That day I wanted to capture spiders. I have plenty of Hersilia spiders on my garage wall. These are also known as Two-Tailed Spider or or Long-spinnered Bark Spider. You can check my earlier blog on these Two-Tailed Spiders here. I wanted to capture them with my new Olympus OM-D EM-5. I recently bought an Olympus OM-D E-M5 as a second camera to my Canon 5D Mark III. I really was blown away when I started using it. Since I only have the kit-lens for this camera – M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm EZ lens, I decided to buy an adapter for my Canon lenses. I went and bought this EzFoto Canon EOS EF mount lens to Micro 4/3 camera adapter. There are two type of adapters available which allows Canon EF lenses to connect to Micro Four third’s camera like OM-D EM-5. One which is totally dumb adapter where there is no way to adjust the aperture with the adapter, it just mounts the lens on the camera. The one I purchased has iris blades built into the adapter that sort of acts like a fake aperture of the lens. It has numbers on the dial that go from one to six, but the markings are meaningless. Only problem I faced with it was the vignette when you reduce the iris hole to extreme for very small aperture.
Adapters for Canon EOS lenses are not electronic. Adapted lenses can’t communicate with the body, so you have to choose either the Aperture mode, or the Manual mode. You set aperture on the lens and in Aperture mode the body will pick the right shutter speed. In Manual mode, it will show you whether your shutter speed is too slow or too fast and you can adjust the shutter wheel to your liking. Since adapted lenses aren’t able to communicate with he body, you won’t be able to set the aperture on the EF lens and it will be stuck at the widest aperture. Since my adapter had an iris, changing the iris hole, I could get aperture I want. As the image stabilization was built into the body of OM-D, it was working beautifully with every lens I used. Focus confirmation was also accurate. For our spider photograph I used Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. I used the cloudy daylight for illumination.
Focusing with built-in electronic viewfinder was excellent. Manual focus was the only way, none of the buttons on the lens helped. The hybrid 3 axis built in image stabilization of the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM did not work at all. Body image stabilization of OM-D was very good and allowed me to handhold at 1/80th second shutter speed on all these shots at effective 200mm focal length. Motion blur affected shots were very minimal. Since most of the time I use manual focus for my closeup photography, I did not find anything missing there. Since I could hand hold at such a low shutter speed, I was able to use a much higher ISO 1600 and use the Sunlight as the source. This eliminated use of flash altogether. There was a minimal vignette at the edge when I kept the iris at 5 or 6 (don’t know what that is in aperture terms 😉 ) They are almost full frame pictures with minimal crop to remove the edge vignette which I did not like.
You can see the vignette in the focus stacked image above, which I used 4 pictures stacked using zerene stacker software. I used 4 photos which I took using different focus points and stacked them together.
The OM-D E-M5 was until recently was Olympus’s flagship micro four thirds camera. With its new sensor, built-in EVF, fastest autofocus, and the best low light performance out of a micro four thirds. It has a built-in viewfinder. Announced in May 2012, the E-M5 design is based on the popular and, for it’s time, diminutive Olympus OM series of SLRs, from the late 1970s. The OM-D E-M5’s 16.1 Megapixel sensor is the same size as used in other Micro Four Thirds compact system cameras and Four Thirds system SLRs. It’s smaller than the APS-C sensors common in DSLRs and results in a 2x reduction in the field of view compared with a full frame 35mm sensor.
One of the OM-D EM-5’s sparkling gems was its M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm EZ lens. It is available with the OM-D EM-5 kit which is what I purchased, but it’s definitely worth it. The new EZ lens is equipped with a silent electronic zoom motor for seamless, quiet action while recording videos. I even used electronic zoom motor while taking pictures and it performed very well. The lens could also be zoomed manually, and there was a specialty Macro setting that automatically maximized the telephoto length. Olympus OM-D EM-5 has an ISO range of 200-25,600 for enhanced shooting quality in low light, while the shutter speed snaps its quickest at 1/4000-second and can reach all the way down to 60-seconds or Bulb for plenty of long exposure time. The highest comfortable ISO level was around 3200, sometimes 6400 depending on the environment. Overall landscapes, macros, portraits and long exposures were great with the OM-D EM-5.
Olympus OM-D EM-5 has spectacularly fast auto focus performance. I haven’t seen another camera match its speed. In addition to the excellent auto focus, the camera had Face and Eye detection, with the capability to recognize up to 8 faces. The OM-D EM-5 also features a new 5-axis image stabilization system that did the job admirably, as well as an advanced metering mode with Spot Shadow and Spot Highlight modes. Images could be captured at 9fps at full resolution in Sequential High-speed mode, so action wasn’t a problem.
Here is a full HD (1920 x 1080i video) shot using the same setup. The camera was supported on a monopod using one of the legs of Sirui M-3204 Carbon Fiber Tripod which is detachable. You can see the monopod movement is reduced to minimum due to excellent image stabilaization. watch it in full HD 1080i resolution.
The Olympus OM-D EM-5 is capable of recording 1920 x 1080i videos (29.97fps) in the H.264 .MOV format. Of course there’s 720p, but that’s interlaced and outputted as 29.97fps as well. Olympus OM-D EM-5 can record Motion JPEG files as well. I strongly recommend avoiding that format at all costs due to compatibility issues in most video editing programs and inferior image quality. Unfortunately there’s no progressive 30p or 24p, so interlaced is the only way to roll. OM-D EM-5 lacked Mic and Headphone jacks. The silent auto focus and image stabilization worked wonderfully, and videos exhibited almost no shutter lag, but I think Olympus has some adjustments to make if they want to compete with the wave of DSLRs (Like Canon EOS 70D or Panasonic GF3) hitting the market these days with silent Movie AF as well.