Future Gear Reviews

This short article answers a fundamental question that folks have had about the potential for future gear reviews on this website. The rumors about an upcoming ‘wow’ camera from OMDS has piqued the interest of many readers. As has the launch of lenses like the M.Zuiko 8-25 mm f/4 PRO and M.Zuiko 12-45 mm f/4 PRO.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 195 mm, efov 390 mm, f/8, 1/2000, ISO-400, cropped to 2925 pixels on the width, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, Pro Capture L, subject distance 25.3 metres

The fundamental question being asked of me is whether I will be obtaining loaner gear, like the upcoming OM System ‘wow’ camera, and lenses like the M.Zuiko PRO 8-25 mm f/4 zoom, to create gear reviews. The short answer is “No”…. but readers deserve a more complete answer.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-800, cropped to 2925 pixels on the width, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, Pro Capture L, subject distance 57.9 metres

As regular readers know I have a terrific working relationship with the folks at OMDS, which began with the Olympus Imaging Division. Back in the spring of 2020 I was named an ‘Olympus Featured Pro’ and I’ve been providing periodic feedback to the company on products and other issues.

This solid working relationship does not bump me up to the front of the line when it comes to getting loaner gear for reviews. There is an extensive list of Olympus Visionaries, Explorers, and Educators… as well as writers for major camera-related websites and printed photography magazines, that would be in the queue ahead of me.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 293 mm, efov 586 mm, f/8.5, 1/2000, ISO-400, cropped to 2906 pixels on the width, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, Pro Capture L, subject distance 38.9 metres

When I attempted to get an early review copy of the M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS, my wait time would have been about 6 months. Since this was a lens that I was seriously considering buying, getting an early copy would have served a dual purpose.

By the time the loaner lens would have been available any review of it that I could have done would have been old news. I ended up ordering my copy, then writing a series of ongoing articles once my lens was in hand. From a practical standpoint test gear availability is a significant barrier.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2500, ISO-1000, cropped to 2446 pixels on the width, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, Pro Capture L, subject distance 101 metres

The other two important issues are my interest level and review skills. To coin a phrase by Olympus Visionary Joe Edelman, I’m not a ‘geartographer’. I care very little about camera specifications and have no interest in comparing equipment from competing brands.

Reviewing camera gear for the sake of reviewing it just leaves me stone cold in terms of my interest level. There are plenty of other photography websites and photographers that do a very competent job in this regard. I would never be one of them.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/8.9, 1/2500, ISO-800, cropped to 2958 pixels on the width, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, Pro Capture L, subject distance 63 metres

Truth be known, there are many camera brands that I have never had any interest in at all. Nor have I ever captured even a single image with any of their products. This would include current brands like Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Pentax to name a few. So, I am woefully deficient in competitive brand information and having an experience base using many camera brands.  I think this would make me an ineffective gear reviewer.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 444 mm, efov 888 mm, f/8.9, 1/2500, ISO-800, cropped to 3267 pixels on the width, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, Pro Capture L, subject distance 66.9 metres

The camera gear that is on the market today is all of very high quality. The key is for each of us to choose gear that best suits our needs. There is no single sensor format, brand or model that is the “best” for every photographer out there.  What is perfectly suited to one photographer’s needs may not be a good fit at all for another.

Regardless of the camera gear that each of us may own, the most critical factor is learning how to use it effectively, and to its full potential. Some folks change camera formats and brands long before they utilize the potential of what they currently own. My opinion is that a preoccupation with gear reviews fuels this purchase behaviour.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2500, ISO-800, cropped to 4214 pixels on the width, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, Pro Capture L, subject distance 72 metres

The name of this website makes my personal choice of camera format very clear. My intent has always been to encourage folks to get out with their camera gear and reconnect to it. To once again experience the joy of photography. I’ll continue to do that to the best of my ability. And, leave gear reviews to others.

Technical Note:

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are indicated. This is the 1,083rd article published on this website since its original inception.

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2 thoughts on “Future Gear Reviews”

  1. Tom
    Many thanks for another insightful article. Personally I find your comments on your experience with your cameras and examples of what is possible of much greater use than any technical review.
    Some time ago when the Nikon 1 was to be discontinued, it was reading your articles and seeing what you were achieving with that system that convinced me not to change my gear in the vain hope that having the latest equipment would somehow make me a better photographer. Another (secondhand) body and two more lenses acquired and I’m convinced that was the right decision, I have lost interest in new equipment as there is nothing I want to do that the Nikon 1 can’t. I sometimes feel that I’ve hardly scratched the surface of it’s capabilities.
    Thanks again for the inspiration and for anyone who has the Nikon 1 and hasn’t read Tom’s ebook on the camera I can thoroughly recommend it.
    Best regards
    David

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for supportive comment and discussing your Nikon 1 experiences! It is a great little system which many owners are still using to great effect. I’m glad that my work here has provided some inspiration for you.

      Tom

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