Info - Talking Tree Photo
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About My Photographic Equipment

My long journey in photography gave me ample opportunity to buy a lot of different equipment over the years and gain the experience of knowing a lot of stuff inside and out. I've been doing photography ever since I was in middle school with serious love and devotion. Also, this is a geeky love-affair with consuming literature on lenses and cameras and I'm usually subscribed to some of the most prominent photography mags out there like American Photo and Shutterbug. In the near future, I plan to start blogging on my shutter-junkie lifestyle so I can teach others what I know and what I've learned. If you have any questions regarding photography, please feel free to contact me at any time if you want to know my opinion on something. Regarding my experience, I've shot Medium Format, 35mm Film, and many different digital formats. I tend to travel around the Southwest a lot looking for subject matter. For over six years I've been a professional wilderness & tour guide in the Grand Canyon, and elsewhere. Having full-sized DSLRs was very limiting and I couldn't always carry all my equipment and lenses when backpacking in the Grand Canyon. When the Micro Four Thirds standard hit the main-stream market back in 2008, I realized it would fit my shooting style and way of life. The quality I get from Panasonic's M43 cameras is astounding when shooting landscapes and working with RW2 RAW files. I don't plan on giving up on this format any time soon and I have invested in many of the lenses. I think for the first time in my photographic life, I'm truly in love with my camera equipment. :)

I ended up selling all my Nikons! The simplicity of the micro four thirds format is very unique. The type of cameras you use CAN limit your ability to take better pictures, despite what purists and traditional photographers say. A good photographer can make excellent pictures with any camera, but why not get the perfect camera that will not limit your abilities? The poor camera sensors found inside point & shoot compacts really limit picture quality while bulky DSLRs were limiting my ability to tote all my equipment everywhere I traveled. It was like hauling cinder blocks around... I couldn't canyoneer into tight slot canyons with the bulk but with M43 equipment, it all fits in a rugged shoulder bag, not a backpack! The quality of the Micro Four Thirds mixed with the ultra-portability opened many doors. I haven't compromised quality with the Nikon to M43 switch. The old-school vanguard say a camera should be considered nothing more than a light-tight box but in the digital age, a digital sensor plays a huge role. Like a really good lens, the sensor is very important when determining picture quality. The RAW capability of the GF1/G1 cameras are superb. I highly recommend Panasonic especially with their production of Leica quality lenses, some of which carry the Leica branding! I would say results from most M43 cameras and lenses are on par with or come close to the fabled Leica M8/M9 digital cameras. I've been shooting with these two camera's for more than a year now and they all still very precious tools, worth every penny spent on them. The awesome quality combined with the smaller size makes this the near perfect package in a bundle! It doesn't make sense to me to use a full-frame digital like the Nikon D700 or the Canon 5D, or invest in those massive lenses. Here's why... Where digital in concerned, making things smaller without killing the quality is a good approach, I think. When I was at PMA in 2008, I never could have imagined or foreseen the obsession I would develop for Micro Four Thirds. I didn't think much of it when eying the first generation Panasonic G1. It didn't seem like a big deal because it looked like a DSLR like the Nikon D40 and I was thinking, So what!? But when the EP-1 and GF-1 hit the market, I realized the logic behind the engineering of the Micro Four Thirds format. It made perfect sense; If you get rid of the mirror in a DSLR, it essentially diminishes the focusing distance between the film/sensor plain and the lens, therefore, shrinking everything down for portability. You can make the same fixed focal length lenses but in half the size. :D Now the biggest selling point that won me over in favor of Panasonic over Olympus is the firmware corrects distortions & blemishes caused by Lumix lenses. This works as long as the lenses are dedicated Panasonic micro 4/3 lenses. Back in the old days, I would spend about 5-10 minutes in Lightroom correcting every Nikon NEF Raw image. I no longer manually correct images for chromatic aberration, barrel distortion, etc. Finally, when you look at RAW files that come from a G1/GF1, the proof is in the details. All I can honestly say is the RAW output I get from these cameras beat my Nikons hands down when the ISO is under 3200.

Olympus 75mm F1.8 Lens


I ended up selling all my Nikons! The simplicity of the micro four thirds format is very unique. The type of cameras you use CAN limit your ability to take better pictures, despite what purists and traditional photographers say. A good photographer can make excellent pictures with any camera, but why not get the perfect camera that will not limit your abilities? The poor camera sensors found inside point & shoot compacts really limit picture quality while bulky DSLRs were limiting my ability to tote all my equipment everywhere I traveled. It was like hauling cinder blocks around... I couldn't canyoneer into tight slot canyons with the bulk but with M43 equipment, it all fits in a rugged shoulder bag, not a backpack! The quality of the Micro Four Thirds mixed with the ultra-portability opened many doors. I haven't compromised quality with the Nikon to M43 switch. The old-school vanguard say a camera should be considered nothing more than a light-tight box but in the digital age, a digital sensor plays a huge role. Like a really good lens, the sensor is very important when determining picture quality. The RAW capability of the GF1/G1 cameras are superb. I highly recommend Panasonic especially with their production of Leica quality lenses, some of which carry the Leica branding! I would say results from most M43 cameras and lenses are on par with or come close to the fabled Leica M8/M9 digital cameras. I've been shooting with these two camera's for more than a year now and they all still very precious tools, worth every penny spent on them. The awesome quality combined with the smaller size makes this the near perfect package in a bundle! It doesn't make sense to me to use a full-frame digital like the Nikon D700 or the Canon 5D, or invest in those massive lenses. Here's why... Where digital in concerned, making things smaller without killing the quality is a good approach, I think. When I was at PMA in 2008, I never could have imagined or foreseen the obsession I would develop for Micro Four Thirds. I didn't think much of it when eying the first generation Panasonic G1. It didn't seem like a big deal because it looked like a DSLR like the Nikon D40 and I was thinking, So what!? But when the EP-1 and GF-1 hit the market, I realized the logic behind the engineering of the Micro Four Thirds format. It made perfect sense; If you get rid of the mirror in a DSLR, it essentially diminishes the focusing distance between the film/sensor plain and the lens, therefore, shrinking everything down for portability. You can make the same fixed focal length lenses but in half the size. :D Now the biggest selling point that won me over in favor of Panasonic over Olympus is the firmware corrects distortions & blemishes caused by Lumix lenses. This works as long as the lenses are dedicated Panasonic micro 4/3 lenses. Back in the old days, I would spend about 5-10 minutes in Lightroom correcting every Nikon NEF Raw image. I no longer manually correct images for chromatic aberration, barrel distortion, etc. Finally, when you look at RAW files that come from a G1/GF1, the proof is in the details. All I can honestly say is the RAW output I get from these cameras beat my Nikons hands down when the ISO is under 400!My Equipment ListOlympus OM-D E-M5Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2Olympus Pen EP-2Panasonic Lumix G5Panasonic Lumix G1 Panasonic Lumix GF1 Nikon D40X Nikon D40 Sigma DP2 Sigma DP1s Olympus Zuiko 17mm F2.8Olympus Zuiko 75mm F1.8Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm F4 Panasonic Lumix 20mm F1.7 Panasonic Leica-Summilux 25mm F1,4Panasonic Lumix 45-200mm F4-5.6 Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 Sigma 30mm F1.4 The Lensbaby Composer Adobe Lightroom 5.0 Adobe Photoshop CC

Myself


My Equipment List

Olympus OM-D E-M5

Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2

Olympus Pen EP-2

Panasonic Lumix G5

Panasonic Lumix G1

Panasonic Lumix GF1

Nikon D40X

Nikon D40

Sigma DP2

Sigma DP1s

Olympus Zuiko 17mm F2.8

Olympus Zuiko 75mm F1.8

Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm F4

Panasonic Lumix 20mm F1.7

Panasonic Leica-Summilux 25mm F1.4

Panasonic Lumix 45-200mm F4-5.6

Sigma 50-150mm F2.8

Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 Sigma 30mm F1.4

Lensbaby Composer

Adobe Lightroom 5.0

Adobe Photoshop CC


Nate Cowlishaw
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