Very keen to hear what you think of it, and how you get on with it - please do share! I am hoping that with the new camera's coming out of CES this week we might see a couple of strong mirrorless options.
Getting everything rigged up now, and have not had a chance to jump it yet. I'll post pics/video once everything is done.
So far it looks promising. Auto focus is really fast, no shutter delay, bursts really well/fast/long (even in RAW). Picture and video quality look really good on the ground. I may have to tinker with the IS settings.
The pancake lens is on the way, but even with the kit lens the thing is really small compared to my Canon. So far it looks promising, but we'll have to see how it does in the air.
Thanks for the update, looking forward to hearing more. What is your current up, with the Canon you mention? - be really helpful to know how you feel the Olympus stands up against a conventional DSLR set up.
I will get some pics posted soon from the camera, but here are some pics of the camera, and how I have it mounted on my helmet.... and a bonus pic in there that has nothing to do with the camera...but...um.... titties. Because...well.... do titties need justification?
Edit- Most of the pics are with the pancake/prime 20mm lens. There is one pic in there that also has the kit lens in the picture to see the size difference. Further, the DSLR for comparison is a EOS XS with the kit lens.
(This post was edited by Zlew on Jan 30, 2013, 10:01 PM)
OK, made 6 jumps or so with it this weekend, and have some early feedback and examples.
Overall- I think it will work really well for stills, but not for video.
The Bad- 1. Auto Focus Stills- The auto focus is REALLY fast and pretty accurate with 35 focus points. However, the lens is "fly by wire" so when you rotate the focus ring it doesn't move the glass directly....it tells teh camera to move the glass. Further, when you turn the camera off an on, it doesn't remember the focus point. Thus, if you are used to the old school way of manually setting the focus, and taping down the ring... you may be out of luck. There are ways you could get around this, but it seems impractical. If you insist on manual focus, this will be a deal breaker for you.
2. Auto Focus Video- This was the case on the ground as well... but as fast as the auto focus is in stills mode, it is 3 times that slow in video. It takes a REALLLY long time to focus. Because of this and the fly by wire focus, I think this camera would be limited to ground footage (with manual focus) or just 2ndary video for shits and grins. I also noticed some sort of rolling shutter or possibly image stabilization issues. You notice some odd wavy/fluid moment in some of the footage.
Stills- I was really happy with how it performed in the air. Pictures were taken very quickly and the burst rate was high. No shutter delay or lag was noted. Auto focus seemed to work great about 90% of the time and the picture quality was pretty high. The camera is so light, I did not notice that it was there when I flew with it. Battery was strong (took about 300 pics with life to spare). Camera gave me lots of control over exposure/shooting mode, but seemed to work just fine on Program (P) mode.
Final early impressions- So far I think I'd have a hard time finding a reason to strap my xs back on my head for the type of shooting I do. Picture quality was great, as was "skydive-ability". If I was hired for a big money shoot or something like that, I'd probably go with one of my DSLR's and an L lens.... but for shooting 4 way/8 way...fun jumps, big way... I think it is more than adequate and has a huge advantage in size/footprint. If I was shooting tandems I would probably use the kit lens or the 14mm pancake/prime. Capable of taking good video, but it seems to be a no go for freefall so far.
Note- YMMV...and this is an early review after a single day of jumping. I'll keep you posted as the season progresses.
These stills were taken in RAW, and posted hat high res (jpg). Click Action>View all sizes to see full res pics. I tried to put in a mix of pics you guys might want to see (ground, in the plane, freefall, canopy etc.).
And this is the video shot in 720/60p. It's kinda long/boring but wanted you guys to see what the actual footage looks like and see how horrible the auto focus is for video. You can also see the IS/rolling shutter issues.
I did find a setting that allows you to use the manual focus in the traditional skydiving method of taping the focus ring. I have been jumping it with this setup for the past month or so, and it is working very well. I can check if someone needs it, but I believe it is something along the lines of "auto return-off". the setting keeps the camera from returning focus to infinity when power is cycled.
This also seems to fix the problem with video auto focus being dog slow. I shot one jump with fixed focus video this weekend, and it turned out well. I'm using it for accent/extra footage, due to the lack of an indicator it wouldn't be good for primary camera (IMO).
So far it has not let me down, and I still don't see a reason to put the DSLR back on my setup. The cameras are still on the market, and now down below 300 bucks.