The last few years have seen a very large push in the photographic landscape toward smaller, lighter, high performing mirrorless interchangable lens compact system cameras. Most of the major camera manufacturers have produced something in this new segment. As Panasonic started the whole party off with the G1 a few years back, Olympus, Sony and Samsung jumped in quickly thereafter. Pentax and Ricoh have even had some interesting ideas since. Nikon and Canon watched this segment closely I’m sure, and calculated their entry into the mirrorless ring. Nikon took a different tack, creating a very small (comparatively) sensor system and Canon came up with this, the EOS-M. A few weeks ago, and after what many saw as a response to very poor reception and subsequent lack of sales since its introduction, Canon dropped the price of this APS-C sensor, mirrorless compact camera through the ground and I bit. Here are my thoughts on the camera itself, the Canon approach and where I think they need to go in the future with this…
I’m sure there are new cameras on the horizon. With every camera manufacturer pumping a few new bells and whistles into newer body styles and wrapping it around warmed over sensor tech, those among us who play the patient opportunists really benefit. I held off on the GX1 when it was released and opted for the G3 when upgrading from my GF1. I gained the beautiful EVF, and at the time saved about $500 (when looking at the GX1 + add on EVF). I’ve since been running a two camera setup (much as I do with my full frame work setup) as it allows me to always have a backup as well as be able to eliminate much in the way of lens changes. Because I use the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as well, and I’ve recently traded my G3 to my brother in law for favors yet to be determined, I felt I could justify a compact body, sans EVF again. Enter the GX1 which is now down to only $250 just about everywhere! (it’s available at B&H – CLICK HERE – with 2% reward and free shipping). C’mon in to see a couple shots of and with the GX1…
While I love the overall size reduction that newer mirrorless system cameras provide, certain cameras really sacrifice a functional grip, especially for larger hands more suited and accustomed to the larger, deeper DSLR style hand grips. With tiny buttons abound, touch sensitive screens and minimal real estate on the backs of these cameras to grip onto, I found myself looking for something to supplement my EM5′s “grip.” I was not going to pony up $300 for the accessory grip from Olympus because I don’t want the double battery/vertical grip portion, and while I could just use the add on grip on its own, the price is ridiculous to gain access to a simple grip (granted it did incorporate a second shutter button, but I already have one…). Enter the Really Right Stuff OMD EM5 grip plate combo. Read on for pics and a video showing how it fits the body of the OMD EM5…
Shooting art can be a tricky task. Replicating the colors, texture and vibrance all while lighting it properly and controlling detail ruining reflection is challenging. Every canvas provides it’s own nuances and unique elements needing to be worked around, especially a canvas that is 3 dimensional and isn’t entirely static. All of these tattoos are original works by my friend Josiah Laughlin. He tattoos here in Portland, Oregon at Imperial Tattoo, and this is an ongoing series we’re collaborating on to document his portfolio. C’mon in to see more of his work and read through diagrams on how I shot them.
While the title may allude to a sinister, Imperial-esque characterization of a city known for many a questionable, extra curricular activity, I mean to speak quite literally. For anyone who’s read my blog for more than a year, you may know that I travel to Amsterdam once a year on business. Because of said business, coupled with the late time of year and Holland’s geographical placement, I rarely get to experience it in the light of day. With a +9 hour difference to tackle, and tiring hours spent working while there, my window for photographic opportunity normally falls within about an hour and a half between when I get done working, and the inevitable collapse into a jet lagged coma that prematurely greets the end of each day. Luckily, this year, this window happened to open while the weather was crisp, but dry as it gave me the ability to wander around, camera in hand to document a bit of my annual stay in what has become my home away from home.
Just a quick comparison pre and post firmware v1.5 update showing the difference that the IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) makes when using adapted, third party lenses in video mode on the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
The above video was shot using a Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 SSC lens adapted to the OM-D E-M5 with segments using firmware v1.2 to show the lack of IBIS support compared to the same setup after the firmware update to v1.5. I was walking with the camera held out in front of me to further amplify the differences that the IBIS can make for video. I would certainly suggest standing still, IBIS or not when shooting video because nobody wants to watch this type of vomit inducing drivel, with the distinct exception of gear nerds like myself, in small, short doses of course.
To properly engage the IBIS when using adapted lenses for video, you’ll need to manually enter the focal length (just as we have to for still shooting) in the Image Stabilization sub menu.
Along with the added IBIS support in video capture for third party lenses, the update included a muting (or more accurately a disengagement) of the IBIS humming when the camera was inactive prior to entering sleep mode. Unfortunately, we didn’t see some of the other issues we’d raised last week addressed (like focus peaking, high ISO banding, etc) but these are two good changes and hopefully are merely the beginning of the firmware update chain for this camera.
You can find the OMD EM5 at B&H HERE.
Thanks for the read and happy shooting,
Like many other camera geeks and micro 4/3 system fans out there lately, I’ve been reading up on anything that I can find on Oly’s new flagship micro 4/3 camera. It touts some pretty impressive specs, but how does it come across in function? I pulled the trigger, and while happy that I did, I do find that there are some things about the camera that seem to have been overlooked or neglected. There are many articles outlining the spec sheet and testing the features, this is my own personal feel coming from someone who uses this camera as a daily tool and has been doing so for the last couple weeks.
Do you want to know more about a particular technique? Are you curious about purchasing a particular camera or lens? Do you ever see an image and wonder “how do they do that?” Ask away, I will do my best to answer anything you can think of, or at least find someone and direct you to who can. I enjoy all of the email I get, and do my best to answer each of them as accurately as I’m able. So, I thought, “why not try and open this up so that everyone can enjoy and benefit?” As summer comes into focus, I’m finding my time being stretched in quite a few different directions, juggling projects and life, so let me know what you are interested in and I’ll do the leg work. Hopefully we can all learn something along the way! Go ahead and drop a comment below, or email me and I will answer them/showcase them as they come in. Read on…
It’s easy to go through much of life paying attention to the times that one is unlucky, but if we spend all of our energy on ignoring the times we are lucky, it is easy to miss out on a lot of the fun life can provide. I remember hearing about Hasselblads back in the day. I’d never really considered medium format to be something I’d ever realistically get to play around with. My limited expendable income was always directed to other areas. As fortune and luck would have it, the father of a girl that I was dating, was a photographer. Not just a photographer, but a connoisseur of all things photographic. His history with photography was inspiring, his knowledge intriguing, his collection of cameras was a thing of beauty. I knew, I needed to marry this girl.
I have been receiving quite a few emails lately asking which mirrorless interchangeable lens compact cameras I would suggest, so I figured I would give a quick rundown on who I feel would benefit from each of the current stock out there and which I feel are the “best” choices.