Exploring the Oregon Outback at Summer Lake Hot Springs

October 13-15, 2020

Summer Lake Hot Springs with my new Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera

I visited Summer Lake Hot Springs last fall in order to begin learning the ins and outs of my new Olympus OM-D E-M1X micro 4/3 SLR camera. The camera came out about a year ago, and I wondered whether the additional weight and size would offset the advantages over my previous OM-D E-M1 Mark II. In a nutshell, I am entirely please with the new camera, there are so many advantages that the larger size (which is an advantage in itself), and the weight (a disadvantage but acceptable) are significantly offset by what was lacking in my Mark II. Overall the M1X has a highly responsive autofocus and image stabilization system that feels faster than the Mark II. The Mark II lacks built in GPS, which for a nature photographer is a significant deficiency given many of my observations through the camera end up on being posted to iNaturalist, Cornell eBird, and related biodiversity databases. The beauty of Summer Lake Hot Springs, beyond the wonderful facilities and delightful geothermally heated waters, comes from the ready access to a wide diversity of Central Oregon Basin and Range habitats and landscapes, from high desert sagebrush, alkali playa, freshwater wetlands, lichen encrusted volcanic and fault block cliffs — supporting a very high diversity of wildlife. The seasonally wet playa includes a State Wildlife Refuge a short drive from where I stay.