Back to Micro Four-Thirds


This year I decided to focus more on film photography as a means to better focus on the process of making a photograph. It’s a means for me to slow down and be part of the moment that’s being captured and not just firing off shot after shot without ever fully connecting to my subject. Still, there’s a reason we’re all shooting digital and there’s but a handful of places that develop film – so it came time to weigh some options.

Back in late February, I found myself really in a bind – my GX85 had officially died and I was sitting on some really good, really new lenses that would be hard to replace with FujiFilm equivalent gear. Also, add to the mix the fact that my X-Pro1 doesn’t allow for any external mic to be added and my dilemma just worsened. While I don’t shoot video often, I realized that most of my video reviews were shot primarily with my GX85. Faced with the option of either selling my Micro Four-Thirds (MFT) gear, biting the bullet and trying to find a suitable option in Fuji’s X-Mount lineup; I realized I wasn’t ready to jump the MFT ship just yet.

Going Back to Micro Four-Thirds

Enter the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II – the mid-tier option in Olympus’ OM-D camera line up. While in March 2018, the E-M5 II is a little long in the tooth, the truth of the matter is that it still is an amazing camera if you’re doing any kind of travel photography or professional work.

The Olympus E-M5 II is one of my favorite MFT cameras available due to its size and output performance. While it doesn’t boast as many megapixels as its younger counterpart, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, I found that the E-M5 II is more than capable of a wide range of applications.

Video on the E-M5 II

The E-M5 II may not have the wealth of video options that a camera like Panasonic’s GH4/GH5(s) might have, but it isn’t a slouch either. If you’re looking for a simple set up with the option to pipe audio through an external mic, the E-M5 II is a great option.

Outside of the occasional run-and-gun video clip, I found myself not using many of the camera’s video capabilities. In an attempt to figure out a streaming solution for a local church though, I found that the E-M5 II does provide a “clean” HDMI-out signal so you could in theory set the camera up for live streaming.

Sample Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


As illustrated above, the E-M5 II is comfortable in just about any situation you can put it in. From event photography, product shots, and as a street shooter, the E-M5 II is adaptable and when paired with Olympus’ Pro lineup of lenses, it’s hard to find a camera that can deliver more bang for your buck.

Everyone is making great cameras… What now?



The Whole Family is here

At this very moment if you walked into the nearest camera specialty store and walked around the latest gear for you to try, chances are you couldn’t walk a few feet without running into a really good camera. Whether it’s a Samsung NX3000, Olympus’s E-PL7, Canon’s T3i, or various other interchangeable lens camera systems, chances are that you’ll be able to produce quality images at a relatively inexpensive price-points.

So where does this leave us? Well, the old arguments about which camera system makes the best photographs are now by and large just a matter of personal preference and/or justification of spending lots, and lots, and lots of money in the gear you’ve chosen to buy into. Make no mistake, photography remains an expensive profession and even more expensive hobby once you get to a certain point but when you’re starting out there’s almost no wrong choice.

Getting started – Why there’s nothing wrong with the “kit lens”

You’ve done your homework and now you’re ready to make a big purchase – your first interchangeable lens camera. Whether you go DSLR (I’ll be explaining in another post why you shouldn’t) or one of the mirror-less cameras, if you base your purchasing decision solely on the opinions of Internet forums and your “almost pro” friends you’ll often hear that you shouldn’t buy the camera bundled with a cheap lens. They’ll often point you to a camera body and make a suggestion as to which “prime” lens to buy, but the truth is that even the kit lenses that many manufacturers have greatly improved the quality of their kit offerings.

Carnival in Brooklyn

and Q Standard Zoom 02 Lens (kit lens for Q system cameras)

Make no mistake, a prime lens will give you better image quality than you’re typical kit lens, but if you’re just getting started the average kit lens on the market will be able to handle most situations. The kit will provide you with the flexibility of a zoom and the added benefit of knowing that you didn’t spend the additional money on a “good lens” in the event you have second thoughts.

Breaking the bank: buying the best body or splurging on a lens

Online debates often revolve around the latest and greatest camera bodies manufacturers can offer. Whether it’s the flagship Canon 5D Mark II, Samsung NX30, or Olympus OM-D E-M1, a flagship camera is almost certain to cost you a pretty penny. Often times a flagship camera body is usually sold as a body-only meaning you’ll be dropping even more coin on  picking up a necessary lens. It’s a costly endeavor for sure but does it have to be? Not really. 

Circle of Fire

If you’re gonna splurge; I definitely recommend you do so on a great lens.

Unless you’re a high-level enthusiasts or working professional, chances are that you will not be using all the features of a flagship camera. If you’re just getting started in the world of photography, consider picking up an entry-to-mid-level camera body and use the balance of your flagship budget on picking up an additional lens or two. If you choose to go this route you can easily pick up a great, fast prime lens that will serve you for a variety of uses. Best of all, learning to shoot with a prime lens will help you make the most out of an included kit lens or other zoom lens should you choose to pick one up at a later time. So before you’re swayed by all the bells and whistles of a flagship camera, find capable middle of the road camera body and consider getting the best lens your budget affords. 

Finding your a camera that fits your style

Now that the secret is out and there’s no such thing as a bad camera these days, where does that leave you? Well if this generation of gear is indicative of what the future of photography may bring, then we’re all in for a great time. For seasoned pros or experienced hobbyists, great cameras will make it easier for them to create the images that they see in their mind’s eye. They’ll be able to capture the decisive moment with even more accuracy, capture landscapes with an even higher level of sharpness and clarity. For those who have recently caught the bug or may be just starting out, the improved processes in camera manufacturing and wide availability means that it’s even easier to get started. Though the learning curve may still be there, there’s never been a better time to find a camera that offers plenty of control to the photographer while still being technologically advanced enough to guide them as needed. 

It’s a truly great time for photographers of all stripes; who knows maybe some day soon we’ll no longer be as concerned with what we’re shooting with and what we shoot.