The Loooong Holiday

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As the kids call it, is here again. I’m sure a whole year went by in just 5 minutes.

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So let it begin. The little vacations here and there, the day trips there and everywhere, play days, BBQ’s, poker nights,  renovation, decorating etc

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You name it, we got it going on. And what better time of year.

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And lets not forget, training  for that event in September we agreed to. I seem to have misplaced my treadmill this last fortnight.

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🙂

Caravan Chic

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Ok, maybe NOT so chic, but a bloomin’ good time.

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We had our annual  family outing to the ‘seaside’ ( more like the Thames Estuary), overlooking another ‘seaside’ town on said Estuary.

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We were fortunate – as we seem to be almost every year – the weather was AMAZING, the accommodation equally impressive, and as the site was smaller than usual it had a cosy/retro feel to it.

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There is plenty for the kids –  an indoor and outdoor pool with inflatables, play park, tennis, football, mini golf, arcades and evening Disco.

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For the Adults there’s the bar. ‘Nuff Said.

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(Oh alrighty…….reading IS an acceptable pastime)

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All shots were taken with my mum’s Fuji X100 -, which I took along as it offers a 35mm FOV, considered the closest FL to mimic what the human eye sees. Personally, I am not so keen on the FL or this camera.

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The metering is all over the shop, and when I change the settings to manual focus with the AEL/AFL button set to AF-ON the focus box was so big it often focussed on whatever was behind or in front of my subject, depending on contrast levels. I cannot knock the output, nor the controls, but overall its not my cup of tea.

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I will be taking this camera to an upcoming event specifically because of the FOV, low light performance and leaf shutter, but after that I will happily return it to said owner and not look back.

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That aside, I give this little holiday a 9/10, and look forward to next years jaunt, whence we will head to a different destination as we normally do, but with the usual suspects in tow.

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🙂

Revert To Type

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When testing bodies/lenses/lighting…..anything really, its best to revert to a tried and tested methodology i.e Casey.

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Luckily, we have it down pat, it takes maybe half an hour and we are bound to come out with a few pleasing images.

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This is how it works, but I believe its time to up the ante.

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I reckon a Pro might take close to 1k images at any event – how many of those are useable – more to the point, aside from useability, how many are GOOD.

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Sure , I may have taken 30-50 images last night, but how many made it to this page?

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This isn’t because the others are poorly focussed, some might be, on others the exposure might not be what I want (though that is fairly easily corrected) but MOST of the discarded shots are just not what I like, compositionally, as with Casey and any other human target, they move a lot, goof around.

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For street shooting, and probably events, this is where skill/artistic vision comes in handy, see the shot and take it, before it changes.  Expose, frame and shoot on the fly, yet create masterpieces. Hmm….I best learn me sum ‘dat.

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🙂

Bend It Like Beckham

I have come to the (temporary, i’m sure) conclusion that this is what is needed to wring the goodness from M43.

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It’s all there but you really need to be a bit of a superstar photog if shooting in diverse conditions. Poor lighting, moving targets – clearly I’m not talking about myself.

Of course there are those that do, and do so very well – the mind springs to www.jamestux.com/ or www.lindsaydobsonphotography.com/ and http://shutterleaf.co.uk/blog/ – fantastic photogs using mirrorless cameras in the Pro arena.

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The single most important thing, as per any system, but especially M43, given its sensor size, is lens choice.

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Now, I had the 75mm F1.8 and was perfectly happy with the results, but now I have the Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro, and whilst perfectly sharp and gorgeous in good light, low light – read any indoor light – sends the ISO into orbit and the shutter speed to the grave.

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I think its the equivalent of about 5.6 on FF. Yes, I know folks say F2.8 worth of light is the same on any format I am not convinced. On a D800 F2.8 wont record ISO’s of 10,000 I’ll wager.

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So for me, unless shooting with uber fast primes in reasonable light I will have to learn to bend light……….. (or maybe just off/on camera flash techniques)

😀

Testing, Testing 1,2,3

1) The new Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro that was delivered today.

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2) The Panasonic GX7 I received (wrong model of course……thanks once again Amazon)

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3) The Metz 44-1 flash to put on top of said camera.

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First thing I note is that the external flash does not fire with the electronic shutter on. I dont know if this is standard or some sort of flaw or user error.

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The second is that the GX7 has a green ( or is it blue….) cast in the EVF when shooting in Mono – not really as issue as it doesnt change or flicker as in an OMD EM5 unit I had tested.

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 The Metz……or maybe the Panny cameras seems to underexpose by about 2/3 of a stop. I don’t know if this is a problem or something to just be aware of, and compensate for. I don’t have another TTL flash to compare with.

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Switching systems always presents a learning curve ball –  and with an important gig coming up its time to get my groove on.

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The question remaining is not whether the M43 system is good enough to shoot event photography, it is whether I am good enough to shoot events with it?!

🙂

Under The Surface….

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…..Is where the differences begin to show themselves.

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Initially, with any camera, you check basic functionality – the dials operate as per any other camera, function buttons are set accordingly, AF/MF options, tracking capabilities , so on and so forth. All is good.

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Now, once you start playing around other little things come to light (good and bad) pinpoint AF is awesome, the WiFi app is very useable, and allows you to set a variety of parameters from your smartphone or iPad.

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But, isn’t there always a but? despite Panasonic being considered one of the best in terms of UI, certain things are surprisingly flawed (says me).

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In ‘picture effects’ mode, or whatever its called – the user isnt given the option of changing any exposure parameters such as ISO, SS or aperture, but can freely use compensation to adjust output. Also, neither on board nor external flash units work in this mode, so indoors the final image is often achieved with a combination of high ISO and slow shutter speeds- WTF?!

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Using ‘scene effects’ mode, again exposure parameters are off limits, but thankfully flash CAN be used.

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I get that these modes may well be aimed at point and shooters, but this is the group who will not understand when their images come out blurry thanks to 1/20th second shutter speeds. Panny loses points here as Sony and Olympus both offer full control in effect modes. But, I still think its fantastic – to the tune of almost 1k shots in just 1 week!

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🙂

Addendum

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Well, maybe just a little weirder than the last few of Casey. But Im having fun with it. Its a very useable little machine, it almost asks to be picked up, and I am happy to oblige. THe FL of this lens (75mm) may be considered a tad long for indoor shooting – equating to about 150mm on full frame, but I can work with it and its great for portrait.There are complaints that m43 doesn’t offer enough subject isolation, or suffers from noise at all ISO’s, but I find that although the transitions between focus and OOF arent as smooth as larger sensors the noise performance is certainly equal to (if not better than) most of Sony’s SLT lineup. One of the upsides of M43 is the diminutive size of the bodies and, the GH3/4 bucks this trend. Its about the size of an entry level DSLR such as the Canon 1100d or Sony A58, and twice the price, but the lenses available for this system are easily half the size and weight. Balance reigns in the Universe still.

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