A recent trip to southern England became a nice test for my Olympus Pen-F as a travel camera. I will keep adding posts about my new experience with the Micro Four Thirds format.
The last time I visited Europe I had my beloved Nikon dSLR with me and of course it performed flawlessly. For this trip, the promise of smaller-lighter-just as good, that we hear on the MFT marketing proved too suggestive and I went for it.
Now, off to Winchester!
For our visit to Winchester I used two lenses: an M. Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 normal zoom and a Panasonic Leica 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ultra wide. The Pen F has in-body image-stabilization and I found it to work perfectly well with these non stabilized lenses.
So, what’s the practical difference between this system and a dSLR?
First, the electronic viewfinder gives you a “what you see is what you will get” experience as you can see the result of your adjustments before taking a photo.
Second, the image stabilization seems more effective in MFT perhaps because it is easier to compensate the smaller size sensor or lens elements? A four f/stop stabilization advantage was not difficult to obtain.
Third, at a given f/stop you get double the depth of field than a full frame dSLR. If you do not need subject to background separation then you can get enough depth of field for urban subjects at f/4 or 5.6 (you would need f/8 or f/11 and far more light in 35 mm). Now, if you want nicely blurred backgrounds… you are better off using a larger format camera.
Is weight/size an advantage? It all depends on you. The larger grip of a dSLR makes for a more comfortable shooting and carrying in hand experience. Having said this, my camera bag certainly was lighter and had more space for other items!