After an extensive familiarisation with the new OM-1 from OM-System (Olympus), I set off with a group of fellow photographers on a private photo trip to Ecuador that would take place with or without the new OM-1. Having coordinated the OM-1’s release with this trip was mostly a lucky coincidence, which probably wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the help and cooperation of the Czech representation of OM-System. They helped me get the camera for testing before the official launch, for which I’m very grateful! Ecuador is truly a beautiful and diverse country that has become a symbol of natural biodiversity. It’s not a coincidence that I led two photographic expeditions there in six months (9/2021 and 2/2022). Naturally, I had the OM-1 with me only on the second trip in February. Another great happenstance was that on this trip, I was able to use it in combination with my newest gear addition, the Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC lens. That meant that I was able to test the latest camera not only in my favourite habitat (tropical rainforests) but also with the (currently) best wildlife lens I’ve ever worked with. While in the first article, I focused mainly on describing any new features of the OM-1, in this 2nd part, I will cover the situations in which I used it in Ecuador. During both trips, I visited several different habitats with varying altitudes. We covered everything from 1000masl in the northern part of Ecuador to 4000masl on the eastern and western sides of the Andes. I will embellish this article with photos from the previous trip in September to showcase the fantastic Ecuadorian biodiversity. Back then, I photographed primarily with the Olympus E-M1 III and a Panasonic 200mm/2.8 lens. During my last trip in February, another long dream came true – I visited the Galápagos, but more on that later.
On-line stream recording, I know it is only in Czech, still can be useful for someone
Note: I usually don’t edit large numbers of photos straight away when I get back from a trip. It usually takes me weeks to go through all of them and publish roughly one shot every two days. Therefore, my 2022 photo selection is not complete. If you are keen to see other photos that I took, follow my Instagram and Facebook to see more photos that didn’t make the cut for this article. If you click on the photos below, you can view them in better res. If you want to see a photo with no compression, I recommend opening it in a new window. Landscape photos have 1600px resolution on the longer side, portrait photos 1400 px.
Marine Iguana, Galápagos 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 8-25mm/4, ISO 1600, f/8, 1/100s
THE LAND OF THE HUMMINGBIRDS
Hummingbirds are an integral part of every trip to Ecuador. Despite pledging not to photograph them again, it’s hard to resist them. There is no shortage of surprises even if you repeatedly go to the same area. A great example is a double visit to the Sumaco Napo area, where you can experience the most pronounced difference in species. In September, the most common hummingbirds were the Brown Violetears. In February, though, they were hard to be found. I should say that thanks to this, there were a lot less aggressive attacks among the hummingbirds around the lodge.
Brown Violetear, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/800s
Encounters with Wire-crested Thorntail populations were also full of interesting observations. While several full-grown males with a typical crest and a forked tail were observed in September, the February population may have been more significant in numbers but younger and with no crest and often no tail. Evidently, a bunch of funny-looking teenagers.
Wire-crested Thorntail, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/60s
Wire-crested Thorntail, Ecuador 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, ISO 2000, f/4.5, 1/250s
THE CONTRIBUTION OF OM-1 TO HUMMINGBIRD PHOTOGRAPHY
I first felt the benefit of the new OM-1 focusing system compared to the previous generation during the shooting of hummingbirds, as mentioned earlier. The 1053 targets are much smaller than before, and its response is significantly faster. After many attempts, I fine-tuned the combination setting for bird detection and AF limiter. This substantially improves the chances to capture beautiful moments. From my observations, the AF works really well, ensuring I have plenty of in-focus photos from each series, allowing me to choose the most pleasing wings position. I even used the high-speed sequential shooting (SH2) of up to 50 fps on several occasions. The video below shows an example of such a series with 91 consecutive exposures of photographing a hummingbird close to a flower. The photos are sorted without any adjustments. For publishing, all you need to do is select just one or two pictures with the best wing and hummingbird position & delete the rest. Of course, there are sometimes shots that are not perfectly in focus. However, there is much fewer of them than ever before. To my amazement, the auto-detection didn’t fail even when an angry male Booted Racket-tail suddenly took off to the air in an attempt to intimidate & drive out his rival with his tail feathers outstretched. These are brutally random moments that you miss if you blink. Interestingly, the same species of hummingbird occurs at both sides of the Andes with one difference. The western cousins have white “booties”.
Sample of 50fps sequence in full resolution in RAW
Booted Rocket-tail, Ecuador 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, ISO 2500, f/4.5, 1/3200s
Golden-tailed Sapphire, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., ISO 500, f/2.8, 1/800s
Sword-billed Hummingbird, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/320s
Gould’s Jewelfront, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/4000s
OVER 1600 BIRD SPECIES
Along with hummingbirds, an incredible over 1,600 species of birds fly in Ecuador. In other words, practically every sixth bird on our planet can be seen in Ecuador, and the area is only 3.5 times larger than the Czech Republic. And they are not just any birds. We can find here trogons, toucans, tanagers, woodpeckers, cock-of-the-rocks and a bunch of other beautifully coloured species. Usually, you can divide a photoshoot into two categories. One – birds that can be attracted by ripe fruit or by light-attracted insects. And two – wild birds. Natural bird food is often found in the treetops. Therefore, reasonably capturing a flock of tanagers 30m high is almost impossible. For this reason, it’s somewhat customary for feeding stations to be placed around the lodges, where the birds can stop as & when they please. Of course, there is a clear benefit for photographers as you can just sit on the terrace and wait for them to arrive. Plus, you never know which species will come as the offer is diverse and depends on many circumstances, which, funnily enough, was also influenced by the pandemic. For example, when I was there in September, we stayed in a beautiful lodge amid this amazing natural environment. Still, perhaps due to cost cuts, the owners did not feed the birds for several months, so they learned to find natural food in the jungle instead. As a result, waiting for the birds to come to feed on a prepared banana was so tedious I felt lucky if a few birds showed up. Usually, they started to come more regularly only on the last day of our 4-day stay when they learned and told about the recurring food source their other bird mates. On the contrary, places that were not burdened by the ongoing cost of facilities maintenance invested in cheap bananas, which also meant the activity on their feeders was then much higher. The disadvantage of photographing birds with such feeders is that all the photos start to look the same after a while, which is a problem we have in Europe when we attract our tits to sunflowers. The second most common form of attracting birds is at night with lights, which attract moths, on which various species of insectivorous birds feast in the dawn. The last group of birds is drawn neither by bananas nor moths. Instead, you have to seek them out in the rainforest. Such encounters are all about authenticity, and the resulting photos are less “perfect”. The many unforeseen intricacies of the vegetation make the most remarkable success getting a clean shot with no disturbing elements. Which, coincidentally, is a similar-looking shot to the one by the bird feeder that you wanted to escape to the jungle in the first place. You could say that the solution is to maximise the bird’s natural environment. After all, the rainforest has so much to offer. On a theoretical level, this sounds perfectly reasonable. Naturally, if the conditions allow it, I prefer such a photo. Unfortunately, the rainforest can be so chaotic and confusing that “marrying” the bird with its context (or mine, respectively) is not plausible. A “bird perched on a twig” replaces a “bird in the thicket”. Of course, there are places where the rainforest is just beautiful in itself. Besides, most birds often don’t see eye to eye with my aesthetic vision and perch on impossible places instead of posing by the beautiful bromeliads and mossy twigs. To give you an idea of what Ecuadorian birds look like in their “typical environment”, look below through a small snapshot. I dare say you probably wouldn’t assess much of the OM-1’s capabilities from these “authentic” photos. So, let’s look at what helped me capture birds in such a portrait that paints the right story.
The birds of Ecuador in their natural environment, aka how the scene really looks before I try to get some aesthetic photo with both right angle and camera setting.
THE CONTRIBUTION OF OM-1 TO RAINFOREST BIRDS PHOTOGRAPHY
As with hummingbirds, the OM-1’s new autofocus was critical to my successful & more effortless capture of many photos. This time, however, in a slightly different manner than with the hummingbirds. When photographing the hummingbirds, the most noticeable benefit is faster and more accurate autofocus. However, to pinpoint a bird amongst a bushy overgrow, the OM-1 offers one unobtrusive yet critical improvement – it is now allowed to use subject detection even in S-AF and C-AF mode. In the example below, you can see a photo of the Golden-headed Quetzal, which occasionally appeared in the bushes close to our lodge. The quetzal is an impressive bird. Finally, it sits against a green background, and it is not visible from below. The only problem is, though, that it’s pretty far away. At that moment, I appreciate several things at once. First of all, the huge range of the 150-400 mm/4.5 lens that with an activated converter to 500 mm actually means 1000 mm FF equiv. The lens helps to detach the Quetzal beautifully from the background while I help myself by framing him through an opening in the vegetation. Sadly there was a disturbance in the frame – a sizeable glossy leaf under it, and I knew that I will have to crop it out in post-edit. An ideal solution was to add a 1.4x converter getting me to 700 mm (1400 mm eq) = no postprocess cloning needed. Theory dictates you to choose a small focus point, target it on the eye and shoot. In practice, though, I wobble on my tiptoes to avoid the vegetation in the foreground and mask the surrounding vegetation a bit. I hold the camera as firmly as possible, but the focus of 1400 mm is ruthless – the focusing target hops all over the upper parts of the bird’s body. Without the amazing in-built stabilisation, I would hardly manage to keep the quetzal in my field of view. And this is precisely the moment when impressive telephoto lens reach, excellent stabilisation and subject detection join their forces together in beautiful harmony. Even if I move the lens slightly, the auto-detection works superbly, the quetzal’s head is perfectly focused, and the resulting photo is virtually uncropped. With this type of lens, it is challenging to find smaller species of birds in the rainforest’s vegetation. What worked for me was to zoom out, find a bird, focus on the bird and then zoom in again & re-focus.
Golden-headed Quetzal, Ecuador 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, TC 1.4x, ISO 1000, f/8, 1/250s
Without these benefits of the OM-1 and 150-400mm lens, I approached my other photos similarly. As mentioned, I had an E-M1 III and a Panasonic 200mm lens on my previous trip. But, constantly putting the converter on & off slowed me down, and I missed out on many pictures. So, you can imagine I was looking forward to the arrival of my very own favourite zoom. Bird detection AF was the icing on the cake. But as you can see in the photo of the Masked Trogon below, no super zoom or the most advanced autofocus will save you if the trogon finally decides to sit down, but it’s on an electric cable leading to a street light.
Masked Flowerpiercer, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., ISO 1000, f/2.8, 1/800s
OM-1 AND HIGH ISO NOISE
Many people are curious about the quality of photos, especially at higher ISO values. As we already know, the camera is built around the new architecture of the stacked sensor. The expectations are therefore high, if not unrealistic. Since most professional photo editing programs now open the RAW files, we suspect something exciting. Has there been an improvement in ISO? Well, yes and no. When I compare the outputs up to ISO 6400, I do not see any significant difference. On the other hand, with photos taken even above 6400, I feel that the OM-1 retains visibly more detail, colour fidelity and contrast. This will guarantee many more workable photos than before. It is important to remember that the noise level also depends on the correct exposure and light ambience. A well-exposed photo or even lightly overexposed one will show less noise than an underexposed one. Likewise, using a higher ISO in good lighting conditions will play in your favour than the same values in the dark. What is worth mentioning is the processing difference of the same photo in the OM Workspace, Capture One & Lightroom. I judge photos exclusively with the noise reduction set to “0”, and even then, there is a difference between each program. I suggest evaluating the shots based on your own editing workflow setting. Even when I shot on a full-frame camera, I practically did not use ISO above 6400. At the same time, I do not belong to any of the extremists out there claiming that the full-frame is the golden grail – saying below 12800 there is no need to deal with noise with fullframe, or that photos with ISO above 800 from the m43 sensor belong to the bin. Nor do I think that the OM-1 is virtually identical to a full-frame. My view is as follows. Noise has always been (for all cameras in general) a nightmare as it takes away the fine details. But as we all know, every photo has two stages. Capture and post-processing. Both of which keep registering significant advancements. Two important events have taken place in my workflow. Firstly, the noise levels from Olympus cameras, including the new OM-1, affect the details much less than I was used to with previous cameras. Secondly, the available post-processing tools. At the time of writing, there are at least three strong players in the market for noise reduction – Topaz DeNoise, DxO PureRAW and ON1 NoNoise. All three work directly with RAW images, which is critical for noise reduction and workflow. One simple condition must be met for them to work well – the photos must be sharp & in focus. I don’t include blurry or out of focus photos in the selection process. If it is needed, for example, it is easy to process a photo at ISO 3200 to ISO 400 look by one of the previously mentioned programs within 20s and keep all of the details. Unfortunately, I cannot calculate precisely how much less or more than previous M43 camera generation of noise the photos have. My shooting style does not call for ISO values higher than e.g. 3200, and the tools I work with are fabulous for the web and print presentation. The new OM-1 undoubtedly pushes the boundaries of usability of photos with a higher ISO. I took the following four pictures in Ecuador at a higher ISO with OM-1. You can download them along with set of 28 testing images from both E-M1 III & OM-1 and see the differences for yourself by playing with noise reduction in your app.
Note: At the time of writing (28th February 2022), none of the mentioned noise reduction programs from OM-1 was supported. However, full support is only a matter of time, and in principle, it does not change anything.
Photo comparison of details enlarged to 100% at different ISO levels from OM-1 (RAW files can be downloaded here)
Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Ecuador 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, ISO 1250, f/4.5, 1/50s
Cock-of-the-Rock, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., ISO 2000, f/2.8, 1/320s
Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., TC 1.4x, ISO 500, f/4, 1/250s
Coppery-chested Jacamar, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., TC 2x, ISO 4000, f/5.6, 1/500s
MACRO AND CLOSE-UP
As you probably know, I do not focus my work only on birds. That would be too one-sided from my point of view. Plus, I am fascinated by nature as a whole, with all creatures large and small. From the photographer’s point of view, I ask myself how and whether I can even capture small animals. Unlike bird photography, macro requires special equipment such as a flash (sometimes two), a diffuser, a reflector, sometimes a tripod, etc. Of course, the nature of Ecuador is not diverse only in terms of birds. We find an even greater diversity in insects, frogs, lizards and other kingdoms. So far, I have never gone to Ecuador on a purely macro expedition, but I’m convinced it will happen once. As it is, I mostly shoot various bugs at night. Not only do a lot of species come to life at night, but I quite enjoy working with light against a black background. Sometimes I get asked if I carry a black background with me, if it’s a studio photo, or how it is created. It’s easy, really. As I take them at night, the black background is natural. I aim the flash to illuminate what I wish, and the rest is naturally black. A few years ago, I practically gave up any artificial arrangements, and 99% of the photos I publish are in-situ i.e. as I find them. To a certain extent, this reduces the number of captured species because, like birds, they often choose to appear in completely unaesthetic places. However, I found it is enough to ignore those who deem aesthetics unimportant and focus on those who do. Then, it’s mainly about patience or perseverance and willingness to find something creative. In fact, it’s more about the will than anything else because in the evening, after a whole day-long photoshoot, the only place you wish to be is in your bed. After a few days, night walks cause a significant sleep deficit as you need to get up again before dawn. But it’s worth it. My favourite bugs are, for example, treehoppers.
Treehopper, Ecuador 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 60mm/2.8, ISO 80, f/5.6, 1/100s, focus stacking – 15 frames, step 2
THE CONTRIBUTION OF OM-1 TO MACRO AND CLOSE-UP PHOTOGRAPHY
It has become a little tradition of mine that I photograph treehoppers when I go to the tropics. By now, I understand which plants they like so I know where to find them. The Amazonian species are more diverse than those found in the mountains, but you can still find few specimens during a night walk. In the Guango mountain lodge, it was a different story. I found dozens of them on one tree. For the photo above, I chose an individual protecting the eggs, some of which have already hatched. Let’s not forget these are minuscule animals, so I used the OM-1’s built-in stacked macro function that you can now access at the single touch of one button, as well as custom setting (just hold the same button for 1 second). As a user, I really appreciate this enhancement as previously, every parameter change meant EIGHT! clicks in the menu. Meaning, eight there and then eight back again. Now it’s a matter of seconds. Another function that got seriously bolstered on the OM-1 was the flash synchronisation with the electronic shutter (stacked macro works exclusively in this mode) to 1/100s (previously 1/50s). I know that these tiny adjustments won’t guarantee a better photo, but it’s a huge improvement from the user’s point of view. Shooting stacked macro in the full sun was limited at 1/50s, but 1/100s gives you better chances of success. The third pro that significantly boosted the focus stacking function is the processing speed. This makes it much easier to evaluate whether the selected values are adequately set or if the photo shows “dead” areas due to e.g. excessive gaps in the distances. The maximum number of shots that can be composed into one picture directly in the camera is 15. I use it in two ways. First, I confirm a) the correct focus distances between individual images and b) if those 15 images will be enough to capture the whole subject. If it’s confirmed that the selected distances are correct, but more than 15 frames are needed to capture the subject, the values can be applied to the Focus BKT function. Here you can select up to 999 shots. I can illuminate the scene directly or fire my FL-700WR flash combined with the FC-WR radio control unit and use a backlight for scene modelling. So you can see that there really aren’t any restrictions in terms of macro photos. All you need is to let your creativity immerse you in the beauty of all the miniature creatures that can be found in the rainforest.
Pristimantis sp., Ecuador 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 60mm/2.8, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/125s
Western Basilisk, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Panasonic 200mm/2.8 O.I.S., TC 2x, ISO 200, f/9, 1/320s
Weevils, Ecuador 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 60mm/2.8, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/125s
Tree Frog, Ecuador 2021, Olympus E-M1 III, Olympus 60mm/2.8, ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/100s
THE STORY OF A GLASS FROG
Inspired by the last walk with a local guide through a creek bed, I put on my rubberboots and set out through a stream near our lodge for a night walk. The stream is beautiful (I will get to this momentarily), so I slowly make my way up the creek. I am looking for the croaking frogs that I can hear everywhere, but didn’t see a single one. It’s clear that the croaks belong to glass frogs, as this is precisely their habitat. Fortunately, at least I discover a beautiful sleeping anole, and naturally, I have to take a picture of it. It lays a little out of my hand, and I have to stretch my hand through the leaves hanging over the water. I take two photos and bring the camera back to check the sharpness. I preview the photos on the LCD, but something gets in the way. I shine my torch on it, and voila – a Glass Frog right on my screen! Well, that’s funny. I take a photo with my mobile phone and gently nudge it onto a leaf. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see a second Glass Frog that watches my actions from behind the leaf! Sometimes I feel that Mother Nature controls this, and it brings her a lot of joy 🙂.
THE STORY OF A LIZARD
After taking pictures all day, I sometimes force myself, instead of sleeping, to pack my gear and go out for a few hours, even after dark. The last time I went just with a flashlight. You can probably guess how it turned out. I roamed through the rainforest in the night, found nothing new and was pleased that I didn’t drag all my gear with me. Only a few moments later, I discovered a beautiful lizard belonging to a species that I’d never seen before. Of course! He was resting vertically on a young tree. I know from experience that lizards resting like this will do so for a while if they’re not disturbed. I backed away slowly and rushed back for my gear. Then again, hastily panted back. Luckily, the lizard was right back where I left him. I turned the flash on, mounted a diffuser, set the camera, wiped the fogged up lens and took a test photo on a nearby bush. After a few minutes, everything is ready. I turn around, aim at the lizard, and he is gone, God knows where. I tried to find him again the next day morning, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. When I was snooping around, I found a relatively large hole dug up in the leaves close to where he was resting. His sudden night escape made sense now. As it was our last evening at this lodge, I returned to the same place again, hoping that the lizard would choose the same place to rest. And he did! I came prepared with the camera already set up and a few ideas on how to work with the light. As I was slowly approaching the lizard, he began to fidget & hid behind a stick nervously. After two turns, I managed to fool him, catching him from the side for a moment. I quickly took three photos. The lizard jumped into his hideaway, and my photoshoot was over. Well, I have one photo to show for it.
CONTRIBUTION OF OM-1 TO LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
The OM-1 is equipped with all the features we know from other previous models for landscape photography. Every one of them is somehow enhanced. For example, creating HiRes photos takes 5s instead of 12s. The ND filter is boosted to 64 and allows you to use self-timer. You can focus on stars, bulb modes can once again show live preview, Live Composite now supports stabilisation and all mentioned functions can be preset to any programmable button. Other improvements also contribute to the shooting. Among many such enhancements is a higher display resolution to assess the photo sharpness already in the terrain or the possibility to increase dynamic range by 1EV. Only some sophisticated analysis will probably be able to definitely reveal if it’s by 0.5EV in the highlights or 0.5EV in shadows. Personally, I cannot be happier with the dynamic range and sometimes am blown away by what can RAW files reveal. If you are up for a challenge, the following lines may come in handy.
TRY THIS: I have a tip concerning the dynamic range that even the owners of the OM-1 as well as E-M1 III/X can try if you want to achieve breathtaking details in the shadows. To achieve this, you need to use the built-in ND filter. Try setting the lowest ISO value, i.e. 80 (64) – note that some noise will be noticeable even at ISO 200 for this purpose. This is ideal for such moments when you stand ankles deep in a creek attempting a picture of a flowing stream in a dark forest and you feel that the combination of 3 exposures in HDR might not work at all due to running water. Set shooting to manual, apply the ND filter to slow down the exposure. Next, aim to expose the photo so that you keep as many highlights as possible, even if it means that you may underexpose it by -2EV, i.e. everything that had darker tones practically turns black. Then, in the post-processing editor, adjust the shadows, black & exposure sliders to brighten the scene and be amazed! A few paragraphs above, I was describing a creek when looking for frogs. I captured for you that very creek using the technique described above. I cannot forget to mention one last thing I appreciated in the wet & humid tropics on many occasions—the OM-1’s extreme resistance to rain. As you can assume, it was pouring down quite a when the photo was taken.
OM-1, Olympus 8-25mm/4 Pro, Peak Design Travel Tripod
ND FILTER IN PRACTICE
Photo of the creek taken as described above with the shadows adjusted in the post-process (Capture One)
Detail 1:1 from the scene above shows how much data is hidden
The built-in ND filter is my favourite feature enabling you to shoot with a wide-angle lens handheld
HOW IS THE OM-1?
We’re almost at the end of my two-part talk about the OM-1. In the first part, I tried to describe all the newest advancements. In the second one, I tried to show their use in real life. The camera brings a lot of innovations. Namely, the new stacked sensor, new chip, brand new AF system, new Menu layout, unprecedented processing speed in full RAW & an improved viewfinder. All while it retains all the features of E-M1X and E-M1 III. Yet it is better. The OM-1 has countless positives. The few things I would change are mostly software-based. And you never know, maybe some of my ideas will be implemented in the next firmware update. In the last article, I had few wishes – adjusting the AF Home, allow even slower blackout-free continuous shooting and adding exposure time to the EVF when changing ISO. In the long term, I’d add to the wishlist the possibility to select HDR exposures in the order – / 0 / + as well as two subject detection adjustments. First, it would be great to add an AUTO variant to the subject tracking options; meaning automatic selection. This would evaluate what I am looking at (bird, mammal, motorcycle,…), focus accordingly while maintaining the possibility of manual selection. To this, I’d add the existing Face/Eye Detection, which is currently, God knows why separate. This would make operating the camera even simpler. All automatic detections of people, animals, vehicles would be in one place, and this menu could then appear in the OK menu, where you can presently only find Face/Eye Detection. Overall, I love the camera, I got used to it in a few days, and I can hardly imagine using only, though brilliant, the E-M1 III. I received several enquiries if the E-M1 III/X is worthy of the upgrade or if the benefits are just cosmetic. To help you make up your mind, I’d recommend attending an event where you can get acquainted and test it at least for half a day. No matter how many reviews you read on the ergonomics, AF speed or shooting through the new viewfinder, nothing beats the real thing. Will it take better photos? Only the photographer can take better photos. The OM-1 capability will definitely help you get there. Whether you buy the camera or not, the OM-1 is a clear number one for me. Another very common question I get asked is, what is SULASULA? Well, thanks to my recent trip to the Galápagos, I can finally show you what it is. Sula sula is a latin name for a bird with such a boring name in Czech. In English, however, it’s called the Red-footed Booby, aka doofus with red feet, me. 🙂
After two weeks in the rainforests of Ecuador, I said goodbye to the other photographers and set out to fulfil my lifelong dream – and visited the Galápagos Islands. I was approached by several people interested in going there with me, and I wanted to experience the islands in person first. I knew it would be very different from anything I was used to. I spent only four days there, which is enough to understand that it’s a different world. It will take me weeks to absorb both the positive as well as the mixed emotions. From the nature lover’s point of view, it is an unparalleled paradise. However, from a photographer’s viewpoint, the plethora of various restrictions is hell. You are relentlessly pushed to take pictures in the worst light conditions, or you are restricted by a few places allowed to move alone. Furthermore, there is only a very few places where you can stay where you like for as long as you like. Not to mention the big contrast of white beaches with black lava rocks, 16 km of walking every day, blisters, burnt hands and feet, a mucky camera from the salty seawater and sand everywhere, even in my shorts. But you know what? I would go again. Tomorrow, if I could. Regarding the OM-1 contribution, I can honestly say that I maxed out on everything I described in the previous lines. I really appreciate the camera’s water resistance as I needed to scrub it off the saltwater and sand. I plunged the camera momentarily under a short shower, and it’s as good as new. In short, the Galápagos met all my expectations, and OM-1 helped me capture its beauty as best I could. A selection of several photos without further comment can be found below. More photos will be added over the next few weeks to my social profiles. So, consider to follow my profiles Instagram and Facebook too 🙂
Marine Iguana, Galápagos 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, ISO 320, f/4.5, 1/800s
Lava Heron, Galápagos 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 8-25mm/4, ISO 320, f/4.5, 1/1000s
Sally lightfoot crab, Galápagos 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, ISO 80, f/5.6, 1/4s, ND filter 32
Sanderling, Galápagos 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, ISO 800, f/4.5, 1/4000s
American Whimbrel, Galápagos 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/1000s
Sally lightfoot crab, Galápagos 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, ISO 640, f/9, 1/400s
Marine Iguana, Galápagos 2022, Olympus OM-1, Olympus 150-400mm/4.5 IS TC, ISO 80, f/8, 1.3s, ND filter 64
Petr … thanks for an amazing ‘real world’ review of the OM-1. It has inspired me to change to OM-1 from my current Canon 80D and L lenses to get a lighter kit more befitting my back issues.
I had thought based on many of the sample photos on other sites that those who look down on M43 (from the heights of Full frame or even APS-C) were correct in saying you can’t get the overall sharpness of image in this format. Your photos completely blow that notion out of the water. It seems having downloaded some of your RAW files that a greater amount of sharpening has to be added in Lightroom to achieve this (greater than I am used to with APS-C), but if done carefully the result is stunning.
I look forward to your updated pdf tutorial which I will definitely be investing in.