Helen

Helen

Lives in United Kingdom United Kingdom
Joined on Aug 13, 2001

Comments

Total: 35, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Nikon D5600 DSLR announced, though not in the US (299 comments in total)
In reply to:

Helen: I have a D5500 and it's a nice, compact DSLR with generally impressive image quality. I notice this in the announcement: "In addition, the touch Fn function so popular with the D5500 has been expanded to support the enabling and disabling of auto ISO sensitivity control, and operation with viewfinder shooting has also been improved."

Certainly the inaccessibility of the Auto ISO sensitivity control is currently odd on the D5500, as it's not very intuitive to get at. Would surely have been possible to fix it on the D5500 with a firmware update, though.

I wonder what the "operation with viewfinder shooting has been improved" refers to? It would be nice if it was a fix for the strangely under-illuminated data display in the viewfinder, though again, less useful if it is only for the new D5600, and perhaps another thing which could easily be fixed on the D5500 via an adjustment of the firmware.

True, Fuji are very generous with their firmware updates - something I very much appreciate. There is another company which has been behaving similarly, and that is Olympus. Rather like Fuji with the X-T1, the Olympus E-M1 is like a new camera compared with its original release specification, and as with Fuji, the models lower down the range may not have had quite as many updates lavished on them, but still some really rather valuable features have been added. Panasonic will occasionally add a worthwhile new feature, though not to the extent that Fuji and Olympus do.

Link | Posted on Nov 10, 2016 at 23:44 UTC
On article Nikon D5600 DSLR announced, though not in the US (299 comments in total)
In reply to:

Helen: I have a D5500 and it's a nice, compact DSLR with generally impressive image quality. I notice this in the announcement: "In addition, the touch Fn function so popular with the D5500 has been expanded to support the enabling and disabling of auto ISO sensitivity control, and operation with viewfinder shooting has also been improved."

Certainly the inaccessibility of the Auto ISO sensitivity control is currently odd on the D5500, as it's not very intuitive to get at. Would surely have been possible to fix it on the D5500 with a firmware update, though.

I wonder what the "operation with viewfinder shooting has been improved" refers to? It would be nice if it was a fix for the strangely under-illuminated data display in the viewfinder, though again, less useful if it is only for the new D5600, and perhaps another thing which could easily be fixed on the D5500 via an adjustment of the firmware.

It does, actually - it automatically alters in response to the ambient light of the scene above it (I am referring to the shooting data in green below the optical reflex finder's image). Unfortunately, in the D5500 (or is it only some of them, including mine?), the default settings for what it considers to be the appropriate display brightness seem to be unusually low - unless the display array isn't capable of running brighter than the brightest it can muster at present (that would be surprising, though, as practically any other similar model seems to).

Link | Posted on Nov 10, 2016 at 16:24 UTC
On article Throwback Thursday: Olympus C-3040 Zoom (119 comments in total)

I had this one's 2MP sibling, the C-2040z, as my first proper digital camera (it was my second digital after the nice but fixed-lens/no manual control Fuj MX1500). Later on I had the slightly later C-4000z, which was the only way to afford 4MP for me at the time, at the cost of some downgrades (no top LCD, back to an f2.8 lens like the original C-2000z). I really enjoyed using those cameras but don't have them any more as I passed them on to friends.

Link | Posted on Nov 10, 2016 at 13:46 UTC as 66th comment
On article Nikon D5600 DSLR announced, though not in the US (299 comments in total)

I have a D5500 and it's a nice, compact DSLR with generally impressive image quality. I notice this in the announcement: "In addition, the touch Fn function so popular with the D5500 has been expanded to support the enabling and disabling of auto ISO sensitivity control, and operation with viewfinder shooting has also been improved."

Certainly the inaccessibility of the Auto ISO sensitivity control is currently odd on the D5500, as it's not very intuitive to get at. Would surely have been possible to fix it on the D5500 with a firmware update, though.

I wonder what the "operation with viewfinder shooting has been improved" refers to? It would be nice if it was a fix for the strangely under-illuminated data display in the viewfinder, though again, less useful if it is only for the new D5600, and perhaps another thing which could easily be fixed on the D5500 via an adjustment of the firmware.

Link | Posted on Nov 10, 2016 at 13:18 UTC as 45th comment | 5 replies
On article Sony introduces Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 30x travel zoom (80 comments in total)

Info about the HX80: this is effectively the same camera as the HX90 (i.e. the version of the HX90v without the GPS facility) but there are two significant differences. The first is that the HX80 lacks the customisable control ring around the base of the lens that you can assign functions of your choice to with the HX90/HX90v. Linked with this, and perhaps more importantly, though the Sony website specs and therefore the DPR specs state that it has manual focus, it doesn't - no DMF or peaking either. Check the manual. This is a surprise as the previous HX50/HX60 had no lens control ring either, but DID have manual focus and DMF.

Link | Posted on Oct 20, 2016 at 11:54 UTC as 1st comment
In reply to:

Travo: I don't get the huge concern with battery life and mirrorless cameras. People can spend thousands of dollars on a camera and lenses but not $50 on a spare battery?

Worth noting is that the a6300 (and probably the a6500) can operate while charging off a USB battery pack. Handy if you want to do some astrophotography.

True - I am always surprised by the mention of short battery life in mirrorless as though it is some unexpected and inexcusable shortcoming - it's the live view that explains it. Stick a DSLR permanently into live view mode and its battery life would be similar - without the possibility of using an eye-level viewfinder in that mode, too. It's an expected side effect of a useful technology - at least some of the recent models are introducing intelligent power-saving modes that can shut off live view temporarily.

Link | Posted on Oct 18, 2016 at 12:29 UTC

I'll add my comment to the others - unfortunately the FZ1000 didn't have a touchscreen - might be wise to correct that in the comparison table.

Link | Posted on Sep 26, 2016 at 09:11 UTC as 21st comment
On article Leica improves Q functionality with firmware 2.0 (59 comments in total)
In reply to:

Gesture: "The AF system functionality has been changed to allow different sized AF selection areas,"

Bravo. Listening Canon for EOS-M, something Panasonic and Samsung have featured.

And Olympus, Sony, and Fuji have this too (even the Pentax Q, come to think of it). Yes, the EOS M family would really benefit from a resizeable AF target. Given the price of the Leica Q, I was very surprised that it didn't already have a number of the features added by this update - I'd assumed they would be on any camera, these days.

Link | Posted on Jul 27, 2016 at 06:04 UTC
In reply to:

rjalvarez1957: I have a Nikon F2 which appears to have a cloth shutter.

Mais51: Yes, and in fact cloth focal plane shutters continued to be used in many SLRs well into the 1980s - for example by Olympus for all their OM series aside from the weird AF and power focus ones, and Minolta for the XG series and the X700 and its derivatives. Canon used them for the A series until the early to mid eighties, too.

Link | Posted on Jul 2, 2016 at 06:18 UTC
In reply to:

rjalvarez1957: I have a Nikon F2 which appears to have a cloth shutter.

It's very unlikely to be cloth, though, on an F2. They just look like cloth as the titanium foil isn't bare metal - it's coated and has a very matte look to it, which, along with the impressed texture to give it extra strength (which looks like a kind of "weave" pattern), makes it resemble cloth.

Link | Posted on Jul 1, 2016 at 21:17 UTC
On article Design, looks and desire: Olympus does it again (391 comments in total)
In reply to:

Biowizard: Nice article, Damien, but one point of order; quote:

"Olympus generally didn’t use big top-plate shutter speed dials until the OM series of 35mm SLRs"

When the OM-1 arrived, one of its best design features was that, unlike any other SLR, its shutter speed dial was NOT on the top-plate: it was a ring around the lens mount throat. Placing it there meant you could control both shutter speed and aperture from similar locations!

No need to talk to Ivor Matanle to confirm this one - I still have my once-new 1976 Olympus OM-1N and set of 4 prime Zuikos, in full working order!

Brian

Footnote: when I went to buy my Olympus OM-D E-M1 at Park Cameras a couple of years ago, I took the OM-1N with me to compare them. They are so nearly the identical size, and the styling is incredibly similar. Even more so, than with the two Pen-F cameras you are writing about!

To Brian's footnote about the E-M1's resemblance to an OM camera - you should have a close look at an E-M5 II - it gets several steps closer and is a beautiful design (in my opinion, of course).

Link | Posted on Feb 1, 2016 at 23:56 UTC
On article Design, looks and desire: Olympus does it again (391 comments in total)
In reply to:

Biowizard: Nice article, Damien, but one point of order; quote:

"Olympus generally didn’t use big top-plate shutter speed dials until the OM series of 35mm SLRs"

When the OM-1 arrived, one of its best design features was that, unlike any other SLR, its shutter speed dial was NOT on the top-plate: it was a ring around the lens mount throat. Placing it there meant you could control both shutter speed and aperture from similar locations!

No need to talk to Ivor Matanle to confirm this one - I still have my once-new 1976 Olympus OM-1N and set of 4 prime Zuikos, in full working order!

Brian

Footnote: when I went to buy my Olympus OM-D E-M1 at Park Cameras a couple of years ago, I took the OM-1N with me to compare them. They are so nearly the identical size, and the styling is incredibly similar. Even more so, than with the two Pen-F cameras you are writing about!

Funnily enough, Olympus's only full-frame 35mm SLR prior to the OM-1, the FTL, had a top-plate shutter speed dial like practically everything else at the time - as you say, the OM-1 brought in the "around the lens mount" shutter speed ring to the marque. It wasn't the first SLR to have this, however - numerous leaf-shutter 35mm SLRs had it through necessity, but a big user of this layout which predates the OM-1 but continued into its period was the Nikkormat/Nikomat F series of cameras - the most popular model of their lifespan being the FTn. These were focal-plane shuttered - vertical metal ones, actually, like in modern DSLRs, more or less.

A nice touch with the OM cameras was the Olympus Zuiko lenses having their aperture rings at the front - not common at the time, though it had been in earlier times. This was, I believe, to separate them more clearly by feel from the shutter speed ring - though some Zuiko zooms needed the ring at the back due to their design, so it went there.

Link | Posted on Feb 1, 2016 at 23:40 UTC

Should be, since they are on all the other current and recent Olympuses...

Link | Posted on Jan 27, 2016 at 06:20 UTC as 62nd comment

Is it my imagination or does Fuji's announcement above actually seem to contain text copied and pasted from the X-T10's specification? There's mention of "two command dials" and an "Auto mode switch" which don't seem to fit with the X-E2s, unless I'm overlooking something.

Link | Posted on Jan 15, 2016 at 11:34 UTC as 22nd comment
On article Sony Europe introduces a68 SLT with 79-point AF module (306 comments in total)
In reply to:

RStyga: There is no cost saving (and no logic) behind a plastic mount. Are we certain it is plastic and not metal painted black? Just asking... it'd be very strange to have a plastic mount!

I'm pretty sure cost savings and ease of manufacture have a lot more to do with the plastic mount decision than any safety considerations, somehow. Same as with the plastic bayonet mounts of lenses - these are generally reserved for the more affordable models, in the interests of keeping the price down (and perhaps the weight too).

And referring to a previous suggestion in this thread, I cannot think of any bakelite lens mounts - it was too brittle for the job. Bakelite cameras yes (certain old rollfilm folders, certain Kodak Brownies), and they're all pretty hard to find without cracks and chips.

Link | Posted on Nov 10, 2015 at 11:06 UTC
On article Sony Europe introduces a68 SLT with 79-point AF module (306 comments in total)
In reply to:

RStyga: There is no cost saving (and no logic) behind a plastic mount. Are we certain it is plastic and not metal painted black? Just asking... it'd be very strange to have a plastic mount!

I just used the term "engineering plastic" as a coverall, since I thought if I said "polycarbonate", somebody would say it's not polycarbonate, it's some other sort of plastic...! I guess the savings are that they can be pretty precisely moulded, and not need much in the way of machining/fettling? It's probably cheaper to use than at least some metals, but of course I don't know for sure. I remember these mounts first turning up in the late eighties (people didn't like the look of them then, either) and they gradually disappeared (or got better disguised as plenty still had plastic claws and still do, but metal seating rings on top) until Sony brought it back on the a58 and now this one.

Link | Posted on Nov 6, 2015 at 12:29 UTC
On article Sony Europe introduces a68 SLT with 79-point AF module (306 comments in total)
In reply to:

RStyga: There is no cost saving (and no logic) behind a plastic mount. Are we certain it is plastic and not metal painted black? Just asking... it'd be very strange to have a plastic mount!

The bright metal ring you can see is actually the aperture actuator. The seating ring and bayonet claws appear to be a black engineering plastic of some type. This is the same approach as on the still current a58.

Link | Posted on Nov 6, 2015 at 07:39 UTC
On article Sony Europe introduces a68 SLT with 79-point AF module (306 comments in total)
In reply to:

GabrielZ: Who's going to want this camera? Its spec seems to be from 2010 or something...plastic lens-mount! I haven't seen one of those since my Minolta film camera from 12 years back. And isn't that Alpha-mount (also of Minolta origin I believe) almost dead in the water by now too?

The still-current a58 also has a plastic lens mount on the camera.

Link | Posted on Nov 6, 2015 at 07:35 UTC
In reply to:

inorogNL: what lenses, what is the problem?

Lenses with plastic mounts were the only problem. Because those mount and unmount with a very smooth action (little friction) on any m43 camera, there was an issue with the E-M10 Mark II's locking pin being a bit too willing to disconnect from the corresponding hole in the back of the lens, apparently. That seems to be because the pin was slightly tapered along its whole length, more so than on previous models. Don't know what they've done with the new production cameras, but on the existing ones, from what I see the fix was to machine a tiny notch across the top and bottom surfaces of the pin, so that it will catch more positively in the hole in the lens mount if it's accidentally partially depressed whilst the lens is rotated.

Link | Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 14:10 UTC
In reply to:

Samuel Dilworth: In Europe, the defective cameras never got sold. Sales have just started here – I know because I have had a pre-order for a month and finally got mine a few days ago.

Seems to have been worth the wait, by the way! A nice camera at a sensible price.

Actually, they kind of did - they fixed them first and then sold them, pretty much what they said they'd do in the European announcement about the issue - at least that's what happened in the UK (mine is one like that, and none the worse for it, thankfully). I've had it for around a month now.

Link | Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 14:03 UTC
Total: 35, showing: 1 – 20
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