Life Without

…A camera is, quite frankly, considerably less fun than life with one, believe me. Despite being quite ill on and off since my last update, I have finished a few things off - another building, some cacti, and two more gangs, all for Dead Man's Hand, but I have no way to show them to you. Hopefully, sometime over the weekend, I shall be able to post some photographic updates to the site.

I have to work on Sunday, my birthday - Sunday working being one of the main drawbacks of being churchwarden. So the family have decided that we're celebrating on Saturday instead. I've been ill, with diarrhoea, and though the diarrhoea has subsided, I am still not very well, but hoping to be sufficiently recovered by Saturday to feel like celebrating (albeit fairly quietly).

I am becoming increasingly excited about getting the camera - I've read the PDF manual several times, as well as various websites - mainly people who've used it extensively. I think I have worked out that the menu isn't really complicated, it's just not quite what most 'dyed-in-the-wool' Olympus enthusiasts were expecting. The menu system is, inevitably, for such a complex camera, larger than most, but I don't think one needs to access much of it very often - indeed some parts very rarely. Most of the commonly needed (i.e. things you need when actually taking photos - things like white balance settings, ISO, metering, autofocus, etc) menu items appear, almost by default, on the monitor if you use the 'Super Control Panel' mode. I actually think that, in everyday use, it will probably be easier to 'drive' than my old Fuji HS20 - perhaps on a par with its predecessor, the S7000.

The one thing I think I may miss about the HS20 is its 'macro' capabilities. Not so much the image quality, which wasn't great, but just the flexibility of the lens and its two 'macro' modes, which meant that I could plonk the camera down (on beanbag or tripod) just about any distance from the subject - be it a building, a unit, a single figure, a damselfly, or whatever, click a button on the dial to be in one of the 'macro' modes, and then zoom and focus away to my heart's content. There don't seem to be any zoom lenses for the E-M5 which can actually zoom when in macro mode. The 'kit lens', a 12-50mm, f3.5-6.3 zoom (12-50mm in 'Micro 4/3' language is equivalent to a 24-100mm lens in old, 35mm film camera, money) has a 'macro' mode, which is quite decent, but the lens becomes afixed 43mm lens (that's like an 86mm lens in 'old money'). The other lens I've got coming at the weekend is a 'freebie' (Olympus run some really great 'promotions' from time-to-time) - a 45mm f1.8 lens - reallywon'tdo 'macro'; its closest focus is 0.5m (about 20") - though it might be okay for things like buildings. I might have to go 'old-fashioned' and buy myself a set of extension tubes - which are just tubes (with the necessary electrical connections) that fit between lens and camera body. Moving the lens away from the camera body means it can focus closer. That's probably the most cost-effective way of getting myself some flexibility for close-up photography. It's either that or spend the best part of 400 quid on a dedicated macro lens. I can't justify that!

Ho, hum - sorry if this is all boringly technical. I am a geek - I can't help it!

Copyright Dr. P.C. Hendry, 2010