It’s more to do with the journey, not just the arrival. Much as I like the end product of a great portfolio of photos, what I love more than that, is having my camera in my hand and taking photos. I just love being out and about, snap snapping.
After reading the next section, you may beg to differ. What a lot of cameras Howard has owned! But although I really do love the technology, cameras are so secondary to the joy I get while taking photographs.
My understanding of photographs is pretty good and I get quite irritated by the gear nonsense I read on Facebook and YouTube. What a load of twaddle. As far as I’m concerned, give me any camera from the last few years, and I’ll be able to take good photos. It’s not all about the cameras, but rather, the knob behind the camera, hehe. Pros and cons of different systems? Well, of course, but on the whole, I’m happiest using the camera I enjoy using most.
As a youngster, I used my parents’ Box Brownie and later their Kodak Brownie Flash 20 film cameras. At about the age of 12 or so I had fallen in love with photography and I bought my very own “proper” camera. It was a second hand Halina 35X (from Bonsers in the Bigg Market, Newcastle) and all the controls were manual. I did get myself a light meter at some stage, but rarely used it, being happy enough using the settings written on the side on my Kodachrome 64 film box. The next step up was to a Zenith E. This was bigger than my Halina and had a screw-in lens. I used Kodachrome 64 slide film.
Then I went really up market and got a second hand Olympus 35RC. What a beautiful camera. It was a big step up from my previous cameras as the optics were excellent and it had both a light meter and rangefinder focussing. I used this camera a lot. By the time I was in my 20s I upgraded yet again. I got myself an Olympus OM-10 and later an Olympus OM-2 and OM-4 and some lenses too. I remember taking these to Africa on a work trip and had a wonderful time when on a weekend safari. I remember taking a borrowed tiny little half-frame Rollie too. Lesley and I went to Kenya on holiday and I used it there too. Finally, I sold my Olympus cameras and bought a Canon EOS10 film camera. What a beautiful camera that was. My favourite lens was a 24mm f2.8. I also had a small Minolta AFZ compact camera. At the time I used Kodachrome 64 and 100 and Fujichrome 50 and 400.
Then digital cameras started to appear and my first one was an Agfa ePhoto 1280. Others followed – in no particular order – Canon PowerShot G2, Canon IXUS 850 IS, Olympus Camedia 3030Z, Sony P100, Minolta DiMAGE, Fuji X10, Panasonic TZ7, Sony RX100 iv, Canon G5X, Canon PowerShot S120, Nikon D70, Nikon D80, Nikon D7000, Nikon D610, various GoPros and my final DSLR, the beautiful Nikon D750.
I waited a short while, while the mirrorless revolution got underway, then I got myself an Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark iii. As a taser of mirrorless. Oh my goodness, what a camera. It felt so good in the hand. I was immediately sold on both mirrorless and the Micro Four Thirds format. I have since bought an E-M1 mark iii and a whole load of Olympus lenses and I am enjoying my photography more than ever. So small and light, perfect in the hand, huge range of tack-sharp lenses, unbelievable stabilisation, all weatherproof blah blah blah.
So I thought to myself, why not go the whole hog with mirrorless? I sold my Nikon D750 DSLR and all my lenses (and I had a lot) and bought the Nikon Z6, a FTZ adaptor and a Nikon Z 24-70 lens. A lovely camera and lens, but by this time I was completely in love with my Olympus cameras. I liked the Nikon a lot, but I made a decision (1) regarding the weight of a 35mm sized system, which was considerable due to heavy lenses (2) having to content with using 2 systems and not getting muddled up. And so I sold my nearly new Nikon Z6 and haven’t looked back.