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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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Where is the Noise in High ISO with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Micro Four Thirds Camera?

As I continue evaluating the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Micro Four Thirds Camera that Olympus has loaned me for 2 months free of charge (and with no obligation at all to write these reviews) one aspect I will be studying is how usable high ISO images are with this camera.

I have been shooting full-frame digital since I purchased my first full-frame camera back in 2002 with the $8,000 Canon EOS-1Ds, an 11.1 megapixel camera. And simply because of the physical size difference between a full-frame sensor and a four thirds sensor, full-frame sensors by and large have less noise at higher ISO’s and thus are better in lower light situations.

But how big of a difference is the noise in higher ISO’s?

If you believe everything you read in internet forums, people are saying anything over ISO 800 is basically non-usable with four thirds cameras. This was concerning because I am often shooting ISO 800 or higher with my Sony a7R3, particularly with wildlife, and if this Olympus camera couldn’t handle higher ISO’s I would lose pretty much all interest in the Olympus system.

So I went out to a local zoo the other day to get some test shots at higher ISO’s. And this writeup is about my reflections from that day.

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