Exploring NYC’s Bryant Park for the Holidays with Olympus Camera

Disclaimer: This post is written in partnership with and sponsored by Olympus America. My opinions, as always, remain my own.  I ride or die for the products I recommend which means I’d never suggest something I don’t personally love.

The Gear

My friends at Olympus hooked me up with a brand new OM-D E-M10 MARK III for the holidays and after shooting with it the whole day at Bryant Park in Manhattan – I’ve become obsessed with it! The OM-D E-M10 Mark III is a relatively small, mirrorless (which in short means, “lightweight” and “perfect for travel”) camera that packs a huge punch for such a small camera. With a tilting touch screen (with flawless focus and shooting capabilities) this camera shoots video in 4K, has awesome 5-Axis image stabilization, built in wi-fi, 15 unique art filters, an electronic viewfinder and so. much. more.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up to this under their Christmas tree?!

On top of the shiny new camera, Olympus also hooked me up with two lenses: a 7-14mm 2.8 which fits right up my “wide angle and lots of bokeh/depth” alley and a 14-150mm 4.0-5.6 which is much more practical for travel. In all honesty, the 7-14mm is probably not the most practical for travel as it does pack on some weight to it at a little over 1.1 lbs and actually weighs substantially more than the camera itself. The 14-150, while still able to achieve some awesome wide frames, is much more practical for travel at about half the size and weighing in at only 10oz (making the camera and the 14-150 together weigh in at less than a half a pound, I mean, can it get any easier?).

The Shots

I had so much fun shooting in Bryant Park with my new Olympus OM-D E-M10! I haven’t been to Bryant Park for the holidays in a few years and it was actually a bit hectic/overcrowded (as can be expected) but it was also amazing to see how big the holiday market has gotten! The last time I was there for Christmas was three or four years ago and there were only about 1/5 of the food stalls, shops and stands than there are now.

If you know me and my photography style, I prefer a shot with no people in it so the expansion of the Bryant Park Holiday market made my particular style of shooting a bit challenging as more stalls, shops and stands means more people!

After the sun set there was a beautiful light still lingering over the city and when they cleared the ice of skaters to clean it – I knew I had to get a good shot of the rink, the tree and the library behind it. I zoomed this shot in to 30mm to achieve it.
This shot was taken about 30 yards to the left of where I took the prior shot, completely zoomed out at 14mm (and it gives you an idea of the vastness of the stores, shops and stalls!). If you look towards the middle you can see the very tip of the Christmas tree.
Taken from that very same standpoint I zoomed in on the tree at 55mm and was able to get a completely different perspective, from the same exact spot.

While Santa didn’t make a cameo to sit with the kids this particular day, it made his corner at Bryant Park particularly empty and with the tree in the background made a perfect “people free” image!
But, first, let me take a selfie. There’s a focus setting on the Olympus that has really awesome facial recognition and automatically puts a face in focus. The mirror in front of me was even given some depth – as you can see the quote on the bottom of the mirror is blurred out a bit.
I thought this was so cool! The massive fountain at the park had almost completely frozen over. I was a little bummed that I didn’t have a tripod with me to get a really steady shot of the flow of the water but thankfully the OM-D E-M10 has the SCENE setting which allows you to pick what type of scene you’re shooting (in my case: “motion”) and it populates the settings for you!
Here are the different “scenes” you can choose from, simply by touching your option right on the screen. It also made it super convenient to shoot the Zamboni going around the ice rink, without a tripod. I had tried to shoot the Zamboni under a manual setting and no matter what I did it kept coming up blurry. However, once I switched it into the “motion” scene, I was able to get a crisp, clear, in focus shot where you can clearly read that the Zamboni is, “powered by hot chocolate”, haha. Check out the “before” and “after” on the Zamboni:

At a 22mm zoom, I loved the close up capabilities of the 14-150 lens!

Another fun shot I used the “motion” setting to get was when the employee at the hot chocolate stand went to add more cocoa to the pot – the steam from the hot chocolate into the cold air was such a unique, quick moving, scene.
And while I am fully enjoying the 14-150 and its capabilities of shooting, all around the park, I just also had to show off the 7-14mm lens, as well, because without the option to shoot at the low 7mm frame, I never would have been able to get the entirety of this beautiful shop into just one frame!

All in all, in just one day and a few hours of shooting with my new OM-D E-M10 Mark III, I’m in love! I can’t wait to take this camera with me on my new adventures and travels in 2020. I’d love for you to drop any questions you may have below because I’m preparing to do a full comprehensive review of this camera after my first trip with it in two weeks! 

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