Monday, October 15, 2012

Learning how to play again

Rich Black and White Example 2
Doctor morning for my wife and I. I went to my doctor in preparation for a partial left knee replacement to take place the beginning of November. I then went straight from there to the hospital where they discharged my wife. She's home trying to learn how to live with her right arm strapped down while her shoulder heals. It's been interesting.

Two photos out of many taken with the 5N today in between running errands. Still digging into the menus and features, trying to really understand what the 5N can produce. The top photo was taken with the cameras "rich black and white" setting, while the bottom was taken with the Picture Effect's Pop Color. Both where taken in the very late evening while I was out back grilling chicken for supper. What did I learn from today's impromptu lessons?
  • I love shooting at ISO 3200 with impunity, especially with the kit zoom. I've never felt that way with the Olympus cameras. Either I used a fast lens (M.Zuiko 1.8/45mm or Lumix 1.4/25mm) or else I make sure to shoot where it was reasonably bright, or some combination of the two. I use auto ISO on all my Pens, limiting the high end to ISO 1,600. With the Sony one stop faster I don't even care. It's amazing what an extra stop of exposure on a larger sensor can accomplish. Makes me wonder what might happen if I were to use a 135mm sized sensor camera like the D600 or the Sony α99.
  • I have learned to instinctively use the E-mount 18-55mm and produce results that are satisfactory. But I must admit that the Sony 18-55mm is not as good as the Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm kit zoom.
  • The 5N is definitely a JPEG camera with the 18-55mm kit zoom. Turning on all the in-camera corrections produces good results, better than what I see when post processing raw. Perhaps when I put better lenses on the 5N I can go back to shooting and post processing raw, but for now it's just easier and more satisfying to use the results straight out of the camera (except for a touch of resizing).
  • I think my brief fling with HDR has come to an end. Using in-camera HDR makes you sound like a paparazzi when the shutter goes off in rapid succession. Instead I've discovered DRO (dynamic range optimization), preferring to set it to DRO LV3 to lift details out of the shadows as well as pull some details back out of the highlights. That only requires one shutter exposure, and it back to being discrete.
  • Having said that about HDR, using rich black and white forces the camera to take three images and then use them to produce the long tonality. I'm not sure I like it. What I'm after is the old Tri-X film look, complete with film grain.
Evening Greenery
All the Pens are packed in the bag at the moment. I carry the 5N with me, using it when circumstance permits. It sits discretely in the center storage compartment of the Prius, always ready for action, just like the Pens. The Fotodiox OM adapter should be here by the end of the week, giving me an opportunity to try out focus peaking. I can see why the 5N is as popular as it is, paralleling the popularity of the Olympus E-PL1. They are both powerful budget solutions.

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