14 Days and 4 Cameras.

Started Apr 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
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CollBaxter
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14 Days and 4 Cameras.
Apr 29, 2013

I Though I would give my impressions on the use of 4 camera for 14 days in some fairly hostile conditions.

Well I normally do a SA game park most years this time I went to Namibia for 2 weeks.  It was a great trip in sometimes tough conditions.  I took my Olympus DSLR's and a Canon PS.

The Equipment was E-5/30/620 and a Canon 220SX . The lenses where50-200 / 12-60 / 50-500/ 18-180 / 105 Macro and Rikonon 8mm FE and a lot of other junk.

I used the E-5 a lot with the 12-60 and the E-30 with bigma for long shoots for a lot of the general pictures. In the park I intended to swap the roles but that did not happen as I expected. The E-620 was used by my wife in auto mode which she enjoyed using ( I think goodbye E-620 )  I will be claiming all the good ones though as I did use it once or twice.  

As to equipment performance well It all went very well except for the E-5. The E-30/620 did their  normal Stirling work  but I had hassles with the E-5. Half way through the trip the view finder display and top plate display stopped working and then worked intermittently (I think its a ribbon cable issue) . I the lost the EP-6 (Twice) , I am going to replace it with a EP-9 which fits far better.  I also put the E-5 strap on the E-30 (Looks better) so that I could hang it over my shoulder and hold the E-5 with grip in hand. One of those cheap rubbish plastic strip fasteners broke (Yea I know there have been complaints about them but who listens. ) the camera fell from shoulder high  and I  bounced the E-30 and 12-60 amongst  some rock. Fortunately no damage. OK I will verify don't use the E-5 strap.

I then had to use the E-5 blind with no displays other than the back LCD. This has got me thinking about future equipment. I did not realise how important a decent optical viewfinder/viewfinder  is especially in these conditions and if you  don't have one on your main line camera. You don't realise it but you seem to automatically  gather info from the viewfinder without really looking at it. Due to the changing harsh light it was imperative to see what you where shooting and what the light and light colour is. This same light made the back panel virtually  useless so I was shooting blind a lot of the time,  just using the viewfinder as a focus confirmation and a framing device.  So no viewfinder no go. I tried  someone's new fuji camera with EVF and in those conditions it was bloody terrible and lied the whole time as to brightness and colour it seemed to lose the contrast in the bright condition. It  was difficult to read so again the need for the optical viewfinder as even the E-620 was brilliant compared to it.  I eventually used the good old E-30 as the main camera and the E-5 as an AUX camera.

I did have fun with the PS camera. I put it in program mode and banged away. Again the display was useless , the zooming very slow and stepped , the shoot rate terrible, bad framing  , the pop up flash that keeps on wanting to pop up (I put gaffer tape on it) but it did what I wanted for the arb shoots ( slowly.) and when I did not want to carry a camera or bag.  Exposure and WB quite good although I did dial in some neg exposure.

I have come to the conclusion that this thing about smaller camera and less weight etc as a crock of @#%$#@#.  I will use 2 cameras a big one that is comfortable in my hands as it was carried around 12hrs a day , the other is a decent PS with a decent zoom which is fairly fast and it must fit into my pocket ( Preferably my top pocket as the SX220 does)  it's no good being small if I can't fit it into my pocket otherwise  I want something I can hang onto and it must be comfortable with  easy access to buttons and controls without having to look at the camera.

And now to the technical side.

I found the E-5/30 underexposing a lot in the bright light and had to dial in + compensation. As to white balance well I did not take a grey card with me and tried to used the white paper thing but that was a disaster.  I think the presets are set for northern hemisphere as they don't work that accurately in our harsh light. I think it would have been better to use Auto/WB. Strangely in the E-620 which was set to full auto the WB was much more accurate. I do shoot jpg/raw so I can recover.  I did use Auto ISO a lot and the camera was always trying to use lowest  ISO. When people recon 1/4000s is sufficient they have not shoot in our conditions.  On occasion  I was shooting at  ISO100 1/8000s and had to stop the lens down.

As to camera 's other where using  generally . There are a lot of German tourists in Namibia as  German is the third language a lot of the tourists were of the older generation so maybe this is a trend on camera purchases in Germany .  There were a lot of PS camera's . There were quite a few  bridge type camera's. DSLR where carried by the younger generation or more agile or the more serious   photographers  . There was even a Sigmonster about.  As to mirror less and specifically m4/3 I did see a few but they were mainly Panasonics ( Olympus she was not big   total = 0) . I saw very few Cell phone cameras being used other than for the happy snappy around the pool etc . So as much as others would like us to believe nothing has changed over the years the cell phone camera has not taken over from the PS in this environment and mirror less has  not taken over from the DSLR.  What was interesting  was number  the SLR type Bridge camera like the fujis with super zooms.  Actually it makes sense these people want a camera they can hold with a single lens.  So when the chips are down and you are taking pictures that you really want and can't afford to screw up the Cell Phone camera becomes a Cell Phone / face book / MPS Players / social media device again.

I will be posting a lot of the pictures naturally but it's going to take a while as I have my laptop stolen through my study window which had all the semi organized pictures on it. ( I hope the thief gets haemorrhoids and his arm pits are infested by the fleas of a thousand camels , I won't wish some social  disease  on him as he probably has it any way. ). I also had all the gps data on it. I had fortunately uploaded all my picture to the portable drive (100gb , Less GPS data)  but it's a mess and it going to take awhile . I will also have to reprocess the raws for underexposure and WB.

Anyway long winded as usual but that's it.

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Collin
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 CollBaxter's gear list:CollBaxter's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Olympus E-500 Olympus E-30 Olympus E-620 Olympus E-5 +15 more
Olympus E-30 Olympus E-5 Olympus E-620 Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
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