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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Olympus E-5

Just got word from Olympus Malaysia that a test unit is coming my way this Friday.

Well, it's going to be a fun weekend!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Zuiko and Around the Corner


It has been a wet week recently here. The rain comes and goes without warning, and most of the time is the cats & dogs variety. A no-no for most cameras; however, glad I have the E-3 and SHG lenses in my drybox! It has been quite a while since I shot the E-3 and the Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F4.0 uber-wide angle lens.

The rain just stopped, but there were still drizzles flying around. The dark clouds were still lingering in the evening sky. I was itchy for some shots. Really in the mood for some serious photography. My mojo was back!

E-3 with Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F4.0
7mm, f/4, 1/400s, ISO200

But, I wouldn't want to use the E-30 come the sudden rain. E-3 should do it. What-the-hey!!! This archaic camera still works, albeit the recent announcement of the E-5. I was a bit worried the camera stopped working out of jealousy as I am lusting for the E-5 ever since the rumor came about.

I was lazy to go somewhere just for the sake of taking some nice photos. I told myself, what if I just walk around the corner of my neighborhood and take some interesting snaps. That was a thought, and I was glad I did it.

E-3 with Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F4.0
7mm, f/4, 1/200s, ISO200

My son tagged along, but mostly he was on his own running across the empty road, zig-zagging his aeroplane run with great sound effect. He was minding his own business, and so did I. Both of us had a great quality time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zuiko and the Balancing Act

In my class, I cram my students with many photography nonsense. Especially with the mantra, "When outdoors in the hot sun, shoot with your flash on and 100% direct." Most of the time, my students will show blank stares disbelieving what I just said.

There are many other mantras, and one of them is, "If you don't like a person in a group picture, please use a wide angle lens." Well, this may be a good topic for another blog. For now, let me stick to the hot-sun-flashing-shooter thing.

Ah, well... I give them the assignment, and these are the results.

E-30 with Zuiko Digital ED14-35mm F2.0 SWD + FL-50R Flash
33mm, f/11, 1/250s, ISO100, -2ev, flash +1ev

My approach is simple. Most of the time, the camera using Matrix metering is quite smart enough to detect the background exposure. Thus, by dialing down the overall exposure compensation to -2ev, the background is darkened. The flash, then is set at higher compensation, say +1ev, to illuminate the darkened scene. In total, the image has a composite of -1ev exposure, which is just the right balance for portrait with landscape picture.

The above image uses slow x-sync flash that limits the shutter to 1/250s; thus, entails for small aperture exposure. In this case, it is f/11.

E-30 with Zuiko Digital ED14-35mm F2.0 SWD + FL-50R Flash
14mm, f/3.2, 1/4000s, ISO100, -2ev, flash +1ev

Say that you are a sucker for shallow depth-of-field, or bokeh-anywhere type of shooter. Then, you can dial up the aperture to f/2 for example, and the shutter speed will still jam at 1/250s. In this case, the Matrix metering is dumb! The picture will be overexposed. The only way to jump the shutter up is to use high-speed sync, in Olympus language it's FP Flash. Be careful though when using this method, as the bulb tend to be abused with low power but long bursts of light. I killed my FL-36 during a wedding once due to FP abuse, and it was not nice!!

Notice the blur effect due to the larger aperture even at wide angle 14mm? I should have used f/2.0 to get more blur. Doh!!

Using the same exposure principles of the first picture, the second image is recreated with the same exposure balance.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Zuiko and a New Compact System

It seems Olympus is coming out with another system.

From the site, there's a mockup camera that has the granular similarity with the Canon S90. I just can't believe this!!!!

If this is to be true, I am hard pressed to thinking of upgrading my S90 with the S95 in the near future.

Hmmmm... I hope more revelations appear in Photokina.

At Photokina, has reported a bit about this compact.

Click HERE to look at the sheer size of the lens, with respect to the body.

From the extended lens, I can deduce that the lens is larger than the S90. Two things are possible:
1. This is a large aperture lens throughout its range, maybe an F2.0-2.8, with a sensor size of 2/3".
2. This is a large sensor compact, maybe 4/3, with lens aperture F3.5-5.6.

Another hint from, it may be a return of the legendary C-5050 specification; thus, I can conclude that it may be a large aperture lens with 2/3" sensor.

Well, only time will tell and I really expect it to be worth the wait!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SE X10 Fun with the Vignette App

I love this app with the Sony X10 Android phone.

The ultimate in photo processing!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.9

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Olympus E-5 is here

At long last, the successor for the ageing flagship has arrived.

From the initial specs, it is easy to assume that the E-5 is actually an iteration from the best of 3 Olympus cameras: the E-5, E-30 and E-P2. Let's checkout the specs:

From E-3 comes the body construction, weatherproofing and 100% viewfinder.

From E-30 comes the 3" screen, AF calibration and Live View AF.

From E-P2 comes the 720p HD video, SD card and the latest Art Filters.

Well, there are other features that are inherent in E-5 predecessors, but I only listed the obvious ones to my mind.

Topping all the current features are some things that may shed high interest.

First is the newly designed image processor, aptly named TruePic V+. I hope this processor provides better sharpness, color and noise control. The only way to know is for me the get hold of one as soon as possible. Hope Oly Malaysia is reading this blog and already reserve one unit for me. :)

Next is the new 920+k screen. This is already standard for some manufacturers and I am happy Oly is doing this for E-5. I just hope the contrast is good at strongly lit sunshines and will not drain the battery easily during Live View shooting.

Lastly the so-called I-FINISH mode that supposed to provide control to Art Filters. I am not sure what this means, but I hope this is a killer feature.

I know that my statements with regards to the E-5 are pure estimates from my experience with its predecessors, but it serves as some expected benchmark of what the E-5 can do. Hope to see more image samples, and also if lucky can review the unit soon.

Till then....

The Olympus E-5?

Well, the picture of the purported E-5 is out in cyberspace.

It doesn't surprise me one bit for it to be very similar with the E-3. The silhouette image in my previous entry sure is the E-3 form factor.

Compare the E-3 with E-30 for ergonomics, the E-3 wins hands down for me.

But, what's more important is what it can do. From the purported specs, I can see the mashup of E-30 and E-Px technologies. There's no standout advancement feature so far, but there is rumour that the optical viewfindef will have "translucent technology" which means the LCD display can be seen on the optical prism. In fact, I am a bit sceptic about this.

Well, too much rumor mongering is not good for anybody's health. I would just wait for the official announcement tomorrow.

Now, where did I put that Olympus Malaysia business card??

Monday, September 13, 2010

Olympus E-5: The New Flagship

Lately, there is a strong buzz about the upcoming E-5 at Photokina. Come 15 November, Olympus will unveil its latest flagship camera to the world. It won't be Full Frame camera for sure. However, I bet it will be next level of technology Olympus like to showcase; namely by merging E-3 ruggedness, E-30 sophistication and E-P2 brilliance, not to mention an additional bag of trick or treat into the new E-5.

For me, the goodies sound nice. But will it be good enough to satisfy the hunger of my 4 brilliant Zuikos? E-30's 12MP resolution does not boast a challenge to the 14-35mm F2.0 optical prowess. Neither does the E-3's optical viewfinder to detail the 7-14mm uber wide coverage. The E-P2's 720p video won't do justice to the 35-100mm cinematic potential. Maybe the E-5 can solve the 50mm Macro focus limiter problem, though. Well, hopefully the E-5 adresses at least one of these problems. Or maybe not.

Will the E-5 boast at least 15MP? Or will it support EVF functionality?

As an insecure Olympus shooter, I am asking for things that is outside the ordinary. But what the heck! I see Olympus has the technological will to do many things, but it really lacks the commercial will. Somehow, being a small company with limited resources really dictates the do's and dont's of things. How sad!

Well, enough rambling from me for now. In just a couple of days we will know.

Hang on tight. If I am lucky, Olympus Malaysia may spare me a review unit!

Such exciting times ahead...