A few years ago, I was gifted a Billingham Hadley Pro shoulder bag. It’s a very well-made waterproof bag that is ideal for use as a walkabout bag for smaller kits. It’s dimensions are fairly small: 15 3/8″W x 6 3/8″ D x 9 3/8″ H. This makes the Hadley Pro an easy bag to put under an airplane seat as a personal item when traveling. I’ve taken this bag to places like Croatia and Scotland, where it was perfect for a small travel kit, like a Nikon Z7 ii and two zoom lenses.
However, I never thought I’d use this bag for transporting a super telephoto zoom. That is, until I tested it with my OM Systems OM-1 camera and Olympus 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 lens, which has an equivalent angle of view to a 200-800mm lens on a 35mm format camera. By removing the lens collar (something I don’t need for hand-held shooting anyway), I was able to easily fit this telephoto zoom into the Hadley Pro bag. The OM-1 with 12-45mm f/4 lens attached fit as well, and I still had yet another empty compartment available to me.
My colleague, Rick Walker, pointed out something else while we were out shooting together. One could theoretically pair the 100-400mm with the outstanding Olympus 12-100mm f/4 zoom and have a two lens kit that covers the entire range from 24-800mm equivalent, in a bag that fits under the seat of an airplane. Mind blown!
Rethinking the trade-offs in sensor size with modern digital cameras
If you follow my YouTube channel or The Image Doctors Podcast, you probably saw that I recently purchased a OM Digital Solutions (formerly Olympus) OM-1 body and an assortment of lenses. This is something I’d been contemplating for quite some time, given that the majority of my photography involves travel and wildlife. The OM-1 is not a perfect camera, but it has some features that make it extremely compelling for photographers who want professional quality in a vastly smaller package. It’s also far less expensive ($2199 USD) than a comparable 35mm format body (think Sony Alpha A1, Nikon Z8/Z9, Canon R5).
Each of these cameras is outstanding. They offer subject-detection based AF systems (including bird and vehicle detection), excellent in-body stabilization (IBIS), and high speed shooting of 20fps or greater for raw images using an electronic shutter and stacked sensor technology. The biggest difference then? Size. The OM-1 is a fairly small (1.3 lb) camera, but the lenses it uses are in some cases downright tiny. That one factor alone is what made me consider the OM System gear for my work.
Rick recently got his hands on the new OM System (formerly known as Olympus) OM-1 mirrorless camera. This new micro 4/3 format camera delivers many features worthy of “flagship” designation, including an improved EVF, subject-detect AF, and up to 120fps RAW capture. There are also some areas for improvement, and we’ll talk about those, too. We’ll also answer some questions we received about the OM-1 from our Facebook Page readers.