16 – selfie

024 (Medium)I don’t normally do self-pictures, but while sitting and waiting in our minivan for an hour, I felt that I had exhausted all of my photographic options (my son was getting annoyed at my taking pictures of him) so I just stuck my camera out of the window and snapped this shot. Inadvertently, I’m in it.

There’s nothing spectacular about the picture from web resolution, but at 1:1, it’s bitingly sharp, colors are accurate, and there’s hardly any noise.

I think more amazing – this is a SOOC JPEG and I’m using one of the first m4/3 cameras with one of the cheapest prime lenses available…

I had been using an Olympus E-PM1 for a long time, after starting out in m4/3 with an E-PL1. The E-PM1 is a great camera, but right now, it’s ‘glued’ to the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye. That lens is so specialized that it needs its own body for those random moments when I may think, “hmm, I wonder what this looks like with a fisheye.” I’m lazy – I don’t like changing lenses when out and about…and ironically, my thoughts are fleeting, so the fisheye gets used quite frequently.

Anyway, I had intended on using the recently-acquired GF-1 (traded it for my hardly-used 40-150R) for the dedicated fisheye body, but the more I used it, the more I liked it. It’s robust, has a great LCD (even outdoors), and the shutter is quieter than the E-PM1. I do lose out on the “grainy film” art filter and high ISO is only usable to 1600, but native ISO is 100 with a max shutter speed of 1/4000. In sunny Socal, that means that I can shoot wide open in the day and not overexpose as easily. If I need to shoot indoors…then I can just use the E-PM1.

Also, without any tweaking, jpegs from the Panasonic GF-1 honestly suck compared to the Olympus E-PM1. However, a little in-camera tweaking (Dynamic film mode, +1 contrast, +1 sharpness, -2 NR) and voila – pretty nice jpegs. I’ve also tweaked the “dynamic B&W film” and saved it as a preset…so I have a quasi-grainy B&W art filter. Here’s an example, SOOC B&W jpeg, resized for web:

028 (Medium)

Not bad. It’s contrasty enough…it could probably use a bit more tweaking in PP, but for quick SOOC jpeg, it’s not bad. With a 16 GB card, I can afford to shoot RAW+jpeg.

I hadn’t intended for my kit to change so much, but now, I have a GF-1, E-PM1, Sigma 19/2.8, Samyang 7.5/3.5 fisheye, and the Panasonic 14-42/3.5-5.6. The latter lens came with the body in trade for my 40-150R. I’ve sold off the Vivitar 55/2.8 macro (what a lesson in futility that was!) and I’ve posted my Olympus VF-3 for sale. Everything fits nicely into my Crumpler 3MDH (my man-purse).

But I digress. The GF-1 and the Sigma 19/2.8 (the lens used in the picture above) are a great combination. It’s good enough for me. Now…I just need something to shoot.

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