Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Why you should be interested in the camera equipment of other photographers

There are thousands of real reviews, fake reviews, recommendations including the latest details about DSLMs and mirrorless systems.

And still I am putting this list with all my equipment on you here to have. No details. No fancy photo gallery. No video how I use the latest tech. It is not even the latest tech.

There is something though I like when someone shows me what they got. If I follow a person online for some time (e.g. on a blog, social media, or YouTube) I kind of get to know that person. I might be able to identify myself with that person. As result, I am able to estimate if the same setup would work for myself.

I spent quite some time for each purchase as I cannot stand it to spend money on something I do not use. So far I am quite happy with my setup. Find some short personal feedback on each individual equipment.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II camera transparent background

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

When I finally bought the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II it was clear that I'll spend quite some time with this camera. I have chosen wisely and previous experience showed me that I own my gear for quite a long time. I love to take care about my equipment and it hurts me to see how some just throw it into a corner. At the time of purchase the successor Mark III was already on the market, but there was more than just the reason of price and a good deal to go with the older version.

Olympus M Zuiko 14-42mm EZ Pancake

Olympus M Zuiko 14-42mm EZ Pancake f/3.5-5.6

Everyone tells you if you buy a DSLM and just use the kit lens you better just buy a hight quality compact camera instead. I have to admit that in my case the pancake kit lens was one of the reasons why I decided to go with a DSLM instead of a compact camera. I was always scared of the weight and size, especially as I try in many ways to follow a minimalistic lifestyle. The Olympus M Zuiko 14-42mm EZ Pancake is for sure an entry lens, but the results are very convincing, the zoom is for every day life sufficient, and the automatic closing / opening cap that can be acquired additionally allows you to use your camera as fast as a point-and-shoot camera.

Olympus LC 37C Auto Open Lens Cap Animation

Olympus LC-37C auto open lens cap for M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ

As I always had a point-and-shoot camera before I wanted to simply turn on the DSLM camera → point → and → shoot. Exactly how I was used to it. Simple and fast. But with cameras and interchangeable lens systems it does not work this way anymore. There is a solution though for the kit lens that works quite well. However, after I purchased the macro converter lens it was simply not practical anymore, as this forced me to manually unscrew and take off the auto lens cap.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R

Similar as the 14-42mm, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R belongs to the category entry lens. Similar as with the kit lens this is a very good build for that price. Reflecting now, I think my final decision to buy the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II goes back to the high quality of the entry lenses. A person who just starts out does not want to throw the lens that comes with the bundle immediately away and get a better one, but actually wants to go out, explore, learn and shoot. Cameras and lenses are expensive, the combination of the 14-42mm kit lens and the 40-150mm zoom lens was the perfect starting-combo for me. Even though I meanwhile purchased other lenses, I still use them all the time.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8

It might sound funny for a professional photographer but by getting the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 I felt for the first time that I can shoot photos like a professional. The incredible smooth bokeh effect simply creates wonderful photos. Although it is known as a portrait lens I use it also for other shootings, as it allows me to play around with the fast aperture and the depth of field.

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7

The last member of the family for now is no more an Olympus lens. For mirror-less cameras in the popular MFT (micro four third) format there are two fantastic manufacturer: Olympus and Panasonic. Both of them produce top lenses and are easily interchangeable. I chose the Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 over an equivalent Olympus simply as I wanted to learn about their build quality and because of their great affordability. It's a prime lens, incredible fast for that price, and allows me to shot higher quality images and learn more about photography. As Olympus and Panasonic offer such a high amount of different lenses it is quite tempting to get more and more. However, everything must be carried around, and that's for me the maximum for now. I am tempted to get more and more lenses, and even switch the camera system, on the other hand it is best to get to know your available gear first before moving on.

Olympus MCON-P02 Macro Converter

Olympus MCON-P02 Macro Converter

I wanted to try macro photography (or let's say macro light) and not invest into an expensive and heavy macro lens. Therefore I went for the converter that fits perfectly fine on my kit lens and can be put on other lenses as well by using an adapter ring. The results are not stunning, but alright if zoomed fully in.

Haida Grey Filters ND8, ND64 and ND1000

Haida ND8, ND64, ND1000 Grey Filters

I did not have the chance yet to run different tests of the new grey filters from Haida ND 8, ND64, ND1000 45mm inclusive additional 37 on 46 adapter ring. This was one of the purchases I did not do too much of research (well of course I did, just this time not for days). I cannot tell anything about the quality of the photos, however, I can tell already that it requires careful handling as the filters are small, super thin, and you can hardly touch them anywhere.

Boya BY-M1 3.5 mm Lavalier Microphone

Boya BY-M1 3.5 mm Lavalier Microphone

The Boya BY-M1 3.5 mm Lavalier Microphone got so many good reviews, and one of my favorite travel blogger and YouTuber uses it as well and I was simply always convinced by the quality. There are different kind of microphones and the well known and expensive Røde products. The Boya delivers very good results, can be attached directly to the person, the cable is not really disturbing and it costs something around 10 EUR.

Sandisk Ultra 64GB 80MBs storage card

SanDisk Ultra 64GB SDXC 80 MB/s, Class 10 SD Card

I know that many people have several cards and switch them for several reasons. It might be to have a kind of backup in the terms if one cards gets lost, at least you did not loose any photos on the other SD cards. Some also just shot so much that they always run out of space. As for me, I usually always have an option to copy or move photos and videos to any other storage no matter where I am. Either I transfer to my phone, tablet, MacBook, unlimited Amazon Photos cloud in original quality or Google Photos in high quality (which is not too bad).

Rollei Compact Compact Traveler No I Carbon tripod

Rollei Compact Traveler No I Carbon Tripod

When I started with photography I actually had zero ideas about tripods. I bought a MFT mirrorless camera for a reason - to get high quality and still have a compact package. Eventually though I learned that it is impossible to take some photos or videos without a tripod. There are a few advantages and disadvantages using a compact traveler tripod. Pro: small, light and therefore higher chance that you actually bring it with you. Con: shorter in height, less stable, needs longer to set up. The Rollei Compact Traveler No 1 Carbon tripod comes with an adapter that can be attached on your camera (it requires the standard 1/4" tripod mount on your camera).

Lowepro Dashpoint 30 Camera Bag

Lowepro Dashpoint 30

What should I say about a bag. You can put in a camera and you can carry it on your shoulder. What I want to point at is actually to consider buying 2 bags instead of one large camera bag that can take all of your equipment. An MFT camera is (depending on the lens of course) quite a compact mirrorless camera. The Lowepro Dashpoint 30 allows me to take the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II​ including one lens with me. I can carry it on my should or throw it in a backpack. If I need my entire equipment I take the second bag with me that takes all the other lenses. In general I prefer to carry the camera bags within a backpack, as I anyway need to bring other stuff like a water bottle, laptop, hoodie, and as it is not so obvious that I carry all my camera gear with me.

Tenba Tools BYOB 7 Camera Insert​

Tenba Tools BYOB 7 Camera Insert

In the description from the merchandiser it reads "Turn any bag into a camera bag with Tenba's BYOB inserts. The BYOB 7 fits a mirrorless camera with 2-3 lenses. It is designed to carry and protect a camera inside a larger backpack, suitcase or handbag, and soft shell easily molds to the shape of any carrying bag." While this is true, you can use it just like its own bag as well - I do not use it as a insert bag. I actually went with a 2-bag solution for my gear. On the one hand I have the small Lowepro Dashpoint 30 that fits the Olympus OM-D E-M10 inclusive one lens (except for the zoom lens), and on the other hand I have the Tenba Tools BYOB 7 Camera Insert that fits (thought tight) all my other lenses, battery, SD cards, microphone, etc.

That’s about it so far. I will explain in a post later how happy I am with my current setup. There are as the usual pros and cons, e.g. I discovered my limitation with slow motion videos. Besides, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II does not have an audio input for my microphone.

Then on the other side nobody who works on a professional level records audio directly into the camera. It is better to use dedicated audio recording devices, e.g., the golden standard the Zoom H4N. For starters though a smartphone and a cheap lavalier mic will do it.

This means I am overall satisfied with my setup. I would love though to just switch for a couple of months to an entirely different setup. This would allow me to learn more about other manufacturers and their qualities.