I’ll start by saying that this post is not a criticism of Kirk Tuck — friend, professional photographer / videographer and blogger at Visual Science Lab. Rather, I find his migrations from one camera system to another, amusing. It’s a cycle that has gone on for a while. Even during the eight years that I’ve known him, he has shifted from Olympus, to Canon, to Nikon, to Sony and now to Panasonic. I probably have his switch order wrong and there’s probably some camera transitions that I’m forgetting. I know there was a stint, somewhere in there, with Samsung. I know there was a romantic period playing with Hasselblad film cameras, which I captured in the portrait above. About the only system Kirk has not used since 2009, if memory serves, is Fujifilm.
I have no doubt that these shifts are logical and make business sense. After all, Kirk is a successful, professional photographer. And, for all his changes, he’s a lot smarter than me, since he sells his gear while they retain some value. I pretty much keep all mine, which is why I now have over 50 cameras. Granted, while Kirk and I share a passion for photography and cameras, we are in very different places. Being a professional, Kirk ultimately is dictated by the bottom line and how he provides his essential service. I’m an enthusiast. My criterion is just to have fun — playing with cameras, creating images and wrapping stories around them. Luckily for me, most my cameras are old, vintage even, and I didn’t pay much for most of them.
Despite Kirk and I coming from different places, however, we’ve pretty much landed on the same (micro 4/3) platform. I own a full frame Canon 6D with a bunch of lenses, a Nikon DSLR, a Fujifilm X100S and a slew of other capable cameras, but I choose to use my Olympus cameras most often. I use Olympus because they are full featured and capable of what I need them to do. I don’t judge them by their sensor size, but instead, by their performance out in the field. I shot most my 2017 Japan trip photos with two Olympus cameras which fit in a small camera bag. What a wonderful combination for lightweight travel photography.
I know Kirk’s switch to Panasonic, with a smattering of Olympus lenses, was dictated by his professional needs. I always contend that Panasonic is tops for video, which is critical for Kirk. For stills, however, I prefer Olympus. Professional or enthusiast, Kirk and I agree that the micro 4/3 systems hits a sweet spot for performance, cost and portability. Whether Olympus or Panasonic, the lenses work together and together they form the potent micro 4/3 platform.
By the way, I made this portrait of Kirk back in 2011 with my first Olympus, the E-PL1 with the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens. It was a poky combination but I loved the color. That started me down the road with Olympus.
Welcome back to micro 4/3, Kirk.
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