Another color-inverted photo. A high-key photograph of green leaves. Inverted and color-shifted to red.
It’s been raining pretty hard here so there’s no opportunity to go out and take new pictures. Being stuck at home, I took the opportunity to start learning things in Photoshop. Here’s a color (and luminance) inverted photo. White becomes black and black becomes white. The colors have been shifted a bit to arrive at the red/maroon leaves.
I bought the OM-D less than a month ago. Being a Canon DSLR user (and Fuji X10 for auto-everything), I am used to using almost all of Adobe Lightroom’s feature from auto-tone to lens profile correction, color fringing removal, etc. However, on using the OM-D, I noticed some odd but rather important matters:
– No lens correction for raw files (Olympus lenses are not even listed under the manufacturer portion). I don’t know if there is some way to correct this as I am not yet very familiar with the camera’s settings and menu (I don’t even know yet how to set the lens function button). I set auto-distortion to off to extract the maximum resolution from the camera. However, when the times comes that I have to take a picture of object with straight edges (e.g., buildings, doors, etc.), the curvy lines are very noticeable. I must find a way to correct this!
– No color space/profile choices. I believe this is not limited to Olympus OM-D. When using Canon or Nikon DSLRs, Lightroom allows you to choose the color profile as either Adobe RGB or the camera colors (standard, faithful, neutral, portrait, landscape). This option is not available for Olympus OM-D and my Fuji X10. I think this is more of a support issue from Adobe rather than camera issue.
Also, DX0mark rates the ISO of the OM-D as ISO 826 and for the Canon 7D as ISO 854, they are worlds away when shooting at high ISO (1600 or higher). The Canon 7D has finer grain and less color artifacts. Of course the biggest difference between the two cameras is SIZE. The OM-D a very small camera and the 7D a very large camera (especially with the battery grip almost permanently attached).
I bought the Kiwiphoto Canon EF-m4/3 adaptor to use my existing DSLR lenses. As expected, my Canon EF lenses can only be used wide open (no stopping down of aperture, unless I stop the lens in the Canon camera before dismounting it). For my two Samyang lenses (85mm 1.4 and 8mm fisheye, the aperture can be controlled via lens aperture ring so no problem). The camera-adaptor-lens works ok on most of the lenses (the Olympus IBIS works ok). What I did not expect is that the combination won’t focus for wide-angle lenses. My 8mm fisheye won’t focus at all (focused past infinity) and my Canon 10-22mm works only at 17mm and above. I don’t know if this is an adaptor issue or a camera (flange distance) issue. If this is an adaptor issue, then my 100mm macro lens is not working at the closest focusing distance.
This of course is for experiments only as the combination of the OM-D with any of my regular SLR lenses will be unwieldy (a very large lens with a small camera). Possibly, I’ll use the OM-D with the Samyang 85mm (plus Nikon F-Canon EF and Canon EF-M4/3 adapters), Tamron 70-300 (600mm equivalent!) and Canon 100mm macro (if I’m at home and macro resolution is required – the 12-50mm macro is very good but not as good as the 100mm).
OM-D EM-5 + Kiwi adaptor + Canon EF 50mm f1.4 lens
OM-D EM-5 + Kiwi adaptor + Canon EF 100mm Macro
This was taken in Pico de Loro basecamp. In order to get a blur free photo, I used a tripod with a macro lens and ISO set to 200 (highlight priority).
This is I think my first or second home photography project (right after getting my first DSLR last year). This is a picture of oil and water on an orange bowl (used a different watermark back then).
Canon 7D + 100mm Macro
This was taken last July. Tripod mounted, manually focused by live view, mirror lockup, shutter delay with wired remote. The picture represents about 50% of the original picture.
In my previous posts, I talked about how I went from cellphone camera to bridge camera then to DSLR/high end compact/underwater compact. I read a lot of websites devoted to camera gear (DPReview, Canon/Nikon/Photo Rumors, etc.). It’s no surprise that right now I have gear acquisition syndrome or GAS.
It started reasonably enough. The cellphone camera (before) doesn’t produce good enough pictures. My Samsung point-and-shoot seemed to have had a problem focusing (after a year or so of use). The bridge camera doesn’t focus quickly enough.
With my Fuji S4000 in Tarak Ridge (shot by Felix).
Then came the DSLR. It’s good (very good actually). But the 18-135mm doesn’t do macro (hence, the 100mm macro). It wasn’t very wide (hence, the 10-22mm). It’s not good for low-light and wasn’t sharp enough (hence, the 50mm f1.4). After a while, my first DSLR (60D) got wet so I had to buy a new camera (a Fuji X10). I had four lenses and nothing to use it on so I had to buy a replacement DSLR (my 7D). When I saw an underwater camera, I just had to buy one (my Panasonic TS3).
And now after all these cameras and spending a lot (and I mean a lot), I want more. First of all, I want something smaller but with interchangeable lens and with good image quality. I think this is justified since whenever I climb mountains, the camera takes a lot of space in my bag (about 1/4 to 1/3). Along with my tent, cookset, stove, clothes, etc. it makes for a very big and heavy bag.
Me with a very big bag in Mt. Pulag Akiki Trail (never used the 85 liter bag again after that – forgot who shot this picture).
Of course I can just use my Fuji X10 for climbs but the image quality would not be the same, it wouldn’t do for wide or long shots (rationalizations). I’ve been looking at Fuji X-Pro1 but it is still (and will probably remain) very expensive. There’s also the Olympus OM-D EM5 (seriously considering) but I’m not a big fan of the 4/3 format (well, I guess I can live with it since it’s the format of my TS3 and X10). I’m not a big fan of the faux-pentaprism hump (why? of why?). There’s also the NEX7 but the lenses are very limited. I’ll probably just wait for the Canon mirrorless.
Of course I want a full-frame camera. Who wouldn’t? It makes for better image quality. Finding a normal lens is easier and 16-40 is wide angle (though telephoto lenses will have shorter reach). There’s the good 5D Mark III (very expensive) and the excellent Nikon D800/E (still more expensive considering that I’ll have to buy new lenses for the Nikon mount). I’ll just probably wait for the “entry-level” Canon full-frame camera.
For some reason, I also want to have a smaller DSLR (7D is large). There’s the Canon 1100D (with a sensor of 2 generations ago), 600D (hmmm) and Nikon D3200 (new generation DX sensor but again, there’s the issue with changing system and lenses).
I want to shoot Nikon. Based on what I read, Nikon produces cleaner shadows when pushed (my Canon pictures have noisy shadows), a result of higher dynamic range.
I want to trim my DSLR kit whenever I travel. Right now, for major trips, I carry my 18-135mm for general shooting, 100mm macro for closeups and 10-22 for wide landscapes. Sometimes I also bring my 50mm f1.4 for portraits. I want to have the Canon 15-85mm (wide enough for landscapes, covers general zoom focal range) and a 60mm Tamron macro (with an f2.0 aperture, it can substitute for the 100mm macro and 50mm).
- 65mm 1x-5x macro – wanted this eversince I got a DSLR
- 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM – a fast general zoom
- 70-200mm f2.8 IS II USM – legendary lens, want to see what the fuss is all about
- TS-E 17mm – for better depth of field control on landscape pictures (of course I’d have to have to full-frame camera first).
- a fisheye lens – a different perspective.
I also want a macro focusing rail (will probably be getting one).
There’s the RX100 which seems a very good high-end compact. There’s also the Olympus TG1 underwater cam with a fast lens.
So many things I want, not enough money. Until then, I’ll have to be content with what I have and make the most of it.
* * * * *
UPDATE: I recently read that Canon’s cheaper full frame will be priced around $2,000. Much more affordable than the 5d Mk III. It will also have 19 AF points (sounds like the 7D AF). Fujifilm will also announce new cameras for their X-series interchangeable cameras. A lower level camera (good!) and a higher end camera (as if the X-Pro1 isn’t expensive enough).
One of the best things I’ve learned from reading online about photography and composition is cropping. This drastically improves composition if the shot was not properly made, the horizon was not level or more magnification is desired.
I was using a 100mm macro on my camera shooting flowers and butterflies and I stopped to take several shots of them. Using a prime lens and me being rather far from them, my shot was much wider than it should be. Also, I shot in landscape but on looking at the picture in my computer, I realized that Ella and her son should be the focus of the picture and everything else is distraction. The cropping simplified composition, removed most distractions and made the picture more intimate.
This shot was taken in Mt. Batulao. As it was a climb, I did not bring my macro lens (quite heavy) and I brought only my kit lens (18-135mm) but I still want to take macros and close ups.
I cropped it to get more magnification and to focus more on the unfurling fern leaves. Also, the cropping is to follow the rule of thirds.
Since the leaves were in the shade, the shot was taken with high ISO and the cropping accentuated the noise (this was before I learned about noise reduction and sharp masking in Lightroom but it can only go so far in removing noise).
This one’s another example of cropping to increase magnification. This was taken using my kit lens (which was on the camera at the time) and I was using the center focus point. I again cropped to increase magnification and follow rule of thirds. Fortunately, this shot was taken in good light so there’s not much noise on the picture.
Another reason I said was for correcting tilted horizon (which makes it angle cropping) but I’m too lazy to find an example (have several in my pictures).
I’m a cropper. Most of my post-processing is cropping (especially for shots taken in my camera that I did not take or those taken with a prime lens). That’s also a reason why I like a camera with big megapixels (my Canon has 18mp) and envy the Nikon D800 users. It also puts more importance on cameras with good high ISO but can’t complain with what I’m using.
…I resolved to get a DSLR (making my officemate’s prediction come true – this was July 2011, a mere 3 months since getting the S4000). I began researching online on what good DSLR to get. As with most would-be DSLR owners, there’s that point where I have to decide whether to get Canon or Nikon. I’ve read many forums, articles, reviews, etc. and got the conclusion that they’re both good.
Eventually, I chose Canon. Today, I remembered why I chose Canon over Nikon:
1. Canon has a better service support here in the Philippines. Nikon is serviced by a distributor, CDSC, who is notorious for bad service, especially for units purchased in the grey market. Canon has a Philippine subsidiary and has several service centers.
2. Canon has better and cheaper lenses. Better in the sense that it has some lenses that Nikon doesn’t have (MP-E 65mm, TS-E 17mm, 800mm). I’ve also read that Canon has more expensive bodies but generally cheaper lenses (compared to Nikon equivalents).
My first project, water drops, shot with 60D and 100mm macro.
I bought a 60D (the fully-articulating display swayed me) with 18-135mm lens and a 100mm macro lens. I initially intended on buying the 18-200mm (for a beginner coming from a bridge camera, zoom counts) but I read that the 18-200 is as good as the 18-135 but is much more expensive so I chose the cheaper option and use the savings on a macro lens (a very good decision).
That was in July 2011, in August 2011, I’ve added a 50mm f1.4 to my lenses. Wonderful lens. Great contrast, great bokeh, good resolution (like the 100mm macro). Very good for low-light situations.
In October 2011, we went to a place where I really wished I had an ultra-wide angle lens. The rocks on the beach demands to be seen and take over the picture. My widest angle (18mm on APS-C or 28 equivalent) was not wide enough.
I finally got a Canon 10-22mm ultrawide lens in November. The first time I used it (in Mt. Batulao) I was so not used to the very wide view on the viewfinder that I almost fell on the side on the mountain since I thought that the edge was still far.
Somewhere in between getting the DSLR and the lenses, I got and learned Lightroom (makes a big difference, much more than getting a new or higher end camera or a lens). I also bought a wired remote for night shots (which I rarely do).
In December 2011, a splash of wave (on a boat on our way to Polilio Island) caused my 60D’s lens mount and flash to rust. I had to use my nails to pick up the flash and the lens would sometimes fail to dismount regardless of the amount of force I used. It was still taking pictures anyway.
In January 2012, the days of my Canon 60D came to an end. I climbed a rock f,ormation and had a friend take my picture. A big wave came and drenched my camera (and of course my friend). That was the end of 60D.
One of the last pictures of my 60D, me on a rock formation in Baler, Aurora.
I brought it to the Canon Service Center (great service) but the seawater and the rust it caused has corroded the LCD, the mirror and sensor assembly, the lens mount. It was repairable but at a price where it is more practical to just get a new one. Thankfully the lens (18-135mm) was ok and the battery was still working.
For awhile I had four lenses and no camera. Since the photographer in me has been awakened, I cannot do without a camera. While my 60D was in the service center, I bought a Fuji X10 (have always wanted one since it was announced). Wonderful little camera!
Boats in early morning (Tondol Beach). Shot with Fuji X10 in EXR mode.
Fuji’s innovative sensor and excellent lens are simple a wonderful combination. The good thing about the X10 is that I can just leave the exposure mode dial to EXR and let it make all the decision while I worry about composition. It also does good macros. It’s not perfect of course – EXR mode produces only JPEGs, there’s the white orb issue and other small quirks.
After learning the price of repair for my 60D, I just decided to get a new unit. I thought of getting a 60D again but I guess the lack of weather-sealing has scared me in getting the same model so I upgraded to 7D and happy days began again. I was able to use all my lenses again. And since the 60D and 7D uses the same battery, I now have a spare battery (not that I ever needed one). Unfortunately, the 7D has a different remote port than the 60D so I needed to buy a new one.
Since obtaining a DSLR and Fuji X10, I knew that there’s no place for a point-and-shoot for me, except for one – an underwater rugged camera. For my birthday, I decided to get one (along with the 7D).
Sunset in Morong, Bataan (right) and an underwater shot of myself in Puerto Galera, both shot with Panasonic TS3.
Before buying one, I did several research before settling on the Panasonic Lumix TS3 – the best reviewed rugged compact at the time (up to now since the new generation of rugged cameras are not properly reviewed yet).
The TS3 is ok, for a compact it takes good pictures in good light. It has nice macro capabilities and is the only one I can use for underwater or on the water or near the water shots. I was able to get pictures that is impossible with my other cameras (like a low angle shot of the sea like the sunset above).
And so here I am, in less than 2 years, I bought 5 cameras (the 7D, X10 and TS3 I’m still using, the S4000 I sold to a friend and the 60D still broken), 4 lenses, 2 wired remotes, filters, tripods and other accessories. Photography is indeed an expensive hobby but whenever a picture I took makes me smile, I think to myself that it’s all worth it.
July 7, 2012
This weekend, I went home to my province (Quezon) to celebrate my father’s 75th birthday (he’s old but still strong). There’s not much to do around the house so I shot some pictures in our garden.
Unlike my previous visit there, there are not many plants (my Labrador, Hector, destroyed many plants when bored). There aren’t also that many insects so I took only a few pictures.
There are some insect there but they are of the usual variety.
I think it was also the first time that I’ve seen butterflies in our garden (or probably just the first time I photographed them. The two white butterflies were copulating such that when my nephew caught them, they were still together and even when released, they’re still attached.
The garden is in the shade and almost all pictures were taken at ISO 3200, hence, the grain. I used the Lightroom adjustment brush (minimum clarity and sharpness and maximum noise reduction) on the non-subject area but I think the end of he brush-strokes can be seen (for some reason, I can see this better on small pictures than on the big ones). Must find a way to use non-destructive noise reduction in the future. In the meantime, enjoy! Comments are welcome.