Saturday, September 04, 2010

Having fun and learning something in the process

Orlando Diary

Playing with my EP-2 tonight, I learned to appreciate one of it's nearly infinite number of built-in features: continuous autofocus with tracking. When you partially press the shutter, a big green box with small cross hairs poking out each side will appear in the center of the LCD, over the part of the composition that will remain in focus. Then, with your finger over the shutter, as you recompose the photo by moving the camera, the box will track that area, making sure it still stays in focus. This is very handy for close focusing and/or shallow depth of field with lenses set at their widest aperture.

Lucy Paw Out
Figure 1: Lucy with her paw out. The paw is the center of focus.
For example, in figure 1, I focused the E-P2 on Lucy's extended paw. If I'd taken the photo immediately at close distance, then I would have cut off a good portion of her head. Instead, I simply recomposed to bring her head and paw into the composition I wanted, then took the photograph. The paw remained in focus, with the rest of her fading into a pleasing out-of-focus effect.

Lucy Paw In
Figure 2: Lucy with her paw in. Her eyes are the center of focus.
In figure 2, Lucy decided she was tired of me taking photos of her paw, so she pulled it in. I was able to open the 17mm up to f/2.8, then refocus on her eyes, then recompose the image above.

The E-P2's automatic tracking, where the focus area moves around the screen, is phenomenal and fun to watch all by itself (yes, my inner geek is showing). It makes composition so much easier. Nothing is more aggravating to select focus, then have the point of focus shift behind where you want it when you swing the camera away from the initial focus point. This eliminates that annoyance. I just wish this feature were on my E-3.

So far constant autofocus tracking is very fast, a lot faster than I anticipated, and I believe a lot faster than when I first purchased the E-P2. There was a major firmware upgrade to the E-P2 earlier this year, and it more than likely helped this feature out quite a bit. It's something I'm going to leave enabled for the time being. One set of lenses it won't work well with are going to be any of the regular 4/3rds lenses adapted to the E-P2. This feature is for native µ4/3rds lenses only.

Finally, a little more fun with street shooting. Nothing monumental, just some photographs taken
one evening while out getting supper for the family.

Late Evening Smoothies
Smoothie shop outside of Bubbalous at Kirkman and Conroy.
Ordering at Chipotles
Standing in line to get a couple of burrito bowls
at Chipotles on Kirkman across from Walmart.

All photos were post-processed using Lightroom 3.2. The photo outside the smoothie shop was corrected for perspective. Lighroom's post-processing features are a joy to use as well.

Equipment Used
Olympus E-P2 and M.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8

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