Thank You

The Photography Show 2015

The Olympus Seminar Room time table at The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 21, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Olympus Seminar Room time table at The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 21, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A word of thanks to everyone who made The Photography Show special. I’m very grateful that many of you came to my talks at the Olympus Seminar Room every day. Some great Q&A and interesting conversations were had and I’m most thankful.

Olympus Seminar Room

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk at The Olympus Seminar Room at The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 21, 2015. Photo: Rob J Hugh

Edmond Terakopian giving a talk at The Olympus Seminar Room at The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 21, 2015. Photo: Rob J Hugh

A big word of thanks also to all who came to my two talks at The Film Makers Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. Talking of which, great to see so many friends, colleagues and customers, old and new, come and visit the stand, check out some new bags, tripods and lighting kit and have such great conversations.

"Essentials In Documentary Film Making" talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

“Essentials In Documentary Film Making” talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

"Essentials In Documentary Film Making" talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. Showing how I pack my Rode microphones, Rycote accessories and other video necessities into my Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

“Essentials In Documentary Film Making” talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. Showing how I pack my Rode microphones, Rycote accessories and other video necessities into my Think Tank Photo Airport Accelerator. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

"Essentials In Documentary Film Making" talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

“Essentials In Documentary Film Making” talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

"Essentials In Documentary Film Making" talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. Showing "1 Sixpence 1 Play", shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M1. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

“Essentials In Documentary Film Making” talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. Showing “1 Sixpence 1 Play”, shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M1. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

"Essentials In Documentary Film Making" talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. My laptop bag, a blue Think Tank Photo Retrospective 13L can be seen by the podium. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

“Essentials In Documentary Film Making” talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. My laptop bag, a blue Think Tank Photo Retrospective 13L can be seen by the podium. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

It was great to see my choice in monitors, the great folks at Eizo, use my short film Taxi Driver, shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II to show just how great these monitors are.

Taxi Driver, shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II being shown on the Eizo UK stand at The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 21, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Taxi Driver, shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II being shown on the Eizo UK stand at The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 21, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Naturally, also a big word of thanks to the teams at Olympus, Snapper Stuff and Eizo, along with many friends throughout the trade, who made the show fun; it’s always good to catch up and say hi, even if in some cases it’s annually!

Here’s looking forward to The Photography Show in 2016!

Olympus 40MP High Res RAW Plugin

New RAW Plug-in For OM-D E-M5 Mark II High Res Mode

Olympus High Res Shot Raw File Photoshop Plugin

Some great news for Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II owners. We now have a new Photoshop plug-in to allow processing of these astonishing 40MP high resolution images from the raw file. Although relatively simple in interface, it allows the all important setting of white balance and also sharpening at the raw file stage.

A rare Ferrari 288 GTO built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

A rare Ferrari 288 GTO built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The Olympus High Res Shot Raw File Photoshop Plug-in can be downloaded HERE and the manual is available HERE.

The image of the Ferrari GTO was processed using this plugin. No other processing was done in Photoshop. The image was then sent to Alienskin’s Exposure 7 where I applied a 50% faded and subtle Kodachrome 64 preset. Finally the image had it’s final sharpening done in Nik Software’s Sharpener Pro.

You can view my jpegs from this shoot in my Flickr album.

Detail Shot - A rare Ferrari 288 GTO built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Detail Shot – A rare Ferrari 288 GTO built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Marks Of Excellence

I Shot It Competition

Pleased to share that two of my images have been awarded the “Mark of Excellence” in the I Shot It Premium Photo Competition.

A commuter, one of many walking wounded, leaves the Edgware Road Underground Station, still clutching his morning paper. A suicide bomber blew himself up on a tube train at the station, killing seven passengers. This was one of four terrorist attacks on the transport system, resulting in 52 innocent deaths. London, 7 July 2005. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A commuter, one of many walking wounded, leaves the Edgware Road Underground Station, still clutching his morning paper. A suicide bomber blew himself up on a tube train at the station, killing seven passengers. This was one of four terrorist attacks on the transport system, resulting in 52 innocent deaths. London, 7 July 2005.
Photo: Edmond Terakopian

As 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the London Bombings, I entered the image again to remind us all of the horrendous events of that black day and in memory of all who perished and in celebration of all the bravery shown by the survivors and those in the emergency services who went to their aid.

A woman prays for the souls of those who died in a Gyumri church. 10 years on from the Armenian earthquake. 6 December 1998, Gyumri, Armenia. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A woman prays for the souls of those who died in the earthquake. 10 years on from the Armenian earthquake. 6 December 1998, Gyumri, Armenia. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

This second image is one of my favourite images; one I found in a church in northern Armenia on the day of the 10th anniversary of the earthquake. As I turned a corner and walked into this annexed room, the light just grabbed me. Seconds later this lady walked in and started to pray. My two thoughts were of how fortunate I was to witness this powerful scene and the second was I hope I expose correctly for the slide film I’m shooting.

Technical Information

The London Bombings image was shot on a  Canon 1D Mk II and Canon 300mm f2.8L IS. The Armenian image was shot on a Leica M6 and if I remember correctly, a Leica 21mm Elmarit, using Kodak Ektachrome slide film.

The Photography Show 2015

With Olympus & SnapperStuff

21-24 March 2015, NEC Birmingham

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant with several miles of underground tunnels. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant with several miles of underground tunnels. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Very happy to share that I shall be at The Photography Show this year.

My Olympus Talks

I’ll be giving some talks, sharing my thoughts, experiences and successes shooting with Olympus OM-D cameras and naturally answering any questions you may have.

A self portrait by photographer and film maker Edmond Terakopian. Picture shows his Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera. London. February 23, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A self portrait by photographer and film maker Edmond Terakopian. Picture shows his Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera. London. February 23, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

ID: 8570

My talks will be at the seminar room at the Olympus stand C51 and B49.

All seminars are free but will be ticketed to control numbers; 35 persons seated in private seminar room on the stand, so arrive early and get a ticket! All talks are 35 minutes in duration, plus a 10 minute Q&A.

Olympus Stand, seminar room
Saturday 21st
Seminar Start: 11.30 “Awards success in photography and video using the Olympus OM-D E-M1”. I will showcase and talk about the images that brought me awards success during 2014 and share my thoughts and work on the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

Olympus Stand, seminar room
Sunday 22nd
Seminar Start: 11.00 – “Awards success in photography and video using the Olympus OM-D E-M1”. I will showcase and talk about the images that brought me awards success during 2014 and share my thoughts and work on the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

Olympus Stand, seminar room
Monday 23rd
Seminar Start: 16.00 – “Awards success in photography and video using the Olympus OM-D E-M1”. I will showcase and talk about the images that brought me awards success during 2014 and share my thoughts and work on the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

Olympus Stand, seminar room
Tuesday 24th
Seminar No 1 Start: 11.00 – “Awards success in photography and video using the Olympus OM-D E-M1”. I will showcase and talk about the images that brought me awards success during 2014 and share my thoughts and work on the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

Seminar No 2 Start: 15.00 – “London Taxi – a short film shot on the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II”. I will show and talk about his short film, sharing what makes this new camera indispensable. As an added bonus, I’ll actually be showing a brand new edit and grade of the London Taxi film, which I have called Taxi Driver. The show will be the first place this is shown and will be online after the event.

There are lots of talks by my friends and colleagues at the Olympus stand, so make sure to check out the full Olympus schedule.

SNAPPERSTUFF LOGO 2 black border

Members of the Snapper Stuff team at Tower Bridge Studios in London. The team with some of the products from Think Tank Photo, KLM, Lightech and LumiQuest.  December 08, 2012. Photo: Ant Upton

Members of the SnapperStuff team at Tower Bridge Studios in London. The team with some of the products from Think Tank Photo, KLM, Lightech and LumiQuest. December 08, 2012. Photo: Ant Upton

I’ll be with the SnapperStuff team on Stand B102, so pop by and have a chat about all things Think Tank Photo (by far my favourite and most used bags), FLM tripods & heads, Lumiquest hotshoe strobist flash modifiers, Lightech light modifiers, MindShift Gear (outdoors bags) and of course, all things photography and video! You can also meet the SnapperStuff team; uniquely, we are all full time professional photographers, so relevant advice and good conversation is pretty much a given!

My SnapperStuff Talks

I shall also be  giving two talks on behalf of SnapperStuff at the Film Making Theatre at the show:

Film Making Theatre
Saturday 21st
14.30 – 15.10 “Multimedia Shooting”. Discover essential filming techniques and how to mix photography, timelapse, video and audio.

Film Making Theatre
Monday 23rd
11.30 – 12.10 “Essentials of documentary film making”. Advice on the steps needed to achieve your filmmaking vision.

You can see a full list of all my talks on the Photography Show website.

Hope to see you at the show!

Montblanc Pens Image Reaches Finals

Photograph Chosen As Part Of 20 Finalists in MyRankart Competition

RankArt

Pleased to share that at the end of January this image was judged through the top 50 and then the top 20 of the My Rank Art competition, which had a theme of Everyday Objects. Alas it didn’t go on to win, but the top 20 isn’t too shabby!

Montblanc pens and ink on a desk. London. July 13, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian / 2013

Montblanc pens and ink on a desk. London. July 13, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian / 2013

The photograph was shot on a Leica M (Type 240) and a vintage, 1959 Leitz 50mm Summilux.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Launch

OM-D Action Factory, Prague

After the announcement of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus Europe invited various photographers and photography journalists to Prague, to a former water purification plant, to get a hands on opportunity with the new camera.

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. Setsuya Kataoka (General Manager, Product & Marketing Planning Dept, Olympus Imaging Corp), addresses the photographers and journalists gathered. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. Setsuya Kataoka (General Manager, Product & Marketing Planning Dept, Olympus Imaging Corp), addresses the photographers and journalists gathered. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Various scenarios were set up were one could try some of the aspects of the camera; a video station “Movie on the run”, a low light situation “Beauty In The Dark”, light painting “Mysterious Lights” and a workbench scene to try the 40mp high resolution mode “Devil in the detail”.

Beauty In The Dark

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Radka Vachalova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Yulia Kazakova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Yulia Kazakova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Yulia Kazakova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Model Yulia Kazakova. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

After splitting up into groups of four, we went around the amazing venue, walking through tunnels and industrialised rooms to see and shoot the various scenarios. My review of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II can be found HERE in a previous post. This post will help show the abilities of this wonderful photographic tool; a camera that is definitely on my list!

Movie On The Run

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant with several miles of underground tunnels. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant with several miles of underground tunnels. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant with several miles of underground tunnels. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant with several miles of underground tunnels. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant with several miles of underground tunnels. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant with several miles of underground tunnels. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Devil In The Detail

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A work bench, shot at the high resoltion 40mp setting. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A work bench, shot at the high resoltion 40mp setting. Image shows entire image. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A work bench, shot at the high resoltion 40mp setting. This shot shows the detail resolved and is a crop of the full frame shot shown previously. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A work bench, shot at the high resoltion 40mp setting. This shot shows the detail resolved and is a crop of the full frame shot shown above. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Mysterious Lights

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Light painting by Zolaq. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. Light painting by Zolaq. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Live Composite facility shows the image forming on the back of the camera’s LCD, as it’s being photographed on long exposure (the image above taking minutes to form as the lights are painted in by Zolaq. Once the photographer judges the image to have been made, the shutter can be closed. It’s similar to watching a print develop in a darkroom tray.

New Lenses

Interestingly, the two new Olympus M.Zuiko lenses due for official announcement soon were at the event, as pre-production models. They were however fully working samples. Pleased to say they were solidly built, focused smoothly and quickly and will add some very useful wider angle ability at fast apertures to the Micro Four Thirds range of cameras.

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. A sample of the new M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 PRO zoom lens. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. A sample of the new M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 PRO zoom lens. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. A sample of the new M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 PRO zoom lens. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. A sample of the new M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 PRO zoom lens. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. A sample of the new M.Zuiko 8mm f1.8 Fisheye lens. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. A sample of the new M.Zuiko 8mm f1.8 Fisheye lens. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. A sample of the new M.Zuiko 8mm f1.8 Fisheye lens. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D Action Factory with the new E-M5 Mark II, Prague, Czech Republic. A former water purification plant. A sample of the new M.Zuiko 8mm f1.8 Fisheye lens. February 09, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Prize Of Prague

On a personal note, it was lovely to be back in Prague; my first visit was in 2006 to receive the Prize of Prague from the Mayor of Prague, open my solo exhibition and strangely, give a press conference and a couple of TV interviews!

The exhibition is hung. In Prague to receive the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The exhibition is hung. In Prague to receive the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The exhibition is hung. In Prague to receive the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The exhibition is hung. In Prague to receive the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

In Prague to recieve the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: FotoPajer

In Prague to recieve the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: Bart

TV Interview. In Prague to recieve the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: FotoPajer

TV Interview. In Prague to recieve the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: Bart

Press Conference. In Prague to recieve the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: FotoPajer

Press Conference. In Prague to recieve the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: FotoPajer

In Prague to recieve the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: FotoPajer

In Prague to recieve the Prize of Prague and view my solo exhibition which was part of the prize. September 2006. Photo: FotoPajer

Receiving the Prize of Prague from the Mayor of Prague. September 2006. Photo: FotoPajer

Receiving the Prize of Prague from the Mayor of Prague. September 2006. Photo: FotoPajer

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

Is The Sequel Any Good?!

Cameras come and cameras go. It’s a cycle that every manufacturer repeats every few years. As a professional photographer, I naturally keep my eyes open for new and better tools and as a reviewer of camera equipment for my blog and also various magazines over the years, I naturally get to use and review a lot of equipment from a lot of the main brands in our industry.

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II fitted with the HLD-8 Power Battery Grip. February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II fitted with the HLD-8 Power Battery Grip. February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

So, how do I know if a camera is any good? Well, one sure way is at the end of the test, when I box away the camera to send back. If at this stage I feel bad and want to hold on to the camera, that gut feeling says it all. As I boxed away the OM-D E-M5 Mark II last night and begun taping up the box, I really wished I could keep it!

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. The two grips, the HLD-8 Power Battery Grip. February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. The two grips, the HLD-8 Power Battery Grip. February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

Although I never used Olympus in the days of film, I always really fancied the OM3Ti; to the point that even now, once in a while I’ll look them up on eBay! When Olympus launched the first PEN, the E-P1, my interest in the company’s cameras was re-invigorated. Since, I’ve owned and use various PEN cameras, the most recent being the brilliant E-P5. When I saw the first OM-D, the E-M5, I did rather like it and when I saw the E-M1, I did rather love it. It was a camera that just felt perfect from the second I picked it up and since has become my most used camera system, putting my Canon DSLR and Leica M setups in early and part time retirement. I’ve been using the new E-M5 Mark II for exactly two weeks now. My first outing with it was a video shoot of an anti ivory demonstration at the Chinese Embassy, which will be used in the feature length documentary, The Last Animals. Having played with the camera the evening before, it gave me such confidence in it’s abilities that I was happy to take it on a real and important assignment the next day. Although I brought a Canon 5D MkIII as a backup, just in case, the little Olympus worked faultlessly and perfectly, allowing me to shoot the entire demo with it. The camera’s ergonomics and menu system are very well designed. Not having a manual for the two weeks meant having to figure everything out by exploration and I’m happy to say that everything just came together nicely, all because of a well thought out camera, by designers and engineers who clearly understand photography and photographers.

A rare Ferrari 288 GTO  built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

A rare Ferrari 288 GTO built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

One of the highlight aspects of the E-M5 Mark II is it’s new high resolution mode; the resolution is boosted from it’s normal 16mp to a whopping 40mp. It does this by taking eight images, shifting the sensor for each shot and combining them into a 40mp jpeg, all in a matter of seconds. As the camera can fire up to 11 shots in the silent continuous mode (more of this later), the actual picture can be taken in under or around a second, so long exposure’s aren’t needed.

A rare Ferrari 288 GTO  built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

A rare Ferrari 288 GTO built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

A detail crop; A rare Ferrari 288 GTO  built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

A detail crop; A rare Ferrari 288 GTO built in 1985 with only 883 miles on the clock. It is valued at £2,000,000 and available from H.R. Owen in South Kensington, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. January 30, 2015. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The processing of the eight images then takes a couple of seconds. A tripod is a must and your subject needs to be still, but I can see a lot of creative uses of this with moving subjects! The results are astonishing though. An image dimension of 7296 x 5472 takes things into the higher end of medium format territory. The results are pin sharp, full of detail and tonal range. Whilst this wasn’t a feature I was enamoured by when I first found out about it, having used it, it has really blown my mind!

Taxi Rank, Paddington Station, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. February 01, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Taxi Rank, Paddington Station, London. Image shot on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, using the multi shot sensor shift facility, creating a 40 megapixel image. February 01, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

To download a full resolution file of the above image and see for yourself, follow THIS LINK. The other huge feature of the E-M5 Mark II is an updated and even more capable 5-axis in camera stabiliser. In a nutshell, every axis of movement is stabilised, meaning hand held shot are possible at very slow shutter speeds for pin sharp photographs. With practice I found I can shoot hand held at down to almost a one second exposure.

Shooting Video

This stabiliser also works in the video mode and in this aspect, pushes the camera to be one of the most able video shooting stills cameras around. It frees the user up to shooting so much more hand held shots. In my short film Taxi Driver, I shot the majority of shots completely hand held. Something I would never do with a DSLR, even with a stabilised lens.

Some of the shots in the film were done by attaching the camera and a mic, onto the windscreen of the taxi or to the bonnet, using a Delkin Fat Ghecko vehicle mount. This triple suction mount worked perfectly, but on it’s own offers no means of stabilisation. Considering how much a diesel London Taxi vibrates and the state of the bumpy roads in some parts of town, the smooth results just blew me away. The stabiliser is both extremely capable and extremely freeing, allowing you to shoot and create, without worrying about steadycams or a tripod. In fact, the only scenes I used a tripod and monopod were for the interview in the cafe and a few shots of a taxi rank. The rest of the seven hour shoot was freehand! By adding a grip (either the HLD-8 or HLD-8 Power Battery Grip) one also adds a headphone socket. This is essential for being able to monitor what the microphone is picking up and really makes this camera an even better video shooter. Thankfully, the audio gain level (along with ISO, aperture, shutter speed and headphone volume) can be changed using the silent touch screen during video shooting. Brilliant!

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Picture shows the all important headphone socket, now part of the optional (and essential) grip, the HLD-8G and HLD8 Battery Power Grip (shown), February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Picture shows the all important headphone socket, now part of the optional (and essential) grip, the HLD-8G and HLD8 Battery Power Grip (shown), February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

Thankfully, we now have variable frame rates, meaning that 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p can be used for full 1080p HD video. The video file itself is very beefy! ALL‑I has a data rate of 77Mbps. IPB gives the following data rates in the following quality setting: SF: ~52Mbps, F: ~30Mbps, N: ~18Mbps. Having shot the majority of the two films in ALL-I at 77Mbps, I can say that the detail holds up extremely well, rendering both highlight and shadow detail properly, allowing for proper grading. It also pushes the camera’s data rate into one the BBC with their stringent guidelines should approve of. Another very handy feature is various levels of slow motion (and speeded up footage) available in camera. I have made good use of the slow motion and am very pleased with the results. You can see this in action in my London Taxi film mentioned earlier.

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II fitted with the HLD-8 Power Battery Grip and Rode Steroe VideoMic X. February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II fitted with the HLD-8 Power Battery Grip and Rode Steroe VideoMic X. February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

On the audio front, the camera has the all important audio limiter, meaning loud sounds or a raise in volume won’t blow the audio and make it useless. The audio is also recorded at 16 bit, 48Hz, Wave Format Base, meaning it’s actually of better than CD quality and not compressed. Naturally there is an on screen audio meter during shooting. Although the camera has built in stereo microphones, it also comes with the essential mic socket, and during filming my Rode VideoMic Pro and Rode Stereo VideoMic X found themselves at home and recording great audio. Other Goodies The flip out, articulated screen is a great bonus which allows various camera angles to be used with ease. One thing I found I was going a lot was flipping it so the screen was hidden from view and the camera resembled a film camera. This is great as it’ll stop the chimping photographer, make them concentrate on the scene and not the camera back and as a result save on battery power. During the interview scene in London Taxi, I was shooting multicam, and the screen allowed me to tilt it on the wide camera, meaning I could keep an eye on it and on the one in my hand; very handy indeed. Another very handy aspect for me was the practically silent shutter. It can barely be heard and on the street, it should be completely inaudible. Need to take pictures in a monastery of monks who have taken a vows of silence? Not a problem as there is also a completely silent electronic shutter mode. And yes, I do mean silent. Completely. Zero sound. It’s absolutely astonishing to put the camera into silent continuous and know one’s shooting 11 frames per second, in absolute, total and complete silence! In normal mode, the barely audible shutter mode means in continuous mode, the count drops by a frame to 10fps.

London Taxi driver Terry Bradford. January 31, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

London Taxi, St Paul’s Cathedral. January 31, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The built in WiFi remains from the previous cameras and married to the Olympus O.I. Share app on iOS means you can download jpegs (I always shoot RAW and medium jpeg for just this reason) and also have full, wireless remote camera control. This naturally opens up huge possibilities and also allows quick sharing of images on social media (just check out my Instagram!) or for sending a quick image to a client for approval or a newspaper for publication. As a very important bonus, the battery system is the same as the previous OM-Ds and PENs; this means that when travelling, one needs one type of charger and one set of batteries. It’s this type of uniformity that endears a brand to the photographer and really helps on assignment. Final Thoughts So, is everything perfect? So far, I have had nothing but praise for this camera; I almost have nothing but praise for this camera. The only thing that bugs me, is the rear function button, labelled Fn1. It’s just too small and flat and is next to a lever which juts out too much, adding to it’s difficult use. In normal function button use, this isn’t an issue and works perfectly well when holding the camera away from the face and accessing the menus, but there are some photographers, myself included, who prefer back button focus, so assign all AF use to the back button. Whilst it’s usable, it’s not comfortable and not as tactile as it should be. So if you’re one of the breed who likes to back button focus, you will be annoyed. However, I like this camera so much that I will try and find a way to attach something to this button to make it stand out a few millimetres.

Dramatic Clouds At Sunset, London. February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

Dramatic Clouds At Sunset, London. February 05, 2015. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

Well, as I mentioned at the beginning, I don’t want to return this test camera back to Olympus; I like it that much. One thing is for sure, a couple of E-M5 Mark II cameras will definitely be joining my bag as soon as they are available. My E-M1 cameras are extremely capable (and will be even better with the new firmware bring faster continuous AF, I’m sure) but for video, the E-M5 Mark II has raised the bar tremendously. For me, it’s a must have camera…..so yes, the sequel is much better! Links: Here’s my Flickr Album with E-M5 MarkII images; this will be updated, so do keep an eye on it.