Many street photographers have switched over to mirror-less cameras because they provide a lighter, more discreet and more compact option reminiscent of film and rangefinder cameras.
I needed the lightest “semi-pro” camera out there, that would still meet my IQ, ISO and AF speed needs for street photography. There is no perfect camera for street photography and everyone’s tastes are different.
However, these are my top 5 reasons the Olympus OM-D (series om-em5 ,em-10 or em-1) are made for street photography.
1. Olympus OM-D is Mirror-less
If you’ve never used a mirrorless camera, you might not be aware just how quite they really are – this means it’s considerably quieter when taking a picture. This is a huge benefit in street photography and will not distract or alert your subject to your presence.
2. Small is beautiful
The OM-D’s are considerably smaller that DSLRs, so you can carry them with you everywhere you go.
Not only that, but they tend to be the less threatening and conspicuous cameras to use on the streets.
I believe OM-D is perfect size. The smaller your camera is, the less people see you as a photographer. They see you as a tourist and don’t care about you taking photos. This is a huge benefit!
3. Super fast auto-focus
If very fast Auto-focus and accuracy is important to you on street, I’d recommend the Olympus OM-D.
The OM-D EM-5 and newer E-M1 is well-regarded for its spectacularly fast and quiet auto-focus system.
4. Lens Options
The smaller sensor size creates a smaller and lighter camera bodies and much small lenses.
I consider the selection of lenses available for the m43 system to be among the very finest.
Prime lens like Panna 20mm f1.8 , Oly 17mm f1.8 or even wider 12 mm f2.0 are perfect for street photography and are super light, compact, and incredibly sharp as well.
5. Image stabilization + tilt screen
The new IS unit in OM-D series compensates shake in 5 axis directions.
OM-D also has tilt screen which is also touch sensitive is ideal for “shooting from the hip” it is holding your camera at waist-level without looking through the viewfinder.
I use this technique because it allows me to take much more candid images of people. Another real benefit when shooting from the hip is that you often get a much more interesting perspective as you shoot from a much lower perspective.
6. Old School
Finally all OM-D has combination of metal and soft leather effect that gives this digital camera a decidedly retro feel.
In your hands, the camera feels remarkably like an old film camera, and is physically noticeably smaller than DSLR. It is physically solid, thanks to its magnesium-alloy build. I really do love this camera.