The concept of enough tends to be undervalued in an era rife with consumerism, and deficit advertising that tells us that we are somehow lacking as human beings. Buying something more is promoted as the solution for our feelings of inadequacy.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge. Photographs have been added to serve as visual breaks.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/8, 1/8, ISO-200, handheld in-camera focus stacking

In some cases advertising messages are focused on the illusionary promise that we can achieve increased self-worth through acquisition. Supposedly this will come from a particular purchase. As photographers we are not immune from these societal pressures.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/2.8, 1/160, ISO-200, handheld in-camera focus stacking, subject distance 250 mm

Incrementalism has long been a part of product development in the photography market. We often see this as new sensors that offer marginally more resolution. Or a bit more dynamic range, colour depth and low light performance. Online reviews often use enlargements of 200% or more to illustrate these minor differences, and thus make them seem more significant and worthy of a cash outlay.

E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5, 1/100, ISO-250, full frame capture, handheld in-camera focus stacking, subject distance 305 mm

New generation cameras can provide more overall capability than models produced even three or four years ago. We see this with faster frame rates, new computational photography technologies, improved IBIS performance, and better weatherproofing. Those improvements may be quite important to individual photographers depending on their specific needs.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, efov 120 mm, f/5, 1/40, ISO-200, handheld in-camera focus stacking, full frame capture, subject distance 265 mm

It can be tempting to open our wallets to acquire the latest model of camera. Sometimes we may think that buying a new camera will make us a better photographer. It is true that a new camera may help further enable some of our photographic skills… but it will not create those skills in us. Our photographic skills transcend camera equipment.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, efov 120 mm, f/2.8, 1/160, ISO-160, handheld in-camera focus stacking, subject distance 270 mm

Our inspiration, vision and photographic skills are resident in us regardless of the camera gear we may own and use. Photographic talent will be evident through the use of any camera. Our craft depends on us seeing an image in our mind, then using a camera as a tool to bring that vision to life.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5.6, 1/60, ISO-200, handheld in-camera focus stacking

If we are unable to see that image in our mind’s eye, the camera we are holding is irrelevant… regardless of how much it cost and the capabilities that it may offer.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5.6, 1/50, ISO-200, handheld in-camera focus stacking

Often what we currently own is enough. It can sometimes take years before we fully explore all of the capability that our equipment provides. And, even more time for us to become truly competent and inspired using it.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 521 mm, efov 1042 mm, f/9, -0.7 EV, 1/640, ISO-160, handheld in-camera focus stacking, out-of-camera jpeg with minor adjustments done in the Nik Collection

The concept of enough can be life changing and manifest itself in many areas of our existence.

OM-D E_m1X + M.Zuiko PR 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/1000, ISO-200, subject distance 725 millimetres

Understanding that we have enough allows us to explore and develop our skills more fully. It can help us to be more thankful for the things that we already possess, rather than mindlessly yearning for more.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/1250, ISO-400, subject distance 860 mm

Knowing that we already are enough, helps protect us from falling prey to emotional manipulations. It helps remind us that we are human beings… not robotic consumers.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/5, 1/250, ISO-2000, subject distance 705 mm, Handheld Hi Res mode

Enough enables more efficient use of available resources. Enough reduces waste. Enough reveals self-confidence and promotes self-discovery.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, efov 120 mm, f/2.8, 1/125, ISO-400, full frame capture, handheld in-camera focus stacking, subject distance 280 mm

Enough allows us to blossom as individuals.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom @ 150 mm, efov 300 mm, f/2.8, 1/250, ISO-800, subject distance 1.1 metres

Enough leads to personal freedom.

Technical Note:

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files or in-camera focused stacked jpegs, using my standard approach in post. This is the 1,232 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.

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10 thoughts on “Enough”

  1. I do acknowledge that the “Enough” concept is a great step in thinking and view of to world. It has not easy for me to switch.
    But the covid and Ukraine and inflation has helped a bit.
    I built a full Nikon 1 system set some years ago. Mainly thanks to this page. I have tries aps-c and ff dslr over the years too.
    Nevertheless anytime I just want to go out light and enjoy taking pictures along I do grab the Nikon 1 (32mm, 30-110 and 70-300 being the favourites).
    I know I can trust it and enjoy it at the same time. (More than the FF).
    Hence, suprisingly – the NIKON 1 is enough for me – and most likely I would not try to sell it but stay with the system till it (or me) passes away.
    Thanks Thomas and keep going! 🙂

    1. Hi Jiri,

      Thanks for sharing your perspectives, as well as your experiences with the Nikon 1 system. The Nikon 1 system was very unrated by many people. It is quite a competent system that my wife and I have enjoyed using for many years.


    1. Hi Lewsh,

      There are significant differences between an E-M1 Mark II and the OM-1. Based on what we need from our camera gear an investment in new gear can make sense.


  2. I’m glad its not just me that takes years to get to use all the potential of whatever it is I’ve just bought. I’ve had my EM1 Mk3 for over a year now and used photo stacking twice, just to see what it did. Live composite, ND filters, Art filters, a zillion frames a second? No, not yet. I’m still taking photos like I did in 1980 on an film OM10, one at a time. But like the defunct British Rail, I’m getting there.
    As usual Tom, excellent photos.

    1. Thanks for adding to the discussion Simon. I must admit I was skeptical about the in-camera focusing stacking technology and didn’t use it much for the first year or two of E-M1X ownership. Now… it is my preferred approach for flower photography and I’m testing it for other subject matter.


      1. On the subject of ‘enough’, I bought my EM1 MkIII knowing its abilities exceeded my own. This gives me a chance to grow into the camera, rather than growing out of one and wishing I’d bought another. As such, it is more than enough for me and, being a bit late to computational photography and being a bit of an IT Luddite, I’ll have fun getting to know its capabilites. All I need to do now is practise with the camera (and read the manual) and then get myself up to speed on photo editing software.

        1. Hi Simon,

          My wife and I took a similar approach with our Olympus gear as well. After we had decided to move to the Olympus M4/3 system we spent quite a bit of time examining our immediate needs, as well as what would make sense for the future in terms of growth. This led us to getting an E-M1 Mark III for her, rather than an E-M5 model. This has been working out well as it meets her immediate needs and provides a lot of room for experimentation and growth. Having a common battery with the E-M1X added to the efficiency of our kit.

          Since I had decided that I’d only be doing client video work for another 3-5 years, I wanted equipment that would continue to expand my photographic interests into my retirement years. We looked at our Olympus purchase as representing a minimum of a 10 year investment. Unseen factors like COVID hastened my departure from client video projects which made the computational photography capabilities of my E-M1X that much more appropriate.


  3. Enough! That is a difficult word when perusing a photography magazine. I always have to get past the first few pages of advertising and announcements of new gear before I get to the feature articles. When I get to the articles, I am frequently surprised that the illustrative photos are shot with older gear, sometimes with cameras that are ten years old! Imagine that, a photographer shooting a breath taking photo with a camera that is from two or three generations in the past.
    I look at my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III camera and confidently say it is enough. I appreciate all the unique features in this camera, even though OM-Systems offers a a new model with a better bird detecting focusing system. I am continually surprised at what I capture with what I already have, and I have determined that it is enough. Thank you for your supporting article. Tom

    1. Hi Tom,

      I think I understand how you feel knowing that your E-MI Mark III is enough for your needs.

      Earlier this week I did a presentation to an area photography club and I had the opportunity to feature some images created with a range of camera gear including full frame, Nikon 1, M4/3 and even a few photographs from my TG-5. It was an interesting trip down memory lane. I ended my presentation with about three dozen of my favourite photographs that had been captured at local birding spots. Except for two photographs (one of which was taken with an E-M1 Mark III), every one of the other images was captured with an E-M1X.

      I’ve known for quite some time that my E-M1X is more than enough for my needs. During the past three and a half years I’ve created hundreds of thousands of images with that model camera, and I’m still surprized with the results. Every year my enjoyment and appreciation of my E-M1X grows. I selected some flower images for this article as I was a ‘late comer’ to in-camera focus stacking. That technology is now my preferred method for flower photography and is another reason why I love my E-M1X.

      After three and a half years I still haven’t tried Live Composite… likely because of my aversion to tripods. When I do begin to use it… I’ve sure my E-M1X will take me on another interesting creative journey. Thanks for sharing your perspectives.


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