There is a huge war brewing out there, Nikon D7000 vs Pentax K5, and how everyone is saying those two cameras are far ahead in terms of high ISO-noise performance and dynamic range over Olympus E-5.
It has come to a point that people are actually bashing each other up in such discussions that they have lost track of what they were doing in the first place: to find the “right” camera.
Do take note that I did not say the “best” camera. There is no such thing as the “best” camera, or which camera is better than which camera, those comparisons will be endless and mundanely pointless. So what Pentax K5 does better than Nikon D7000 In terms of high ISO performance? So you have to dump your newly purchased Nikon D7000 and go for the supposingly “better” Pentax K-5, because the review websites tell you that it has this much better dynamic range and that much better high ISO performance down to 0.0001% accuracy? Oh how about the users of older D300s or D90, oh no, D7000 and K5 are the latest and “best” cameras, they must sell off their gears and upgrade too, so what? So that their photography skills can evolve suddenly and become better photographers: just because they use the latest and most capable gear?
It is frustrating to watch the world going head over heels over specification wars and complain about even the tiniest things, like how badly the button layouts on the Nikon D7000 are. I wonder when everyone will wake up and realize that there is in fact no such thing as perfect camera. Different manufacturers and different models of cameras have their own unique design considerations, and every one of the cameras have their strengths and weaknesses. Just because the reviews say that one camera is not performing on par with another camera, it does not mean that camera was useless and should be ignored !! It all really comes down to what you want, and what you would choose as the “right” camera. I reiterate, there is no such thing as a perfect camera. However, you have to decide what is “right” for yourself.
KL Night View from Legend Hotel 8th floor
Olympus E-5 with 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 (I finally used my original standard kit lens, since a friend borrowed my 11-22mm over the weekend).
13second, F/8, ISO100, anti-shock 2 sec, IS off.
You see, I belong to the old school kind of shooter, though I was born into the digital photography age. When I shoot, I do not go ridiculously crazy over high ISO. Whenever I can, I would use the lowest setting possible, because, I only use what I need to use. Don’t tell me you will be using ISO3200 under broad sunlight outdoors. Don’t tell me you will be using ISO1600 when you are doing your studio photography works, where you have total lighting controls from fixed light sources. To me high ISO will be reserved for certain difficult situations, that I have no choice but to push it. Yes, I know having the flexibility to shoot at clean images with great noise control is something that everyone in the digital era dreams of, I do too, but it is only applied to certain situations, not all. The message is clear, if you are shooting constantly at ISO3200 and beyond (ISO100,000????) then obviously you should be looking elsewhere. If you are like me, shooting at ISO 100-800 at 80% of the time, then I do not see any reason how Olympus E-5, or any older models such as E-3 and E-30 cannot stand up against competition.
Photography is a hell lot more than just some high ISO noise performance. People always love to quantify and measure. They want to put numbers down, so there is reference and ranking. They want to compare. They want to label which is better and which is worse. Let me ask you this question: would you feel more secure and happier, if you own a “better” camera? So if you are having a less than perfect camera, you feel insecure and inadequate? Then when you look at a better camera your friend is holding in his hand, you go “ahhh I wish I am using that camera, my camera is not as good as that one”? If this is true, I am afraid, no matter what camera you use, you will not be satisfied, because there will always be something better out there, and it gets better and better in the future. You justify your own photography works based on your gear. Oh my photography work sucks, blame it on the camera. You let your photography equipments decide how good you are. What happened to the eye behind the camera that matters?
Every camera has its own place. There really is no need to label which is better and bash another brand, and make a total fuss out of it. Learn the characteristics of your camera system, ask yourself, why you chose it in the first place, what are its strengths, and weaknesses. Make full use and exploit its strengths, while working around the weaknesses with your own techniques to truly bring out the best in your photography work, supporting your photography vision. More importantly, learn to be happy with the gear you use, take some pride in the camera system (every camera system has a long history, something to be proud of) and concentrate on the core of photography.
If Olympus Malaysia did not decide to present me with a complimentary E-5, I would not be able to afford one for probably one to two years to come. That does not matter, because I still have my faithful, reliable and still fully functional Olympus E-520, a bruised and battered entry level DSLR, which I have grown very fond of. So what if it is not the best camera, so what if it is old, so what if at ISO800 the image on E-520 exhibits more noise than ISO3200 on the E-5? There is a whole world of limitations shooting with the E-520, yet I love using it. After using Olympus E-5, do I feel that E-520 is useless and unworthy? Hell NO !! It is still a DSLR, it has the strong characteristics that define what Olympus is and stands for. I love it, and a point that must not be neglected: I thoroughly enjoy using it.
So enough of the comparisons and pointless bashing already. Yes, this camera is better because of that, and this camera can do something that the other camera cannot. Just pick one camera system, fall in love with it, and start shooting.
After all, photography is all about photographs, NOT cameras !!