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Old 06-17-2011, 04:50 PM   #91
Rashnak
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Originally Posted by Grainbelt View Post
The images look a bit oversharpened and have quite a bit of contrast, which is taking some detail out of the eagle's white head. The soft details may also be a product of noise reduction. On the 600mm shot your shutter speed was only 1/125th, you'd want to be closer to 1/shutter speed (1/500th) to ensure a steady capture. I had similar issues with a Canon superzoom until I started paying close attention to shutter speeds at the long end.

Finally, that camera can save RAW files, you might consider trying your hand at processing the RAW files into JPGs, you may prefer the output to the camera's built-in settings.
good points- thx- i'll practice the suggestion for a faster shutter speed at long zooms and see what happens.

mainly i wanted to illustrate the long zoom. i've been meaning to learn more about post processing raw files but right now I don't have the software, computer power, or time to do it.

the other thing is that I simply enjoy making videos much more than taking stills, so i concentrate my efforts there.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:07 AM   #92
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Thought I'd bump this thread up to pay homage to Olympus' introduction of three new m4/3 cameras just a couple of days ago. They announced an E-P3 which is a new generation of my camera, the E-P2. I'm going to get one when they become reasonably available. They also announced an E-PL3 model, and one that is called the Pen Lite. I kinda wish that they'd offered one with a built in VF, but no such luck. The detachable EVF offered by Oly is really good, but sticks out a bit and is not inexpensive.

I got two new Panasonic m4/3 lenses. One was the 100-300 and my fairly scant early impressions are that it is an excellent lens. But the one that, surprisingly to me, really grabbed my attention is the Panasonic 7-14 f/4 wide-angle. I've never been all that interested in wide angle, thinking that the wide end of the spectrum on the 14-42 kit lens that came with my E-P2 was good enough. But I read so many good reviews of the 7-14 that I decided to try one, despite the rather steep price-tag, and I'm really loving that one so far, think it's an outstanding lens. I had no idea that I'd enjoy a fairly powerful wide-angle zoom that much.
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:58 PM   #93
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Thought I'd bump this thread up to pay homage to Olympus' introduction of three new m4/3 cameras just a couple of days ago. They announced an E-P3 which is a new generation of my camera, the E-P2. I'm going to get one when they become reasonably available. They also announced an E-PL3 model, and one that is called the Pen Lite. I kinda wish that they'd offered one with a built in VF, but no such luck. The detachable EVF offered by Oly is really good, but sticks out a bit and is not inexpensive.

I got two new Panasonic m4/3 lenses. One was the 100-300 and my fairly scant early impressions are that it is an excellent lens. But the one that, surprisingly to me, really grabbed my attention is the Panasonic 7-14 f/4 wide-angle. I've never been all that interested in wide angle, thinking that the wide end of the spectrum on the 14-42 kit lens that came with my E-P2 was good enough. But I read so many good reviews of the 7-14 that I decided to try one, despite the rather steep price-tag, and I'm really loving that one so far, think it's an outstanding lens. I had no idea that I'd enjoy a fairly powerful wide-angle zoom that much.
What is the general thinking about the Sony NEX cameras? I sometimes cruise through a local Sony corporate store and their NEX-5 cameras looks very nice. Until this thread I did not understand the format. Sound like a new model with a 24 Meg sensor is due out shortly.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:06 PM   #94
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What is the general thinking about the Sony NEX cameras? I sometimes cruise through a local Sony corporate store and their NEX-5 cameras looks very nice. Until this thread I did not understand the format. Sound like a new model with a 24 Meg sensor is due out shortly.
The ergonomics were pretty weird for me with anything but the pancake. Look at how thin that body is and now put on a zoom which is just a little bit smaller than their regular APS-C lenses. Micro 4/3 seems to be the best balance with their lens sizes.

Pentax has the Q coming out but they got screwed by formats, they wanted to go smaller than the 4/3 standard but the next size down is many many times smaller being the format used in cameras like the LX5 and S95. Canon could do it since they do a lot of sensor manufacturing but I don't know the infrastructure needed. Nikon can design sensors they just can't physically produce them making it harder so no idea what their mirrorless will be like.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:13 PM   #95
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I got two new Panasonic m4/3 lenses. One was the 100-300 and my fairly scant early impressions are that it is an excellent lens. But the one that, surprisingly to me, really grabbed my attention is the Panasonic 7-14 f/4 wide-angle. I've never been all that interested in wide angle, thinking that the wide end of the spectrum on the 14-42 kit lens that came with my E-P2 was good enough. But I read so many good reviews of the 7-14 that I decided to try one, despite the rather steep price-tag, and I'm really loving that one so far, think it's an outstanding lens. I had no idea that I'd enjoy a fairly powerful wide-angle zoom that much.
christmas in July! Two new lenses to try out sounds like fun. The 100-300mm will be great for that long reach, but the pricy 7-14mm sounds really exciting. Soooo many possibilities for interesting shots that are wide but not quite fisheye.

Post up some pics when you have something interesting.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:57 PM   #96
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The ergonomics were pretty weird for me with anything but the pancake. Look at how thin that body is and now put on a zoom which is just a little bit smaller than their regular APS-C lenses. Micro 4/3 seems to be the best balance with their lens sizes.

Pentax has the Q coming out but they got screwed by formats, they wanted to go smaller than the 4/3 standard but the next size down is many many times smaller being the format used in cameras like the LX5 and S95. Canon could do it since they do a lot of sensor manufacturing but I don't know the infrastructure needed. Nikon can design sensors they just can't physically produce them making it harder so no idea what their mirrorless will be like.
I meant to follow up as the OP while on vacation but just didn't get around to it. I finally settled on the Nex 5. Yeah the balance is a little weird but I've gotten used to it. Not that I have a ton of experience but it seems like a really well made piece of equipment. I opted for the 5 which has the all metal body. I very nearly got the D5100 but for me size was the deal breaker. I just didn't feel I would be motivated to use a lager camera as much. I'm really happy with the Nex so far. No it's not a professional grade camera but images look pretty darn good for something so small and less than 800 bucks.

Best Buy had a package deal and threw in the pancake lens for next to nothing. The menus aren't as big of a deal as some have made them out to be and a firmware upgrade allows you to assign often used settings to the two soft keys. Being a complete and total novice I really like the on camera tutorials that explain when and how to use the settings. Right now there are only 3 Nex lenses but more are on the way and with the appropriate adapters you can use just about any lens you like sans auto focus. So far I really enjoy using it.
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:42 AM   #97
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christmas in July! Two new lenses to try out sounds like fun. The 100-300mm will be great for that long reach, but the pricy 7-14mm sounds really exciting. Soooo many possibilities for interesting shots that are wide but not quite fisheye.

Post up some pics when you have something interesting.
Thanks. As I mentioned earlier, I've never been all that enamored of wide-angles in general. Back in my Army days, about '71, I bought a nice 35mm camera and a couple of lenses at a PX for a great price, and one of the lenses was a 28mm prime. In those days 28 or even 35 were considered to be wide-angle lenses. I used it only a few times and didn't find it terribly appealing, but I didn't know how to use it and was pretty clueless about basic photography. I didn't have it long, my camera and assorted stuff was stolen before I'd owned it for 6 months, and I didn't buy another one until some years later when I was about to have a child.....and no w/a with that one.

But this lens (Panasonic 7-14 f/4) is pretty sweet. I've taken several dozen pics with it, mostly friends/family stuff and just playing around. I confess that I'm a little intimidated at the thought of posting images up for the scrutiny of skilled photographers like yourself, NikonAndVStroms, GrainBelt, DriveShaft, etc., but if I get a few good ones I'll step outside of my comfort zone and post them up here!
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:00 AM   #98
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Okay, I decided to post a pair of pics taken on July 2 with the new w/a Panny lens. The first is the obligatory w/a walk-in-the-woods-point-the-camera-straight-up-and-shoot shot. The sun was right there in the pic, something that I notice can happen a lot with wide-angle, so I just stepped to the side and blocked it, more or less, with the top of one of the trees. I didn't get a lot of flare so was happy about that.


This pic is my girlfriend's son walking on the tracks. No, I'm not totally robbing the cradle, my GF is 46 and has grandchildren who are older than her youngest.


I'll be fiddling with this lens a lot in the days ahead, I suspect, am really pretty excited about it.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:49 AM   #99
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What is the general thinking about the Sony NEX cameras? I sometimes cruise through a local Sony corporate store and their NEX-5 cameras looks very nice. Until this thread I did not understand the format. Sound like a new model with a 24 Meg sensor is due out shortly.
I don't know anything about them. Looks like 4power got one, and some of the guys here have some thoughts. My son lives in Minneapolis and is in the market for a camera, is a very novice photographer, doesn't have a clue about such things as f-stops, ISO, DOF, etc., and has only owned a couple of cheap point-and-shoots. I suggested a m4/3, either one of the Olympus or Panasonic offerings, based on my thusfar positive experience with them, plus his wife is a fairly experienced film photographer and wants a camera with interchangeable lenses. But he went into a shop in Minneapolis and the salesmen were really pushing the Sonys and slamming the m4/3s. I told him that I was sure the NEX cameras are good, but my suspicion when I encounter a pitch like that is that the shop stocks Sony, but didn't have any Olys or Pannys in their inventory!

My growing love for the m4/3 is partly based on the fact that more and more lenses are coming out all the time. I've bought several and suspect I'll pick up more in the years ahead. Olympus just announced a 45 f/1.8 and a 12mm f/2; Panasonic recently introduced a Leica 25mm f/1.4. This is just in the past few weeks. I don't think there's much available for the NEX yet in the way of lenses, although hopefully that'll get better. I think m4/3 is here to stay. I'm not quite so certain about Sony NEX.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:53 AM   #100
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This pic is my girlfriend's son walking on the tracks. No, I'm not totally robbing the cradle, my GF is 46 and has grandchildren who are older than her youngest.


I'll be fiddling with this lens a lot in the days ahead, I suspect, am really pretty excited about it.


This is what wide angle is all about - you can offer a much different perspective than the human eye. Placing the child close in the foreground really emphasizes his size relative to the tracks and the background.

It might be just a touch overexposed but I really like the composition.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:57 AM   #101
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But he went into a shop in Minneapolis and the salesmen were really pushing the Sonys and slamming the m4/3s. I told him that I was sure the NEX cameras are good, but my suspicion when I encounter a pitch like that is that the shop stocks Sony, but didn't have any Olys or Pannys in their inventory!
National Camera Exchange in Golden Valley, MN (western suburb) has a pretty good reputation. If he's not done shopping, send him over there. Linky
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:09 AM   #102
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This is what wide angle is all about - you can offer a much different perspective than the human eye. Placing the child close in the foreground really emphasizes his size relative to the tracks and the background.

It might be just a touch overexposed but I really like the composition.
Thanks. I am "seeing" some of the benefits of wide angle as I go. The overexposure is my fault, not the camera's. The sun was just off to the left side of the frame and his face was shadowed, so I lightened it a little bit to bring that out some.

I'll tell my son about the shop in Golden Valley, thanks for the tip.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:25 AM   #103
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Before getting the Nex I really wanted the GF1, but it was a bit more costly and with the zoom lens was pushing D7000 country price wise. I know enough to understand DOF, shutter speed and so on but don't always know how to use them for the desired effect. I've found the on screen "tips" to be very helpful in this regard. You can turn them off completely, view them as a pop up when changing modes or in book fashion in a separate menu. I haven't really messed with the video features yet, but some of the sample videos look pretty good.

Controlling depth of field couldn't be easier. Sony rather generically refers to it as back ground defocus but generally it only involves turning the scroll wheel to get the desired effect. Some settings do it automatically but most leave it up to you as a default.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:16 PM   #104
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Before getting the Nex I really wanted the GF1, but it was a bit more costly and with the zoom lens was pushing D7000 country price wise. I know enough to understand DOF, shutter speed and so on but don't always know how to use them for the desired effect. I've found the on screen "tips" to be very helpful in this regard. You can turn them off completely, view them as a pop up when changing modes or in book fashion in a separate menu. I haven't really messed with the video features yet, but some of the sample videos look pretty good.

Controlling depth of field couldn't be easier. Sony rather generically refers to it as back ground defocus but generally it only involves turning the scroll wheel to get the desired effect. Some settings do it automatically but most leave it up to you as a default.
Depth of field is something I am looking at. My youngest daughter rides horses, and I enjoy photoing her over jumps. I notice the benefits of higher end equipment is the lower f stop in order to reduce the DOF even when some distance from the subject. I am now using a Canon digital Rebel, a couple of generations old, with a consumer grade 75-300 image stabilized lens. I had considered upgrading to a Canon D7 with an L series lens with a 2.8F stop, but the $4k stopped me. The ability to get high quality video would be great. However, if I can get the same capability in a much smaller, and cheaper, package, so much the better.

So I think I am looking for fast chip (it's hard to get the horse just right if the delay is significant), good zoom telephoto to at least 200, 300 being better, wide aperture, compact and light weight, and video ability.

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Old 07-04-2011, 02:54 PM   #105
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Depth of field is something I am looking at. My youngest daughter rides horses, and I enjoy photoing her over jumps. I notice the benefits of higher end equipment is the lower f stop in order to reduce the DOF even when some distance from the subject. I am now using a Canon digital Rebel, a couple of generations old, with a consumer grade 75-300 image stabilized lens. I had considered upgrading to a Canon D7 with an L series lens with a 2.8F stop, but the $4k stopped me. The ability to get high quality video would be great. However, if I can get the same capability in a much smaller, and cheaper, package, so much the better.

So I think I am looking for fast chip (it's hard to get the horse just right if the delay is significant), good zoom telephoto to at least 200, 300 being better, wide aperture, compact and light weight, and video ability.

Depth of field via wide aperture is much less obvious when shooting with a long focal length lens, since the high focal length means pretty much everything in frame is likely to be within the area of sharp focus. If you are focused at infinity and zoomed to 300mm to shoot something that is very far away, odds are high that everything in frame will be far enough away as to appear sharp, even at widest aperture. The shorter your focal length, the more depth of field becomes apparent. One of the reasons wide-angle lenses are so much fun is because it is possible to take images in which only a small slice of the frame is in sharp focus. Fast lenses are still nice with long focal length, since short shutter times are necessary to take sharp images when hand-holding a long lens, though image stabilization is becoming increasingly widespread.

All of the DSLR and micro 4/3 cameras should take the shot the instant you press the shutter if it is already focused. When shooting action with a camera that doesn't have that obnoxious point and shoot delay, the frame rate in continuous shooting mode becomes much more important than shutter delay, since you can just take a bunch of rapidfire shots in order to improve your odds of getting a good frame. The number of shots you can take in continuous shooting mode varies based on the amount of RAM and the speed of the memory card. It will shoot at a high rate of speed until RAM fills up and will then slow to the rate at which it can push the contents of RAM to the memory card. My Panasonic GF2 shoots at 3.2 fps into RAM (but only if it doesn't have to update the LCD between shots. It drops to 2.5 or 2fps depending on settings if you want to see what it is shooting in the LCD) and can hold 4 or 5 photos (RAW + jpeg) before it slows to the speed of my SD card. A pro DSLR can shoot at a higher rate (Canon 5D II shoots at 3.9 fps) and can sustain it for much, much longer. The numbers vary depending upon image size, level of compression, content of the image, etc. My camera will apparently sustain 3.2 fps indefinitely if it is not shooting raw. I've never tried it.

I really love my Panasonic GF2. The image quality is so much higher than most point and shoot cameras, yet the form factor is very pocketable, depending upon the lens that is currently on it. The kit 14-42mm is a very useful range for carrying just a single lens, but there are a ton of options, including image stabilized long zooms out to 300mm (600mm equivalent). Zoom lenses always suffer from either exorbitant prices or relatively slow speeds, with the numbers getting worse the wider the zoom range is. You won't see f2 and below without going to a single focal length lens, but those are usually both smaller and lighter than their zoom companions. And you won't see f2 on a longer focal length at all, since aperture is actually an expression of ratio of aperture diameter to focal length, the longer the focal length, the smaller the maximum aperture will necessarily be as a percentage of focal length.

The micro-4/3 specific lenses that are currently available are on this page: http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/lens_chart.html but the cameras are capable of taking many other lenses. The micro 4/3 and 4/3 lenses will retain autofocus functionality, but lenses from any other systems will be manual-focus only.

For shooting action at a distance, the 100-300 f4-f5.6 lens ($509) would be ideal. It has image stabilization so you can hand hold it even at full zoom. Couple that with the 20mm f1.7 ($379) for pocketability and general shooting (that's 40mm equivalent, so close to the same field of view as the human eye) plus a wide zoom like the 7-14mm f4.0 ($919) for landscapes and nifty effects and you've got a very versatile system that doesn't weigh much and fits in a very small camera bag. If you buy the kit form of the camera with the 14-42mm lens ($600 including camera body), that lens comes in very handy when you want to carry only a single lens and you don't want to be constrained to a single focal length like the 20mm pancake.

I started with the 14-42mm kit lens. I'll be buying the 20mm lens next so that I can carry the camera as just a slightly large point and shoot when hiking and riding and have a lens suitable for playing with depth of field. The 100-300mm will be useful for shooting my dogs in action, and I'll save the 7-14 lens until much later, since its mostly useful for any pretensions of artistry. Note that you can have the camera plus all 4 lenses for less than the price of the Canon 5D II body - not that the image quality or feature sets are equivalent, or anything, but you still get an awful lot of camera for the money, and for a small fraction of the weight and size.

Here's a link to a gallery of the very first shots I took with the camera, the day after buying it, using the 14-42mm kit lens and no processing other than modifying RAW import parameters and cropping (other than modifying one image to B&W). The subjects were moving at a high rate of speed in pretty much all of the photos, most of which were shot at full zoom and taking multiple frames via continuous shooting.

http://bunnyroad.smugmug.com/Pets/SB...7701930_qXc6FL
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