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Olympus OMD Recommendations
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Nov 23, 2021 17:34:39   #
BillPeab Loc: Brunswick, ME
 
I'm a hiker/backpacker looking to buy a mirrorless camera - size and weight are important consideration for me. I'm seriously thinking of an Olympus OMD as they are weather-sealed and have in-body stabilization (I shoot exclusively hand held). Any words of wisdom from users or ex-users would be appreciated

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Nov 23, 2021 21:18:17   #
Hip Coyote
 
I have the OMD Em 5 mark ii exactly for that reason. Add to that the 14-150 and you have a pretty good camera for your purposes. Both lens and body are weather sealed. The lens is acceptable, but not stellar. But....my recommendation for a dedicated camera for backpacking would be the Oly Tough. It is lighter and more robust than the OMDs. Use EM 5's are around.

I do like the system and the IBIS is amazing.

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Nov 24, 2021 07:39:25   #
Canisdirus
 
I think it depends on how old you are...how long will you continue to shoot photography.
If it's not that long...Oly will do.

If it's a long time...go with Panasonic. They have a firm road forward...Oly...OMD...whatever they call themselves now...does not...at least not towards higher end camera bodies. They have already telegraphed that much with marketing language. Looking to partner up with a lot of other companies sounds like an expansion doesn't it?
No...they are going to drift into something other than what buried OLY...of course!

Now if you don't mind jumping ship later on to a Panasonic...great. Resale might vary after some time has passed naturally.

Simply put...Panasonic long term. OLY/OM-D/JIP short term.

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Nov 24, 2021 08:07:59   #
jburlinson Loc: Austin, TX
 
I've been using the original EM-5 for many years now and will only part with it when it parts with me. I shoot from a lot of weird angles and much of the time one-handed, and this camera is the perfect mix of function, size, and image quality. It's like an iPhone that takes a really good picture and doesn't bug me with a load of spam.

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Nov 24, 2021 08:24:17   #
Peteso
 
I have been shooting the Olympus OMD cameras since the release of the EM1-II. For your needs, I would strongly recommend the EM1-III, with the 12-100 mm Pro lens. That lens includes ILIS. If you need a maximum focal length greater than 100 mm (200 mm FF equivalent), use a 1.4 or 2x teleconverter rather than another lens, to minimize weight. It’s really an incredible system, and new ownership doesn’t change that.

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Nov 24, 2021 09:33:05   #
moonhawk Loc: Land of Enchantment
 
Peteso wrote:
I have been shooting the Olympus OMD cameras since the release of the EM1-II. For your needs, I would strongly recommend the EM1-III, with the 12-100 mm Pro lens. That lens includes ILIS. If you need a maximum focal length greater than 100 mm (200 mm FF equivalent), use a 1.4 or 2x teleconverter rather than another lens, to minimize weight. It’s really an incredible system, and new ownership doesn’t change that.


I'm pretty sure the teleconverters won't work on the 12-100. Apologies if I'm wrong, but otherwise i use that combo myself and love it. Not the lightest Oly combo though...

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Nov 24, 2021 09:37:30   #
JD750 Loc: SoCal
 
BillPeab wrote:
I'm a hiker/backpacker looking to buy a mirrorless camera - size and weight are important consideration for me. I'm seriously thinking of an Olympus OMD as they are weather-sealed and have in-body stabilization (I shoot exclusively hand held). Any words of wisdom from users or ex-users would be appreciated


I have been shooting M43 since circa 2008 and currently I am using an OM-D EM-5 mii.

It is my goto hiking, bicycling, travel-adventure and carry around everywhere camera. Three lenses a battery charger and body will easily fit in a small sling pack. IQ is great and of all my cameras the OM-D is used the most.

Generally I will mount one lens for a hiking or biking trip. I have found the 9-18 Olympus Zoom is a great all around lens for mount vistas and hiking and it also focuses close. It is a tiny small lens with excellent optics. There lenses available is a plethora of M43 lenses available and 43 can also be used with an adapter.

One Tip. The supermenu is your friend. However for reasons known only to Olympus, it is turned OFF by default. So go into menus and Enable the supermenu first off.

I was worried about Olympus due to the sale but I received excellent customer service from them during the shutdown and after the sale and they have continued to introduce new products.

Not only are M43 lenses and bodies smaller and lighter than their FF counterparts they are also considerably lower in cost. I believe you will find the OM-D an excellent fit for your stated application.

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Nov 24, 2021 09:42:02   #
Peteso
 
My error…you are correct. Apologies. The teleconverters do work on the 40-150 mm, which is another option, IF longer focal lengths are needed. Of course, the longer lens would involve more weight and it doesn’t have ILIS. Like so many things in photography, it’s all about trade-offs.

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Nov 24, 2021 10:11:42   #
Hip Coyote
 
I think the operative words here are backpacking..not just hiking. Backpacking means someone is carrying weight for distances, including food, shelter, etc. for multiple days. I dont do it much any more but can attest that a few pounds here and there add up to one carrying a very heavy pack. Which is why I recommended the Tough. Multiple lens configurations make no sense when you are trying to keep as pack light as possible.

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Nov 24, 2021 10:14:01   #
JimRPhoto Loc: Raleigh NC
 
Companies are bought and sold all the time. Volvo is still a Swedish car, but the company was bought by a Chinese company several years ago. I am not worried about the Olympus system I use, and I would concur that the OM D E 5 Mark ii, which you can get at a good price since there are newer versions, wold be good for your purpose. And I also agree about the 14-150mm lens (which is equivalent to aa 24 to 300 mm in FF format). You would have a weatherproof set. There is also another lens that might be suitable depending on your intent - a 12 to 40 mm f/2.8, also weatherproof. I got into Olympus for the same reason you are considering that line, and I am very pleased with the proven performance of my “system” which I got into in 2018. Good luck with your decision. JimR

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Nov 24, 2021 10:24:10   #
JimH123 Loc: Morgan Hill, CA
 
Peteso wrote:
My error…you are correct. Apologies. The teleconverters do work on the 40-150 mm, which is another option, IF longer focal lengths are needed. Of course, the longer lens would involve more weight and it doesn’t have ILIS. Like so many things in photography, it’s all about trade-offs.


There are 2 different Olympus 40-150 lenses. One is the economy version which is a slower lens. I do not think this one works with the teleconverter. The other is the f2.8 pro version. It is likely that this one works with the teleconverter.

I have the economy version, and it works fine in good light and the images are sharp.

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Nov 24, 2021 10:31:14   #
Peteso
 
I was referring to the Pro version. The Olympus Pro lenses are sharper than the non-Pro lenses. Like I said, it’s all about trade-offs. If I was not going to buy the Pro lenses, I would not buy an EM1 body. The EM5 is another option, but again, this gets back to trade-offs. Everyone needs to do their cost benefit analysis, but the devil is in the details, so I would caution against oversimplification and false comparables.

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Nov 24, 2021 10:39:41   #
Gort55 Loc: Northern Colorado
 
BillPeab wrote:
I'm a hiker/backpacker looking to buy a mirrorless camera - size and weight are important consideration for me. I'm seriously thinking of an Olympus OMD as they are weather-sealed and have in-body stabilization (I shoot exclusively hand held). Any words of wisdom from users or ex-users would be appreciated


If you are shooting prime lenses, there isn't a lot of difference in terms of weight. My Nikon D750 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens weighs 2.4 lbs compared to the Oly EM1 with a 25mm f/1.8 lens at 1.7 lbs. The difference comes into play with longer zoom lenses. The D750 with a Sigma 100-400mm weighs 4.9 lbs as opposed to the Oly with a 75-300mm lens at 2.4 lbs. I think only the Oly Pro lenses are weather sealed, and they weigh more. Olympus has a lot of lenses to choose from.

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Nov 24, 2021 10:45:35   #
hpucker99 Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
 
BillPeab wrote:
I'm a hiker/backpacker looking to buy a mirrorless camera - size and weight are important consideration for me. I'm seriously thinking of an Olympus OMD as they are weather-sealed and have in-body stabilization (I shoot exclusively hand held). Any words of wisdom from users or ex-users would be appreciated


As mentioned above, an alternative is the Olympus TG-6 Tough camera, light weight and durable. I use the EM series also, mostly the E-M1ii and E-M1iii with a variety of lenses. For portability, I bought the both the E-M5ii and 12-50 lens used for a total of less than $700. Extremely light weight and versatile. The E-M5ii is almost equivalent to the E-M1ii.

Where the reduced weight of the Olympus system comes into play is in the longer range zoom lenses as mentioned above. My Nikon D750 with the Sigma 150-600c gets less use these days.

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Nov 24, 2021 10:47:51   #
Sergey
 
BillPeab wrote:
I'm a hiker/backpacker looking to buy a mirrorless camera - size and weight are important consideration for me. I'm seriously thinking of an Olympus OMD as they are weather-sealed and have in-body stabilization (I shoot exclusively hand held). Any words of wisdom from users or ex-users would be appreciated


I'm also a hiker/backpacker and I love my OMD E-M1 Mark III. I'm still learning how to use it but it has an outstanding IBIS and is weather/freeze proofed. Buttons feel a bit smallish comparing to my Canon 5D M3, so sometimes I can't find them without looking at the camera. Due to a smaller sensor you can get noisy images in low light with higher ISO. I brought a gorilla mini tripod couple of times to take night shots and used my phone as a remote trigger.

I love 12-40/2.8 Pro lens and looking into buying 12-100/4 Pro. As an alternative I just bought lighter Tamron 14-150/3.5-5.8 lens but I don't have an opinion on the quality yet. It's not weather proofed and much slower but it weighs just 294g vs 12-40/2.8 426g and gives me more reach.

I found that sometimes (especially when backpacking) I decide to leave the OMD in the car at last moment and bring Canon G1X M3 or even just an iPhone, because the backpack is too heavy (for the same reason I've never yet used a bear canister that I bought 2 years ago).

My decision is usually driven by the anticipated difficulty or mileage, time constrains (do I have enough time if I move slower with a heavier backpack), anticipated scenary or just the weight. Depending on your fitness it may work for you or not. I used to carry 3 times heavier packs when I was young but these days are gone for me.

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