Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Debuts with an 80% from DPReview

After over a year and half without even a rumor, Olympus dropped their successor to their wonderful OM-D E-M10. Appropriately dubbed the Mark II, this replacement boasts a slurry of advancements and upgrades that make this the ultimate starter camera. Don't take my word for it but if you pair this with the Panasonic Leica SUMMILUX 25mm f/1.4, which by the way is the only lens that I've been shooting with on my OM-D E-M5, you'll have yourself the best duo that is out right now in that price range. Do it and check out the delicious f1.4 bokeh paired with the right body!

The E-M10 II is well-suited for those moving up to a more capable mirrorless camera and don't need the weather-sealing of the E-M5 II. The E-M10 II is also an attractive choice for those seeking a lightweight second camera. Either way, the E-M10 II offers a lot of camera for the money, and is well worth considering. DP Review

Olympus' New Flagship

I love the Micro 4/3 platform but more importantly, the fact that my wife can easily handle the camera makes for a HUGE plus.  I've also thoroughly enjoyed using my Olympus OM-D E-M5 for the past year.  With that in mind, Olympus just unleashed their second OM-D body raising the bar yet again. OM D E M1

Continuing with the confusing naming scheme, the OM-D E-M1 is debuting along two amazing M.ZUIKO Digital ED "Pro" lenses both with constant f2.8 maximum aperture.  Upgrades include the newly redesigned 16.3-megapixel micro four thirds sensor utilizing the latest TruPic VII image processing engine which allows for FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) Autofocusing.  (sorry for that long sentence)

The technology is getting good enough that inexpensive DSLRs no longer really make sense. Once upon a time, "real" photographers would have cringed at the thought of using an electronic viewfinder, but that's just not the case any more.

via Gizmodo

update: Steve Huff just posted his first impressions.  Definitely a great read!

My Olympus OM-D E-M5

Let me start off first with saying that I love my Olympus OM-D E-M5.  My wife wasn't sold on full frame cameras such as the Canon 5D Mark III or Nikon due to the sheer size and weight so we ventured in the next best thing; Micro Four Thirds.  The Sony NEX-7 was heavily delayed and hadn't arrived yet but it's little brother, the NEX-5N was just released.  As enticing as it was, I just didn't "love" either camera nor did I care for the operating system.  With a modest budget and a baby looming, I needed a camera and lens that I could quickly acquire and learn.  One major hurdle was that the camera needed to have an autofocus hence eliminating the coveted Leica M9, and the available glass ecosystem had to be great.  At the time, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 was proved to be the answer.  I paired it with the Panasonic/Leica 25 1.4 Summilux and haven't taken it off since.  Here are a few pictures that my wife and I took at the San Diego Safari Zoo the day of our daughter's first birthday.

Safari Zoo Norah and Mom

Safari Zoo Mom and Norah

Safari Zoo Dad and Norah

Norah Balloon

Since then, Olympus has released two amazing micro four-thirds cameras. The E-P5 and the E-PL5 with the former being the Pen series flagship. Highly capable and pocketable depending on which lens you attach, they both make for a very portable and pleasurable experience. They have also become my recommendations to my peers that are looking to get into photography. It's a perfect starting point especially for those that want something smaller and don't want to lug around the bulk of the full frame cameras and lens combo.

Steve Huff posted an amazing and thorough review of the OM-D E-M5 which I highly recommend you check out.  He also recently reviewed the amazing Panasonic 20 1.7 II lens while equipped on the E-P5 (pictured above).  I guarantee, if you're getting into photography, his website is amazing start!  I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned from him.  Of course, I couldn't have even thought of Steve Huff as a reference without the guidance of Mr. Range Traveler himself, Gage Caudell.

Looking Back at Norah Renée

Exactly one year ago to the date and time, we welcomed my daughter into this world.  Everyday since then, my wife and I have been living a truly blessed life with such a vibrant, loving, huggable, and curious little munchkin.  As cliché as it sounds,  I really can't believe how fast time has gone by.  Happy Birthday to you Ms. Norah Renée.  Momma and I can't wait to celebrate and share more life experiences with you! Here's a photo of Norah at six months pushing herself up and staring back at me.  Not staged, not planned, my wife captured this wonderful moment.  The photo below is also unedited.


I've also just entered the photo into the I Shot It Child Competition 2013 No 3 for kicks and giggles. So far, with my entry, I'm at number 470. Ends in five days and there are so many great photos!!!  Wish us luck.

If you really want to know more about the composition and the photo, check out Jeffrey's Exif Viewer.  Here are the basic details: Olympus OM-D E-M5 ISO 800 1/40 f1.4 25mm

Joby GorillaPod Hybrid

I've been meaning to buy a Joby GorillaPod for sometime now and I finally made the decision to go ahead with the GorillaPod Hybrid.  It's small enough while still providing support for smaller DSLRs weighing up to 2.2 pounds; my Olympus OM-D E-M5 weighs just under one pound without the lens so I'm hoping that it'll hold. I'll be getting it shortly and will update you with photos of my own. I mainly am looking forward to using the Pod for my video reviews and other photos of my little girl.