Monday, July 10, 2017

My New Favorite Camera

 I worked so hard researching for about a year.  Asking people with amazing photos what they were using. I debated- Nikon or Canon?  I researched some more... plotted, saved, and finally made the plunge.  I was ecstatic and read the manual from cover to cover.  I used that Canon Rebel for a couple of years and literally wore the poor thing and it's little kit lens out, learning photography. I purchased an inexpensive 50mm for it, at the recommendation of a professional photographer and loved it because it stretched me and taught me new things about photography.  After a few years of blogging, I was finally ready to upgrade and settled (after more months of review reading and research) on a Canon 7D with a macro lens and a very nice 50mm with amazing glass. I loved it. weighed a ton and my neck and back would ache when we took it out on day trips or hikes.  Enter the age of amazing smartphone (and Samsung galaxy's) gorgeous phone cameras that took high res shots that rivaled those of my big camera.  I found that I could even achieve a nice bokeh and manipulate the settings to some degree.  It was by far lighter and easier to bring along anywhere... so my camera sat in the bag and began to come out less and less. 

I did the occasional photo shoot with my kids and friends, but that was about it.  I felt wasteful and I didn't like that. One day, I saw someone talking about "mirror-less" micro four thirds cameras, the lightweight wonders, and I started thinking about changing my gear.  For another solid year, I read review after review, watched too many videos and chewed on the idea of selling off all my Canon equipment.  I finally jumped, listing it all on Craig's list and waited.  Once it was all sold off, I used the funds to purchase an Olympus Pen-F, and NOW I shall tell you my own little review because I've heard a ton of people in my life say the exact same thing... "I hardly ever use my big camera anymore- even on vacations... it's so heavy!" 
The Olympus Pen-F camera.  (By the way this review is all me, no affiliations, just a product I love to pieces and think many of you will flip over, if you're in the market.)  Just take a moment and soak it's prettiness in with me okay? It looks like it belongs on the shelf with my vintage cameras.  But it's so much more than a pretty face! It's light, all metal and solidly made, and you can spend hours researching reviews from photographers that know gallons more than I do, including technical videos that detail it's capabilities.  But, I do street shooting and shooting for the love of it, and I can tell you what I think from that perspective.  The color.  Oh my!  I always heard that Fuji and Olympus left Nikon and Canon in the dirt when it came to color. I'm quickly seeing why. I've included a few shots from my first official weekend with this little camera, and no edits other than watermarking and resizing for this blog, were done. 
So my favorite things- there are so many, that I'll choose just a few to share.  There is a WiFi capability.  What I mean is that, I snap a photo and if I want to Instagram it or text it to someone, I tap the app on my phone, and the word "WiFi" on my camera screen, and it transfers in seconds.  It has a flip screen that allows you to take a selfie, or recordings while seeing the screen. I used this while trying to snap a photo in my last post, where I was holding the little shell ring-dish,(above) but wanted to photograph it.  It also has gorgeous movie-like recording ability- I took a video of us driving through the mountains this weekend, with music on the radio and it looked and sounded straight out of a movie. (I'm not sharing it because I deleted it on accident. Hey, I said I'd only had it a week and I'm still learning what buttons to press. Ha!) It has built in art filters (which I'll probably never use).  It has a digital viewfinder which I've never used before and that took some adjusting, but now I actually really like it.  I also like the auto feature that senses when your eye is in the viewfinder, vs. using the flip screen to take your photos.  When your eye hits the viewfinder sensor, the screen flips off, and vice-versa.  Super handy and high tech.

On a technical side, I've decided that I want the soft-shutter button that screws in just like the vintage models, and It was about $6 item, which I've ordered and am waiting excitedly for. (I know. A $6 camera button makes me giddy.)  I may also have taken my manual to Office Max and had it spiral bound.  I totally and unashamedly geeked out over this thing.
I also ordered the leather camera strap from "b.still," on Amazon.  I big time heart it. I've snapped a few portraits and they were candid but again, the color... beautiful. I zoomed way in on Joe's eyes before I resized it for you here, and I could see myself.  He has such beautiful green-gray eyes. I love how the camera seeks out eyes for it's focus points.  I'm using a lens that is the equivalent of a 35mm and I really like it.  It's a prime lens, and I'd love a little pancake lens or a big zoom eventually but they aren't inexpensive so I'll need to budget and plan!  (This image of Joe, for those who like the details; Shot in A Mode 1/50s f 2.8 500ISO)
 The colors are going to keep blowing me away.  The site we were standing at was just this beautiful and I figured there was no way it would translate, but it did.  (This image shot in A Mode 1/800s f7.1 500ISO)

 I am loving what this camera does with light.  I snapped this without even thinking about focus points and such, and it perfectly captured the morning light that was filtering across our breakfast table. (This image shot in A Mode; 1/400 f2.8 500ISO)
 I don't have a macro lens so I can't get quite as close as I'd often like with this lens, but really pleased with the camera's capabilities in spite of my lens capabilities. (This image 1/60 f4.0 500ISO)
(This image taken as the sun was sinking, 320/s f4.5 500ISO)

So.  All in all, I'm going to drive you and everyone crazy now with photos until the new wears off... and I hope it never does!! 



  1. That is a neat find!! Very beautiful color. How does it do for speed? I'm a beginner, but I did have a nikon years ago that was so great at capturing a tiny flicker of movement,then it was ready for the next shot in way less than a second. My current nikon is not great like that. This sounds like a fabulous camera!

  2. They're really stunning photos. Good job and happy for you! And your son has great eyes and skin - unusual for a teenager. Lucky kid.

  3. You should really start your own stock photo line. I'd buy all the fruit and veggie shots for my one of my blogs.

  4. You should really start your own stock photo line. I'd buy all the fruit and veggie shots for my one of my blogs.

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