First Impressions of the Olympus OM-D.

It’s true. It has happened. Let the bells ring out and the doves fly.

I bought a new camera!

Hello beautiful, will you spend the day with me?

Huzza, hurrah, hooray, I finally made the decision to buy an Olympus OM-D from the guys at Aden Camera who were incredibly helpful and had the best deal in town.

You have put up with long months of carping and moaning about the state of my Canon cameras (possibly years).  You have sat by while I road testing the Olympus E-PL3 (photos)- a micro 4/3s provided by Olympus for my Spain trip; and the Samsung NX20 (photos) – a 4/3s from Samsung for my Mexico and #LexGoFurther trips (which did not go further than that trip, but more on that soon).   You listened as I pulled out my phone instead of my camera to shoot because it’s only camera I have that focuses properly.  Some of you have even complained when picking up my camera to snap a couple of shots.

I can hear a couple of you out there saying “it’s about time”, with or without an extra 4-letter word thrown in there for good measure. That’s certainly been the sentiment around here.

I picked the OM-D up yesterday afternoon and I immediately took it out for dim sum, which wore it out. So we headed back home and nestled the battery comfortably into it’s charger for the night.  I’ve spent most of the time since reading the manual and/or sleeping.  Control!

What I’ve learned so far:

  • camera companies are cheaping out on manuals.  The one in the box is all basics, so I had to get to a computer with a CD/DVD drive before I could read the good stuff.  Come on people! It’s unlikely a beginner is going to be buying this camera as their first one, so at least tell us about some of the funky features and what the unusual buttons are for.
  • using the Macro button on the side of the M.Zuiko 12-50mm lens is NOT intuitive! You have to push the Macro button, then PUSH the zoom ring away from the camera.  (Yes, I had to google that AND look it up.)  It’s weird the first time, and second, and third.  But it does work.
  • the M.Zuiko 12-50mm lens has 2 zooms – manual and multi-speed powered zooming, which is very cool and the default the camera comes set it.  You just tweet the ring left or ring and it power-zooms for you.  It works like the zoom levers on point and shoots, but you can turn it off and use it like a standard SLR zoom lens too.  (You change this back and forth by pushing/pulling the zoom lens away and towards the camera without pushing the macro button)
  • Olympus has it’s own proprietary RAW format, which produces an ORL file. My version of Lightroom doesn’t work with ORL files. Though luckily Picasa does (though I’m a little nervous about how it handles RAW these days).
  • touch screen for a camera sounds silly, but I love being able to touch the thing I want in focus and have that come into focus without having to adjust the composition or push a series of buttons. Just one touch on the screen. Nice! (doesn’t work with the viewfinder of course… and there’s something called the “Super Control Panel” which I’m digging into.)

My first shot (untouched of course – the JPG, not the Gerry):

Gerry - First Shot w/ New Camera

My first food shot (RAW image uploaded untouched:

Steamed chicken with mushrooms and rice

Messing about with the Picture Modes built in to see what silliness is available:

Olympus OM-D Picture Modes

For those of you looking for more, I’ll be back after I’ve dug into the camera a bit more.  Today is a new camera play day!

I know a couple of you have the Olympus OM-D, do you have any tips for me or other new users?

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

9 thoughts on “First Impressions of the Olympus OM-D.

  • April 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Have fun with it! Chilly out there – I look forward to seeing what you shoot today.

    • April 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      PatAnderson thanks for the warning Pat.  I’m layering on the warmth before heading to Kensington for a little self-directed photo walk.

  • April 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Nice camera, Alexa! Is it a micro 4/3? I’m shooting with an Olympus EPL2. Not completely satisfied with it, but my $$ is spent, so I’ll make it work. 🙂

    • April 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      bakingbeauties Yes it is a micro 4/3s.  I can never really tell which is which between the micro 4/3s and the 4/3s (but I googled it and it is.)
      I used the E-PL2 for a while, a PR agency loaned it to me to try, and I liked a lot of it but got frustrated with focus time and low light shooting.  What I LOVED was the portability and quality of the shots I did get so I found myself turning to it over my DSLR.  But I used a Prime lens on it most of the time, and that made a big difference.   (I did find myself overdoing it with the “dramatic mode” when I was using the Pen though, did you have that problem?)
      I’d be happy to let you play with this the next time we are in the same place. Just ask!

      • April 22, 2013 at 10:43 am

        AlexaClark Well, if we should ever happen to be in the same place at the same time, I may take you up on that! 🙂 I played with the different artsy modes at the beginning, now I take more pics of food than my kids.

  • April 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are DELIGHTED that you have a new camera and look forward to your photo adventures!

    • April 22, 2013 at 9:38 am

      grrrr And that from the man who has the camera pointed at him more often than food!  Thanks Gerry Thorpe I’m looking forward to my joy of photography to come back.

  • April 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Yeah, yeah, the camera’s great… but you got a FREE DAY?!? That’s awesome 🙂

  • April 24, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I know! And both together was a true joy.


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