Thinking More than Shooting

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I have been thinking about what has changed and what it means for my photography.  Some of the changes are:  1) Winter has arrived and it is cold and often windy.  2) My back got worse but I have learned that if I don’t stand too long, don’t lift much, don’t bend too far, and especially don’t twist even a little, and do my exercises with the help of some new medicine, that I can continue to function with little discomfort.  But that is a big “if” and so far, I have occasionally been doing too much and paying for it.   3) I have been taking more pictures of people and things here that I can’t put on my web.

As far as my cameras are concerned, I have found that I should use my Pentax K-3 and lenses less due to the weight, size, and focusing and shutter noise around people.  When I go out anywhere I usually just take the GR in a pocket and mostly just use the K-3 as a grab camera to run out the door to take pictures of clouds like above.  I don’t walk much anymore with the K-3 or shoot for long periods with it due to its weight, and I don’t use it around people due to its lack of discreetness.

I can use the GR with its effective 28 mm focal length along with the E-PL5 with the effective 40 mm or 90 mm focal length lenses for most of my indoor pictures around people, but I sometimes miss having a zoom lens.  I need to use prime lenses to handle the lower light and shutter speed requirements and achieve suitable image quality while indoors.  I will continue to carry the GR with me in my pocket whenever I’m out as my “just-in-case” camera.  It has been a big improvement over using my E-PL5 and 14 mm lens for that purpose.  The GR is lighter, fits in a pocket better, and has better image quality.

Another concern at the moment is what to use outdoors if I can’t carry the K-3.  I might eventually replace the Pentax gear with another micro 4/3 camera, and finally leave the big DSLR camera behind and make the switch to mirror-less cameras.  I tried to do that once before and reverted back to the Pentax DSLR, but I think I am now about ready to make the final switch to mirror-less cameras.  I like to keep a wide-to-normal lens on one camera and a longer zoom on another camera so that I don’t have to change lenses as often.   Having two micro 4/3 cameras would enable me to make better use of my micro 4/3 lens collection, but I’ll have to think some more about it.

Another option would be to get an APS-C size sensor camera with one good normal range zoom lens and use it for all of my indoor work as well as shorter range outdoor shooting and use my 40 – 150 mm micro 4/3 lens on the E-PL5 for long-range shooting outdoors.  The advantage of going this route is that I would have better image quality than I can get with micro 4/3 camera for my indoor work and I would have a better all-around single camera.  That was what I was thinking about when I had the Fujifilm X-E1 with the 18 – 55 mm lens, but it was early in the process before they made some significant upgrades in the software, etc.  Or, if I replaced the K-3 with the Fujifilm X-T1 and the 18 – 135 mm lens it would weight around 930 g. vs. the 1205 g. of the K-3 and the 18 – 135 mm lens, but I’m not sure if that weight savings is enough.

Other questions:   Will I really be shooting much with zoom lenses, and if not, which prime focal length will I use most of the time?  Would I rather have an APS-C sensor camera with an effective 35 mm focal length lens for better image quality or is my Panasonic 20 mm lens (effective 40 mm) good enough with a micro 4/3 sensor?

My main concern is how I am going to photograph scenes that are suitable for my blog, and more importantly, make pictures that I really like.  The camera and lenses are not the main problem.  I need to figure out what and where I will be shooting.