Moving to Micro Four Thirds

camerasI’ll start for saying that this post is for photography nerds only so I won’t be offended if you switch off now. Today I sold my old and much loved Canon gear and finally embraced the world of micro four-thirds completely. I sold my old body and lenses on eBay and decided to fully commit to a new camera system. But why?

I had been using a Canon 7D for the past five years and had bought some lenses along the way including an excellent Sigma 18-55, 10-20 and the stupendous but extremely heavy Canon 100-400 L. The quality was fantastic but as I bought more gear I realised that simply going out to take pictures was becoming more of a logistical and physical commitment than a spontaneous one. I graduated from a small camera bag to a larger one and then onto a backpack so I could always have everything and I mean everything with me. The downside was that my backpack weighed 19kg (41 lbs). I remember walking around Venice earlier in the year convinced that my kidneys would be pounded to puree by the constant weight of the bag and that I was in danger that if I fell over, rather like a turtle, I would never be able to right myself.

So something had to be done or I’d start taking less photographs. So I borrowed an Olympus em5 from a friend and went out early one morning to see how it the camera felt.  Thirty seconds later I knew there was no tuning back.

So I saved up some money and bought the Olympus em1 and the 12-40 pro lens. I have to say I’m very happy with the move. The quality is all there and the weight of my camera has dropped by at least 30%. Canon plus lens 1.44kg, Olympus 0.97kg. That doesn’t sound a lot but believe me it is, especially after a day holding the camera. The other lenses are also smaller, the 75-300 Olympus lens weighs about the same as the lens cap on the Canon 100-400. Not the same quality as the Canon I’ll admit but a useful lens none the less. And I’m waiting for delivery of a Olympus 7-14 lens for those oh so important landscape shots.

A rather chocolate box image of the New Forest
A rather chocolate box image of the New Forest on the Olympus

The result is spontaneous shooting and a freedom to take a camera places I would have thought twice about before. My camera bag is now the size of a small handbag and when I pull out the camera I’m not assumed to be a member of the paparazzi but just some bloke with a camera.

I’m sure I will come across the compromises in image size and low light handling but for now at least I glad I made the switch.

Look back in four year’s time when Canon have made a full frame camera that weights the same as  plump sparrow and I’ll no doubt have switched again.




2 thoughts on “Moving to Micro Four Thirds

  1. Dear Mr Lanigan. I read your post with great interest. My son will be 18 in three weeks and he wants to upgrade his current Olympus to the new OMD EM10 Mark II. That way he gets to keep using his lenses and maybe his grandpa will get him a new lense too. Would you be available to advise on lenses?

  2. Dear Mr Quin E Tone

    Unusual name. It depends rather on what your son likes to shoot. An excellent lens for all round work is the
    Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-40mm 1:2.8 PRO Lens. Not cheap I grant you but excellent quality. A review of great lenses for Olympus cameras can be found at Alternatively the whole micro four-thirds range can be seen at

    Ultimately it boils down to portability, budget and subject matter.

    Please offer Mr Charles E Tone Elly and my very best wishes

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