I found you about 10 minutes ago.

Chuck Pike

Mu-43 Veteran
Apr 3, 2010
Charlotte, NC.
I have been a photographer for 50 years, and only found out about m4/3 in the last few weeks. I have shot weddings, worked for two weekly newspapers for 10 years, and have been published in The Christian Science Monitor (special on N.C.), Our State magazine, Blue Ridge Country magazine, Cat Fancy and others. I never gave up my day job, but the cameras I have owned have paid for themselves. I picked up photography back in 1959 while serving in the 21st Inf. while stationed in Munich Germany. I got out of the Army in 1965 after serving a few months in Vietnam. I might have stayed in the Army if they would have sent me to photo school. In fact I had that conversation at the bottom of a foxhole during a fire fight with the Re-up Sgt. He told me no, I could only re-enlist for my own position. I looked around and I came back to the states.

I love photography. Yes, I really am nuts about this stuff. My favorite photographer is Alfred Eisenstaedt, one of the first staff photographers for Life magazine. I have been selling stock for the past few years, but it is really getting hard to sell. The magazines I sell to have hired their own staff for a lot less than what they used to pay for work submitted on spec.

I just found out about these m4/3 cameras about a month ago. I was looking for a camera that I could take with me to town with out building security coming out and asking a lot of questions. I own Nikon, and while my camera is the older D200 my best glass in the 17-35mm, f/2.8 lens. You see that and you know that this person is a pro (ha), and they ask me, "who are you working for?" Also, my Nikon weighed a ton and I wanted a lighter camera. That is when I found out about the Leica X1 and I started reading reviews about that camera. Many of the reviewers said that the Panasonic GF1 was almost as good and cost 2/3rd less. That is how I found myself checking out the m4/3 cameras. I have now been a owner of a GF1 for 8 days, and loving it.

Only time will tell if it will replace my Nikon system, but so far things are looking good for the m4/3 system. It is light, and the focus is as fast as my D200. I am working to get it to be as sharp as my D200. It works great when I aim it correctly, but to shoot from the waist to get candids, isn't working as well as the D200 set to nearest focus, f stop set to f/4, ISO set at 400. That gave me sharp photographs 90%+ most of the time. I am beginning to see how to set the GF1 to work the same way. Of course shooting it like your suppose to, works as well as the D200 and maybe better than the D200.

I took the GF1 uptown to Charlotte, N.C. this past week and it was the first time in several years that someone didn't come out of a building and ask me to move on. One security guard even told me that you can't take pictures in uptown Charlotte of any of the buildings. The police have told me that as long as I stay on public sidewalks I can take pictures of anything that I can see.

I go to town two or more times a week, and it was so much fun with the GF1. Instead of people looking at my camera, they even smiled at me. This camera is going to be so much fun. And that gets me back to what brought me into photography in the first place. It was fun.

I have a web page and the thing that gets the most hits are the shots from Vietnam. I took them with a Canon P&S that I paid around $15 for in 1965. I realized that I hadn't taken many pictures, so when I received my orders to be sent back to the states, I got a ride on one of my company trucks and rode around the base at An Khe. It is approx a 15 mile one way Rd with 450 choppers parked inside the road. Anyway I am glad to be part of this group, and hope to learn a lot from all of you.

Chuck Pike

Brian Mosley

Administrator Emeritus
Dec 15, 2009
Hi Chuck, thanks for sharing your background with us... and welcome to the forum, I hope you'll make yourself at home :friends:




Mu-43 Regular
Jan 24, 2010
One security guard even told me that you can't take pictures in uptown Charlotte of any of the buildings. The police have told me that as long as I stay on public sidewalks I can take pictures of anything that I can see.

I like the sound of the Charlotte police.

I'd have been tempted to tell the security guard that you can't address any person in uptown Charlotte unless that person has explicitly authorized you to do so.

(Well actually I'd have been tempted to tell him to go Cheney himself.)

Bokeh Diem

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Mar 14, 2010
Hey Chuck... was at my local Photog dealer here in Toronto today.. :43: is selling like hotcakes. There is a seachange underway.

Welcome aboard, salty dog!

Bokeh Diem


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Dec 26, 2009
The Cotswolds, UK
Welcome Chuck,

You have made a good choice there with the GF1 - I traded in all my heavy DSLR kit two years ago and went back to rangefinders, since then I picked up a GF1+20mm before Christmas and have since supplemented it with the 14-45 & 45-200 as well as the EVF.

I am delighted with the GF1 and find it to be a small camera/lens combination that produces superb images - I always have the GF1+20mm with me "just in case".

Anyway, welcome to what is a great site with really friendly and helpful people - I am sure you will become as addicted as we all are.
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