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Looking back… - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Looking back… [ Wednesday, 25 Nov 09 | 17:33 ]
ursine1
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[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |chipperchipper]

Me and my Oly E-620 with Zuiko 12-60mm lens
Photo taken by Ruben with his Canon 500D (T1i).
Me and my Oly E-620

It’s been six months since I bought the Olympus E-620 and 12-60 mm lens, and thought it was time to reflect on using them. Going back to my original posting and what I thought were the major advantages of the camera:

  • 12.3 Megapixel sensor
    This is 50% more than my old E-500 camera.
    The reality is that most of the time I resize the file down to a couple of percent of the original size in order to post it. So this hasn’t really been an advantage.
  • JPEG engine makes the most of the sensor's output
    This turns out to be a real advantage as I normally only use RAW when I have to fix white balance (WB). (I shoot RAW + JPEG now.) Ruben’s Canon 500D produces inconsistent JPEGs, which almost necessitates having to shoot in RAW and having to do more post-processing (PP). I am not convinced that I can do a better job in PP of RAW files than the Oly JPEG engine when I get the exposure right. If the exposure is really off, there’s only so much one can do.
  • In-body image stabilization system (IS)
    I use this feature whenever the shutter speed is slow. It has been very helpful in dimly lit situations.
  • Improved Autofocus System.
    I didn’t have problems before, so I don’t see much improvement now.
  • Live View with fully articulated screen
    I use the articulated screen more than I would have thought. When I do “self portraits” it really is helpful.
  • Shadow Adjustment Technology
    I tried it and it works, but I rarely use it. Since I shoot RAW + JPEG, I can use the Olympus Master software to apply the shadow Adjustment Technology to the RAW image so no pasa nada.

And then there are a few things that I have learned which aren’t listed above.

  • White Balance (WB)
    Most DSLR cameras have trouble with auto WB under certain kinds of lighting, especially indoors. The Oly has a “one touch white balance” feature which can be used in this type of situation and I had been using a sheet of white paper for this purpose. Now I use an ExpoDisc which is a quicker, more precise solution. I still use auto WB when it’s an outdoor, brightly lit scene. And I also use specific WB settings as needed, e.g. sunrise/sunset.
  • Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens
    I am really pleased with this lens. I am able to shoot “macro” types pictures much easier than before. I like sharpness and contrast of the lens as well. It has a 5:1 zoom range which really makes it an “all-around” lens. I hardly ever used my “telephoto” lens in the past and now I have even less of a need for it.
  • Two types of memory cards
    The Olympus xD-Picture Card type of memory sucks, but having a second slot comes in handy. More than once I have taken out a CF (Compact Flash) card and was still able to shoot because I also had an xD card installed.
  • Olympus Master software
    It’s a good thing it’s free, because I wouldn’t want to pay for it. On the other hand, it duplicates the various camera settings that are available. So using a RAW file you can see the effect of changing the exposure, WB, saturation, shadow adjustment, noise reduction, etc. and know that’s what the JPEG engine will produce with those settings. It’s better to get these things right, especially the exposure, in-camera, rather than trying to fix everything in PP.

As an aside, I use Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE) for most PP. I sometimes will use the Olympus Master software for tweaking a RAW file as I don’t trust ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) for WB.

LinkReply

Comments:
From: winstonthriller
Wednesday, 25 Nov 09 | 16:39 (UTC)
That's a big...lens.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Thursday, 26 Nov 09 | 07:21 (UTC)

That's a big… lens.

Yes, it's a hunk of glass. And this picture is without its full extension. Of course the fact that this is a wide-angle shot emphasizes things that are close.

Chuck

Edited at 2009-11-26 07:29 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: stoicbear
Wednesday, 25 Nov 09 | 18:02 (UTC)
I'm not nearly as into photography as you are, but I've been looking into it. Len wants to get a "good" camera, which for us would be an entry level DSLR. I've been looking at the micro 4/3 Panasonic Lumix G1.

Anyway, the only thing I'm currently competent to comment on is the resolution; more Megapixels aren't necessarily better.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Thursday, 26 Nov 09 | 07:18 (UTC)

More Megapixels aren't necessarily better

For most people 12 MP is sufficient. As I mentioned above, most of the time I reduce an 8 MB JPEG down to 200 KB or less in order to post it here. I do use the full 8 MB when printing though (nothing bigger than A4).

I would recommend dpreview for looking at DSLRs. The Olympus E-620 is in an entry-level DSLR and represents a very good value. The "kit" lenses are better than the Canon/Nikon equivalents.

Chuck

Edited at 2009-11-26 07:26 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: stoicbear
Thursday, 26 Nov 09 | 23:02 (UTC)

Re: More Megapixels aren't necessarily better

I downsize images for posting too. I read that website for reviews of cameras too. :o)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ednixon
Wednesday, 25 Nov 09 | 19:28 (UTC)
my.... what a big lens you have
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Thursday, 26 Nov 09 | 07:22 (UTC)

My... what a big lens you have

All the better to stalk you with, my pretty!

Chuck
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: maxauburn
Sunday, 29 Nov 09 | 05:08 (UTC)

Re: My... what a big lens you have

Impressive...!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)