Just a brief interim report of cameras clogging the queue at Chez TOP: I failed to return the Panasonic GX7 in time, so I bought it [unsmiley face]. I guess that means I was intended by the Fates and their friend Destiny to use it and write about it. Not hardly a hardship.
I bought a review Olympus E-M1 at the same time and won't be returning that one, even though I am now officially swamped with cameras (I have two fine lenses that I like for my trusty NEX-6, and two full-frame DSLRs). About the film cameras in my cabinet, owned and borrowed, do not ask. Repeat, do not ask. Josh Hawkins, shut up.*
Like much of the Central and Eastern U.S., we have been beset here in Wisconsin with a relentless and oppressive winter this year, complete with round after round of enough snow that you have to get out and shovel, and just enough cold that you're quickly made miserable outside (<—applicable to couch potatoes and blogmeisters commonly shackled to the leg of the desk where the computer is; not (necessarily) applicable to youths, outdoorspeople, and those of hardy constitution). Or else way more cold than that. Winter has limited dog walking, neighbor visiting, and camera messing-arounding-with.
However, I have used it enough to be of the opinion that the E-M1 is the best camera Olympus has made since the original E-1 4/3 camera (five megapixels) in the Fall of 2003; I really liked that camera, although I never owned one. The E-M1 has a heck of a lot going for it: "just right" size and weight, not too small, definitely not too big; excellent feel in the (and when I say "the," I mean my) hand; excellent control configurations; weatherproofing; really good IBIS; a flip-up viewing screen; a good EVF; and pleasing (to moi) image quality. The slight annoyances I've encountered so far are the somewhat awkward position of the on-off switch and the fact that the review button on mine is difficult to engage. (This might be a sample glitch.)
You know, when I posted Crabby Umbo's "quote of the day" the other day, my view was that the sentiment he expressed meant no more than that Micro 4/3 is generally pretty decent for the same general kinds of things that 35mm used to be pretty decent for. I didn't really expect people to bore down hard with hyperdetailed point-by-point comparisons. Guess I haven't been on the Internet long enough to know what to expect yet. Relax; I kid.
The whole thing works together really well and feels really good. There's no such thing as a perfect camera, just those models that stick up above the ways in the ocean of choices, and the OM-D E-M1 sure seems to be one of those. It's expensive but I still feel the price reflects actual value.
More on that when the weather warms. (<—Believed to be coming, eventually; doubt on that point seems well justified hereabouts, where it has not been warm for what subjectively feels like a very long time.)
*Josh was the manager at Oak Park Camera when he was a smart and energetic post-teenager and I lived in Illinois within walking distance of the shop. He is now a husband and father and lives in Vegas but is still a friend. JH has seen the ugly side of my camera obsession close up, which he seldom neglects to rib me about, with a relish and even glee which is most unseemly.
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Featured Comments from:
Josh Hawkins: "Let's be fair here. A little context. During the time when I was one of Mike's camera dealers—and dealer is the correct term here—I never saw Mike own more than one camera at any one time. I also never saw him own the same camera for more than any one month. (I'm sending warm thoughts from Vegas.)"
Mike replies: See, this is exactly the sort of thing I mean. A gross exaggeration. I owned several cameras for two or three times that long!! Unless you're talking about on average, in which case I guess the ones I kept for ten days or even less might count against me. (OPC had a large used section and was like a buffet constantly replenished with new delicacies.)
Good thoughts back atcha, Josh. Let's see some new pics of the kid some time. Did you know Nick has moved to Arizona? A few flakes of snow, a touch of ice, a lowish temp or two, and everyone turns soft.
John McMillin: "Go a little easier on yourself. Four cameras isn't such an 'obsession.' I have that many in current use, just to cover the bases. Go over to Ming Thien's blog and peek into his vast bag of gear. In your line of work, you're probably obligated to keep trying out the new, just to stay current and keep our endless curiosity fed."