DSL ARM is reported to be an affliction of having your arm stretched from using a heavy DSLR. A few years back, there were many days my arm felt just like this DSL ARM before I threw in the towel and went mirrorless.  I also caught a bad case of DSL Shoulder, my left now a couple inches lower than my right.  Olympus claims the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is the cure to DSL ARM because it’s almost half the the size and weight of a DSLR, but with all the power.  Owning one, they could very well be right. I can state emphatically using mirrorless cameras has had a positive effect on the arthritis in my left “shoulder bag” shoulder.  My entire kit bag today weighs less than my old Pro model DSLR camera body – without a lens!

Medical validation of DSL ARM treatment is still to be forthcoming, though there is no question the OM-D E-M5 Mark II performs to all of the other Olympus claims. I’m finding the performance of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II excellent with modern autofocus lenses, where focus tracking and internal image stabilization are most welcome features.  But where the OM-D E-M5 Mark II really shines for me is when I am using my modest collection of legendary historic glass.  I never expected to have my old film lenses, designed for manual focus, function with new, modern electronic assists.

When most of my lenses were made the word “digital” hadn’t even been invented, let alone all this technology available today.  Words like “focus peaking” meant I had turned the barrel grip on the lens too far.  “Image Stabilization” was defined as my back against a wall (or tree, post, or nearest stationary object) and high ISO was Tri-X pushed two stops developed in Agfa Rodinal instead of my normal D76.  My how the world has changed in just  few years.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II.  The Doctor Recommended Treatment For DSL-ARM.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. The Doctor Recommended Treatment For DSL-ARM.

Kidding aside, how good is the OM-D E-M5 Mark II’s video output?  Let me put it this way.  I’ve openly stated many times camera manufacturers should use their own products when creating their marketing materials.  Still and video.  In fact, I have brought this up many times with other photographers.  These companies all have the budgets and the necessary technical expertise to use their cameras to the fullest potential.  If a company doesn’t have the confidence to use their own products in the filming and photography of their own cameras, how do they expect me to have enough confidence to use them in my own client productions?  Just makes #commonsense doesn’t it?

I’m happy to say Olympus has taken this to heart, produced a product in the OM-D E-M5 Mark II with superior video capability, and used it to film both the “documentary” spoof as well as the “behind the scenes” making of it above.  Bravo, Olympus.  You have the faith and confidence in your product that most other camera manufacturers only wish they did.  This not only deserves recognition, it clearly demonstrates what your camera is capable of with correct lighting and proper technique.  There is a lot to love inside this small, retro looking digital body.

When your work is on the line, with your own shoulders starting to feel that DSLR weight as mine did, the gear choices you make really count.  Make my cameras small, powerful, and mirrorless from now on please. A heavy camera bag is no fun unless you can hire or talk someone else into carrying it for you. Wheeled roller bags are just something you need to constantly watch for thieves trying to steal and no fun dragging around town all day while trying to shoot.  I see “street shooters” dragging a DSLR roller case and laugh at how much they resemble the bag ladies they photograph – every possession they own is in that big cart!

For a shoot, pack only what you need in your bag. Do a checklist in advance.  Check to make sure you didn’t leave something important behind, but also review every choice.  “Do I REALLY need to have this with me on this shoot” should always be your mantra you live by in planning a solo shoot without assistants, sherpas, or a burro to carry that extra gear. Photography can become a real chore when you are overloaded with gear. Overloading is twice as easy to do with a DSLR than it is with a mirrorless camera.  Minimize and travel light. Simplify your life.  Your shoulders and back will thank you for it, if not right away certainly by the time you get to be my age!

Learn more about the Olympus at: http://www.getolympus.com/dslarm

While we’re on the subject of camera humor, have you seen the potential for “selfie stick abuse” becoming a national problem?  Can you picture a DSL ARM with one of these selfie sticks?  Wow…

 

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