I’ve had a bit of an epiphany when it comes to cameras – since taking up photography as a hobby five years ago I can see I’ve spent far too long trying to make myself fit around the kind of camera kit I thought I should have, when really I needed to be building a camera kit that fits around me.
I’ve learned the hard way that I’m just not a ‘big camera’ girl – I’ve owned two DSLRs in that time, one very early on and one relatively recently, but have eventually sold both not too far down the line. Much as I love their excellent image quality – especially from their fast primes – on the whole I just don’t use them enough to warrant keeping them long-term.
Ultimately they spend most of their time sitting at home in the dark, buried in a box, unused and unloved. I find them too bulky, too heavy, just too damned ‘serious’ for my liking – at heart I guess I’m just not ever going to be that kind of ‘serious’ photographer. I want my photography to be something that is fun, something light-hearted that lifts me – not feeling like a dead-weight around my neck.
I also own a small simple Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera, and over the last three years that little camera has gone most places with me, tucked into a soft neoprene case in whatever handbag I happen to be using. It comes with me on high days and holiday, to weddings and away-days, and has become a firm family friend. It is without doubt my favourite little take-anywhere fun camera.
Yet up until recently I’ve never moved beyond the wide-angle 14mm (28mm equivalent) pancake kit lens it came with, quite happy to work around its obvious limitations. However, since buying an Olympus 45mm (90mm equivalent) short telephoto lens a few weeks ago I’ve found it’s opened up a whole new photographic world for me. Why did I never appreciate the full potential of this little gem – it’s an inter-changeable lens camera I’ve never really thought of changing the lens on before, and I’m not quite sure why.
So I’m currently re-thinking my approach to photography as a hobby – perhaps it’s not always about having a ‘bigger is better’ mind-set for me, but about appreciating that sometimes ‘less is more’. If the best camera for me is the one I take with me, then I’m already there in principle, so perhaps all I really need to do now is to open my mind a bit more, and change the way I think about it… 🙂