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Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 10-06-2020, 07:01 AM  
The Zeiss Zx1 at ..... $6,000
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 12
Views: 502
One-offs like this never wok, imho. The technology is beyond the average camera/optical outfit, and often so is the marketing. Sales are modest. Soon the manufacturer is losing interest, updates and bug fixes slide and within 18-24 months the item is on its way to paperweight status. I can see this idea working as a new camera OS but only when launched as a consortium platform with some big players on board, and with the expertise, size and funding to build out something longer term.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-30-2020, 04:11 PM  
Really tempted to get an Olympus 0M-D M-M1X kit.
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 13
Views: 725
The EM!-X is a very good camera. I have one. But imho it is a big beast and really designed for long telephotos and sports-type photography, so the Oly 300mm f4 or 40-150mm f2.8 would be an ideal pairing, for example. For more 'normal' focal lengths you will get similar performance and many of its features from an EM1 Mark III in a much smaller form factor. The EM1 Mark II is also a good alternative to the Mark III though obviously with slightly older tech. However, same sensor so similar output, just less tweaked. They are all good cameras provided you accept that a smaller sensor will not perform quite so well in low light, but then you won't be lugging around a heavy and costly FF-calibre lens either. As with all cameras, it is a trade-off - great for some, not for others.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 03-14-2020, 02:06 PM  
Going into Micro Four Thirds - I'm getting an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 120
Views: 5,525
Yes. I think it is important to bear in mind that AF performance is dependent on the integration of the whole system - lens, camera, camera's electronics. More recent cameras often do have an advantage here. They are using more powerful processors, the latest AF software, and often quite recent lenses with very fast motors. An example is the sophisticated tracking AF on some cameras but then you may have to pay a lot for that, if you want the best - far more than any Pentax camera costs.

Obviously Pentax is not competing in this market, or so it seems to me. if you need top tracking AF and the fastest-focusing modern lenses then Pentax is not really the brand to choose. But many people don't need that and have no intention of ever needing it. And if you don't need that then top AF performance isn't really relevant and it doesn't matter if your lens is an older model. It will still work fine within its design parameters for its intended purpose, and if you can't get things to work within those parameters then the problem is likely between the ears, not in the camera. it's all about horses for course, imho. FWIW, I hardly ever use AF tracking on my Olympus camera. I simply don't need to because I don't photograph the kinds of things for which tracking is designed. AF-C is plenty good enough for what I do and still allows for quite a bit of movement in the frame. What I need is fast AF acquisition and lock and then shutter release, which is not quite the same as tracking.

Goes to show one needs to think through getting any camera. Is it suitable for my intended purpose? Is it a jack of all trades or a specialist item? No one would by a Fuji GX medium format intending to shoot horse-racing at speed unless they are nuts. But for other things - landscape, fashion, portraiture - it is superb. Because it was designed with that kind of photography in mind. Ditto Pentax in its own spheres, notably of landscape and the 'field camera' but also extending into general purpose and travel, especially on crop format.

I suppose a potentially tricky exception here is face- and eye-detect AF which seems to be becoming a kind of general expectation in cameras. But like tracking, of which it is a variety, that too depends on both a well-integrated system and the company designing those kinds of cameras for that kind of market. Suppose the company doesn't? Well that's fine. One presumes the company is designing its cameras for a different kind of use. Same with top-spec video. Not all cameras are designed with that in mind. Just do the research before buying. Imho, most of the world's most celebrated images were taken on relatively and sometimes very basic cameras by modern standards. And some of the most celebrated images still being taken today are on 10x8 and 5x4 field cameras using fairly long exposures on film. No electronics there at all ...
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 03-07-2020, 01:58 AM  
Going into Micro Four Thirds - I'm getting an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 120
Views: 5,525
Lucky you! Sounds fab. There are various sites and cheat sheets if you Google which explain typical menu settings, AF settings and the like. These will mainly still be for the older EM1 Mark II but most menu items will have stayed the same. An example is Unlocking Olympus. For AF settings here is one site. There are lots of others. In practice I have not found much of an IQ difference between M43 and APS-C especially where IBIS and accurate AF can be used to keep ISO down and images correctly focused. However, the combination of smaller size and full features on the better M43 kit means that my enjoyment and keeper rate have increased. I have a camera with me more often and it delivers good results. There is less leeway for seriously incorrect exposures, though. One wants to try to get that right in camera. FWIW I have made good prints of 45” x 30” from m43. I really don’t need anything larger.

Sulasula is the website of one M43 wildlife photographer. He also has a few tips for settings, AF, post-processing and the like. When I get as good as that maybe I’ll think it’s time to move on, lol.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-27-2020, 02:11 PM  
Going into Micro Four Thirds - I'm getting an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 120
Views: 5,525
I use a lot of Olympus equipment. The 12-100mm f4 is a fine lens and I have one. However, for what you have in mind the real workhorse is probably the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 (80-300mm equiv). This can be safely left on f2.8 while you shoot away. Superb quality at all lengths, built like a tank. I have taken more keepers with this than with any other lens. A 1.4x and a 2x teleconverter are available for it too. Both are quality, potentially extending the lens to 600mm at f5.6 but at that aperture you will want reasonable light. There are other, slower zooms in the Olympus and Panasonic stables but my experience is that with smaller sensors you want the fastest glass you can afford. I’ve found Olympus to be generally excellent and with top WR. Many love Panasonic gear just as much but Oly strikes me as better for action since Panny cameras lack phase detect AF. Two other top lenses which I don't have are the Panny 200mm f2.8 and the Oly 300mm f4.

However, as others have said there are several choices out there and it may be that a Nikon D500 say with an appropriate lens will offer better performance and value, and very possibly superior tracking AF which it sounds as if you will need. Unless you have set your heart on Oly, it would certainly be worth checking out other systems.This might especially apply if you are shooting indoors where low light could be an issue.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 11-11-2019, 04:39 PM  
Olympus Rumours
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 73
Views: 3,118
My understanding is that Olympus is facing litigation in the US because its endoscopes have been implicated - so it is alleged - in superbug outbreaks which have claimed many lives. A really bad result in the courts could blow up Oly’s medical division because of ruinous damages, I guess?? In which case the company becomes a target for corporate vultures, break-up artists, etc. So if the imaging side goes south it could be for reasons elsewhere in the company. But who knows. I don’t think Oly would stop making cameras unless the ship was about to go down or the current management lost control. Imaging is a very important part of their culture. However, they could shrink it down to barebones stuff for long-term loyal customers only, I suppose. That said, it looks as though all the camera companies are facing a fairly similar situation in terms of steep market declines. And if the decline continues it’s pretty unlikely all of them will still be merrily making cameras in say five years’ time.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 07-02-2019, 09:01 AM  
Canon Full Frame Mirrorless $1,299
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 345
Views: 16,857
I doubt Canon and Nikon really expected to set the world on fire. The most lucrative sales will come at the upper end from their professional and prosumer customers, a market that's conservative about sudden changes of direction because it likes to stick to what works and maintain the value/usability of lens portfolios. This will change for sure, but quite slowly. I'm sure Canon and Nikon know that. I've met two professional photographers in the past few days and both had just purchased a Nikon Z6 to add to their arsenal. The advantage, both said, was silent operation through the viewfinder instead of being limited to silent operation via live view off the back of the camera. LV operation is no good for concert/event photography when you're trying to capture the key moments of expression of faces on a stage with a longer lens, for example (which is what both photographers were doing).
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-11-2019, 03:19 AM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 89
Views: 8,154
You're mixing up mirrorless and DLSR. Others make a clearer distinction. As I said, if someone wants something and they can afford it they'll by it, whether an S1R or a $100 million yacht. Outrageous to some, chump change to others. The usage cases and value judgements made by those not in the target audience are irrelevant. The manufacturer only needs enough folks in the segment they're aiming the product towards ...
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-11-2019, 02:56 AM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 89
Views: 8,154
People are always shocked by how much others are prepared to pay for something they want but one doesn't. A $100 million yacht, anyone? All that matters to the manufacturer is that enough of a market does want it and is prepped to pony up. I doubt Panny are expecting to sell oodles of the S1R but as always they only need enough people ... and so far as I can make out, it is a very fine piece of engineering. There is still a lot of money around in some parts of the world, even if not in the old West.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-11-2019, 01:13 AM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 89
Views: 8,154
I’m not in the market for a full-frame camera though I’ve handled both and talked to an FF Panny owner. But if Panny keep up their high standards then next time I need a new mirrorless camera I’ll be looking at their M43 stable. My guess is that ILC photography gear will continue to get steadily more costly as volumes fall and unit costs rise. Unwelcome fact of life, though mitigated by “good enough” - far less need to update the camera more than occasionally.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 06-10-2019, 03:10 PM  
Nikon recommendation: sell! sell! sell!
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 89
Views: 8,154
If I was in the market for a full frame camera I would buy a Panasonic first and a Nikon second. Both fine camera-makers, in fact very fine from many angles. Nikon has a vast and heavily invested user base, in addition, while the Panasonic can use Leica and Sigma lenses. If you want quality then you need to pay for it in either case. Not a surprise. It’s hard to see what the fuss is about.
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 05-30-2019, 06:20 AM  
Could Ricoh make the camera without compromise? (Ricoh-Patent on PDAF and/or CD AF)
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 67
Views: 8,834
It's an intriguing idea but I wonder who would buy it or whether there'd be enough interested Pentax-owners to make it feasible? I suppose this would be selling customers on from the K1 level to the next and newest level, a kind of K1 Mark III with a newer sensor et al inside it too. Presumably Ricoh would do some market research first.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 05-27-2019, 05:53 AM  
Watching dinosaurs - ILC (mirrorless and DSLR) markets
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 67
Views: 4,472
I am no fan of Sony and don’t want a Sony anything in my house. However, one has to give them props for coming in and shaking up a complacent duopoly in a fairly short time. Consumers have benefited, no doubt of it. I’ve no idea whether and to what extent any of the main camera-making companies is really profitable with regard to their digital camera divisions. They employ so much smoke and mirrors in their accounts that it’s hard even for experts to say. I agree with a previous poster, though, about industrial growth. The old assumptions are a bust and a new way of doing things is required.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 05-11-2019, 06:31 AM  
Currently Watching my Managers Failing at Flash Photography
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 30
Views: 1,894
That’s a good start! Thank you very much :)
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 05-11-2019, 12:02 AM  
Currently Watching my Managers Failing at Flash Photography
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 30
Views: 1,894
Anyone recommend a good resource for getting flash photography right? I’ve likely got some coming up in June - people, an event, inside a marquee I would imagine. Walk around snapping guests and groups. It’s neither paid nor pro nor very important but it would be nice to know I was getting it as right as I could.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 04-02-2019, 03:40 AM  
Micro Four Thirds Club
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 3,268
Views: 334,560
A few from me, all with an E-M1 and Oly 40-150mm f2.8:



london-3-270319




london-2-270319




london-1-270319


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Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 03-24-2019, 04:35 AM  
Olympus Leaving Digital Camera Market?
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 145
Views: 9,246
I'd be surprised if Olympus quit their camera business. They are quite like Pentax in that they have a strong base of long-term users, are popular in Japan and are good with new technical ideas and innovations. It could happen of course - a new CEO is about to take over, a new big investor is on board in ValueAct and the company wants to power ahead with its medical products. I'd have thought Olympus will look at other options first, such as streamlining, improving their production methods to obtain economies, even a joint venture with the Chinese to bring some new money on board. We'll see.
Forum: General Photography 02-19-2019, 04:23 AM  
Don McCullin at Tate Britain, London
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 5
Views: 662
I hope this isn't a repeat post, but a heads up to anyone in the UK and perhaps Europe. There is an exhibition in London of the whole life work of Sir Don McCullin.

Don McCullin

Every single image in the exhibition is hand-developed by him. It covers his entire career from early days in 1960s London and Berlin to recent landscapes and a trip to Syria in 2018. Parts of it from his reporting of war and famine are dark and shocking. For myself, I think it is magnificent. Probably also the last chance to see anything like this arranged by the man who shot every negative and then developed every print. A career like McCullin's probably isn't possible any longer so this is also the end of an era, I think. Who else still going could manage something comparable? The expo is huge - allow lots of time - and pretty crowded but well worth it. I plan to go again.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-16-2019, 06:47 AM  
Canon Full Frame Mirrorless $1,299
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 345
Views: 16,857
Beware of the features game, whether by firmware upgrade or from new. All that matters is whether the features work properly, not whether they are just about possible with a following wind. It all depends on whether a camera's electronics and software are powerful enough to do the job. And if not, then it becomes all about ticking the marketing boxes. Do the current Zs have enough processing power in them?
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-15-2019, 11:41 AM  
Canon Full Frame Mirrorless $1,299
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 345
Views: 16,857
Although I agree with you about the capabilities of Olympus, in the end it's a marketing and numbers game in which the odds are heavily weighted in favour of the big three outfits. They can simply outspend everyone else. The big three are fighting to get as many as possible into their systems and moving up the escalator and I would expect all the smaller outfits to get hit pretty hard by the scrapping. They may not go out of business but I could see "zombie mode" for them where they slow their camera businesses to a crawl and concentrate on selling to a core of long-term loyalist users. Most everyone else will migrate to the big three and probably to FF.

I like Olympus for example and they have done very well for me, but I agree with Dan R. that their prices are too high these days at least where I live. Too high, that is, compared to what I can get elsewhere now. And that's the problem. What I can get elsewhere now comes from the big three which have the funds to put in the R&D and then capitalize on economies of scale because they make that many more units of anything. This is really hard for small outfits to do, so they risk ending up looking either overpriced or behind the times or both.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-06-2019, 02:53 AM  
Olympus OMD EM1X coming in January.
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 224
Views: 15,109
The only metric which really matters is how many pixels can you put on that thar bird at acceptable levels of DOF, aperture, speed and ISO. It’s a very practical matter, as is the thousands of dollars which unfortunately have to leave one’s bank account to achieve it. The sensor limits on the Oly will be OK for some and not for others. I would certainly rent for a week myself to see where on that scale I really was. I suspect in the end I would plump for the value/IQ compromise and go and see Mr Nikon (D500 + whatever).
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-05-2019, 04:15 AM  
Olympus OMD EM1X coming in January.
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 224
Views: 15,109
Very interesting points. The main one for me is that very good 1" sensors are small enough to allow bridge cameras with huge reach on their fixed lenses - and still deliver good enough quality for a lot of folks. After that, the quality jump although there doesn't become all that distinct till one moves to much larger formats.

However, I'd guess that lens from Oly will still sell quite well. Quite a lot of long-term Oly fans would buy it just as they bought all the uber-expensive 43 items originally, and quite a few folks would also buy it while trading down from the big formats because age or infirmity have made the big stuff too much to handle. That's not uncommon so far as I can see. Sales and IQ don't always align. Provided they can keep things at ISO 1600 or below (3200 in extremis) most m43 owners of a lens like that would probably be OK with it. Of course that's limiting but I'd guess it is simply part of the trade-off.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-29-2019, 08:00 AM  
Canon thinks the camera market will drop by another 50% over the next two years
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 43
Views: 3,019
I'm glad someone who carries some respect and authority spelled it out. Whatever the exact figure turns out to be, the message is pretty clear: camera sales will continue to decline and companies that can will diversity their portfolio of activities away from a shrinking sector. That means fewer, more expensive cameras and less funding into R&D. Crap news really but that's how it is. Stockholders will be relieved, though. This also makes me think folks like the Canon CEO have seen what the mobile folks have coming down the pike in the next few years and don't like the look of it one bit. I'm guessing it is some quite serious computational photography using multiple cameras and a long-awaited but this time effective method of achieving zoom/telephoto range on a smartphone. We will all soon see. In the meantime, this won't effect our pleasure in photography one iota, or I hope not.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-27-2019, 04:24 AM  
Olympus OMD EM1X coming in January.
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 224
Views: 15,109
This looks to be an extremely capable camera in some regards and those who really do need what it offers will likely buy it and like it. There won't be many but there will be some.

However, it looks to me as if an important function of the EM1X is to normalize high sticker prices for Olympus. I've seen a post from a connected guy hinting that the sticker price of any EM1 Mark III will be $2K plus and nearer the price of the EM1X if one adds a grip. One can believe this or not. It looks to me, though, as if Oly are desperate to raise the selling prices of their better kit into the $1500-$3000 bracket. Perhaps their forecasts tell them that unless they do the finances of their camera division simply won't work because compared to the big boys their sales are relatively modest. To do this, Oly seem to be concentrating on features, features and more features. The big one with the EM1X seems to be "computational photography" though no one seems entirely sure what that actually means. Thing is, it's not much more than an embryonic promise at the moment and within a couple of years all the main outfits will be offering their own takes on various computational tricks. The most successful one so far is face/eye tracking and to date that's been done best by Sony.

I like Oly kit a lot and M43 does some things very very well indeed, but I'm not sure the future looks all that bright for it at the moment. The risk is that as the FF ceiling gets lower, with entry-level FF costing less and less, Oly's pricing is going to leave them high and dry. The killer, I suspect, would be a simpler Canon EOS R model costing say $1500 allied to some variable-aperture consumer zooms which could be quite modest in size and cost. I'd guess that's quite likely within a couple of years.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 01-25-2019, 10:32 AM  
Olympus OMD EM1X coming in January.
Posted By mecrox
Replies: 224
Views: 15,109
I agree. Possibly mixed marketing messages here. One can understand the nod to sports in Japan because they could pull in some folks who want a good camera for the upcoming Olympics. But elsewhere, wildlife and rugged outdoorsy stuff rule, one would think. For top sports stuff I'd have though one would look for clean, quality files at 6400 or more with a fast enough shutter to freeze movement and wide enough aperture both to enable that and to enable good subject isolation. Doesn't sound as if this camera would find that easy at all, both because of sensor limits and because Oly don't have (yet, anyway) an array of fast long telephoto lenses.

It's clear this camera has some real quality features to it, though, and in some respects it is very, very capable. But my guess would be that the market just won't take to anything M43 at around the $3K mark. There's too much competition these days from the big boys and some of their wares are no more or even less costly. I hope Oly didn't sink too much money into this because it's quite hard to see them making it back.
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