Cameras Enable Creativity

In uncertain times it is critical to remember that cameras help enable creativity. They are image creating tools… nothing more… nothing less. The brand and model of camera we own only matters in how we use it. Its sensor size only matters in how we leverage its strengths. Whether it has been discontinued like Nikon 1, is irrelevant. Whether the brand is in a state of flux like Olympus, is irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant is how our cameras help enable creativity in us.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1250, subject distance 2.2 metres

As expected, I’ve received a flurry of personal emails from readers who are concerned about the latest announcment from Olympus. The same thing happened when Nikon discontinued the Nikon 1 product line 2 years ago.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1600, subject distance 3.7 metres

A good number of readers of this photography blog still own and use Nikon 1 gear. They appreciate its unique capabilities and how the small format, fast autofocusing, and rapid-fire frame rates help enable creativity for the work they do. Many of them, like me, have no intention of selling their Nikon 1 kit.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO-500, subject distance 2.1 metres

Many owners of Olympus camera gear are fearful of the future. It seems to be part of human nature that the majority of us focus on what we perceive we are going to lose when change is thrust upon us. We all need to remember that our fears are generated by what we choose to think about. Our fears are self-created.

As Shakespeare once wrote, “…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/1600, ISO-1600, subject distance 4.7 metres

Is it possible that the Olympus product line could disappear at some point in the future? Yes. Does that mean that warranty support could be affected? Yes. Does that mean that the value of current Olympus gear could be affected? Yes. The point right now is that none of that has actually happened. And, even if it did, it is not the end of the world.

In the future that same fate could await other camera brands as the market continues to shrink. As Nikon 1 owners can attest, just because cameras and lenses have been discontinued doesn’t diminish their inherent creative value. Cameras help enable creativity.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1000, subject distance 4.8 metres

For those of us who happen to own Olympus cameras like the E-M1X or E-M1 Mark III… we hold some incredible technology in our hands. Rather than focus on what we could lose in the future by the potential sale of the Olympus imaging business, it is much more productive and useful to focus on what we gain by owning Olympus camera gear.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-640, subject distance 5.9 metres

My E-M1X through its Pro Capture mode enables me to capture images of subjects in motion easily and consistently. Live Composite enables Olympus owners to create images with fewer boundaries. The IBIS performance of our cameras allow for long duration exposures handheld.

Think about the other technology that you hold in your hands. Things like in-camera focus stacking. Handheld Hi Res. Live ND. Add in incredible weathersealing. This technology enables an Olympus owner capture images that other photographers would find more difficult to get.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-640, subject distance 5.6 metres

For me, owning and using Olympus camera gear gives me a competitive advantage as it allows me to easily capture images that other photographers would find difficult. My challenge is to leverage those advantages to their fullest in the work I do.

Regardless of the camera gear that you may own… focus on how it enables creativity. Ultimately that is all that matters.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Image were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Photographs were cropped to taste, then resized for web use.

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8 thoughts on “Cameras Enable Creativity”

  1. I completely agree Tom. I didn’t even start with Nikon 1 until after it was discontinued. I bought a V2 and FT1 with the aim of using it to get more reach for wildlife photography, when carrying my FX or DX Nikon kit. The V2 came with a kit lens and one day I thought I’d try it. I liked it so much that I’ve since bought 4 more N1 bodies and 5 more lenses. It’s a great system and I love using it. It’s what I can do with it that matters, not whether or not it’s still in production. I intend to keep using it for the foreseeable future.

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with Nikon 1! It is somewhat surprising how often I get emails from folks who, like you, bought into the system after it was already discontinued and really enjoy using it.

      Tom

  2. Very well said, Tom.

    I’m inspired to dig out my pinhole gear, even though the warranty ran out long, long ago (;-).

  3. Thanks for your article. In fact, I enjoy all your articles. Since I plan to keep and use my Olympus gear for as long as I can, I am not worry about availability or warranty. But I do hope that there will be companies that will offer repair services for my Olympus camera bodies and lenses. Although Olympus gear is very reliable and rugged, long term use and normal wear and tear takes a toll. These are not just use and then discard items.

    1. Thanks for adding to the discussion Robert! We’ll have to see what happens as a result of the potential sale to JIP in terms of continuation of the Olympus brand, warranty/repair support. One of the things that attracted me to the Olympus brand is its reputation for reliable and rugged gear.

      Tom

  4. Since the Nikon 1 was discontinued, I’ve added a second body, various accessories and two more lenses including the excellent 70-300. That I didn’t panic and change my system was largely due to reading your blogs and seeing just what was possible from the Nikon 1 system.
    Absolutely no regrets and would just say to Olympus owners – value what you already have, it hasn’t changed

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