If you spend any sort of time around me, you’ll know I love photography. In fact, anyone in my immediate proximity is pretty much a sitting victim for my camera, no matter what you happen to be doing. I love photographing my cats or old ruined buildings or taking up the challenge of capturing the ordinary moments because those seem to be the times we’re more likely to forget.
That’s what I love about photography. Here’s what I don’t love:
- My camera weighs around 1.5 kilograms, even with my smaller lens attached;
- Camera bags are a) ugly, b) often not easy to access, and, c) pretty much only have room for a camera and lenses;
- It’s far too heavy to hang around my neck;
- It’s far too precious to trust it to a strap slung over my shoulder (paranoia and I are BFFs);
- It is incredibly unsubtle. There’s no way you could miss the fact that I’m taking an Important Photo with a Serious Camera.
All of this tends to keep me from bringing my camera with me everywhere, which means I’m failing to practise and improve my skills. So here’s what I decided to do about it…
Yes, right after I wrote my post about not spending money, I went and spent money on a new camera.
On the right is my old camera; on the left is my new baby one. There’s a little bit of a difference, as I’m sure you can see. My new camera is an Olympus OM-D E-M5 – a micro four thirds camera. It weighs a little more than you think it would, given its size, but it’s still nothing compared to the 60D. But look at it. It’s so tiny! When I put it in my bag, it’s almost possible to lose it in a forgotten corner.
Because, yes, it’s possible to put it in whatever bag I happen to be using without worrying about space or ending up with one shoulder permanently lower than the other.
Is is any good? you may be asking. And I thank you for doing so if, in fact, you did. It is any good. The first thing I generally notice about any camera is the shutter sound and it has a rather splendid shutter sound. Does this affect anything other than my ears and their enjoyment of the sound? Probably not, but it makes me happy.
The best thing about the E-M5 is that the sensor is just a bit smaller than the one in my old camera, which means image quality is splendid and this makes me very happy indeed. The manual focus assist is brilliant and Olympus’s incredible stabilising system means I can use shutter speeds I wouldn’t touch without a tripod on the 60D.
But the menu structure… Well, I’d heard things about it but you can’t appreciate just how convoluted it is until you’re lost in the middle of it, desperately trying to remember what you were looking for in the first place. In the first few days of using the camera, you would have been able to spot me flicking through all the menu options, muttering: “But I saw it here just before!” as I tried to find the good old metaphorical pin in Olympus’s epic haystack.
These are all just words, however. And as much as I love words, the true test of any camera is the sort of photos it takes with you in control. Luckily, I just so happened to be heading off to visit the parents in Beechworth the weekend after I picked up my new baby camera, thus providing myself with many opportunities of a photographic nature. Here are some of the snaps I took.
(Click on an image to enlarge it and to browse through the gallery.)
Honestly, the only limitations I experienced were all to do with the lens. Thankfully I can fix that by purchasing a new one at some unspecified future date. In the meantime, I’m pretty excited by how it performs and I can definitely see myself popping this little camera in my bag and photographing whichever
unfortunate victims friends I happen to be seeing on any given day.
What do you think? Would you be tempted to try this serious little camera, too?