If You Buy One Camera Lens
Advicesisters.com previously reviewed the Olympus E-M5 (Mark III) for travel and vlogging. Also as a great all-around camera. We discussed the Olympus camera lens 14-150mm lens (which comes as a kit lens with the camera) as a great all-around lens, but there are other choices that might be better for you.
How many lenses will you need to make your new camera as versatile as needed? It depends upon what kind of photography you’re doing, and of course, your budget.
We reviewed the Olympus 12-200 f 3.5-6.3 lens because it has the advantage of having a wider angle of view and on the telephoto end will bring far away things closer. It also gathers more light at the wide-angle of view where you need it most if you are indoors. Although it gathers less light that the 14-150 mentioned in our previous article, it is not much of an issue since that amount of telephoto is mainly useable outdoors.
One consideration for many amateur photographers is the weight of the camera lens. For example, due to the extra glass required to make this lens work, it is 60% heavier than the 14-150 mm lens and $300 more expensive. However, if you mathematically compare what it is capable of versus cost, it turns out to be almost exactly the same cost as the 14-150mm lens.
In our tests, the lenses are equally as sharp but the extra-wide angle you get with the 12-200 mm lens makes it much better for vlogging, since the camera can be closer and the extra reach on the telephoto end helps to nail those nature shots where you can’t get close without disturbing the subject. This is a unique feature from Olympus in the world of micro-4/3rds lenses.
In short, if you have some extra dollars to spend and don’t mind the extra weight this is a better all-around lens. If however, you are packing light and just want a lightweight versatile lens, then the 14-150 is a good choice.
A Good Starting Point:
For those who hope to be professional photographers in the future, either of these lenses will be a good starting point. You will quickly learn that the manual zoom is your most important artistic element. This is because you can control the framing exactly and immediately. This isn’t possible with the electronic zoom of point and shoot cameras
Also, since you can change lenses, you have the ability to use any of the hundreds of micro-4/3rds lenses available. Most notably, single focus lenses which allow photography at very low light levels.
This coupled with the electric viewfinder of a mirrorless camera allows you to see exactly what is going to be recorded when you push the button or start a video recording.
The Bottom Line:
As we said in our previous article about the Olympus E-M5 (Mark III), you can use a phone or a snap and shoot, but for the ability to control framing and for the quality of the prints or video, a real camera with an array of lenses is much more fun & satisfying.
However, if you aren’t going to purchase an array of lenses, we suggest you get at least one really good zoom. These camera lenses are a good start.
photos by Alison Blackman and Anthony Sabatini group lens shots courtesy of Olympus