This article shares a selection of recent OM-D E-M1 Mark III bird images. All were captured handheld at Hendrie Valley using the M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II zoom lens.
The M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II is one of those lenses that is easy to underestimate. Many people focus on the fact that it is a ‘non-PRO’, variable aperture lens, that is not weatherproofed. All three specifications are true.
On the flip side of the coin we have a small, lightweight, and affordable lens that will meet the needs of many photographers. Especially those that put a high value on using a small, easy-to-handle birding set-up.
I was already working on this article when I began to receive a flurry of emails asking me what I thought about using my Nikon 1 kit compared to my Olympus gear for birding. I’ve come to learn that this type of email activity happens when discussions are happening somewhere on the internet. Since there appears to be some reader interest I will be writing an article about this topic in the near future.
For folks who prefer using a small, lightweight kit for birding, Nikon 1 gear has always been an attractive option. A Nikon 1 V3 with a 1 Nikkor CX 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom weighs 963 grams (battery included), and provides an efov of 189-810 mm.
By comparison an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with the M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II weighs 1003 grams, and provides an efov of 150-600 mm.
Weighing less than either of the two options mentioned is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III with the M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II. This combination weighs 837 grams, and provides an efov of 150-600 mm. I won’t bother discussing any other Nikon 1/Olympus comparisons in this particular article, but will cover them in a future one.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Unfortunately there weren’t many birds out and about during my visit to Hendrie Valley. So, I just did the best I could with the subject matter available.
The most plentiful subjects were chickadees, although some other species happened by.
As I expected, the auto-focus on the OM-D E-M1 Mark III was very fast and accurate. Its small form factor and compelling feature set will appeal to many photographers looking for a small, lightweight camera.
Shooting in RAW when using the M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II gives photographers more latitude in post and is recommended. Regular readers know that I’m not a pixel peeper. To help illustrate the advantage of shooting in RAW, a 100% crop of an out-of-camera jpeg is shown below. It is followed by 100% crop of a jpeg made from the corresponding RAW file.
Doing a little bit of work in post is worth the time and effort as shown by the OM-D E-M1 Mark III bird images in this posting.
During my visit to Hendrie Valley a chipmunk crossed by path, giving me the opportunity to capture a high ISO image (i.e. ISO-6400).
On the way home I stopped very briefly at LaSalle Park in Burlington and captured the swan image above.
Overall the OM-D E-M1 Mark III is an enjoyable camera to use for birding. It is small, lightweight and has excellent auto-focusing. Ergonomics and handling are also very good. Folks like me with large hands will likely still prefer using a camera like the OM-D E-M1X, especially with larger and heavier telephoto lenses.
As you can see from the tighter 2600 pixel crop above, the image quality when used with the M.Zuiko 75-300 mm f/4.8-6.7 II, will likely meet the needs of many photographers who want to use a small, lightweight telephoto zoom lens.
My M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 has still not arrived, so I remain in a holding pattern as far as that lens is concerned.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process which now includes DxO PhotoLab 4 and Topaz Denoise AI. The degree of cropping is indicated for each image.
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