Category: Photography

Micro 4/3 for Holiday Lights

I have been busy with photographing people at multiple indoor activities; but I took time last evening to make some test images of outdoor lights using my Olympus E-M5 III and the 12-40mm F2.8 lens.  I wanted to test noise levels and determine typical focal lengths to see if I need to get a faster lens for later when I hopefully make lots of outdoor images.  You can check the settings I used in the details for each image.

This camera and lens did OK for the kind of images I will be making, but I may still get a faster prime lens.  My decision will partially come down to deciding how much walking I feel like doing.  If I get a prime lens I will have to “zoom” in and out with my feet.  If I use the zoom lens I can drive around and photograph mostly from my car.  My back isn’t doing so good after my recent photography sessions so I will see how much I recover.

I could still use my Fuji cameras and lenses and have more noise-free images, but the Olympus system seems to have better auto WB, is quicker to focus, and is lighter and smaller to handle.  I’m still weighing the trade-offs and still considering selling all of my Fuji gear.  I used the E-M5 III and the 12-40mm F2.8 lens to take around 1500 images of people at the last two activities and they worked great.  That was another test of using micro 4/3 system vice my Fujifilm gear and the Olympus micro 4/3 worked even better for me than in past years when I used Fujifilm gear. 

Another Test

I made this image in the morning from inside my Villa.  The image was made through two panes of glass, a screen, and the window Venetian blinds.  The bands across the image are from the blinds.  I used manual focus to get the focus on the hawk rather than the screen and blinds.  The camera and lens functioned quickly in switching from auto to manual focusing with just a small turn of the focus ring using the system’s focus peaking.  You can see in the cropped and resized second version that the details, even under these conditions, are excellent with this camera and lens.  The system is ideal for run and gun photography of objects of interest under difficult conditions.

Surprise Test

My first surprise awaited me when I opened the door to take Misty out this morning.  It had snowed overnight.

After she finished her short walk and we had returned to the Villa, I grabbed my new camera and lens and went back outside to run a little test.  I was curious how the camera would perform in the dark at 6:36am under these conditions so I made these images with no adjustments of any kind.

Using the program mode and making raw files, the Olympus E-M5 Mark III with the Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8 lens chose to make all of these images at ISO 6400, F2.8 with shutter speeds between 1/20 to 1/4 sec (handheld).  I varied the focal lengths between 35 and 100mm.  I then imported them into LR and then exported them as jpeg images that had only been downsized for this blog.  No noise reduction or any other adjustments were made by me.

My observations are that other than rendering the scenes brighter than they actually were, they are pretty good.  This camera and lens sees in the dark and focuses very quickly.  Yes, there is some digital noise if you pixel peep, etc. and if I wanted to I could have tweaked the exposure either before taking the shot or afterwards in LR to portray the actual lighting conditions.   The image stabilization was great, and I was really glad to learn that, since that was one of my primary reasons for getting this system, that and the lighter, smaller setup which my back, hands, shoulder, and knees really appreciate. 

Decorated Trees

They decorated the indoor trees in the hallways of the Community Center yesterday.  I photographed those doing the decorating.  Today I’m processing them to turn over a little less than a hundred images in color for Linda to select the ones for printing in the Plum Line.  Some residents asked why they never see a picture of me so I have included one here … note the reflection in the bulb.


I captured these on Thanksgiving day when there seemed to be little that was colorful so I had to enhance them later.

I’m heading into my most intense week of the year for Homewood photography so I might not be posting much until the following week, but even then I will be processing over a thousand photos from different events with wildly different lighting so posts might be slim.

As soon as those pictures have been delivered I expect to move into my rationalization minimization plan to make some major changes as I move into the months of the year with little to photograph.

First Light, First Thought


First light of today in 1/8 of a sec. made with my Ricoh WG-60 while out with Misty.  Temperature was 32 degrees F., Misty was pulling, but I stopped and whipped the camera out of a pocket and made this quick jpeg image. 

Does it make any difference as to what camera I used?  I’m still wrestling with myself as to how minimal I can go with my photography gear.  At the moment I’m concentrating on minimizing the size and weight but eventually I’ll focus on number of cameras and lenses.

My first thoughts have been to sell all of my Fujifilm gear if I can go smaller.  I think I can.