Going Small – Part 1

March 27th, 2012

I don’t usually write about equipment but I have spent a lot of time lately comparing camera specs and reading camera reviews and a friend suggested that I share my adventure.

It all started a few months ago. I came upon a review of a new Sony mirrorless camera called the NEX 7. The reviewer raved about the image quality. Even compared it favorably to the Leica M9 (with the right lens) in spite of the smaller sensor. My interest was peaked.

Don’t get me wrong I love my Canon 5D mark 2 but I get very tired of toting it around. There’s something that’s just not that much fun about a heavy camera. I have been using it in spite of its weight because it does mostly what I want it to do and delivers an image that I can blow up to 20×30 – no problem. Until recently smaller cameras were mostly of the point and shoot variety and brought so many frustrations that my default has been the trusty – if heavy – Mark 2.

So the notion of a camera a third the size, with changeable lens, that could shoot like a Leica got my attention. I began to do my research. Just as I was about to order the NEX 7 Fujifilm announced the X-Pro1. More expensive but the specs promised a machine that would blow away full frame cameras.

That slowed me down, but not too much because neither camera was being shipped yet. Problem was there were no reviews of the Fuji. Just specs. So I set about comparing specs, trying to sort out which I cared about and which fell into the meh category.

One night I said to Bob, you know, what I really want is my old Olympus OM-1, only digital. I loved that camera. It was small, light, made wonderful images, and it just fit me. The next day – literally the very next day – Olympus started its teaser ads that led to the announcement in February of the OM-D. OMG. It looked just like my old camera. It was like running into your first boyfriend. I was in love.

But love, as we all know, can only take you so far. There is also the matter of life. I had to know if the new camera in the old body would fit my current needs.

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