The 7 Year Itch

When Olympus first revealed the PEN E-P1 to me in the Spring of 2009, I felt like I was gazing at the future and the past all at once. It was a suspended moment.

Our first date was Coney Island. I had never been there before, and here I was with a new camera and a group of journalists, each with a PEN in their hands. There were only two lenses available then: the original 14-42mm zoom (a beast by today's comparisons) and the 17mm f/2.8 pancake (which I still use on occasion).

I photographed the boardwalk, explored the fun zone, and rode the rollercoaster. We had to compose on the LCD because there wasn't an optical or electronic viewfinder option then. So on that day, we were using 2009 LCD technology only. (Here's that first set of shots with the E-P1 if you'd like to see them.)

I returned from New York with the camera in my backpack. Over the weeks and months that followed, I used the E-P1 for street photography, candids, and family outings. It wasn't my serious camera yet. But I was clearly smitten. And the affair was far from over.

In December of 2011, I received an email from Olympus asking if I were to attend CES. I was. "We'd like to meet with you. You're going to want to see this." 

They were right. In February of 2012, Olympus announced the OM-D E-M5, and mirrorless photography transformed from a curiosity to a legitimate DSLR alternative. The E-M5 is so good, that I still use it today in the studio for product shots and portraits. Mine has a 25mm Leica f/1.4 Micro Four Thirds lens, and the shots that tandem produces are impressive.

As much as I liked the PEN, I loved the OM-D. The mini-SLR styling, the electronic viewfinder, the way it feels in my hands, 5-axis image stabilization that works with any lens, and the clever two-part grip system... talk about a killer body.

Today, my preferred digital cameras are the E-M5 Mark II and the E-M10 Mark II. Seven years later, and I'm still committed as much as ever.

You probably thought this was going to be a story about a new infatuation - about me getting all twisted up with something young and pretty.

Well, here's the thing: I don't believe in the 7 year itch. Sure, if you make a bad choice and try to stick it out, you'll probably tire of the situation at some point... maybe in 7 years. Probably before. But if you make good choices - in your relationships, career, and yes, cameras too - desire becomes life itself.

Sign me up for another 7. I'm not even close to being through with you yet.