Mike Inkley was a Canon Pro for many years, but switched to the Olympus OM-D system in 2015. Discover how he delivers live motorsports shots straight out of his camera.
With over 30 years worth of published work behind him, Mike Inkley provides live and dynamic motorsport content to the national press. Speed and image quality is paramount to the work he produces, as editing rarely fits in with his client’s live reporting deadlines. Speedy subjects are where Mike spends most of his time, so he needs a camera that can keep up. He shoots fast cars and jets, but is equally at home in nature, and liberally intersperses this with “hiding in the wilderness for a bit of a break”.
Mike was a Canon Pro for many years, but swapped to the Olympus system in 2015 with the E-M1 Mark I. “I upgraded to the Mark II’s earlier this year, and business is booming as a result,” he says. Although he’s a dedicated convert now, Mike was sceptical when he first borrowed two Olympus bodies. He was capturing speedy jets at RAF Fairford with the 12-40mm pro lens and 40-150mm pro lens, and was initially blown away by the quality. “After an hour of shooting, the Canon’s were put back in the car. I couldn’t believe what I was getting out of the Olympus’.” Aside from image quality, the weight and feel of the system were an added bonus. “The Mark I gave good service, but the Mark II has been a class apart,” he says. “I only shoot jpegs and they have to be good enough to go straight out of the camera there and then for clients. In this respect the new cameras deliver in spades.” Mike says he gets a higher hit rate, both with better quality images and options that weren’t previously possible with other models. “I have just picked up a major racing team as a client as a direct result of being able to give them the highest quality images possible during or within minutes of an on track session where others can’t.”
Mike can’t see any flaws when he’s using in the Mark II in a professional environment. “It is light, strong, durable and works in all conditions,” he explains. “As a tool, I need to be able to put my hand in my bag, grab a body and lens and instantly know that I will get the results I want. The body is phenomenal and fortunately the Zuiko glass matches it.” He uses the 8mm f/1.8, 7-14mm f/2.8, 12-40mm f/2.8, 40-150mm f/2.8, 300mm f/4, 75mm f/1.8 and has just bought the 25mm f/1.2. “Interestingly, I recently looked at equivalent focal lengths and apertures from other major brands. On average they were three times the price and weight. My system is hand luggage on all airlines,” he says.
Pro photographers need stunning image quality above all else and it’s clear Mike is convinced by the results from his Olympus system. “The optics and image quality easily match anything else out there. More importantly, because of the size and speed of the system, I can take it to more places, more often. When I’m out on location, the flexibility, weight and speed of the system guarantees me the best images more of the time. The Mark II is a tool that’s a pleasure to use, never lets you down and really does deliver the goods. Enough said!”
Article featured in Digitial Camera Magazine in June 2017