Okay, let me set the scene. I was on vacation in Santorini, Greece, and after posting a selfie on Instagram one of my friends (a noted petrolhead) spotted an old red car in the background.
He asked me if it was an old Ford Capri, so I replied that I hadn't even noticed it behind me – but that the next time I was out, I'd take a photo for him. As it turns out, the next time turned out to be at night, and my phone camera just wasn't doing the trick. Thankfully, I had my trusty Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III with me – so I set out to take a photo that wasn't a grainy, blurry mess.
You probably can't tell from the photo, but it was dark. The post-sunset sky was gorgeous colors, but there was virtually no ambient light and only limited illumination coming from street and house lights.
Even my f/2.8 trinity lens wasn't fast enough to let the necessary amount of light onto the sensor, and I try not to bump up the ISO on my shots unless I can possibly help it.
However, because Olympus / OM System has the best in-body image stabilization (IBIS) in the business, I knew that the E-M5 Mark III would enable me to handhold with a slow shutter speed.
What I didn't know, though, was just how slow a shutter speed I could handhold.
One second is okay on just about any camera. I can just about squeeze two or three out of a camera with no IBIS, provided the focal length isn't too long. But I've never gone above ten even, with an Olympus body (and shooting at a comfortable 24mm).
So to hit 20 seconds completely handheld (especially with my shaky hands and lackluster technique) at 50mm felt pretty bloomin' impressive – and if you click to open the full-size version of the image, you'll see that the detail ain't bad. Certainly enough to confirm that this was, in fact, a Ford Escort, not a Capri.
I'm sure plenty of people will have plenty to say. Yes, I know that being able to handhold for a long time doesn't actually make this "the best camera". Yes, I know that the picture itself is nothing to write home about. Yes, I know that it's not totally sharp. And yes, I'm sure other people have shot sharper shots with slower shutter speeds than me.
You know what, though? I've personally never used another camera where I can personally handhold a shot that long. And the next time anyone says that Micro Four Thirds cameras are no good in low light, you can point them at this article and kindly inform them that they have no clue what they're talking about.