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  1. 5 points
    And a trip by 4x4 to the National Park Pelister. 16. 17. 18. 19. North-Macedonia is definitely worth a visit! Thanks for watching and making it to the end of this post 😀
  2. 4 points
    A view from the Reichsberg Castle. Lumix G9 + PLeica 12-60mm @ 1/1000 f4 ISO200
  3. 4 points
    The meeting of the Rhine & Mosel at Koblenz. From one of the Gondolas. Lumix G9 + PLeica 12-60mm @ 1/1000 f4 ISO200
  4. 4 points
    Dallas, Here's a gullwing Mercedes for you (Mercedes 300SL). Could be a nice restoration project for you!
  5. 3 points
    A chrome finish to this roadster.
  6. 2 points
    While having a sun downer after a game drive this Jackal came up to a few meters from us. Taken in the Welgevonden Reserve ZA.
  7. 2 points
    Although German beer ain't 'arf bad neither.
  8. 2 points
    Dallas Good wine is a drink fit for the gods.
  9. 2 points
    Olympus South Africa very kindly loaned me an E-M1X for my recent Photo Safari to Sabi Sabi and while I only had a few days before leaving on the trip to become accustomed to the camera, I did manage to produce some great images (by my standards) while using it in conjunction with the Olympus 300mm f/4.0 PRO. The first thing that struck me about this camera when taking it out of the box is the sheer size of it. It is huge. If you’ve been using Micro Four Thirds bodies to get away from the bulk of traditional DSLR’s then you will not want this camera. I was quite shocked at its size initially, especially when compared to my gripped E-M1 (original) which I have been shooting since 2014. The Nikon D5 is only 15mm bigger in terms of depth, height and width all around, so for a small sensor camera to be so close in size to a flagship 35mm camera begs some serious questioning of the makers. Side-by-side view of the E-M1X and the original E-M1 with its grip So why did Olympus make this camera so big? When you begin handling it the answer falls into place. It’s designed for sports and action photographers who are used to the speed and heft of cameras like the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D series. That’s the user market Olympus are targeting with this machine. It feels substantial in the hands and the ergonomics are such that if you’re used to a bigger camera, moving across to the E-M1X will be much easier for you to adapt to, especially since the Olympus is so highly customisable that you could easily set it up to pretty much emulate the ergonomics of your big DSLR. Well, maybe not the Canons which often require simultaneous button presses to activate certain things, but most certainly it would be easy for a Nikon shooter to make the change. Not much in it, dimension wise, is there? So we now have a giant MFT camera that feels like a Nikon D5. Why didn’t they do what Panasonic has done and make a bigger sensor too? Good question. Why stick with MFT sensors if you want to attract the sports and wildlife shooters of the world? This is where the concept of MFT begins to make sense. The main advantage to be had when shooting this small format as opposed to 35mm is that MFT lenses are comparatively diminutive. For example, on my safari I packed in the Olympus 300/4.0 PRO as well as my older 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD and a third un-gripped body with the Olympus 12-100/4.0 PRO. I also had the Pan/Leica 8-18mm lens in my bag because I wanted to make some photos of the lodge while I was there. Those items I took as a carry on in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage roller and while the bag was not exactly light once my laptop and other peripherals were in it (about 15kg total), had I wanted a similar focal range shooting a 35mm system, I would have had to pack a 600mm f/4.0, 200-400mm f/4.0 and a regular camera with professional wide angle and ultra-zoom lenses. There is no way you could take that as a carry on with 35mm, so you’d have to bring a hard case and pay for the extra baggage. You then also have the added stress of wondering if your precious gear will make it to its destination. Having been in this exact situation many times before moving across to MFT from Nikon 35mm I know exactly what the challenges of travelling with large lenses and heavy gear are. This is the gear I took on the safari in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage. Conversely travelling with MFT is easy. Even with the giant E-M1X body, the space and weight savings of the incredible Olympus PRO and Panasonic/Leica lenses is a Godsend. Also consider the not-so-insignificant overhead of having to bring along a support system for your big 35mm glass because I doubt you’re going to want to hand hold a 600/4.0 lens if you’re going on a photography trip where such a lens is wanted. You’ll also need to pack a monopod and probably a gimbal head too. MFT systems like Olympus don’t require any support other than your hand, even when shooting the 300mm f/4 PRO. The IBIS and lens IS combine incredibly well. Given its considerable girth, for the E-M1X to make sense as a photographic tool that is intended to win over 35mm users it also needs to have some other things going for it. It will need to have seriously fast and accurate auto-focus, plus it will need to offer decent image quality in low light. This is where things get interesting. Read on! Auto Focus I’m not a back-button focus photographer. I can understand the principle behind this method and I have tried it a few times, but I have been using single point AF-S for so long that trying to change that deeply ingrained behaviour is really hard for me. I’ve also never set up any of the cameras I have ever owned to work in AF-C mode with any degree of success, so I tend to stab at the shutter button rapidly to keep slow moving things in focus (it’s very rarely that I will find myself photographing fast moving subjects). This method has worked for me for quite a long time now. So when I started reading the autofocus section in the E-M1X manual (which itself is a gargantuan 680-odd pages long in just English alone!) I was staggered by the array of setup options for the AF system of the E-M1X. I simply didn’t have enough time before my safari to comprehend all the options it offers, let alone try them out in practical situations. As mentioned I always set up AF to use a single point in AF-S mode and I recompose once I see the green dot. I don’t use the grouped points, so for me learning something as sophisticated as the AF system on the E-M1X is going to require a specific set of applications, which currently I don’t have in my work. For people who shoot birds in flight, aviation, motorsport and fast action sports such as soccer, ice-hockey and the like, this is probably going to be a winner, especially since they have built in subject recognition for certain things like cars, trains and planes. Apparently these subjects will be added to in firmware as they build up better data on new ones. I can imagine that leopard detection might be a thing in the future. One feature that I didn’t try but thought was interesting is the Len Focus Range. This setup allows you to define the distances that the AF system should work in. It basically allows you to tell the camera not to focus on objects that are a certain distance away from you. For example, if you are shooting a sport like boxing or ice hockey, you could set this up to avoid focusing on the ropes and/or plexiglass between you and what you’re trying to shoot. Some lenses will have these limits built in, but with the E-M1X you can specify exactly how many metres you want to work within. Another thing I liked about the X is that you can assign the Home position for the single AF point to be in a different position when shooting in the portrait orientation. This is really handy for events when I find myself having to shift the AF point between shooting people at a podium and then switching to the audience in landscape orientation. Very nice feature. What I can tell you about the AF system as I used it, is that it’s reassuringly lightning quick and accurate for the wildlife subjects I was photographing. There’s no hunting unless you miss a contrast point, like all cameras I have ever tried. Focus is almost instantaneous, even when subjects are not so close. In summary, I don’t think that anybody coming from 35mm will be disappointed with the AF capability of the E-M1X. If anything they might be pleasantly surprised given the sheer array of options available to control how the system works. Wildebeest in the misty morning, no problem with auto focus here in spite of the grass Using my "repeated stabbing" AF technique I managed to get a moderately sharp image, but I reckon had I used the camera's AF-S mode here the shot would have been better. Speed One of the biggest advances Olympus made with this camera is the CPU speed. This is a very fast camera in terms of how quickly it processes and reads off data from the sensor. It’s so fast that you can do sensor shift high resolution images handheld. I didn’t really try this out properly, plus Lightroom can’t read the resulting .ORI files so the handful of shots I did take with this mode active, I have to process in Olympus Workspace, which I am completely new to. Sorry! As such I can’t formulate an opinion right now on how useful it is based on such a small sample of images, but what I can say is that on stationary subjects I think it can work quite well. I’d love to try it out in studio doing product photography, but I think there might be some issues syncing it with studio strobes. Getting back to the intended sports user of this camera, there is the not-so-insignificant Pro Capture mode to consider as a lure for the photographers who want to simplify their lives and get great action every time. Basically with the mode active the camera writes continuously to the buffer while you are holding the shutter button halfway down. As soon as your critical capture moment arrives you trip the shutter and the camera will record whatever it has currently in the buffer to the card(s). This is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel really, especially if you have the patience to sit with your finger on the trigger waiting for a bird to take flight. You can’t miss the shot. Unless you’re like me and you get tired of waiting and the bird chuckles at you as you put down the camera just before it flies away. I'll settle for stationary birds On the subject of Pro Capture, this mode is set by changing the drive mode in Super Control Panel (SCP). However, the thing is you may (like me) forget to switch this back to a regular drive mode after failing to record the wretched lilac breasted roller taking off, and then at your next sighting you will end up with dozens of images of a stationary buffalo. Or worse still, you’ll be wanting to shoot a sequence of something happening, but after you accidentally trigger Pro Capture you will have to wait for the camera to write its buffer onto your card. If you have a not-so-fast card like me this could be a few seconds, followed by several more trying to remember where to switch off the Pro Capture mode. Ideally I’d love to be able to have Pro Capture activate by holding down a custom function button together with the shutter button. A Fn button on the PRO lenses would be an ideal setup for this pretty cool feature. While I had the E-M1X I couldn’t see a way of being able to assign that particular feature to any of the custom function buttons, so hopefully Olympus’ engineers will read this criticism and work out a way of doing it in future firmware upgrades. I did manage to set up a quick switch between normal and Pro Capture by using the Custom Modes, but that requires remembering to change modes between sightings. Duh. Regarding Custom Modes there are four of these that are assignable to the PASM dial, so if your memory is better than mine you can set up each custom mode for a different type of shooting simply by changing the mode. However, you’re going to have to have a Gary Kasparov like mind because the sheer number of custom settings on a camera like the E-M1X is mind-boggling. There are pages and pages and more pages of custom settings in the menus and if you’re not used to the way Olympus does menus, you’re either going to go stir crazy or require a lot of patience (and batteries) to get the better of it all. It’s not insurmountable though and experienced Olympus users will probably be able to set up their custom modes quite easily after a few weeks with the camera in the field. One thing I really liked about the X is that there is a Custom Menu area where you can save up to 5 pages of menu items that you regularly need to access. Storing an item in there is as simple as pressing the Record video button while the item is selected in the menu. That’s a very big plus for me and goes a long way towards personalising the Olympus menu system. Stabilisation The IBIS and lens IS combine in the E-M1X to create an extraordinary amount of stabilisation. I was using the 300/4.0 PRO on this body almost exclusively for the duration of our 7 days in Sabi Sabi and occasionally I would shoot birds sitting on nearby branches. When I do my focus and recompose technique the subject does what I can only describe as a “moonwalk” glide from one part of the frame to the other. There is absolutely no camera shake at all handheld, which when you consider that you are using a 4.1˚ angle of view is bonkers! Olympus claim a 6 stop advantage in handheld photography and I have no doubt that this is true. Given my sloppy technique this is yet another Godsend to make my images look much better than they should. Stabilisation with long lenses is incredible. Battery Battery life was pretty decent. The camera comes with two batteries and typically I only exhausted about 50% of the one each day. Granted I don’t shoot as much as everybody else. On this safari I took a total of 1726 images with the E-M1X, averaging 288 per day. So, assuming I were to exhaust both batteries in a day I would be able to shoot over 1000 frames before having to recharge them. However, it is also possible to charge the camera via USB-C, so if you did get trigger happy enough to shoot that many in a day on safari, you could recharge from a power bank between sightings. Or just buy more batteries. Low Light Right, this is where the rubber hits the road as far as getting 35mm power-users interested in switching to MFT. I’ll say it at the outset, I was disappointed in the low light performance of the E-M1X sensor. For starters, it doesn’t seem possible to be able to set Auto-ISO to go above 6400 on the X. None of the expanded ranges are available when using the auto mode while shooting RAW, which I think is just silly. This is how I shoot these days. I always use Auto-ISO. On the original E-M1 I sometimes let this go as high as 12800 and while the images may appear grainy they have a certain film-like charm to them. You can’t do that on the X. You have to set ISO 12800 or above manually. As far as graininess goes, 6400 on the E-M1X is very grainy and there is also a major loss of colour fidelity. To be honest I was expecting much better performance from the sensor at high ISO, so for me this is a deal breaker. Since the camera is intended to compete against the likes of the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D series (where higher ISO is a forte), it sadly falls well short in this area. Having said that, I think that if you buy this camera and invest some time in learning how to deal with the grain and colour issues in post production you could probably get some very good results. Shot at ISO 6400, you can see the grain in the background, plus there has been a general loss of colour saturation. But then in good light you'll get rewarded. Gorgeous colours from the Olympus. No adjustments in post. Cool Things I Liked The sound of the mechanical shutter is really soft. It’s a lot quieter than my old E-M1 and if you are in the business of shooting in quiet places (churches, meetings, etc) you may not even have to switch to electronic shutter and risk the rolling effects thereof. It’s nice and quiet. I really appreciated the built in GPS and weather sensor on the E-M1X. This camera will tell you what the barometric pressure, altitude and ambient temperature was on every shot you take. I wish Lightroom would pick up those EXIF fields, alas you have to use the Olympus Workspace software to read them. A Couple Of Nit Picks There are a couple of things that I didn’t like, most notably there is no loop for a grip strap in the base of the camera so you would have to put a plate onto there to accommodate one (I used the Peak Design Clutch with its little plate). That seems like a daft omission to me because the moment you have to put a plate on the grip you lose the comfort of shooting with it in portrait mode. I was also a bit disappointed with the EVF. The refresh rate and colour was all good, but it just seemed to lack a bit of bite. The EVF on my old original E-M1 seems sharper to my eyes, which is a little weird. I did try adjusting the diopter a few times, but it didn’t seem to improve things. It could have been a contrast setting in the menus that I missed? The one thing I really don’t like (and I have expressed my dislike of this before) is the flip out LCD screen. This is something video producers want, but as a stills photographer I truly don’t want this as it’s a very weak point of the camera just waiting to snap off in the right circumstances. I much prefer the tilting screen of the original OM-D’s. Olympus should make it an option for this kind of premium camera: which type of LCD screen would you prefer, Mr. Customer? Conclusion I wish that I could have kept the camera for just a little bit longer as there are many other areas I would have liked to explore its performance in, especially my daily bread and butter work of property and product photography. Alas, they are in short supply around here so it had to go back post haste. My overall impression is that it is quite an impressive machine. It offers the photographer a lot of very cool features, excellent customisability and ergonomics. It is a specialist camera, however, and as such I think that the intended market for it is going to be a hard nut for Olympus to crack, especially given its lack of high ISO performance, which is something the sports photographers demand. If you’re a day shooter or you shoot action in well lit arenas then the advances this machine brings in terms of auto-focus and customisability, plus the sheer plethora of outstanding MFT lenses available for the system makes it a very attractive option, especially for those who travel a lot for photography. You get the ruggedness, heft and weather proofing of a pro body and the lightness and compactness of much smaller lenses. For me personally I would love one, after all I got more keepers on this most recent safari than in all the 10 years of safaris preceding it, but… there is the matter of that not-so-insignificant $3000 price tag to consider. With the recent firmware upgrade to the E-M1 Mk II now bringing its feature set closer to that of the X, it is going to be much harder for Olympus to pitch this camera at the wider market and existing MFT users with that price tag. If it were closer to $2000 I might be a lot more interested in buying one. My final advice? If you want the very best camera that MFT can currently offer you for stability, video features, ruggedness, crazy feature set and customisability, get the E-M1X. If you are expecting par performance with a 35mm pro camera for low light, rather save $1500, wait for the sensor technology to improve and get the E-M1 Mk II for now. View full article
  10. 2 points
    For those of you sweating through those Northern Hemisphere summer heatwaves, a little snow from down here. I had a few days over in New Zealand last week. Double Cone summit above Remarkables Ski Area Shadow Basin - I didn't realise at the time, but that flat area in the centre contains a small lake, and I just happened to ski over it!😧 Wye Creek valley and mountains beyond the southern limit of the ski area. Looking back into the ski area from the same point as the picture above. Clouds I was lucky much of the time that the clouds were either down below or up above or even both at the same time, but quite clear where I was. As the sun started to drop in the late afternoon, things could look quite dramatic. More Clouds, somehow managing to stay out of the valley! All shot with X-E3 and 27 f/2.8. I wanted to keep the set up light and relatively compact to avoid damage - I suspect I may have rolled over it a couple of times😖. Despite it's small size, I didn't have any problem operating the camera with thin gloves on and could almost get away with it using thicker gloves as long as I just stuck to the main settings. No problems with the cold, although I would only take a couple of photos before putting the camera back in the bag - it didn't get above 0C most days.
  11. 2 points
    Following on from my earlier historic Melbourne post, a few blocks further east, another interesting corner. FS0 4 Swanston Street looking north. Most people shoot this corner looking towards the station in the southwestern corner of the intersection, but I think this direction is quite an interesting choice. Another interesting thing is that both of Melbourne's cathedrals were completed without spires, which were later added in the 1920's or '30's. Looking back at the picture Alan posted that started this idea in this thread, the tall towers/spires are Town Hall (left of centre), Scots Church (tallest, in centre) and St Michael's Uniting Church (second tallest, slightly right of centre). I'm not sure about the other 3-4 towers visible in that shot, but they don't seem to be current churches. ,
  12. 2 points
  13. 2 points
  14. 2 points
    Following my earlier snowy post, here are a few more shots from the same trip, but lower down the mountains. Remarkables - the snow shots were taken behind the ridge in the centre of the picture, with Queenstown down below in the foreground. Looking west, somewhere beyond the mountains and across the ocean is home! Steamer on the lake, the mountains of pic #1 in the background. Sunset over the lake. Slipped the camera in my pocket on the way out for dinner and managed to grab this shot. I nearly didn't bother taking the camera with me, which would have been a shame. All taken with Fuji X-E3, first three using 18-55 and the last using 27 f/2.8.
  15. 2 points
  16. 2 points
  17. 2 points
    Here's a kudu having a drink. Getting creative (this took about 10 goes before I got something I was happy to show - not that easy on a dirt road). Found you! Dwarf mongooses.
  18. 2 points
    Hi, A contestant from a car show I attended last weekend. Thanks for looking
  19. 2 points
  20. 2 points
    LOL. A lot of windshield time spent listening to them. Do you like Corvettes? This is a rare one Thanks for looking
  21. 2 points
    Fuchsias with a little visitor. Z-E3 with Touit 1.8/32. Cropped to around the half of the original size.
  22. 2 points
    Cue Gerry and the Pacemakers singing Ferry across..... Car ferry on the Mosel. Not quite the Mersey though. Lumix G9 + PLeica 12-60mm @ 1/3200 f4 ISO200
  23. 2 points
    This is a great idea Dallas and I'm hoping that by joining I'll be encouraged to finish the films in my M6TTL and Canon AE1 and get processing.
  24. 2 points
    Hmmm - I might need to resurrect my battery eating Bronica 645 ETRS - I probably need to put an external power pack and cable together to tame its thirst for batteries. Fortunately I still have my tanks, trays, and enlarger gear. My only B&W work over the last 20 years has been to develop old undeveloped B&W films that people have found amongst their belongings.
  25. 2 points
  26. 2 points
    One of my favourite animals to photograph are wildebeests. They are often considered to be one of the ugliest animals in the bush, but I love them. This shot I am really happy with as they seldom look you in the eye - they are extremely skittish around humans. This with the Olympus E-M1X and 300/4.0 PRO.
  27. 1 point
    Thanks Mike, I think they are pretty much in the same league, although the jackal may be slightly bigger.
  28. 1 point
    I do agree with you regarding the floppy screens, they seem very vulnerable! A 3 way tiltable screen like the Fujifilm type would be preferable! Maybe Olympus have missed out in not improving the EVF to a higher res version ala the Panasonic G9 EVF. Spoilt the ship for a “ha-penth” of tar!
  29. 1 point
    Mike, the tour companies should put you on a commission! Or you should go into the post card business. Yes lenses, cameras, cards, film, tea, coffee, pizzas, beer, wine,.....
  30. 1 point
    I’ll join you on the beers 🍺
  31. 1 point
    Cameras, lenses and wine, what else is there to spend money on!
  32. 1 point
    I'll not be changing to an MFT camera any time soon Dallas but I found your evaluation very interesting. I still have and use my old Nikon D2Xs and love its heft but wish it had the tilting screen that my D750 has. I find this really useful and much prefer it to a flip out screen which like you fear is too fragile. Having said all of that my mirrorless cameras with EVF and all the information displayed therein are clearly the way forward.
  33. 1 point
    Olympus South Africa very kindly loaned me an E-M1X for my recent Photo Safari to Sabi Sabi and while I only had a few days before leaving on the trip to become accustomed to the camera, I did manage to produce some great images (by my standards) while using it in conjunction with the Olympus 300mm f/4.0 PRO. The first thing that struck me about this camera when taking it out of the box is the sheer size of it. It is huge. If you’ve been using Micro Four Thirds bodies to get away from the bulk of traditional DSLR’s then you will not want this camera. I was quite shocked at its size initially, especially when compared to my gripped E-M1 (original) which I have been shooting since 2014. The Nikon D5 is only 15mm bigger in terms of depth, height and width all around, so for a small sensor camera to be so close in size to a flagship 35mm camera begs some serious questioning of the makers. Side-by-side view of the E-M1X and the original E-M1 with its grip So why did Olympus make this camera so big? When you begin handling it the answer falls into place. It’s designed for sports and action photographers who are used to the speed and heft of cameras like the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D series. That’s the user market Olympus are targeting with this machine. It feels substantial in the hands and the ergonomics are such that if you’re used to a bigger camera, moving across to the E-M1X will be much easier for you to adapt to, especially since the Olympus is so highly customisable that you could easily set it up to pretty much emulate the ergonomics of your big DSLR. Well, maybe not the Canons which often require simultaneous button presses to activate certain things, but most certainly it would be easy for a Nikon shooter to make the change. Not much in it, dimension wise, is there? So we now have a giant MFT camera that feels like a Nikon D5. Why didn’t they do what Panasonic has done and make a bigger sensor too? Good question. Why stick with MFT sensors if you want to attract the sports and wildlife shooters of the world? This is where the concept of MFT begins to make sense. The main advantage to be had when shooting this small format as opposed to 35mm is that MFT lenses are comparatively diminutive. For example, on my safari I packed in the Olympus 300/4.0 PRO as well as my older 50-200/2.8-3.5 SWD and a third un-gripped body with the Olympus 12-100/4.0 PRO. I also had the Pan/Leica 8-18mm lens in my bag because I wanted to make some photos of the lodge while I was there. Those items I took as a carry on in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage roller and while the bag was not exactly light once my laptop and other peripherals were in it (about 15kg total), had I wanted a similar focal range shooting a 35mm system, I would have had to pack a 600mm f/4.0, 200-400mm f/4.0 and a regular camera with professional wide angle and ultra-zoom lenses. There is no way you could take that as a carry on with 35mm, so you’d have to bring a hard case and pay for the extra baggage. You then also have the added stress of wondering if your precious gear will make it to its destination. Having been in this exact situation many times before moving across to MFT from Nikon 35mm I know exactly what the challenges of travelling with large lenses and heavy gear are. This is the gear I took on the safari in the ThinkTank Airport Advantage. Conversely travelling with MFT is easy. Even with the giant E-M1X body, the space and weight savings of the incredible Olympus PRO and Panasonic/Leica lenses is a Godsend. Also consider the not-so-insignificant overhead of having to bring along a support system for your big 35mm glass because I doubt you’re going to want to hand hold a 600/4.0 lens if you’re going on a photography trip where such a lens is wanted. You’ll also need to pack a monopod and probably a gimbal head too. MFT systems like Olympus don’t require any support other than your hand, even when shooting the 300mm f/4 PRO. The IBIS and lens IS combine incredibly well. Given its considerable girth, for the E-M1X to make sense as a photographic tool that is intended to win over 35mm users it also needs to have some other things going for it. It will need to have seriously fast and accurate auto-focus, plus it will need to offer decent image quality in low light. This is where things get interesting. Read on! Auto Focus I’m not a back-button focus photographer. I can understand the principle behind this method and I have tried it a few times, but I have been using single point AF-S for so long that trying to change that deeply ingrained behaviour is really hard for me. I’ve also never set up any of the cameras I have ever owned to work in AF-C mode with any degree of success, so I tend to stab at the shutter button rapidly to keep slow moving things in focus (it’s very rarely that I will find myself photographing fast moving subjects). This method has worked for me for quite a long time now. So when I started reading the autofocus section in the E-M1X manual (which itself is a gargantuan 680-odd pages long in just English alone!) I was staggered by the array of setup options for the AF system of the E-M1X. I simply didn’t have enough time before my safari to comprehend all the options it offers, let alone try them out in practical situations. As mentioned I always set up AF to use a single point in AF-S mode and I recompose once I see the green dot. I don’t use the grouped points, so for me learning something as sophisticated as the AF system on the E-M1X is going to require a specific set of applications, which currently I don’t have in my work. For people who shoot birds in flight, aviation, motorsport and fast action sports such as soccer, ice-hockey and the like, this is probably going to be a winner, especially since they have built in subject recognition for certain things like cars, trains and planes. Apparently these subjects will be added to in firmware as they build up better data on new ones. I can imagine that leopard detection might be a thing in the future. One feature that I didn’t try but thought was interesting is the Len Focus Range. This setup allows you to define the distances that the AF system should work in. It basically allows you to tell the camera not to focus on objects that are a certain distance away from you. For example, if you are shooting a sport like boxing or ice hockey, you could set this up to avoid focusing on the ropes and/or plexiglass between you and what you’re trying to shoot. Some lenses will have these limits built in, but with the E-M1X you can specify exactly how many metres you want to work within. Another thing I liked about the X is that you can assign the Home position for the single AF point to be in a different position when shooting in the portrait orientation. This is really handy for events when I find myself having to shift the AF point between shooting people at a podium and then switching to the audience in landscape orientation. Very nice feature. What I can tell you about the AF system as I used it, is that it’s reassuringly lightning quick and accurate for the wildlife subjects I was photographing. There’s no hunting unless you miss a contrast point, like all cameras I have ever tried. Focus is almost instantaneous, even when subjects are not so close. In summary, I don’t think that anybody coming from 35mm will be disappointed with the AF capability of the E-M1X. If anything they might be pleasantly surprised given the sheer array of options available to control how the system works. Wildebeest in the misty morning, no problem with auto focus here in spite of the grass Using my "repeated stabbing" AF technique I managed to get a moderately sharp image, but I reckon had I used the camera's AF-S mode here the shot would have been better. Speed One of the biggest advances Olympus made with this camera is the CPU speed. This is a very fast camera in terms of how quickly it processes and reads off data from the sensor. It’s so fast that you can do sensor shift high resolution images handheld. I didn’t really try this out properly, plus Lightroom can’t read the resulting .ORI files so the handful of shots I did take with this mode active, I have to process in Olympus Workspace, which I am completely new to. Sorry! As such I can’t formulate an opinion right now on how useful it is based on such a small sample of images, but what I can say is that on stationary subjects I think it can work quite well. I’d love to try it out in studio doing product photography, but I think there might be some issues syncing it with studio strobes. Getting back to the intended sports user of this camera, there is the not-so-insignificant Pro Capture mode to consider as a lure for the photographers who want to simplify their lives and get great action every time. Basically with the mode active the camera writes continuously to the buffer while you are holding the shutter button halfway down. As soon as your critical capture moment arrives you trip the shutter and the camera will record whatever it has currently in the buffer to the card(s). This is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel really, especially if you have the patience to sit with your finger on the trigger waiting for a bird to take flight. You can’t miss the shot. Unless you’re like me and you get tired of waiting and the bird chuckles at you as you put down the camera just before it flies away. I'll settle for stationary birds On the subject of Pro Capture, this mode is set by changing the drive mode in Super Control Panel (SCP). However, the thing is you may (like me) forget to switch this back to a regular drive mode after failing to record the wretched lilac breasted roller taking off, and then at your next sighting you will end up with dozens of images of a stationary buffalo. Or worse still, you’ll be wanting to shoot a sequence of something happening, but after you accidentally trigger Pro Capture you will have to wait for the camera to write its buffer onto your card. If you have a not-so-fast card like me this could be a few seconds, followed by several more trying to remember where to switch off the Pro Capture mode. Ideally I’d love to be able to have Pro Capture activate by holding down a custom function button together with the shutter button. A Fn button on the PRO lenses would be an ideal setup for this pretty cool feature. While I had the E-M1X I couldn’t see a way of being able to assign that particular feature to any of the custom function buttons, so hopefully Olympus’ engineers will read this criticism and work out a way of doing it in future firmware upgrades. I did manage to set up a quick switch between normal and Pro Capture by using the Custom Modes, but that requires remembering to change modes between sightings. Duh. Regarding Custom Modes there are four of these that are assignable to the PASM dial, so if your memory is better than mine you can set up each custom mode for a different type of shooting simply by changing the mode. However, you’re going to have to have a Gary Kasparov like mind because the sheer number of custom settings on a camera like the E-M1X is mind-boggling. There are pages and pages and more pages of custom settings in the menus and if you’re not used to the way Olympus does menus, you’re either going to go stir crazy or require a lot of patience (and batteries) to get the better of it all. It’s not insurmountable though and experienced Olympus users will probably be able to set up their custom modes quite easily after a few weeks with the camera in the field. One thing I really liked about the X is that there is a Custom Menu area where you can save up to 5 pages of menu items that you regularly need to access. Storing an item in there is as simple as pressing the Record video button while the item is selected in the menu. That’s a very big plus for me and goes a long way towards personalising the Olympus menu system. Stabilisation The IBIS and lens IS combine in the E-M1X to create an extraordinary amount of stabilisation. I was using the 300/4.0 PRO on this body almost exclusively for the duration of our 7 days in Sabi Sabi and occasionally I would shoot birds sitting on nearby branches. When I do my focus and recompose technique the subject does what I can only describe as a “moonwalk” glide from one part of the frame to the other. There is absolutely no camera shake at all handheld, which when you consider that you are using a 4.1˚ angle of view is bonkers! Olympus claim a 6 stop advantage in handheld photography and I have no doubt that this is true. Given my sloppy technique this is yet another Godsend to make my images look much better than they should. Stabilisation with long lenses is incredible. Battery Battery life was pretty decent. The camera comes with two batteries and typically I only exhausted about 50% of the one each day. Granted I don’t shoot as much as everybody else. On this safari I took a total of 1726 images with the E-M1X, averaging 288 per day. So, assuming I were to exhaust both batteries in a day I would be able to shoot over 1000 frames before having to recharge them. However, it is also possible to charge the camera via USB-C, so if you did get trigger happy enough to shoot that many in a day on safari, you could recharge from a power bank between sightings. Or just buy more batteries. Low Light Right, this is where the rubber hits the road as far as getting 35mm power-users interested in switching to MFT. I’ll say it at the outset, I was disappointed in the low light performance of the E-M1X sensor. For starters, it doesn’t seem possible to be able to set Auto-ISO to go above 6400 on the X. None of the expanded ranges are available when using the auto mode while shooting RAW, which I think is just silly. This is how I shoot these days. I always use Auto-ISO. On the original E-M1 I sometimes let this go as high as 12800 and while the images may appear grainy they have a certain film-like charm to them. You can’t do that on the X. You have to set ISO 12800 or above manually. As far as graininess goes, 6400 on the E-M1X is very grainy and there is also a major loss of colour fidelity. To be honest I was expecting much better performance from the sensor at high ISO, so for me this is a deal breaker. Since the camera is intended to compete against the likes of the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS 1D series (where higher ISO is a forte), it sadly falls well short in this area. Having said that, I think that if you buy this camera and invest some time in learning how to deal with the grain and colour issues in post production you could probably get some very good results. Shot at ISO 6400, you can see the grain in the background, plus there has been a general loss of colour saturation. But then in good light you'll get rewarded. Gorgeous colours from the Olympus. No adjustments in post. Cool Things I Liked The sound of the mechanical shutter is really soft. It’s a lot quieter than my old E-M1 and if you are in the business of shooting in quiet places (churches, meetings, etc) you may not even have to switch to electronic shutter and risk the rolling effects thereof. It’s nice and quiet. I really appreciated the built in GPS and weather sensor on the E-M1X. This camera will tell you what the barometric pressure, altitude and ambient temperature was on every shot you take. I wish Lightroom would pick up those EXIF fields, alas you have to use the Olympus Workspace software to read them. A Couple Of Nit Picks There are a couple of things that I didn’t like, most notably there is no loop for a grip strap in the base of the camera so you would have to put a plate onto there to accommodate one (I used the Peak Design Clutch with its little plate). That seems like a daft omission to me because the moment you have to put a plate on the grip you lose the comfort of shooting with it in portrait mode. I was also a bit disappointed with the EVF. The refresh rate and colour was all good, but it just seemed to lack a bit of bite. The EVF on my old original E-M1 seems sharper to my eyes, which is a little weird. I did try adjusting the diopter a few times, but it didn’t seem to improve things. It could have been a contrast setting in the menus that I missed? The one thing I really don’t like (and I have expressed my dislike of this before) is the flip out LCD screen. This is something video producers want, but as a stills photographer I truly don’t want this as it’s a very weak point of the camera just waiting to snap off in the right circumstances. I much prefer the tilting screen of the original OM-D’s. Olympus should make it an option for this kind of premium camera: which type of LCD screen would you prefer, Mr. Customer? Conclusion I wish that I could have kept the camera for just a little bit longer as there are many other areas I would have liked to explore its performance in, especially my daily bread and butter work of property and product photography. Alas, they are in short supply around here so it had to go back post haste. My overall impression is that it is quite an impressive machine. It offers the photographer a lot of very cool features, excellent customisability and ergonomics. It is a specialist camera, however, and as such I think that the intended market for it is going to be a hard nut for Olympus to crack, especially given its lack of high ISO performance, which is something the sports photographers demand. If you’re a day shooter or you shoot action in well lit arenas then the advances this machine brings in terms of auto-focus and customisability, plus the sheer plethora of outstanding MFT lenses available for the system makes it a very attractive option, especially for those who travel a lot for photography. You get the ruggedness, heft and weather proofing of a pro body and the lightness and compactness of much smaller lenses. For me personally I would love one, after all I got more keepers on this most recent safari than in all the 10 years of safaris preceding it, but… there is the matter of that not-so-insignificant $3000 price tag to consider. With the recent firmware upgrade to the E-M1 Mk II now bringing its feature set closer to that of the X, it is going to be much harder for Olympus to pitch this camera at the wider market and existing MFT users with that price tag. If it were closer to $2000 I might be a lot more interested in buying one. My final advice? If you want the very best camera that MFT can currently offer you for stability, video features, ruggedness, crazy feature set and customisability, get the E-M1X. If you are expecting par performance with a 35mm pro camera for low light, rather save $1500, wait for the sensor technology to improve and get the E-M1 Mk II for now.
  34. 1 point
    Surely improvisation is the mother of creativity.
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point
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  39. 1 point
  40. 1 point
    An Italian Job. I don't know much about them. It just looked nice.
  41. 1 point
    We also joined a boat trip to the monastery and church of St. Naum. 12. 13. 14. Praying 15. Fresco in the church
  42. 1 point
    Thanks Dallas. These days I think one needs to be cautious in any city. The Trellick Tower is not in the best area of London and even though it was the middle of the day we kept in pairs.
  43. 1 point
    Mike, I have 2 rolls of Tri-X 400 that I shot on my Leica M6 about 15 years ago sitting in the fridge down in the basement. I might try developing them myself if I can find some kit and materials to do it with. Hmmm... Gumtree here we come.
  44. 1 point
    Agreed, Hasselblad prices have gone silly, and I do have some regrets at having sold off my outfit - in late 2009, I think) - but financing digital acquisitions demanded by my work at the time meant unused equipment had to go, and I'd only used the 'blad two or three times in three years, so it drew the short straw. At the time I could see nothing but doom for film, anyway, as from a money-earning perspective at the time, no-one wanted anything on film. Occasionally a cheap Rollei SL66 appears on the market these days (amongst a crowd of overpriced hopefuls) - it was never a popular camera, but it was very well featured with bellows focusing, lens tilt and a mount that enabled lenses to be mounted in reverse for macro photography as standard. I noticed a few of the Rollei lenses appearing on ebay recently modified for for Pentacon Six mount as well as some with Arriflex mount modification, which points to low demand for the Rollei SL66 system itself and therefore the possibility of a bargain popping up. You might put that on your list of considerations as well - the lenses are undoubtedly just modified versions of the Zeiss Hasselblad lenses, so end results will be in the same ballpark. Of course their unpopularity at the time means they're pretty rare today - the follow-up Rollei SLX/6006 system was more Hasselblad-like, but they bring higher prices these days. The only TLR I'd really consider is the Mamiya C330, or its less featured sibling the C220, but they're no longer cheap, and personally I never liked using them - again, Mamiya seem to enjoy making awkward-to-use cameras. By far the worst camera I ever had to use (at my first job) was the awful Mamiya Press. Yes, it was versatile in being able to use several different film format backs, but it really took the prize for being the most horrendous thing to use in an actual working situation. If ever there was an anti-ergonomic design, this piece of crap was it. Rollei TLRs are way overpriced in the fashion of collecibles like Leica, although you could consider an Ikoflex for less money, but both these are old designs. There is another camera I've looked at over the years, namely the Fujica GW690 (90mm lens) and GSW690 (65mm lens) rangefinders, nicknamed "Texas Leica" for their large physical size (and 6x9 format). The original version G690 and G690BL came as an interchangeable lens camera with a choice of lenses (50, 65, 100, 150 and 180, from memory), but the later GW and GSW were fixed lens cameras. If you want a larger-than-life 120 film format camera with the convenience of rangefinder simplicity, it's hard to go past one of these. They, too, are rather rapidly gaining in price, from the mid $200's a few years ago to over $600 for a good one these days, and more for the GSW690.
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point
    Nothing came thru? Testing testing Appears to upload ok
  47. 1 point
    At the moment I'm absolutely besotted with the cantankerous, temperamental, idiosyncratic Pentacon Six cameras and their Carl Zeiss lenses, so any recommendations might end up being biased towards that system. I simply love using the camera more than just about anything I've ever used before - although many will call me crazy for even suggesting that given the lengthy list of shortcomings the experts will reel off at the slightest mention of the name. In contrast, and while it has taken three examples of each to end up with a good camera, as far as 35mm goes I always used to, and now still do swear by the Olympus OM1 and the Minolta SR-T 101. there are literally dozens of these available on ebay in good working order at around $60-$120 for a body only, and maybe $30 or $40 more with a standard lens. The dodgy areas appear to be the meters, and of course the unavailability of the original 1.35v mercury button cells that used to power those meters. There are substitutes, and I've found them to operate well enough with plain 1.5v LR44 Alkaline cells, or better yet with more stable silver oxide versions. Both cameras are accurate enough, the Minolta can also be adjusted by changing the position of two tabs located under the base-plate, although, as mentioned, getting one that works in the first place is very much the luck of the draw. Get lucky and you can have a pristine 35mm camera and a wide, normal and moderate tele lens for around the $200-$250 mark, which is almost a joke when considering what these things cost, even second-hand, when film was still the means of taking photos. As far as processing goes, Paterson tanks complete with two reels are available new for around US$30, chemistry is easily available in economical 1 litre bottles, and bulk 30m rolls of film and daylight loaders are also available. My materials supplier since 1983 has recently been increasingly turning his business over to supplying film-related product; you can get an idea of just how undead film is by having a look at his site for the sheer variety of choice that exists off-the-shelf/in stock here: Photoresource Eventually I suppose some manufacturers will start producing film cameras again, but with the huge numbers of good second-hand gear that fell out of use when digital hit still surfacing on ebay, it might be a while yet before new gear becomes a viable thing to manufacture again. Unfortunately they'll never manufacture the Pentacon Six again - that was a permanent casualty of the Soviet collapse, and Pentacon itself was sold off and dismantled as a company by 1990. As the highest serial numbers reached were around the 205,000 mark (which includes the several thousand around #185,000 that were sold as chassis to Exakta in West Germany as the base for the Exakta 66), there really aren't going to be that many available into the future, particularly given their reputation for being rather delicate in construction and tricky to repair - if you can even find someone to repair them.
  48. 1 point
    Time for some zeBras! Here in Africa we call them zeb-rahs, so I had to issue some corrective elocution to some of our guests. This little colt stood there posing like this for about a minute. Very considerate animal. He'll either go far in life or get eaten because of his curiosity. Then a mother and smaller colt.
  49. 1 point
    On one of the days (I think it was Wednesday) we woke up to a grey sky. As usual we were in pursuit of big cats, but while we were waiting for our quarry to round up an attack on some impala I decided to photograph this eagle on a branch nearby. I was told the name but with my Swiss Cheese memory I'm afraid I can't give an ID. I do recall it had the word "crested" somewhere in the title. 🙄
  50. 1 point
    Another from today's edits. People tell me that medium format digital is terrible at low light/night work. I humbly disagree!
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