The Olympus EM1 in Costa Rica by David Adams

The Olympus EM1 in Costa Rica

by David Adams

Hello Steve,

Thank you for posting my Film Friday submission early last year. I mentioned that I might send a submission with some photos taken with an Olympus OMD EM1 M4/3 mirrorless camera. Well, here it is. I continue to enjoy this camera as my passion for photography continues to deepen. I am impressed with this little beast and its fast focus, EVF WYSIWYG (now there’s an old acronym), weather sealing and great lenses. Even though I often itch for full frame resolution, dynamic range and high ISO performance, the EM1 continues to satisfy me and support my growth in capturing moments.
Last month my lovely bride and I went to Monteverde, Costa Rica to visit the family of my son’s fiancé. What a wonderful trip, up in the mountains surrounded by nature and beautiful, warm and welcoming people. The EM1 was a great companion and made it through heavy rain and a couple of bangs and drops. I decided to bring two lenses with me, the Olympus 12-40 and the 40-150 f2.8 PRO lenses. A great travel duo, up to the rough elements and plenty of focal range for landscapes, nature and people.
Photo one is from a night nature tour where we happened on this Side-Stripped Palm Pit Viper. The longer 40-150 lens kept me at a relatively safe distance and the light supplied by our fellow hiker’s flashlights meant an ISO of 3200 as I had stopped the lens down a bit to f6.3.
Photo two was taken at a family farm in San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica. Again with the 40-150 lens at f2.8. These two beautiful Yellow-crowned Euphonia, male and female, where enjoying a ripe cuadrados (a type of banana).
Photo three was taken late in the day on the farm while we gathered to watch the sunset. We were fortunate that the weather had turned from the constant rain to sunnier days. The pacific coast is almost 100km away and we were about 2,000 metres above sea level. Every evening when the skies were clear the sunsets were amazing.
Lastly, I thought I would include a black and white edit of a photo taken while on a day trip to Playa Jaco on the Pacific coast. It was a hot and sunny day which was a welcome change from the wetter, cooler mountain weather we had been enjoying. This street scene of a local surfer captured the essence of Jaco for me.
Thanks for the opportunity to share these photos and a bit of rambling with you. I continue to enjoy your Original Real World Camera Review Site and all of your inspired content. Thank you for also including posts from other enthusiasts and photography lovers. Oh, and thanks for continuing to fuel my desire for a Leica camera and lenses!
All the best,
Instagram: @007photo


  1. The second one is amazing.

    FF is overrated in my mind. I use Sony A7ii, Oly em1 mk2, Leica m10, and my favorite is the Oly EM1 mk2 for its flexibility with the ibis and weight. The IQ is not as far behind as marketing makes you to believe, at least not when compared to the Sony A7ii. The ibis often makes up the difference and more. The ergonomics of Sony is horrible (to me) . I wear glasses and the EVF and the LCD is not usable under bright sun (search the web on that). The Leica m10 is a different beast. I love it. But I shoot at a much slower pace.

    You may check out my photos at my facebook.

    • I’m not sure if FF is “overrated”, per se. It’s just a different tool. The sensor has a wider shooting envelope re high ISO and DR than m4/3. On the other hand, the Olympus brings its own benefits. As long as you’re not having to push ISOs past 1600 on a regular basis, and you’re shooting in fairly good light, m4/3 performs admirably.

      Very nice work, btw, David.

  2. Great essay, nice capture with the EM1, I am considering jumping in on this format as a back up travel camera, great to see such inspiring images. Thank you for posting>

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