Why I Use Micro 4/3 Cameras Rather Than Canon DSLR’s

Well, Most Of The Time At Least!

I am getting old and definitely tired…

I shoot Canon gear and always have.  I always purchase 1D bodies and currently have the 1DMK3.  For lenses I only use L glass.  I have been a photographer for 48 years and am retired from Eastman Kodak.  I have a lifetime of photographic experience.

That being said I must tell you that except for my hummingbird shots in Sept and Oct (on the tripod only) that I have not used my Canon equipment since June 2009.

On June 9, 2009 I went into the hospital to have severe spinal damage fixed in my neck that had taken the use of my arms in less than 30 days. I was only to be there for 4 days.  53 days later (25 in ICU on a ventilator) I came home with a breathing tube in my neck and a feeding tube in my stomach because everything in my neck was paralyzed and I could not swallow water or food for another 6 months. In 2010 both tubes were removed when I started to swallow again and I started thinking about photography again. I lost 50% use of both hands and 80% of my neck motion due to 3 levels of cadaver bones and 5 levels of steel cage.


Olympus E-PL1 Converted To Full Spectrum IR

I could NOT even hold the Canon body let alone a 400mm prime!  So what I did was to buy an Olympus E-P1. I was amazed by the quality from this little camera that I COULD carry so I started buying lenses. One thing led to another and along came a E-PL1 so the E-P1 was turned into Infrared and I was so happy with it that I started my IR blog (below). So (OK, I told you that IR was an addiction!)within a week of having the L1 that I had it converted to full spectrum IR!  Eventually I missed the ability to use a remote shutter release (water drops and lightning trigger) so I got an E-P2 which I am going to LEAVE color!

The only thing that I miss is the Canon L glass which is superior in ALL WAYS to the Olympus micro 4/3 glass except that it is HEAVY.  But even this would not make me give up my Olympus system!  I might never be able to fully use my Canon equipment again but I am happy enough with the PEN that I do not obsess over it any more!  Understand, the PEN is a compromise system which does have good quality glass (which is all important) and the quality it produces places my images almost on equal footing with my past works with my Canon. My normal print size is 22×32 canvas prints which the PEN’s produce brilliantly!

Well, you ask yourself, what in the world does this have with Fine Art Photography?  Simple…. Smaller Lighter ultra high quality Infrared camera systems mean that I HAVE THEM WITH ME 100% OF THE TIME! I am taking more images, better images more often! This had lead to a rejuvenation of my artistic juices!  I am re-born artistically…

That being said, you have to know now that I shoot about 100 Infrared images to every single color image except during hummingbird season! I am enthralled with the ethereal nature of a WELL TAKEN infrared image.  They talk to me on an emotional level that no other type of photography has ever accomplished!  So much so that I have dedicated TWO web pages to it (see links on the right side)!  But I digress, the reason you are here is to see and experience the images (hopefully) the way that I meant them to be experienced and to learn from and of the process! 

"A Gathering Of Egrets" E-PL1, 695nm


2 comments on “Why I Use Micro 4/3 Cameras Rather Than Canon DSLR’s

  1. Hi Mark, love the blog! I am just getting into IR myself (with a 720nm filter on an E-3) and thinking about picking up an 830mm converted E-PL1. I have an E-P1 already.

    Sorry to comment on such an old post, but I just wanted to mention one of the great strengths of the m4/3 cameras is the flexibility. The m4/3 glass isn’t very good at this point but you can mount SO much more than the m4/3 glass on a Pen! I usually mount my Olympus 4/3 glass on my E-P1 (which increases the weight for sure) or older Zuiko glass, which is every bit as good as Canon L glass.

    The thing that brought the most joy to me in the switch to m4/3 was I could mount my old Contax G mount glass on the Pen with a mount adapter! I’m convinced there is no better glass than the G glass – the only drawback to mounting it on the Pen is the lenses are then MF only, which isn’t much of a compromise at all, in my opinion.

    I’m looking forward to the converted E-PL1 + Contax G glass!

    • Thanks Steve! I have used 4/3 glass in the past but did not enjoy the experience! It was too slow in auto focus to be usable. BUT I would love to pick up a few old lenses to use like the G glass but have not come across any yet! I did pick up the Leica 45mm m4/3 2.8 last month but have not had a chance to really test it too much so far.

      I enjoyed visiting your baseball site!!

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