by Jacob James
For as long as I’ve been photographing, I’ve always had a soft spot for gear and the technical side of photography. In the beginning, I was obsessed with getting the best camera I could afford, which, ironically, was a refurbished entry-level Nikon DSLR—not exactly the pinnacle of camera technology at the time.
For the years following, I shot with Nikon DSLRs and these cameras are the ones with which I first started my photography career. At the time my needs for a camera were simple: good image quality. Most of my work was still travel photography, but mainly posed portraiture, landscape work, and the occasional ‘action’ shot. I didn’t care about weight or usability, in my mind DSLRs were the only way to do it.
After a couple of years and some extra lenses in my kit bag, the weight started to become an annoyance. I was either leaving gear in my hotel or being wiped out after a day of lugging a weighty rucksack. This is when my first venture into looking at smaller gear started; I looked at Fuji, Olympus and eventually settled with Panasonic and the GX7.
At the time many photographers were looking into smaller cameras, Instagram was taking off, iPhones were being hailed as the DSLR killer, and the mirrorless boom started. Seeing amazing, candid, fly on the wall imagery being captured with cameras like the Ricoh GR, iPhones, Olympus OMDs etc. began to make me realize what I was missing out on.
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