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I still have too many cameras. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to make any room in my gear closet. I get rid of one camera and I swear two more take its place. So with all these cameras laying around in my studio, why do I keep grabbing the micro 4/3-based Olympus E-P3?
Before I tell you why – I’ll tell you why not. It’s not because Olympus sponsors me – they don’t, and never have. It’s not because Olympus is an advertiser on this or any other project I am involved with – they are not and never have been. It’s not because they gave me the E-P3. They didn’t. I bought it from my friend Joel at Adorama with my own hard-earned cash. So now that you know why not – here’s why.
The E-P3 is the size of an old-fashioned rangefinder. It’s small, lightweight and easy to carry. It’s NOT a compact camera. It’s larger than almost any point-and-shoot, but it’s smaller than almost any DSLR. It doesn’t weigh me down like my DLSRs. It’s also less conspicuous. When I’m using the D3s or the 1D MK IV with a 70-200 lens, I get lots of people looking at my camera. They sometimes interrupt me with questions or just want to make small talk as gear heads are inclined to do. I understand that and if I’m just hanging around, I don’t mind. But since most of the time I have a camera in my hand I am working, it can be bothersome. When I use the micro 4/3 cameras, hardly anyone seems to notice.
If you carry a bunch of camera gear everywhere you go as I have for literally decades, then at some point in time, your tired old bones begin to creak. As I get older, I appreciate more and more anything that is light weight. It’s just plain easier to carry, transport and use a light camera than a heavy camera. The micro 4/3 cameras are quite a bit lighter than their DSLR counterparts as are the micro 4/3 lenses. While image quality is important, if you’re too tired to carry or hold or operate the big heavy cameras, what good is all that extra image quality?
There are disadvantages to using a micro 4/3 camera system over a DSLR. For instance, the micro 4/3 cameras don’t perform as well in low – light and have smaller sensors. They are also not necessarily any cheaper than DSLRs even though they are smaller. But not every photograph requires a camera with good low-light sensitivity. And while micro 4/3 cameras won’t be producing too many billboard-sized photos, they have large enough sensors and back-end processing is good enough that standard 13×19″ enlargements (and even larger) look great. I’ve made and sold several images already that came from the Olympus PEN cameras. If the clients like it – I like it.
The micro 4/3 system isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for something that offers interchangeable lenses, in a small, lightweight design, check out a micro 4/3 camera.
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