What sort of photographer are you? There's a question that people answer in the shop in oh-so-many different ways. Some say good or bad. Some say they are an adherent of Brand A or Brand B. Some identify themselves by the subjects they like to shoot. Some say amateur or professional, and frequently they are right.
Hardly anyone ever says that they are modest. Or moderate. Or minimalist. It is almost as if they are afraid that the sales staff, other photographers, or the camera makers will look down on them. " There, there, little fellow...". Yet the middle-run, middle-price, middle-age market is one of the solid parts of the trade, and the results that these people produce are magnificent. I think it is to them that the Olympus company has addressed itself with the latest evocation of their E-M10 camera.
The original E-M10, the Mark II version of it, and now the Mark III version are all aimed at the user who may not quite yet be familiar with all the options and controls that digital photography offers. Someone who may not need to do 26-hour-a-day professional shooting for savage clients. Someone who wants a great result without a great deal of button pressing and decision-making. If that sounds like you - or someone in your family - admit it to yourself and come take a look at the new camera.
It's not cheap - Best part of $ 1000 for the body and then throw the lens of your choice on the front. But considering your needs and your tastes - and the degree of sophistication in the electronics inside this camera, this camera can work with you for the next decade and deliver good results over that time.
Sound ambitious? One camera to last that long? In spite of the fact that there will be newer ones out in the interim - with seductive advertising and fan-boy pages on the internet? Who's going to go for that?
Well, go outside and look at your driveway. If there is a 5-year-old car out there that is doing very nicely...and will continue doing very nicely for another 5 years... you may very well be the person who would like this camera. Look in your wardrobe - past the one-season wonders that you now regret buying. Look at your best suit or dress - the one that you always like to wear. It's going along very nicely, isn't it? Maybe you're the right person for the Olympus E-M10 MkIII
- you may be very happy with each other for a long time.
Olympus aren't silly - neither are Camera Electronic. We know that novelty is one of the main veins of trade for cameras these days. That's why the design bureaux are still drawing camera bodies. But we also know that value for the money that you bring in is important. I'm afraid that we have all sometimes stopped looking at the gear we sell and realising just what phenomenal work it can do - whether the goods are classed in a professional category or not. Perhaps we should watch the buyers who take these cameras home and appreciate just how much fun and art they can produce with them.
Side thought: The camera clubs and societies movement is the place to look. That's where people of moderate means make cheerful society with each other. And the art work they do is excellent. Check out a local club or society and see what I mean.