James Harold Photography | Canon 5D MkII vs Olympus OM-D Street Showdown

Canon 5D MkII vs Olympus OM-D Street Showdown

June 21, 2013  •  5 Comments


Friend and fellow photographer Dade Freeman fancied the challenge of a Canon vs Olympus showdown around the streets of Brighton. Dade armed with his trusted Canon 5D MkII and me with my OM-D we both seemed at ease as we set off. Unfortunately there was thick sea mist covering Brighton today but that didn't stop us, after both agreeing to shoot at a 50mm focal length in manual mode and with similar exposure settings the fun began. All the images shared in this post were captured on the OM-D by both Dade and myself and are OOC jpeg's (except the one where Dade is shooting with the OM-D of course). The link to the images captured on the Canon 5D MKII can be found here Dade's website   

Brighton streets full of Sea Air Mist, captured with Diorama at filter.

OMD00007 Dramatic art filter applied.


Classic Brighton door bells. I loved this angle of the bells. 


looking through the garden wall

OMD00038 OMD00046

Dade testing out the OM-D, very quickly he was starting to use a lot of the functions available in the OM-D and was enjoying the shooting experience.





Canon 5D shooter trying to capture low level shot. I have to say whilst Dade was crawling the streets of Brighton I was using the touch screen OLED flipped out to capture the image and walked on, sorry Dade. 

OMD00057 Angles and curves of Brighton architecture.


As we headed onto the beach a group of break-dancer's were happy for us to shoot them as they practiced their stuff. Dade was very impressed by the frame rate, although he did find a slight annoyance where the EVF blacked when shooting this way.

OMD00106 OMD00143 OMD00152
OMD00169 OMD00159 OMD00176

Stepping onto the beach we could just see a life guard patrolling the shoreline through the thick sea mist, standing side by side Dade attempted to focus on the subject but the 5D was unable to, I passed the OM-D over to him and it locked on first time every time. This is one thing that I have always been impressed with since owning the OM-D, no more lens hunting and great in low light.

A rare sight to find Brighton beach tables empty (thanks to the British weather).

OMD00202 Brighton beach club lights with the Pop art Filter applied.


We stubbled upon a Start and Finish line, what bester way to test the OM-D's AF performance than a quick sprint. Sorry Dade I had the camera first.

OMD00191 OMD00192 OMD00193 OMD00194 OMD00195

So there you have it, 2 hours out on the streets of Brighton. Whilst the purpose of this street session today was to compare the experience of shooting with two very different styles of cameras, what was also evident is that it is good to shoot with friends. You can share experiences and advice and often things are spotted that you may have missed. During the walk both Dade and I highlighted view points, framing and angles to capture something a little different.

Clearly from Dade's comments he was super impressed by the the OM-D and I had a feeling as we parted company today that it wouldn't be too long before he picked one up again. Great afternoon, thanks Dade.


Eddie Harper(non-registered)
Stumbled on this page by accident and I am glad I did. Forwarded it to a friend of mine I am so impressed with the images. As I told her, I am not usually keen on architectural shots but every single picture you took is a work of art--and a double "YES!" to the doorbell photo!
Heather @ MirrorLessons(non-registered)
Nice idea for a showdown. The weather may not have been favorable, but you got some great shots! Makes me want to do something similar with our Nikon D700 and the OMD.
Nice post! I've been meaning to do this too. I have the 40mm 2.8 Canon and I want to pit it against my 20mm 1.7 Panny on the OM-D. I'll be borrowing a 5D mkII for a shoot next week (only because the rest of the client's work over the years has been on Canon stuff). I want to find out if there's any great change in mid f-stops and what the difference in noise realistically is. The OM-D studio stuff scales up decently to 24in wide prints so far and hopefully the actual difference in normal conditions is minimal.
Don Pope(non-registered)
I love the photos of the red door and the bells.
Dade Freeman(non-registered)
It was a great way to spend and interesting and educational afternoon, thank you. I have put the Olympus on a wish list :)
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