Camera Changes … Smaller & Lighter is Better
For those who are wondering, the above picture shows the flowers on the chives that my wife planted in her flower garden. I was trying out my new camera, the Olympus E-PL5. It is not a new camera since it has been out for around two years, but I have a new copy which I obtained recently during a sale prior to its replacement being announced. I had a trial copy back in 2012 when it first came out, but I returned it since I was then on a campaign to get the best image quality I could get within my price range. My new campaign is to own and use a sufficient camera that is small, light-weight, and affordable, and provides me the most utility while increasing the odds that I can handle it and will more likely carry it most of the time.
I feel reasonably comfortable in taking this “backward step” for two reasons. First, my recent look back at the pictures I took in Ireland with an older version of this camera reminded me of what can be done with a few micro 4/3 prime lenses. Second, I have learned a lot about the use of cameras and Adobe Lightroom software in the last few years. I now realize that my problems with the first copy that I had were really due to the lens. It now has an improved kit lens and in addition I bought the Olympus 17 mm prime lens.
While this camera has a smaller sensor than my Fujifilm X-E1 and Pentax K-50, I am finding the quality to be quite good. In addition, I am willing to step up to the challenge to learn how to use it better and if necessary, change what I photograph to fit my abilities with a smaller camera and fewer lenses. When I grow more comfortable with this change I will incrementally start selling off my Pentax DSLR and other gear. My goal is to simplify my camera gear until I reach a level of sufficiency that matches what I feel comfortable doing, even if that means photographing less, or different things, than previously.
Oh, and that’s a wonderful photo. It’s proof that micro 4/3 is capable of some great shallow depth photos. This is one of my own using the 20mm:
Very interesting, John. You’ve gone full circle, at least from when I first started following you. In fact, I think I originally found your blog because I was searching on that very same camera. Do you find the LCD screen to be sufficient, or do you think you might add on the EVF accessory at some point? Also, the NEX 6 has been on sale lately at very good prices. Was that also option in your latest considerations or did you already completely rule out Sony? Thanks.
So far I have found the LCD to be sufficient, especially with the tilt feature. Over the years I have found that I have been using the LCDs more and the viewfinders less and less.
I use to have a Sony NEX 6. I really liked the camera but didn’t like the lenses … too few, not great, and still too large. I have decided that the lenses are the most important feature. If the lenses are good it doesn’t take a super camera. I also have been using longer focal lengths and they tend to be larger and heavier. The only way to reduce the weight and size of the lenses is to go with smaller sensors. The smaller lenses are also easier to manufacture so that they are good … and generally less expensive.
Yes, I have now gone in a circle and will probably go back to micro 4/3 for all of my cameras.