I’m building up a really fantastic lineup of lenses for the OMD system which I’ve now fully integrated into the business, and I’ve enjoyed a couple of outings with the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 and 100-300 f4-5.6. I’m a full-time professional portrait photographer, but my portraiture extends well beyond human beings. And if I’m lucky, I get […]

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  • Barry Page - February 4, 2013 - 1:24 pm

    Lindsey your photography is a delight. I was searching around for info on the Olympus OMD EM-5 and found myself here enjoying your artistry.
    Are you using the OMD for your portraiture and if so,how are you finding it for skin tones?

  • Lindsay - February 4, 2013 - 2:00 pm

    Barry, what a wonderful surprise! It’s great to hear from you, you and I briefly spoke via e-mail several years back and your work remains as beautiful as ever. I have looked at your website many times over the years. Olympus colour is superb in my opinion and I suspect very well suited to your particular colour output. I certainly have no reservations whatsoever in using my OMD for people photography. The OMD white balance is very good indeed, it runs slightly cooler in the shade but it is also the easiest to adjust out of all of my cameras and never fails to give me a very pleasing result. It’s hard to find fault with it. And the lenses, superb for portraiture and wedding photography, particularly the PL25 f1.4, the 45 f1.8 and the 35-100 f2.8. If you’re daring the 75 f1.8 is a cracker. I look forward to hearing your opinion should you go ahead with your purchase.

  • Barry Page - February 5, 2013 - 12:26 am

    Well, well, how interesting Lindsay; what a coincidence!

    I’ve had an OMD for about three weeks. Last week I added the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8. So far I haven’t quite achieved the look I want, hence my searching around the Internet for insight. Three weeks with a new camera is no time at all for me really, so it’s very early days. More familiarity is required and I need to fine tune the post production. I’ve been using Olympus Viewer but I’m thinking ACR is giving better results.
    The OMD probably won’t rival my D3s for high ISO so it may not be a wedding camera for me but certainly the lightweight, size, portability and image quality of this camera system is very appealing. Thank you for the heads up on the lenses and for sharing your thoughts on the OMD, it’s been very helpful.

  • Lindsay - February 5, 2013 - 9:33 am

    Hi Barry, I do all my processing through Adobe Lightroom 4.3 and I find I can use all of my existing presets with the OMD. I quite often shoot JPEG with the OMD since the files are malleable with none of the highlights issues previously associated with first generation Micro 4/3 sensors. Adjusting the RAW files to taste is very easy but on the occasions you shoot JPEG I would recommend turning off the warming option in the menus. You can of course do further colour fine tuning in camera if you want to. I agree the OMD probably won’t be on par with a D3s on high ISO but using the Micro 4/3 fast primes will mitigate that somewhat and of course you have the advantage of having a bit of extra depth of field even at very wide apertures.

  • Helena - June 27, 2013 - 8:00 pm

    Dear Lindsay,

    I love your work. Your style is fresh and stylish. I was wondering for weddings, do you use the Olympush flash like the FL-600R? I heard that overheating can be the problem with it? What is your experience with this?

    Regards from Holland.

  • Lindsay - June 27, 2013 - 10:34 pm

    Hi Helena, lovely to hear from you. I haven’t used any of the Olympus flashes, I use the Metz 44 which is very good and has TTL. The Nissin flashes are also very good and are less likely to overheat.

As many of you know I am currently, and very successfully, transferring most of our DSLR inventory to compact mirrorless systems, most notably the excellent Olympus OMD. Choosing a competent camera which suits your own individual needs is one thing, but I think we all know that what matters more is the availability and choice […]

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  • Jeffrey - November 22, 2013 - 3:32 am

    Hi Lindsay!
    Just a quick question if that’s OK. I know you were quite happy with the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 lens. While you get a bit more range on this one on the long end, I would imagine you would concur that overall the Panasonic is a better lens? Thanks so much!

  • Lindsay Dobson - November 22, 2013 - 11:16 am

    Hi Jeffrey, the kit lens and the Pana 12-35 are very different. The kit lens is a jack of all trades, optically acceptable, but slow at the long end. A key benefit is the weather sealing and the light weight. On the other hand the 12-35 is a superb fast professional zoom which replicates the traditional 24-70 field of view favoured by many 35mm photographers.

  • Jeffrey - November 23, 2013 - 2:46 am

    Thanks Lindsay, I’d be curious what your thoughts are comparing the Pana 12-35mm if and when you get a chance to shoot the new Oly 12-40mm.

  • Lindsay Dobson - November 23, 2013 - 9:40 am

    Hi Jeffrey, Since I own the (excellent) 12-15 f2.8 there would be no benefit in getting the 12-40 f2.8. There are quite a lot of comparisons online, and on the forums, but generally speaking the Olympus lens is bigger and heavier, but has good close focusing abilities. It’s also a little cheaper (I think). Whether or not the Oly lens correction characteristics (on an Oly body, if you’re a JPEG shooter) will be worthwhile is an individual thing (not of any particular interest to me however).

I can’t believe how quickly the last year has passed – our 2012 roundup is one of professional highs but also of personal challenges. And I really am glad to see the back of 2012 to be honest. It was quite a year in so many ways, wonderful and terrible in equal measure. It was […]

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  • Samuel - January 25, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    I’ve been 12 years or so beating my often weary way through everything photographic on the Net, and you’re definitely one of a kind, Lindsay! Your overdrive is reaping rewards — and awards. Not everyone can be so focused (pardon the pun), articulate and highly professional while staying accessible. We know it’s best to be gracious up front, but I’d like to think there are times you can spit some fire in private!

    I’m very sorry to hear you were so ill. Hopefully things are more manageable now. Putting your shoulder to the wheel isn’t easy alone, and isn’t ideal. It’s all a balancing act, isn’t it. I remember reading the words of a high-powered businessman who said he climbed the ladder to the very top and found there was nothing there.

    But the craft of photography is a creative pleasure we can share. So keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing it. Look after yourself throughout 2013.

    :)

  • Lindsay - January 25, 2013 - 6:59 pm

    Hi Samuel – what a lovely comment, thank you. And I’ll add that you’re a very good judge of character! Indeed, some regard me as a bit of a dragon, in part due to the slightly fluffy overly politically correct world we now live in, and partly due to the fact that I’m principled and passionate in my opinions. But yes, you are quite correct that publicly and professionally I can’t always say how I really feel! I agree life is one big balancing act, in some ways things get easier as we get older, but as we get older we also feel the pressures of time and the burden of how we’ll provide for ourselves in later years. It’s all horribly practical and we have to work harder to put the fun back into our existence. Unlike some areas of the business world, I think there are great things when one reaches the top of the photographic ladder, many more doors open as the journey progresses and we meet people we could not otherwise hope to encounter. And of course the photographic journey is never-ending, the ladder is as long as we want it to be. You too look after yourself throughout the coming year Samuel, and please continue to stay in touch, I always enjoy your contributions. Kind regards, Lindsay

Is there any point applying for a job in photography? This is often asked on the various photography forums and there are just as many (if not more) people who are hoping professional photographers will take them under their wing so that they can gain an insight into our world. The more experienced amongst you […]

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  • Nat - January 30, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    When I started covering the dog shows it was a nightmare trying to find someone to help out. I tried a couple of college leavers but had reliability issues and none of them had the practical skills I needed which were fairly similar to what you listed for your assistant. In the end Pete (my husband) helps me since I can trust him with the gear and more importantly he’s good with the dog owners and makes sure the paperwork is filled in properly. I have loads of school leavers saying they want work experience but who don’t see that the job isn’t about playing with the dogs! Totally understand where you’re coming from. Nat xx

  • Lindsay - January 30, 2013 - 4:16 pm

    Hi Nat, great to hear from you. I’m sure there are some responsible school leavers out there, the problem is they’re rarely equipped to carry out the practical tasks we need them to do. There is overwhelming evidence that social photography is an older persons profession, though I know some very good fashion photographers and contemporary portrait photographers in their early 30s. We get so many youngsters coming to us wanting advice on becoming professional photographers (almost always where pets and animals are concerned) when they leave college and it can be difficult to get the message across that taking pictures is a very small part of the job. And I can’t think of any pet photographers who just photograph pets and animals, virtually all of them need to supplement their business with people portraiture, weddings and corporate work. The mental resilience and business skill side of things is key and to be fair not many youngsters will be prepared to work 80 hours a week, every week. I think it’s a much healthier approach for them to carry on their photography at their own pace alongside a career which delivers a predictable and consistent income. Later in life there may be the opportunity to progress the photography if they want to. I’m saying this for the benefit of anyone reading these comments, since you and I finally went full time in our 40s (having been part time for a few years before that), with all of the advantages that normally brings.

I’ve just spent the last few days attending The Societies annual convention, held in London each January. This event attracts thousands of photographers from around the globe and provides an opportunity to meet and learn from the biggest names in the industry thanks to a packed schedule of seminars and master classes. Based at the […]

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  • Stephen Scharf - January 16, 2013 - 11:52 pm

    Another wonderful post, Lindsay. Hope you had a good time at the Societies conference.

    Loved the pics of your day out, and especially the animals! ;-)

    The shot of the pigeon sitting alone looking on to the two people sitting at the table is wonderful.

    Best,
    Stephen

  • Lindsay - January 17, 2013 - 9:28 am

    Thank you Stephen, if there’s an animal within a mile of my lens it will get zapped!

  • Mag D - January 19, 2013 - 7:21 pm

    Very interesting write-up Lindsay. Photos are great, as usual, loved the pigeon sitting waiting for its tea !!! Beautiful photos of swans,ducks and birds, especially close-up of swan. Squirrel looked in fantastic condition, well fed of course. Thank you, really enjoyed looking through photos.

  • Lindsay - January 19, 2013 - 7:27 pm

    Mag, the squirrels in Hyde Park are the biggest squirrels I have ever seen! They certainly enjoy a regular and varied diet given the number of visitors who hand feed them.

You can see the field test images from both systems, taken at the same time, over on my pet and animal photography area by clicking on this link: Olympus OMD and Canon 5D MkIII Field Samples Before visiting the link do bear in mind that this is not really one of those weird Olympus OMD vs […]

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  • roy - January 4, 2013 - 11:14 am

    I got to your blog – and I’m not alone in this I imagine – via TOP. I’m an OMD user myself although I still own and occasionally use my Nikon FF system.
    But that’s not why I’m writing to you.
    There’s a well-established, cast-iron rule in typography (although maybe that should be a cast-lead rule…) whose provenance extends back as far as the original Gutenberg bible. That rule is that it’s extremely difficult to read text set in a “measure” (ie line-length)greater than about 65 characters, including spaces. Please don’t try claiming that this doesn’t apply to websites: I gave up on your blog before I’d completed reading the first line, and certainly before I counted the number of characters in it.
    You will be a lot more successful if people can easily read it.
    Roy

  • Lindsay - January 4, 2013 - 11:24 am

    Dear Roy, this is not a complaint I have received before in the many years I have been running my sites, however I do appreciate your comment and I always look into any suggestions my readers make. WordPress is a ubiquitous and well used professional platform with exceptional functionality and I suspect the line length you refer to is a standard in the software/theme. I am sorry you felt unable to read the article.

  • markcotter - January 4, 2013 - 6:03 pm

    You make a very valid point: it’s one I’ve been ruminating over for a couple of months.

    I recently bought the XPro1 and have used it a fair bit. I have been thinking about whether I even need my Canon 7D (I’m semi-pro, by the way), and had reached the decision that when I do a wedding, a big DSLR says ‘I’m the pro, I know what I’m doing’. Later in the year, I get the chance to test that out – I’ll be shooting a wedding with the Fuji as the back-up photographer and wonder if guests will view me differently with a different camera.

  • Lindsay - January 4, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    Hi Mark, certainly the days where a big heavy DSLR was the only professional option are fading and without a doubt the recent mirrorless systems can replace a DSLR in many situations. Where weddings are concerned I would however be inclined to keep a DSLR in the bag, not just as a backup but also there may be occasions where the speed and autofocus of the X camera may be limiting. However I fully expect Fuji to address that.

  • Samuel - January 14, 2013 - 12:51 pm

    Interesting thoughts and quality images too. It’s very significant when a pro uses these smaller cameras and she’s happy with the results. It’s worth more than the average camera review that’s for sure. In a variety of contexts these cameras can deliver excellent results.

    These days I’m comparing my new X-E1, which is similar to the Olympus, to my old 5D. The Fujifilm’s certainly not as snappy as either, but it suits my general style anyway.

    Roy, I’ve been reading the posts here for quite some time and can recommend them. So don’t give up! In my opinion, (if Lindsay doesn’t mind), if the layout irritates try temporarily putting the text into your word processor where it’ll be the way you prefer it — type size, words per line, spaces between paragraphs, etc.

  • Lindsay - January 16, 2013 - 9:59 am

    Hi Samuel, great to hear from you and I hope you’re well. Certainly the change to the OMD has proved extremely fruitful and something of a lifesaver given my inability now to cart the big stuff around as often as I used to. I will say that there are very few similarities between the OMD and the XE1. The OMD behaves very much like a miniaturised DSLR, with almost all the functionality (with the exception of fast tracking focus which I believe may be included in the next version of this camera which is to be released later this year). The OMD also uses CDAF but the key difference is the power under the bonnet, the Fuji engine is weak by comparison and firmware upgrades can only do so much. The XE1 simply cannot compete against the OMD in performance terms and I would say the only area where they are similar would be image quality, which is much closer than many people realise. The Fuji is not in my opinion suited to professional use due to the autofocus and the current lack of mainstream RAW support. Having done one of my usual location portrait shoots as a test the camera proved untenable (very few images which were in focus, despite use of the various techniques which are said to help) and we are about to sell it. It is however ideal for general static, street and travel photography. Many professional photographers have attempted to adopt the Fujis into their pro kit but with very few exceptions have been forced to abandon them due to the shortcomings mentioned. However the good news is that Fuji are now improving the autofocus in the new models (I’ve had the X100s and X20 in my hands for a play) and when the various niggles are ironed out I will certainly reconsider purchasing another Fuji. But for now, it’s going to be OMD all the way. For those of you wanting news on RAW – having had some direct talks with senior management at Fuji I can confirm that Adobe RAW support will be “improved over the coming months”.

  • Samuel - January 17, 2013 - 8:33 am

    Thanks for taking time to explain this. Your insight is valuable. It’s a real plus that the lightweight OMD kit is more comfortable while delivering good results. Heaving all that bigger gear around must literally hurt you.

    To any keen amateur reading your conclusions who’s having doubts about getting the X-E1 I’d say — yes, definitely think it through carefully. I had mine only a matter of hours and realised it could never be a workable shoot-from-the-hip solution. Even a consumer DSLR in the right hands could take us further in that general context.

    But if our style is less active, and if having big-name RAW-editing software isn’t crucial, then we will get really good results from the Fujifilm camera. I’m still experimenting with getting the RAW data basically as I need it quite quickly then opening the TIFFs in a layered format, if necessary.

    But it’s a different world for amateurs, isn’t it, Lindsay!

  • Lindsay - January 17, 2013 - 9:45 am

    Hi Samuel, I’ve just got back from a very large international photographers Convention and it was interesting to see the number of professionals taking a keen interest in the OMD, and the numbers who have already adopted it. None that I met have been able to consider the Fujis, for the practical reasons already discussed. In fact my XE1 is now for sale because I do not have a use for it unfortunately. As you say, a less pressured and less active style is best where these cameras are concerned. And as you rightly point out there are many more options available to amateurs who can enjoy their photography free from the decisions we are forced to make as professionals! But my OMD covers absolutely everything from casual personal work to professional assignments and I continue to be highly impressed by both the image quality and performance. Hopefully Fuji will catch up with some of the current and very exciting developments in technology.

  • Frugal Travel Guy - March 10, 2013 - 8:16 pm

    Great read, but I wonder how you frame a subject in the woods with this EVF? I wrote up my complaints of the OMD on my website. I was first all giddy about the OMD and came more and more to realize its not a tool rather a toy that lacks built quality and true Pro usefulness. If you have to fumble through a maze of menus to get your settings right then its not for the pro. I instead gave up on those “system cameras’ at least for now. Image quality is good for stills indeed, but framing them can be painful vs with a DSLR body where your shortcuts are right there at your fingertips and menues are more organized. Thats my take.

  • Lindsay - March 10, 2013 - 8:37 pm

    This is why it’s so important to choose your kit based on your own needs and preferences, and of course your own personal opinion is vitally important too. I find the OMD’s EVF to be superb, I’m rarely even aware of the differences between it and my DSLR finders. It is also very customizable and I tend to assign shortcuts to various keys according to which settings I use most – it’s this ability which makes it so quick and intuitive to use. But if it’s not for you then you’re doing the right thing and sticking with your DSLR, which in terms of the button size, will not be as fiddly. Small cameras are not for everyone.

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