As I mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons why the Olympus system struck a chord with me was it’s amazing environmental sealing, not just of the body, but also the lenses. Now this doesn’t apply to all bodies and lenses, but Olympus has provided, from day one, at least one body and numerous lenses that are effectively fully weatherproof. This has been an absolute boon over the years when I’ve had to photograph sports in woeful, wet, conditions.
One issue that crops up fairly frequently on various photography blogs and forums, for those new to Olympus cameras, relates to the Olympus camera menu system. Some get it and others have the devil’s own time trying to decipher what it’s all about. Admittedly, the menus can be complex, but that’s mainly because they allow so much camera customisation, especially with the E-M1, that it needs the depth in order to allow all of those options. What makes things worse, is that the Olympus camera manual is pretty poor when it comes to explaining all of the adjustments available, which doesn’t help people from seeing the entire menu system as a car wreck.
One of the things that is so misunderstood and which has clearly held back m4/3s (and the earlier 4/3s) from wider adoption is the belief that the sensor is too small for ‘professional’ photography and by default, amateur photography (that was intentional). This is a meme that has been hinted at by competing manufacturers and vociferously shouted from the rooftops by ill-informed amateur photographers, who make lots of noise on photography forums. That perception is slowly changing and more and more professional photographers are adopting m4/3s, if not for all of their photography needs, at least for some.
One of the oft stated reasons (on forums) for the existence of m4/3s is that it provides small and light cameras. You most certainly can equip yourself with a small, light and effective camera system using m4/3 cameras and lenses; however, I do not believe that small and light is the raison d’être for m4/3s. Small and light is an option for those that want to go that way, but it doesn’t have to be the only option. That’s what I like about the system, it allows you an almost limitless amount of choice.
As Murphy would have it, when you least expect something or don’t want something to happen, that’s when it happens. So earlier this year, while I was at a local park taking my dogs for a run and doing some photography, I was changing lenses next to the river that runs around the park, when one of my dogs (50kg hound) came bounding up to see what I was doing.
The Olympus 4/3 system has had a pretty bumpy history, starting off with great fanfare and hope, building up a solid selection of lenses and then slowly crumbling away. I knew that my E-5 was going to be the last of the 4/3 cameras, as the m4/3 system was here to stay and was growing, but what would happen with my 4/3 lenses was anyone’s guess.
Along the way to renewing my love of photography, I saw an add in one of our independently owned metropolitan newspapers seeking a photographer to cover news and sporting event, mainly on the weekends, and so I decided to put in an expression of interest. I got a call for an interview, which I attended, but heard nothing back and assumed that they’d been swamped and selected a much younger photographer. Surprisingly, a few months later I got a phone call asking if I was still interested and I said yes. That was the beginning of around six years of interesting and hectic photography.
As the very first post, I won’t be dredging up the entire 40 years of my photography, but will simply give a potted history of my time in digital photography . Bits and pieces of my background etc will likely filter through in subsequent posts and I think that should suffice if anyone is really interested. Simply put, my digital photography epiphany started with the Olympus E-1 and standard 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 lens. Like a kid in a candy store, this simple combination kept me going for some time, a good thing it was, as there weren’t many lenses available for the E-1 on its introduction. As a lover of nature photography, the 11-22mm f2.8-3.5 lens was a must have for those wide landscapes etc and after that, followed the 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 and my kit was ostensibly complete. In a way, I’d never had so much enjoyment in photography as I was having at the time. That combination kept me happy and on a steep learning curve for quite a while.