Tagged: Olympus E-M5

Future Changes in my Camera Gear

It was a noisy morning wakeup for some on Friday.  They showed up outside my Villa at 6 am.  I waited until it got lighter to make these images.  You can’t see it was noisy, but it was.  You can see the dust they were stirring up.  They were cleaning the roads before they seal them.

I used my Leica X2 with its 24 mm lens to make the above images.  I really like that focal length and camera, but I am not sure about the future.  I miss having a viewfinder and a tilt LCD on the Leica X2; therefore, I am thinking about replacing it with a Fuji X-T1 with a prime lens.

I am also planning to sell my Canon 70D and all of its lenses.  It just isn’t fun to walk around using the camera due to the size and weight.  I am going to try replacing it with the Fuji X-T1 with prime lenses rather than heavier zoom lenses.  That will create a big change in how and what I photograph as well as reduce the amount of gear I use.

If I get the X-T1 and use it to replace both my Canon 70D and Leica X2, I have been thinking about getting three primes lenses and no zoom lenses.  The prime lenses I had been thinking about were the Fuji 18 mm, 35 mm, and 60 mm.  I could also get the 23 mm f/1.4 R lens with an effective focal length of 35 mm, but I don’t want too many lenses.  The 23 mm focal length has been a good all-around focal length for many pictures and it could possibly be a one lens compromise for the 18 and 35 mm lenses.

The above dithering about what lens focal length I should get wasn’t getting me to a decision, so I took a step back and thought about why I’m making a change in cameras.  I feel that it is necessary to reduce the size and weight since it is hard to walk around with a cane and a camera and sometimes with a bag; therefore, I need something lighter and smaller, but with good image quality.  From this perspective, smaller and lighter, both the Fuji 23 mm and 35 mm lenses are medium in size; but, the Fuji 27 mm F2.8 lens is a smaller and lighter lens and is also a focal length compromise between the 23 and 35 mm lenses.  It also has a better price, so I plan to try it as a better compromise due to weight and size.  I have ordered the X-T1 with the 27 mm lens.  I will use that lens while seeing if I like the X-T1 in terms of size, weight, and ergonomics.  If I keep it and sell the Canon and Leica, I will then probably eventually get the 18 mm and 60 mm lenses.

As you have probably already figured out, this change in my cameras and lenses will create changes in what and how I photograph.  I am going to let the “tail wag the dog” so to speak; i.e., adjust my photography to fit lighter and smaller gear.  I will be writing about that after I get the X-T1 and am sure that I’m keeping it.  I tried the Olympus E-M5 with the 14 – 150 mm lens and ended up not keeping them.  The ergonomics and image quality weren’t quite what I’m looking for.  Note that I haven’t mentioned how the Nikon 1 J5 camera and lenses fits into my future scheme.  I’m still pondering that.

Codorus State Park with the OM-D E-M5



Misty at Water’s Edge

I have been to the park before with just a zoom lens that didn’t cover the wide to normal range so I took the Olympus 14 – 150 mm to try it out under a variety of focal lengths in bright light.  The micro 4/3 sensor of the Olympus E-M5 doesn’t have quite the dynamic range of a larger sensor but I’m comfortable with it so far.

Focusing Dreams

Victor Hugo said that “Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.”   In essence this says that our dreaming should be a form of planning.  This is hard to do at this time of year since it is Photokina 2012 time when lots of new cameras and lenses are announced and all the announcements try to convince you that you must buy their latest and greatest product.

While you might think otherwise given the number of cameras that I have gone though in the past few years, there has always been a goal or purpose in all of my camera purchases.  I am a seeker of the smallest, discreet yet most ergonomic camera that I can find that suits my needs.  My largest problem has been defining my future needs.  I have traveled to various countries with a camera and wished that I had brought something different.  An example of that would be the lack of a weather resistant camera that was sealed against dust while in the Sahara desert and the lack of a rain-proof camera with a long lens while traveling within the Amazon rain forest or in Costa Rica.  Those events led me to get the Pentax K-5.  Will I need that capability in the future?  I doubt it, but what will I need?

One consistent need that I still keep coming back to is for a single camera that is small and light-weight but still has suitable ergonomics and image quality (IQ).  I’m still looking for a camera that is easy to always take with me no matter where I go.  I once thought that one of the micro 4/3’s cameras would be a good compromise.  I liked the Olympus E-P3 but felt that the IQ was lacking in low light and that its ergonomics didn’t work with a long lens.  I liked the IQ of the Panasonic G3 better but I kept hitting buttons and changing settings accidentally.  It doesn’t look like the ergonomics of the Olympus E-M5 are sufficiently better … especially given the location of the on-off switch.  So far, the best attributes of the micro 4/3’s system has been the smaller, but high quality lenses.  Will the new cameras like the Panasonic GH3 overcome the poor ergonomics of its peers?  They did make it larger so the ergonomics might be better, but it is now about the same size of the K-5.

So far I haven’t seen anything in the new cameras coming out that are worth me dreaming about … well except maybe the Fuji X-E1 or the Sony NEX-6.  One of them might have the potential of being the best overall camera for me provided that I don’t need long lenses for wildlife, nor a weather resistant system.  Will I need, or want such capabilities in the future?

Every time that I start looking at the new cameras trying to find the best compromise for my uses, I keep coming to the conclusion that there isn’t one single camera that will satisfy me now and that the only way I will be able to get down to one suitable camera will be to reduce my range of potential shooting options … to forget about the rare future chances that I will need a long focal length, weather resistant system for the Amazon rain forest and to forget about long lenses for photographing wildlife at a distance, etc.  Maybe I should refocus my dreams on fewer types of photography.