Why did I chose my particular camera system for my photographic work and the pathway to it?
Well it’s a long story.
My photographic journey began when I purchased a film SLR, the Olympus OM-1 in 1971.
This was a beautifully crafted camera and a delight to use.
The OM-1 served me well over 30 years eventhough other life matters took priority over my hobby. I still own it and display it for nostalgic purposes.
Then when digital SLRs starting appearing it renewed my interest in photography and I started looking at purchasing a DSLR. Due to Olympus’s reputation and my experience with the OM-1, it was my preferred choice.
Around this time (2003) Olympus had introduced the world's first purely digital SLR format (the Four Thirds System) which was expected to deliver smaller and lighter camera bodies and lens. The Olympus E-1 had arrived with some Super High Grade Zuiko lens which were clearly aimed at the professional market and priced accordingly.
However, shortly after (2004) Olympus announced the forthcoming E-300 camera aimed at the consumer DSLR market. This became my first DSLR and I starting concentrating on landscape photography and developing my photographic/processing skills. I initially had the kit lens but later upgraded to the High Grade Zuiko 11-22mm which was a lovely lens and help improve my landscape photographs immensely. I later upgraded to the E-30 shortly after it was introduced in 2008.
After a few years I started to get interested in bird photography so in 2010 I purchased the HG Zuiko 50-200mm SWD + EC2.0. I had some success with this combo. As I became more dedicated to bird photography I started to lust after the SHG Telephoto Lens but these well out of my price range.
When the E-5 was introduced I procrastinated over whether this was a sufficient upgrade. An aging sensor and AF system was falling behind its competitors as well as doubts around whether Olympus was going to continue the Four Thirds System in favour of the mirrorless system. I thought about another system.
But after reading reviews, reading about other owners experiences/results I took the plunge and purchased the E-5 12months after its release in 2010. I was pleased with the E-5’s handling/performance and results, so all good. Then as my interest in bird photography grew I thought maybe I should try an acquire one of those SHG Zuiko lens to go with it. But the price and lingering doubt about Olympus’s continued support of the 4/3 system kept holding me back.
So I again started to think about acquiring another system for my bird photography but again I procrastinated. So I continued to hone my bird photography skills using the gear I had.
Then in 2013 the Olympus OM-D E-M1 was announced as the successor to the E-5 and “shock/horror” it was a mirrorless camera.
This caused great angst within the Olympus community and much debate.
Some rejected this camera outright and switched brands believing the Olympus4/3 owners had been abandoned, some became dual system owners and others embraced it. But with its continued support of the 4/3 lens via adapter, its smaller size/weight, OM type body design, improved AF and new sensor the E-M1 appealed to me. So I pre- ordered one and after getting used to the EVF, this camera is a joy to use and my bird photography improved significantly.
I then purchased the M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 PRO lens + MC14 when it was introduced in 2014. Whilst shorter in focal length then my 4/3 lens, IMO it handles and performs better. With the numerous firmware updates the camera ‘s functionality/features continues to improve, the m4/3 lens line up continues to expand, and with the forthcoming release of the 300mm f4 PRO I remain pleased with my choice of system.
I maybe a loyal Olympus user, but I don’t think I am a “fanboy”, as I accept there are a lot of good camera systems out there and don’t get involved in brand wars. Its all a matter of opinion/choice as to your preference.
I hope you found the above interesting.