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Tomato Holders

I thought this was a strange coincidence in my day yesterday. The top photo was taken in the morning at a garden centre. The bottom one was taken at lunch time downtown.

I was testing an Olympus OM-D E-M1 which has been purchased by my employer as a project camera for the summer and coming years of field work. It is a micro 4/3’s camera,  fresh out of the box, with a very nice zoom lens. The lens is an Olympus f2.8, 12-40mm, though when accounting for the smaller sensor size, this is equivalent to f5.6 and 24-80mm on a full frame camera. Which I guess is why the micro 4/3’s lenses frequently come in speeds that seem extremely fast, like f0.95, but which in fact are not as fast as they seem.

In any case, the camera looks like it will be a good field camera. It takes very nice pictures, is heavily laden with features (many of them useful), is apparently very well weather sealed and is quite small, though not as light as I expected. The video also is excellent and focusing in both video and stills is extremely fast and accurate. The only downside I have encountered so far is that the battery life is poor, especially compared with my Canon 5Dii – I got about 250 shots out of a full charge. Also, operator ignorance was a factor in changing some setting that locked it into manual focus. I used up the battery navigating in the menus trying to find which thing I had done that was wrong, so had to revert to my phone and a small film camera to document a tar sands healing walk that my wife was speaking at. That was OK – the phone pictures were good enough, but we are going to need a couple of extra batteries for field work.



Olympus Om-D E-M1, m.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm lens, ISO200. Top: f2.8, 40 (80)mm, 1/2000th. Bottom: f2.8, 32 (64)mm, 1/8000th.


5 thoughts on “Primary Columns

    • Hi Andy. Thank you! This is an example of what you write about so well – the seeing eye. I would never have noticed this before I started taking photos – it just would not have registered at all. I find it reassuring that such things register nowadays.


      • The interesting thing is that the acquired ability to ‘see’ spills over into everyday life whether or not I am carrying a camera – I find myself more generally aware of my surroundings all the time.


      • Me too – a very interesting effect, training the eye. I expect it must be the same for musicians and what they hear (my musician son, not mechanical though, has a very keen ear for unusual sounds from under the bonnet, for instance)


  1. Turns out no amount of menu scrolling would have fixed the manual focus issue – the lens has a “snap ring” which you turn to focus the lens. If you slide it back a few mm, it locks manual focus. I am one of many who have been flummoxed by this feature on first use of these lenses. Still, it is a nice feature that is more ergonomic than the small buttons near the bottom of (for instance) Canon lenses.


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