First and foremost for all following posts on our trip to northern Italy — we had a grand time.
Friends of ours, who accompanied us, had done the planning for this trip based upon a similar highly recommended trip friends of their’s had recently made to Italy. It was a good recommendation and my hats off to our friends for their great efforts.
It started out a little rough with a missed connecting flight to Milan, Italy, from Frankfurt, Germany, due to delays at take-off on the Charlotte, NC, to Frankfurt leg. This required us to make adjustments, trimming a half a day from visiting Venice, Italy, which turned out to be a non-issue — Venice was very hot and packed with tourist so about one day was all we could stand anyway.
While Milan [A] was out entry and exit point to Italy we’d planned four main areas to visit — Venice [B], Florence [C], Tuscany [D], and Cinque Terre [E] (see map for reference points.) However, by renting a car and driving between and around each of the areas we were able to see and enjoy many more of the local sites in the focus areas as well as in between — for instance, we also managed to drive through Pisa on our way to Cinque Terre. In total we raked up a little over a 1000 miles of driving in our loop through northern Italy.
I took about 2200 photos using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Bonnie and one of our friends took almost 400 more photos using our little Canon S90. This same friend also took over 800 photos using a Samsung P&S camera so the trip was well recorded photographically.
As far as cameras go…I’m very pleased with the E-M5. With the heat and the amount of walking we did I wouldn’t have wanted to lug around a DSLR and the photo quality seem excellent. I shot in RAW format so the camera didn’t do “post-processing” as it would with JPG’s and the photos I’ve viewed thus far look very nice. The camera handles well but it’s still not as comfortable in my hands as my Nikon D700 — but that’s a very small complaint.
I ended up shooting almost all (1800+) of the E-M5 photos using the Lumix G Vario 14-45/F3.5-5.6 lens, with only 145 each taken with the Lumix G 20/F1.7 or the Lumix G Vario 45-200/F4.0-5.6.
At first the E-M5 seemed to use batteries very quickly but with a few setting adjustments and a few adjustments on how I was using it — turning it off when not in use, by the end of the trip a battery was lasting on average for over 300 photos — almost a full day. I’d purchased three spare batteries for the E-M5 off EBay, which while meeting the Olympus requirements didn’t have the smart chip that the original Olympus battery has so I can’t be sure if part of the battery consumption wasn’t due to the EBay batteries themselves. I didn’t take the single original battery so I couldn’t do a comparison.
I uploaded the photos into Lightroom this morning so there’s lots of work in selection and post-process to be done. Stay tuned for more to follow.