Convenience Over Quality?
I have always been a 35mm format type of photographer guy. Other than a very brief foray using a Yashicamat 124G TLR and Pentax 645, I've owned a Pentax SF10, Nikon F3-HP (my favourite alltime camera)), Nikon FM2 (ditto) for shooting film. My initial jump into digital was purchasing a Canon Powershot G2 in late 2002, then two years later I upgraded to a Nikon D70, then the D80 and settling on the D300. I then jumped into Micro Four thirds starting with the Olympus E-PL1, then the EP-2, and most recently, the Olympus OM-D E-M5, the camera I use the most today and really enjoy. I have yet to purchase a full frame DSLR.
Even with selling some of these cameras (albeit for very little return) that's a wee bit of money spent in a decade trying to find the right digital camera system for everyday use, and with decent quality for my purposes ... does it ever end? A lot of people rightfully question the quality issues of micro four-thirds, a step down from the DX format. Again, it obviously depends on the end use of your images, final enlargement sizes, especially when printing. As of late, for numerous reasons, I haven't been focusing a lot on landscape and nature photography. I've been enjoying bringing a smaller, lighter system along in a small bag, ready at my disposal at anytime, be it for a country drive, visiting friends in town or walking around my neighbourhood. That is what I love about the Olympus, it is the perfect tool for that. The D300 is too heavy to lumber around for long periods. The E-M5 is so light, and I am willing to compromise a bit of sensor size for this purpose, and with the high quality Panasonic 25mm f1.4 and 45mm f1.8 lenses, I get excellent quality results.
As with everybody it seems these days I also won't shy away from using my smartphone, an iPhone4, for taking photos. Without a doubt it is not close to the quality of the Olympus but, on a whim, it does what it's supposed to do: snapshot photos. It's just another format to use, it serves it's purpose so why not take advantage of that? And it can be fun. I know that one of my favourite photogs, David Alan Harvey, has been using his iPhone for quite some time now, for the mere purpose of capturing moments with great results.
Here are some recent pics from my iPhone (after some tweaking in Lightroom):
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