First look, BIF on the EM-1 and Zuiko 300mmf2.8 (Images)

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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Fleabag
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First look, BIF on the EM-1 and Zuiko 300mmf2.8 (Images)
11 months ago

I was temped by the availability of the EM-1 at the local camera store. I said I would rent it first. Right....

Quick initial thoughts really don’t mean much, but I know there are a lot of people (including me) wondering how the EM-1 handles BIF with 4/3 glass. For this initial outing with the camera I used the Panasonic adaptor and the Zuiko 300f2.8 hand held, no grip.

Please keep in mind that the total time with the camera before I took it out was about 10 minutes. I used already charged batteries from the EM-5 and adjusted the camera settings when I got to where I was going. I didn’t read the manual. This thing needs to be tweaked further but at least I could try to tell for myself if this setup was at all capable for the way I like to shoot.

The location for these shots has a lot of gulls which is why I went here because I knew there would be something in the air. Lots of duck around too so I photographed them if they came close enough. Most of the time they didn’t.

Settings I used:

Manual focus, C-AF, Mostly normal AF point size, IS Auto. Got about 750 shots on one battery. (1500 if you count Raw+LF) Viewfinder eye detector has enough of a delay that I lost shots. Issue is you not only have a slight delay for the view finder to activate, you then need to locate your target. Add it up and it was enough of a delay to make me turn the detector off and only use the VF. Another reason where an optical VF helps.

First impression – Where the heck did they hide C-AF +MF? I couldn’t find it anywhere. If I see a bird coming and if I have time, I like to at least get a clear viewfinder. Without CAF +MF you can be looking at a lot of nothing and hope the bird is in the frame and that the system can find it. Another opportunity to miss a shot. Need to hunt this down. Olympus didn’t forget this did they?

The biggest issue, and one that was expected is mirror blackout. It’s just luck if you can keep a fast mover in the frame. This has got to be fixed. I have lots of shots where the bird is all around the frame, head cutoff, tail cut off because of blackout and the inherent slight delay with EVF’s. (Record view set to off.) I have hundreds of hours doing BIF with this lens so I know how to keep a bird cented. Oh, you also loos the af point indicator in sequential mode. Not good.

Another issue was lens rattlesnaking. This didn’t pop up until the sun was low and there was contrast between the shadows in the slough and the sky. Just holding the camera as you normally would waiting for a BIF and it would rattlesnake pretty loud. Very annoying to you and anyone around you. Plus, I really don’t like the idea of my expensive lens doing that. Did this on the EM-5 and continues on the EM-1. Needs to be fixed.

A couple of other observations. I really like the improved highlight control over the E-5. Really helps with white birds, and as a plus for an EVF is the ability to see overexposure and dial it down as you have the camera to your eye and actively taking the picture. One note about the shutter, it’s really a light touch. Not sure if that is good or bad.

So, take this for what it’s worth. The only adjustments to the images below were Raw input sharpening using PhotoKit Shaprner, and Lightroom 5’s sharpen for screen on the export command. No cropping, now exposure adjustment, no nothing.

Click image to make larger. Most if not all are ISO 400. I think flickr stripped the exif.

What it looks like without the grip

If I can't hold it like this, I don't want it

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