Last week, I went out shooting with my friend Ryan Greeff, who lives here in Anchorage. He also likes to photograph outdoor adventure subjects and sports like mountain biking. He’s only been shooting for a few years, but he’s got a great eye and as much enthusiasm for photography as anyone.
I first met Ryan a couple years ago when we were both shooting a cyclocross race. He drew my eye because he had the same orange Lowepro Photo Sport 200 pack that I often use, and over the past couple of years, we’ve enjoyed talking about photography whenever we get together. And although he shoots simply for fun and not money, Ryan doesn’t seem love photography any less than I do. I feel that’s the case with just about every enthusiastic photographer out there. We all do it because we love the craft.
Anyway, one evening last week, I flew us out to the Knik Glacier in my little yellow Cessna, where we spend the tail end of the day hopping around on the icebergs and shooting photos out in this incredible, rugged environment. In short, just two dudes with cameras exploring photography, just for the sake of fun and creative experimentation.
I had my new Fuji X-T10, which is an amazing little camera (read my full review here) he had his new Olympus OM-D EM-1, which he recently upgraded to from the Nikon D90. (Olympus just released their brand new OM-D EM-5 Mark II as well.) In many ways, the Fuji X and Olympus OM-D series cameras are so similar, and so it was cool to check out each other’s gear, compare features and share creative and technical ideas.
Although I’ve spent my entire photography life shooting Nikon and Fuji, I’ve always thought very highly of Olympus, and I’m impressed by their mirrorless cameras.
In my mind, Both Fuji and Olympus are running on the same track- they both are well-established camera companies who have a long legacy with traditional photography, and they’ve both transitioned very well from the film era into the digital age with capable, high performing cameras that retain this legacy and yet continue to inspire with modern technology and a host of creative features.
Both have worked hard to retain a traditional look and feel. However, this is not just a retro-marketing thing. Camera design has evolved over many decades, and some of these designs and features have been retained for a reason- they work and they make sense, both ergonomically and mechanically.
Although mirrorless cameras are largely software based inside, the design of these cameras is still based on fundamental mechanical principles that were established decades ago by companies like Zeiss, Contax, Asahiflex, Praktica, and of course, Leica, Nikon and even Kodak.
The same can be said for DSLRs. Although they’re starting to lose some ground to mirrorless cameras, they’re still solid, well designed photographic tools that can help you explore your creativity in endless ways.
It’s a very exciting time to be a photographer right now, and no matter what camera you’re using, whether it’s a Fuji, Olympus, Sony, Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, etc…
So if you came from film, or if your photography life has existed entirely in the digital age, you’re holding a great deal of history in your hands and you’re part of a wonderful legacy that continues to allow for a world of fun and personal expression.
Enjoy it. And Enjoy summer. And check out Ryan’s Instagram feed.
A photo posted by Ryan Greeff (@akgreeff) on