Event Shooting With The Olympus EM1X

This past year I’ve been experimenting more with Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera gear for event shooting.  Up until now I’ve relied on my Nikon gear, but I wanted to lose some of the gear weight I’ve been carrying around with my Nikon’s.  I had an opportunity to shoot a Greek Orthodox Easter service this past April.  I covered two of their services, Holy Thursday and the Midnight Resurrection service at Sts. Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church.  In the past I used a Nikon D850, D810, and D4. With select primes, a 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 24mm f/1.4.  On the Nikons, I never exceeded ISO 6400.  Everything was shot hand held, and no flash was used, as I did not wish to disrupt the service.  This year when they asked me back to shot the services again, I decided to try the Olympus EM1X, along with their 25mm f/1.2, a Panasonic Lumix 42.5 f/1.2, and an Olympus 12mm f/2.0.  The Micro Four Thirds formats translates roughly 2x on the lenses, meaning a 25mm translates into a Full Frame 50mm lens, being that Micro Four Thirds (MFT) comprises of a smaller sensor when compared to the Nikons.  The Olympus EM1X has image stabilization, as does their lenses, allowing for hand holding under difficult lighting situations.  The Nikon cameras are not image stabilized, nor were the lenses I used with the Nikon’s.  My experience with the EM1X versus the Nikon’s was – interesting to say the least.  Did I get the images, absolutely?  Did the smaller camera exhibit more noise than Nikon, yes and no.  At 6400 on both systems I got similar results.  Both systems exhibited noise.  Lower ISO you really couldn’t tell the difference either, unless you really pixel peeped.  Obviously with the Nikon system you can crop more due to the file sizes, but the downside to larger files, is a slower workflow, and you need more hard drive capacity.  The Olympus has smaller files, and load up a lot faster.  My take away from this experience was that my back held up longer, the Olympus electronic shutter was silent, while the Nikon’s were loud, particularly on the D4.  Being silent has its pluses where you need stealth.  I got great images from the Olympus, and the client was very happy with the output.  And in the end, it’s the client you need to please.  The EM1X performed, my back was happy, and the client was pleased.  All win wins.

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