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Showing posts from December, 2012

Year-end Camera Purchase Cliffhanger

I have been holding back purchasing replacement equipment for my stolen 4:3rds gear for quite some time. I wanted to wait as long as possible before making any kind of commitment to any camera, let alone a given vendor or product line. I wanted to be sure I was making the right purchase. To that end I've gone through a considerable amount of foot work and research, pinging a number of knowledgeable folks, at times pushing the limits of friendship with endless questions (sorry, Matthew).

I have yet to make the purchase, but I've narrowed my choices down to just two cameras, the Nikon D600 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

Nikon

For some really odd reasons, Nikon sellers (B&H and Adorama, just to name two) have been selling the D600 body with the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR zoom for a smidge less than $2,000, the same price the D600 body only was first introduced at. It's like getting a free lens! What's not to like?

I'm well aware of the admonition to not look a gift hors…

Late night rose

Out with my wife to sup at Lime Grill. This late in the season the sun sets around 5pm, so it was pretty dark by the time we got there. I love the little roses on the large bushes that are planted around the place. In Florida, in December, they're still covered with buds and blooms. I don't know of any time (except when it's really cold) when they don't bloom. Lighting was whatever artificial light was out there. The camera was the NEX 5N, with the OM 1.4/50mm and Fotodiox adapter. The 50mm was stopped down to f/2. ISO was auto-selected 1250 after I dialed in -2EV. SOOC.

Casual Photography

The problem with us "dedicated" amateur photographers is that too many of us pursue it too grimly, never stopping to just enjoy the moment. Every photo has to come out of the camera as a Work of Art, each one perfectly composed and exposed as if our very lives depended on it. That attitude carries over into post-processing, where over saturation, over contrast and over sharpening come into play.

It's also a carryover from the early 2000s, when you had to post process if you wanted what the camera's sensor was capable of  recording. So you purchased an expensive computer with expensive post-processing software to go along with your expensive DSLR and you became an expert on post and workflow. And if you were any good at it you wrote books on it and gave seminars. Here we are in 2012, long since past that point, where the cameras now have sophisticated JPEG engines with lots of tunable parameters to give us all what would worked so hard to accomplish five or more year…

Comparison

I was at RDV for my second weekly physical training session (I run three per week). As I was leaving I happened to spy the dramatic clouds over the complex. I had both my Sony NEX and one of my Pens with me, so I took a few very unscientific photos just to see how they would compare photographing the same general subject matter. Both photographs were taken straight from their respective cameras and put directly into this post. Both photos are at the largest JPEG size from each camera. Both cameras were configured to use natural color, and the natural setting was further tweaked so that contrast and saturation were set to -1 on both cameras, and sharpness set to 0 (the default).

They are definitely different, but I'll be damned if I'll say which is better than the other. The Olympus seems grayer, more neutral, because I forgot to set it to AWB. The Sony appears to have a bluer cast, but not so that I would complain all that much.

Both show reasonable details in the shadows and…