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Date: 20/05/2014 | By: Heather

10 Amazing Photographers Who Use the Olympus OM-D E-M1 on the Job

E-M5, 25/10, f/ 8/1, ISO 200

10 Amazing Photographers Who Use the Olympus OM-D E-M1 on the Job

You may not see many of them, but they’re there: professional photographers who have dispensed with much, if not all, of their heavy professional gear in favour of a lighter mirrorless system. Their reasons are many. Some have chosen a lighter load due to physical health problems. Others have come to the realisation that, for the kind of photography they do, a full-frame DSLR simply isn’t necessary. Either way, these photographers turned to mirrorless because they were looking to change the way they work. Plain and simple.

Amongst the most popular models chosen by professionals, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is very high up on the list. In fact, it is the camera Mathieu currently uses for all of his professional work, which ranges from weddings to cooperate events to reportage.

Before the E-M1, he used the E-M5 for an entire year, and though he was confident in the older model, he firmly believes that the E-M1 is the first serious mirrorless from Olympus for professional photographers. Everything from the ergonomics to the internal functionalities has been conceived with professionals in mind.

And unsurprisingly, Mathieu isn’t alone in his praise of the OM-D E-M1…

E-P5, 1/1000, f/ 56/10, ISO 800
Mathieu with the E-M1 during an excursion in the Alps

Below you will find a list of ten professional photographers who use the OM-D E-M1 for professional assignments, all of whom have written a short paragraph about the E-M1’s role in their photography.

Reading these passionate accounts written by professionals who use the E-M1 on a daily basis makes us realise that this isn’t a camera to be ignored by someone looking for a lighter and more compact solution.

Intrigued? Then read on, leave our photographers a comment, and visit the amazing work they’ve created with the E-M1 on their websites! :-)

Sandro Tasso

Sandro Tasso

“I am an Italian photographer who switched over to the Olympus world in November 2013, specifically when the new OM-D E-M1 arrived on the scene.

I was looking for a small camera capable of giving me good quality image with all the lens choice I had with my Pro Nikon gear, and letting me travel light!

I just moved to Franschhoek South Africa at 65 km from Cape Town and with my Olympus gear I can shoot almost anything from weddings to landscapes to events, portraits, corporate events and still life. What I like most is the weather-sealed factor, the size and the discreet sound of the shutter (very important with weddings or events in general) as they allow me to be close to the action and “not be seen.” But the main strength of this camera is the IBIS, which allows you to shoot sharp images at 1/15sec and at f1.8 while keeping the ISO values low with an equivalent lens of 150mm on a full frame camera!

My favourite lenses are the Olympus 75mm f1.8 and the Leica Pana 50mm f1.4. Both very sharp with outstanding image quality but really the entire range of Olympus lenses is amazing!”

Follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Alex McClure

Alex McClure

“I use the Olympus E-M1 for all kinds of stuff. Yes, I use it for commercial work and product shooting but I also use it for sports, studio and landscape photography. I think the Olympus E-M1 is one of the most well-rounded cameras ever made. I also teach photography, do photo-walks and workshops, all with the Olympus E-M1.

The only time I ever hear anything about the size of the camera is when I’m backpacking and even then it’s just envy about qualities like the weight and size. Do not be fooled by the size of this camera – it is a powerhouse and has no problem running with the big dogs!

But of course, being an Olympus Trailblazer, I guess I’m a little biased!”

Follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Nicholas Goodden

Nicholas Goodden

“I’m an urban photographer with a focus on London as a whole. This involves long walks across London, capturing its every aspect from architecture, urban landscapes, street art and people as part of my street photography work.

The E-M1 is excellent as it’s light and discreet. I am also very active on social media and the ability to send my shots from camera to phone on the move, means sharing has never been easier/faster.

Finally, I get hired for various shoots, the most recent involving food photography for the relaunch of a renowned restaurant’s website. The E-M1 is versatile and a great all-rounder that works for me.”

Follow him on Twitter (here and here) and check out his street photography website and personal website!

Jamie MacDonald

Jamie MacDonald

“I would classify myself as a Nature Photographer since it leaves the door open for many sub-categories of photography. There is nothing worse than limiting yourself by sticking to one thing only in my opinion.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 (like its predecessor the E-M5) really opened the door for unique opportunities in my photography by allowing me to carry more gear into the field. Also with the advent of the OM-D line the EVF allows for real time exposure viewing, and on the E-M1 in particular, the high resolution display coupled with focus peaking makes that EVF one of the most powerful tools in my bag.

And though I consider myself a still photographer, I find myself using the E-M1’s time lapse and video functions more and more. The ability to create an in camera time lapse is a treat to use! And one last thing I feel I must touch on is the camera’s built in WiFi controls. I have gotten several difficult wildlife shots by being able to remotely trigger my camera via my phone. What a game changer that is!”

Follow him on Twitter and visit his About.Me page!

Andy Rapkins

Andy Rapkins

I am a documentary photographer specialising in weddings and other social commissions. My clients value a low impact approach to produce natural and unforced images as a lasting record of their life moments. The equipment used has a direct influence on the way I work and therefore the images I am able to create: smaller and lighter gives more flexibility and stealth!

After using various mirrorless cameras alongside DSLRs for around 2 years, in early 2014 I made the full transition to using a dual Olympus E-M1 system with a range of prime lenses including the spectacular Voigtlander manual focus hyper-primes. The system has made a significant difference to how I work, blend in, observe, and capture images. Crucially, I am able to maintain the high level of quality that is expected by my clients.

Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+!

Zlatko Batistich

Zlatko Batistich

I began photographing weddings in 2002 after a workshop in Atlanta with Denis Reggie, the photographer who popularized the genre of wedding photojournalism. I’ve been a full-time photographer since 2004. My work is mainly weddings and portraits. I also do corporate photography and other special events.

This year I’ve brought the E-M1 to most of my assignments. It’s main role for me has been to substitute for a DSLR with an 85, 135 or 70-200mm lens. That’s where its size and weight are delightful. The Panasonic 42.5mm Nocticron and the Olympus 75mm lenses have been fun to work with. I also use the E-M1 for some family photos and personal work, often with the Olympus 17mm lens.

Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr!

Dallas Dahms

Dallas Dahms

My professional work mainly covers corporate events such as conferences and product launches. I follow a photojournalistic style for events. I also do product pack shots and I lead photographic safaris here in Southern Africa.

I first added an Olympus E-M5 to my professional setup just shy of 2 years ago. I used it mainly to get candid shots of conference participants which complimented what I was doing with the Nikon DSLRs, but when the E-M1 came out I saw no reason to continue lugging around the monsters when these Micro Four Thirds cameras were capable of producing the results I wanted (and in many instances doing it better). So my big rigs are now gone and I find myself using the E-M1 for everything from sports action to the full gamut of my professional work. It’s a camera that you need to grow into to fully appreciate, but in all honesty I don’t think there is too much you can’t do with it. In a few months time I am leading a safari in Botswana and will put the E-M1 up against the wildlife photography challenge. It’s going to be great, everything I need on safari will fit into a ThinkTank Retrospective bag!

Follow him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Also visit his photo community Fotozones and Safari website!

Robin Schimko

Robin Schimko

As a wedding photographer I was looking for a compact and lightweight camera system in addition to my DSLR kit. The E-M1 got my intention, because it seemed very capable and was fully aimed towards experienced and professional users. After using it for a while, I realized that I was starting to use it more often than my D800. I was totally blown away by its usability and the very pleasing image quality. So I got rid of my DSLR rig and I am now shooting mirrorless only. The E-M1 has everything that I need and fits my unobtrusive style of documenting weddings pretty well.

Follow him on Facebook and check out his wedding blog!

Randall Todd

Randall Todd

I am currently using my E-M1 and various pro lenses to photograph weddings, family, and senior portraits. Like a lot of photographers, I am gradually moving from a full frame pro DSLR system (Nikon) to the smaller, and very capable Olympus M4/3 system. I have found that the E-M1 produces high quality images that rival what I can get from my Nikon D3s. There ARE certain limitations with regard to high ISO and focusing on moving subjects, something which my Nikon is better at. At most of my weddings I like to take a few low level shots during the ceremony. The tilt screen on the EM-1 makes this kind of shot so easy to do.

The smaller, lighter Olympus system is extremely helpful for all location work due to its light weight and compact design. It’s truly a joy to use.

Follow him on Twitter and Google+!

Edmond Terakopian

Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Edmond Terakopian

Edmond Terakopian, a London based photojournalist, commercial photographer and film maker, who is a British Press Awards Photographer of the Year and a World Press Photo award winner incorporated the Olympus OM-D E-M1 into his camera gear soon after its launch. Terakopian says “The second I held the E-M1, I knew it was a special camera. It just felt right. The design and layout married to lightening quick and accurate focusing paired with great image quality just cemented my first feeling. I’m also hugely impressed with the 5-axis stabiliser, not only for photography but also for video, where it’s a tremendous feature to have”.

Terakopian has been using the E-M1 for several recent projects; the LA Diary shot over the course of a week in Los Angeles and more recently a visit by HRH Princess Eugenie to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital where the Princess is a Patron. At the moment he’s just finished shooting a film project on Pinball using the E-M1.

Terakopian says, “the small size of the cameras and lenses mean that it’s less obvious on the street. It’s also so much easier to pack into a small bag and carry. It’s super fast, super small, lightweight with great fast prime lenses and a superb pro zoom covering the 24mm to 80mm range (equivalent). It’s a no brainer really!”.

Follow him on Twitter, Flickr and Instagram! Also visit his well-read blog Photo This and That

Do you know of an E-M1 photographer who you think deserves a mention here? Are you a professional photographer who shoots with the OM-D E-M1? If so, do not hesitate to let us know in the comments section! Remember, the more we make ourselves known, the more other professional photographers will hop onto the mirrorless bandwagon as well!

Enjoyed this article? Then you may also like our interviews with the following Olympus photographers:

Like our blog? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you’re planning on buying camera gear, you can check out Amazon and Adorama. Prices remain the same for you, but a small percentage of your purchase value is valued back to us. Thank you!

About the author: Heather Broster

Heather Broster was born in Canada, has lived in Japan and Italy but currently calls Wales home. She is a full-time gear tester at MirrorLessons. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • Ashley Wallis

    Very true !

  • Martin Ocando

    You are missing a huge one: Pulitzer price winner, National Geographic Photographer and Olympus Visionary and Trailblazer Jay Dickman. His lectures are simply amazing. Here is his bio on NatGeo:

  • graziano perotti

    Grazieno Perotti Fotoreporter.Olympus EM 5 Mark II. in facebook.Graziano Perotti.

  • Andrew Farrington

    thanks, Mathieu, and to you.


  • Mathieu

    Thanks for sharing your experience Andrew. Lovely website and very interesting galleries, you have a very personal style. All the best.

  • Andrew Farrington

    Hi Heather and Mathieu, I have just discovered your site and spent many hours reading up on your previous reviews etc…… really enjoy your honest and thoughtful styles.
    In respect of being pro and using OM-D’s, I have been a convert since buying the little xz-1, then upgrading to an E-P3 and thence to an EM-5; I initially used them as fun/walkabout cameras and was ‘resigned’ to using Nikon kit (D3, D3x, D4) and then I got a shoulder injury and bought an EM-5 and used it as much as possible.
    After a few months I had settled on the layout and quality of the output and bought a few lenses; then the EM-1 was released and a few months after I dived in and was in love with the more ergonomic traits.

    I use the E-M1 and E-M5 almost exclusively now and am about to put my entire Nikon collection on eBay (including D800, which I never came round to liking).

    All my clients are more than happy with the results and none question my use of a ‘small’ camera, though longstanding ones know that my shoulder forced me into more portable kit a few years back.

    I will be buying a Sony A7rii shortly too to back up my A7 for full-frame ‘look’ should that be requested, but I imagine by choice, I will always opt for Oly.

    My work can be seen here or on my homepage (recently changed and still adding galleries)

    Keep up the great work,


  • Cuba Photo a Day

    Thanks, more added every day!

  • Mathieu

    Thanks. Nice pictures on your blog.

  • Cuba Photo a Day

    Hi Mathieu, thanks for taking the time to reply, and Heather too, my photo “blog” is here

  • Mathieu

    Where can we see your photos?

  • Heather Broster

    I couldn’t agree more! :)

  • Cuba Photo a Day

    I used the E-M1 too in documenting my travels to Cuba. It is a fantastic system, so easy to carry a range of lenses that would have Nikoned me badly in FF.

  • Mathieu

    Thanks for sharing your experience Peter and nice posts on your blog!

  • Peter Tsai

    Awesome testimonials!

    My personal story is of transitioning from a Canon full frame system, which is great and produces killer images, but it kills my back at extended portrait shoots, weddings, and especially on international trips.

    I love the flexibility offered by prime lenses, but carrying around a bunch of lenses for a 5dmkIII was really giving me back problems. The Olympus OMD system gets me all of the flexibility in terms of lens choice, super fast focusing, the amazing stabilizer (great because now I don’t need to carry a tripod), and very comparable image quality.

    The OMD has become my travel camera of choice, and I don’t even miss the big camera. I can fit 6 lenses and 1 body in a tiny camera bag no bigger than a child’s lunch box. Here’s a useful article I wrote showing how to cram that much in a bag and on comparing mirrorless and full frame for travel.

    And another comparing the OM-D E-M5 to the 5DmkIII

    Finally, thanks for leaving a comment on my article! I’ll continue to read your site.

  • gregorylent

    not convinced

  • Mathieu

    Thanks for sharing your story Candice. Glad that the E-M1 works well for you.

  • Candice White Armit

    I live in Edmonton, Alberta Canada and I’ve been using the OMD EM1 for just over a year. I’d been following mirrorless cameras for a couple years after seeing through the view finder of one of our mentors who uses the Sony 7. I was blown away by the EMV. I have used Canon for a good part of my professional life, but was diagnosed four years ago with a chest wall inflammation and after carrying around my 5D Mark II for twelve hours at a wedding, I would end up in the emergency room the next day in excruciating pain. I checked out the Olympus OMD EM1 while searching for a mirrorless after being frustrated with the pain and was hooked. It was lightweight and I loved the look of it. I had to get over my fear of people looking down on it and not thinking I was professional, but in all the weddings we had since, not one person questioned it. And now, I’m confident in the photos and videos I take with it and don’t even worry about it anymore. I had started using my phone camera to take photos while on vacation because the thought of carrying around my heavy DSLR was too much. Now I carry my OMD EM1 every where and can barely feel it on my shoulder. I haven’t looked back!

  • Mathieu

    Glad to read that things are going better, Andrew 😉

  • Andrew Livelsberger

    An update:
    The EM1 saved me!! Seriously. With the light weight and the ability to use the tiltable touch screen allowed me to work and get the shots that I needed.

    I’m 11 weeks out from my surgery and I expect the doctor to release me to full activity tomorrow.

    Through these weeks though, the OMD cameras have taken more and more of the workload away from my Nikons. Right now, the OMDs pretty much do everything except action sports, which the Nikon D300/D700 excel at and are used whenever necessary.

    I’ve shot several news articles with them and no compromise was required. The m43 fast primes are fantastic and I love the ability to get amazingly sharp images shooting wide open.

  • Mathieu

    Thank you Andrew to share your experience. Let us know your feedback about the E-M1 but also take care of your arm 😉

  • Andrew Livelsberger

    Good day all. Just wanted to throw my hat into the ring and share with all of you that I am using the Olympus OMD EM1 and EM5 in conjunction with my Nikon FX camera kits for my professional work.

    The inclusion of the OMD cameras was a combination of necessity and knowing that the gear is good enough to be used professionally.
    I recently had to have surgery on my right arm and I now have limited mobility now through my next couple of weeks recovery.

    It is currently impossible for me to hold my Nikon cameras because of the weight and I cannot get the viewfinders to my eye. I needed a capable camera system to work within my limitations. Given my experience with the EM5, I went out and got an EM1 to compliment it.

    The EM1 is relatively new to me, but I have several jobs coming up that I cannot reschedule and do not have anyone that can take over the workload(this kind of thing comes with being a sole proprietor).

    If the EM1 works as expected, I can see it being the workhorse camera for 70% of the work I do and then use the Nikon gear once I recover, for its strengths where the OMD cameras may not do as well.

    If anyone is interested in some of my work, feel free to check out my website at http://www,
    my tech blog at

    Thank you! 😀

  • vinny

    John Ruth in commercial /food an more and I understand the move I quit progressivement my Nikon pro gear for my om-D Em-1 and use it in my work and why i love the work of John it’s wonderfull work and (yes in landscape /wedding/portrait it’s nice and capable) but in commercial your like not to be pro when you use nikon/canon pro dslr and youre nice when you have medium format using m4/3 for that it’s nice and show me im not the only one using it for pro work for that !

  • Martin

    Hej, Not with OMD but with Pen.

  • Conor

    Hi Mat & Heather,

    I know that legendary photographer Mike Bunn currently uses the E-M1 and is incredibly enthusiastic about it. He is a renowned fashion photographer in the UK & Ireland. Here is a link to his FB page

    I hope this helps.



  • Jan Isachsen

    Take a look at the famous American Rock&Roll photographer Harry Sandler. He has been with the major music scene since the early seventies. Harry switched to OM-D when it was launched a few years ago and is today shooting with the M1.

    I asked him how it was to go to major events with the small OM-D and how the heavy loaded fellow pro shooters reacted. He said that they looked at him like he had measles. Then he just pulled the compact 35-100mm Panasonic lens from the pocket of his jacket, smiled and pointed at their enormous zoom lenses.

  • Max Gandhi

    G5 GX1 GX7 The Oly 75mm is one of my favorite lens.

  • Mathieu

    Which camera do you use?

  • Max Gandhi

    I’m a Panasonic Fanboy.

  • Mathieu

    Yes we know Robin Wong’s blog and we featured him in another article already.

  • lima

    What about Robin Wong from Malaysia? He has done a lot for M43rds but is not a Pro.

  • Mathieu

    I don’t think DSLRs are dead. But I think mirrorless cameras can become more and more a valid alternative. DSLRs will be dead the day mirrorless cameras sell more, and for now it isn’t the case by far. DSLRs have still some advantages, not only in terms of specs but also in term of prices (for low/mid end models), second hand market (especially regarding lenses) and customer support (very advanced for professionals, at least for Canon and Nikon users).

  • Albert

    Also very important is the question that is asked in the movie: “With Mirrorless cameras getting better and better, are DSLRs dead?”

  • Mathieu

    More important it finished in the first place for continuous AF. I don’t think this kind of ranking are too important but it certainly is an interesting test. In AF-S I honestly think that all four of them are good enough. But for sport photography AF-C, tracking and buffer capabilities can make a difference.

  • Albert

    It seems that even for sports photographers the E-M1 should be a good choice.
    It finished in third place (after Sony A6000 and Panasonic GH4) in the informal test of TheCamera Store TV. They compared a bunch mirrorless to $6,500 Nikon D4s!

  • Albert

    Yes you are right, I think that the blue (Zeiss) label and the red (Leica) dot magically makes lenses more expensive! Ok they are good lenses too! Maybe Olympus is the new Zeiss and Panasonic is the new Leica… 😉

    I own the 12-40 and I think, even if it is not cheap, it is in line with market prices (think to Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM for $879 and Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX for $790). It costs $863 (all prices from

    About MFT I can say that if you don’t care about weight a DSLR could be more convenient.

    I think mirrorless, with smaller sensor, are the future but they need to lower the prices (and raise ISO sensitivity 😉 to conquer more market share.

  • Mathieu

    I am no expert when it comes to lens construction so I cannot tell you why the 75mm has that price specifically. But if I follow your point, we could also talk about the differences in price between a standard 50mm 1.8 and the Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8 FE that costs almost 5 times the usual price. And the latter has been rated as one the best AF prime ever build.
    I think that smaller doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper. But you get another point and that is the MFT or the several mirrorless systems in general fail against DSLRs in one thing: price. The E-M1 is expensive for example, the 12-40mm is expensive. And why not talking about the Nocticron 42,5mm? :)
    One of the reason is probably because they don’t sell as much as DSLRs.

  • Albert

    In your reply you get to the POINT that I’m discussing, I think Tony is right about this.

    The 75mm should not be considered a 150mm equivalent (only from the price point of view).

    Crop factor is a characteristic of the camera body that make you tell: “hey this 75 has an EFOV of a 150mm on a full frame”.
    Ok but, has it an equivalent price of a 150mm? Should crop factor multiply the price?

    I think it should not!

    My reasoning is:
    – build costs of MFT 75 mm are similar to that of an 85 mm f1.8 FF
    (considering similar characteristics: autofocus, electronic diaphragm)
    – less raw material (glass) is needed to build a MFT lens than FF (optical glass is very expensive)
    This is true for two reasons:
    1 MFT smaller image circle permit smaller SAME focal length (in mm) lenses compared to FF (a 60mm MFT does cover a smaller image circle of a 60mm FF)
    2 Considering MFT EFOV is more evident, think to an MFT 300mm compared to 600mm FF
    – MFT lenses should cost less because they are smaller (smaller focal length)

    Following my reasoning the 45 mm f1.8 should be compared to 50 mm f 1.8 (in terms of prices) so the 45 mm cost 2-3 times more! And the 35-100 is another overpriced lens.

    MFT lenses are smaller and lighter compared to FF lenses, but not in prices.

    Note: I have deliberately not talked about DOF equivalence.

  • Mathieu

    The E-M1 has an improved IQ over the E-P5 but you can notice it only at high ISO (6400 and above).
    The 75mm came down in price a little bit this year. You might find it expensive but it is also one of the best (if not the best) prime lens for MFT. And you should compare its price with a 150mm equivalent. An 85mm 1.8 can be compare to the m.zuiko 45mm and the olympus lens clearly wins regarding prices :)

  • Mathieu

    Thanks for sharing. Love the photo n.20. Great composition.

  • Karol Srnec

    My photos from Toscany. Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M10.

  • Heather

    That’s a coincidence. Time to add Katrin Küllenberg to the ever-growing list! :-)

  • Albert

    Thanks, good response.
    I like to pour petrol onto the fire, he he. 😉
    In june I will go out for some night photography, with an E-P5, a tripod, an f/2.8 and an f/1.8 lenses, I’ll test MFT under this conditions.
    The E-M1 is good camera for sure, the IQ is not so far from E-P5 I think (can you confirm).

    (Some more petrol:-) Let me say, however, that the 75 mm is a hugely overpriced lens, even if it is a good one. I think that Crop factor is used to multiply price here… the 75 cost (more than) twice an 85 mm f/1.8. An this is not the only case in MFT lenses.

  • Stefan Decker

    Great article, Heather
    Steve Huff has today also an article about E-M1 + professional use for wedding photography

  • Heather

    Interesting. I actually tried to contact him but he never got back to us. Perhaps that’s why!

  • Gonçalo

    Great article! Actually, legendary music photographer Ross Halfin also used an em5 and an em1 for a while. Probably just a smart publicity stunt from Olympus but he still got great shots nevertheless

  • Heather

    Greetings from one expat Canadian to another. 😉 I just had a look through your street work, and I just love the shot of the three boys holding the broken umbrella. There is no doubt that the E-M1 is perfect for this kind of candid photography. Thanks for sharing!

  • Heather

    Nice article, Dallas. Travelling light, especially when you go abroad for work, really is a blessing. I’ve shared it across the board. :-)

  • Heather

    Thanks David. We do our best to maintain high standards! 😉 Do you own a mirrorless?

  • Samuel Gauhier

    Hi Heather,
    I’m a Canadian photojournalist based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’ve recently ditched my Nikon set up and am now using an entirely MFT set up (EM5+EM1).
    There isn’t a moment I regret, these cameras have really rekindled my love for street photography. They allow for a specific style and it’s a shooting style I’m gladly growing into. I think what I love most from these cameras is their crisp detail, yes there is noise but it’s rendered so well it only adds to the sharpness of the image.
    My website is 85% mirrorless, and the recent stuff is nearly 100% mirrorless.
    Can be found here

  • Dallas Dahms

    Thanks for including me on this list, Heather. I feel quite honoured!

    Just 2 days ago I used both my OM-D’s on an assignment that involved a bit of flying. I wrote about this on Fotozones a short while ago:

    Having this kind of freedom from heavyweight cameras cannot be over-emphasized.

  • David Mantripp

    Thanks for this article and all of the others on this site. It’s great to find a gear-oriented site which actually features intelligent and literate writing as well as good photography. In fact I think it’s close to unique. I’m not a professional photographer and I don’t own any OM-D so I’ve got nothing much to contribute, but I just wanted to express my appreciation. So many great links to follow up too!

  • Anthony Tokarz

    I am a professional photographer who has made the move over to the Olympus EM-1 in November 2013. For all the already mentioned reasons. Size, weight, quality of the Olympus brand. The camera is used almost daily in covering youth sports action, performing arts, family portraits and corporate events. I especially like using it in my Smoky Mountain fine art work. Yes I am using a micro 4/3 sensor for landscape. OMG the shame of it!. It has replaced all my Nikon gear. Just waiting for that 40-150 2.8 pro lens.

  • Mathieu

    @Albert: I do very little studio shoot so I cannot say which camera I would choose.
    Yes I think that the E-M1 is versatile enough to forget DSLRs, at least for the kind of work I do. I shoot events mainly and what matters in those scenarios is capturing moments and smiling faces to show that people enjoyed their time. Depth of field or other characteristics doesn’t matter to the client. He could not call me back next time because I forgot to take a picture of him with someone or something (events with 700-1000 people and a couple of days to achieve the reportage).
    Right now I’m in Dubai for a business incentive travel. Today we went into the desert. I walked from a dune to another to take as much as pictures I could. Group shots, head shots, sunset shots. Because tomorrow for the last dinner there will be a looped slideshow on a big screen. Walking up and down on the sand for two hours under 45 degrees can be hard. I had the E-M1, E-P5, flash unit, 4 different lenses, extra batteries and a simple cosyspeed bag. No backpack, no shoulder bag. That is the key difference to me. I’ll add to the list the 5 axis stabilization that allows me to take environmental shots at night down to one second without the need to bring a tripod (and also doing it quickly). I never worked with more than 800/1600 ISO. The E-M1 focused even in the dark while people where dancing at the disco.
    It’s not perfect, you have to know the camera very well especially regarding the AF that otherwise can be less precise in specific situations. But when I look back at the photos I really don’t see any difference regarding IQ that really matters.
    I don’t want to convince anyone. This is my experience. If you or any other photographer wants better IQ or more depth of field, there are other great systems out there and I don’t want to convince you of the opposite. The Sony FE is very interesting but right now is offering less: less lenses, slower AF, less effective stabilization. For work I need to rely on a system that is complete. I am not interested in adaptors and manual focus lenses for this kind of work. It’s fine for portraits as I did some months ago with the A7, because I had the time to do what I wanted. The A7s could give me more regarding low light performance. That is interesting and I can’t wait to test it to see its true potential in a real work situation. It. could certainly work better in night situations, but when you have to photograph people, in low light you end up using the flash anyway.
    Sorry for this very long reply :)

  • Heather

    I agree that there is no point trying to win photographers over as each and every one of us has his or her own preferences and comfort levels. What might work for one photographer may be completely wrong for another. What people need to realise is that MFT is a very realistic option for those who want to shoot light. The proof is in the quality of the images these cameras produce.
    As for your daughter, I would be interested to meet her but I live quite far from Rome – more than 4 hours by train. She would do well to join an Italian language school or club, or contact the local university to see if there is anyone interested in holding a language exchange. It is the best way to start making new friends. :-)

  • Ron Nabity

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for putting together this list. It’s great to see the awesome work of so many others who use Olympus cameras for their work. Lots of great company!

    I’ve been shooting professionally for over 35 years; I switched from film to digital in 2003. I was using Canon DSLR full frame gear for professional work until last summer when I sold it all off and switched over to Olympus E-M5 bodies with Olympus prime and zoom lenses. When the E-M1 was announced, I pre-ordered it and haven’t looked back.

    The majority of my work is on-location commercial photography: business and environmental portraits, products and architecture. I still occasionally shoot some editorial jobs and professional sports.

    The image quality of the cameras and lenses is every bit as good as I (and my clients) expect. The reduction of the size and weight of the gear makes shooting a joy again. I was a bit surprised at how easily and quickly I adapted to using the EVF; I cannot imagine shooting any other way.

    My website is at


  • Shaun King

    Yes Heather, thanks for asking – the average wedding I’m on my feet 8-12 hours, and when I carry my Canon gear it’s 20 lbs of equipment on my body for that many hours. Don’t get me wrong – I love to exercise (marathon runner and extreme obstacle challenge survivor here) but I don’t think photography should be exercise. So the decreased weight helps me focus and now I have fewer physical distractions during the 2nd half of the wedding. The MFT small sensor gives up a lot of shallow depth of field that my Full Frame could muster, but shallow depth of field is an over rated effect in terms of the meaningfulness of any given image (client’s don’t care about shallow depth of field only nerd photographers like me care). And here is a quick list of the advantages of the E-M1 over Canon’s pro gear

    – articulating viewfinder allows for more accurate composition and framing from creative angles
    – small sensor advantage! – more depth of field on the dance floor means more images in focus as people dance in and our of depth
    – 5 axis body stabilization is superior to any of my Canon L lenses that have stabilization
    – when I used my giant Canon camera with battery grip, people with low self confidence got intimidated by the size and expectations of that camera, now my camera is so small that for some reason, they just don’t worry as much, this is helpful for client and for the wedding guests
    – NO MORE CHIMPING! when using the EVF the camera gives you a brief moment to see the image you just photographed before going back into live display – THIS IS A HUGE DEAL for wedding pros – it means we can hyper-quickly preview an image without taking the camera away from our face. I get more candid photographs because of this.
    – Camera WiFi – I can share my camera images to a tablet immediately after the wedding or immediately after the engagement session and begin to take orders for prints. This is a mobile studio solution to a big problem that Canon has not answered with their pro line of cameras.

    Those are the distinct advantages that I can think of that Olympus E-M1 has over the Full Frame Canon Pro line of cameras for a wedding photography business

  • Heather

    You’re the second person to mention Tine, so she must be good! :-) I’ll have a look at Morten’s work as well. Many thanks!

  • Heather

    Thanks for sharing, David! Your reviews are always extremely thorough and it is a pleasure to share them. :-)

  • Heather

    Thanks so much for sharing, Shaun. Your images really have a lot of spunk! (I couldn’t help but smile at the one of the bride with the cigarette in her mouth and the gun in hand. :D) Have you noticed anything dramatically different about shooting with the E-M1 as opposed to the Canon?

  • Brock

    Hey Heather,

    Thanks for checking out my site and to answer your question yes I use multiple cameras with different lenses. For example when I shoot a wedding I normally have the EM1 in hand with the f2.8 Pro lens as my primary setup with the EP5 and the 75mm around my neck as a backup. I own quite a few micro four thirds lenses but I have to say the 75mm has blown me away every time I use it. I have shot every level of camera and make and the 75mm it is definitely my favorite lens I have ever used. Thanks again for an amazing article and thanks for spreading the word about M43.

  • Shaun King

    Last month, I switched from using my Canon bodies to using the OM-D E-M1 for my full time professional job as a wedding, portrait, and commercial photographer. Previously I was making due with my 5D Mark iii. Now it sits in a bag while I use the E-M1. It was only a month ago when I changed to Olympus so I’ve only photographed 3 weddings. My website is

    and my exclusively OM-D E-M1 gallery is here –!i=3256895258&k=MBbccX5

  • Alberto

    Tony’s video has been criticized by many so far…

    I think this article is much better and most importantly, its accurate…

  • Phil

    Hi Heather, great post! I’ve been an avid fan of m43 since I bought my GH1 back in ’09. I unloaded all my DSLR gear then and never looked back. The portability and weight benefits were a no-brainer for me and the trade-offs, such as they were, were easy for me to make. I’ve always operated on the “good-enough-for-what-I-need” model. Last month I finally replaced my Lumix with the new E-M10. The importance of weather-sealing has always been over-rated, in my opinion; not that it’s not nice to have, but it’s certainly not high on my list of must-haves (I started in film back in the 70’s with a Pentax MX, and used it for over 15 years, including 3 in sub-Saharan Africa, with no weather sealing!). I’ve never made a living as a photographer, but have more than your average depth of experience and knowledge, and the resistance to game-changing technology shifts is expected and has always been there. I’m not convinced that it’s necessary to try to win die-hard photogs over to our view; it’s inevitable, it’ll just take time. Like most things, people resist because of pre-conceived ideas, then give something a try and if the merits are self-evident, their views change.
    BTW, my daughter moved from Ottawa to Rome in March of this year. She’s looking to meet new friends; I’m sure you’d find her a truly interesting, well-traveled person. If you are in Rome, and would like to meet another very interesting Canadian, how would she find you?

  • David Young

    Hi Heather! You can add me to your list.. I am a semi-pro who has shot Leica for 30 years, but dumped it for an Olympus E3, back in 2007. Presently I shoot exclusively with the E-M1, and most often with the 75/1.8 Oly. However, I do still use my one remaining Leica Lens – my beloved 400/6.8 Telyt – on the E-M1, for my wildlife work (see: ). Otherwise, I use all FT & mFT lenses, from the 9mm Fisheye in a body cap, to the 50~200/f2.8-3.5 FT Zuiko.

    BTW: you already “know” me (a fellow Canuck!), as you have linked to a couple of my Oly reviews on your page. You might find my most recent review, about “moustache distortion” in the 12~40/2.8 PRO-zoom, interesting. It can be found, here:

    Best regards, to both you and Mathieu.


  • Sophie Skagen

    Tine Poppe is a woman pro photographer who uses the E-M1, and uses it well:, and since we’re talking about Norwegians, never forget the formidable Morten Hvaal, who’s been using Olympus gear in anger since the 1980’s:
    😉 Sophie.

  • Heather

    Thanks, I’ve added him to my list of people to keep an eye on! 😉

  • Heather

    I just had a look, Brock, and I love your work! You’ve put into practice some pretty creative ideas such as the double exposure of the couple kissing in front of the church doors. Do you use each camera with a different prime lens?

  • Heather

    Amazing work, Uros. Your sports photography is so dynamic. Which lenses do you tend to use the most?

  • Heather

    I too hope that this article can become a place where OM-D users can unite as proof of its usability on the job. Be sure to let us know what do decide to do in the end!

  • Heather

    Absolutely. In fact, I know more photographers who use the E-M5 for professional work than the E-M1. It just goes to show that it is up to scratch.

  • Albert

    As a professional photographer you have the chance to use the right tool for every work. Maybe in studio you (or your colleagues) use a medium format camera.

    I think that E-M1 is another useful tool in the photographers’ toolbox. But it is not in antithesis with FF cameras.

    Is it so versatile that you can forget DSLR cameras? Have you ever tried it, for example, as a night photography camera? (I remember you used an A7 for that in Turin)

  • Heather

    Great to meet you, Franz. I’ve been living in Italy for over five years now so I tend to call it home these days. :)

    I’ll definitely be following your blog from now on. You should get on Twitter and share your work as well – there’s a great MFT community there!

    Let us know when the Pro OM-D article has been posted. :-)

  • Mathieu

    The A7 and 24-70mm are not that bigger but if we look at the whole system, m43 has an advantage. These days I’m working for an business incentive event in Dubai and walking with a cosyspeed bag only while still having two bodies and several lenses make a lot of difference to me. And the IQ of the E-M1 is more than fine for this type of work. Of course I can understand why photographers could choose another system for other things.

  • Albert

    Well the EM-1 with kit lens is heavy and not so portable (the 12 40 is a fat boy). I think an A7 or a midrange DSLR could be not much different in weight. But there is strong difference in image quality. It’s a trade-off.

    The 45 mm is tiny and I think is better to use it with PEN/GX cameras not EM-1.
    The 75 mm is a hugely overpriced lens and not small, especially with hood.

  • Franz Rabe

    Hi Heather

    Great topic & article.

    Also impressed with all your travels – how is Italy?

    I’ve chronicled my complete professional transition from Canon to Olympus OM-D here:
    Micro Moments – Where We Talk Micro 4/3

    My next blog will funnily enough be:
    “Can you go fully pro with OM-D?” : )

    All the best and keep spreading that 4/3 word !

  • Mathieu

    It’a not just the camera body. Look at the size of the 45mm, 75mm or the Lumix 35-100 2.8 😉
    The Sony FE system is new. Less lenses, slower AF and general speed. I am very interested in the A7s for its ISO capabilities and maybe I will use it for certain kind of works. Certainly I am curious to see the Alpha system evolving and see how it will be in a couple of years.

  • Albert

    Now that we have full frame mirrorless i cannot see the advantage to go for an EM-1, it is as heavy as a sony A7 and has no advantages over it.
    I think that Tony Northrup is right in his accuse video about “Crop factor cameras”

  • A. Costa

    Shot with the E-M5 for about nine months before switching to the E-M1, but only because I needed some precise characteristics of the newer model. Never regretted the time spent with the older model, that I still suggest strongly to someone that wants very good specs in a little and affordable package.

  • John Pryke

    Watching this page with interest. I’ve been contemplating a switch to the Olympus EM-1. I’ve been using an Olympus EPL-3 for my casual day-to-day wandering around type of camera with a 17mm Zuiko. I have to say I am seriously impressed with the pictures coming out of it. I haven’t yet had the time nor the funds to try a leap across to an OMD EM-1 and as I shoot a broad range of subjects news/sport/portraits etc, I am watching with great interest everyone’s feedback about the camera!
    Many thanks for posting hope you can keep a running list of users going!

  • Uros Podlogar Photography

    Hello. All my work is done with Olympus Em5. You can check on my site:
    I work for redbull, Evo magazin…
    I just love Olympus.
    Regards from Slovenia.

  • Brock

    I have been shooting only Olympus mirror less cameras professionally for about 3 years now. I use the EM5, EM1 and EP5. They have changed my life as a photographer and it’s inspiring to see other pros who use these cameras. If anyone wants to check out my work with Olympus cameras feel free to visit my site at Thanks for the article.

  • Steve Vansak

    Hi Heather,
    The 12-40mm F2.8 practically lives on one EM1 with the other getting the Panasonic 42.5 F1.2 for Getting Ready, the 75mm F1.8 for the ceremony and the Four Thirds 50mm F2 macro via MMF3 adapter for detail shots like rings and more.

    My next purchase will be the 40-150 2.8. When I need extra reach or get confined to the back at a rule heavy church, I put the 35-100 F2 Fpur Thirds lens on the EM1. It’s a GREAT lens, but defeats the purpose of my move to mirror less so I’m looking forward to that new release. I hope it arrives soon.

  • Sheldon

    Check out the food photography by Lou Manna — another Olympus shooter.

  • Heather

    Great story, Dave! I love how your relationship with Olympus started from the release of the first Pen. When do you choose the E-M5 over the E-M1 and vice versa?

  • Heather

    Ah, I was going to contact you after seeing your work in the G+ community but then I noticed that you wrote in your G+ profile that you classify yourself as an enthusiast. I’m sorry about that!

    That’s great you’ve managed to convert so many people over to the E-M1. We’ve had a couple convert as well, usually after a long phone call with Mat. 😉

  • Heather

    Great to meet you, Gabrielle. Your work is beautiful!

  • Heather

    Yes, you’re right – I can’t believe I forgot to contact her! She wrote a brilliant article about the FF vs MFT debate. Thanks for refreshing my memory.

  • Heather

    We did an interview with Neil a few months ago. :-) As for Vittore and Alex, I didn’t know that they used Olympus cameras. Thanks for letting us know!

  • Heather

    Awesome, thanks!

  • Heather

    Thanks Myron, good to know!

  • Myron Yango

    John Isaac, who has won numerous awards have been using Olympus for as long as I remember. Check him out….

  • Stefan Decker

    in Germany the wedding photographer Katrin Küllenberg is also using E-M1, I checked here website + blog:

  • Nicola Chiappe

    You forgot to mention also Vittore Buzzi, Neil Buchan Grant and Alex Majoli.:-)

  • Mathieu

    We did an interview with Thomas some time ago for the same “Mirrorless on the job” series 😉

  • http://- Paolo B

    Where is Thomas Leuthard in this list?

    He definitely needs to be added to it!

  • Dave Jackson


    I’ve been a working photojournalist for 35 years now. For most of that time I was a Nikon guy, always had a Nikon with me. I worked as a photojournalist for the famed Philadelphia Inquirer for 20 years shooting every type of assignment that came off the desk. In 1998 I departed the newspaper world for a directors position at the Valley Forge Military Academy and it was at VF where I was introduced to Olympus by and alum, a famous fashion photographer, Douglas Dubler 3rd. I left that position in 2006 and went out on my own as a commercial photojournalist. I guess it was around 2008/09 when the first digital PEN camera was released, I had to have that thing, and I was right, it was fantastic! Since then, I’ve owned and shot my everyday assignments with my mirrorless Olympus equipment. Today I use an E-M1 and an E-M5 with a complete set of M.Zuiko and Lumix lenses. Clients look at my camera and ask if that little thing can produce the quality images they are use to. Once they see the outcome for themselves they rave about the sharpness and e=richness of the images. My clients range from higher education (universities in the Philadelphia, Pa. region) to health care to public relations and communications companies.
    I love my little cameras that carry such a punch!

  • acahaya

    Still looking for female pros using an E-M1? What about Lindsay Dobson:

  • Gabrielle

    Irene, where on the Olympus site did you look?

  • Gabrielle

    Hey there. I use the om1. And the em5. Did this with them both:

  • Mike Boening

    Good article Heather. I use two E-M1s in my photo business shooting college sports at times as well as corporate head shots, senior sessions and instructing and leading groups here in Detroit with Discover Your World Photography. It’s not my full time profession but I am paid for my work which I do for the local Visitors and Convention Bureau of Detroit and am a contributor to sites like Out Of Chicago and Nailed magazine. One of the classes I give is on Micro Four Thirds and its capabilities. So far this year 7 people who have attended my class have converted to the EM1 from their DSLR. I can’t say enough about how this camera has changed the way I shoot for myself and my clients.

  • Heather

    Believe me, I searched high and low for a woman. The ones I found were all amateur photographers, or hadn’t yet used the E-M1 for work. As a woman myself, I too found it frustrating. If there are any women out there who use the E-M1 professionally, make yourselves known! 😀

  • Irene

    Wow, not a single woman on your list. Same thing on the Olympus site.

  • Heather

    As long as he uses an E-M1 in a professional capacity, it counts! 😉 Thanks!

  • Peter

    Check out Ante Badzim from Australia, I think he may even work for Olympus so not sure if it applies.

  • Heather

    Thanks for sharing your story, Steve! You are smart to have two E-M1s on hand. At the moment, Mat uses the E-M1 with my Pen E-P5 for important assignments but would prefer two identical bodies. Which are your go-to lenses?

  • Steve Vansak

    I saved this article on Instapaper so I can show it on the next photo walk to those who are “mirror less curious” but are afraid to not get a full frame DSLR for their jump into pro photography.

    I use two EM1’s for my wedding photography business and have been sine last November. Not a single client has questioned me. I use the battery grip to get me through a long day of shooting, so I’m a little more bulked up but the “weight loss” from ditching the DSLR’s and heavy lenses that go along with them has made me a less tired / better photographer.

  • Heather

    Yes, I know Damian’s work well and had the pleasure of meeting him last summer. I didn’t include him for the sheer reason that he is so well-known! I didn’t know about Jay – I’ll check out his work now! Thanks. :-)

  • Mike Hendren

    Hey Heather, check out Damian McGillicuddy from the UK. He’s been using the E-M5/E-M1 for a couple of years. Also Jay Dickman, a pro who shoots for National Geographic.
    Thanks for the list … these are some great photographers to try and emulate.

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