The Olympus EM-5ii for Street Photography

My very first thoughts…

Spoiler – I have had an enormous amount of fun with my new Olympus. There are newer cameras out there, but as a street tool, the Olympus is fast, sharp, light, and discreet. In short everything I had wanted. As always, there are pros and cons; no camera is perfect.


The size was a big issue for me. I wanted something small. The micro four thirds cameras are compact, yet still have a decent sized sensor and plenty of controls. The camera was light, even with the excellent Zuiko 12-40 2.8 pro lens attached (24-80 full frame equivalent). I am a big fan of using primes, but this lens will be stuck on my camera for a while.



OK, my Nikon is showing its age. This thing focused ridiculously quickly, face recognition finds the portrait, selects the eye closest to the camera and then snaps the photo. Saying this, it did not always hit 100% of the time. If I have the choice, I still prefer selecting my focus point. A compromise is to select only one part of the frame that the camera will use for auto focusing – this is more useful than you may think. There is a rather excellent feature on the touch screen, where you touch the focus point, and when the shot is in focus, the picture is taken. This is super quick and discreet.


I promised to bring more smiles to my blog!

Shutter Click

Near silent, and if that is too loud, you can make it 100% silent.


Candid shot, with a very quiet shutter click!


Some people make out it is a menu from hell. It’s not, although some things are taking a while to learn. The super control panel is a display that shows everything you need to know all in one place, however, I still find the settings tricky to alter.

Low Light and it image stabilisation

The Olympus EM-5ii is not a low light monster. Its image stabilisation is fantastic though, and I can shoot handheld at very low shutter speeds. Pics below – so judge for yourself.


I was slightly worried about getting a camera with fewer pixels and a smaller sensor, but I have no bones with the quality of the pictures I am seeing. Care will be needed when cropping shots, but that will force me to get it right ‘in camera’. Again, I hope that the 12-40 2.8 pro zoom will help.


Portrait, Hongkou Districts/ Shanghai

Fun Factor

My groove is back on, this camera is heaps of fun and looks gorgeous.

Will it replace my Nikon?

I love my Nikon and will probably upgrade to a Full Frame at some point (update to the D750 please!). This camera is not going to be a low light monster, or an ideal sports camera. However, as a tool for Street Photography, it hits the spot, it is fun to use and produces gorgeous looking photos. I am one happy bunny.

Have fun and keep clicking, Chris

One Comment on “The Olympus EM-5ii for Street Photography

  1. Pingback: 5 Tips for better Street Photography | pagespics

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