switching Part one

18th August 2019
Written by: Karl Robertson

Why I’m switching from full frame to micro four thirds. Why I’m switching to Olympus.

When I first started on cruise ships, I wasn’t a fan of Nikon, but boy did that change. As part of our contract we had to buy two shiny new Nikon FM2n, and from that point onward I was in love with Nikon.

Eventually I had 5! And not only that I had all the best glass I could get my hands on. Of course back then I didn’t have kids, so I had money to burn!

Eventually I had an F100. I could have gone for the heavier F5, but I chose the lighter, faster camera. Guess what folks, there’s a theme developing here.

After Cruise Ships I became a Venture franchisee where we worked with the excellent Contax 645 with a very early (tethered) digital back. The Phase One H10. This is a truly great camera with probably the best glass I’ve ever used, but it’s not easy to transport. A kit with the digital back and 4 lense is pretty much 10kg and an armoured flight case. You’re not so much going on a photo shoot but preparing for a small war with a rogue state!

When freelancing I dropped back with Nikon. Shooting weddings and commercial work with the very capable D200 and D300 cameras, eventually being drawn from the APS-C sensor to the D800 full frame beast.

Don’t get me wrong folks, this is truly a great camera, but once you add pro glass it becomes pig heavy. Sadly, I’m not as young as I once was, and what I’ve found out, apart from how badly years of photography has damaged my back, is that carrying and shooting with these full frame monsters does nothing to relieve that damage. Somewhat the opposite!

Then I met this little fella. The OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II and saw the light. Or lightness.

Firstly I blown away by the build quality, then the optics, then the 5 stop stabilization, then the image quality and then finally I was blown away by the weight. Even with the pro glass, it’s a third the weight of what I would normally be carrying! A third!

Next Week.. I’ll go into more details about why I’m swapping to Olympus and why.

Cardiff Bus in the rain
Olympus EM1 MK1 + 12-40 f2.8 Pro lens
This is why I love Olympus and M43. It's why I can't go back, despite the new Nikon Z6 being one of the best cameras ever made. I just dig light.
Black and white fun

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