August 29, 2014
Regular readers of this blog may recognize the above image from a previous post. However, you have not seen the original photo that caused me such problems when writing that post. Below you will see two versions of the same photo. The first is the original jpeg conversion from an Olympus Raw file. The second is a slightly different conversion. The only difference between the two is the color space. Continue reading
August 9, 2014
Olympus OM-D camera bodies have a feature called In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS). This feature reduces camera shake when the shutter speed gets low. The big advantage of the IBIS system is that stabilization is available for any lens you put on the camera. Most other cameras use lens based stabilization. This means the image stabilization capability resides in the lens hardware. Either stabilization system works well, but lens-based stabilization means each lens must be IS capable and not all lenses are built this way. Sometimes the feature is removed to save costs; sometimes the manufacturer just doesn’t think it is necessary. That was often the case with my Nikon lenses. Nikon just doesn’t seem to think IS (or as they call it- VR, for vibration reduction) is necessary for wide-angle, normal, and short telephoto lenses. None of the Nikon lenses I used most often for portraits had VR. Occasionally, I used the 70-200/f2.8 lens for portraits. It had VR and was very sharp, but it was big and heavy, so I didn’t use it for portraits very often. Continue reading
July 29, 2014
Mobile processing has matured in the last year and is easier than ever with the great wifi capabilities of the Olympus OM-D E-M1. I like sharing photos while on the road, but in the past it has been a sub-optimal experience. First, I needed an adapter for my iPad to upload the images from older cameras, and then once the image was uploaded post-processing was cumbersome.
The E-M1 has made uploading the images a quick and trouble-free process. Now, when I’m on the road, I set my camera to capture Raw + Small Jpeg. This gives me a raw file for processing at home and a smaller file that I can upload to my iPad and tweak with the latest generation of photo apps. I upload the photos using the Olympus OI share app. Once the iPad has been configured for the camera, I just turn on the camera, click the touchscreen to enable wifi, connect to the E-M1 network on my iPad wifi, and finally open the Olympus app. It takes all of 5 seconds to be ready to upload images. The images display very quickly. I scroll through the viewer and select the images I want to upload and I’m done. Continue reading
June 25, 2014
I’ve long been skeptical that Adobe’s Creative Cloud program would bring significant benefits for consumers (See this post for example: Adobe’s Empty Promise of Innovation). The recent release of the Adobe CC 2014 software has generated a lot of discussion about the new features available to users. This is especially true since CC subscribers tend to think they get the new features for “free.” In other words, there is no additional cost to the customer beyond the CC subscription cost.
I’ve downloaded the update, and I’m underwhelmed. There are some new features, but how many of them will I actually use? Few, if any. Continue reading
The official announcement of the Panasonic GH4 is finally here. The highlight feature of the camera is 4k video. Many traditional photographers are asking, what do I need 4k video for? I confess that for most people, including me, the answer is you probably don’t. The added storage and processing overhead will require upgrades in more than just the camera for most people.
Nevertheless, I can think of at least one set of users that should be excited about this camera, wedding photographers. 4k video means great video quality, but it also means that you can pull 8-9 MP still frames from the video footage. A B-roll GH4 may capture a moment that you miss with your still shots. If so, you can pull an image frame from the video.
Beyond the obvious cinematography uses, can you think of other applications for 4k video? If so, please share them in the comments.
BTW, the Panasonic USA site has not updated for the new camera surprisingly. Here is the Amazon link which has all of the marketing data and specifications about the camera:
Amazon GH4 Page
January 7, 2014
Scott Kelby just announced his new pricing initiative which combines NAPP and Kelby Training memberships into one product — appropriately named KelbyOne. Previously, you had to subscribe to NAPP to get Photoshop User magazine and Kelby Training to get access to the online courses. Both are great products. Now one subscription covers both services — so far, so good. The details of his new offering are here: http://scottkelby.com/2014/creatives-unite-at-kelbyone/.
Now the tricky part, pricing. Continue reading
October 4, 2013
Nikon and Canon have not had much success in the smaller-sensor interchangeable lens camera market. The EOS-M is now heavily discounted and lackluster sales of the Nikon 1 system led the President of the imaging division to indicate that the company will focus on higher margin DSLRs in the future. Meanwhile, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, and others are launching well received smaller-sensor (micro four thirds (MFT) and APS-C) mirrorless cameras. Why the difference in outlook for the various firms? Continue reading
October 3, 2013
The term “disruptive innovation” is often misunderstood. I frequently describe micro four-thirds (MFT) and mirror-less technologies as disruptive. Every time I write an article describing these developments as disruptive, I get many nasty responses telling me that these formats are not disruptive to the industry, the improvements are minor (or nonexistent), and I don’t know what I’m talking about, I am a moron, etc. To clear up any confusion about the term disruptive innovation, I will define the term for those that are not familiar with the academic and mass market writings in this research stream. Continue reading
September 24, 2013
In my last post, I talked about the fact that the Micro Four-Thirds (MFT) format is making great strides in several areas. The Olympus E-M1 looks like it will close the gap with DSLRs in autofocus performance and the Panasonic GH-3 already has industry leading video performance. Nevertheless there are a few holes in the system that need to be filled if the MFT movement is going to take hold. A lack of high quality telephoto lenses was discussed last week. Today I’ll identify two more points that I think are critical for success of the MFT system. Continue reading
Olympus 12-40 f/2.8
September 13, 2013
The crowds are lining up for the newly announced E-M1. Immediately after the announcement the camera vaulted to the Number 1 Best Seller ranking in compact system cameras on Amazon, and Amazon issued a high demand warning indicating the company may have difficulty meeting demand when the camera becomes available in October. Early reviews of the new 12-40 f/2.8 lens are also very promising.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m excited about the new camera. The E-M5 is so good that it would take significant improvements for me to feel the need for the E-M1. In that regard, I think Olympus has hit it out of the park. The main limitation for me of the E-M5 is it’s continuous autofocusing ability. According to reports emerging over the last few days, the C-AF on the E-M1 is very good. It won’t beat a state-of-the-art DSLR from Nikon or Canon, but it seems like it will be adequate for my purposes.
So now that Olympus has delivered another outstanding mirrorless camera, what next? Continue reading