Brian’s Photographic Journey — Part 6: 2012
... continued from Part 5: 2011 ...
I started off 2012 by getting myself a pocket point-and-shoot camera — a RAW-capable Canon PowerShot S100. You may be thinking that after reaching the heights of the Sony α77, isn't such a camera a HUGE step backwards?! From one point of view that is absolutely true, but there are multiple considerations. I've weighed the pros and cons in my article From Bulky SLR To Pocket Point-and-Shoot.

Nothing is free — there are always tradeoffs. The images from such a small camera are definitely not going to be of the same quality as those from my Sony α77. But then again, the α77 is many, many times larger and heavier than the Canon S100. So, when the quality of the image is the most important criterion, my Sony α77 will definitely be the camera (system!) I reach for and lug around. But for those occassions when the need for portability, discreetness and expendability are more important than image quality, I'll be more than happy to grab my Canon S100!

The first half of 2012 continued quietly enough, with me going out on quite a number of photo outings all over Oregon. happily taking photos with my Sony α77 camera. Most were one-day outings, but one was for three days and another for five! Then, all of a sudden, a LOT started happening around the middle of the year! My calm photographic journey became a wild ride, with obstacles, dead ends, and total course changes!

On the first day of Summer, near the end of Oregon's nine-month rainy season, I decided to take all of my APS-C camera equipment on a hike. The more I carried my 40-pound pack — 25 pounds of camera gear plus water, food, and other items — along the eight-mile trail, the more I realized that this was just NOT going to work! Truly, the spirit it willing, but the flesh is weak!

Through this very negative and trying experience, I was thrown into a Great Camera Quandary. My middle-aged body simply could not carry around that much heavy equipment. So, how could I change my equipment in order to accommodate my physical limitations, and still take high-quality photos? After pondering deeply the pros and cons of the various options available, I ended up totally changing course on my photographic journey and stepping into a brand-new (Micro Four Thirds) world.

In July I acquired the hot-selling, highly-praised Olympus OM-D E-M5 — a high-end Micro Four Thirds (µ4/3) camera. It took about five months to build a complete µ4/3 lens kit, because some of the lenses I wanted had been announced but were not yet available.

I am very, VERY pleased and happy with my µ4/3 camera equipment, and I could NEVER imagine going back to a larger APS-C or full-frame camera. I absolutely LOVE the significant reduction in bulk and weight, while still maintaining high functionality and image quality! I have finally found the camera of my dreams — although it isn't perfect, and still has room for improvement — and therefore I don't expect any major changes in my photographic equipment for some time to come.

So what happened to my entire collection of Sony APS-C camera equipment — worth about $11,000 new and around $8,400 used? At first I was going to try to sell it, but as the days went by I just didn't feel right about that. So I ended up giving it all away to a young aspiring photography student! For both of us, my gift to her really felt like a "God thing," and we have a lot of joy and excitement in our hearts about it. Perhaps that is yet another confirmation of the truth of this Biblical verse — "You should remember the words of Yeshua (Jesus) the Master: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (Acts 20:35b).

If all this was not enough upheaval for one year, by the end of 2012 I also reached a point where I'm fed up with photography! WHAT!?! Isn't it blasphemy to utter such words on a Web site dedicated to photography? Have I finally lost ALL my marbles?

Well, I'm not really fed up with photography itself, but with many of the modern TRAPPINGS of photography, like camera clubs, photography books and magazines and seminars, photo competitions, and more. I hope to return to a pure and simple enjoyment of photography, without all the clutter. For all the details, be sure to read Fed Up With Photography!

After this crazy photographic year, I'm expecting 2013 to be farily quiet in comparison — but you never know! Well, now you're up to date on my latest camera equipment. Thank you for taking the time to relive my 44-year photographic journey with me — the best is yet to come!