MicroFourNerds And Happy Snappin

Posted Jul. 10th, 2024 (5 days ago) by Daniel J. Cox

Since the new Olympus OM-1 Mark ll came out, I’ve wanted to do a full-scale review. But I have to tell you, there are so many good people doing reviews that, so far, I’m content to sit on the sidelines.

To drive home my point, I offer this excellent video by Emily of MicroFourNerds. Emily is a lot of fun, and she knows her gear. I agree with her on virtually everything she talks about, with one exception: her belief that the OM-1 Mark ll is pretty much exclusively a wildlife system. She’s right that the OM-1 Mark ll excels at wildlife, but it can also do so much more.

Overcoming Bias Towards Smaller Cameras

In another video on the YouTube channel Happy Snappin, Emily discusses how she got started as a photographer. At approximately 16:40, she mentions that for her professional wedding work, she still has to use full-frame cameras. James Warner, the host of Happy Snappin, asks Emily about the negative bias towards using smaller cameras in a professional setting. Emily offers that, “because I charge a premium in my area,” she shoots full-frame Lumix cameras. She goes on to say that it’s, “because I feel like I owe it to the clients to have the best tool for the job.” She also admits that she thinks, “people get really bogged down with the sensor size wars.” So even though she’s a huge Micro Four Thirds fan, she feels pressure from others to have a camera that “looks” more professional.


I understand the pressure, but something that’s rarely discussed is the need to educate the client. The OM-1 Mark ll has many advantages that outweigh its smaller sensor, and those advantages should be highlighted when talking to clients. Bigger is not always better. There are advantages to fast, light, and nimble, especially when it comes to wedding photography.

Advantages of MFT Cameras for Weddings

I have to say right up front that I’ve never shot a wedding with an MFT camera. However, I did shoot over 150 weddings for a professional studio back in the early 80s when I was putting myself through college. So, with that experience in mind, I’m thinking about some OM-1 Mark ll technologies and size advantages that could benefit wedding photographers. And it starts with image stabilization.

Image Stabilization

Many, if not most, weddings today are shot from the perspective of a photojournalist. Documenting a bride and groom’s every move is the hallmark of today’s successful wedding photographer. Being able to handhold your camera down to one second or more is a huge asset when shooting in dimly lit churches and town halls.

MicroFourNerds
OM-1 with 12-60mm Leica lens. Handheld 1/15th of a second.

Pro Capture and Pro Capture SH2

Pro Capture and Pro Capture SH2 are two shooting modes that could give the professional wedding photographer the ability to capture just the right moment. An example would be throwing a bouquet or maybe the kiss of the newly married couple. I’m sure there are many other possibilities a good photographer could come up with while shooting a wedding.

MicroFourNerds
Lilac-breasted roller captured with Pro Capture.

Small and Unobtrusive

When I was shooting weddings, our studio used a Mamiya RB67. It was a huge camera that required a large tripod, and we set it up at the back of the church. Moving it to other places was painful. Along with its substantial size, it was also very loud when the shutter tripped. With Micro Four Thirds cameras, you are not only less conspicuous due to the smaller form factor, but the cameras can shoot completely silent.

Bulking Up Your Micro Four Thirds Body

Unfortunately, there are people who see you shooting with the smaller MFT body who will think you aren’t serious about the work you produce. One trick I use to circumvent this lack of knowledge is to add a battery grip to the OM-1 Mark ll. A battery grip is very helpful when shooting larger lenses like the 40-150mm F/2.8 or the 150-400mm F/4.5. It not only gives you more camera to hold but also makes the camera look substantially larger. I’ve never had anybody question my professional prowess when using the OM System cameras with a battery pack.

MicroFourNerds
OM System OM-1 Mark ll with battery pack and 150-400mm lens

Conclusion

So that’s my take on MicroFourNerds, Happy Snappin, and their love for Micro Four Thirds cameras. In the end, it all comes down to the quality of the images any particular camera produces. I’m doing prints as large as 60×90 inches that contain details nobody thinks are possible with MFT cameras.

These prints are 40×60 inches

To stand up to the naysayers, you have to have proof of the quality these cameras can produce. I gained that confidence by printing really, really big. With the right software, quality lenses, and attention to detail, there’s no reason you can’t shoot even the most demanding subjects with MFT cameras. You just need the confidence to convince others who’ve not done their homework.

I use the following software to ensure the highest quality possible from my OM System OM-1 Mark ll files.
Mylio Photos
DXO Photolab
Topaz Photo AI

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