Micro 4/3 Tag

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we plant roses in garden beds and enthuse over them? The plants are 98% stabbing pains for every 2% bright colour or sweet odour. And their demonic spikes do nothing to deter their natural enemies - the aphids. Aphids climb over the spikes with impunity. The rest of us lose jumpers and forearms to them. Here's the only thing in the front yard that was not clawing at me. Ah, well, at least the things provided a little colour for the Panasonic GX-9K camera and Lumix G 30mm f 1:2.8 ASPH Mega O.I.S lens. This is serious micro 4/3 stuff with a dedicated close-up lens - expect perfection. And perfection that is easy to use in a walk-around package. Of course, if you are a dedicated photo enthusiast, easy to use, convenient, and simple are terms that mean nothing to you. The real zealot will carry lead-acid batteries, GPS unit, softboxes, and studio strobe kits up the side of a mountain to capture a toadstool. You may complain bitterly if your designer coffee...

Once you find it, go get the piggy bank and the cookie jar. Bash them into fragments, collect the saved-up money inside, and head to Camera Electronic today. They've got a special deal on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkII and three lenses - you'll get them and a spare battery for just under $ 1200. It's the best money you'll spend all year. This, coming from a dedicated Fujifilm user, is high praise indeed. The camera and lens combo means that nearly any photoshoot you want to do is within your grasp straight away. The results from the Micro 4/3 sensor on the Olympus are superb - I've tested these cameras in the Little Studio and would rate them equally as good, if not better, for my close-up specialty. The inclusion of the 14-42mm zoom lens in the kit means that your travel shots are taken care of and the dedicated portraiteur can leave the 45mm prime on the camera forever. Sporty types may elect to do the same with th 10-150mm lens. Whatever, you have them all there ready to go today. Make...

There is nothing that excites a photographer more than a big, new, complex, camera. A close second is an equally imposing lens - and photographers can be seduced with ease if the gear has some new feature. I often used to think that the lens makers chortled evilly to themselves in their secret laboratories until I saw a not-so-secret Panasonic laboratory at Yamagata in Japan. No-one chortled - they were very serious and careful people. This report has no chortling either, and very little in the way of complexity or imposition. The equipment is not flash-bang pre-order Photokina stuff either - it is readily available goods that Camera Electronic has in stock. But the idea is to see if there is a better way to do a certain task - a task that may be similar to ones that you, the reader, want to do. The brief I gave myself was to see if the smaller sort of compact digital camera was up to the task of small-scale studio illustration. To see whether I had overlooked a resource for my specialised subjects. To...

Anyone who has eaten at a Perth pub has noticed that there are generally three things on the menu: a dish that is so expensive that it makes the rest of the stuff look affordable…a dish that is so cheap that you know it is going to taste bad…and everything else in between. If you are wise enough not to order fish surprise on Monday or vegan-free gluten salad at any other time you should be able to get along pretty well. If the price of a pint is the same price as filling your car’s fuel tank, drink petrol. Same goes with cameras and lenses. You can glance over the wildly foolish shelves to start with and marvel at the temerity of the manufacturer. Then you can look at the goods that are so down-market as to be subterranean. Then you can shift to the sensibly-priced section and actually get down to business. We all do this and the business gets down...

Flower enthusiasts and botanists - and fungus people - are all experts in their fields. No, really they are. They know what looks good and right and how to grow it or find it. As a result their photos can be wonderful art - provided they can do the technical steps necessary to capture what they can see onto the digital memory. I approach the thing from the other end - I know how to make the picture look good but have no way of getting the garden to support me in the endeavour.  I have succeeded in killing artificial plants… All this said, here are a few test shots taken in our front-yard flower cemetery and back-yard weed factory. The items were selected with an eye to test out the Olympus OM-D E-M10 hand-held as if the user was a complete fool in the garden. As if… Note that the camera and lens are perfectly balanced for hand-held macro shots. You support the lens with the left hand and poke the shutter button with the right thumb. Your third and fourth arms...

A recent weekend spent playing with the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II showed me how useful it would be for macro work and studio product illustration. This column showed some of the ways that the focus bracketing and focus stacking features helped to tame the problem of depth of field. Kudos to Olympus. Also, my foray to Jandakot airport showed their long telephoto lens and their superb image stablising systems making short work of long-distance coverage in bumpy conditions. Instant desire to own one...