Return back to Ottawa & receiving my new camera - Olympus E-M1

I flew out of Vancouver on Monday night and arrived at Ottawa after midnight on Tuesday.

Goodbye, Richmond.

Hello, Ottawa.

Before I left Ottawa on the 16th, I ordered a refurbished Olympus E-M1 (on sale) online and had it delivered to Ottawa while I was away.  I have my trusty Olympus E-620 for almost five years now, but it is not able to keep up with my usage (e.g., the PASM mode dial is not very responsive) and the technology inside the camera is not very current anymore, especially when it comes to high ISO shooting, auto-focusing, dynamic range, etc.  I actually thought about switching to another camera system, such as Nikon or Sony, but decided to stay with Olympus so that I don't have to buy new lenses (although I now need an adapter to attach Four-Thirds lenses to the Micro Four-Thirds body).

The Olympus E-M1 is the first (and currently the only) mirrorless professional camera produced by Olympus and has many of the qualities that I look for in a camera - small body size (similar to Olympus E-620 but still smaller than most DSLRs), better high ISO shooting, improved ability to auto-focus with Four-Thirds lenses (relative to other Micro Four-Thirds cameras), and so forth.  Anyways, this is not a review post about the E-M1, but here are some comparisons with Olympus E-620.

Left: Olympus E-M1; right: Olympus E-620.  The two cameras are quite similar in size although the E-620 is slightly heavier and the E-M1 has a deeper grip (which I found to be even more comfortable in my medium-sized hands).  The white balance on E-620 was not set up properly, hence the greenish E-M1 picture (even after adjustment on my computer).  But the auto white balance on E-M1 was good and I didn't need to adjust anything afterwards.

Did I also mention that I bought a second-hand Olympus-35 SP film camera last spring?  I now have a pretty significant collection of Olympus cameras (and possibly an addiction).

The left two photos were shot with E-620 and the 70-300mm lens, and the two on the right with E-M1 and 70-300.  The top two images were shot at f/5.6, 1/40, and ISO-2500.  The bottom two at f/5.6, 1/15, and ISO-2500.  The bottom line is that Olympus E-M1 produces a high image quality and is a much better camera, especially when it comes to auto-focusing the sluggish 70-300 lens indoors.

I took the E-M1 for a test-shot around Sawmill Creek on Wednesday while getting groceries.  This was the only impressive shot I got, but I don't think I would be able to do this (i.e., bird-in-flight) with the E-620.

Weekday skaters
Went for a walk towards the other direction on the canal on the 26th (which was my birthday by the way, so the E-M1 was my birthday present to myself in a sense).

A large flock (about 200 individuals) of  Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) was in the backyard on Friday morning as I was eating my breakfast.  I took this photo through a window so it was not very sharp.

Two friends kindly took me out for a belated birthday drink on Friday afternoon.  I took this shot to show the dynamic range of E-M1.  Not bad at all.

The view of Sawmill Creek as I was going to school this afternoon.  The temperature is getting warmer but still not enough to melt all of the snow.

Mallards (and possibly American Black Ducks) hanging out in the unfrozen parts of the creek.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
 Handsome male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) shaking water from its feathers.  The Olympus E-M1 has a very impressive frame rate - nine frames per second so I was able to capture some of the action.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

 Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Weekend skaters
Before I went to school, I took more photos of skaters on the canal.  With this February being the coldest February in 115 years, people have enjoyed skating on the canal longer than usual as well (50 days straight and counting, another record).

 Weekend skaters
Enjoy the weather condition while it lasts (before the melting snow turn into slippery ice everywhere, which I am not a fan of).

Look forward to March and taking more photos with my new camera.

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