Today’s Rant by Joe Farace
I’ve been passionate about photography since I was eight years old when my patents gave me one of their old Kodak box cameras. That passion is one of the reasons that I created this and my other photography website/blog. A little over a year ago, what I thought was an undying obsession was sorely tested while working on a project requiring me to shoot my full-frame and APS-C DSLRs along with a bunch of lenses.
When I went to the UPS Store to ship all of these lenses back to the manufacturer, I felt a sigh of relief as if a burden was lifted from me. And to me, especially these days, it was a burden. The three lenses along with shipping box and brown crunchy paper packing material weighed 25 pounds. Yes Virginia, I don’t get to keep all of the gear that’s loaned to me by cameras manufacturers although I suspect that’s not true of other so-called bloggers.
While working on this project I engaged in all kinds of shoots from car photography, studio portraiture, outdoor portraits, documentary photography and low light imagery. These are all genres that I enjoy but as the month progressed I dreaded each additional shoot. Why? For these old bones, the gear was unbearably heavy and awkward to use. From time to time during these shoots, I also used my Olympus and Panasonic gear for some personal photography and the comparison sometimes made me want to weep, with joy it seems. I think the above photo, courtesy of Camera Size Comparison, of my Panasonic Lumix GH4 and Canon EOS 5D Mark I, tells part of the story. Hint: The EOS 5D weighs 59% more than Lumix GH4.
How I made this shot: I photographed this impressive BMW i8 at Cars & Coffee at the Vehicle Vault in Parker, Colorado using the mirrorless Canon EOS M6 Mark II that I have on extended loan. You can read my Shutterbug review of this impressive and impressively small camera here. Lens was the unimpressive EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM at 15mm with a Av mode exposure of 1/400 sec at f/9 and ISO 320.
This is not to say that my choice of Olympus and Panasonic cameras from the Micro Four-thirds system is perfect. I’ve written about before of some of the problems that I’ve experienced with the GH4 that have still not been fully resolved, although I was given a replacement, refurb camera. As of now, I am planning to get rid of my original GH4 (I returned the refurb) but while we in Colorado have moved to Phase 2 with some loosening of stay-at-home restrictions, I haven’t decided exactly what to do about it. Mainly because I can’t afford it right now. While I own a bunch of mirrorless bodies and some lenses, my system lacks the depth of focal lengths that I would like to have but can’t afford because for some reason Micro Four-thirds lenses seem priced high, especially when compared to some of my DSLR lenses.
I lust for the $797.99 Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens and some others. And the image quality of even some of the high-end Micro Four-thirds cameras, including the Lumix GH4 that I use for portraiture, have noise in the shadows that would have many pixel peepers running for their 4.7-lb 100-megapixel $32,995 Hasselblad H6D-100c’s. Me? I’ll just remove noise with the Dfine plug-in from the RAW files and enjoy the experience of shooting the photographs.
Lots of people, including my wife, are happy as can be shooting their DSLRs and I am genuinely glad they’re happy and would not dream of changing their enthusiasm for their gear. Because that’s what photography is all about —excitement. It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you prefer to use—DSLR, APS-C, mirrorless or even film—what matters is that you are having fun.
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