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OM1 for Birds in Flight – better than the A9?Is the OM1 a big improvement on the EM1x, and can it compete with cameras like the Sony A9? I got my spiffy new OM Digital Solutions OM1 camera in early March 2022, and have been wanting to try it out on some intensive bird in flight action. Once the half-term and having fun with Grandkids period was over, I …2022/04/25Equipment tests2022-04-25 17:41:07
Getting the best from On1 Photo Raw and Lightroom ClassicOn1 Photo Raw is a post processing program that in my opinion exceeds the capabilities of Lightroom Classic in many ways. It’s become my default software for both birds in flight and landscape/seascape work. However, I have been using Lightroom classic for 15 years and it houses my complete portfolio and provides unmatched workflow and metadata capabilities and is the …2022/04/03Technique2022-04-03 16:01:18
Olympus OM1 compared to Nikon Z7 for long exposure photographyI currently own both the Olympus OM1 and the Nikon Z7. Recently, while waiting for my OM1 to arrive, I spent a week in Cornwall doing long exposure photography of the sea and waterfalls with the Z7. I was struck by how primitive the Z7 was compared to Olympus cameras for this kind of work, and in this post I …2022/03/30Equipment analysis, Equipment tests2022-03-30 16:25:34
Olympus OM1 equals Nikon Z7 in long exposure photography noise testsIn addition to birds in flight, I do a lot of long exposure photography of the sea and rivers. A good way to assess the long exposure performance of a camera is to take long exposure dark frame shots. I recently tested the dark frame performance of the new OM1, and as a matter of interest compared it to the …2022/03/29Equipment tests2022-03-29 08:48:13
Why I prefer Olympus 4/3 to Sony full frame for Birds in FlightOver the last two years I have been trying to find the camera system that best meets my needs for birds in flight photography, particularly looking at Sony full frame and Olympus four thirds camera systems. I’ve written 10 posts with detailed information on this topic but to find a logical route through them is now something of a challenge …2022/03/12Featured Post, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2022-03-12 11:35:23
New Lightroom workflow for improved high frame rate bird photographyLightroom is a wonderful product, and I am wedded to it, but it does not provide a complete environment for post processing of high frame rate bird photography. In this post I describe a new workflow to address this special requirement, which reverses the normal direction. High frame rate bird photography What do I mean by high frame rate? Well …2022/03/08Technique2022-03-08 18:52:18
Effect of teleconverters and light level on Olympus Pro lenses for for birds in flightI have always wondered which Olympus Pro lens and teleconverter combination is best for birds in flight (BIF) in terms of focus accuracy. Last year I did some extended tests (over 11,000 shots) of EM1x wth the the 300mm f4 and the 40-150 f2.8 plus the TC 1.4 and 2.0 to see what combination came out on top. The results …2022/03/07Equipment tests2022-03-07 13:16:33
EM1x test, great results with ProCapture and Bird AI trackingLast year I did an EM1x test of Gannets landing at Bempton cliffs wildlife reserve in the UK using ProCapture and Bird recognition tracking, and got some great results. I took 4382 shots of Gannets landing in 61 minutes, of which 3325 (76%) were in focus. More importantly, because of the Olympus technologies used, 398 (12%) of all those in …2022/03/07Equipment tests, Photo shoots2022-03-07 10:33:48
AF for birds in flight with the Sony A9 and the 200-600 zoomIn prior posts I have presented data about AF for birds in flight with the Sony A9 and the 200-600 zoom. I have shown that in challenging conditions , the system did not perform at the 90% accuracy level some claim. In this post I want to look at some aspects of the system to explore why this might be …2021/01/17Equipment analysis, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2021-01-17 11:04:37
Sony 200-600 zoom: 4 cameras, two lensesThis is a summary of all the work I have done on Sony cameras and the Sony 200-600 zoom lens in 2020. I  tested 4 cameras and two copies of the  lens. These tests have involved checking the focus accuracy and/or focus point position of around 6000 photographs Sony 200-600 zoom: 4 cameras, two lenses: results summary Here are the …2021/01/16Equipment tests, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2021-01-16 12:23:57
Sony A9 focus accuracy – birds in flight hit rateIn an earlier post I compared the Sony A9 focus accuracy with that of the Olympus EM1x to get a comparative birds in flight hit rate. It has caused a certain amount of incredulity or outright dismissal on various forums around the world, particularly those oriented towards Sony cameras. Like Trump supporters and the US elections, some enthusiasts cannot accept …2021/01/14Equipment tests, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2021-01-14 12:01:09
Sony a6400 for birds in flightWhat is the actual performance of Sony a6400 for birds in flight? The Sony A6400 and A6600 have been described by some as mini A9 cameras, inheriting many aspects of that camera’s advanced autofocus system. They also have the advantage of a crop sensor which gives you extra reach when shooting birds in flight. The A6400 in particular is also …2021/01/13Equipment tests, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2021-01-13 17:33:47
APSC vs Olympus noise and dynamic range -which is best?While many photographers are under the impression that the Olympus Pro cameras have poor noise quality, they do not think the same about competitive APSC cameras or full frame cameras used in crop mode. Here we will compare APSC vs Olympus cameras for noise and dynamic range. A quick definitional note here: I use APSC as the acronym for crop …2021/01/12Equipment analysis, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2021-01-12 18:50:31
Post-processing workflow for birds in flightHere is a quick run through of my post-processing workflow for birds in flight. It is designed to get the best possible final images of birds, which directly out of the out-of-camera are frequently noisy, heavily cropped, and at the focal limit of the lens. These images need all the help they can get, and this is how I try …2021/01/10Technique2021-01-10 12:53:04
Noise and DR roundup for Sony A9 and EM1xI have posted several earlier articles about noise and dynamic range (DR) compared between the the Olympus EM1x and the Sony A9. They have created quite a lot of controversy in various camera enthusiast forums. It’s a very emotive subject it appears. It’s not just Sony enthusiasts who have a problem with the data. Many Olympus owners cannot accept that …2021/01/07Equipment analysis, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2021-01-07 22:08:35
EM1x update on firmware 2 bird AF operation and settingsThere is some recent news about EM1x bird AF settings, both on how it works, and using a 25 point grid. This has come from several sources, including a couple of YouTube videos, so I thought it might be useful for EM1x fans to put it all together in this short post. EM1x firmware 2 bird AF – how it …2021/01/05Equipment analysis2021-01-05 17:15:43
Multi-lens speed and noise comparison of EM1x to Sony A9In this post I make a lens speed and noise comparison between the EM1x and the A9 across the whole range of lenses that a professional or high-level amateur might use, including matched pairs of images from each camera at a range of ISO levels so that you can see for yourself what the differences are. In an earlier post, …2021/01/05Equipment analysis, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2021-01-05 13:33:14
EM1x and firmware 2 – great owl results with Pro CaptureI recently tested the EM1x and firmware 2.0 at the Hawk Conservancy Trust (HCT). Shooting owls with the new bird AI tracking system and Pro Capture was a revelation. Here are some examples and the settings I used. Owls at the HCT For the winter months at the HTC, the order and content of the displays has changed. From being …2020/12/27Photo shoots2020-12-27 12:29:07
Depth of field for birds in flight – good or bad?Many camera enthusiasts see the wide depth of field (DoF) inherent to Olympus cameras, as a disadvantage. In my humble opinion, wide DoF is a positive advantage for landscape photography, for street, and above all, for birds in flight. Shallow DoF is mostly of use in portraiture, and there is no problem at all in achieving it with the Olympus …2020/12/23Equipment analysis2020-12-23 17:40:37
Dynamic Range on Olympus vs Sony cameras for birds in flightIn other articles I have compared focus accuracy and noise between the Sony A9 and Olympus EM1x cameras, This time I’ll look at Dynamic Range on Olympus vs Sony, specifically when photographing birds in flight (BIF). Note: All Olympus lenses follow the micro four thirds (MFT) standard, which means that they have a full frame equivalent (FFE) focal length of …2020/12/22Equipment analysis, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2020-12-22 18:35:02
Noise on Olympus vs Sony cameras for birds in flightMost Internet and YouTube pundits look only at the sensor performance when comparing image quality on the Olympus system with other cameras. But it is called a system for a reason. The cameras, lenses, weather sealing, computational photography features, and stabilisation together all make up the Olympus system, and enable it to compete as an equal with every other camera …2020/12/21Equipment analysis, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2020-12-21 22:30:09
EM1x and new firmware 2.0 operation for birds in flightThis is a description of my approach to the EM1x and firmware 2.0 operation when shooting birds in flight. It’s not designed to be a fully comprehensive guide, but it does contain many tips I have learned to extract the very best out of this camera system. I am not going to describe the detail of installing and setting up …2020/12/20Technique2020-12-20 13:33:17
New EM1x firmware 2.0 focus tests for Birds in FlightThe EM1x firmware 2.0 update now has the ability for the AF system to recognise and track birds. For all current and prospective EM1x owners, there is great interest in how effectively it works. Now it is available, I’ve done some testing at my usual locations to get some preliminary insights. Camera testing with EM1x firmware 2.0 I have taken …2020/12/19Equipment tests2020-12-19 13:29:05
Sony A9 vs Olympus E-M1x focus accuracy testsAll through the summer and autumn of 2020 I have been testing the Olympus E-M1x and E-M1iii with the 300mm and 40-150 plus TC against all the main Sony cameras (A9, A7r3, A7r4, A6400, plus 200-600 Sony 5.6-6.3). This has mostly been at the Hawk Conservancy Trust (HCT) in Hampshire, UK. The HTC birds are  vultures, falcons, kestrels, owls, eagles …2020/12/15Equipment tests, Sony vs Olympus comparisons2020-12-15 14:54:11
Did YouTube damage the camera industry?YouTube has become the primary medium for potential camera buyers to get information. Manufacturers have recently focused their attention for new announcements almost exclusively on YouTube pundits. However YouTubers need specialised video features, and this has massively distorted development of of cameras for photography in recent years. Has this been a bad thing for photographers? How did we get here? …2020/11/21Camera marketplace2020-11-21 12:47:32
The lessons from owning too many camerasThe photography software that I use, Adobe Lightroom has a useful feature where you can see in tabular form which cameras, lenses, shutter speed, focal length etc you used. One day, I had every photograph selected and noticed that the camera list was pretty long. It turned out that I have used 56 different cameras since the early 2000s. This …2020/11/18Photography insights2020-11-18 11:42:10
The decline of the professional photographerIn the 20th century, when film was king and digital had not yet arrived, printed magazines such as Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, and the Sunday glossies were the primary means by which the general public saw great photographs. In the 21st century, magazine publishing has gone the same way as film emulsions, and the role and business model of the …2020/11/12Camera marketplace2020-11-12 17:50:33
The trials of being a Camera manufacturerTwo powerful trends are currently turning the established camera manufacturers inside out and upside down.  These unique business conditions are creating a challenge for almost every manufacturer, and it is likely many will not survive. Smartphones gut the market Firstly, the dominance of smartphones has meant that the simple point and shoot camera marketplace which used to be the volume …2020/11/10Camera marketplace2020-11-10 11:29:21
How Sony became the Kodak of the 21st centuryIn the 20th century, the giant of photography was Kodak. In 1976, Kodak sold 90 percent of the photographic film in the US and 85 percent of the cameras; 10 years later it still employed 145,000 people. All cameras used photographic film in those days, most of them used Kodak. In 1975, Kodak invented the digital sensor, and over the …2020/11/09Camera marketplace2020-11-09 18:01:28
Are real cameras dead?Why have a camera as opposed to a smartphone? For most people, including me, the vast majority of photographs are taken with a smartphone.  That includes just about every photograph of family, almost all travel photographs and almost every photograph of documents or meter readings etc. So why have a camera at all? The revelation to me over the last …2020/11/09Photography insights2020-11-09 12:15:12
The Sony AR74 and the Sony 200-600 f5.6-6.3 lens, a non-functional combination for birds in flight?I have taken approximately 2000 birds in flight shots with the Sony AR74 and the Sony 200-600 and obtained a miserably low number of in-focus images. Changing the lens has made almost no difference. Although some photographers have achieved apparently good results, many have experienced the same problems that I have found. For some owners, like me, this seems to …2020/05/24Equipment tests2020-05-24 17:50:55
State of the systemsHere’s an overview of state of the systems that I currently have, by usage type, together with the reasons I made those choices. People/Street photographs: Olympus E-M1 Mark iii with Olympus 75mm f-1.8. A fantastic combination with function unobtainable with any other camera system or lens. The light weight and unobtrusive size of the Olympus body together with the super …2020/04/24Photography insights2020-04-24 18:10:51
Is the ( Really Right Stuff) RRS BH 40 ball head worth the money?Quick background.  Ball heads are an essential part of the tripod equation if you need to steady your camera for landscape, long exposure or portrait work.  Really Right Stuff (RRS) established a reputation for their ball-heads as the best there is amongst the web-based photography pundits.  They cost a small fortune, and don’t look wildly different from any other competitive …2015/05/03Equipment tests2015-05-03 10:08:45
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