Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Gear We Choose

What gear we use and why? What a great time to be a photographer with so much great equipment being available. I started my photographic journey in the digital age. First playing with Canon equipment, as discussed in the previous blog. Then moving on to Nikon for 5 years, to Fuji, to currently Olympus and Sony.

The Canons were used for an employer. I just never cared for how Canon felt in my hands. The gear always feels cheap to me. Can't say why,just does. So I never went to Canon for my own work. However, love their printers.

Then owned two Nikon D300 bodies. Finally traded those in after five years of heavy use. Each body had over 500k of shutter actuations. Great gear, great imaging. Used them for all my pro work. At this time mirrorless was just coming into its own. So I started looking to replace the Nikon gear with something smaller and lighter.

Fuji walked into my life as an X-Pro1 with several Fuji lenses. It was a love/hate relationship for about a year and a half. Loved the image results, hated some of the quirks of the camera. The JPEGS were stunning the RAW not so good out of Lightroom. There were to many compromises for me to use the gear with a high degree of confidence on a regular schedule. So out it went to be replaced by an Olympus OMD EM-1.

The Olympus OMD EM-1 is now my go to camera. I also have the 14-40mm 2.8, 40-150mm 2.8 and 17mm 1.7 glass. There are many good reviews out there on the web about this camera and these lenses. Agree with them all. I photograph a lot of sport with this gear and also shoot a lot of work with studio lights. It all looks good both in JPEG and RAW. The gear has not failed me and just works. I do not have to think about it. But even this small mirrorless wonder is to big for some of my work so into my toolbox comes the Sony RX100III.

I wanted something even smaller to be a general carry around type camera. So I was able to get a good deal through Amazon on a Sony RX100III. This I use for family events. Out and about town. And even some of my landscape stuff. It is just a really good little camera. Image quality is right up there with my EM-1. The video is great and its not even the 4K stuff everyone now desires. Its still new in my arsenal so I am still learning what it can do. It normally takes me about 6 to 9 months before I am fully comfortable with a new camera system.

In all of this journey through camera gear, never once was image quality an issue. Everyone of these cameras produced great pictures for me, my clients and for competition. It was never about the gear. But which system provided to me the best tools to accomplished what was needed at the time. None of it failed. All the equipment was made very well and reliable from each manufacturer. It is my belief that there is no longer crappy gear made. Everything out there in your local camera store is good, reliable and produces great pictures. The competition is to tough out there to make anything but the best. The buying public would weed these companies out quickly.

So how do you choose your gear? I would like to know. For me, it begins with what works between my fingers, eyes and brain. It has to click when I hold the camera up to my eye. How the dials, menu and view finder work when I need to access something or make an adjustment. Beyond that, what can I afford?

Once I settle into new camera gear. I tend to use it for a long time. The yearly upgrade path is not part of my program. So the equipment gets a good workout.. You will not see a lot of new gears reviews here. After all in the end its not about the gear. "Its About the Picture"! Take care and safe travels.