When a gadget elevates into a tool
The Olympus E-PM2 that I ordered on Black Friday is on the slow brown truck from the East Coast. It should get here early next week. That’s okay because I’m not particularly excited about the purchase. I came to this realization and it surprised me.
It’s not that I don’t want the camera. I do. It’s just that I already know what to expect. I know the interface. I know the menus and after owning 3 cameras, I know the Olympus Pens. I realize that for the first time, this camera has become a tool instead of just a gadget.
Gadgets are fun. I get them from time to time. The last camera gadget was my $70 Lumix point and shoot. I bought it because I wanted to figure it out — learn how to make good-looking photographs from a low-end camera. But the Olympus is different. I suspect I don’t need to figure anything out. In the store, I was able to reprogram the buttons and use it without a second thought. The gadget factor is not there.
Tools are productive. I bought this camera for a specific purpose. I wanted to add a stop or so of improved high ISO performance and perhaps a bit more dynamic range. I’m not going to be a better photographer with this camera. It’s not going to change my style. I’m just expecting this new tool to improve my technical image quality. ISO 1600 and perhaps ISO 3200 may now become common place. This is what I’m excited about — not the new camera.