noticed I have thrown my lot fully behind the Micro Four Thirds format. Almost a year on I can safely say I never looked back and nor I anticipate I want to in the future. What happened on the weekend just past, though, was that I was walking along a very nice piece of English countryside and heritage and, as one tends to do in such situations, I looked more or less straight ahead and saw something that made me think. Again. As dangerous as that may be...
So, what did I see to make me break a habit of almost a lifetime?
Well, it wasn't the tree stump pictured above, although it was one of the things to catch my eye on the day. Apologies for not having been fully equipped or in possession of full concentration to do it photographic justice it deserves. Hard thing to do, justice, when you also need to run after a gorgeously hyperactive two year old. But I digress (as is my wont - and habit)...
What I saw was a woman. It wasn't a very remarkable one so no, it wasn't her womanness that attracted my attention. What did attract my intention was a slight stoop I notice in her stature. On second look I was also able to see the cause of said stoop. The poor thing was hauling what looked like a full frame Nikon with a hefty piece of glass at the front, most likely a "tourist zoom" (we passed each other too quickly for full kit recognition). An unbalanced sight if ever I saw one. Well maybe not as unbalanced as what I just linked to, but you get the idea.
Now, absolutely nothing wrong about either the lady or her photographic kit. I am sure both are quite a fine choice if you're into that sort of thing. However, with my experience of using DX format Nikons with some quite superb pieces of glass in front of them, and now with the experience of the Olympus OM-D E5 and Olympus glass of no lesser quality, I can safely say that the lady photographer was pulling much more than her fair share of weight.
Don't get me wrong. I fully believe and understand that full format, huge body, and humongous glass have their place in the menagerie that is the photographic profession. I apply my bold face here with care and caution. The lady I saw wasn't by any stretch of imagination on a professional photo shoot. Not in flip-flops, a tiny handbag, and just the DSLR loosely hanging in her arm which was freely waving about too close to a fairly deep (for a DSLR, that is) - and not very clean - stretch of slowly moving water. Not unlike yours truly, only I took a bit more care of my OM-D with a 14-150mm - and that's with said two year old in tow, too.
Could the lady get home on that lovely Sunday with better shots than yours truly? Undoubtedly. Not least because she seemed not to have any offspring in the nearest vicinity. She also probably had a lens on allowing her to get a bit more out of the surroundings. Not that I am complaining. I knew full well what I was going to get using a relatively slow 14-150/4.0-5.6 lens to try and catch a two year old while at the same time making sure she doesn't end up in a ditch, a bed of roses, or both (not to mention a stroller, and a gorgeous sexy girlfriend partner wife).
But then again, I doubt it (not least for lack of a bouncy two year old to feature in the vast majority of shots). And for that similar result, my poor lady haulier would have ended up with a considerably more sore arm, and possibly would have also hurt herself (or others) with the behemoth knocking around her. This all even with ignoring the amazing conspicuousness of the pitch black block of plastic/magnesium alloy impossible to hide anywhere on her person. Oh, and did I mention her giant probably wasn't even weather proof? I suspect my OM-D stood a much better chance of being fished out of that little river - and lived to tell the tale.
So, apart from having had a really, really great day out in lovely English countryside with the most gorgeously beautiful combination of genes taken from gorgeous sexy girlfriend partner wife and yours truly, I also had a sort of an Epiphany 2.0 (you can read about the 1.0 here, here, here, here, and here): there really is no need for the old style DSLR unless you are into making serious money off it - or unless you want to have sore/sculpted musculature. For an amateur - and even the notorious prosumer - a compact system camera is more than you can reasonably wish for.
No, really (that is, if you choose wisely, and here I'm looking at you, Nikon)!