It was a wonderful summer… but just “almost” perfect.
I packed my backpack, squeezed in my tent, my gear, and decided to discover Eastern Europe all alone.
The wild cliffs in the North of Bulgaria, the fascinating beauty of the Albanian Alps (Albania must be the most underrated country in Europe… run to visit it!), the deep forests of Montenegro, the stunning Croatian Coast.
I won’t bother you will all the wonderful memories I have from that summer, from waking up in my tent and all alone enjoy sunrise at the top of the Popluks, or the old Albanian shepherds offering me a water on the way to Montenegro, or even the people, living in the natural caves on the cliffs of Yaylata, who offered me to stay overnight and we ended up getting seriously drunk with Rakia brandy… and so many more precious moments.
At this point of the story, all you need to know, is that everything made me happy… everything but one: carrying too much gear around.
On the ferry that brought me from Croatia back to my home, Italy, I took a decision: I will travel lighter from now on!
Long story short:
I was one of the first to jump on the mirrorless train, and I did it with an Olympus EP-1.
So yes, Olympus was my first mirrorless love.
My Olympus EP-1 was with me on a big South America travel and it also filmed my 45 feet (14 meter) cliff jump in Santo Domingo.
Of course my mirrorless journey did not end here.
I tried the Panasonic mirrorless system, but I simply loved Olympus more.
And just when I was sure I’d switch back to Olympus, a brand called “Fujifilm” started releasing mirrorless cameras. Well, I guess you know how the story ended in this case ;).
But you know… you never forget your first love, which is why I will be forever grateful to Olympus and for what it meant in my photographic journey.
Olympus brought back lightness into my photography… Fujifilm just added a bit more fun to it.
And it fills me with sadness, to see Olympus announcing today that they will pull out from the digital camera market.
Sure, I’ve followed all the struggles, but I was hoping Olympus could somehow turn it around… but evidently they couldn’t.
So what now?
Many Olympus shooter will probably just stick for many years to come with the gear they have, and that’s fantastic. But there will be also many others, who probably feel that this might be the time to look around for some other system.
To those Olympus shooters, looking around for other options now, I can say that I was one of you in the past, and I found a new home in Fujifilm.
I know compactness is one of the main reasons why you rightfully stayed with Olympus so far, but I can tell you, that APS-C still allows for fairly small cameras and lenses (my X-E3 with my XF27mm is a wonderful combo). Many of you value also the retro look (see Olympus Pen-F), and Fuji has plenty of that to pick from.
It’s of course a free world, and only you know what is best for you.
But if some of you will join the X system, it will be a bit like getting my old family back.
With that said, I think we all owe Olympus a big thanks for what they did in their camera business, pushing innovations like class leading IBIS or Live-ND feature and more. There is a lot other companies, Fujifilm included, can learn, if they look at Olympus.