A typical day for commercial photographer and Olympus Visionary John Sterling Ruth finds him hanging out of a car window, hurtling down a deserted road at 70 mph, while photographing a semi-truck barreling alongside him. For Ruth, who has been a photographer for more than 30 years and has clients including Mack Trucks, Volvo, Penske and International Trucks, nothing is more important than delivering a client a tack-sharp image that still includes motion blur to convey movement.
That’s why Ruth relies on his Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera and its in-body 5-Axis Image Stabilization, which works in tandem with his optical image-stabilized Olympus M.ZUIKO 12-100mm F/4.0 IS PRO and 300mm F/4.0 IS PRO lenses to provide 6.5 stops of compensation.
“When I’m shooting car to car,” Ruth explains, “I have to shoot with a slow enough shutter speed to blur the tires, roadway and scenery, but the car needs to be sharp. The stabilization with the Olympus system is a huge advantage. When you’re hanging out of a car for eight hours a day on a seven-day shoot, having a camera that’s lightweight is key.
“Back in the day,” Ruth says of his years spent shooting automotive shots with DSLR gear, “I would need a handheld gimbal to try and stabilize the cameras; it was a nightmare. I get a much better hit ratio with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II because of the image stabilization. I can give my clients more shots to choose from.”
Of course, the light weight of the system and image stabilization wouldn’t matter if the image quality wasn’t exactly what his customers demand. “In this business, there’s a lot of gear out there that says it does something but it doesn’t, and that’s not the case with Olympus, like the High-Res Shot Mode,” he says of the feature in the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II that combines eight different images captured by adjusting the sensor in small increments to create a high-resolution 50-megapixel file. This allows him to capture product shots for his clients and know they will have ultra-high resolution.
Many of the corporate and lifestyle jobs Ruth tackles are outdoors, and on any given job he might find himself chest-high in water photographing a surfer or in the blowing sands of a desert, and know that the weather-resistant construction of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and the M.ZUIKO PRO lenses will help him keep out the elements. “With some cameras, you can’t get water near them. I’ve had DSLR lenses get ruined because they get gummed up with debris. But with my Olympus I can shoot near water or dust without a housing, and know my gear will be fine.”
Like other photographers using Olympus cameras and lenses, Ruth appreciates the ability to take more gear with him in less space, especially when he’s flying to a multi-day shoot. “When we travel on a plane, the camera and lenses are always with us. We don’t put those in the belly of the plane. We can pack way more into our carry-on cases than we can with other systems. When you’re dealing with DSLRs you’re always deciding, ‘Should I take this lens or that one?’ but with Olympus we can take everything and not have to worry if it will fit into our cases.”
Portability, stability and quality—it’s no wonder Olympus is the choice of John Sterling Ruth, and the choice of so many professional photographers.
Hear more from other photographers who have made the switch to the Olympus OM-D system at getolympus.com/neverlookback