Using Mirrorless for Pro Event Photography


You can use mirrorless cameras for professional event coverage.

For the 3-day Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma, CA, I'm using the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 with a handful of lenses including the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom on one body and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 lens on the other.

I'm transporting my gear, including an iPad mini, in the Lowepro Urban Reporter 150 Camera Messenger Bag (which is on sale now for $85).

The entire rig is very light and extremely powerful. I can work all day without tiring, and it's easy to navigate among crowds with the svelte messenger bag.

top-chef-louis-maldonado.jpg Top Chef Louis Maldonado. Photos by Derrick Story.

In the early days of mirrorless cameras, there was a concern that they didn't look "professional" enough. But that hasn't been a problem for me. Every now and then I have an entertaining conversation that starts with "So why don't you use Canon or Nikon for your work?" I say that I do, but not every job. I like to choose the gear that works best for what I'm covering. It usually turns out to be a nice little chat


When I can, I like to capture with existing light. I feel the shots look more natural. But I do carry a flash for those times that it's needed. Even then, I try to bounce and reduce the flash exposure one stop.

Will I use this rig for every shoot? No. My DSLRs are still very important to me. But I don't have to use them exclusively for professional work. And that's the difference mirrorless has made.

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This rig has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting

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