Thoughts on Switching (or Updating) Camera Systems

by | Sep 2, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

In January, I wrote a post for my photography how-to blog entitled called “Don’t Go Broke Buying Equipment.” Check it out when you have the time.

The introduction of any new camera always generates lots of questions about switching systems because some people always want to have “what’s best” even if that’s a moving target. That particular post generated lots of e-mail from readers about whether or not I would be purchasing a Olympus E-M1X I like the one that I shot at Daytona International Speedway and, although I currently own four Olympus Micro Four-thirds cameras and while I really, really liked that camera, my answer is a reservedly “no,” explained in the second point that I make below. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

If you’re using the same system as your dream camera, it’ll just be an upgrade so if you can afford it (an often overlooked but important consideration) then you should get one. If the dream camera is from another manufacturer, I’d like to offer my personal reasons for not switching systems; It’s something to consider before melting that gold card in an orgy of camera and lens purchasing.

How I made that photo: I photographed this motocrosser while be was practicing in the rain. Oh, yeah, I got seriously we and so did the weatherproof camera—  an Olympus E-1MX. Lens was a M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 lens used with a MC-14 teleconverter. Exposure was 1/250 sec at f/4.5 and ISO 400.

I already know how to use the system that I own. I’ve tested and reviewed lots of different cameras for Shutterbug, this blog and my main blog and no camera or lens company camera controls and menus do the same thing in the same way, even within their own system! The on-off switch in all my Olympus cameras is on a different place on each body! Switching to a different camera system means that I’d have to remember that the lens mounts counterclockwise not clockwise and the control for exposure compensation and everything else is someplace other than what I’m expecting. Maybe I’m just too lazy to learn something new but am not afraid to admit it

I can’t afford it. Right now, I own two DSLRs and too many mirrorless cameras and a lots of lenses. I’m not really sure how many lenses that I actually own, although I have been selling some that never gets used. I could trade everything for new Brand X gear and get 10 cents on a dollar or put them on eBay and deal with all that craziness. Been there done that. But then I bought three new (used) lenses this year too.

Most importantly, changing systems won’t make a difference in the kind of photographs I make. Some photographers work in highly specialized situations and need exotic gear to accomplish their goals, as well as getting paid to do it. I’m not one of them.

Keep this in mind: If a new camera from another manufacturer than the gear you currently use makes your life easier, helps you make more money and you can afford to make the transition go for it. Think about for instance the decision some photographers have made to move from full-frame Nikon and Canons to Fuji’s GFX medium format system. That’s a reason and wish I could do it! I recently watched two guys go through the process of switching to DSLR systems and frankly, Scarlett, it scared the hell out of me mainly because I’m such a cheapskate and can’t imagine throwing that kind of money away. But both of the guys are serious pros who make a living with their gear.

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