The Value of Familiarity

Bristolero

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I’ve been looking through a thread on rebuying photo gear we once owned. It occurred to me that while it is exciting to mess about with new equipment, there is value in being familiar with the stuff you currently have. I probably spend too much of my time soaking up reviews and comments about R5s, Z6iis, Pen Fs, etc, but then I take one of my EM1s out and shoot some pics. I know all the settings and what each button does, and Olympus menus are not confusing, since they’re the only ones I know. This is especially important when shooting wildlife or sports, or anything that can be somewhere else pronto. I was talking to @Phocal the other day, and he shot the same original EM1s until they kicked off (imagine that!) and then picked up an X. His spare will be a used X too. And we’ve seen his results. Last spring I had the opportunity to borrow a neighbors Panny 100-400. It was a good day: bright and plenty of flying birds. I got some good captures, but often forgot to zoom! I guess I’m stuck with a fixed-lens mentality. Nothing wrong with the equipment, just not used to the lens. Not a big deal for me as the eagles would probably be flying en manana, but would have sucked if I’d flown a thousand miles for the opportunity. In my youth I was involved professionally in the hunting world, and we would always cringe when hunters would show up with shiny new gear. And when a group of Aussies would step down from the plane, with their rifles all beat to crud from use , well we knew this bunch could probably shoot! There’s a lot of talent on this forum and thy could most likely churn out some pretty good stuff no matter what they shot with, but my money says their greatest shots would come from what they know best.
 
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doady

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May 18, 2020
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After using Olympus C-7070WZ for 15 years, the E-M1 II and 12-100mm F4 is still not second nature, even after almost 2 years. Zoom ring instead of zoom lever, for example. Even something as simple as pressing the playback button requires some thought (playback on C-7070WZ is both a button and a mode dial position). Maybe it makes me think about the gear more, and less about the actual photographs.

Of course, I am a gearhead, I like talking and reading about gear, and using new camera has been fun (and I was excited to try out my new 8-25mm F4 for the first time yesterday too), but maybe it has held me back in some ways even if overall it is much more capable than my old camera.
 

Bidkev

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Feb 5, 2018
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Brisbane Australia from Blackpool UK 25yrs ago
Fully agree about knowing one's gear. Even now I fumble for the on/off switch having two bodies such as em5 and em10ll but that's more about my age and just forgetting which is in my hand as opposed to not being familiar.

35mm I was a Canon man from the start of digital. Prior to that I had always been pentax and medium format Hasselblad. My first m43 was em5 and since then I've tried the full range of bodies and even though I was besotted with the PenF, all my more expensive gear got sold off due to various circumstance, and I find myself "back to the future" after buying 2 x em5's with low shutter counts costing less than AUS$150 each.

Probably because the em5 was my first m43 body and was initially a steep learning curve due to the menu, it's "how to use" is ingrained in me. My em10mkll always has the 75-300 on it and is used instinctively for birding and apart for the on/off switch I rarely have to think about, or change settings.

I certainly enjoy my photography a great deal more nowadays due in part to "cost effectiveness" and not always feeling like I have to spend spare cash to keep abreast of new technology and gear, but mostly down to needing less thought as to what the gear can do and how to access that. That's me till death for gear even if one body carks it. This old dog doesn't want to learn new tricks anymore :)
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
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Tanagra (not really)
I liken many things to golf, and David Feherty once said something along the lines of “when you play really well and still don’t win, what you get is experience.” I think a parallel can be made for shopping and trying camera brands. I think when you try the different brands, what you end up with is discovering which manufacturer did it “right” in your mind, or at least the closest to right you can find. There’s also an aspect of just playing around, and if you can afford it, we all gotta spend money on something, right?

I don’t know if I’m at the end of my game, but I’ve tried some different options, shopped some different options, yet keep landing back on the G9. I would sometimes love something lighter and smaller, but I know as soon as I do that, I’ll be fumbling with the controls and kicking myself for the drop in IQ. I’ve come to the conclusion that the G9+PL100-400 is the lightest kit I can carry for the telephoto shots I like to take, while providing the sharpness and detail I come to expect.
 

PakkyT

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Massachusetts, USA
Through my long Olympus digital experience (starting in 1998) my current E-M1 mark 1 is my longest continuously/daily used digital camera going on 7+ years now. I read all the new announcements and drool over the newest releases, especially the three newer E-1 models and the PDAF M5.3. Price is mostly what keeps me from upgrading even with used ones, but also I tend to be pretty honest with myself that even with new features and functions I might enjoy or even benefit from, I don't know if any of them would really improve my photography for the types of things I shoot and as @Bristolero points out, there is something to being very familiar with the equipment you have and even the old E-M1.1 has a couple of features I have never really used or explored. A recently tried Panny GF1 body drove me bonkers with the menu system even though people talk about Panny menus being more intuitive, but not to me. I too don't find Oly menus confusing at all, probably mostly due to familiarity.

Likewise with lenses, I still have a few old 4/3rds lenses that I am well familiar with and when I see new m43 models released that could potentially be a replacement for these lenses, I have to stop and consider, are these new lense really going to give me an improvement over my current lenses? And again to @Bristolero 's point, I KNOW what my current lenses can do and I am really happy with them, so you would have to really demonstrate some sort of noticeable improvement for me to shell out a lot of money for a new lens when my current stock are easily up to the task. So far only ONCE has a m43 lens wow'd me enough to stop using one of my 4/3rds lenses and replace (sell) another m43 "Pro-level" lens to finance its purchase which was the 12-100 PRO. All other newer lenses have been mostly a "wow, that's cool... but not for me" kind of thing. I think the only new one that has actually made me think I should think about finding one to rent and try out is the Oly 8-25 PRO as I don't know if it is a focal range I would get along with but going from an ultra wide 8mm and covering both the traditional FF equivalents of 35mm and the nifty-50 in a single lens in intriguing. I do really like my 17/25mm primes and enjoy shooting with both focal lengths.

Long live the E-M1.1! :roflmao:
 

John King

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@PakkyT Patrick, I have both E-M1 MkI and E-M1 MkII.

The MkII is better in many small ways. Better to hold, more positive with all controls. But just noticeably larger and heavier.

The sensor is better. 2/3 stop better ISO and DR. Better resolution. Less noise (it's a Sony, the MkI is a Panasonic).

I use both of them routinely. My E-PM2 is a marvel of miniaturization, with the same good (Sony) 16 MPx as in the E-M5 MkI and MkII.
 

Stanga

Mu-43 All-Pro
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Oct 16, 2016
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It took me years to get accustomed to not finding an aperture ring on lenses anymore. Then I bought a P15mm f1.7. Nearly two years later and I am still finding it hard to remember that it has an aperture ring. That's what familiarity can do to you....
 

PakkyT

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The MkII is better in many small ways. Better to hold, more positive with all controls. But just noticeably larger and heavier.

The sensor is better. 2/3 stop better ISO and DR. Better resolution. Less noise (it's a Sony, the MkI is a Panasonic).
Also cross type PDAF (and more PDAF AF points covering more of the sensor) that a couple years back was very high on my list but lately not as important. Also a bigger battery, improved IS, 4k video, Hi-Res mode, & pro capture mode.

Negatives include larger in basically all dimensions, ~15% heavier, (both of which you mentioned) and I am a tilt-screen fan boy so would miss that. And of course even used the mark II still commands a fair chunk of change.

I really should just bite the bullet and get one. mu-43 just had one listed & sold for $625 usd which is aggressive pricing to sell, so maybe not realistic to expect another at that price for a while. Maybe the next great deal I won't be gun shy and just pull the trigger on it.

My E-PM2 is a marvel of miniaturization, with the same good (Sony) 16 MPx as in the E-M5 MkI and MkII.

I actually just picked up the E-PM2 earlier this month. Cost me all of $89 usd shipped from mpb.com with battery+charger. The only thing I have found wrong with it is that it doesn't retain Date & Time when changing the battery, but that's a minor annoyance I can live with for a secondary carry around camera I can keep in my work backpack to always have with me.
 

exakta

Mu-43 Top Veteran
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Jun 2, 2015
Messages
971
Since I started out as a 12 year old with no money, I'm really good at shopping, shopping and more shopping before I had the money to spend. I guess you could say I've become a master of due diligence. After years with an OM-1, switching to digital was a really painful process of some really bad cameras, but by the time I came to m43 in 2015 I knew exactly what I wanted and I knew what I could afford.

I'd be lying if I wrote that I never window shop other systems but something (usually price and missing features) always stops me before I take any action. In the meantime I try to delve deeper into what I have and what is keeping me from better results.
 

Mountain_Man_79

Brannigan’s Law is like Brannigan’s love
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Well personally I enjoy having so many different cameras that I’m constantly fumbling about and forgetting different things while shooting. Keeps me on my toes!
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
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Also cross type PDAF (and more PDAF AF points covering more of the sensor) that a couple years back was very high on my list but lately not as important. Also a bigger battery, improved IS, 4k video, Hi-Res mode, & pro capture mode.

Negatives include larger in basically all dimensions, ~15% heavier, (both of which you mentioned) and I am a tilt-screen fan boy so would miss that. And of course even used the mark II still commands a fair chunk of change.

I really should just bite the bullet and get one. mu-43 just had one listed & sold for $625 usd which is aggressive pricing to sell, so maybe not realistic to expect another at that price for a while. Maybe the next great deal I won't be gun shy and just pull the trigger on it.



I actually just picked up the E-PM2 earlier this month. Cost me all of $89 usd shipped from mpb.com with battery+charger. The only thing I have found wrong with it is that it doesn't retain Date & Time when changing the battery, but that's a minor annoyance I can live with for a secondary carry around camera I can keep in my work backpack to always have with me.
Might as well wait for the product announcements tomorrow. Should hopefully drive some prices down, especially if the EM1.2 goes out of production. That might even help drive down used prices.
 

Macroramphosis

Jack of Spades and an unfeasibly large wheelbarrow
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Charente Maritime, western France
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Roddy
It's coming up for nearly two years now with my €405 buy of a GX8. Before that I had a G6 and there's been a couple of GM5's in the line up too.

However, the GX8 is something special - maybe not just for the photographs it takes, but also for the output it offers in relation to size and value. It's missing features, sure, but it is for my hands (and many others, it seems) a perfect match of ergonomics, size, features, output and adaptability.

Do I want a GX9 or a G9? Sure, one day, maybe even an S5 for landscape. If I had the money I would probably have a G9 and an S5 already, but my GX8 would still be my daily shooter. After two years I love it to bits, even if it is still more camera than I will ever learn to shoot with (actually, any camera would be more than a match for me). Coupled with the Panny 30mm, it offers almost everything I want for what I like to shoot - a bit of landscape, some portraits, much macro and a little street. It does it all and I know what to do with it. It's a two-way affair :D
 
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