t have to fix things in post, because I got it right the first time.”
She also takes advantage of the advanced 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization to handhold long-exposure images that previously required a tripod. Hicks explains, “I was shooting a portrait the other day near a water feature at a local park. I wanted to get a soft feel for the water, so I handheld it at a much slower shutter speed than most cameras can handle, which gave the water a soft feel without requiring I break out extra gear to get the shot.”
Hicks says she decided to make the switch when she saw the image quality from the professional Olympus gear. “The colors I can capture are so true, so vivid. It captures a complete representation of real-world colors. I think it’s a truer representation than other systems.”
The legendary image quality of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II is due, in part, to the Olympus-designed 20MP Live MOS sensor. It boasts an anti-reflective coating that reduces flare on the sensor itself. The camera’s dual quad- core TruePic™ VIII Processor captures beautiful images at speeds up to 60 fps with S-AF Tracking and up to 18 fps with C-AF Tracking.
Much of that image quality comes from the company’s lenses and the way that Olympus put thought into the design of the entire system. “Olympus clearly spends a lot of time developing their sensors and lenses so they work together to maximize the potential,” she explains. “The sensor is one part, the lens is another part, and together they have tremendous image quality, as good or better than any professional DSLR.”
Hicks has enjoyed proving the perceptions about Micro Four Thirds wrong. “People think you can’t print large with Micro Four Thirds, but I have prints in my studio that are 30”x40” and they’re beautiful. My work speaks for itself.”
Lighter gear, better image quality, incredible image stabilization, lightning-fast focus and superb performance—no wonder Hicks made the switch.
Hear more from other photographers who have made the switch to the Olympus OM-D system at getolympus.com/neverlookback