My Best Travel Camera: Olympus OM-D EM5 MII

Before I bought this camera (and I’ll be explaining why I did in my next post), I scoured the internet for the best travel/street photography camera. I ended up taking a trip to McBain camera shop (just a local place), and talked to the pros there. They suggested one of two camera’s: the Olympus OM-D EM5 MII or a similar one by Lumix. After doing research on the two, I decided the Olympus camera was for me.

Cat photography tips
Our family’s cat snuggles in my bed – I’ve recently been trying to take more photos of my everyday life, something I never did with my old DSLR.

The Perfect Travel Camera

This lightweight, mirrorless micro 4/3 camera is perfect for traveling, taking everyday photos, and basically just staying less intrusive with your photography. It’s the camera that you are okay with throwing in your handbag or wearing around you neck all day and carrying it with you always; that way, you’ll never miss a shot. While I’m not the one to try to explain what a mirrorless camera is, I basically understand it that it works without certain parts of a DSLR that allow it to be lightweight, but you sacrifice some high-end capabilities of a DSLR camera. These high-end features are really not noticeable unless you really are a pro, though.

Best travel camera
This landscape shot I took on my road trip through southern Alberta this summer shows that the Olympus mirrorless definitely does not compromise quality for portability. The far away details of the mountains are captured perfectly for average photo prints.

As an added bonus, because it’s so easy to use on auto-everything, anyone can snap pictures of me. Back when I first started taking pictures on my travels, I’d come home and realize that I wasn’t really in any shots, and if I was, the pictures were blurry because no one knew how to handle my bulky DSLR.

Olympus OM-D EM5 MII
My boyfriend snapped this one of me when apple-picking this fall. My boyfriend is not at all interested in photography and this just shows how easily he can take a great photo.


With my Olympus OM-D EM5 MII, I chose to purchase the Travel Lens kit, which included both the M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 II lens and the M. Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8 lens. The 17mm lens is a fixed lens (no zoom), and I was super weary of this, but it has quickly become my new favourite lens (again, I’ll talk more about why in my next post). While both lenses are great, I rarely use the 14-150mm lens, if ever. For the every-day photo-taker, the 17mm lens is perfect! If I were to add another lens to my bag, I would invest in a great wide-angle lens to capture better landscape shots.

Waterfall in Revelstoke
Even this photo, taken from far away (the camera was sitting on a log), looks great! I cropped it and didn’t need the zoom lens.

Wifi Capabilities

One of my favourite features is it’s wifi capabilities. With the coordinating app, OLYMPUS Image Share, I can remotely control my camera. It’s seriously the coolest techy thing. This allows me to set my camera up on a tripod (or until pretty recently, anything that was stable enough to be a tripod), and snap pictures of everyone in my company, including myself. Image Share also has the abiliity to upload shots directly on to your phone, add Geotags, and edit photos. The only thing I don’t love about using the app with my camera is that it drains both my camera and phone battery pretty quickly.

Winter in Jasper - family photos.
In this photo, my family used a tripod with the wifi and app to get us all in the shot. I’m holding my phone behind my sister’s back and snapping away!
Them Blooms wildflower bouquets
For this picture, I wanted to capture my beautiful bouquet from Them Blooms. No one was around to take it, so I set my camera up on a table and I’m actually snapping photos on the app. My phone is hidden behind my back and even in the bouquet in other shots!

While I won’t say that having a certain camera will make you a better photographer, having a camera that you’ll actually love using, will. This camera is so user-friendly and takes higher quality images than a smartphone (obviously) and that’s why I love it. It fits so comfortably in my hand (I literally use one hand sometimes!). The Olympus OM-D EM5 MII allows me to take quick snaps and play when I want to.

Photo of a lantern.
Experimenting with taking photos in different lighting.

Other reasons why I love the Olympus OM-D EM5 MII:

  • It’s a gorgeous camera – it has a vintage look.
  • It’s dust, water, and freeze resistant – this is super important when travelling and if you live in a cold AF place.
  • It takes great videos – hoping to use this feature more in the future.
  • It’s image stabilization and quick-snap abilities are unparalleled – especially handy when non-photographer enthusiasts are snapping for you.
  • The touch screen is amazing – tap on what you want to focus on and voila! Perfectly in-focus image.

Honestly, I have nothing but good things to say about this camera. It might be the best purchase I’ve ever made.

If you’re interested in reading more on this camera, this guy has a fantastic article that’s a lot more in-depth and technical than mine.

If you’re interested in purchasing the camera or lenses, you can shop it through my links (P.S. it’s on sale right now!):

Olympus OM-D EM5 MII

Purchase the Olympus OM-D EM5 MII:

Body: Olympus OM-D EM5 MII

Kit: Olympus Travel Lens Kit (M.Zuiko 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 II and M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 black lenses)

My favourite lens: Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 (Black) for Olympus and Panasonic Micro 4/3 Cameras

Olympus OM-D EM5 MII
Quick snap of me with the camera. It’s hard to see what it looks like, but it’s cute!

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