15 Jan 2017

In a previous post, I gave reasons for buying a mirrorless camera. They boil down to size and capability.

Size is important for more than the obvious reasons. To capture the genuine flavour of a foreign land, poncing about with a massive great camera is going to draw attention and either scare off the folk or paint their faces with artificiality when they catch sight of you.

Smartphones are great for street photography. Everyone, everywhere, has a smartphone. They are pretty much invisible.

Not so great for image quality.

So my backup camera body is a small mirrorless with a short but good lens. The Olympus Pen F above, shown with a 17mm ƒ1.8 prime. It is deliberately styled on an old film camera and it is by far the most handsome bit of photo kit I’ve ever owned.

It is also state of the art, with wifi, a 20MP sensor, the ability to pixel-shift up to 50MP, and in-body image stabilisation. It has a flip-out touchscreen, and a discreet little electronic viewfinder.

Enough functions and controls for the most fussy of photographers, including a suite of in-camera black and white and artistic effects. Try something arty, and you can see the effect immediately instead of hours later when you fire up Photoshop.

Small enough that I can carry it in a belt pouch. If I want to tuck it away.

Not cheap, and not for the novice. But if you know what you are about, then this might possibly be the best camera on the planet for capturing the essence of an exotic street.

Not that I count myself as an expert. But I aim to be. Stick around for and see how I go!