With the coming of the new year I decided a change was needed to try and shrug off the photographic slump that I have found myself in over the last 6 months.
Near the end of last year I was doing some house keeping within my archive for the year and notice that my monthly quota of shots was well below the previous three years of shooting. Armed with that information I started wonder as to why I was not shooting as much, normally at every opportunity I am out with the camera and trying to find something to shoot and put my slant on the image.
I came to the conclusion that the gear was getting in the way, I have been getting more and more bogged down with expensive heavy kit thinking that it is the be all and end all of a good image. When out and about I would be carrying a bag that contain D700, with the following lenses 70-200mm, 24-70mm, 17-35mm, 90mm Macro, 50mm along with teleconvertor’s and an assortment of filters and the normal hoard of cards and batteries. As you can imagine, that bag along with a tripod was quite a lot of weight to be lugging round.
All that weight was getting in the way of my enjoyment and passion for finding that elusive image. So what to do……….
Well my solution might have been extreme but it worked for me…. I sold all my Nikon equipment, bodies, glass the lot, All out the door gone. I then started to decide what I was going to replace it with…. Don’t panic I was not camera less I still had the trusty X100 to tide me over for my wanderings.
During the research time I had, which I think equated to 4 weeks or so I kept being drawn back to a blog of an American photographer “Steve Huff” the main thing that kept dragging me back were the reviews Steve had on the site relating to Micro 4/3 camera systems and glass.
In the back of my mind I was narrowing down my choice of camera system, I was being drawn into the land of Micro 4/3, the only question was which way to go….. Olympus or Panasonic. After much internet surfing…. and review reading I finally decided on the Olympus system which I preferred because on the retro look of the camera and the compactness of the lenses, the Panasonic lenses seemed to be a little larger.
So what does my photography kit now consist of… well first and foremost is a small Crumpler shoulder bag… that is now my main camera bag. Contained within that bag is the following list of equipment.
OLYMPUS LENSES – 9-18mm / 14-42mm / 40-150mm & 45mm ƒ1.8
ND Filter (Circular Variable),CP Filter,Spare SD Cards and Batteries.
The only thing I have left to get now is a small light tripod, since I no longer need the Manfotto 190MF3, which is a bit to substantial for the camera I am now wielding.
So a month ago I was carrying around a bag which was equivalent in weight to a small child being perched on my shoulder, to today where I have two cameras and fours lenses which cover 18mm to 300mm (35mm Focal Length), in a bag that struggled to house the D700 with a 24-70mm lens attached.
The reduced weight and unobtrusive camera has re-ignited my initial passion and enthusiasm for photography.
This Sunday saw me attending the Chinese New Year Festival in London, which for me has always been a great place to capture street candid’s as Trafalgar Square and China Town are normally heaving with people enjoying the parades and festivities. On the train journey to London that morning my main concern for the day and the camera, was the AF speed and accuracy of the Olympus Body, would it be up to the job, would it be able to Focus / Lock and track quick enough to keep up with my normal mode of shooting whilst in a crowd.
Well I really did not have to worry, all the hype I had been reading in the reviews relating to the AF system was and is warranted, the PEN has blisteringly fast AF and never once let me down. I stayed with S-AF most of the day shooting aperture priority with the Olympus 45mm ƒ1.8 lens attached. If you want a light and rapid to respond system for street work you would not be displeased with this set up.
All in all I am very pleased with the new camera setup, and all I have to do now is get used to menu system and setting up all the function to suit my needs.
Now down to images quality…. I will not bother with pixel peeping or trying to explain why I like the images the camera produces, I will just place a section of images from the days shooting in a slideshow at the end of the thread, with these images all that has been done to them is the imported to Lightroom – 1 Preset Run on them – and exported as JPG’s.