I live in a very walkable town. A vibrant Main Street, incredible mountain views and Huguenot Street, one of the oldest streets in America, are all less than 10 minutes on foot.. So, every time I leave the house I’m thinking, “should I take the camera with me? Yes. No…yes…” It’s a constant internal struggle. Thankfully, moving away from the DSLR to a smaller micro four thirds camera helped settle this argument.
You might be wondering why I wouldn’t just take my iPhone or point and shoot with me if I need portability. Both are great. But, if you’re like me, you want two things in taking pictures: Control and Quality. The DSLR I used to carry had both, but was a chore to bring out with me all the time. Now I throw my Olympus OM-D E-M5 in a very tiny bag, smaller than my wife’s purse, with a 12-40 mm f/2.8 attached and a 25 mm f/1.8 in a tiny side pocket. If I know I’ll want a little more reach instead of the fast lens, I’ll swap the 25 mm for a 40-150 mm. It’s actually so small that it will fit in the tiny outside pouch! Complete control. Amazing quality. On top of all that I have a great focal range with the 12-40 mm zoom, and either a fast 50 or a telephoto in my bag too.
All of this means carrying less gear and taking more photos.
Here’s a real world example. Recently I was out at one of my favorite bars in New Paltz, Bacchus. About a year ago they started brewing their own beer there. The two brewmasters, Mike and Jason, were behind the bar tasting and handing out samples. I asked if I could take a quick picture of them and and pulled out the OM-D and snapped this shot.
Quick shot. High quality. Ultimate control. I set the lens in aperture priority at f/2.8 and used exposure compensation to help with the tricky lighting. Could I have taken this shot with my DSLR? Sure. Would I have had my DSLR sitting in my back pocket like I do with this small camera? Probably not.
Do you ever have the “should I bring my camera with me or not?” arguments with yourself? Have you ever missed an opportunity for a great shot because you didn’t have your “good” camera with you? Leave a comment and let me know that I’m not the only one!