Portrait Photography With A Mirrorless Camera

As you probably know, I’m working with a full frame camera (Canon 5D Mark IV) for my photography jobs and with a mirrorless camera (Olympus PEN E-PL7 or the Olympus OMD E-M1 Mark II) for the photos I make for my blog, social media, during travels and for my vlogs for Youtube. The mirrorless camera is the camera I used the most as you can see, simply because I don’t like to walk around with heavy and big equipment while the small mirrorless camera will create high quality photos, also in RAW what is great for the editing process that I do in Photoshop.

Last weekend I did a portrait shoot for Fotolab Kiekie. They organized a video shoot for me, so a team of two guys (Fergus and Caio @ Vigics Amsterdam) filmed me while I was shooting our pretty model Gioia @ Max Models. Luckily my favorite team members Rianne Boon – stylist – and Elise Langenhuisen – makeup artist – joined me during this day!

I captured everything with the Olympus OMD E-M1 Mark II + the Olympus 25mm f/1.2 PRO lens + Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens.

Lisette den Hollander made a vlog (watch it here!) for me with my Olympus PEN E-PL7 and 12-42mm lens and captured the behind the scenes photos with her own camera. In this post I would like to share my review of this camera, together with the results and the behind the scenes photos!

Awesome Auto Focus

I’ve shot everything in RAW to achieve the highest quality of the 20 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor. The Auto Focus (121-point cross-type phase detection AF) of the camera is very fast! It automatically finds the face of the model with the Face Detection AF so I’m always sure the face is sharp what is great for portraits, especially when shooting at f/1.2. This camera has effective continuous AF up to 18fps (electronic) or 10fps (mechanical) what is great for moving subjects like walking models. This is one of the things that makes this camera awesome! It also has the best-in-class built-in stabilization (Advanced 5-Axis Image Stabilization) for photos and movies, so say goodbye to your tripod…

Great Touchscreen and viewfinder

Something I also liked about this camera was that I was able to focus by just taping on the eyes at the fully-articulating 3.0” LCD touchscreen. My team members told me they liked to watch to the LCD panel together while shooting. But I prefer shooting true the viewfinder so this is what I did the most of the time because it helps me to find a good composition. Something I have some problems with is the electronic viewfinder, although the quality of the viewfinder is very good, for shooting models all day long my eyes are getting tired of the electronic viewfinder. And I don’t recognize this problem with the normal viewfinder of my other camera. That is one reason why I’m not using this camera on big shoots because I simply can not get used to this.. But don’t get me wrong, because the electronic viewfinder is great for the photography I do during my travels or in daily life!

Lenses are so important

Some people think that the body is more important than the lens, but the lens is the most important to invest in! With lenses you can work for many years, while a camera body has a limit on the shutter and the techniques are going so fast, so in 2-4 years you probably want to upgrade the body to work with the latest functions. When shooting with a pro body like the OMD EM1 Mark II, please choose to work with the PRO lenses from Olympus to achieve the highest quality possible! My personal favorite is the Olympus 25mm f/1.2 because it’s super sharp!

CHOOSE THE PERFECT CAMERA FOR YOUR NEEDS

Personally I think every photographers needs at least two camera’s. One camera for work, and the other for everything except work. That is why I choose to work with two different kind of camera’s, because every camera has it own function.

Do I like everything of this OMD E-M1 camera? No, and I don’t think the perfect camera exists, every camera has its good and bad points.

I recognized this part of the review of theverge.com : “Megapixels may not matter as much these days, but there’s no substituting the low-light capabilities of a full frame sensor, especially with concert photography, where so much post production is involved and you’re starved for every bit of detail you can get when you edit. Images I took in less challenging settings do look great, though, boasting beautiful colors that are accurate and rich. The E-M1 Mark II has especially good in-body 5-axis image stabilization. So while the Micro Four Thirds sensor might struggle a bit in low light, you can still capture some beautiful nighttime shots with this camera without a tripod. The stabilization just won’t do much for you if your subject is moving.”

Although I’m not a concert photographer, I know what he means because when I’m shooting at a low light location, I had the some ‘problem’. So what I want to say is that it is so important to ask yourself questions when buying a new camera. In what kind of light situations do you shoot, what are your subjects, what do you expect from your camera, etc?

If you are shooting in situations with good lighting where you need a fast auto focus systeem with 121 focus points, and if you need a weatherproof body, 15 frames per second (or 60fps electronic) because you are shooting moving subjects like animals, sports or children and you don’t like the heavy weight and big lenses of a DSLR camera, the Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II will be great for you! I promise you will love it :)

 I know a lot of (hobby/amateur) photographers who are selling all their heavy DLSR gear and buy a good mirrorless camera and I absolutely understand this. Every photographer should discover his own favorite kind of camera and I’m very curious to see what the future will bring for mirrorless camera’s!

I’m very happy to be able to work with my Olympus camera’s.

Behind the scenes of the video/photo shoot for Kiekie

Here is the official video: