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Wildlife photography helps you to connect with nature and is a genre that not only requires patience and planning, but also the right kit. Getting frame-filling images without spooking your subjects is key, so check out these top Olympus features and kit.

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Image by Alexander Koenders

PORTABLE POWERHOUSE


Built to work in harsh environments, the flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a powerful and versatile tool for wildlife photographers. At the heart of the camera is a beefy 20.4-megapixel Live MOS sensor, which combines with the fast and efficient TruePic VIII image processor to capture images rich in detail and colour, in Raw and JPEG formats.

For static wildlife subjects, you can take advantage of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s High Res Shot, which combines eight shots into a single high-res photo, equal to 50 megapixels. The camera’s wildlife photography credentials are further enhanced by its silent shutter mode, which will enable you to capture images of skittish subjects in silence, rather than startling them with any noise from the shutter mechanism.

SUPERFAST FOCUSING

Wildlife subjects are, by their nature, unpredictable, and you may well find yourself trying to keep up with fast moving subjects as you line them up in front of your lens. Thankfully, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II boasts a sophisticated autofocus system that will stack the odds of bagging a great shot well in your favour.

The OM-D E-M1 Mark II features an on-chip phase-detection AF 121-point system and, better still, all these AF points are the sensitive, cross type design. Combining with this advanced AF system is its super fast burst rates, capable of shooting 18 frames-per-second in Continuous AF mode, or up to 60 frames-per-second when the focus is locked, meaning you can obtain a sequence of images to ensure you capture the ultimate moment. It‘s also got two memory card slots, so can pack in even more memory.

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Image by Mike Inkley

LIGHT AND TOUGH


Whether you’re shooting wildlife in the relentless rain of the Scottish Highlands or the dust of the Serengeti, this type of photography is sure to test the build quality of your camera to its limits. With the OM-D E-M1 Mark II you don’t need to worry though, as thanks to a system of seals the camera is splash-proof, dust-proof and freeze-proof down to –10°C.

What’s more, because the camera weighs just 547g you won’t return home with an aching neck and shoulders like you would with a heavy DSLR, even when adding a battery grip. And, talking of batteries, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II sports a battery that’s good for 440 images – and charges in just two hours.

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Image by Tesni Ward

GET EVEN CLOSER

Whether it’s lions in the desert or foxes in the forest, it‘s important to remember to keep your distance from wildlife. But how do you capture great images when you can’t get close? The answer is to use a lens with a long focal length, such as the M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS PRO.

This high-quality prime optic actually gives an effective focal length of 600mm thanks to the OM-D E-M1 Mark II’s 2x crop factor, and tipping the scales at just 1270g this lens is up to 75% lighter than competitor SLR lenses. Plus, the lens has a robust design and boasts image stabilisation that will help to keep your images sharp, which is especially handy when shooting moving wildlife subjects.

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Image by Tesni Ward

ZOOM AND BLUR

Using a fast aperture for wildlife photography has multiple benefits. Not only can you create a shallow depth-of-field to keep your subject sharp while blurring the background and making your subject stand out, but the fast aperture has the additional benefit of allowing more light to reach your camera’s sensor. This means you can use faster shutter speeds in low-light conditions, such as dusk, reducing the risk of camera shake. The M.Zuiko 40-150mm F2.8 PRO boasts a wide aperture of F2.8 and gives an effective focal length of 80-300mm. This means you can zoom in for close-ups or capture wider shots of your subject in its natural habitat.

Article featured in Olympus Magazine Issue 56 – to see the latest copy of our free digital magazine click here.