Tuesday, June 16, 2009

so... are there any camera-related news today???

i have (very) few rss feeds in my "photo" category in google reader and i get about 5 posts a day on average. today i got 26. and 25 of them were about the new olympus E-P1 micro four thirds camera (the 26th one was some mamiya post from dpreview).

the 43rumors.com blog has a list of links about the camera and dpreview.com has a good preview. available for purchase in july 2009 according to the olympus press release (can preorder now).

i don't like the retro styling (at all) but what can you do... have to buy one anyway. maybe i can spray-paint it black so that it looks somewhat reasonable. good to see that this olympus camera does not have that waste of space called "xD card slot."

so, did you order yours yet?

Monday, May 25, 2009

some rumors about upcoming olympus micro 4/3

there are some new/recent rumors about the upcoming Olympus micro four thirds camera. dcviews.com (may 22) points to a possible teaser on the olympus asia website which mentions the date may26 ...
gizmodo.com also had a post about this recently. let's see.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

new olympus E620 and underwater housing PT-E06

The new olympus E620 dSLR camera has been annouced, with a matching underwater housing PT-E06. the housing looks very similar to the one for E520 (which i've found very pleasant to use).

Some links with more information:
new sensor (it seems it might be the one used in E30 from what i read in the previews), 7 AF points, ISO3200, LCD rotation, 4fps, battery is the same as for the E420, expected price 699USD.

it still has that waste of space called an xD card slot ...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

more on the 10bar housing for the panasonic LX3

there is a price list here, from 10bar, which mentions a price of 630 USD for the 10bar LX3 housing. also available here, but the price is ... 905 USD ("availability 3 weeks"). 

Friday, January 2, 2009

phase versus contrast detect focusing in low light (underwater)

i ve used my olympus E520 underwater only a few times so far (10 or so) and i've notice that in low light, low visibility, wide angle it has some trouble focusing. In similar situations my previous camera, the canon G7 of course wouldnt focus either, and would never be able to take a photo of any use. the olympus can take good photos but the focusing part becomes slightly noticable.

i also noticed (i think) that in such cases, switching to live-view/constrast detect focus works much faster and possibly better.

i was wondering if anyone had the same experience with similar cameras?
are there cases where contrast detect focus is better than the normal/phase detect focus especially underwater?

panasonic LX3 underwater housing from 10bar

there is a recent review on dpreview.com comparing a bunch of higher end compacts that finds the panasonic lx3 as the overall winner. the camera is probably one of the best compact options at this time for undewater use. the only problem is that there are no cheap housings for it.

there is a 10bar housing, made of aluminum, that looks quite nice (and expensive..)
there is some information about the new housing on the 10bar website, as well as this thread on wetpixel. the price is reported around 600 USD in the wetpixel forums. the camera is around 400 USD.

the canon g10 is so much cheaper, at 400USD for the camera plus 200USD for the canon housing. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

white balancing raw files

because of technical issues i had to dive with out my strobes today, using only my new olympus E520. (technical issues: i am getting old and keep forgetting things. this time i forgot my tray so i couldnt attach my two strobes to the housing)

i was shooting RAW+jpg. the jpg was at the highest quality setting (probably a bit unnecessary if you have the raw file as well). i was using auto white balance, auto iso and shutter priority on all ambient light photos. i tried some quick white-balancing using picasa and the "pick neutral color" tool on both the jpgs and raw files. i clicked at the same region for the white balancing in both the jpg and raw file (usually a patch of sand or bare rock in the photo).

some samples of post-white-balancing. 
the original (jpg, but the raw is very similar looking, not as sharp and with some more highlights), 

bare island 11-23-2008 9-32-46

resulting image after manually post-whitebalancing the jpg file (left) or the raw file (right)

bare island 11-23-2008 9-32-45 AM  bare island 11-23-2008 9-32-45 AM.ORF

same deal here: 

bare island 11-23-2008 9-25-36 AM

white balance done on the jpg versus raw

bare island 11-23-2008 9-25-36 AM  bare island 11-23-2008 9-25-36 AM.ORF

and some more examples of applying white balancing on the raw files (original versus white-balanced):
bare island 11-23-2008 9-22-23 AM  bare island 11-23-2008 9-22-21 AM.ORF

there is a bit of a difference, even with very basic quick fixes (which is all i have time and skill to do). white-balancing raw seems also easier: in the jpg files if you click some seemingly neutral looking color which happens not to be a good area to use, then the photo is all messed up. so some more clicks might be required to get a good result. the raw file is more forgiving it seems. In most of the case in these pictures i used parts of the sand for white balaning (avoiding the highlights on the sand, so i picked the more dark sandy regions). In the photos with the diver (greg) i tried both the sand and the buckles on the tank (good thing he is using steel ones and not black plastic...). the sand was not as good in that particular shot. All photos were taken at bare island east side (left), at roughly  10-12m depth, with seriously crappy weather (rainy windy cloudy cold). visibility was very bad, maybe 4-5m at some points, but maybe a bit more in the last photo above. max auto iso was set to 800 which was not needed, should be ok at 400.
All photos available at my flickr page

Saturday, October 11, 2008

new sea & sea DX-2G ?

as i read on digifish.nl/ sea & sea might release the successor to the sea & sea DX-1G. according to what i read on the web, the new sea&sea will be using the ricoh caplio GX-200 (following information from dprview.com):

  • 24mm f2.5-4.4 lens, 3x zoom
  • sensor image stabilization
  • macro at 1cm
  • manual focus and raw
  • hotshoe
  • no optical viewfinder (an external viewfinder can go on the hotshoe)
  • ISO to 1600
  • 12mp
a few reviews for the ricoh camera are listed on dcviews.com. i dont see a lot of differences with the previous model.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

panasonic lx3

Might be a great camera underwater. Problem is, no housing exists. Yet. I was reading through some reviews about the lx3, including this one, apparently showing a 2 stop advantage (or some advantage..) over the G9 in terms of noise and lens aperture, as discussed here

One link led to another, and i saw this post on dpreview.com about a possibility that UK-germany is planning to make a housing for the LX3. uk-germany was making a housing for the panasonic lx2, as you can see on digideep. odd looking one for sure. 
would be great news. panasonic lx3 looks like a great compact camera: leica f2.0 lens 24-60mm (35mm equivalent), full manual control including manual focus, image stabilization (lens), raw, hot shoe.
cannot find any other information about this at the time. 
is there any other information around?

Friday, September 26, 2008

nimar housing for canon 450D

canon 450D (XSi) is about $700 these days with the kit lens. (USD)

the cheapest housing on the market seems to be the Nimar NI303D, $1150 (USD) including the port (for the standard kit 18-55 lens). 

total under $2K, not bad. the nimar housing has a standard nikonos bulkhead. not sure if it works with inon strobes for TTL. (photos are from the nimar site).  also the housing does not have a hotshoe on top for fixing focus lights.