When Equipment Inspires
By Jamie A. MacDonald
What a sunrise! It would have been nice to have my camera with me!
I had such a great time! I wish I had brought my camera though.
I wanted to bring my gear, but it is too heavy and it takes up too much space.
Sound familiar? It used to be something I found myself saying a lot back before mirrorless cameras replaced my dSLR gear. But things sure have changed, and for those curious about what those changes have brought I am here to talk about what saying goodbye to dSLRs has meant for me.
It’s this point in my writing where I would place a photo of a dSLR next to my Olympus OM-D E-M5 MKII to give you a size comparison, but I don’t have a dSLR anymore. I made the move into a 100% mirrorless camera system back in 2012 when the original OM-D E-M5 came out. What happened when I made that move was pretty much a renaissance in my photography.
Up until 2012 I would seriously agonize over what gear to bring when I went out shooting the countryside of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula where I live. If I was going to be out hiking, or even driving the rural back roads I didn’t want to bring my big bag of gear everywhere because it was just that…A BIG bag of gear. Two dSLR bodies, an 8mm fisheye, 12-60mm f/2.8, a 50-200mm f/2.8, 70-300mm, and 50mm macro quite literally weighed 14 lbs.
My new OM-D kit? HALF THAT! And smaller to boot!
With a lighter and smaller kit that is even MORE capable than my old dSLR kit was, I have been inspired to shoot almost every day. It is easy to take advantage of my daily commute and shoot when the gear is so manageable. My daily commute consists of a drive on a country highway in Michigan where the landscape and wildlife are always ready to be photographed. My typical gear list for commuting is a two lens setup that covers both landscapes, and wildlife.
The body I have been carrying as of late is the newest member of the Olympus OM-D family, the OM-D E-M5 MKII. I have chosen this body because it has all the features I need, plus it is weather sealed. In Michigan, weather sealing is a good thing.
The first lens covers the wide end of things and happens to be Olympus’ newest lens, the mZuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO. This is my go to lens for landscape photography. It is ultra wide at the 7mm end and is optically corrected to remove most of the distortion you’d find in a lens of this width. Another benefit of this lens is its weather sealing. When mated to the OM-D E-M5 MKII it makes for a 100% weather sealed system.
The second lens in my typical day bag is the mZuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO. I also always have the mZuiko MC-14 1.4x teleconverter attached to the lens so I can get more reach, all the way out to 210mm. This is ideal for capturing wildlife of all sizes, and like the 7-14mm mentioned above it makes for a completely weather sealed setup.
Now that I always have a camera with me, I almost never have to end the day wishing I’d shot that photo. I can’t remember the last time I went home saddened that I’d missed a great photo opportunity. Now ask yourself, “Have I missed any photos because my gear is inconvenient to bring with me?” If you said yes I think the Olympus OM-D line of cameras may be the solution you are looking for. Whether it becomes a second camera system, or a replacement for all your gear as it was for me, there will always be room for it in your bag.
The images below were all taken on my commute to and from work and all shot with the Olympus OM-D line of cameras.
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