Can You Photograph Wildlife with Micro Four Thirds?

I've been to Safari West many times, and always with a DSLR and 300mm lens. But for my most recent visit, I decided to shoot with an Olympus OM-D E-M5 ($799) and the super compact Olympus 75-300mm zoom lens ($549) that provided a reach up to 600mm compared to my Canon 5D Mark II.

Blue-Crowned-Pigeon Blue Crowned Pigeon - 150mm, f/5.6, 1/125th, ISO 1600, handheld. Photos by Derrick Story.

How did it go? I had a blast and loved the photos I came home with. I've never had this much reach before (600mm essentially), and it allowed me to compose tighter than ever before. Here's a portrait of a Southern White Rhinoceros at 300mm (600mm essentially) at f/7.1, 1/500th, ISO 1600, handheld.

Southern White Rhinoceros

I could even reach this Acorn Woodpecker high in a tree.

Acorn Woodpecker

And my rig was a fraction of the weight and size (and cost) of my counterparts in our Safari truck. If you mixed my images in with theirs, you's have a hard time distinguishing a quality difference, especially around 150mm with the Micro Four Thirds rig. Bottom line: yes, you can shoot wildlife with mirrorless.

Nimble Photographer Logo

The Olympus 75-300mm zoom lens has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting

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