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I'm sure I qualify as a µ4/3 fan, with an embarrassing number of bodies and lenses, including digi Pens. Predominantly Oly, but including the rangefinder style layout Panny GX7,which I like and have used extensively. As a happy user of E-M5 IIs, I can't see where the Pen-F adds anything for me. You do know that this is all about form factor, style and ergonomics, right? Nice for someone who needs a new camera body. Nice for Oly if it moves more hardware. But underneath, the Pen-F is the innards of an E-M5 II with only two positive changes I can see, and a couple of negatives. +1. A 20 MP sensor. That may sound like a big increase, but it's not. The increase in linear resolution is around 12%, just around the point where careful pixel peeping MIGHT show a tiny bit more fine detail. The couple of hands on reviews I've read so far can't find any increase for sure, but they are limited to Viewer 3 so far. +2a. They have moved all the silly (to me) "creative" and scene modes to a separate dial on the front, which means it's finally possible to access all four Custom Settings sets directly from the Mode dial. A real improvement - except ... -2b. With the add-on grip, Robin Wong finds his finger being attacked by the aggressive knurling on this front knob. -1. No weather sealing. Importance depends on the user. -2. What some may see as a step back. Although necessitated by the idea of recreating something visually rather like the original Pen-F(T), there is no front grip. That means additional shekels, size and weight for those who need a grip. From the pics, it seems that the add-on grip isn't very deep, nor very tall. Oly has said they will offer an HR mode that can take all eight exposures in 1/60 sec. As far as I can tell, this isn't the camera to deliver that; the HR mode isn't any faster than on the E-M5 II. Not absolutely sure, but Oly would trumpet it, and no reviews say anything as yet. Although not entirely style and ergonomics agnostic, I'm first about function. Compared to Oly's amazing recent innovations, the HR Mode and in-camera focus stacking and bracketing, this camera body breaks no new functional ground.
The odds are just the same as any specific four cards showing up in the initial spread twice. 7♥, J♦, 3♣, A♥ have just the same probability of showing up in any initial spread as your A♦, A♠, A♥, A♣. All in sequence, longer odds. In the same sequential order each time, longer odds yet. In the same spots, in this case 2 through 5, even longer odds. We, in our minds, are the ones who put special significance on particular cards. Chance doesn't. I made the mistake, near the middle of the last century, of taking a statistics class from George Kuznets, brother of Nobel laureate Simon. Wow was he brilliant. Wow did he cover a lot of material in each class. And boy did I come close to drowning. ººº{:~(
Well, I seem to think I've got a nice shot of some small potatoes in various colors. Aah, but where ... So, a slightly alien potato aspect will have to do.
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2016 on Can't Think of One at The Online Photographer
If I were to argue for existence of a Creator*, I would point out that the other dominant explanations of the Universe fail to explain the pervasive existence of humor. Oddly enough, it seems that those who argue most vehemently for the existence of a Creator neither recognize the humor that surrounds them, nor seem to have any in themselves. Perhaps that's a joke, too? Do wits take advantage of time to create and enhance humor, or does time exist so they can use it? Philosophically opposed to Absolutes, Moose * I do not argue either side here.
"Most art museums have only a small fraction of their holdings on display at any given time. The rest is in storage." There's a relatively recent change/spin on this. In the American collection at the Brooklyn Museum, one may go through a pair of tall, glass doors into a cool, dimly lit area where the much more of the collection is visible in dim light, cool air and behind glass. This is called Visible Storage, and has, I discovered, been being added at various museums for several years.
Some months ago, all the enthusiastic praise of the Fuji X cameras and their wonderful IQ started to nag at me, with my puny µ4/3 bodies. So I grabbed some Raw files of the standardized studio shots from DPR and IR reviews, converted them and stacked them on top of each other in PS. My conclusion, after way too much pixel peeping, trying various deconvolution settings, and so on, was that, at base ISO, it was an absolute toss-up between the X-T1 and the Oly E-M1, the latest of each line at the time. There were parts of each test image where one or the other had a tiny edge, to my eye. I'd give the slightest of edges to the Oly, but that may be my priorities and prejudices and most certainly wouldn't be visible in any but gigantic prints, if then. I didn't check higher ISOs; that gets amazingly tricky and starts to depend a lot on the Raw converter, NR and sharpening/deconvolution tools, etc. Nor did I check DR, although both easily handled the step charts. Then again, for some uses the HR mode of the E-M5 II transcends its sensor size in both resolution and color accuracy. In my limited testing so far, it also handles highlights better than standard mode, so may have better DR? Just another data point ...
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2016 on Camera Sensor Size at The Online Photographer
"When being in Times Square for New Year's Moment no longer sounds at all appealing, that's it: you're old. You have to be under the spell of the happy idiocy of youth for that to sound like fun. And if it never sounded like fun to you, at any age? That's how you know you're an introvert." A better definition than many I run across. A lot of people, including another web based test I just took, seem to confuse non-shy behavior with extraversion. Jung's definitions are more subtle and useful than popular conceptions. Oops, you could say that about so many things ....
Toggle Commented Jan 15, 2016 on Fuji X-Pro2 Rollout at The Online Photographer
"I have the Panasonic 100-300mm f4-f5.6 lens currently and enjoy it for bird photography, but am definitely frustrated by its poor performance over 250mm and at f5.6" I don't know that lens, and you don't say with what camera bodies. I do know that I was disappointed with many of my first shots with the Oly 75-300 on an E-M5. From not quite sharp to actual double images. The trouble was shutter shock. Fortunately, Oly has had a work around since the first first µ4/3 camera. Buried in the menu is a settings for Anti-Shock. Set to 1/8 sec., it almost entirely eliminates the problem, at a cost of slight shutter response delay. Unfortunately, Panny had, according to some tests, a worse problem than Oly, and offered no solution until Electronic First Curtain on the GX7, 8 and at least one video oriented model. The GX7 was a huge step forward, although EFC wasn't possible without Electronic Second Curtain, as well, and the occasional distortion of fast moving objects. With the E-M1, M5 II and M10s, Oly has completely corrected the problem with a combination of redesigned shutter and EFC. In addition, the E-M5 II has significantly improved the IBIS, especially for long FLs. Both makers claim synchronized operation of in lens IS (new with this lens for Oly) and IBIS, for even better combined IS. Whether the Oly lens will play that way with a Panny body with the GX7 or the Panny lens with the later OM-D bodies, I don't know.
"So when digital came along with its smaller sensors, I thought, wow, the gang is going to love this. You can get a 4/3 camera and double the reach of your teles!" A few of us weirdos did. One of the things I liked most about moving from 5D to 60D was that my Sigma 600/8 became 960 mm eq. When I was a teenager, my father sold the Topcon Super-D I had been borrowing for my photography and bought a Nikon Ftn. Soon after came the 55 mm Micro-Nikkor, then the 200/4*. I have been smitten since then with seeing and capturing small extracts from the broad visual field, high magnification, one might say, with macro and super tele lenses. You've led me to some calculations for my sojourn with µ4/3: 200-299 mm = 7% 300 mm = 23% Macro settings, 12-50 @ 43 mm and 60 mm macro lens = 13% So, something north of 40% total. ... And nobody cared. As I say, big surprise. It turned out that most hobbyists liked long teles for the bragging rights—they were big, they were expensive, they were impressive. Status symbols. For every ten Photo Dawgs who owned or coveted big long glass, only one or two actually needed or used it." I would propose a distinction here, between useful long glass and big, long and expensive glass. The former for folks like me, who just want the reach; the later for the status obsessed (and those few who actually use/need both long and fast). \;~)> Remember, long and fast means very shallow DoF, shallower than I want for my subjects and style. I wouldn't want less DoF than f11 gave me in this shot of sun on wet rock and spray falling from an ephemeral falls on top of El Capitan. Nor for Half Dome from eight miles @ f8 away. These two may seem extreme, but tele landscapes are one of my photographic loves. Not only for the way they look, but for the opportunity to capture different views of places so hackneyed from endless bazillions of the same shot. Of these two new lenses, the Oly is of no interest to me. So it's faster than my 75-300 @ 300; that 1.5 stops costs way too much in size and weight, let alone $ - and I couldn't use it most of the time, anyway. The PanaLeica, OTOH, adds real reach, at a far more modest price in size and weight.
My Cameras of the Year are Olympus E-M5 Mark IIs. Fixed pretty much everything wrong with the Mark I and added improved new functions. Within 10 weeks, I was so convinced that I added a second body. Never regretted it for a moment. In 10 months since I got the first, they have run up over 7,000 shots. What no one seems to say in reviews, perhaps because they aren't long tele and/or macro hounds, is the improved IBIS. Shoot a few thousand images a year at 600 mm eq. and it immediately becomes clear that the IBIS is a BIG improvement over the Mark I. More subtly, it seems to me that EFC and revised shutter design, in place of the 1/8 sec. delay necessary on the Mark I to combat shutter shock, also improve practical detail resolution, although perhaps only noticeable at the extremes of subject magnification. The shutter delay was a useful workaround, and so much better than Panny's head in the sand attitude. But the Mark II goes past workaround to full correction - and doesn't slow shutter response or sound funny. The High Res Mode is limited to things that don't move for straight shooting, but spectacular for those subjects.* It also adds truer color, by capturing each pixel location with sensels of each color. So, no Bayer demosaicing, and no moiré. Then, before the year is out, we got a freebie, a big one, automated, in-camera focus stacking (Oly calls it Bracketing). Anyone who has spent far too much time manually focus stacking with focusing rail should be blown away by this! And fast enough to avoid changing light problems. (There's also some video improvement.) The A7II is obviously a great camera, although not part of a great system. But in another way, it's an ordinary camera. Even the IBIS is either licensed or copycat from Oly. It's really Olympus that has been leading in actual innovations that allow photographs that couldn't be done before. Anyone actually looked at the Composite Mode introduced with the E-M5 for long exposures? I've not tried the in-camera Focus Stacking Mode added to the E-M1, but have a TG-4 with simpler version. It is simply a game changer. Aim at something, push the button once, wait a few seconds, and get an image with F128+ DoF. On the TG-4, only small close things, on the E-M1, anything. Oly wins Best Camera for the E-M5 II AND for Best Design/Engineering from me. \;~)> * Oly claims actual shooting of the 8 exposures will take 1/60 sec. (with fast shutter speeds) in the next iteration - at a guess an E-M1 II.
"I can tell you for a fact that the 45mm and 75mm Olympus lenses will hold up just fine, corner-to-corner, when a 32-megapixel camera comes along." It's already come along, with the High Res Mode of the E-M5 II. While not ready for prime time with subjects that aren't static, it certainly is higher than 32 MB resolution, and useful for many subjects. From tests, it's clear that the 64 MB Raw files aren't quite the overall equivalent in actual resolution of detail to the Pentax 645Z 50 MB Bayer array sensor. It does nicely out resolve the 645Z on small, fine, repetitive detail. OTOH, the HR Mode is far superior to the 36 MP Nikon D800 for small and/or repetitive detail, as the D800 has terrible moire effects, and the Oly in HR Mode does not. The test shots on Imaging Resource appear to have been shot with the older, 4/3 50/2 macro lens. While it seems up to the job, we can't really know if a sharper lens might make the sensor look a little better. While I imagine that at least the 45/1.8, 75/1.8 and 60/2.8 Macro are fully ready for at least 32 MB, how may one be sure? I have all three lenses and the E-M5 II, but wouldn't know what to compare them to.
Jon Krill says "So if you want me to move over to another app then show me what their version of the Library module can do." For me, it's simple. LR library to find it, then open in a program I like to work in. \;~)> The LR Map module is like magic for me. I've geocoded my images for several years. Finding all my images from different times in a particular place using the map is fabulous.
One thing that may be of considerable interest to µ4/3 shooters is the difference in linear distortion correction from what Oly and Panny put in their files. Both makers relax the requirements for linearity in lens design to allow the lens designers to correct other aspects more fully. They then apply correction in camera for JPEGs and in their Raw converters for Raw files. Adobe has entirely bought into this, exactly, so far as I can tell, replicating the correction of, for example Oly's Viewer 3. What's odd/interesting about this is that the Oly/Panny/ACR correction works by throwing away the corners/edges. DxO corrects the same images in a quite different way, which results in a considerably wider angle of view. If all that's needed is linear distortion correction, though, PTLens does as well, sometimes better, at a much lower price. This example shows how much of the original image is lost with Oly/ACR correction. The next logical question is, which represents the stated focal length? The other thing I've found is Oly/Panny under correct linear distortion in their standard zooms. Not so obvious in the above example, but very much so here. You can see that DxO does a much better job, even while retaining the full angle of view. PTLens actually slightly improves on DxO for the Oly 12-50. ------------------- I'm surprised to see that it's been five years since I compared DxO To ACR/LR and Viewer for color, contrast, noise, fine detail, etc. At that time, I found DxO defaults for color/contrast/curve, whatever, to be inferior to the others. I notice comparisons of DxO to LR. I've never liked LR for conversion and editing, so my comparisons have been to PS with NeatImage and Focus Magic plug-ins.
"... choose from these signed collector prints ..."
Nothing against B&H, I just received another box of fun from them Tues., but the Oly lens sale is extensive and through all their dealers, as well as their own site. Not just Friday, but through 12/26, just in case you only get a tie, socks and underwear on the 25th. ≬;~)> Then again, they are running sales almost all the time, and lenses quite often. This may be a little better than usual, $150 off all the Pro line and several others and $100 off many more. And I just discovered the Panny 25/1.7 isn't expected until the Ides of March.
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2015 on Lens Day at The Online Photographer
"Is the value of everything just trending to zero? What am I missing?" Second Law of Thermodynamics?
"success, accomplishment, progress" ', and for "knowing thyself."' I suggest that these two pieces, strung together, don't necessarily get along. Success, accomplishment and progress, for most of us, most of the time, especially when young, tend to be adopted cultural, parental, religious and other external definitions. Once one begins to know oneself, the definitions tend to change. The greater the self knowledge, the greater the difference may become. Conventional "success" at the first may mean failure at the second. "Success" at the second will most often mean at least replacement with old definitions of the first, and not uncommonly, abandonment of the first entirely as collective values that don't apply to the now known self.
Thanks for the ride, Mike! As I recall, I started following along shortly before you switched to typepad. I'm still enjoying it, so keep it up. `\;~)> Went a little crazy this week, so spiffs should be coming your way from B&H and Amazon.
Mysterious indeed. Oly's 25/1.8 lists at $400, is $50 off for the moment, then $100 off starting Thanksgiving. This new Panny is slightly larger than the Oly, and not as cute, but lists for $150 less and is $200 less at the moment than the Ebon Friday Oly special. I've relied on the Panny 20/1.7 for a "normal" prime for some time, trading a little AF speed and sharpness away from the center for the pancake size and weight. For $99, you and B&H have enticed me to see if bigger is indeed better ... I don't quite understand another aspect of Panny's primes lens line. Until/except for the GX models, Panny's bodies have no IBIS and until one recent, premium prime, the Leica 42.5mm F1.2 ASPH, none of the prime lenses have IS. Much as I like the tiny GM1 for unobtrusive use, in the dim and dark, where it would otherwise be ideal, I have to go with the larger Oly bodies to use my fast primes to best effect.
I'm so happy for you, and just in time for TOP's birthday! Have you considered the possibility that toasters haven't changed, something in you has? I suggest this because your life experience with toasters is so different from mine, lived longer, but in the same appliance-culture space. I have indeed experienced bad toasters here and there in my peregrinations through life, but mostly in other peoples' abodes. I do agree that size, appearance and price seem unrelated to performance. I have not personally had a separate, one function appliance dedicated to toast in my kitchen for at least a couple of decades. For ages, one small, cheap toaster oven made decent toast, in addition to its other duties, with no need to dedicate limited counter space to a one function device. More recently, its larger replacement makes excellent toast, in addition to even more useful things than the last. It also toasts bread and bread like products of any size and shape. I have also experienced, with some envy, one of those old toasters (brand??) that slowly, elegantly and reliably raised perfect toast on its own every time. No motor; some sort of heat/timer release of the latch on the spring.
"... hoping that maybe someday I'll find the $300 for a used 25/2.8 normal for it. " "Thank you Kathy, but I need the one for micro 4/3 format instead." I suspect that, like me, Kathy was confused because you referred to a focal length and speed that have never been available for µ4/3 but are for 4/3. A typo for 25/1.8, perhaps?
By a double link jump, this post led me to Carl Weese's featured comment on "You Must Do This", 11/11/14, a year ago: "For a long time I've been pointing out in workshops that a lot of people misunderstand The Zone System and turn it into some sort of holy procedure exactly because they take it to be prescriptive instead of descriptive. It doesn't say, 'you must place caucasian skin tones on Zone VI,' it says, 'caucasian skin tones will fall on Zone VI in a realistic representation.' " This seems to me to be at odds with St. Ansel, "Many consider my photographs to be in the "realistic" category. Actually, what reality they have is in their optical-image accuracy; their values are definitely "departures from reality." The viewer may accept them as realistic because the visual effect may be plausible, but if it were possible to make direct visual comparison with the subjects, the differences would be startling." —Ansel Adams, The Negative, from the Introduction Why am I hauling around this old quote? Because it's important to me to know that my visual perception system and that of my photo equipment see very differently. I see it as my task in representative photography to create from the image captured something plausibly like what others would have experienced, including emotional response, had they seen the original subject at the time. I see the Zone System as a way to achieve something like that within the limitations of B&W print media. So if I raise the tonal values of a beautiful birch tree further above those of the background than the photographic gear "saw" (as I just did), to match my memory of the experience I had of the subject, I hope that I am creating a plausible recreation of what I "saw". Responses of viewers to my photo books indicate that I succeed reasonably well in doing so.
Should it not be OC/OPL, or OC/OFL? (One Prime Lens or One Focal Length.) Otherwise, a fool like me, forgetting the details of an earlier post, might think "Sure, I could do that with my E-M5 II and 14-150 lens, as long as I could use an extension tube for closer up." But then again, I wouldn't, and I'm not part of "... those to whom it appeals." OC/OPL/OY strikes me as a little like wearing the same clothing and shoes every day for a year, no matter the place, weather, etc. I suppose you might put me in the category of those for whom the envisioned final image is the goal and choice of gear is means.
"Briefly?" No. As a "graduate" of the Free Speech Movement* at Berkeley, I'm sorry to say it depends on a lot of factors and is endlessly in flux. OTOH, it's better than before the FSM, when University/College administrators and police had unquestioned rights to control all aspects on on-campus speech on both public and private campuses. The general question of freedom of speech in open privately owned spaces open to the public varies by state. Pretty decent summary here. This is one reason why, in some jurisdictions, some spaces otherwise open to the public are closed once a year on what would otherwise be an open day. * Yup, I was there when Mario Savio was ranting from atop a police car with his bull horn, and so on ...
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2015 on The First Amendment at The Online Photographer
Well, I'll take the Modigliani. In part because my taste in this case coincides with yours. But more importantly because it would sell for more, and I could buy a great deal of contemporary art I like better - and a building to house it. Art is always a matter of taste, some mixture of truly personal with a greater or lesser overlay of collective.
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2015 on Portrait Paintings at The Online Photographer