Pro Camera Gear for the Non Gearhead Photographer

  By Evelyn Drake


A camera is a tool, according to Steve Speer, a process-driven professional photographer, and a self-proclaimed “non-gearhead”. He captures commercial quality images that have been printed across entire buildings as well as tiny fine-art framed prints enhanced with precious metals.

Speer finds the process of photography to be one of perpetual gratification. Creating a tangible print is just as important to him as the experience of capturing the image. With that being said, what does a fine art photographer with a commercial pedigree capture his images with?

His tool of choice is a Micro Four Thirds camera – the Olympus E-M1X. Speer went with it as his system of choice over his Canon full frame, and his Phase medium format systems. He has completely replaced both and is now exclusively shooting with Olympus gear. There are a few key reasons why:

High-res mode.
Speer has been able to capture an 80-megapixel file of architecture on a tripod or could shoot up to a 50-megapixel file hand-held. This is a huge deal for commercial photography. As long as his subject is not moving, he can capture it easily at a high resolution with or without a tripod.

Lightweight gear.
The Olympus system is ideal for cutting down on bulk and camera weight. As someone who says he will continue shooting forever, having a portable system will become more and more critical.

Sharp, professional optics.
Olympus pro lenses have an incredible edge to edge sharpness, great contrast and are well built overall.

Although Speer is not interested in indulging in technical nuances about cameras and their specs, he loyally photographs with high-tech Olympus cameras. The main reason he invested in the new Olympus E-M1X is that he was intrigued by the idea of hand-held high-res mode. He also wanted the latest professional camera in the line up to integrate with his Pro Olympus lenses including the ultra wide Olympus M 7-14mm F2.8 Pro Lens for his architecture photography. Overall, he enjoys Olympus cameras because they are lightweight, functional and perfect for his needs.  

I had a chance to interview Steve about his process and the tools he uses in our latest photographer feature. We talked about the photographic process, the importance of creating prints, his tattoo, and more.

Steve Speer:


Featured Products mentioned in this article:

Olympus OM-D E-M1X

Olympus M.Zuiko ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO

Gitzo GT1545T Tripod with GH1382TQD Ball Head




Evelyn Drake has been in the camera business since 2004. She has been involved in every aspect of The Camera Store's operations with a focus on marketing and event-based initiatives. She also hosts our YouTube channel The Camera Store TV.