Sunday, June 23, 2013

With all the gear. It is quite a bigger camera with all the accessories attached, but very good ergonomics, and I can tailor the size to suite the occasion. I have been thinking about the EVF2 for about 6 months. No regrets. It will work so well when I get the M 240 later,or even the X Vario.





Location:My kitted out X2

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A few more photos. The first from Aperture and the second from RAW Developer. 




Welcome NEX-6

It was a such a strange thing. I was in a camera shop looking at the Fuji X-Pro 1, and was all ready to purchase the camera with the 35/1.4 lens. Then I was playing with a number of other cameras. One of them happened to be the Sony NEX-6. In the past few years, I have been following the Sony NEX system from afar. When the NEX7 came out, it was of curious interest, due to its EVF and the larger sensor size. But since the, there hasn't been much of any interest. Anyhow, once I spent about 10 minutes playing with it, I was sold. I didn't do any Internet searches of reading of any review, the camera just felt right. For the same price as the X-Pro 1 and the 35/1.4, I got the NEX-6 with the 35/1.8 and 50/1.8 with some left over still.  

Well, here are some initial test shots below. The first shot was processed with RPP and the last two were with RAW Developer. A few initial observations on the NEX-6 and 35/1.8 combo. 
  • Great usability for someone who likes a more traditional approach. The buttons and dials can be tailored to suit.
  • Manual focus is the best I have used on any EVF. This makes me want to use my old Contax lenses.
  • Very small and light-weight. But not the same as the Leica X2.
  • Quite responsive in its operation. The Auto-focus was quite quick, a lot better than the GF1 and the X2. But definitely not as quick as the OM-D. 
  • The 35/1.8 is a little soft at 1.8. But by 2.8 it is much better. 





Sunday, January 6, 2013

GF1 compared with X2

My recent sale of my OM-D was linked to the fact that I didn't like its operational layout and its subjective image quality wasn't my taste. The sharpness, IS and autofocus is without peer in my current camera inventory (i.e., no other camera has the combination of all three). But it just didn't feel right in my hands and the images didn't present well to my eyes. I note the caveat that it is purely subjective to my own needs. On the other hand, the Leica X2 and the (old) Panasonic GF1 was much better suited. None of those two has fast autofocus or IS; but the tactile feel and operation of the camera and the final image all appealed to me.


What I wanted to do now, in tandem with my RAW processor comparison is to do a short comparison between the GF1 and X2. This will simply involve the comparison of a range of typical images between the two cameras. Nothing scientific. Each photo from each camera at about the same time. I will be using the 20/1.7 on the GF1, and the X2 has the fixed 24/2.8. Perspective will not change, so the images will have a different field of view. Apertures will be matched where possible. But as I said, nothing scientific.


At the moment, all my RAW convertors, with the exception of DxO 8 supports both cameras, and will also involve a RAW convertor comparison between cameras. It will be interesting to see how DxO's image processing compares with other converters (something that I have wanted to know for a very long time) and how that would compare against a hand tuned processing on different cameras. For me, that is, the question is; will getting/using DxO with a cheaper lens and camera combination better an inherent superior lens and camera?



Thursday, January 3, 2013

RAW Developers

In the next few weeks, I will have some time to devote to photography. The two items on the agenda are a OM-D replacement and testing of RAW Converters. Currently, I have licenses for Aperture, Capture One, Lightroom, DxO and RAW Developer. I have recently tried Raw Photo Processor and appears to be an interesting tool. For this test, my aim to take a few standard images from my Leica X2 and Panasonic GF1 and compare the outputs.


On that note, I have recently come to appreciate the GF1. Of those images that I printed out and loved of my kids, almost half of them were taken with the GF1 and the 20m f/1.7 lens. Not the fastest combination around, nor does it have the best high ISO performance, but the results speak for themselves. Incidentally, of those that I wanted to print, very few came from the OM-D.


Finally, I had a chance to quickly play with the XE-1. It appeared to be reasonable responsive, and focused fairly quickly. But I did notice the EVF did have a little bit of tearing in certain circumstances and also had minor lag. It was only a brief test, but I have to say that I wasn't 100% sold. The resolution is great, and the MF on the rear LCD was actually quite useable. Warrants more testing time.



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Goodbye Olympus E-M5...

After a short 7 month relationship, I have farewelled my Olympus OM-D. My primary reason is that I could never really get a good connection with the camera. With the Leica X2, it was instant connection. I knew and now am certain, that it really connects with the way that I would like to operate a camera. Another words, it gets out of the way. With the OM-D, it was completely the other way around. I should've loved it, compact size, excellent AF speed and great image quality. But we never became best friends. Well, it is off to a new home, where I hope it will find new loving owner, who will be able to connect and appreciate it more than I could.

The good news is that I now have funds for another camera! The first one that has popped into mind is the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 or X-E1. They both feature very simple dial controls for the essentials, but both still lack an ISO selector. Some of the high ISO images I have seen from either camera is pretty amazing. Just looking at the sample image at ISO 3200 at dpreview.com and it seems to have less noise than the D700! My only fear is the slow AF. But having got used to the X2's slower than DSLR AF, I think that it may not be an issue. But right now, the question is X-Pro 1 or the X-E1....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bokeh

Long time between posts. But this is a short one about bokeh. For me it has two qualities - the aesthetic look and the degree of blurring. The former can only be decided on a per lens basis and is highly subjective. The second factor, which is degree of blurring, is primarily based on the objective size. That is, the true aperture size. The larger the physical size of the diameter, the more the blur. For example, a 50mm f/2.0 has an aperture size of 25mm. A 200mm f/2.0 lens has an aperture size of 100mm. In most circumstances (i.e., same image size) the blur on the 200mm at f/2.0 will be far more than the 50mm f/2.0.


Given this, and the fact that I love blurred out background, I can make an informed choice between lenses as to which one will give me the most blur - but not necessarily the most beautiful blur. Some interesting conclusions is that the smaller the format, the larger the aperture needs to be to have good background blur.


In principle, my choices of lens for bokeh (for full frame D700) ranges between 50mm to 300mm. In this example, the following is a measure of the theoretical aperture size for various lenses. Noting that the large the aperture, the more blur.


50mm f/1.0 = 50mm (e.g., Leica Noctilux)


50mm f/1.4 = 35mm


85mm f/1.4 = 60mm


85mm f/1.8 = 47mm


100mm f/2.0 = 50mm (e.g., Zeiss ZF2 Planar)


135mm f/2.0 = 67mm (e.g., Zeiss ZF2)


200mm f/2.0 = 100mm (e.g., Nikon 200mm f/2.0 )


200mm f/2.8 = 71mm (e.g., f/2.8 70-200 zooms)


300mm f/4.0 = 75mm (e.g., Nikon 300mm f/4.0)



Sunday, September 30, 2012

Updates

Been some time since my last entry, and lots happening in the photographic world. In short, I thought Photokina 2012 has some really interesting products, but also some missed opportunities. Anyway, I recently purchased DxO Mark Pro and now have the five major RAW convertors and photo editing platforms; Aperture, Capture One, DxO, Lightroom and RAW Developer. I would like to do a comprehensive comparison between the two. The only drag at the moment is that DxO does not support the X2. A shame, but hopefully that will change soon.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

High ISO Olympus OM-D Samples

Here is a simple image set from ISO 1600 to ISO 25600 on the Olympus E-M5 OM-D. The exposure wasn't consistent - and was handheld from the car - whilst waiting for drive through take away. In my opinion ISO 6400 is useable, and ISO 1600 and 3200 is pretty good.

ISO 1600
ISO 3200

ISO 6400
ISO 12800
ISO 25600

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Comments by Olympus Management

There has been a press release from Olympus indicating that they are committed to the top pro lenses that they have developed for the 4/3 system. This is great news instead. Having used and loved the E1, I think an E7 would be a welcomed addition. However, I think to better capitalise the market, they should really develop a 4/3 to m4/3 that allows full speed operation of the lenses on the m43 body. Either that, or they release new versions of those lenses that can accommodate properly (i.e., full speed) contrast detect AF. Again, just my two cents worth.