Tom Caldwell

Lives in Australia Coffs Harbour NSW, Australia
Works as a Retired
Has a website at
Joined on Feb 19, 2002


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On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1238 comments in total)

The articulating lcd gives me an excuse to wait and see if I am overwhelmed by some other camera body in the next year or so. Otherwise I am overwhelmed. It is a camera with the mostest. But I have an excuse not to rush in.

Link | Posted on Nov 24, 2016 at 21:42 UTC as 90th comment | 1 reply
On article Ultimate OM-D: Olympus E-M1 Mark II Review (1238 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jon Schick: I really struggle with the price.

Currently the Pentax K-1 costs less than the E-M1 in the UK, and kills it for photo quality. The Fuji XT2 is a compelling buy for less than the E-M1 and also offers better image quality (and good video which is not a Pentax strength).

So if I wanted (and could afford) to spend that kind of money on a weatherproof camera for stills photography, unless the difference in size was a big issue (and the K-1 isn't too much of a beast anyway) I know what I'd buy - the Pentax. If size and/or video were more important then it would be the Fuji.

The E-M1 mark ii looks like a very capable machine and good upgrade from the original (which I really liked) but I think the price is very ambitious given that ultimately its image quality can't compete with the best of the competition (some of which is considerably cheaper).

How many lenses does one have? Replacing a bunch of them for a slightly cheaper camera body is hardly the choice of a thinking person. One kit lens - go for your life :)

Link | Posted on Nov 24, 2016 at 21:38 UTC

Very fair comment on the articulating screen - not everyone's cup of tea - I think I am more a slow stills photographer :) Very still.

It did occur to me that that a left handed user could better manage that touch screen folded out. Camera body in right hand and work the lcd touch screen with a finger from the left hand - the "crossover" grip illustrated looks awkward.

Link | Posted on Nov 22, 2016 at 09:56 UTC as 21st comment
On article Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85/G80 Review (677 comments in total)

Panasonic seem to have "got the message" that the future of M4/3 is in more compact bodies. From this observation it might seem that the G85 is more a replacement for the GH4 model and the GX8 than just an upgrade of the G7.

If you can put all the features of a larger physical body in a smaller but quite usable form format and sell it for a lower RRP then it is win, win, win ....

But it is not going to satisfy those that really wish to own the flagship model of any camera brand. I suppose that they could just stuff all that makes the G85 such a nice camera into a larger body shell and add some shiny finishing moulding to make it pretty. And charge significantly more .... :)

Link | Posted on Oct 31, 2016 at 20:15 UTC as 90th comment | 2 replies
On article Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85/G80 Review (677 comments in total)
In reply to:

MikeGre: What are the noise reduction settings? How much can you dial the NR down? It might be better to just shoot in RAW 100% of the time. However, it will require extra time to do conversion in post.

If it is anything like the GX7 and GM series - go to first menu "Photo Style" and turn the noise reduction settings to -5 for each style. I don't know how well this works but I have set it this way for all my camera bodies. Excessive JPG noise reduction has not been a bother for me.

Link | Posted on Oct 31, 2016 at 20:04 UTC
On article Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85/G80 Review (677 comments in total)

"dpreview" officially "likes" the so called "fully articulating screen". I feel this is more than a little biased. Of the two common types of articulated screens neither is perfect and both come with good and bad points.

If the sum of the good points suits then the fully articulated screen wins hands down for those that particularly like them. On the other hand many still prefer the simpler tilting lcd screen and the fully articulating screen can drive them to the point of insanity.

No amount of preferring the fully ariculated lcd screen by dpreview wll convince those that like tilt screens that they are in fact better. But a constant barrage of dpreview journalism might help convince manufacturers that all their cameras should have fully articulated screens to be perfect. If this became so then it would be a poor result for camera design. There is room for a mix of both screen types in order to provide a choice for users. At least Panasonic provides the GX85 for those others.

Link | Posted on Oct 31, 2016 at 20:01 UTC as 92nd comment | 15 replies
On article Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85/G80 Review (677 comments in total)

If the G85 is like other recent Panasonic cameras JPG noise reduction can be adjusted for all shooting modes in camera settings.

Link | Posted on Oct 31, 2016 at 19:52 UTC as 94th comment
In reply to:

Poweruser: Ridiculous price

I don't think they will be made as a toy for everybody with a few spare dollars. But it should be noted that Sigma already makes a very useful and capable Circular Fisheye DC EX 4.5mm f2.8 in EF mount that will work full function on M4/3 with a Metabones electronic adapter. For those in a rush and with less money to spend the lens is here and now and will be not only cheaper but the adapter can also be used for other EF lenses as well.

Link | Posted on Oct 24, 2016 at 21:47 UTC
In reply to:

Jefftan: "many GR lovers, it's a very emotional attachment. That's why we need to listen to customers about where we should go.』"

Most wanted in order of importance
1. Weather seal
2. in body 5 axis IS
3. brighter aperture like F2
4. wider lens like 24mm
5. 24 MP copper sensor as in A6300

Please Ricon, #1 most important, give all of us (the whole photographer community) a large sensor weather seal camera

All they need to do is to give us an update GXR camera back with built in evf and a professional level shot buffer. These were the two biggest GXR weaknesses. I am sure that everyone that still has GXR modules would buy one and be in business straight away.

Surely this most basic, relatively low investment, step is so obvious it hurts?

Create a mount module for PK lenses and preferrably M4/3 (for the lens variety) and if a FF mount module for Leica M was on the cards then Ricoh's genius for innovation would be set in concrete.

No need for us to ask for the earth.

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2016 at 22:46 UTC
In reply to:

zakaria: What about many versions of GR like what Sigma did with dp models.
GR with 14 mm f 4. GR with 35 mm f 1.8. GR with 70 mm f 2.4.
I prefer to buy 14 mm and 35 mm versions. Forgot to mention the sensor must be APS-C and the body comes with built-in VF. Ricoh is working for premium. OK this body is a premium for me.

Proof provided - "I want and I wish to be selective" - impossible. These become bespoke hand built objects in small production runs and Ricoh cannot be set up to make goods in that manner. R&D for one particular design - guess $100,000 - front up the crowd funding and anyone will make it.

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2016 at 22:37 UTC
In reply to:

Rob890: How about a new GXR. I think they really had something there if only they supported it some more

Yep, the GXR looked like it was just about "getting there" and then it was abandoned for the Pentax Q and the K-01. Enough said.

The multiple GR camera bodies will never work because you couldn't get a dozen GR owners in the same room to agree on what lens they needed. Furthermore they would expect every GR lens to collapse into the body just like the A16 zoom lens module for the GXR :). (Great camera, great lens)

For every GR owner that needs a compact camera per lens there is a Panasonic GM1 winking at them and if they truly need an evf as well then there is the GM5 per lens. The GXR winked and went because the world thought it "odd".

In other words would-be multiple GR camera owners are just wishers who want to buy one specific version of their personal choice - hardly something to give Ricoh the confidence to design and make them. They just think of the innovative GXR experience and shudder.

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2016 at 22:33 UTC
In reply to:

Tungsten Nordstein: I never see Ricoh listening.

GR/GRD line:

Drop the CMOS. It just makes your results look like all the others. Plastic, smooth and Boring. Go back to CCD.

Forget video. It's nice but not at the expense of good stills.

Drop all the Pentax-like extras you dumped on the GR. All those Tx modes. A, M , P – that's all we need.

Don't listen to people who want swivel LCDs on compacts.

If you had been on the ball you would have remade the original GR1 digitally with no LCD and the same ultra fast phase-detect AF as the GR1 had. Pity Leica beat you to it.

The GRD 1 was your best digital camera. Don't forget that.


Bring back the GXR. For heaven's sake, was Pentax worth the cost of losing that much loved line?


While we're at it. bring back the GR1. People are getting tired of digital and we need a good compact film camera of the GR1 stature.

Tungsten, well said. Pentax imagination destroyed Ricoh imagination none of it for the better. Now they make products because they think that there is a market for them with the emphasis on "think". Great product though, but at the cost of the death of other great Ricoh product with the Ricoh signature on it.

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2016 at 22:23 UTC

I am a Ricoh fan. Pity that I have abandoned the dslr concept, have no modern Pentax lenses, not interested in Medium Format, am also not interested in 360 degree images and my GR is working fine and will do for many more years. Maybe the GXR line concept can be resurrected but no mention was made.

All very bullish about what they can do but I would be a little more concerned that quite a few others would not share this enthusiasm.

Link | Posted on Sep 29, 2016 at 22:18 UTC as 5th comment | 2 replies
On article Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Olympus OM-D E-M1 II (657 comments in total)
In reply to:

itaibachar: Oly needs to rethink their naming strategy.
It used to be OM-1, 2 etc.
Now its a weird bunch of letters and odd numbers.

We all know what giving someone the old "one-two" means.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2016 at 05:36 UTC
On article Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Olympus OM-D E-M1 II (657 comments in total)

I don't like the fully articulated screen to the point it is a deal breaker for me. Has Olympus decided that fully articulated LCD screens are now an "Olympus signature"?

Have the managed to put two batteries in the grip? as having to remove the grip to replace the inner one is idiotic.

Have they reworked the menu system that has been growing like Topsy and quite out of control.

Nice camera but I am afraid I am not a videographer and I can already create more images with the E-M1 than I can rationally deal with. I need even more images like a hole in the head. It is not necessarily good to be able to gather images like confetti.

Two SD cards? Why not just one larger card?

Think, think ... oh and the body still has too many buttons on the back plate with to little to do. Olympus should check out the other brands who seem to actually make fewer buttons do more things quite gracefully.

Link | Posted on Sep 21, 2016 at 05:32 UTC as 44th comment | 14 replies
On article Olympus PEN E-PL8 First Impressions Review (101 comments in total)

Much is made of hipsters and new users. But the GF7/8 was for new users and hipsters coming to Panasonic. But it seems that hipsters still prefer their "free" latest model mobile phones to hipster fashion cameras. Furthermore they might not know where the lens release button was let alone find the need to swap a lens out.

The proof in the pudding is that despite the efforts of the marketing departments real camera users prefer their small cameras to be solid, well made, proper cameras like the GM series and not fashion statements.

Would I be seen dead clutching a fashionable PL-8? Not very likely.

Link | Posted on Sep 20, 2016 at 01:20 UTC as 27th comment | 2 replies

4K video, super high frame rate and slow motion movie are not very high on my needs agenda. I must be maturing.

What makes or breaks a camera for me is if it is actually nice to use. Sony can pack all the tech into a camera it chooses but until it makes a camera that I actually like using it is all uphill for my custom.

Maybe the M5 isn't too bad at all ....

Link | Posted on Sep 19, 2016 at 06:57 UTC as 117th comment | 1 reply
On article Canon EOS M5: What you need to know (563 comments in total)
In reply to:

graybalanced: Those posting this will sell well are correct. It's just a good camera, and with the kit lens it will sell very well into the kit lens crowd (Costco etc.)

I'm almost sold on it, I like it a lot. My only two misgivings are the limited lens selection compared to other mirrorless platforms, and 4K video. If I want to wait, I'm sure that situation will get better with the next generation. But if the reviews come back glowing enough, maybe I won't wait until the next generation.

Don't suggest that the lens selection includes connecting my massive constant aperture Canon EF/EF-S zooms with an adapter. To me that doesn't count because most of the reason I'm going mirrorless is to save space and weight for travel.

Has mirrorless always to be about saving weight for travel?

There are plenty of smaller format mirrorless systems (think M4/3) - what sells best? The biggest body that can have a hand wrapped around it. If you have EF lenses then any saving is a plus and a smaller body is one of them but why do we have them? Because EF lenses are good.

So small-body, large-body? who cares if the idea is to use EF lenses?

Link | Posted on Sep 17, 2016 at 06:54 UTC
On article Canon EOS M5: What you need to know (563 comments in total)
In reply to:

Richard Franiec: Finally, M5 looks like nice, capable all purpose camera from Canon. Compact body with what appear to be a nice ergonomics and UI. I can see it as my next travel cam since I already have lenses i need for it (via adapter).
It is a great addition to already excellent Fuji and top M4/3 offerings making our choices harder but not for someone who already invested in excellent Canon optics, like myself.

I agree, the meat is in the EF lenses that will be used and the focal reduction lenses in the adapter that will supercharge them. Are Sony and M4/3 mount cameras going to be the only ones that can focal reduce EF lenses on to smaller sensors? Forget the EF-M lenses it will be twenty years before the range comes anywhere near that offered by EF lenses. Remember EF-S - how many lenses in how many years?

Link | Posted on Sep 17, 2016 at 06:49 UTC
On article Canon EOS M5: What you need to know (563 comments in total)

I might wait for the focal reduction adapter for EF lenses to turn this little baby into a real powerhouse.

Link | Posted on Sep 17, 2016 at 06:38 UTC as 27th comment | 1 reply
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