Rick Hunter and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
“I’ve been interested in nature and wildlife photography my whole life,” says professional photographer Rick Hunter. “However, there was a 30-year gap when I went to graduate school and started a business.” After a company merger, Rick decided to retire early and pursue his love of photography full-time in 2007.
Today, he travels around the globe to capture landscapes and wildlife with OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera bodies and various lenses. The strict weight restrictions on small planes have made his compact, lightweight Olympus gear a definite advantage. He says, “I can take a wide range of Olympus cameras and lenses, and they’re about a third of the weight I carried before.”
Rick switched to Olympus about three years ago and hasn’t looked back. “One of the reasons I chose Olympus was because I knew that they had a reputation for outstanding lens quality,” he states. He’s also very happy with the quality of his images. “I print a lot of my photos on very large canvases,” he says. When he couldn’t tell the difference between those taken with his full-frame DSLR and those taken with the Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera, he concluded, “This was a real deciding factor for me.”
Leaving the Tripod Behind. Rick says that he no longer needs a tripod for many shooting situations, as the image stabilization in the OM-D E-M1 Mark II offers up to 5.5 stops of compenation. “Even with slower shutter speeds, I can shoot hand-held and still get extremely sharp pictures.” And because M.Zuiko lenses have a crop factor of 2, he says, “I can take the 300mm f4.0 IS PRO lens instead of a 600mm lens and get the same field of view.”
Flexible Focusing Options. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II boasts very fast and accurate autofocus, Rick points out. “But there are still times when I like to manually focus.” A setting on Olympus M.Zuiko lenses allows for easy switching to manual focus and back to AF. Another feature is Focus Peaking, whereby areas of the composition in sharp focus are highlighted. “This is great for focusing challenges like a small bird in flight.”
The Perfect Shot, Every Time. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II offers a Pro Capture mode, which allows for lag-free capture of anticipated action. This mode uses the camera’s silent electronic shutter to buffer a running series of high-res JPEG/RAW images when the shutter button is pressed down halfway. When the shutter is pressed down all the way, you can capture an image plus the 14 previous pictures all at once. Rick says, “This feature has been very handy for capturing rapidly changing action.”
A Plethora of Lenses. Rick uses a variety of lenses to capture landscapes and wildlife. His “go-to” lens is the M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 PRO (an 80-300mm 35mm equivalent). When used with the Olympus MC-14 1.4x teleconverter, “it essentially becomes a 100- 400mm f/4,” he says. He also utilizes the 300mm f4.0 IS PRO lens (a 600mm 35mm equivalent) when he needs extra reach. “When I go out now, I usually use dual camera straps with an OM-D E-M1 Mark II body on each side of my body,” he says. “On one side, I may have the 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO, and the 40-150mm f2.8 PRO with the teleconverter on the other, which will give me everything from wide-angle to the equivalent of 400mm.” Hear more from other photographers who have made the switch to the Olympus OM-D system at www.getolympus/neverlookback.