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photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

DSLR Magazine

in Photography , Friday, July 20, 2007

During my last mercifully short trip to the UK, I found time to pick up some of the latest copies of a series of British photo magazines (actually, thanks to British Airways, I didn't have to try very hard to find the time). One of these magazines was the recently launched DSLR magazine. Actually, the previous time I was in London I picked up issue 1. SafariScreenSnapz002.jpg It must be difficult for editors of these magazines to find new angles and new stories. Photography can get repetitive at times ... just take a look at any issue of Outdoor Photography (which I subscribe to). I actually like landscape photography, but in {insert deity here}'s name, how many wide angle, low viewpoint, long exposure, sunset views of incoming tides over rocky beaches do we need ? An infinite number it seems. DSLR Magazine seems, on the sample I've seen so far, to be trying a bit harder to avoid the clichés, and is also avoid the trap of getting stuck at beginner level, like Practical Photography. I've decided it is worth the (quite expensive) international subscription, to see how it turns out. DSLR magazine also runs a promising website, with plenty of user-contributed material. And as far as Olympus DSLRs are concerned, well it seems that they're fans - as well as partnering with Olympus to run monthly competitions. Want to win an E-410 ? Go an take a look here.
 

Olympus E-400

in Olympus E-System , Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Well, here is my first post on this blog for about 6 months. Having resurrected the site, I had to spend some time reversing out of some changes I'd made which in particular affected this blog. As I wrote elsewhere, I've decided to drop the major makeover and just make detail improvements when time allows. I'm not terribly happy with the site, especially with the design of the photo galleries, which is really getting creaky, but for now it will have to do. In the interim I haven't had a lot of time for photography, but I did end up buying an Olympus E-400. You can see some photos from it here (and many more, for now, on my Flickr pages). I was quite smitten by the E-400 the first time I picked it up. Reverting back to a "classic" shape has allowed Olympus to create a DSLR much smaller than most others, but without sacrificing handling, at least for me. It has more or less replaced the E-1, as really there is little if anything that the E-1 does significantly better. It is a little more fiddly than the E-1 in manual mode, due to the lack of a second dial, and things like DOF preview are awkward. But the image quality more than makes up for it, and when paired with the 14-45mm lens, it really is a quite practical "take it anywhere" DSLR. It doesn't _quite_ fit in a pocket, but it isn't far off. The screen menu easily makes up for the lack of a settings panel. The fast access to parameters, and the clever way in which you can go deeper into options settings if you need to, but have the basics right up front, is really excellent. Ok, dedicated buttons for things like ISO, AF mode, drive mode, etc, are certainly very nice to have, but you can't have such a compact body as well as all the E-1 buttons and controls, and the compromises that are made are made very well. To be honest, it doesn't quite have the "wow" factor that the E-1's ergonomics and handling gives me and many others, but for every day use, it is really a very fine camera, and one which, unlike say the Nikon D40, caters for beginners, without in any way ruling out advanced users. I'll post more on the E-400 in weeks to come.