I’ve written here before about my connection to Olympus cameras. I’ve used them on and off since the film days, going back to the original OM-1. That camera came out my senior year in high school. It was the first camera of its kind to feature a built-in exposure meter! I still remember how cool I thought that was.
The Olympus OM-1 is just a small part of a storied history that many people don’t know about. Olympus is in its 100th year and just released a video that touches on some of this and the philosophy behind their approach to making cameras and lenses.
The video features Pulitzer Prize winner and fellow Olympus Visionary Jay Dickman. I can think of nobody better to represent the brand. One of the reasons that I decided to trust Olympus when I switched to Micro Four Thirds was the fact that a photographer of Jay’s reputation was one of their Visionary ambassadors. I happen to think he’s one of the world’s top photographers.
I made the full-time switch to Olympus about two and a half years ago. I have been exclusively using Olympus gear ever since. Coincidentally, two years ago next month, I received one of the highest honors of my career. I was made an Olympus Visionary and allowed to join an elite group of photographers who I look up to. Now this is where the story comes full circle. I am honored to be on the same Visionary team as Jay Dickman and the rest of the gang.
Watching this video, I was filled with pride. The people I get to work with at Olympus (not just my fellow Visionary team but the marketers, the sales people, the C-Suite, and the engineers) are some of the most passionate people I have ever met in my six decades on this planet. They also happen to be a very friendly, helpful and super talented group. It’s rare to find so many people of this caliber working on one project.
Olympus has a philosophy that is very simple. They develop cameras for a niche that isn’t already being filled. Rather than trying to make a better (Fill In The Blank) camera, they look at the market, see what doesn’t exist and then build that.
The ability to work with cameras that offer great tracking autofocus, connected to super telephoto lenses, but are less than half the weight and size of similar gear in the DSLR range has saved my career.
I feel like my photography has never been better and I attribute at least part of that success to the freedom to keep working thanks to Olympus gear.
I highly recommend this video. And yes this post is sappy and probably corny to some of you. But I wanted to share this anyway because these past two years as an Olympus Visionary have been some of the most fulfilling of my life. I’m a very lucky guy and I’ve been able to accomplish a great deal in my life. But being an Olympus Visionary is right up there with the best things that have ever happened to me.
Thanks to Olympus, and the Visionary team who are kind enough to allow me to be a small part of something greater than myself and congratulations to Olympus for 100 years. Here’s hoping for many more.