Category Archives: viewpoint

Testing The New Olympus 25mm f1.8 Lens

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 Test

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens.  Photographed attached to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera.  January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian   *Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens. Photographed attached to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera. January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
*Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has fast become one of my favourite cameras. One of my favourite focal lengths, especially for street photography and environmental portraits is 50mm and I felt that the Olympus m4/3 lens lineup was missing this. I was delighted to find though that this lens was going to be announced soon and Olympus UK kindly lent me the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f1.8 lens to shoot my Los Angeles trip with. I’ve therefore been shooting with this lens since the 5th of January, for creating real pictures. Those who are familiar with my tests know that I don’t do the scientific breakdown or photograph brick walls; I take equipment on real assignments and shoots.

The sun rises over Los Angeles, California, USA. January 13, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The sun rises over Los Angeles, California, USA. January 13, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. www.andreafeczko.com), plays volleyball on Venice Beach. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. http://www.andreafeczko.com), plays volleyball on Venice Beach. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. www.andreafeczko.com), on Santa Monica beach. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. http://www.andreafeczko.com), on Santa Monica beach. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. www.andreafeczko.com), on Santa Monica beach. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. http://www.andreafeczko.com), on Santa Monica beach. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. www.andreafeczko.com), on Santa Monica beach at sunset. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. http://www.andreafeczko.com), on Santa Monica beach at sunset. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. www.andreafeczko.com), at the funfair on Santa Monica pier in the evening. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator. http://www.andreafeczko.com), at the funfair on Santa Monica pier in the evening. LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

For those not familiar with the m4/3 (Micro Four Thirds) system, the 25mm lens gives an equivalent of 50mm at a relatively fast aperture of f1.8. Married with the astonishingly great 5-axis stabiliser in the E-M1, this means that hand held extreme low light photography is very possible. At f1.8 one also gets lovely separation of subject from the background. I shot with the lens solidly whilst on a trip to Los Angeles and day in, day out, it performed perfectly.

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator - www.andreafeczko.com), at the lavish Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel, LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator – http://www.andreafeczko.com), at the lavish Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel, LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator - www.andreafeczko.com), at the lavish Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel, LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Andrea Feczko (American TV Presenter and digital content creator – http://www.andreafeczko.com), at the lavish Thompson Beverly Hills Hotel, LA, USA. January 14, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Visitors at the Chinese Theatre forecourt featuring handprints, footprints and signatures of iconic celebrities. The young visitors check out the Harry Potter imprints. Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California. January 16, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Visitors at the Chinese Theatre forecourt featuring handprints, footprints and signatures of iconic celebrities. The young visitors check out the Harry Potter imprints. Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California. January 16, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Cartoon characters interact with the tourists. Walk of fame, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California. January 16, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Cartoon characters interact with the tourists. Walk of fame, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California. January 16, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Very fast (and silent) to focus, pin sharp, accurate colour and tonal rendition and great element coating, meaning that shooting into the sun is not a problem. Being part of the M.Zuiko Premium range means it’s extremely well built. As you can see from the product photography, it’s also tiny and only weighs 137g. With two Aspherical elements and a close focusing distance of only 0.25cm, it has fast become my standard lens on my E-M1. I won’t hesitate in recommending this lens; it’s fast, crisp, small and extremely capable.

To see more photographs taken with the Olympus 25mm f1.8 lens, please visit my Flickr set.

LA Fashion District, downtown Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

LA Fashion District, downtown Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Bob's Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Bob's Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Bob's Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown of Los Angeles, California, is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Centre and was designed by Frank Gehry. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown of Los Angeles, California, is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Centre and was designed by Frank Gehry. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens.  Photographed next to the 45mm lens for size comparison.  January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian   *Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens. Photographed next to the 45mm lens for size comparison. January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
*Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens.  January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian   *Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens. January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
*Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens.  Shown with supplied lens hood attached.  January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian   *Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens. Shown with supplied lens hood attached. January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
*Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens.  Photographed attached to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera.  January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian   *Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

The new Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:1.8 lens. Photographed attached to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera. January 28, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
*Please forgive the particles of sand on the equipment!!*

2013: A Year In Pictures

Reviewing The Year

What an interesting year it’s been. A year filled with awards, talks, lectures, workshops, videos and naturally, my main passion, pictures. 2013 brought with it 13 awards for my photography and short film work; 13 for Thirteen – very neat.

I thought it might be fun to go over the year and share my favourite images; some professional commissions and others taken over coffee on my iPhone.

I hope you enjoy them :-)

Gordon Ramsay's Union Street Cafe, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1.  Gordon Ramsay at the restaurant.  August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Cafe, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1. Gordon Ramsay at the restaurant. August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Gordon Ramsay at his Union Street Bar, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1.  August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Gordon Ramsay at his Union Street Bar, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1. August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Gordon Ramsay at the steps leading to his Union Street Bar, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1.  August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Gordon Ramsay at the steps leading to his Union Street Bar, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1. August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Gordon Ramsay's Union Street Cafe, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1.  Gordon Ramsay at the restaurant.  August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Cafe, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1. Gordon Ramsay at the restaurant. August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Gordon Ramsay's Union Street Cafe, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1.  Gordon Ramsay at the Union Street Bar.  August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Cafe, 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London SE1. Gordon Ramsay at the Union Street Bar. August 30, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

A portrait of Tony McNulty. London.  September 20, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian Shot using a Leica M (Type 240) and an Angenieux 35-70mm f2.5-3.3 zoom lens, using a Novoflex Leica r to M adapter. Processed in Aperture and DXO Film Pack 3 plugin.

A portrait of Tony McNulty. London. September 20, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian
Shot using a Leica M (Type 240) and an Angenieux 35-70mm f2.5-3.3 zoom lens, using a Novoflex Leica r to M adapter. Processed in Aperture and DXO Film Pack 3 plugin.

The Summer Saunter. A group of bold and independent men led by stylist Timothy Lord and The Chap Magazine’s Albion step out in style in the name of sartorial freedom, from the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral to Mayfair’s Berkeley Square in a demonstration of solidarity with all men who dare to dress differently. London, UK. Toby Pennington and the chaps outside El Vino on Fleet Street.  July 21, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Summer Saunter. A group of bold and independent men led by stylist Timothy Lord and The Chap Magazine’s Albion step out in style in the name of sartorial freedom, from the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral to Mayfair’s Berkeley Square in a demonstration of solidarity with all men who dare to dress differently. London, UK. Toby Pennington and the chaps outside El Vino on Fleet Street. July 21, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Summer Saunter. A group of bold and independent men led by stylist Timothy Lord and The Chap Magazine’s Albion step out in style in the name of sartorial freedom, from the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral to Mayfair’s Berkeley Square in a demonstration of solidarity with all men who dare to dress differently. London, UK. Toby Pennington at an exhibition by Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Marlborough Contemporary gallery, Albemarle Street, London, where the gentlemen stopped for a Champagne break. July 21, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian  July 21, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Summer Saunter. A group of bold and independent men led by stylist Timothy Lord and The Chap Magazine’s Albion step out in style in the name of sartorial freedom, from the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral to Mayfair’s Berkeley Square in a demonstration of solidarity with all men who dare to dress differently. London, UK. Toby Pennington at an exhibition by Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Marlborough Contemporary gallery, Albemarle Street, London, where the gentlemen stopped for a Champagne break. July 21, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian July 21, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Daily life on Oxford Street at rush hour. October 17, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Daily life on Oxford Street at rush hour. October 17, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Daily life along London's South Bank and the Christmas Fair stalls. November 30, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Daily life along London’s South Bank and the Christmas Fair stalls. November 30, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

London's South Bank.  Skate Park.  July 15, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian / 2013

London’s South Bank. Skate Park. July 15, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian / 2013

London's South Bank.  Pedestrians walk past a bridge.   July 15, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian / 2013

London’s South Bank. Pedestrians walk past a bridge. July 15, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian / 2013

Life along London's South Bank. June 27, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Life along London’s South Bank. June 27, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Life along London's South Bank. June 27, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Life along London’s South Bank. June 27, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Magnum photographer René Burri at his book signing in the Photographers' Gallery book shop, Ramillies Street, London. April 24, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Magnum photographer René Burri at his book signing in the Photographers’ Gallery book shop, Ramillies Street, London. April 24, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus's UK press event launching the new camera.  *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera*  Model Sonia Yasmin Ali.  London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian   Technical notes: raw image processed in Aperture. ISO 3200, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus’s UK press event launching the new camera. *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera* Model Sonia Yasmin Ali. London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian
Technical notes: raw image processed in Aperture. ISO 3200, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

Model Lizzie Bowden. New Look behind the scenes shoot of their Autumn / Winter 2013 collection advertising film by Cherry Duck. Walnuts Farm, Old Heathfield, East Sussex, UK. August 22, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Model Lizzie Bowden. New Look behind the scenes shoot of their Autumn / Winter 2013 collection advertising film by Cherry Duck. Walnuts Farm, Old Heathfield, East Sussex, UK. August 22, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

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

A portrait of Megan. London. August 18, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A portrait of Megan. London. August 18, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A portrait of Maya, Heatherden Hall, Pinewood Studios, Pinewood Road, Iver, Slough, Buckinghamshire. October 24, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A portrait of Maya, Heatherden Hall, Pinewood Studios, Pinewood Road, Iver, Slough, Buckinghamshire. October 24, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Atmosphere at Gordon's wine bar (London's oldest wine bar, established in 1890), 47 Villiers Street, London WC2N.   October 01, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Atmosphere at Gordon’s wine bar (London’s oldest wine bar, established in 1890), 47 Villiers Street, London WC2N. October 01, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Street life. Stairs and the businessman. Essex Street, London WC2. February 14, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Street life. Stairs and the businessman. Essex Street, London WC2. February 14, 2013. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A busker plays outside The Library Project shop, Temple Bar, Dublin. November 17, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

A busker plays outside The Library Project shop, Temple Bar, Dublin. November 17, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Tom Stoddart Shoots ‘Healthcare in Danger’

Behind The Scenes With Tom Stoddart; Shooting A Campaign For The International Committee of the Red Cross And Red Crescent (ICRC)

A fascinating behind the scenes shoot showing multi award winning photojournalist Tom Stoddart shooting the “Healthcare In Danger” campaign for the ICRC, using a Leica S2 medium format digital camera. I really like this campaign as the studio shots are like I have never seen  before; they have a gritty realism to them which immediately puts the viewer within the conflict zone feel and communicates the message.

The current campaign was shot around six weeks ago and follow on from the last campaign Stoddart shot for the ICRC around two years ago, using Leica M9 cameras.

ICRC_HCiD_Checkpoint2.indd ICRC_HCiD_Field_Hospital_EN_EU_BD1 ICRC_HCiD_Recovery.indd ICRC_HCiD_Riot_EU.indd

The Soul of Photography

Interview On Armenia’s Civilnet

I had the honour of being interviewed on Armenia’s Civilnet on my career as a photographer.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review

Hands On Review Of The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Camera

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the new Olympus M4/3 12-40mm f2.8 zoom and grip. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the new Olympus M4/3 12-40mm f2.8 zoom and grip. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The E-M1 was about to join a list of cameras which had made an impression on me from the moment I had picked them up; the Nikon FE, FM, FE2, FM2, F3. The Canon T90, 5D MkIII, 1D MkII, MkIII (after the sub mirror fix), Mk IV and 1DX, Leica R6.2 and every single Leica M camera from film to digital, but excluding the M5, M8 and M8.2.

I was sitting in the airport terminal, waiting for our plane to Ireland. That’s when I first saw the 16MP Olympus OM-D E-M1 in the flesh. The second I held the camera, it just felt right. It was solid like no other micro four thirds camera I’d used, more like a pro DSLR. The ergonomics were right; the grip was the perfect size and the buttons just fell to hand perfectly. It definitely felt right. I knew then I was in for a treat. The little Olympus had joined a very exclusive list of cameras that conveyed a feeling upon first touch.

Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot witht he Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture and Silver Efex Pro 2*

Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot witht he Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture and Silver Efex Pro 2*

Olympus had arranged for a few photographers and trade journalists to fly off to Ireland’s lovely Castle Leslie and spend seven to eight hours with the camera. Various scenarios were arranged to give us the opportunity to try out the camera’s various functions and also to put Olympus’ Micro Four Thirds and older Four Thirds lenses (which are compatible and also AF, using an adapter) to use. Everything from models, lighting (flash and continuous tungsten), galloping horses, dark and dingy situations and an amazing light drawing artist were all at hand, as was the beautiful surroundings of the castle itself. I have to say that the event was organised and executed perfectly.

Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the new Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Lit with a portable Pro Photo studio flash triggered wirelessly. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the new Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Lit with a portable Pro Photo studio flash triggered wirelessly. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

We were each given a camera bag with the E-M1, grip and brand new Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 Pro lens (in 35mm terms, this becomes a 24-80mm f2.8 – we were in fact the first photographers worldwide, outside of Olympus staff to use this lens), a second lens (in my case a 12mm f2.0) and a flash (which I didn’t get a chance to try). We were split into three groups and within the groups we had access to all other micro four thirds lenses, including the simply brilliant 45mm and 75mm f1.8 lenses. We also had the knowledgeable Florian from Olympus Germany on hand to help with any technical questions.

A horse and rider gallop through a lake. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

A horse and rider gallop through a lake. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 with a Four Thirds Olympus 300mm f2.8 lens, attached with an adapter.  This combination was used to take the photograph below. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 with a Four Thirds Olympus 300mm f2.8 lens, attached with an adapter. This combination was used to take the photograph below. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

A horse and rider gallop through a lake. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 300mm f2.8 Four Thirds lens (effectively a 600mm f2.8).  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture and Silver Efex Pro 2*

A horse and rider gallop through a lake. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 300mm f2.8 Four Thirds lens (effectively a 600mm f2.8). Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture and Silver Efex Pro 2*

One lens not yet available, but a mock up of which I saw, was a 40-150mm f2.8 Pro lens (80-300mm f2.8 equivalent). With this addition to the system, I feel the E-M1 is ready for most things and could well be the news photographer’s perfect kit. Two E-M1 bodies, the 12-40mm and 40-150mm, all roughly pack into the same area as a traditional pro DSLR and 24-70mm f2.8 lens would take. It would also probably be lighter and roughly cost around the same.

The E-M1 In Use

Having spent around eight hours with the camera, I can definitely give my impressions of it, but it’s not long enough to be able to run a full test. Hopefully I shall do this in the future. As I mentioned in my intro, the camera just feels right as soon as you pick it up. Several photographers made the same comment and we were all surprised that we all said the same thing, using identical words! The design has obviously been really well thought out and tried out too.

Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Although there was no time to read through a manual, the camera’s buttons and menu system are easy enough to figure out and after a little fumbling, one gets very used to it. I’m a big fan of having buttons and dials for major operational features and as a result of incorporating these, the camera is easy and quick to operate. The rear LCD is extremely crisp; a high res, bright and touch capable screen that also flips up or down. Very handy indeed.

Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot witht he Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture and Silver Efex Pro 2*

Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot witht he Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture and Silver Efex Pro 2*

Being a micro four thirds camera, it doesn’t have a mirror box, so it’s not an SLR. This means that the camera is much smaller (around half the size of a pro DSLR) and lighter. This in turn means the lenses are also much smaller and lighter too, even the fast f1.8 offerings. Being a Leica M photographer small is something I appreciate in my cameras and lenses; well, the Olympus lenses are even smaller than Leica M optics.

A floating bubble with the reflection of a glass roof. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot   Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

A floating bubble with the reflection of a glass roof. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Not having a mirrorbox naturally means no optical viewfinder, but Olympus have incorporated the very best EVF on the market (electronic viewfinder) into the camera. It’s bright, sharp, fast (no streaking or smearing) and supremely sensitive in the dark – it’s practically night vision. I’ve been using EVF’s since my Leica Digilux 2, then on my Olympus PEN E-P2. I now have an EVF for my Leica M (Type 240) and nothing I have used or tested before comes close to just how good the E-M1 and it’s built in EVF work. If you’re a sceptic, definitely pop to a shop and try it out when the camera is  available from October 2013.

A closeup of a flower, shot with the macro function of the new Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot   Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

A closeup of a flower, shot with the macro function of the new Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

The EVF allowed me to work in normal portrait conditions, in the bright sun, in a practically black, darkened library and also tracking galloping horses coming straight at me and also across from me. It worked flawlessly. During the day’s shooting, I didn’t once feel an optical finder would have helped me make better pictures.

Ghosts in the library. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with Live Time mode (bulb but with updated view of the long exposure, shown on the rear screen as the image develops), using the new Olympus 12mm-40mm f2.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Ghosts in the library. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with Live Time mode (bulb but with updated view of the long exposure, shown on the rear screen as the image develops), using the new Olympus 12mm-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

The speed of the drive is also very impressive; 10fps, falling to 6.5fps for continuous AF. The buffer is also huge, allowing 50 raw files to be buffered whilst writing to card.

Auto Focus

Ok, this really is surprising. The speed and accuracy of focus felt on par with my Canon 1DX. I haven’t done side by side testing, but the speed of the AF using Micro Four Thirds lenses really does astonish. No sooner have you touched the shutter button that the subject pops into perfect focus. I found this both is single and continuous mode.

The camera uses a dual AF system, combining phase detection and contrast AF, switching between the two depending on the lens in use.

Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot witht he Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture and Silver Efex Pro 2*

Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot witht he Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture and Silver Efex Pro 2*

Being old school, I very much tend to choose my AF point and work. A professional portrait photographer who was at hand convinced me to try the face detection, with eye detection during a portrait shoot. Very reluctantly, I did, as I don’t believe in gimmicks. Well, it’s no gimmick and works perfectly! The camera picked the face of the model and focused on the eyes. Shooting at f1.8 on the 45mm and also 75mm lenses, the results were spot on, pin sharp.

ISO and Low Light

The ISO also impresses, topping out at 25,600 ISO and giving clean and crisp results. The low light operation also has the immense benefit of the camera’s built in 5-axis image stabiliser. Being built into the camera means that every lens can be stabilised. The system works tremendously well, both in stills and in video mode.

Detail Crop: ISO 6400. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Detail Crop: ISO 6400. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

ISO 6400. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

ISO 6400. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Detail Crop: ISO 12,800. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Detail Crop: ISO 12,800. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

ISO 12,800. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

ISO 12,800. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Detail Crop: ISO 25,600. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Detail Crop: ISO 25,600. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

ISO 25,600. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

ISO 25,600. Portrait of a model. Olympus OM-D EM-1 Test Shot with the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *jpeg image processed in Aperture*

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Test Shot with the new Olympus 12mm-40mm f2.8 lens. The 5 axis image stabilisation has kept this 1/5th of a second shot pin sharp.  Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian    *RAW image processed in Olympus Viewer 3 and Aperture*

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Test Shot with the new Olympus 12mm-40mm f2.8 lens. The 5 axis image stabilisation has kept this 1/5th of a second shot pin sharp. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian *RAW image processed in Olympus Viewer 3 and Aperture*

Video

Alas, this is the area where the camera could do more. Positively, the 5-axis stabiliser makes this the most suitable stills camera in the world for shooting video on. Stabilising, smooth clips are to hand. Another boon is the E-M1 has a built in mic socket. Sadly, the negatives are too many at this stage. No headphone socket. As far as I could see, no way to monitor manual audio whilst shooting (I may be wrong as time was limited). The huge omission though, and one which I hope with firmware upgrades can be changed, is that the camera only shoots in 30P in full 1080P HD. I really don’t understand why 24P and 25P were not included. Judging by the size of the buffer and processing power, I would guess that 50P and higher should have also been possible, allowing beautiful slow motion to be shot with the camera.

With the 5-axis stabiliser, Olympus have a winning feature that elevates them over the entire competition. They need to take this seriously and update the firmware to allow for the missing frae rates. Also future models need to have headphone sockets.

There are a huge list of other features; the built in WiFi with iOS App control, and amazing live bulb mode, it’s weather sealing and expandability all add up to impress. To get a full specification list, visit this Olympus page.

Final Thoughts

I really like the Olympus PEN range and they impressed me from the start. Olympus has shown itself to be one of a small number of camera manufacturers who really innovate. I played with the first OM-D, the E-M5, which impressed. However, the E-M1 just jumps ahead, light years, over anything Olympus have produced and most cameras on the market.

A shot of me with the Olympus OM-D E-M1. Test Shot with Live Time mode (bulb but with updated view of the long exposure, shown on the rear screen as the image develops), using the new Olympus 12mm-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: Damian McGillicuddy

A shot of me with the Olympus OM-D E-M1. Test Shot with Live Time mode (bulb but with updated view of the long exposure, shown on the rear screen as the image develops), using the new Olympus 12mm-40mm f2.8 lens. Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Ireland. September 10, 2013. Photo: Damian McGillicuddy

It feels right from the first time one holds it. The lenses are brilliant, the system works. Speed, accuracy, small size, unobtrusive. It’s a shame the video aspects aren’t up to scratch as the camera is pretty much perfect otherwise. With the addition of a professional service plan (Service Plus), Olympus shows it’s serious about the pro market. A few longer Micro Four Thirds lenses alongside the 40-150mm f2.8 and I think the system will be ready for most types of professional photography.

Give the camera a try. You won’t be disappointed. I for one was seriously impressed.

Visit my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Flickr Set to see more images shot with the camera.

Not so GREAT for Photographers

The UK Government’s GREAT Project Cons Photographers

Campaign Pleads Poverty Even Though

It Has £55M To Get Free Pictures

Three prominent UK press photographers were contacted by the marketing assistant of the government’s UK Trade and Investment office to supply photographs for the GREAT Campaign. In her email to one of the photographers, Isabel Bustillos goes on to say “The GREAT campaign showcases UK excellence in a variety of sectors”. The photographers contacted, Glenn Copus, Shaun Curry and John D McHugh, have with their work shown excellence and as a result were contacted for the photograph needed by the GREAT campaign.

So far, so good. Sadly, the GREAT campaign and the UK Trade and Investment office, showed absolute unprofessionalism and utter disrespect towards the photographers and the value of photography, by initially saying they had very tight budgets so were after a collaboration, asking for the pictures for free. When Shaun Curry reminded Isabel Bustillos (marketing assistant of the GREAT campaign) that photographers do not work for free, as after all it is their profession, she offered a sum of £100. The license asked for was for two years with multiple territory usage and with above and below the line advertising rights. A very quick internet search shows that the GREAT Campaign’s budget is £55 million for 2013 to 2015 (£25M for 2013 and a further £30M for 2014-15). In essence, this governmental initiative with £55 million budget is trying to con photographers into handing over pictures for free. As the initiative’s aim is to boost investment and tourism into the UK, it’s also insulting for UK citizens when it’s realised the penny pinching and amateur attitude will result in not securing the best photographic work and therefore not showing us in our best light, even though there is a tremendous budget set aside for this 120 countries initiative.

The photograph in question. The GREAT campaign tried to get this picture for free, stating that they had a tight budget and could not pay. The budget for the campaign is £55M. Photo: ©Shaun Curry

The photograph in question. The GREAT campaign tried to get this picture for free, stating that they had a tight budget and could not pay. The budget for the campaign is £55M. Photo: ©Shaun Curry

Keeping in mind that a two year advertising license for English speaking countries only, for display use only (100 displays/stands) is £6,615.00 (source: Photoshelter’s image license calculator) and that the license the GREAT campaign requires easily brings the amount to much more. If the image was to be priced fully, including brochure, web and print use, for all territories needed, then the price will easily reach the £15-20,000 mark for two years usage. The level of this insult becomes clear. It is one thing for an individual or small company who have never dealt with media not to realise the value of photography. However for someone from the marketing department of a governmental campaign with a £55 million budget to be instructed to secure photography for free and if not pay hundredths of the price, it is truly disgraceful and completely amateur.

As a reminder, the minister for the GREAT campaign is the Rt Hon Maria Miller MP who claimed £90,000 in her expenses for 2005 to 2009 and was reported for it.

To illustrate the correspondence had, I shall reproduce the emails and quotes from the photographers involved in this insulting encounter with the GREAT campaign.

The initial email to Shaun Curry (who was the only person emailed; the others were contacted by phone):

“Hello,

We would like to use your image below as part of the Government’s international GREAT campaign.

The GREAT campaign showcases UK excellence in a variety of sectors with collateral available for consulates and embassies around the globe to use at trade shows, events and publications.

We usually secure images for 2 years, with above and below the line advertising rights. Usually we secure images (signed of visuals attached below for ease of reference) free of charge due to our limited budget and the fact that the campaign features in over 120 countries with credits shown, is this something you would consider? Grateful for your assistance

Isabel

Isabel Bustillos | Marketing Assistant | Marketing |UK Trade & Investment”

After Shaun Curry refused the offer of supplying his work for free, an offer of £100 was made.

Shaun Curry writes to Photo This & That:

“The UKTi liked my picture so much (judge’s parade), they asked to use it in their new ”GREAT Britain campaign’ “the biggest ever integrated Government international marketing campaign” with funding of £30 million. with the promise that it would be seen in “120 countries”.

Now…being a seasoned professional I was of course happy to receive such a picture request, but also careful to listen for the caveat, and as is sadly the norm for photographers and many other creatives these days, along it came…again.

“We usually secure images for 2 years, with above and below the line advertising rights. Usually we secure images (signed of (sic) visuals attached below for ease of reference) free of charge due to our limited budget and the fact that the campaign features in over 120 countries with credits shown, is this something you would consider? Grateful for your assistance”

Im sure I am not alone when I say that this ‘limited or no budget’ excuse has worn a bit thin, but even so, every time I hear it my heart sinks a little lower.

I am not particularly militant, but this time I decided to call them up personally, I politely warned the person who sent me this email, that this whole ‘work for free’ must stop and for their own sake, to re-think with their superiors how they populate their websites and brochures with content.

They were very apologetic and offered me £100.

For anyone who understands or has any knowledge of advertising photography and its rates, “Above the line” means a lot more then £100, multiply this by hundreds and you’ll be getting warm.

Needless to say out of principle I refused this money.

This morning a good friend and colleague John D McHugh called me to share his story about the UKTI and their quest for a free picture….of the same judges parade!

We laughed at this, then decided it wasn’t funny.

John D needless to say refused their offer even quicker than I, and also wanted them of their impending publicity disaster within the photographic community, quoting me as an example, to which they seemed somewhat surprised that we knew each other!

We both posted our experiences on a great Facebook group called “Stop Working for Free” to share and educate any others whom maybe approached by the UKTi looking for a free handout.

Im writing this here today, because I’m annoyed and fed up with this work for a byline, it’s going to have to stop.

Shaun Curry 

After having failed to get a free or near free photograph from Shaun Curry, John D McHugh was approached:

“I’ve just had a phone call from the GREAT campaign, telling me how much they loved my image. I immediately interrupted the girl and asked what her budget was, at which point she started talking about a “collaboration” and when I pushed her on what her budget was, she tried to turn it around on me and ask what I would charge. I then told her I had some bad news for her, and went on to say that the GREAT campaign had already insulted one of my colleagues with an extremely unprofessional request for a byline only remuneration offer. I also told her that the GREAT campaign was actively being discussed amongst the UK photographic community, and that some pretty disparaging things were being said about the GREAT project and those running it. In fact, I told her, it was one small step away from being blacklisted, and so in good conscience and out of consideration for my peers, I wouldn’t allow then to use my image.”

The photograph in question. The GREAT campaign tried to get this picture for free, stating that they had a tight budget and could not pay. The budget for the campaign is £55M. Photo: ©Glen Copus

The photograph in question. The GREAT campaign tried to get this picture for free, stating that they had a tight budget and could not pay. The budget for the campaign is £55M. Photo: ©Glenn Copus

After this failed attempt at securing free photography, Glenn Copus was contacted:

“I got the same call and mail for one of my pics, told them that after making a career out of photography for 44 years by being paid they could buy at a discounted price of £250. Of course I never heard back, but how I laughed at the silence over the phone”.

As it turns out, Glenn’s offer didn’t take into account the full extent of the license required, but even his extremely low offer was met with silence.

I contacted Isabel Bustillos who mentioned that she had told the photographers that they had a low budget, but then said that she had offered one of the photographers £1000. After having checked with all three photographers, they deny being offered this amount.

I then contacted the press office for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to find why photographers were being treated in this appalling manor:

“Dear Mr Hamilton and Mr Gibbs,

I have been in touch with Oliver Jackson from the GREAT campaign press office and he has suggested I contact yourselves.

I’m writing a piece on the Great campaign and it’s treatment of photographers whilst trying to secure imagery to use in the 120 countries the campaign is targeting. The article is for Photo This & That and for The Huffington Post blog section.

Three press photographers have been in touch expressing their disbelief at being approached for their work and being asked for it for free. Offers of a byline and also an insulting £100 were also made as the photographers made it clear that working for free is unacceptable. Surely it is recognised that professional work is paid for? Considering a two year license, including advertising was asked for, this is absolutely unbelievable. Considering the campaign has had it’s budget increased to £30 million, it’s somewhat surprising that individuals are trying to be conned by this governmental campaign by telling them the budget is tight. The campaign talks about UK excellence in various sectors, yet it’s treatment of the photographers in question is nothing short of an absolute and utter disrespect for the excellence of their work. Photojournalists go out of their way to bring news to the eyes of the world, often risking life and limb. I myself have lost two photographer colleagues in Libya and another close friend lost both his legs in Afghanistan. However, as a group, we persevere as the work that is done is a great responsibility and of tremendous importance. Looking at the world’s magazines, newspapers, competitions and exhibitions, it’s clear that part of the UK excellence your campaign talks of is indeed also in photojournalism. Why is there such disrespect and unprofessionalism shown? Why were they told there was a tight budget when the campaign has £30 million to spend?

I would like an on the record response which I can publish please. This entire unprofessional and disrespectful approach has the entire press photography community rather upset and this is the campaign’s opportunity to have a right of reply before the article is published. 

The approach to the three press photographers (John D McHugh, Glenn Copus and Shaun Curry) was made by:

Isabel Bustillos | Marketing Assistant | Marketing |UK Trade & Investment

I would really like a reply by the end of play today as it’s important for the campaign to explain why there’s such a lack of respect towards photographers and why photography is so devalued. It would be interesting to know how much of the £30 million has been earmarked for photography if at all possible.

I look forward to your speedy reply as this approach has enraged most of the press photographers in the UK.

Regards,

Edmond”

I received the following reply around 50 minutes later:

A UKTI spokesperson said:

“The UK has one of the largest creative industries sectors in the world and the quality of UK photography plays a key part in its success. The GREAT Campaign is a worldwide marketing campaign driving inward investment and tourism to the UK. Many UK photographers partner with UKTI to showcase excellence in UK photography and to provide them with a global showcase for their work. UKTI does not publish photographers’ work without their explicit permission and ensures that all images used are properly accredited to help UK’s photographers enjoy international acclaim.”

Not only were the issues raised not addressed, but the reply is in itself insulting as it acknowledges the part played by quality photography, yet the government’s GREAT campaign is quite happy to abuse and con photographers.

I responded to this:

“There are several points raised in my email and by the photographers contacted. Non of these have been addressed in your comment. Before writing this up, I just wanted to double check if this is really all that you have as a reply to the issue of absolute disrespect shown towards the photographers in question and their work.”

The reply:

“The photographers in questions were asked if they would like to participate in the campaign and I can assure you that no disrespect was intended towards them or their professional work.”

My final email to the press office has so far gone unanswered (even though it’s now a day later):

“The offer of asking for free pictures, then eventually escalating the offer to £100 (only for one of the photographers’ as no sums were mentioned to the others) for a two year, multiple territory with advertising use license, has been seen by all three involved and the majority of the press photographers in the UK (on several forums) as disgraceful. 

With £30M as a budget, pleading poverty by saying there is a tight budget is a straightforward lie.

The comment provided by your office is sadly just PR and doesn’t address my points (based on what has been told to me by the three) in my initial email. I just want to make sure that this is really all there is to be said by your office. 

The actions, although you say that wasn’t intended, are absolutely unprofessional and disrespectful. Photographers should not be expected to work for free. 

I do hope that there is a deeper response that actually addresses the issues raised.”

Having shown the official response to the grievance expressed by all photographers concerned, John D McHugh writes:

“GREAT’s reply to Edmond’s queries utilises typical PR double speak, insulting the intelligence of anyone who reads it, and at the same time blatantly ignores the original accusation of eliciting photography in exchange for “exposure” rather than payment. The fact that I was told GREAT had a “very small” budget is insulting and infuriating in equal parts, especially when it has in fact secured £30million in Government funding. Despite the UKTI claiming “to showcase excellence in UK photography and to provide them with a global showcase for their work”. The simple fact is that by attempting to license photography for free the UKTI is displaying a contemptuous disregard for the creative industries it is supposed to champion. And just to be clear, the GREAT Campaign contacted me, not the other way around, so I obviously have quite enough exposure. Why they think I need more exposure instead of actual payment is beyond me.”

It’s a very sad state of affairs when a campaign called GREAT, created by the UK government, conceived to showcase how great the UK is, does it’s best to con and cheat UK photographers into handing over work for free or best case scenario for hundredths of what the true value is. Quite ironic that the campaign is called GREAT.

UPDATE

Monday, April 21, 2014It’s interesting to note that although the GREAT Campaign was pleading poverty and lying to photographers to secure free photographs, it has hired David Bailey (who is sure to be one of the country’s most expensive photographers) to shoot a photograph of Her Majesty for the campaign.

Olympus PEN E-P5 Preview

Hands On Test With The E-P5

The Olympus PEN E-P5 with the Olympus 45mm f1.8 and 75mm f1.8 lenses at Olympus's UK press event launching the new camera.  *NB-Image shows an initial production camera*  London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

The Olympus PEN E-P5 with the Olympus 45mm f1.8 and 75mm f1.8 lenses at Olympus’s UK press event launching the new camera. *NB-Image shows an initial production camera* London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian

I was fortunate to be at the press launch for the new Olympus PEN E-P5 in London last week. Olympus had kindly arranged for a couple of models and I managed to get some time to try out the new E-P5 and a range of Olympus’s rather cool fast prime lenses. Before I carry on with this preview, it’s imperative to let you know that the camera was an IP model (Initial Production, meaning not yet final production) and the firmware was pre-production. Also, as the camera is so new (not available for purchase yet) my choice of image processing software, Aperture, does not yet support the RAW files, so all images here, as well as comments on image quality are based on the camera’s jpegs (which were then processed as needed in Aperture). Needless to say the RAW files will improve things further (better colour, more highlight and shadow detail as well as less digital noise at high ISOs).

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus's UK press event launching the new camera.  *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera*  Model Sonia Yasmin Ali.  London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian   Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture and Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2. ISO 3200, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus’s UK press event launching the new camera. *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera* Model Sonia Yasmin Ali. London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian
Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture and Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2. ISO 3200, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

When Olympus brought out the first PEN, the E-P1, I was very impressed and really liked the camera. The  Olympus PEN E-P2 improved things further, including adding the ability to add an EVF (electronic viewfinder) and video shooting, including adding an external microphone for better sound. I was so impressed with the E-P2 that I added one to my toolset and shot with the camera extensively.

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus's UK press event launching the new camera.  *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera*  Model Sonia Yasmin Ali.  London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian   Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture. ISO 2000, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus’s UK press event launching the new camera. *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera* Model Sonia Yasmin Ali. London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian
Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture. ISO 2000, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

The E-P5 has moved things on much further. It’s definitely the best PEN by far. The design looks superb and looks a little more like the original PEN cameras from the days of film and more importantly, the ergonomics are great. The specification sheet is very impressive;  16 megapixels, super fast (and accurate) AF, 9fps (yes, nine frames per second!), full 1080p HD video, built in 5 axis image stabiliser, manual focus with focus peaking assist, built in WiFi and a brand new 2.36 megapixel external electronic viewfinder; the VF-4.

I’ll get straight to my conclusion; I loved this camera. Extremely responsive, small, unobtrusive with some stunning Olympus prime lenses. It behaved exactly as a camera should; it was an extension to my wish to shoot pictures and never got in the way. Although I didn’t get a chance (due to time restraints at the press launch party) to thoroughly explore the camera and drill down into the menus and customise settings as I would want them, I can already say that I love this camera and won’t hesitate from recommending it. Having shot extensively with the E-P2 and to a lesser extent the E-P1, I know the heritage of the digital Micro 4/3 PENs and the E-P5 has taken this line and just made it so much better.

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus's UK press event launching the new camera.  *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera*  Model Sonia Yasmin Ali.  London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian   Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture. ISO 3200, Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus’s UK press event launching the new camera. *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera* Model Sonia Yasmin Ali. London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian
Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture. ISO 3200, Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens

During my time with the camera, I shot 159 images, both indoors (dark) and outdoors (around 8pm). The combination of the camera and I managed to get one shot out of focus; everything else was in focus; bang on. This is extremely impressive.

I’m one of these photographers who likes to use cameras as they were meant to be used; to the eye! The new VF-4 is a great addition and I would say is a must have accessory. It’s pin sharp, bright, fast to refresh and just absolutely usable. I never once felt I was looking through an electronic finder.

Since I had my E-P2, Olympus has brought out some extremely impressive prime lenses and I got a chance to shoot with these too. I shot with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8, 45mm f1.8 and the 75mm f1.8. As Micro 4/3 cameras double these, the equivalents are 35mm, 90mm and 150mm. All of these impressed thoroughly; optically superb and very fast to focus. The thought of having a 150mm f1.8 lens should be a great comfort to a news or wedding photographer!

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus's UK press event launching the new camera.  *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera*  Model Sonia Yasmin Ali.  London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture. ISO 500, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus’s UK press event launching the new camera. *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera* Model Sonia Yasmin Ali. London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian
Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture. ISO 500, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

The E-P1 would run into noise issues above 1250 ISO. The E-P5 produced beautifully smooth 3200 ISO shots. Remember, we’re judging from a jpeg here! The ISO range goes all the way up to 25,600 ISO, so it will be interesting to see how high one can go to make usable images. You can see the full specification sheet here.

The Micro 4/3 mount has come a long way. One of the huge strengths is the ability to practically mount any lens onto it. I have adapters for Leica M, Nikon and Canon lenses. The mount is so flexible that Black Magic have chosen it an option to include on their digital cinema cameras. This flexibility lets the photographer not only use any current lenses they may have, but to search out old and interesting lenses to use, each bringing with them unique characteristics.

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus's UK press event launching the new camera.  *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera*  Model Sonia Yasmin Ali.  London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian   Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture. ISO 1600, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

Test shots with the Olympus PEN E-P5 at Olympus’s UK press event launching the new camera. *NB-Image taken on an initial production, pre-final firmware camera* Model Sonia Yasmin Ali. London, UK. May 29, 2013. Photo: © Edmond Terakopian
Technical notes: jpeg image processed in Aperture. ISO 1600, Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens

Is everything perfect on this camera? Not quite; I would love to see the EVF built in to the camera in place of the flash. A viewfinder on the rear top left corner, similar to a Leica M, would be perfect. As the camera already has a tiltable rear screen losing the tiltability of the EVF is no big loss. Having a built in EVF would just make the camera perfect. I would also like to see a microphone input (and ideally a headphone socket to allow monitoring of audio) getting built in too, rather than using the SEMA-1 accessory.

All in all though, these negatives don’t detract. Definitely get your hands on the camera and give it a try; you’ll be impressed.

For a full GALLERY of images, please visit my Flickr Set on the E-P5.

 

A couple of images of me trying out the Olympus PEN E-P5, kindly supplied by Claire Voyle:

Photographer Edmond Terakopian trying out the new Olympus PEN E-P5 at the launch event in London. May 29, 2013. Photo: Claire Voyle / www.facebook.com/ClaireVoylePhotography

Photographer Edmond Terakopian trying out the new Olympus PEN E-P5 at the launch event in London. May 29, 2013. Photo: Claire Voyle / http://www.facebook.com/ClaireVoylePhotography

Photographer Edmond Terakopian trying out the new Olympus PEN E-P5 at the launch event in London. May 29, 2013. Photo: Claire Voyle / www.facebook.com/ClaireVoylePhotography

Photographer Edmond Terakopian trying out the new Olympus PEN E-P5 at the launch event in London. May 29, 2013. Photo: Claire Voyle / http://www.facebook.com/ClaireVoylePhotography