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Tag Archives: Digital Camera World

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II: new camera with surprising ability

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 II – price tag £899.99 body only; release date late Feb 2015 – has been announced today, offering photographers the opportunity to create 40-megapixel images using its 16MP sensor.

I don’t quite know how they have done this, it seems like smoke and mirrors, maybe that is it.

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This new Olympus camera is able to offer this new functionality thanks to an enhanced 5-Axis Image Stabilisation system first introduced in its predecessor, the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

The OM-D E-M5 Mark II is able to capture 40-megapixel still images by moving its 16-megapixel LIVE MOS sensor between each shot and merging eight single exposures into one final image with detail and resolution far beyond the sensor’s normal capacity.

Normally used by manufacturers to counteract the effects of camera shake, Olympus has used this sensor shifting technology to create high-resolution composites that Olympus says rivals the quality of many full-frame cameras.

But it also eliminates camera shake, too. Olympus says the enhanced 5-axis Image Stabilisation system can eliminate shake in all five planes of movement, achieving the equivalent of 5 EV steps faster than shutter speed. And because the system is built into the body of the OM-D E-M5 II it will work with any lens, is what we learn from Digital Camera World

More information is available at DP Review

Olympus’s OM-D E-M5 II is, like its predecessor, a small, attractive and usable 16MP camera. In fact, at first glance it looks relatively unchanged. The most obvious additions are its more advanced movie capabilities and a clever multi-shot 40MP mode, but you have to look a bit more closely to see how much work Olympus has put into this new model.

How do you follow up a classic? A little more time is going to have to pass before the E-M5 can truly wear that mantle but I have little doubt that that’s the question Olympus’s engineers and product planners have been asking themselves. And, it must be said, it’s quite a challenge. Technology has moved forward since the first OM-D was launched but simply bringing the camera up-to-date risks feeling like a let down.

Sure enough, the E-M5 II doesn’t feel like as big a step forward as its predecessor was. But how could it be? Cameras such as the Sony’s a6000 and a7, and Samsung’s NX1 have raised the expected level of capability so far that it would be hard for any new model to represent as much of a breakthrough. Nonetheless, Olympus has probably done as much as it can to move things forward.

Close examination of the camera shows that almost every aspect of its design has been tweaked, refined and polished. Without access to a higher pixel-count sensor, it’s not obvious what else Olympus could have added to the Mark II.


Olympus E-M5 II key features

  • 16MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • 40 MP multi-exposure mode
  • 1080/60p shooting and 1080/30p at up to 77Mbps (All-I)
  • 5-axis image stabilization in both stills and movie modes
  • 10fps continuous shooting, 5fps with AF
  • 1/8000th sec maximum shutter speed (1/16000th with electronic shutter)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Clip-on rotating, bounceable flash
  • The standout change for stills shooters is likely to be the 40MP multi-shot mode. This uses the camera’s sensor-shift system to move the sensor to eight fractionally different positions and create a high-resolution composite image from these eight exposures.

As digital photography and cameras continue to develop new and innovative ways of improving results step into the light every so often. These new innovations make us think wow I would like one of those but rarely do we actually stray from our preferred camera manufacturer. I still see classes on our excellent Understanding Your DSLR Camera where everyone has either a Canon or a Nikon. There is an very occasional Pentax, sometimes a Sony and less often still an Olympus but by a huge margin it is Nikon or Canon. We try to keep you up to date with new developments in cameras, do you remember last year we reported on the revolutionary Lytro. A camera so advanced that it allows you to refocus your image on the computer after you have taken the picture. Choose anything you want in focus in your image and it can be! If you don’t believe me here is a link to our post. Well I have never seen one, have never met anyone who has one or who has seen one. Will this be the case with this new Olympus, who knows? If the idea works and is a useful addition to the process of making images I guess Canon and Nikon will make their own version once they have figured out how to get around the patents.

So should you be considering changing all your gear for one of these? Personally I would wait to see how good it is, what problems with the moving sensor and then whether you actually need a 40mp camera. That will make a 120mb file! The Nokia Lumia 1020 phone has a 41mp camera, honestly who cares.

Best ball head for tripods: 01 Manfrotto 498RC2 Midi

Ball heads are one of the tripod heads that are often chosen by photographers but rarely by the video crowd. You might be thinking it is time for a new tripod, I am, but actually I just need a new head (no comments).

Time for a new ball head? We reveal some of the most tempting ball-and-socket designs for use with heavy DSLRs. From Digital Camera World

For most of us, ball heads are the way forward. Compared with clunky, conventional three-way tripod heads, they’re more compact, quicker in use and easier to set up.

Instead of fiddling around with (typically) three separate locking arms, you can release and secure a full range of movements with a single locking screw.

Naturally, releasing all directions of travel with a single screw can spell disaster, especially when you’re using a heavy DSLR and telephoto lens combination. Many designs therefore include an adjustable friction damper to make things safer for different kit combinations.

Another neat twist is that some ball heads feature an additional pan-only lock. You can release this to enable horizontal panning while keeping the head’s tilt and swivel adjustments locked off.

All of the tripod heads in this roundup use a fairly large ball of around 40mm. Having a good-sized ball helps to enable decent stability and ease of movement.


read the full report here

6 photography quotes every photographer should live by

From Digital Camera World……Learn from the famous photographers and true legends of photography with our practical guide to the six best photography quotes ever uttered and how you can put them into practice.

In the 175 years that photography has been around, some very smart people have picked up cameras, and some of these very smart people have said some very smart things.

Indeed, some photographers, such as Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier Bresson, wrote extensively on the theory and practice of photography, and as we’ll see, were never short of an illuminating maxim or pithy aphorism.

Other photographers wanted their images to do the talking, and went in for more esoteric observations which we’re still puzzling over today.

Anyway, the best quotations about any subject are those which still help and inspire people today, so with this in mind, here are our six favourite photographic quotes – along with some ideas on how you can put these wise words into practice.

Photography Quote No. 1

Photographer:  Robert Capa

Photography Quote, Robert Capa: “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”

Quote: “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”

What it means
If you get closer to your subject you will often end up with sharper, better composed shots. By filling the frame, or even cropping in closer, you’ll also eliminate dead space, and get a more intimate, involving image.

Don’t get so close, though, that you put yourself in danger – war photographer Capa sadly got too close to a landmine while covering the Viet Minh uprising in Vietnam in 1954.

SEE MORE: The 55 best photographers of all time. In the history of the world. Ever.

How to do it yourself
Try using a standard prime lens with a fixed focal length, rather than a long telephoto zoom, as this forces you to get in close to your subject and engage.

Even better, 50mm and 85mm primes usually have wide maximum apertures, which are handy in low light and help to blur the background, while revealing less optical distortion than zooms. They’re often great value too.


Go and see the rest here

10 things Nikon should do next

From N Photo via Digital Camera World we find this fascinating article

Recently our friends at N-Photo sat down for one of their usual afternoon summits. Only this time, rather than musing on the next issue of the magazine, the team produced a series of ground-breaking ideas for future Nikon DSLRs!

Their only criteria in plotting Nikon’s future was that their idea has to be technically possible, genuinely useful or jaw-droppingly clever.

Prepare to be amazed as we reveal their vision for the future…


1. Electronic level information embedded in EXIF data

Many Nikon DSLRs already have electronic levels, and it surely wouldn’t be difficult to encode the tilt of the camera at the time the shot was taken into the image’s EXIF data. Your software could then correct any tilt automatically!
Angela Nicholson, Head of Testing

2. Touch-screen displays

Not for taking control of the camera completely, but for quickly selecting menu options, or for zooming in on image in playback mode. It would save lots of boring button-pressing. The on-screen interface on the D3000/D5000 series is crying out for touch-screen control!

10 wedding photography mistakes every beginner will make (and how to get better)

From Digital Camera World

Shooting a wedding is one of the toughest assignments that a photographer can take on, there are lots of potential issues and the stakes are incredibly high. To help out, our head of testing, Angela Nicholson, has compiled a list of the most common wedding photography mistakes that photographers make when starting out shooting weddings, along with some of her best wedding photography tips for how to avoid them. 


Beginner Wedding Photography Mistakes: 01 Inexperience

If your family and friends know that you own a DSLR or advanced compact system camera, the chances are pretty high that at some point you will be asked to photograph a wedding.

It’s important to be realistic about your capabilities and experience before you commit to shooting a wedding – especially if you are to be paid to do so.

Be honest with the couple about your experience and don’t allow anyone to bully you into taking on the job to save money if you are not confident.

6 camera settings photographers always get wrong (and how to get it right)

Want to avoid some of the more common mistakes made by photographers? In their latest guest post the photo management and Canon Project1709 experts at Photoventure came up with the 6 camera settings that many get wrong along with some advice on how to get it right.

6 camera settings photographers always get wrong (and how to get it right)

Common mistakes with camera settings: 1. White balance


The vast majority of photographs are taken with the camera’s white balance set to the Automatic option.

It’s an easy choice that gets it right most of the time, but it’s not completely foolproof and many systems have a tendency to correct natural variations in light colour so that images look a bit too neutral.

Warm early morning or evening sunlight, for example, can be made too cold.

When shooting outdoors better results can be achieved in many cases by switching to the Daylight or Sunny setting.

It can even produce better results than the Auto setting in shady or overcast conditions.

SEE MORE: Find out how Canon’s Project1709 platform can simplify your photo management workflow

Most cameras also have Shade or Cloudy white balance options that inject a bit more warmth into images.

In some situations this colour-shift can be excessive, but it’s worth experimenting with your camera to find out how each white balance setting performs in a range of conditions.

For the ultimate in control, use the Custom or Manual white balance option and set the value manually.

Your camera’s manual will explain exactly how to do this, but fundamentally it involves photographing a white or neutral grey target (a piece of card works well) in the same light as your subject and telling your camera to use this image to set the white balance.

If you photograph the white or grey card again after the manual white balance has been set in camera, you should see it rendered neutral.

If you wish, you can use your camera’s white balance adjustment controls to warm or cool the results – or experiment with a non-neutral calibration target. READ MORE HERE

The 6 best Photoshop layers any photographer can use

Photoshop has many types of layers and adjustment layers available, but there are six that you’ll find you need to use again and again.


The 6 best Photoshop layers any photographer can use

Learning how Photoshop layers should be used may seem a little daunting for beginners, but once you’ve got to grips with them, you’ll find they play a part in the creative process of almost every image you make. Find out what they are here on Digital Camera World

What camera should I buy?

I get asked this a couple of times a week. Sometimes it comes with the proviso, I want to have a career in photography but that opens another can of worms. Buying a camera, the right camera is important because if you get it wrong you may never enjoy the experience of taking pictures and so end up just using your phone, heaven help you! Anyway this really useful article on Digital Camera World looks at the four main types of cameras and in a simple way makes observations that seem appropriate to me. If you are thinking of buying a camera then read this first. It won’t tell which model to buy but it will help you to buy the right type for you, which is a good start point. Should you buy a dslr, maybe a bridge or compact or even the kid on the block a CSC (compact system camera) [who thinks up these names?]

 “What camera should I buy?” Truth is, it can be tricky to decide what camera to buy because we like to shoot different subjects which have different needs. In this jargon-free buyer’s guide our head of testing Angela Nicholson has some advice that will put you on the right track.

_DSC6932.NEFRead the full article in Digital Camera World here


Best monitor for photo editing: 4 top models tested and rated

In class, any of the classes I teach, eventually the question comes up, why do my prints not look like what I see on screen. Well there are a number of reasons but the first is that professionals use monitors designed for graphic purposes. We don’t use the default that came with the computer we bought, and often the monitor costs as much as the computer. We need to be able to calibrate our monitors so that they look like other professional outfits who use professional monitors, these should be your local high street printer, the digital book publisher you use and the bespoke lab you prefer. We usually recommend looking at Colour Confidence as a start point

What is the best monitor for photo editing? Colour-accurate monitors offer true-to-life reproduction of photographic images, but price and performance varies. Digital Camera World tested four of the top models available to see which monitor is best for photographers.

Best monitor for photo editing: 01 Eizo ColorEdge CG243W

Eizo Monitor

Price: £1,200
Buy it: http://www.eizo.co.uk
This thoughtfully laid-out monitor has a versatile swivelling screen, which makes fitting it into your workspace a doddle, even with the (included) hood in place.

The menus are sensibly laid out, with icons popping up above the buttons so you always know what to press, even in a darkened studio.

The included calibration software enables you to build an ICC profile quickly, and the 1920×1200-pixel display offers high-end reproduction, but this doesn’t come cheap and, at 24 inches, this is the smallest monitor on test.

Pros: A high-end, flexible monitor with rich, consistent colours
Cons: Only 24 inches; functional rather than stylish design; pricey

Score: 88%

See the other recommended at Digital Camera World here

32 things photographers say… and what they really mean

This is a quite funny article in Digital Camera World, showing us all up for insecure things we really are….

Here is a taste for you

When photographers say…
What are you shooting?
They actually mean…
Hello there! This is me, trying to break the ice.

When photographers say…
I work primarily with natural light.
They actually mean…
My flash exposures are awful. Seriously, they’re awful.

When photographers say…
I only carry out minimal post-processing.
They actually mean…
Photoshop confuses the heck out of me. I mean, I can shuffle the Unsharp Mask sliders left and right a bit, but I really have no idea what I’m doing.

When photographers say…
I love the way that you’ve processed your photos.
They actually mean…
I’d love to copy that look – can you tell me how you did it?

See More here