The Olympus Purge
I own two Olympus cameras, a E-P2 and a E-PL2. They are both great cameras and they got me hooked on Micro 4/3 cameras. Yet, recently I have found them lacking for what I have been wanting to do. I bought the E-PL2 because I wanted a the smaller body and a flash because I wanted it to replace my smaller point and shoot Canon 1400IS that has served me well but only shoots in jpeg and it’s a point and shoot so its limited in other functions. The E-P2 is a fantastic camera and I have used it extensively for street work but again, I felt limited by it. Both the Olympus cameras struggle in low light regardless of how fast the lens is. You need to bump the ISO to 1600 to get decent results but then noise becomes a huge issue when you are in post. No amount of cleaning up removes the noise from the images.
In addition to my two Olympus’s cameras I have two Panasonic G3‘s which are fantastic cameras and I use them extensively for shooting, they aren’t what you call a pocket camera. I need to use a camera strap on them and they have a built-in viewfinder as well which adds to their width. So doing some research and seeing that great images that Spike at Pattaya Days is producing with his Panasonic GX1 I have pulled the trigger on purchasing a GX1. It has the same 16mp sensor as the G3 which is a low light performer. It also has a smaller body size and a optional EVF. In addition it has a built-in flash that you can flip up to bounce instead of direct flash. I found one on sale for $399 and I found the LVF2 EVF for $149. Since both Olympus and Panasonic Micro 4/3 systems use the same mount no worries about the lenses.
I will admit I was hesitant to do this. I thought about it for about a week. One of the things that I have grown fond of is the Olympus IBIS (in body image stabilization). It’s handy when you are shooting with longer lenses or adapted lenses. Reality is, I rarely shoot with anything larger than a 45mm and I have been lazy on adapted lenses, I mainly use my Yashica 55mm ML Macro lense more than anything else. The whole reason I kept trying to convince myself to keep the Olympus was gone when I realized I didn’t use IBIS in my Canon 5DMK2 which I use for more serious work and the Panasonic’s I use to supplement the Canon.
So the Olympus purge has begun. I am putting all my Olympus cameras up for sale along with spare batteries, charges, and a sweet VF-2 viewfinder. Will I miss them? I’m sure a sense of nostalgia will kick in but I seriously doubt I will miss them for shooting. The GX1 is what I want in a “pocket” or street camera. Small enough to be carried without having having to rely on a camera strap and could in theory fit into my cargo shorts pocket if I am out on travel. If not, easily fit in a coat pocket.
Now I am no longer an Olympus owner. If someone wants to buy me a OM-D I’ll gladly jump back on the bandwagon!