What attracted me first to the 4/3rds camera system was the lens reputation and the quiet shutter of the E-1 (which has now been too silent after one fall too many; I ought to see if it can be repaired) and I can testify to both. When the lenses have failed to perform it’s been my fault or some settings have gotten bumped in the transition from bag to hand. The idea of lenses designed from the ground-up to optimize sensor performance is admirable but the systen has fallen victim to its own standards: lenses weren’t much smaller enough to save much weight or bulk (consider my aching shoulders after three days in amusement parks) and sensor performance has lagged behind the state-of-the-art.
There are renewed calls for higher-grade lenses in the Micro 4/3rds lineup in the wake of the trickling-out Zuiko 12/2. It is a lens that could not have been made at that weight and price in 4/3rds and I’m completely green with envy over its very existence although I wnder if the relaxed standards on telecentricity were just marketing speak I bought into too readily. As much as I like to think that I’m above base temptation the very existence of primes in those first three focal length (equivalents) I first bought into the Nikon system is incredibly tempting: I own the Nikkor 50/1.4, 85/1.8, and 24/2.8, all pre-AI designs (deliberate choice based on camera and cost). Now Micro 4/3rds has a 25/1.4, 45/1.8, and 12/2.
Combine those with a multi-aspect imager like what’s in the GH1 or GH2 and you’d be getting what I had at a fraction of the weight and bulk. Yet what I have now in 4/3rds with zooms and everything else covers what I used to have in Nikon already with the exception of a few semi-exotic lenses I hardly used anyway. I’ve become a better photographer but if the equipment can be credited with anything it’s that switching to digital means less residual guilt over film and developing costs. In other words I can shoot more with less pain. I need to keep that in mind: does this (new piece of gear) allow me to do simething new, or make me a better photographer?