The Best Camera Is The One You Always Have With You
The first time I was introduced to photography, was when I was in college and learning about it. Taking photos weren’t a trendy thing yet, instagram wasn’t a trend and so were influencers and amassing a huge following; Cameras were still on high budget to purchase. After getting one as a gift for my studies from my dad, I dreaded the subject due to my misalignment with its art. I’m not the kind that likes studio shots but it is what we were made to learn. It was my most despised class in my course.
Of course the use of the camera prolonged further than just educational use. I was invited by my dad everytime to bring it to our adventures. Whether it’s to go on a relative’s birthday, a local trip to the provinces of the Philippines or overseas. I lugged that mechanism around my neck trying to savor the trip both as experience as well as photos. After carrying it around in so many trips, I’d soon realized it was less of a token and more of a baggage in the way i intake moments. Not only does it keep bumping to my chest every single walk, I was paranoid that it would hit something and deform it’s function due to its size. Nothing about it entices me to carry it as a perk.
I left that camera to the dust as the rise of phone photography got into the days. My mom never needed high resolution photos, and we rarely printed one due to the digital storage capacity that’s trending in the way we save memories.
EXPERIENCING MICRO FOUR THIRDS (MFT/M43)
Fast forward to after graduation, I went into the mall to find the Olympus brand sporting a digicam sized technology but with lenses that can be swapped. This piqued my interest very fervently. The size of the body was smaller than my hand in terms of length and was so thin it would fit in my pocket jeans, it was crazily mind blowing at that time. I researched days for it’s top of the line model that fits my need, and then on October 2012 my posession of OMD EM-5 began.
Batanes – Shot with EM-5 Samyang 7.5 f3.5
Small, compact and hard as a tank, the OMD Em-5 could be used as a murder weapon and still take great photos. I have been through enough terrain to put it to the test and knowing me, I’m not the kind that’s careful with his belongings. Yet it still lives and breathe life to my vision, without a single hint of age in performance. The number of beauty i have captured, memories I’ve gathered and the smiles I’ve seen through the lens and through the preview of the photos is immense.
How did I do it? Simple, because I could take it everywhere.
As a prime user, I had the comfort to bring three lenses to my adventures without sacrificing space a DSLR lens would’ve taken. My favorite go-to’s for reference is the: Olympus 45mm f1.8, Panasonic 20mm f1.7 and the Samyang 7.5mm f3.5. Because of the portability I easily had the option to switch based on the scene, if the background was beautiful a 7.5mm fisheye and if it’s a portrait moment the 45mm. If I’m looking for inspiration? The 20mm. The 20mm is a pancake lens: the compact size of it makes it so easy to put in a loose pocket or a bag without having to worry to bring it up fast to steal a moment in time.
THE DOWNFALL OF A PASSION
Mt. Manalmon shot with XT-10 16mm
But then in December 2015, I was enticed to move at Fujifilm due to it’s larger sensor and it’s wonderful film filters, that’s so subtle, it’s magic. I thought I had the momentum going, loving in taking snaps and having some eye for beauty if not the luck for it. Generally based from my photos, you would see I favor the wide lens more than a portrait one, or even street. So I got the xt-10 and the elusive 16mm f1.4 with a friend’s help.
While I did love to carry it around the street taking photos of the people around and the moments, I slowly curbed into taking photos less and less. First, I was wondering if it was just me losing inspiration, I believed it is. With the mix of focus on work and some probable extended quarter life crisis, in about May 2016 I succumbed into passing photography as a phase.
That is, until I picked up my OMD Em-5 again.
After shooting with my old friend, I finally realized it wasn’t because I just lost it, but because I hated the luggage: the root of my bane for photography. Now, as the OMD Em-5 has too old features (cough Wifi live shooting) for me to work optimally, I’ve bought the PEN-F with the undeniable help of my brother Sean through words and finance. It was through his encouragement that I’ve taken the leap and I have absolutely no regrets about it. It pays to have someone who believes in what you can do with the right tools.
Shot with PEN-F 20mm f1.7
Maybe it’s my bad choice of lens for Fuji that really created the huge gap of experience. I honestly don’t know if getting the 23mm would make it any different. We’ll never know unless they sponsor me one. But don’t get me wrong: Fujifilm cameras are wonderful, if it works for you: I’m all for your preference. But get this, if it’s a camera you would rather leave at home, it’s probably a bad one. For me and my type, the build of Olympus is definitely where my eyes and hands feel at home.
I can elaborate the specifications and all the comparisons but there’s a number of sources that’s already posted in the internet for your reference. After all, before I made this switch, I definitely did my study. If you have any questions, ask it in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer. I was pitting the PEN-F against the X100f and x70, but in the end there’s probably a huge unconscious bias for me. I would like to someday taste the fixed lens camera though, but I guess not today. Not when my hands do not have the Olympus brand in it’s fingers.