Joe Edelman Could Be My Twin Switching From Nikon to Micro Four Thirds

Posted Dec. 7th, 2017 by Daniel J. Cox

Switching from Nikon to Micro Four Thirds

Seems Joe Edelman had an almost identical path in photography as I have. He started in the mid 70’s with a Nikon F2AS, just like me. He shot the Nikon system for over 40 years, just like me. He relied on Nikon cameras to actually earn a living from photography, just like me. And, just like me, he got tired of Nikon’s costly gear, heavy weight, and lack of current cutting edge technology like 4K video. So… like me, he made the switch, and boy is he fired up and loving his photography again.

Just like me, Joe loves the small, compact, and highly sophisticated technology he’s found in his Micro Four Thirds camera of choice, the Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll. Virtually every comment out of Joe’s mouth sounds like a recording of what I’ve also been saying since I first picked up a Lumix camera back in 2008. And just like me, he’s now shooting professional, paid assignments using the much smaller, compact cameras with no issues expressed by his clients. Take a look at the video Joe produced to share his thoughts about breaking up with Nikon in a humorous, lighthearted way. The only thing Joe and I differ on is his choice of camera, but either way, this guy could be my rebellious twin. No earrings or tattoos for me though.

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There are 12 comments on this post…
  1. Louis BerkOn Jan. 25th, 2018

    Interesting his comments about Sony. That’s where I came from – my first digital system after selling my MF film systems. Very disappointed with the lens offerings. I bought the GX8 for birding but then decided to try the Oly 7-14 PRO for some architecture work. That sold me – even though I was mainly using Panasonic lenses for everything else – and I have never looked back. Imho, the m43rds landscape has changed dramatically in the last two years. Back in 2016 I was reluctant to tell anyone I was shooting m43rds for commercial work. With the arrival of the OMD-EM1 MkII, GH5 and now the G9 m43rds is seen as a serious professional system. I started selling again on Alamy and nearly all my stock is Panasonic/m4rds.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 25th, 2018

      Thanks for the great insight Louis. I just finished spending three weeks with the new Lumix G9 and the Leica 200mm F/2.8 lens. Shooting lots of birds in flight. Will be writing up my findings in a week or so. Stay tuned.

  2. Russell P NowellOn Dec. 31st, 2017

    Have a great time with the migration in the Bosque, Dan. I enjoyed the video of another Micro 4/3rds conversion. Key to me was the balanced emphasis on enjoying the process and using the equipment for the purpose of telling the story rather than bragging rights. I have come to rely on your insight. Even though you have opened a two way communication with Panasonic, you never hesitate to state when another maker deserves credit and consideration. Lurking as usual, but I could not help but imagine you with a nice Kirituhi full facial tattoo, given your love for New Zealand combined with your profound respect for nature and people.

    Ha…I have no doubt but that I at least made you imagine it for a moment.

  3. David GaronOn Dec. 20th, 2017

    Hey Dan,

    All these comments, including yours, seem to parallel my photo-gear journey. As I think you might know, I’m using the EM-1 mkII. My lenses – 45mm f/2.8 Leica (my absolute favorite – since I’m biggly into people), OlyPro 12-14 f/2.8 and OlyPro 7-14 f/2.8. Since I don’t shoot wildlife and prefer landscapes and other subject matter that lends itself to wide angle better, these seem to be ideal for me. Just got back from a long treck into the Calico Basin of the Red Rocks here in Vegas, and only took the 2 zooms. Perfection! This is all my way of updating you and a prelude to my question – I know you were shooting the Oly 1 mkII for a while, but that you’ve been a Lumix-man since……forever? Why Panasonic over Olympus?

    If you’re at CES this year, really hope to get together with you and Tanya.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 20th, 2017

      Hi David, great to have you join the conversation. Yes, you’re right I was shooting the Olympus OM-D Em-1 Mark ll for a short period of time and I do still have it. But it’s been sitting lately. I mainly use it for testing between my Lumix and Olympus bodies. There are several reasons I’ve made a commitment to Lumix. Probably the main one is my experience with Panasonic products being nearly bomb proof, one of the main strengths of the Nikons I used to shoot. As you know, I shot Nikon for 35 years and I’m wondering if you recall you selling me my first Nikon F2AS when I was 16, maybe 17 years old? Durability has always been one of Nikon’s huge strengths. Nikons almost never break and I’ve found the same consistent quality with my Lumix gear. In fact, I’ve found that even with the amazing addition of all the electronics in the Lumix pro cameras, when compared to my Nikons, the Lumix cameras are very possibly even MORE reliable. When I first switched over to Lumix one of my life experiences that gave me the courage to start shooting a brand I was not familiar with, was the very durable Panasonic office equipment I used for over a decade in our office back in the 90’s. I threw out a Panasonic dot matrix printer as well as a Panasonic phone and fax machine, all of them still working perfectly after 12 years of use. You could not KILL those things. I figured if that gear held up, so should their cameras and I’ve not been disappointed.

      The other reason is the fact Panasonic has shown such an amazing interest in what I and other professionals have to say. After shooting and blogging about Lumix cameras for approximately five years, I got a call from Lumix asking if I would be interested in becoming a Lumix Ambassador. I thought, “sure, why not.” I obviously believed in their product and was using it extensively. At the time I had been shooting Nikon gear for 35 years and was never once offered anything similar. In all the years of using Nikon equipment only once was my opinion ever solicited for ideas on ANYTHING about their cameras. The one time I did get a call was during the period of the D2 series cameras where Nikon had massive issues with Back Focus. I had sent them a dozen emails of people complaining to me their Nikon D2x and D2H cameras would not focus properly. I had the same issues and figured out a relatively prehistoric test to prove the problem. They flew me out to Nikon headquarters to show them how I went through the process to see the back focus issues. They eventually fixed mine and supposedly rolled the fixes out across the camera line. But that was it in a 35-year long time relationship. It wasn’t just me, I understand virtually nobody, other than Japanese photographers, ever get a chance for input into Nikon cameras.

      It should be noted that as an official Lumix Ambassador I do get a small stipend for hitting the road and talking about their gear. But I do very few of these, mainly because I have no time. I also get one copy of just about anything that comes out if I ask for it. If I want two, like I will for the new G9 and I did for the GH5, I have to buy the second camera. Same goes for lenses where I was given the first 100-400mm but I had to buy the second. Though I’ve never had a Lumix lens or camera quit, like it did with Nikon, I almost always have two cameras or lenses, one in the office that can be shipped if need be. So far it’s not been needed. My Dad is actually shooting my second Leica 100-400mm and I gave him my second G85. He’s loving both.

      Finally, I’m a big believer in the underdog and that’s what Panasonic is.n Olympus makes some great gear but when you compare the technology we get in the Lumix line with what is available in the Olympus, it’s a no-brainer for me. I’m shooting more and more video and loving that new part of my career. Olympus doesn’t hold a candle to Lumix in the world of video. I’m also a fan of the Lumix bodies being just a tad larger. I have big hands so the smaller Olympus bodies are a bit too small for me. Thankfully it’s the lenses that give us the most benefit in weight and size savings. Last but definitely not least are the dedicated buttons we get on Lumix cameras. Olympus is very proud of being able to customize any button for any task. Which we can also do with Lumix. But out of the box, the Lumix top tier cameras have the most important buttons front and center, well marked and easy to recall and reach. The OM-D has chosen not to do this and that is a big deal for me.

      Sorry for the long winded answer but wanted to be clear. Hope you are well and we see each other soon.

  4. Lee HarrisOn Dec. 11th, 2017

    I switched in 2012 when the EM5 came out, best move I ever made.

  5. Paul H. HenningOn Dec. 11th, 2017

    I was a “Nikon guy” from the time I was a teenager. Actually owning one seemed like a breakthrough…”NOW I’m a pro!” And I happily used them from the very early 1970s until the mid-80s. Then I got seduced by Olympus: the OM-1 and OM-2 were very cool, light-weight and affordable, and Olympus had some terrific lenses. Sooooo….I gritted my teeth, dumped my entire Nikon system and bought all brand-new Oly gear. Mistake! Yes, the cameras were light and fun to use, but what I discovered as a location shooter running lots and lots of film through my cameras, as well as subjecting them to the rigors of travel, was that the Olys simply could not take the pounding that the Nikons could. It seemed like at least once a month we were sending in a body or motor drive for repair. As they say, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” The Nikons were built for pros and the demanding use we made of ‘em, sooooooooo…after about a year I dumped the Olympus system, bought back into Nikon and never looked back. That was three decades ago (I retired as a shooter in 1990) and I know much has changed in the interim (Film? What’s that???), but I’m just sayin’: be careful of falling victim to the “grass is greener” syndrome.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 14th, 2017

      Durability is not an issue with the LUMIX gear I’ve been shooting. My first Camera was an Olympus way back in 1976. I had three different OM-2 bodies over a two year period and after the third one one broke down the second time I traded my entire kit in for a Nikon F2AS and a 50mm lens and never looked back. Until 2008 when I tried the LUMIX GF1 on a lark. That was the start of my LUMIX infatuation and it’s still going strong.

      I’ve been extremely impressed with LUMIX reliability. This subject was important to me and was just one of many reasons I didn’t jump in whole hog from day one. But over the last almost ten years I’ve come to completly trust LUMIX cameras to take a beating and hold up in difficult conditions. If any of you have used Panasonic office equipment, as I did in the 90s, you know they make very durable equipment. I used a Panasonic dot matrix printer and Panasonic phone machine for ten years before finally replacing them with newer devices. I eventually recycled them even though they were still working with no issues.

      You’re point is well taken Paul but thankfully, it’s a nonissue with Panasonic LUMIX Camera bodies and lenses. Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation.

  6. DeanOn Dec. 8th, 2017

    Joe said what you (Dan) and I have been writing for quite a while. MFT has made photography “fun” again. Whether it’s with Olympus bodies like I prefer, or the Panasonic/Lumix cameras you like, MFT has made it easier (lighter, smaller, less expensive) for photographers like us to have “fun” again! And, the lenses from Olympus, Lumix, and third-parties are spectacular! How refreshing it is that two big companies (Olympus and Panasonic) compete and still cooperate with each other to deliver better products. As Joe suggested, it’s too bad that behemoths Canon and Nikon didn’t join forces and resources in a similar fashion. Oh what fun it is to be along for the MFT ride!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 8th, 2017

      I agree Dean. When I watched this video I was stunned by the virtual list I was ticking off in my head of the exact reasons I did the switch. And one of the main ones was the smaller gear made photography fun again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Come travel with us again someday.

  7. Anastas TarpanovOn Dec. 8th, 2017

    I’m doing exactly the same for two years now and all of my friends said that I need to use Sony full frame or at least Fuji if I’m creative and m4/3 is very-very small, can’t be professional system. Well the fact is that I love the compact lenses. You don’t have that with any other system, especially the tele lenses. Daniel I think you will understand me perfect.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 8th, 2017

      You are preaching to the choir Anastas. The problem with photographers is they seldom want to break out of the box they typically find themselves in. In my opinion we’ve all been brainwashed in to thinking we need the full frame or even the APS-C sized sensors. The major benefits of the MFT are for those of us using longer lenses. If big lenses aren’t something you use than maybe the Sony mirrorless or fuji would be an option. But having 800mm’s in a lens the size of a Nikkor 70-200mm is an absolute dream.

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