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Beyond the Lens with Matt Suess – Photography Journal & Blog

 

 

Sony Just Announced New 60MP Camera – Am I Bummed Now That I Switched to Olympus?

So right on the heals of me leaving Sony FF for Olympus, Sony today announces a 60MP upgrade to the camera I just got rid of. Am I upset? Am I regretting my choice??

Absolutely not, and this shot is just one reason why!

There is more to a camera than it’s megapixels, and what you can do with a camera is now more important to me than the megapixels. And the Live Composition feature in particular of my Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera is one such feature that allows me to create images that would have been either too difficult to do otherwise or it would have been such a pain that I probably wouldn’t have shot it to begin with.

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Luminar Flex from Skylum Updated to v1.1 – What is Flex and What About this Update

Skylum today has released a free update to Luminar Flex bringing it to version 1.1.

What is Luminar Flex? Don’t they have Luminar 3 too?

For those not familiar with Flex, think of all the great photo editing filters and tools from Luminar 3, minus the not-ready-for-primetime catalog features that Luminar 3 has. If you don’t want to use the “DAM” (digital asset manager) of Luminar 3 (and I can’t blame you as it has been a big disappointment from day 1) but still want to use Luminar’s filters to enhance your photos, then Flex might be for you.

Luminar Flex v1.1 running as a plugin inside Photoshop

I say “might be for you” because this is where things get a little confusing. And bear with me for a moment as I discuss Flex, as I never posted a review of it when it first came out. If you just want to see what’s new with Flex, scroll down to the New Features.

A Little History

Luminar 3 arrived back on December 18, 2018 and was initially marketed by Skylum as a Lightroom replacement, even though it barely had any more organizational power than Finder on Mac or Explorer on Windows. I was not a fan, and apparently I wasn’t alone as the majority of people in my Learn Skylum’s Luminar & Aurora HDR Facebook Group who voted in a poll I conducted just last month still couldn’t use the DAM because of missing features and/or performance issues. Only a small percentage were happy with Luminar 3 at the time. In fact, one of my most popular YouTube videos I have is a video I recorded showing how to use Luminar 3 without the catalog.

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Used Canon and Sony Camera Equipment For Sale

Now that I am officially switching full-time to Olympus, I have some great used gear for sale. Prices listed are asking prices and don’t include shipping. First come first serve. Contact Me if you want more details on any item, if you want photos of it, and to purchase. Feel free to share this post with your photography friends 😀
 
Sony Gear:
 
Sony a7R iii – less than 24K shutter activations, Condition 8 for $2,000
Sony FE 35mm f2.8 lens – Condition 9+ for $650
Sony FE 24-240mm f3.5-6.3 lens – Condition 9 for $775
Sony FE 90mm Macro G OSS F2.8 lens – Condition 10 for $900
Godox v860 II S Flash for Sony – Condition 10 for $145 each, and I have 3 of them
Godox x1 T S transmitter for Sony – Condition 10 for $35
Rokinon 24mm f1.4 lens – Condition 10 for $350
Sigma MC-11 Mount Converter/Lens Adapter to use Canon EF lenses on Sony E—mount – Condition 10 for $115
 
Canon Gear:
 
Canon EF 17-40mm L f.4 lens – Condition 8+ / 9 – SOLD
Canon EF 24-70mm L f2.8 lens – Condition 8+ / 9 for $795
Canon EF 100mm f2.8 lens – Condition 8+ / 9 for $400
Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens for Canon EF – Condition 10 for $900 (this lens is awesome!!!)
Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 Contemporary Lens – SOLD
Rokinon 14mm f2.8 lens – SOLD
 
10 Preowned equipment, but appears as new
9+ Shows little or no signs of wear
9 Shows signs of use, but very clean
8+ Shows moderate wear or finish marks
8 Well used – may exhibit “dings” or finish marks
7 Shows considerable amount of use – More than average wear
6 Usable, but has considerable optical or mechanical imperfections

Registration Now Open for my 2019 Fall Grand Tetons Photo Workshop

Registration has just opened for my 5th Annual Fall Grand Teton Photography Workshop in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming!!

Here is some of the important info:

Dates: Monday, September 23 – Saturday, September 28, 2019

Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced

Class Size: Limited to just 6 students

Type: Field Workshop

Status: Open – Click Here for more info and to Register

Note: Previous fall workshops have sold out in the past so don’t delay in registering – only 6 seats are available! My other 2 Tetons workshops for 2019 sold out months in advance.

I have a complete information page dedicated to this workshop with a ton of information and a link to register.

View Info About Matt’s 2019 Tetons Fall Photo Workshop

Check out some photos taken during my past fall photo workshops in the Tetons or in that same time period:


Still Learning the AF System on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Camera

In my continuing experiments with the Get Olympus system they have loaned me and the OM-D E-M1X camera in particular, I’ve had some focusing issues that I believe I am finding solutions to!

Switching camera systems is never easy nor is getting used to new AF systems. For most of my shots I have been using the 5-Target Group but have been finding a lot of images that were front-focused and the point of focus was just in front of my subject, making my subject soft.

Last night I switched to Small Target and the results were vastly better. The majority of what I was shooting last night was static images with no major focus tracking. Reviewing last nights results I hardly had any front-focused frames and most shots were tact sharp – success!!

Another issue I was having was with soft images using the M.Zuiko 300mm f4 IS Pro and 1.4 tele when shooting wide-open. Images often looked soft with no real focus point anywhere – kinda like how heat waves from the road in a distance can blur your photo, but image shouldn’t have been suffering from any heat waves. By stopping down to f7.1 it seems to have fixed my issues there. I have had some success shooting this combo wide open, but most shots seemed to have not worked out.

Female Downy Woodpecker in a tree in Bozeman, Montana

For this shot of a female Downy Woodpecker, I was using the M.Zuiko 300m f4 Pro lens and 1.4 tele. It was shot handheld at 1/800s at f7.1 and Auto ISO of 1250. This shot was super sharp with the Small Target AF, and check out that light I have in her eye!!

With this setup it gave me the equivalent focal length of 840mm when compared to a full-frame camera, without all that extra weight 🙂 I am really loving this part of the Olympus system!

 

Baby Mountain Cottontail Rabbit

OMG How darn cute is this little guy???

Baby Mountain Cottontail Rabbit

I first saw this baby Mountain Cottontail rabbit yesterday outside our fence when I was mowing. This morning we couldn’t figure out why the dogs were super excited in the backyard. Once the dogs were put inside, this little guy came back out from under the deck to finish breakfast eating grass and clovers. All I had to do was sit motionless in a chair in the yard and he/she came within 10 feet of me without even seeing me.

This was photographed hand-held with the Get Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera and the M.Zuiko 300mm f4 IS Pro lens. Shot at ISO 800 at 1/400s at f5.6.

 

Black and White Tulip

I have always loved black and white photography. In fact I was processing and printing my own b&w photos way back when I was 12 years old! But I can not recall right now when – or if – I ever created any serious black and white flower photographs before.

So here’s a start, with a tulip from our backyard here in Montana 🙂

This was photographed hand-held in the High-Res mode with the Get Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera and the M.Zuiko 300mm f4 IS Pro lens, which gave me a 50MP image. Shot at ISO 250 at 1/200s at f5.

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Pro Capture for Lightning with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Camera?

Pro Capture for lightning with the OM-D E-M1X camera?

Yes, please!

We just had a small lightning storm pass overhead here in Montana and while it was on it’s way I ran outside to see if Pro Capture would work for getting shots of lightning.

And it does!

For those not familiar with Pro Capture on Olympus, what it does is keep a pre-set number of frames in a buffer which constantly gets overwritten with the newest images while slightly depressing the shutter button, so that when the action does happen you fully press down on the shutter to save those frames it had in the buffer.

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Bison and Spring Snowfall in Gallatin Gateway, Montana

I love watching bison forage for food when the ground is covered with snow. They use their head as a shovel to push the snow away to get to the grass below. This was photographed yesterday during a late April snowfall here in Montana.

It was photographed with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera and M.Zuiko 300mm f4 IS Pro lens that Olympus has loaned me for a couple months. It was shot hand-held at 1/160s, f8, at ISO 200. To get the same lens reach using a full-frame camera I’d be using a 600mm f4 lens and there is no way I’d be hand holding that monster of a lens at 1/160th of a second for any amount of time!

One concern I’ve had with MFT is that the camera is only 20MP (my current Sony a7R3 has more than double the megapixels) and I specialize in large prints. The more megapixels, the larger you can print, right? If I can’t get great looking prints out of the Olympus there’d be no reason for me to switch from Sony.

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