As you know from our previous post, we’re planning on going on an adventure next year and one that may only last for a fraction of our lives so capturing the memories we create is extremely important. It’s inevitable that we’ll be clicking away day after day, accumulating a mass of photographs, so we decided early on that the pictures will have to look great.
To quote Rodger Kingston, “A camera is a ‘save’ button for the minds eye”. With this thought in mind, we want to ensure that the experiences we have are “saved” as clearly as possible for all to see. We decided to upgrade ourselves from our standard Compact, currently Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W350, and Phone Cameras we use regularly day to day to something a little bit more professional.
Initially, we believed the most ideal camera to buy would be a DSLR (Digital single-lens reflex), as they produce the highest quality images. They are obviously the go-to choice for professional photographers and we noticed that many a tourist own one. We sought advice from Jeff Mumford (Anthony’s Dad) as he is an experienced photographer, initially asking for recommendations on what camera would be cheap (DSLRs are not cheap) efficient and will suit our needs. His response was “You don’t want one of those, you want yourself a CSC instead”. We were confused, a CSC? What on earth is that? Well for those not in the know, as we were at the time, a CSC stands for Compact System Camera. We were skeptical at first because we wanted to have high quality and professional looking photographs to capture our adventures and we were of the understanding that the DSLR was the only way to go. “Trust me, you’re travelling around the world, you’ll want something light and easier to use than one of those”, came the follow up text. We did a little Google search and realised that Jeff was right; they’re practically half the size of a standard DSLR, if not smaller, yet they had sensors that could compete with (and in some cases are better) than the DSLR. SOLD!
The next stage was finding the right one and, as per usual, we were out to get a bargain. We gave Jeff the task to start looking too and he was more than happy to oblige. We looked up many reviews from different websites and one camera in particular kept rearing it’s head, the Sony A6000. Many of the reviews mentioned words along the lines of “can’t believe it’s this good for such a low price” and that was all we really needed to know. Now we had to go take a look at one in the flesh (… uh… plastic) and get a feel for it; luckily for us our home town has a Jessops. The A6000 felt incredibly light, too light in fact, a minute later we came to the realisation the battery was not in it! This made us realise that the CSC is definitely the way to go due to the sheer amount of travelling we’ll be doing; we don’t want to be carrying a brick around with us for a year. A member of Jessops’ staff clocked us and came swooping in for the kill, by which we mean ‘sale’, “Nah you don’t want that, you want one of these”… Here we go, we thought, this is where we’re lead to purchase their old stock with the fob off that we’re getting a “great deal” spiel. After a few minutes of chat and a little hands on with the camera in question we started to warm to him, he actually knew what he was talking about. The camera he quite clearly adored was the Olympus OM-D E-M10 and we began to appreciate it too. We were even shown a catalogue of images taken with it and trust us, they looked gorgeous.
Jessops were selling the camera for a good price at the time. There was even a deal where they would throw in a tripod for free but, being cautious, we decided to wait a little longer and test the online market for competitive pricing. Lucky for us as we managed to find a really good price, about £200 cheaper than Jessops could offer. Included in the deal was a 14-42mm lens, the equivalent to a 28-84mm full frame sensor lens for those in the know, and so as Kevin Bacon would say, “It’s a no brainer!”
We were incredibly excited when he arrived (that’s right, he’s a he) so we got straight into the settings and started playing around and getting used to how he worked. We decided to name him Oliver as it has a nice ring to it; what with him being an Olympus camera.
We’ve since purchased an additional lens, 40-150mm, just in case we end up on a safari in Africa and need that zoom to capture a lion resting with it’s cubs in the distance! We have no intention of missing a thing!
We have also purchased a tripod, just a cheap light one but it’s all we require really. We doubt we will be using it that often, unless of course we wanted to say capture the Aurora Borealis at some point… maybe… only time will tell!
Here are a few test shots we took out and about; we definitely need to keep practicing!