My recent switch to Olympus Micro Four Thirds for all of my photography required me to start over. I had to buy everything, brand new. I started by purchasing all the items I’d need to do serious bird photography. (See my presentation on bird photography gear here for a rundown.)
Eventually, I decided to just buy pretty much everything Olympus had to offer, including an Olympus PEN-F, all the Olympus PRO lenses, and most of the other Olympus lenses, along with a number of Olympus accessories.
After it was all said and done, picking up literally every single piece of Olympus gear that I could think of, from flashes to lenses I will only use once in a while (like the macro and portrait lenses,) all the accessories, three bodies, etc.. the total value was just under $20,000.00. Does that sound like a large sum? You bet. But hold on. You need to evaluate this the way I did. As a bird photographer, I am used to even bigger numbers.
I had tons of Canon gear. In fact, when I decided to switch and started selling off the Canon stuff, I was shocked at how much all that gear was worth. My Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens and my Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens alone cost around $4000 more (in total) to buy than ALL the Olympus camera bodies and lenses I would ever need combined. Throw in the cost of a couple of Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera bodies at $6k each and you start to get the picture (pun intended.)
When I hear people say they can’t afford to switch because they have so much money tied up in Brand XXXX gear, I have to admit that I am perplexed. Yes you do take a hit when you sell used gear, because it’s used. If you replace it with used gear, you can save some of that money. I spent less than $20k to get EVERYTHING Olympus makes - and that was brand new. I could have probably saved between $4000 and $5000 if I bought it all used.
The reason I switched to Olympus had nothing to do with money. For me it was all about the size and weight advantages. But seriously, the money advantage isn’t bad either.
The switching costs will be less impactful for a person who’s just stepping up to pro-quality gear. They either don’t have a lot of old gear to sell first or maybe are starting from scratch. But it’s not impossible for someone heavily invested in another brand to switch. After selling just my Canon 800mm lens I had enough money to buy two Olympus flagship bodies, a battery grip and the Olympus 300mm f/4 lens with teleconverter. I even had some change! I could have stopped there and been happy. But then again, you know me…. stopping isn’t my thing :)
I do want to add a caveat. I am a professional and make my living with my camera gear. As an amateur you have no need for most of the things I buy, unless you are an aspiring bird photographer :)
These numbers scale in the same way to just one single camera and lens. In any event....Enjoy what you have. But if you want to switch, don’t let the money stop you.
P.S. The complete current list of all my Olympus camera gear appears below.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II x 2
Olympus Stylus Tough TG-Tracker Action Camera
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12 f/2
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 17mm f/1.2 PRO Lens
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO Lens
Olympus M.Zuko 30mm f/3.5 Macro Lens
Olympus M ED 45mm F/1.2 PRO Lens
Olympus M ED 60mm F/2.8 Macro Lens
Olympus M ED 75mm F/1.8 Lens
Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4.0 Pro Lens
Olympus MC 14 1.4X TC X2
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro Lens
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 Pro Lens
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150 f/2.8 Pro Lens
Olympus LH-48 Lens Hood for M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12mm f/2 Lens
Olympus LH-40B Lens Hood for M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 Lens
Olympus FL-900R Flash
Olympus LH-61F Hood M.75 MM Lens
Olympus FL-LM3 (dust & splash-proof flash) x3
Olympus RM-UC1 Remote Release
Olympus EE-1 Dot Sight
Olympus MAL-1 Macro Arm Light
Olympus LH-49 Hood 60mm Lens
Olympus HLD-9 OM-D Battery Grip
Olympus BLH-1 Spare Battery
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