New Toy

My little Olympus went into terminal decline just under two months ago. I had little idea how much I would miss it. Small and weatherproof, it accompanied me for around seven years, usually slung into my bag, and fished out in sun and rain to snap things that caught my eye.

Octavia very kindly lent me a little Casio which helped fill the void, but I was hungry for a new camera to call my own. The Casio worked very well in lowlight, but sunny days, and we have had quite a few recently, resulted in bleached out scenes. If there was a way to correct this, I didn’t find it.

I still had my Lumix for dedicated photography days, but then the memory card in my Lumix became corrupted, and photography was suddenly something I was not doing. I bought a new battery for my SLR, and realised for the first time how my photography habits have changed with digital cameras. Pictures I love to have and look on screen I have no interest in having printed.

Some of the new little cameras have amazingly powerful zooms; up to +20. For a week or so I was seduced, and carried notes of models that had wowed me. Then one day it rained, and it dawned on me that with one of those cameras, rainy days would be full of risks. It would be so easy to get the lens wet, or to retract damp into the camera body. Back to the drawing board. This was when I learned that weatherproof has been superceded by waterproof, and that the impressive increase in proofing has been matched by an equally impressive increase in price. I am not planning to take my camera into the sea. Or use it in the Arctic, but there isn’t a London drizzle category.

So today I bit the bullet. I had four cameras on my shortlist and one shop had them all. I do hope the assistant gets commission as I was there for over an hour. He was patience personified. I was out of another shop in less than five minutes last week when the assistant recommended a Pentax on the grounds that it looked the coolest.

This afternoon I took my work and my new toy into the garden. I didn’t get much work done, but I did start to play with my new not-quite-so-little Olympus. I’m not quite there yet, but so far I am enjoying learning how it works. It has an powerful macro which I hope to master some day soon.

In the meantime, here are some initial efforts.

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18 thoughts on “New Toy

  1. I am so happy you decided on a camera. It’s a big decision. A couple of weeks ago I went to look at a camera in a camera store. The sales associate put the camera in my hand and I proceeded to take a picture. He told me I didn’t hold the camera like a professional photographer.. I told him “I’m NOT a professional photographer” … I didn’t buy a camera there. It wasn’t so much his comment, I AM an amateur picture taker but the camera I was looking at had 51 focus points and he couldn’t figure out how to set it to single point focus.. o_O Love seeing your pictures again Isobel. That large macro in your collage is beautiful!

    • When I bought my Olympus OM1 decades ago it was a major investment. There were several camera shops in my home time. I went in and said I knew I wanted an SLR but didn’t want to be baffled by techno speak. As a young female, I think maybe a number of the people selling cameras didn’t think I should be allowed to buy anything more advanced than an Instamatic. But I was following my uncle’s advice. He was a professional photographer and told me to see how the camera felt in my hand, and to play with it without a roll of film inside to see how the shutter speeds and so on worked.
      Only one shop bothered to listen to my request. I went back week after week, deciding between the Canon, Pentax and Olympus cameras in my price range. It was soon down to the Pentax and the Olympus, and the Olympus was the one that felt right in my hand.
      That shop got my customer loyalty until they closed.

  2. I enjoyed your story on camera selection – I’ve seen your comments on some other blogs. I’ve had Olympus cameras for 30 years, although I’ve stayed short of the SLR level as I never was going to be that much into photography. I still have all but one of them.

    I did get the 20x zoom camera and it works well outside, although SoCal can’t test the dampness. It is a bit too much for inside work in my little place so I got another Olympus that let me get rid of the flash for most pictures, which makes cat pics a lot easier.

    • I was given my first Olympus, an Olympus Trip, in the late 70s. I have been brand loyal ever since. šŸ™‚ though my 4 thirds is a Lumix. It is compatible with Olympus so should I switch camera bodies at some point to Olympus I can still use my lenses.

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