THE CAMERA I DIDN’T BUY – AND THE ONES I’VE ALREADY GOT

I got an “on sale” notice from Adorama about the Olympus OMD M1 Mark II, down from $1300 to $900. I know from long experience that if Adorama has it on sale, so does everyone else. That’s because the Mark III is out, though as far as I can tell, there’s no significant difference between the II and the III. But I wanted it. I lusted for it. I yearned. I even put it in my basket both on Adorama and on Amazon. Then, I took it out of my basket and consoled myself with a nice goat leather case.

Camera lust. It’s a thing. It’s accompanied by an endless passion for camera bags, lenses, filters, even camera straps. Not to mention spare batteries and chargers. I’m not sure anyone can help themselves.

Not all that long ago, I finally got the camera I’ve always wanted, the Olympus Pen F and I love it as much as I knew I would. I don’t really need another camera. I have three great cameras, each fitted with a lens that does a particular job, My M5 Mark II has the 100-300 birding lens on it and I don’t change it since there are always birds and squirrels out there. The M5 Mark I has a 30mm 1.4 Sigma lens on it which is very good for general shooting and flowers. Not bad for portraits and shoots in very low light.

The Pen F has a 12-200 lens on it. That’s as “all purpose” a lens as I’ve heard of that isn’t part of a superzoom — and it’s an f3.3 — a lot faster than the longer lenses. It shoots wide and long and everything in the middle. It’s a very hefty lens. I have a Panasonic all-in-one camera that has a 24 to 750mm. My problem with the camera is I don’t have a clue how it works. I downloaded the “manual,” but it doesn’t explain anything. It takes brilliant pictures … when I can get it to work. I’ve finally just set it to automatic because the menu means absolutely nothing to me.

Then there are the cameras I don’t use. I say it’s because we haven’t gone anywhere, but really, it’s because I’ve moved on and I’m using something else. I gave my best one to my granddaughter. She told me she was going to give it back, but then, after a while, she discovered what I already knew: that’s one great camera. It’s not compact, but it has a fantastic lens and it’s fast. And while it’s big, it isn’t heavy. It’s the best all-purpose camera I’ve ever used and I miss it, but my granddaughter is happy. What can a grandmother do? You have to make the kids happy, right?

I’m betting that the OMD M1 Mark II is going to go down by another $100 soon and maybe I’ll be able to buy it then. But not today.



Categories: black & white photography, Cameras, Gallery, lenses, Photography

Tags: , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. Is that Panasonic cam, you’re having trouble with, the ZS40 I gave you? If so, It does take great images and the menu, though not as comprehensive as your other cameras, is pretty simple. Access the menu “Record” part and some of the functions will become more familiar. I don’t know about you but digital cameras are really recording devices. While this was also true in the “film days” we just didn’t think of them that way. Back then you took a photo/picture, today we are actually recording an image. I know, I too, struggled with the menu, and like you, resorted to “Auto” mode. Of course that strategy fell hard when I wanted to do something different like indoors, in low light. I did keep the ZS50, which does not have as good a resolution as the 40 but the operation is the same, and despite all, still manages to take a pretty good image, but I had to re-read the manual to understand it. Lumix dmc-zs40_en_om

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    • No, this is the UPGRADE to that camera, the ZS 80 which has a Leica 24mm to 750mm. It takes amazing pictures, when I can figure out how to get it to work. I downloaded the so-called manual, but it doesn’t explain what all these function really DO, so it’s pretty hard to set them when you don’t even know what the function is supposed to achieve. It actually takes pictures as good as any of the Olympus cameras I’ve got … except for the minor problem of not having a clue how to set it up. Even in iAuto, it takes amazingly sharp pictures. For birds, it’s not as good as either of the two long lenses I have (I have both the Olympus 75-300 AND the Panasonic/Leica 100-300 AND I have the Olympus 12-200. In order of how well they work for what I mostly shoot, the Panny 100-300 is the one which finds the birds and not the bush, with the Olympus 75-300 next. The 12-200 is a great “go anywhere lens” and I have it on the Pen F. But I don’t always WANT to haul a big camera and it isn’t just the weight. It’s also the responsibility of having to look after the camera. The ZS 80 tucks into my purse. It’s small enough to do that, though it’s a very heavy little camera. A mini-brick.

      I’ve had the ZS 80 for more than a year now and I am embarrassed at how difficult I’m finding it to use. I wish we had a real camera store nearby and could get someone who could actually show me what I need to know.

      I got this one because it has an absolutely amazing lens and compared to most super zooms, it’s pretty fast at f 3.3 to f 6.4. It’s also got a LOT of buttons and I’m sure they do something if only I knew what. I’m afraid to press anything or turn anything or change anything because each time I change a setting, suddenly, it take 22 pictures in various formats or will only shoot after a 10 second delay, or is using some other weird version of shooting. It does everything, I understand and maybe it does, but it’s truly madness. All I wanted was the longer lens!

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  2. I have an EM1 mk II. It replaced my original M5 (I still have it, but don’t use it often). Great camera, and I hope it is a very long time before camera lust gets the better of me forcing me to upgrade again 😉

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    • I REALLY wanted it. I have an M5 Mark 1 that could use replacement, but since I recently got the Pen F, it’s hard to justify. Besides, I’m hoping the price goes down a bit more. All the used ones I’ve seen have been pretty heavily used. But that may change as everyone decides to upgrade. Again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • A new camera was very hard for me to justify, but I am glad I did it. I did really like the M5, but had old Oly lenses from the original four-thirds, and supposedly the M1 mk ii was supposed to be the first of the line that did a great job with the old lenses. Nope, still awful. But I love the camera otherwise. I’ll most likely get a mk IV when V comes out,, or the V itself, whenever that is (I hope I can wait that long 😉 )

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        • I can’t legitimately spend that kind of money on a camera, especially right now … but I might get the 12-200 lens. Used.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I do have the 75-300 and like it (I think yous aid you use it for birding). I would really like the newly announced 100-400, but again, no way could I afford it!

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            • Also, when they get too long, they get heavy. And bulky.

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              • Sine I often kayak with a camera around my neck, and usually with my biggest telephoto lens, yes, it can be a problem..

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                • I have a Panasonic (Leica lens) 24-750 f3.3 to f6.4 that fits in my purse. It weighs like a bowling ball, but it’s physically small. I haven’t a clue what any of its functions do, however — and the “manual” is written in crypto-Japanese (someone’s 13-year-old niece who is studying English in school and has a dictionary, but no understanding of photography. It actually takes great pictures — in iAuto which is the ONLY function in which I can get it to just plain take a picture. ANY of my Olympus cameras is easier to use than the Panny. I think I need to take classes for this camera and I’ve been taking pictures for more than 40 years. Actually, more than 50.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • It is funny when a full SLR (type) or rangefinder is easier to use than a consumer level super-zoom… Something like that might be good for my use, but I do need good water sealing – I often get soaked, so I need the best water sealing available, thus my em1.

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  3. A wonderful piece of equipment, Marilyn.
    Leslie

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  4. Yup camera lust is definitely a thing! lol

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    • But you know, I was lucky really. I finally really LOOKED at the M1 and it’s insanely complicated. I think maybe rather than that, I probably want to upgrade the M5 and sell the oldest one of them I have. I really don’t need another camera so complicated I never figure out how to use it.

      Liked by 1 person

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