On too many cameras and not enough photos.

This is a bit of therapy for me and possibly prevention for others. Below I will list the cameras I have owned (not the lenses, but assume each camera was well supported), how long I had them and how much they were used and some random thoughts. It is a sad tale of excess, waste and lack of focus. There is no guarantee I will get the order right, but it has been a long time.

First the manual focus period from about 1980 to 1995.

Canon T80. The first and worst Canon AF SLR with the giant focus motor in the lens. Surprisingly I kept going with photography. Started using colour slide film. I still miss the rhythm of buying a couple of process paid rolls, using them and waiting for the little green or yellow boxes to appear in the post. 

Canon T90. Much better camera in every respect, except no mirror lock up.

Canon AE1. Did not last long, but I got a couple of good lenses from the kit.

Canon F1n. Beautifully built and came with a job lot of premium glass, motor drive etc. Suffered from a sticky shutter that developed right in the middle of a newspaper temping gig!

Canon T90 x2. One had a hidden fault from a crack in the inner body. I used to gaffer tape the bodies to protect the shiny surfaces.

Olympus OM 4 ti x2 and OM 1. My first foray with Olympus. Loved the cameras and the lenses especially (28 f2, 50 & 90mm macro f2's, 180 f2.8). I made the wrong choice in going with Canon alone, but I had a big telephoto for the Canon and one of the Olympus lenses got damaged in a fall. Even this early I felt Olympus had something about them.

Olympus Pen F. The original half frame. Swapped with a friend for a week until he got the jitters and asked for it back.

Canon F1 (old). My favourite at the time. The silky smooth shutter and mirror lock gave me good results in high res work and no batteries required. During this period I used a spot meter or guessed exposures a lot. Very pro.

Canon F1 (old) x2. One cost me $300 to remove a loose screw (the cameras, not mine), which was $50 more than the camera cost me, but otherwise they were great. Mostly shooting low ISO black and white (Agfa Pan 25 and Rodinal 1:200) at this time.

Switch to AF. This period went from the end of MF to digital except for a breif foray into medium format. Roughly from 1995 to 2006 and included two stints in camera stores.

Canon Eos 50 x2. These felt and looked great and were well featured.

Nikon 28ti. Wish I had kept this one.

Canon Eos 30. This was a very slight upgrade to the 50's and came after a good 2-3 year period.

Canon A2. The rare, non eye control version of the Eos 5. A serious pro level camera at the time and in many ways ahead of the Eos 1.

Bronica 645. Getting back to basics. I looked at a lot of medium format options, but this suited me best at the time.

Canon Eos 5. Back to SLR's because I was not taking enough photos.

A long break from photography. What gear I had was languishing in apathetic "not digital, but digital is not good enough yet anyway" land. A bad time for photography generally. I was also completely computer illiterate.

Canon Eos 10D. Bought third or fourth hand from a friend who also set me up with Lightroom 1. I was better with Lightroom than with email for a long time and kept loosing files etc, but it got better. Did not appreciate this one enough. Rumour has it, it ended its life in the back of a demolition derby car.

Canon Eos 450D. Nothing like the 10D to use, but faster and more sure footed in many ways. The files were tough and robust setting me up for future disappointment with Canon crop frame sensors/files.

Started my new job in a "digital" era camera store about 2007 to Christmas 2015.

Canon 50D. A logical upgrade from the 450D. Preferred the 450 and went back to it. The 50D came at a funny time with what many felt were too any pixels (!?!) and it needed a firmware update to fix a timing problem. The first time for me firmware came up, but not the last.

Canon 450 and 1000D. I decided to go with depth in "lesser" bodies rather than pro or semi pro bodies. Lenses on the other hand were always the best I could get.

Canon 5D mk 2. Full frame at last. The Mark 2 gave good balance to the full frame arena, but was not good enough at sport. This opened the lens range up a lot for me especially in wide angles and everything felt "right".

Canon Eos 1D Mk2 x2. I really liked these cameras, but the batteries were tired and one of the second hand bodies acted strangely. 

Olympus Pen Epl3. I won this one from Olympus. I had always been a fan and sold a lot of their SLR 4/3 cameras- more than anyone in the state it turned out.

Panasonic GF3. Just liked it and the 14mm came in the kit.

Canon 450D. Bought cheaply ex demo from work to replace the long sold ones.

Canon 550D. A clear upgrade from the 450 in handling etc, but the files tended to blow out highlights badly.

OMD EM5. My first OMD, bought the day we got them in store. I intended to go with a two brand kit. Never works.

Canon 5D2 again for a day, then the 5D3 for a weekend then...

Bought it back for another OMD (450D kit and some basic Canon gear kept also, but it did not last long).

Oh, now it gets good. Keep in mind that from my first OMD to now is only three years, but in my defence no one was getting everything right. At one time I had 4 brands and no happiness.

Panasonic GH1. Nice camera, but the OMD was more in most ways and running two M43 brands was confusing. The Panasonic interface was better, but too different.

Fuji Xe-1. The year the EM5 came out, so did the Xe-1. This was a good effort from Fuji, but so much slower and more annoying than the OMD. I got a job lot of cheap primes (27/60) and made a small kit. All mirrorless brands at this point had issues in performance, lens range or relevance, but the Fuji's were determined to frustrate.  

Fuji X100 (first). Had it for a few days and returned it. More of the above, but worse.

Canon 100D. SLR jitters again. Great little camera, much underrated, but too small for long lens work. If they had just made a hollow hand grip option, but Canon surprised us enough with the camera, so no clever extras.

Fuji Xe-1. Frikkin' again. Same issues. Great images, crap performance. 

Sony Nex 7. Highest pixel count at the time. The few lenses I had and the adequate performance did not make up for the lack of soul the camera had. Black and white images were sublime and the camera showed me the phenomenon of not sharp, but lush images.

Mass clear out and a pledge to one brand. At this time I was also collecting any old film cameras that came my way, including a Pentax 67, Mamiya C330, several Pentax, Nikon, Olympus and Canon film SLR's and lenses. I also explored the "legacy lens" options for all of the above with some wins.

This is the post camera shop era. I am giving pro work a luke warm go and have not been as settled since the film era.

OMD EM5 mk1 (the newer model and 12-40 second hand from an old customer). These came in a cracking deal towards the end of the EM5's life, with the kit selling for less than the lens alone and I got it even cheaper second hand.

EPM 2. My mother in laws camera, swapped for a good compact. Makes a great street camera.

Pen F. This one has raised the bar for me and settled many of the miss givings I had about M43 and the Olympus look.

Current kit; 3x OMD EM5 mk1 (2 for street and the newer one for work), Pen F (work), EPM 2 (street), lots of film cameras including a couple of mint Eos 50/30's.

? Em1 mk2.


I doubt I could carry them all and would not want to. Too much in light of the lessons learned and often relearned? Yes, definitely, but live and move on.