Mobile Processing with the Olympus E-M1 and iPad Air

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

The Value Illusion – Adobe CC 2014

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

Another Reason to Love the E-M1 — Great Jpegs

April 9, 2014

My daughter was performing in an opera at her university this weekend. We went to see her and of course I had to take some photos. Luckily, this was a very photo friendly performance.

Anticipating that my daughter would want me to upload some of the photos to social media quickly, I set my camera to Raw+Small Jpeg. The pictures here are the jpegs straight from the camera.  One is cropped slightly and watermarks have been added, but no other adjustments were made in Photoshop.


Continue reading

The Sleeping Giant Stirs. Is this the Newest Micro Four-Thirds Camera?

February 19, 2014

The camera has a sensor that is slightly larger than micro four-thirds. The lens is 24-120 (equiv) f/2.0-3.9. The camera is mirrorless and compact. Is this the newest m43 camera?

While not technically a micro four-thirds camera, the new Canon G1 X Mark II is pretty darn close. The sensor size is almost identical (17.9×13.4 versus m43’s 17.3×13.0). The fixed lens looks promising with a 24-120 range and a relatively bright f/2.0-3.9 aperture range. The low 12-megapixel count makes me wonder if this the sensor is older technology compared to the more recent 16 megapixel m43 sensors. Canon claims the autofocus is improved over the previous version of the camera, but they make no mention of on-sensor PDAF.  There is a relatively expensive add-on EVF, but no built-in EVF.

Given the pre-release specifications, I’m guessing that the G1 X Mark II will come up slightly short of the newest m43 cameras. Nevertheless, the camera is an attractive package with a compact body and an alluring feature set.  It seems to have the Sony RX 100 Mark II clearly in its sites. The Panasonic GM 1 is more versatile with interchangeable lenses, but some have concluded that the small size of the GM 1 makes the handling fiddly. The price of the G1 X ($799) puts it in the middle of the pack on the market in terms of value.

Is this another half-hearted attempt by Canon to enter the smaller-sensor, mirrorless market (see EOS-M), or is it a sign of things to come? The G1 X will at least give Canon loyalists a reasonable choice when considering cameras in this class. Only time will tell if the company’s commitment to this class of camera will continue, but for the moment, they seem to have given consumers a viable choice if they are comfortable with the Canon brand. The camera should be available in the US in May.

Pre-order the camera at Amazon here.

What’s 4k Good For?

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 24, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI find that the more I return to a location, the better my chances for success with wildlife photos. The two pictures here are a good example. These pictures were taken at a pond a few hundred yards from my house. I often go there in the mornings to see what is out and I’m becoming more familiar with the habits of the local wildlife.

There is one particular oak tree that a red-shouldered hawk likes to OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAperch in.  You could easily miss him, since it is a large tree and he is at the very top. But now that I know his habits I always look for him up there. Last week I noticed that he had a partner. I had never seen two hawks in the tree before. I started taking pictures and one flew off, giving me a nice picture of a hawk in flight. Luck goes to the familiar.



Equipment Used

Olympus OM-D E-M1

Olympus 50-200 f/2.8-3.5 SWD


January 20th, 2014

Topaz Labs $10 discount offer

I just received an offer from Topaz Labs for a $10 coupon on Topaz products.

You can redeem the code with the following link above.

There is no word on an expiration date, so I’m not sure how long this one will last.

Are You a Good Photo Editor?

January 17, 2014

Yesterday I took a morning stroll to my neighborhood pond to see what I could find. I was lucky enough to get some close-up pictures of a red-shouldered hawk. The hawk just sat there on a limb for about 10 minutes and posed for me. When I got home I probably had 50 similar pictures of the hawk to choose from. What criteria did I use to select the one I ultimately shared?  Here are three of the candidates. Which of the images below would you select to share on social media? Continue reading

Has Scott Kelby Just Stepped In It?

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:

Now the tricky part, pricing. Continue reading