As a professional photographer, cameras are the tools of my trade. Professionals place different requirements on their equipment than amateurs. Things such as how the camera feels in the hand, how reliable it is, how it copes with a range of temperatures and weather conditions, how easy it is to use when you are in a high pressure situation and the weight of the equipment when travelling are all very important. I recently moved to the Olympus OMD system and here’s why I did that.
You can see some of my work on my professional photography website here. For much of my professional career I shot Nikon equipment. I loved their gear and it fulfilled all of the requirements above. However, a few years ago, I had a fall and damaged my right wrist. All of a sudden, I found the large kit I was travelling with was less comfortable to use all day. Airlines were getting stricter about carry on weight (never check your cameras!) as well. A pair of Nikon D3s bodies with three lenses covering 17-200 at f2.8 plus the associated batteries, chargers and so forth was well in excess of the 7kg limit that many airlines operate now for carry-on bags.
As with all things, technology moves on. Mirrorless cameras are well and truly mainstream now. This enables many clever things, such as electronic shutters, but it also enables the body to be smaller and lighter because it no longer needs to house the reflex mirror and the pentaprism. Of course, if the sensor is the same size as the one in your Nikons, the lenses will all be the same size and weight as you cannot get round the laws of physics!
If you wish to reduce the size of the kit, you need to reduce the size of the sensor, so that the lenses can get smaller as well. Enter, Stage Left, the Olympus OMD system. Using a Micro 4/3 sensor, this system offers the speed and handling of a professional DSLR system at much less weight and bulk. Of course, there are trade offs to be had – everything in life is a compromise. This post is not the right place to get into what the trade-offs are, but they are all workable for me. In return I get the benefit of a smaller, lighter system that is as responsive and tough as I could wish for.
Currently I have the outstanding Olympus OMD EM1X bodies. Not the smallest Olympus bodies, but for me, the best combination of size and ability that there is. Combined with the M-Zuiko Pro lenses from the Olympus line and you have a weatherproof, high speed system that cannot be beaten except in a few specialist circumstances that do not concern me the vast majority of the time.
If you travel a lot for your photography, and we hope that you will be coming to see us on a photo tour in New Zealand, the Olympus OMD system is well worth considering. Contact me today to begin planning your New Zealand photo tour.