Photo Safari Around Berlin –
An Insider Guide
With the Newly Launched
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mk III
Berlin is a very hip city and so easy to get to from Zurich. With its crazy street art, cool bars and restaurants, not to mention its incredible history, it makes for a fascinating short break or long weekend. Just over an hour from Zurich by plane it offers so much to discover and explore.
We flew to Berlin with Olympus for the launch of the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark lll camera and you can see below our top tips on places to visit and things to do in this wonderful city.
Hotel Catalonia Berlin Mitte
Our base at the Hotel Catalonia in Berlin Mitte, was central and convenient, located just 40 minutes or so from Berlin Tegel airport. With high ceilings, modern decor and a touch of quirkiness, it was a great place to stay and just a short walk to the nearby Olympus Perspective Playground where we went for the launch of the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark lll camera.
Olympus OMD EM10 Mark lll
The new Olympus camera is lightweight, retro looking and not only does it take amazing photos but it is easy to use. Berlin is a large and dynamic – the perfect backdrop to test out the new camera. Wherever you go there is striking street art, bright colours and an intriguing mixture of old and modern buildings. You can’t do it all on foot so luckily there is a good and inexpensive underground and bus network, as well as plentiful taxis.
Boat Trip Along River Spree
However, our first excursion was a boat trip along the River Spree which enabled us to see the city from a totally different perspective and a great way to view many of Berlin’s sights.
The Oberbaumbrücke double-deck bridge crossing the river is considered one of the city’s landmarks and is particularly striking whilst the TV Tower seems to be visible from almost everywhere.
By boat the vista was constantly changing constantly (along with the weather on the day we went!) so it was a great opportunity to put the camera through its paces.
Jackie O Berlin
We took the boat to a delightful hidden spot on the river at Rummelsburger Bay called Jackie O. This little oasis with hammocks hanging in the trees has a real “island” feeling about it – a magical hideaway far away from the crowds. It plays host to private parties and concerts and is an ideal location for any summer event. When we arrived a delicious lunch was being prepared and a DJ began his set.
There’s a little jetty and you can even rent SUPs, canoes and a boat. We had fun testing out the new camera’s capabilities and trying lots of the inbuilt “art filters” .
Dinner at Freischwimmer Restaurant
After taking the boat back from Jackie O we headed for dinner to Restaurant Freischwimmer which is located directly on the Spree. With seating both inside and outside, a great ambiance and a delicious buffet dinner we had a wonderful evening as we watched the sun set over the river and the lights from the nearby club reflect in the water.
Olympus Perspective Playground
Next it was back to the Olympus Perspective Playground where they had some amazing art works and light installations set up.
Perspective Playground is located at the Kraftwerk building in Berlin Mitte across 3 floors, all filled with imaginative installations. If you’re visiting Berlin before the 24th of September 2017 do make sure you visit. If you don’t have your own camera you can borrow an Olympus camera at the venue – and entry is FREE of charge!
The following morning it was back to the Perspective Playground for a fabulous video tutorial where professional video maker Fabian showed us some of the films he had created with the OM-D E-M10 Mark lll (the new camera can shoot in 4K video) and gave us hints and tips on making our own clips.
VW “Bullis” Campervan Safari Through Berlin
A safari through Berlin in beautifully restored VW Bullis or Campervans was the next highlight on our agenda. With the company “Old Bulli Berlin” you can go for a tour through the centre of Berlin taking in all the historic sights like the Brandenburg Gate, the TV Tower and the Reichstag, in vintage style. It was such fun to cruise through the city in these retro vans and enjoy a scenic tour.
Tempelhofer Feld and Picnic Time
Tempelhof Park used to be home to an airport until 2008. Now the airport is closed, it is a place where people come to skateboard, run, walk, exercise their dogs or just chill out with a picnic.
The airport is steeped in history. Once the largest airport in the world, it was used by the Nazi’s during the Second World War as they constructed a labyrinth of underground tunnels where they secretly built bomber planes. In the aftermath of the Second World War it was used by the Allies for the Berlin Airlift which helped keep the people of West Berlin alive during the Soviet blockade.
Currently the building is used as a home for refugees and the air field is a 300 hectare public park. Originally the government had planned to build apartments there but the people of Berlin voted to keep the land as a park until at least 2025.
We enjoyed a fabulous “Picnic Berlin” picnic which comes equipped not only with delicious sandwiches, bretzels, salads, toasted paninis, fruit, coffee and desserts, but also proper cutlery, plates and glasses – very civilised indeed!
After the delicious picnic and having enjoyed watching the impressive skills of the local skateboarders, it was all too soon time to head back to the airport.
Sight Seeing En Route to The Airport
We went via the city to see the Check Point Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate as well as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe before catching our flight back to Zurich.
Best Features Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark lll
Having previously used the OM-D E-M10 Mark ll, I was already a convert to this lightweight but solid mirrorless Olympus camera and the Mark lll offers even more capabilities. Not only does the camera look good with the retro style, but the viewfinder, tilting viewing screen (which is also touch screen), inbuilt wifi and flash, makes it supremely practical. Most importantly, it is simple enough for beginners to use and very discreet and easy to carry round. The 14-42mm pancake lens allows you great artistic flexibility, yet still fits in your bag. You can even use your phone to take shots remotely via the camera.
The Mark lll model can record videos in 4K quality and is equipped with some great pre-installed art effects and, in particular the double exposure settings – see the example below by Rebecca Fryer.
With thanks to Olympus for the great opportunity to visit Berlin and looking forward to experimenting with the camera further. Stay tuned for more updates.
All photos taken with the OM-D E-M10 Mark lll
This blog post was sponsored by Olympus but all views are entirely my own.
Find out More about the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark lll
The Olympus OM-D E-M 10 Mark lll with the 14-42 lens is now available in Switzerland and retails for CHF 999. Find out more here.