In Praise of Olympus FourThirds Cameras
|E-1 + HLD-2 + Zuiko Digital 12-60mm|
Early this morning I traveled to a farm near Oviedo Florida that has been used for some number of years as demonstration and test area. Today was a demonstration. The farm is still a working farm, which means everything is set up in a large open field. With all the recent rains the area was pretty saturated with lots of standing water, along with the copious cow patties dotting the field.
I carried two cameras with me this morning to the demo, my E-1 with the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm and my E-3 with the EC-14 and Zuiko Digital 50-200mm.
The demo started at 8am, under a foggy sky. I tried to turn the Prius' air conditioner down so the interior wouldn't get so cool, so that my glasses wouldn't fog over when I arrived and stepped outside. In spite of my best efforts my glasses still fogged over in spite of my best efforts. The air at the farm this morning was so super-saturated that both cameras covered over with so much condensation it was dripping off both cameras.
I arrived twenty minutes before the start of the demo, so I simply waited for the cameras to warm up to ambient temperature. They did, but because the air was so saturated the condensation didn't evaporate from the cameras, especially from the lenses' front elements. I've been through this before so I came prepared with a micro-fiber cloth, which I used to clean off the front elements of both lenses. Once that was done the cameras were put to use for the rest of the morning.
I can't show anything I took today, but I can say that both cameras performed flawlessly. Every photo was taken raw, then processed later in the day for an afternoon meeting in which the photographs were used as part of a review. Everyone was more than satisfied with the results.
Everyone talks about being able to use the Olympus FourThirds high-end bodies in the rain. In central Florida, during the hot humid months of the summer, the bodies combined with HG lenses are subjected to repeated entry from cool and dry to warm and very humid. Most of the time the condensation quickly evaporates, but there are those times when I have to wipe the front elements clean. In all cases the lenses and bodies are unaffected by the moisture, and they work flawlessly, exposure after exposure after exposure. This is one very important reason why I am so reluctant to let this gear go. I can't find anything with the same combination of features, especially the environmental sealing, that's as cost effective.
One day I'm sure something will go wrong with some item in my kit. But the kit has already earned my complete trust. I'll fix any problem and continue to use it until it completely fails. The total system is dependable in use, day in and day out. While I try to take care of my kit, it's definitely been used and carted all over the country. No other camera, not even my E-P2, has earned the same level of trust my FourThirds gear has.