Saturday, 15 July 2017

Olympus, Me and the OM-D

It’s a funny old world.

When I swapped my Olympus OM-D E-M5 MkII a few months ago for a Nikon D7100, I thought I would be set for a while. I should have known better.

It was a big decision to let the OM-D E-M5 MkII go, and I guess, given the way that it’s gone with me and the D7100 (see last post), it’s a decision I’ve ended up regretting. Yet having said that, I was still happy with my replacement option for the D7100 – the Canon 40D. At least I was happy, until I saw a post on Facebook…

Olympus OM-D EM-1
I belong to a couple of NZ photography ‘Buy, Sell, Trade’ groups on Facebook and am updated every day with a slew of postings. In fact, that’s how I did the swap with the E-M5 MkII for the D7100 in the first place – buy replying to a post on Facebook. Largely, though, it’s just a stream of posts that I can mostly ignore. But a few days ago (as I write this) I noticed a post from a guy selling a mint condition Olympus OM-D E-M1 body with only 2300 shutter clicks on it. It had actually been advertised for a while, and the price had steadily come down since he was selling it body-only and just wanted rid of it. I Pm’d him to ask if it was still available (it was), and long story short – I’ve bought it!

If I’m 100%, utterly, completely, honest-to-goodness, straight-up truthful with myself, the OM-D E-M1 was the mirrorless camera I really wanted right from the beginning. And no matter how good the E-M5 MkII was (and it truly was), it was never going to be an E-M1. When I owned the E-M5 MkII, I assumed that the upgrade path would lead to the E-M1 MkII. But when that camera came out, and it was way out of my price range, my upgrade path disintegrated – and some of my enthusiasm for micro four thirds died along with it. I briefly considered swapping the E-M5 MkII for an E-M1 anyway, but then the opportunity to go with the D7100 came up, and that’s the way I jumped.

It was always a jump tinged with some regret however, and maybe that’s why the D7100 and I never really gelled? Whatever the reason, my love affair with the E-M1 remained. So when I saw the post on Facebook, and realised that now was the perfect time to get back into mirrorless with the camera I’d always wanted… well, I didn’t need asking twice.

Buying body-only means that it’s going to cost me a lot more money than I had originally anticipated spending on yet another camera system. I now have to buy a lens, spare battery, camera grip and new SD cards as well. It will largely deplete the funds I had accumulated from the sale of the D7100 kit. And yet, if I stop and think about it (and I have), it may very well be the best move I could have made.

How so? Well, I was spending the money in my head anyway, looking at all the super expensive ‘L’ glass I might buy for the Canon 40D. But, if I use the 40D primarily for landscapes (with the 10-22mm I already have), together with an 18-55mm EF-S kit lens I also already have, then the moments when I need a DSLR fix will be taken care of. With my Bronica ETRS medium format camera, Nikon F4 and Canon EOS 1, my film itch is most definitely scratched. And now, with the Olympus OM-D E-M1, I have my ultimate mirrorless camera. This, I think, will become my main system, and one that I can expand as and when I can. So I now have everything! Film (both medium format and 35mm), DSLR and Mirrorless. The whole kit and caboodle. My only decisions now will be what to take and shoot on any given day. Or maybe I’ll shoot all three? Do some sort of photography medium challenge? Film vs Digital SLR vs Mirrorless? Now that will be fun.

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