The Olympus Cameras and Lenses That I Use and Why

Olympus Camera Size Comparison

Olympus Camera Size Comparison

If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I own and use a lot of different cameras. However, currently, my go to cameras are the mid-sized Olympus, the OM-D E-M5 Mark II and the PEN-F. On the graphic up top, courtesy of, my preferred cameras are on the right. Both are roughly about the same size.

On the left, Olympus’ largest and smallest cameras currently available. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is the flagship, which is actually the smallest professional mirrorless camera available, as seen on the post I made a couple of days ago. The just announced PEN E-PL9, on the bottom left, is the smallest Olympus micro 4/3 camera.

With all the size comparisons I’ve done for the last two days, I thought it would be interesting to show the cameras that I prefer to use. I’ve optimized my gear for travel and street photography, which work really well with prime and light zoom lenses.

The following are my most used lenses, which work equally well on the E-M5 Mark II and PEN-F.

Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4
Olympus 17mm f1.8
Olympus 45mm f1.8
Olympus 75mm f1.8
Olympus 9-18mm f4-5.6
Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6
Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 Pro

All of these lenses are on the smaller side, with the exception of the 12-40mm f2.8 Pro. My medium-sized Olympus bodies work well with the smaller lenses that I prefer. These prime lenses, in particular, are fantastically well-balanced, even the 75mm f1.8, which is the largest non-pro prime that Olympus currently offers.

The E-M5 Mark II and PEN-F, along with the prime lenses make a svelte package that works well on the street — a small package that doesn’t attract undue attention. They also work well for low light photography that I love so much.

The consumer oriented 9-18mm super wide-angle and 14-150mm zoom form a potent combination that allows me to shoot nearly every scene. They are prefect for travel, giving me a 18mm to 300mm equivalent range.

The 12-40mm f2.8 Pro is on the larger side. It still works, of course, on my two Olympus bodies but it tends to be a bit front heavy. I still use it when I want a high quality zoom, especially in darker conditions.

Other than the 12-40mm, I don’t own any other Olympus Pro lens. The Pro lenses are very high quality, expensive and a bit heavier. The f1.2 Pro lenses are roughly the size and weight of the 12-40mm f2.8. Certainly useable on my cameras, but not ideal, because of the balance. I think they work especially well on the larger E-M1 Mark II body.

You can add optional grips to both the E-M5 Mark II and PEN-F that improves handling. In fact, I own the grip for the E-M5 Mark II, though I rarely use it. I find it a bit cumbersome to add and remove and I want to keep my cameras as small and light as possible. That said, I suppose if I were planning to shoot for extended periods with a heavy lens, I would use the grip. Especially, if I ever buy the fairly chunky Olympus 40-150 f2.8 Pro.

There are many reasons why I prefer Olympus as my primary cameras. I love the color, the image quality and the killer in-body image stabilization. But ultimately, I believe these Olympus cameras and lenses strike the perfect balance between size and image quality.

So, while I love mirrorless cameras, I especially love Olympus mirrorless cameras. They really work well for the type of photography that I shoot.

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2 thoughts on “The Olympus Cameras and Lenses That I Use and Why

  1. What bag are you using these day? I settled on the small flap-over Domke with thecwaxed cotton finish, but I wear them out at the rate of one every 18 months or so (lenshoods rub holes).

    1. Hi Jon, I’m using two bags these days, depending on how many cameras I carry.

      For a 1 – 2 camera setup, I use the small Domke F-5XB RuggedWear. I’ve had that for while and I’m starting to get some wear at the bottom, but still very usable.

      For a 2 – 3 camera setup, I’m now using the Thinktank Suburban Disguise 10.

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