Yesterday I got out to the MN State CX Championships to shoot the mens Pro-1-2-3 race. It was cold. Brutal cold in fact with a high of 1 degree (prior to wind chill). I went to the event with only one camera, my OMD EM1. I had the battery grip installed for extra battery life and for added weight and grip. I wanted both given I'd shoot most of the event with largish and weighty Oly 50-200 SWD.   I only shot one other lens, and that was the new Oly 12-40 PRO lens. 

Here was my set up for the day. 

  • Olympus EM1, battery grip
  • Oly 50-200 SWD (75% of my shots)
  • Oly 12-40 Pro (25% of my shots)
  • ISO assigned to FN2 button. Usually shot between 200 and 400. Light dimmed toward the end of the race forcing me to 800
  • I use the upper front function button for focus point and use the dual dials to move it around
  • RAW
  • I turned the LCD off and used the EVF (which is incredible!)
  • Continuous shooting. I switched behind hi and low speed. I ended up on low speed unless I was prefocused manually on a specific spot.
  • Single and Continuous Autofocus. I ended up using both about 50/50. Later I just left it as is because it was too cold to take gloves off to hit the OK button to switch it. Next time out I need to assign that to a function button.  

I learned a lot about preparation on this one. For an event this cold, the buttons on the EM1 are next to impossible to operate or feel, with exception of the two front buttons around the lens. I was not familiar enough with the camera to operate with gloves forcing me to take my hands out in the brutal cold. I nearly injured them when playing around with them.

If I were to do this for real full time, I'd have two cameras, one set up long and the other set up with the 12-40 Pro. I so can't wait for the 40-150 Pro lens. It is going to be incredible to shoot with that combo.

Focus tracking and speed are certainly improved but you really only can shoot at about 4fps in continuous and that is slow next to a pro sports shooting camera. My friend was shooting a D3 next to me so that did not help.  It was hard to not have a little envy and I bet she got a lot more in focus shots than I did.  

All in all I got about 900 shots on the battery grip battery before it switched over to the in camera.  I believe it shut the camera down during the switch which was quite odd, but I was running so much that I may have done that. I will have to test this again another time.  

In the end, I did get some good shots but I do believe I would have gotten a few more with my Nikon Pro set up had I shot that.  As I look back, I don't think there are any shots I would not have gotten with the Nikon that I got with the EM1 other than maybe the very quick compensation adjustments when shooting into the sun. The EVF made quick and immediate adjustments giving me a actual indication of what the images would turn out like.

All in all quite satisfied. Here are the pics. I processed all of them using VSCO Superia 1600. I liked the look and feel of that. The only thing I did was turn down the grain to a more tolerable level.  Hope you enjoy the pics.  Time to warm up!