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Old Aug 25, 2006, 10:26 AM   #1
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Now that I've had the E1 for a few days' I thought it time to post a few shots and find out what needs improving - I know its early days and there's a heck of a lot to learn - its taken nearly 2 years to learn the FZ10. Taken with the kit 14-45.

Pic 1. Taken yesterday at Liverppol St subway station



Pic 2.



Pic 3. W.E.



Pic 4. "S"- singing in the subway



Pic 5. Reading Room - British Museum



Pic 6. "JA"



All comments and critiques more than welcome.

Cheers

HarjTT

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Old Aug 26, 2006, 11:52 AM   #2
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Nothing to critique here.

You definitely have the street-candid photography style that I aspire to. Keep going Harj. I find that anything you have posted thus far to be excellent in composition and subject matter.

Tom
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 1:16 PM   #3
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HI Tom

Thanks for the comments - I think the shots are ok but a wee bit soft and lacking detail and I think thats all down to the lens and quiet possibly me not knowing the camera too well. I do like the handling and the exposure/WB on the E1 is spot on sometimes I think its pretty clinical. Defibnetly need a faster lens - a constant f2.8 14-54 would have been really nice.

Cheers

HarjTT

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Old Aug 26, 2006, 3:08 PM   #4
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HarjTT,

I noticed you mentioned a ''wee bit soft.'' I sure didn't find it a distraction. Soft doesn't have to be a hindrance in some cases. I didn't see it here either.

On your black and white photos it conjures up memories of thephotoscene from the sixties.

The guitarist's hand movement says he's actually playing it instead of posing for the camera.

As noted by the other poster, no critique here.
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 7:18 PM   #5
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Hi Andrew

Thanks for looking at the pics and commenting. I know I've been spoiled by the FZ's panaleica lens and at the moment I can't seem to get the same tack sharp images that I'm used to esp at the lower shutter speeds - its nice being able to crank up the ISO to 800 and not really worry too much about the noise but I know a faster lens and IS would really help out too. The reason for going for the E1 well was pretty simple:

1. Build & Image quality - its beautifully put together. Everything just goes clunk like a mercedes-benz whether its the door to the CF falsh or the battery compartment. The IQ from the E1 is still more than good enough.
2. Size and weight - its smaller and lighter than any comparable Canon or Nikon. I had a look at the KM5D and SOny alpha but they're just way too plastic.
3. Ergonomics - coming from a design engineering background and having studied ergonomics the E1's is pretty spot on. I'd read about it a lot on the various forums but until I got the camera I didn't have any idea how good the camera feels in the hand. Hold it and the fingers fall right onto the rigt place with every button in exactly the right spot.
4. Quiet shutter - this is really quiet. The D200 i tried sounded soo loud. If there was a way to completely dampen the shutter sound it would be silent.
5. OVF - A 100% OVF - nice and bright. I think even better with the faster Oly glass.
6. Price - can't go wrong at this price piont. At £400 it was a steal even if the camera's design is 2 years old and the sensor is just 5MP. That doesn't bother me at all - for me its a great learnng tool and I see the pics from the E1 and LC1/D2 which I'm still hankering after that as well.
7. Last but not least - its 4/3. I haven't given up on the L1 just yet. So if I get the L1 I can use both cameras and any kit with either camera. Even if I don't get the L1 (ie. its priced seriously out of my reach) I'll still be seriously looking at the Leica D and any other OIS based lenses that panaleica makes and if Oly makes Zukio lenses with OIS then even better.


Cheers

HarjTT



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Old Aug 26, 2006, 7:48 PM   #6
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Harj,

By default the dSLR cameras do not have pictures processed as sharp as prosumer cams.

The engineering each camera maker has for prosumer camera basically has its own version of PS in it with some tweaking adjustments due to light changes and user bias on likes or dislikes to contrast, saturation, noise and sharpness levels.

I don't believe it is the fault of the lens at all. Yes, I do know some are better than others and a fast lens makes it easier to use this wonderful tool that you now have.

Your gift of capturing street/candid photos has no price and is definitely sharp.

Keep shooting.
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 8:32 PM   #7
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I've got to say that this idea of "soft" images seems to have taken on a new interpretation in the digital age.

I'm a real videophile and movie buff. I've got a 51" HDTV (had it for over 3.5 years) and a few thousand DVDs. I've learned to despise the electronic enhancement that passes itself off as sharpness. I have the sharpness control on my TV turned down to 35% (factory default is 100%!). Nevertheless, broadcasters and DVD producers continue to provide edge enhanced content that looks so harsh (to me), that it just grates on my nerves.

But I think that we have all become so accustomed to viewing images on electronic screens, that we've developed an "exaggerated" sense of what constitutes a sharp picture. It also quite commonly accepted that consumer digital cameras are defaulted to very high levels of sharpness. These all play on our mind as we evaluate images.

The other day, I submitted a picture to airliners.net. The have a very high rejection rate and, having seen their idea of sharpness, I'm not very hopeful. I looked at several images (from other photographers) that they rejected as "soft" and they looked almost perfect to my eye. But, if they reject a photo, you are allowed to resubmit it if you can "improve it". So I figure, if they reject my photo, I'll just crank up the sharpness until my eyes hurt and that will probably satisfy them .

I think I know a bit about photo sharpness. For 25 years I printed photos in my own darkroom from 35mm and 120 format film. I still have my Beseler 67 and my favorite 80mm Rodagon enlarging lens. I know how to work the micrograin focusser.

However, we seem to expect our digital photos to reach a degree of sharpness which I would judge as fake. Of course, I'm not the worlds sole judge of sharpness. If the world wants to see my photos as more sharp...then I'll just keep cranking up the sharpness until they are happy. But I keep copies of the REAL photos for myself.

As I look at the photos in this thread, I would judge the CLARITY and DETAIL as near perfect. I wouldn't change anything. I can look into those photos and see all the detail. But "the world" loves electronically induced sharpness with it's tiny little halo artifacts, slight introduction of noise and minor loss of fines detail. That fake sharpness does give photos some nice "punch" when viewed from a distance.

What would I do if the photos here were mine? I'd save them exactly as they are. And if I wanted to submit them to a website for a contest or inclusion in a database, I'd add an annoying degree of electronic sharpness in order to satisfy the photo editors who've learned to judge images on a monitor rather than with an old lightbox and a loupe!
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 9:38 PM   #8
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HarjTT

Great images. I am a Pentax DSLR owner but I have very seriously considered Olympus. Just after I got my Pentax *istDL the E-1 started discounting to within a couple of hundred dollars of my camera, I missed it.

I appreciate a camera that feels good in my hands, is sturdy and produces images of high qualitative value. I think the pixel peeping that often takes place over quantitative specs is counterproductive to actual photography.

You say you have a lot to learn about your new camera, but these images show that you already know a lot about photography. I once read that photographs come from the mind of the photographer, not his camera bag. Great camera, great images but more importantly, great photographer.

Keep up the good work

Ira
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 11:17 PM   #9
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Tom said, ''By default the dSLR cameras do not have pictures processed as sharp as prosumer cams.''


What, exactly, does this mean to me, a first time DSLR buyer in the very near future? Anyone else can respond too because I want to know this sharpness thing.

Interestingly enough I brought this up on another thread a few days days ago and no one bothered to reply.

Since I know nothing about post-production and its magic,if/when I purchase a DSLR, for example the Canon 30D or L1 (depending on who says what about a late review), will I get more than acceptable images out of the camera, without any tweaking? This is important to me because I don't want to have to learn how to make a photograph ''look good'' for viewing after the picture is taken. Shooting two or three or more bracketed onesto getone good one has never been an issue with me with my trusty Canon F1N from days gone by.

Now, post-production may well be something I can live with after the fact but not before. As a reference, the usual wide angle tilt to vertical lines being correctedin post-production.

Suddenly I know who to ask. HarjTT, have you reworked your photographs above? If so, why?


By the way, I saw a photograph taken by the olderPanasonic LC1 (?)in a photo magazine a couple of days ago and it was stunningly sharp to my eyes. Then again may be that it was apost-production tweak.
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Old Aug 27, 2006, 12:58 AM   #10
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Let me make a general comment on the sharpness/post processing stuff. I say "general" rather than specific because each camera is different and has a different way of doing things.

DSLRs usually build in a wide range of imaging options for the user. Lesser (for lack of a better word) cameras don't offer very many options and are thusly designed to produce broadly pleasing images with little input from the user.

If a DSLR user so desires, he can usually set the camera to produce the images he likes with minimal or no post processing. On my E-500, for example, I can set such things as color saturation, sharpness and contrast. So it's quite possible to set the camera in such a way as to provide sharp, punchy images right out of the camera.

However, most DSLR users choose NOT to have the too much image processing done in the camera. the problem with processing the image in the camera is that, if the processing is not pleasing, it's difficult if not impossible to correct. If an image is oversharpened in the camera, you can't "de-sharpen" it properly in post processing anymore than you can unscramble an egg. Likewise with things like oversaturated color or too much contrast. You can't really fix them in post processing. You can make some adjustments but trying to turn down color saturation on an oversaturated picture isn't as good as doing it right the first time.

Lesser cameras are designed with simplicity as part of their overall philosophy. That means that they relieve the photographer from the responsibility of making the final adjustments to his image. But relieving him of the responsibility also means they deny him the ability to make choices. DSLRs return that choice to you (if you want it) and that means that you have to make those final image quality decisions yourself.
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