An afternoon stroll through the Brisbane Ranges with the E-M5 and 75mm lens

Written by admin on November 26th, 2014

I love this time of year in Victoria – not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too many bullants, no biting March flies and no bush flies to annoy you like there are in summer.

Still have yet to see a snake on my many walks in the bush this year, but I am sure they are watching me!

Here are a couple from yesterday’s impromptu bushwalk into the old gold mining regions of the Brisbane Ranges in Victoria which not too long ago was severely impacted by bushfire.

These were both taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the awesome Olympus mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens.



What pushes me on .. is always wondering what I will see around the next bend:

around the bend

And around one bend I came across this little fella leisurely strolling across the path and into the scrub looking for ants – I don’t think he had ever seen a human before, and he didn’t seem to notice me for a few seconds then when he did he quickly “hid” by rolling up next to a tree trunk hoping I couldn’t see him.

This is an echidna, a native Australian monotreme that lays eggs like a platypus.



At last, a full frame “Olympus OM-D” by Sony – the Sony alpha 7 II introduces 5-axis sensor IS

Written by admin on November 23rd, 2014

There are several things I want out of a camera these days:

  • high image quality
  • compact and light camera AND lenses
  • fast accurate AF
  • fast flash sync
  • great range of high quality affordable lenses
  • effective sensor based image stabilisation so manual focus is easy and all lenses can benefit from sharper imagery
  • a nice EVF with live view and all its benefits instead of clunky mirror systems
  • excellent support for manual focus – eg. image stabilised magnified view, etc
  • preferably weather-sealed

Until now, the ONLY cameras which fulfilled these requirements are the wonderful Olympus OM-D cameras such as the E-M1, E-M5 and E-M10.

This month Sony has announced the 1st full frame camera to have 5-axis sensor based image stabilisation similar to the OM-D cameras and said to offer around 4 stops of stabilisation, although currently it is let down by lack of dedicated  lens range, but this can be expected to change over the next few years, and this at least is a great start having the sensor based IS included in such a camera.

The Sony a7 II:

  • 24mp full frame mirrorless camera with E-mount
  • sensor has 117 phase detect and 25 contrast detect points and although presumably the same sensor, it is said to have substantially improved AF and AF tracking over its predecessor, the a7 which did have issues with slow AF ( see here)
    • note that the Olympus OM-D E-M1 has 37 phase detect and 800 contrast detect points and can shoot at 6.5/10 fps, flash sync 1/320th sec,  timelapse, Live BULB/Composite modes, touch screen, and much more.
  • tilting 1,230,000 dot LCD although not touch sensitive
  • 2,359,000 dot EVF with 0.71x magnification
  • shutter speed 30sec – 1/8000th sec
  • no built-in flash, but flash sync a very reasonable 1/250th sec
  • 5fps burst rate is not going to set the world on fire but is OK
  • exposure compensation is +/- 5EV
  • built-in WiFi and NFC for smartphone tethering
  • no timelapse recording
  • has some very nice HD video specs:
    • 1080 in 60p/60i/24p and supports XAVC S codec at 50Mbps and S Log 2 flat picture profile
    • uncompressed HDMI output
    • stereo mic
  • 599g
  • 127 x 96 x 60 mm (5 x 3.78 x 2.36″)
  • at $US1600 it will certainly put some pressure on Canon and Nikon who still have not come to terms with the future being mirrorless cameras for most people

As mentioned, the current poor range of AF lenses dedicated to this camera is a major issue – I would love a 24mm f/1.4, a 35mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/2, but instead, all we have is 35mm f/2.8, 55mm f/1.8 and 3 zoom lenses – none of which are f/2.8.

If indeed, Sony and Olympus are collaborating on the development of this system – Olympus is said to be providing input regarding the 5-axis IS (although Sony appear to be claiming it is their own technology), and help with lens design, it would be quite nice if Olympus were to produce an Olympus version which would be compatible with their Olympus flash system and OM-D user interface – even if they kept the Sony E-Mount, this would not be an issue from a photographer’s perspective, and having such a full frame camera would provide a nice compliment to their OM-D cameras.

See more about the Sony E-Mount system on my wiki


Ramblings through the Australian bush with the Olympus OM-D E-M5

Written by admin on November 23rd, 2014

These were taken with the E-M5 with the Olympus mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens unless specified:

Forest dreams:

forest dreams

Native wild flower Hardenbergia violacea in early Spring near Castlemaine


Bushfire recovery:


Airey’s Inlet region on the Great Ocean Road:


Abstract sea dragon:

sea dragon

Iris at a winery:


Thysanotus native wildflower with the Olympus mZD 60mm f/2.8 macro lens – this lovely little perennial’s flowers only last 1 day:



Olympus OM-D E-M5 + Orbis Ring Flash + Metz Ring Flash vs the Zombies

Written by admin on October 12th, 2014

The annual zombie shuffle was on again in Melbourne yesterday.

This is a very social event with thousands participating including many, many photographers and it always has a great fun atmosphere.

The zombies spend a LOT of time creating their personas and love being photographed.

It is outdoors and forecast for midday sun is a bit of a nightmare for getting great shots, and you generally only get 5-10 secs to compose and get your shot with each zombie before the photographer horde gets in your way.

This year I decided to take a different approach and did a bit of testing the day before so I could shoot with a main flash light inside an Orbis Ring Flash Modifier to create an off-camera beauty dish effect, supplemented with a Metz macro “ring” flash on the lens as a fill flash.

To deal with a potentially sunny background and the desire for a wide aperture, I used a polarising filter and manual flash via PC sync cables which allowed me to push the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera to 1/400th sec shutter speed – this does result in a small part of the “top” of your frame not being lit by the flash – no problem if there is no subject there!

The ambient exposure was intentionally under-exposed, and by using CTO gels on the flashes with custom WB for the CTO gelled flash, this gave a lovely deep blue background – at least when the sunlit areas was not in the background.

Most were shot at ISO 200, f/1.8, 1/400th sec. Metz flash was on 1/16th output. I used a Canon 580EX II flash in the Orbis Ring Flash (I could have used my Olympus FL50 instead with same effect), and this needed to be fired at almost full output.

All of these were taken with the nice little Olympus mZD 45mm f/1.8 portrait lens, – although tethered to the Orbis Ring Flash and thus relatively confined to being 1.5m or so from the subject was a little limiting – but I knew that would be the case. I could make the subject lighter or darker by moving the Orbis flash closer or further from the subject.

However, given the rather clunky way the Orbis needs to be held in one hand, have a light, compact OM-D in the other hand was an essential component to the success of this technique – and I did what I rarely do – use Live View on the rear screen instead of the EVF even though the screen was blurry to me (I need reading glasses for it) – I was able to compose at arms length and let the amazing eye detection AF do its job – but being mindful of te fact that some zombie’s eyes cannot be detected in which case I locked AF using the centre AF region and half-press shutter button, then recomposed.

The first shot of the day was something I had pre-planned the night before and required a different set of maths to work out, but in only 2 shots, I managed to come up with this awesome image:

Zombie coming through the time space portal attacking a zombie killer ready with her laser gun:


Zombie laser gun:

zombie killer

Zombie bride:

zombie bride

Cute retro zombie:

retro zombie

Zombie guy:

zombie guy


As with any relatively small light source, the light from the Orbis is very directional and relatively harsh, so if shooting portraits, you should ideally avoid oily skin and ensure some face powder has been used to avoid unflattering specular reflections from the skin.

The Orbis could also be used as a true ring flash with the lens protruding through the flash to give that typical shadowless fashion look with soft shadows surrounding the subjects on the wall behind. This usage can be great for emphasising creative makeup and colours while de-emphasising skin texture but may not be flattering for all subjects, particularly those with fuller faces. Be aware that this may produce red eyes with the light being so close to the lens axis.

More details on key shifting and color shifting using flash can be found here.


Spring in Australia with the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens

Written by admin on October 9th, 2014

I won’t bore you with how much I love the Olympus mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens for Micro Four Thirds – you already know that.

Here are more images from my drives and bushwalks recently in rural Victoria:

Bushwalking through the forests in the Victorian goldfields – reminds me of the Australian impressionist painters of the late 19th century such as Tom Roberts:

Australian impressionism

Bushwalking through ancient lava canals in Mt Eccles National Park:

lava canal

Remains of a petrified forest – an amazing eerie landscape full of remnants of petrified trees in far western Victoria:

petrified forest

petrified forest

petrified vine

Lava columns pounded by the ocean – similar to the Giant’s Causeway in northern Ireland and shows how much dynamic range the sensor has – I was able to gain detail in the over-exposed ocean at top of the image very nicely indeed:

lava columns

Volcanic maars and pastural land with cows and lovely light between the rain showers, Camperdown:


Spring blossoms with my version of the Orton Effect:


and finally, a couple with the Olympus mZD 60mm f/2.8 macro lens hand held – it is Spring after all:

A couple types of Daviesia sp. pea flowers:

Daviesia sp

Daviesia sp

A lonely rare native white orchid as close as I could get without shaking too much:

native white orchid




Adding a PC sync port to your Micro Four Thirds camera for manual off-camera flash or studio strobes

Written by admin on October 8th, 2014

Most Micro Four Thirds cameras (other than the Olympus OM-D E-M1) do not have a PC sync port to connect an off-camera flash in manual flash exposure mode.

Why do this?

Whilst you can use a radio flash transmitter system to achieve this without cords, there are several main downsides:

  • potential issues with the radio triggering – particularly in areas where radio waves don’t transmit well or when there are others using the same radio channels
  • transmitter and receivers cost more and are a little bulky attached to the flash units
  • cannot push shutter speed above flash x-sync well due to the radio triggering latency

Solution is cheap and easy:

There are several types of hotshoe adapters which provide a PC sync port:

  • hotshoes with full TTL pass through capability to a top mounted hotshoe
    • these are ideal if you wish to also mount your Micro Four Thirds compatible flash and use it as you normally would
    • I have bought and used the Flash IS-HC120 hot shoe adapter for Canon EOS (pin compatible with Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds flash systems), and it works very well and appears to be well made – NB  see post script at bottom – mine has stopped functioning!
  • hotshoes with only a single pin pass through capability to the top mounted hotshoe
    • these are ideal if you wish to mount your Micro Four Thirds flash and use it in manual mode while pushing shutter speed above x-sync
    • these are getting hard to find!
  • radio transmitter unit with PC sync port
    • also can function as a radio transmitter but usually do not have TTL pass-through compatibility for Micro Four Thirds
    • but even when not used as a radio transmitter may give latency preventing use in allowing faster shutter speeds above x-sync
    • NB. PocketWizard TTL Canon units do not seem to be able to fire mounted Olympus flash units even in “pass-through” mode, and the Mini-TTL does NOT have a PC sync port



Flash IS-HC120 adapter

More on flash units for Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds – here.

P.S. I purchased one of the iShoot adapters but unfortunately the PC sync connection appears to be very temperamental and thus I have had to stop using it – it may only be an issue with the one that I received and not a general issue with them but I have decided to resort back to my non-TTL multi-PC sync hotshoe adapter, even though the PC sync ports are not threaded.


Canon – what where you thinking – a disastrous marketing campaign of excuses?

Written by admin on October 8th, 2014

For those who may have missed it, Canon has just disappointed its fan base big time with a mysterious ad campaign “See Impossible” which appeared to suggest that they were about to announce long awaited new technology to make the impossible possible – only for the ad campaign to count down to a reality of it being nothing but an attempt to convince the world that their technology already does this.

There has been a massive back-lash to this marketing campaign which risks driving even their staunchest fans to the fantastic new technologies of Panasonic, Olympus, Sony, Fuji and even Samsung which ARE changing how we use cameras.

Cropped sensor dSLR development:

To be fair, Canon have recently announced perhaps the best sports dSLR for enthusiasts, their long awaited Canon 7D Mark II which took 5 years to replace the initial version – 5 years is a VERY LONG TIME in the digital camera world – and as good as the 7D Mark II is for sports, it just doesn’t cut it with the mirrorless cameras for every day use, and even for sports, disappoints in not giving 4K video quality which other cameras such as the Panasonic GH-4 is able to do – heck even the new Panasonic LX-100 compact camera can do!

Further, the Canon 7D Mark II is a crop sensor dSLR, yet unlike Olympus and Panasonic, Canon still staunchly refuses to create great lenses to maximise the smaller sensor and give smaller, lighter lenses – if you want a pro level lens for this camera, you really need to buy a big, heavy, expensive, full frame lens – very disappointing indeed Canon!

Lack of full frame development:

The other main stay of Canon leadership – the full frame dSLR has failed to demonstrate leading technologies of late, and Canon appears to be being beaten by Nikon on almost every front (although Nikon too appears to have lost its way in the mirrorless camera market which is rapidly eating into the dSLR market).

Nikon produced a 36mp full frame dSLR 2 years ago, and even Sony have produced a compact 36mp full frame mirrorless camera in that time, but Canon’s full frame dSLRs max out at 22mp and are themselves 2 years old, and it would appear there is no new version on the horizon this year – now I must admit that 22mp is probably all one needs, but there will be many pro and enthusiast photographers who want more.

And again, none of their full frame dSLRs can compete with the 4K video capabilities mentioned above.

Perhaps the only note worthy dSLR development in the past few years by Canon is their unique radio wireless flash TTL technology.

Lack of sensor-based image stabilisation:

Neither Canon nor Nikon have been prepared to add sensor based image stabilisation as Olympus and Sony and now Panasonic are doing – sensor based image stabilisation is really a no brainer – it IMPROVES image quality with every lens you put on it, and when you don’t want it, you turn it off. What’s more it means photographers don’t need to be updating their lenses to get the latest IS capability, they can just update their camera, and there is no need for image degrading, heavier, more expensive optical IS elements (astrophotographers do not like OIS lenses as they degrade star images).

Olympus 1st introduced sensor based IS 7 years ago, and it has been used on all their interchangeable lens cameras since and has proven to be amazing technology, with their latest flagship, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 allowing hand held exposures with wide angle lenses down to an unprecedented 1 second!

Not only that, but the sensor based IS is indispensible when trying to manually focus a lens at high magnification – it is simply awesome technology – yet Canon and Nikon have failed big time in this arena.

If Canon were to introduce a full frame dSLR with sensor-based IS, even I would be tempted to buy it so I can better use my many full frame pro lenses given that my aging Canon 1D Mark III is no longer worth its weight carrying now that we have the Olympus OM-D’s to give similar or better image quality, accurate eye-detection AF for portaiture and far more fun without the burden of weight and size.

In the interim, you have got to ask yourself – why buy a Canon or Nikon over an Olympus OM-D?

There are still some valid reasons (fastest AF for sports via the 7D Mark II, and, shallowest DOF via full frame are the two main ones) but these are diminishing each year.

Lost in the wilderness of very capable compact and mirrorless cameras:

Canon and Nikon have totally lost their way in the last few years of rapid onslaught of amazing new compact and mirrorless cameras by Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji and Sony.

Once upon a time the Canon G series ruled the enthusiast “compact” camera world – Canon’s latest iterations, their Canon G1 X Mark II and G7 X – both released this year, just cannot compete with the likes of compact larger sensor cameras such as the Panasonic LX-100, Panasonic GM-5, Fuji FinePix x100T, or the smaller sensor super zooms such as the Panasonic FZ1000, Sony RX10 and Olympus Stylus 1.

But even more telling is their pathetic attempt at a mirrorless camera – the Canon EOS M which was introduced 2 years ago, far too late and with such pathetic capabilities including poor AF, that it was a doomed camera from the start with no chance of competing with the brilliant Olympus OM-D Micro Four Thirds cameras, or even the compact Panasonic or Sony mirrorless cameras.

And where the other manufacturers (except Nikon) have been producing fantastic new cameras every few months since then, each with even better features and technologies such as full remote control via smartphones using WiFi, 4K video, fantastic IS capability, fun jpeg rendering features, the fastest AF of all camera types for static subjects, introduction of phase detect AF for moving subjects and for use of legacy phase detect AF lenses – Canon is yet to announce a single new model.

Canon and Nikon users are sitting on a bucket load of “legacy” expensive lenses with a compromised future:

Micro Four Thirds is really showing the photography world where the future of most photography lies – mirrorless cameras with CDAF-capable lenses.

Very few Canon or Nikon lenses are optimised for CDAF – making them severely compromised in functionality with whatever mirrorless cameras these manufacturers end up bringing to the table.

Sure the new cameras are likely to offer sensor based phase detect AF as does the Olympus OM-D E-M1 – but they are just not as fast nor accurate at AF in mirrorless cameras as are lenses specifically designed for CDAF.

This must be a major concern to both Canon and Nikon – and their millions of users – no one likes to think of their prize collection of lenses becoming redundant.

Canon has started making consumer-level lenses with CDAF capability – their “STM” lenses but these are few and there does not appear to be any direction being given for existing users.

Not to mention their users must really love it when Canon or Nikon announce a new version of their $2000+ pro lens which offers better image stabilisation and immediately devalues their lens further.

I stopped buying Canon lenses years ago for just these reasons – unfortunately pro photographers won’t have this choice – they need their 24mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.2, 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lenses NOW.

Here is a list of MY BUCKET of Canon lenses – fortunately 3 are manual focus anyway:

  • Canon TSE 17mm f/4L tilt-shift
  • Canon TSE 45mm f/2.8L tilt shift
  • Canon TSE 90mm f/2.8L tilt shift
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS
  • Canon EF 135mm f/2L
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

In the meantime, Olympus and Panasonic in particular, have been rolling out new cameras, and just as importantly, fantastic new lenses so users can make the most of this system – just take a look at the great new lenses from Olympus of late – the 75mm f/1.8, 60mm f/2.8 macro, 25mm f/1.8, 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, and the absolutely awesome 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO and its matching 1.4x teleconverter – plus those from Panasonic such as their 42mm f/1.2 and yet there are more great lenses in the pipeline – the 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO and the 300mm f/4 PRO just to name two from Olympus.

There is enthusiasm and a bright future for those in the Micro Four Thirds camp while it seems Canon and Nikon seems stymied by their lack of progress and technological advances – much of the possibilities are actually the result of the presence of a SLR mirror which limits the use of electronic technologies which are driving the fun of using Micro Four Thirds cameras.

Khen Lim has written a very detailed treatise on the end of the dSLR – see here.




What would I like to see in the next version of the wonderful Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera?

Written by admin on September 30th, 2014

Olympus have recently indicated that a mark II version of the brilliant Olympus E-M5 camera is on the way following on the heels of the “pro version” E-M1 and the “budget version” E-M10.

Clearly Olympus will want to distinguish it between these models, and most reasonably should keep the size and weight, and battery holder much the same as the current version as these are important – the E-M1 is great but it can be a bit big and intimidating for many, not to mention too expensive.

The E-M5 Mark II will almost certainly adopt all the new features in the E-M10 such as:

  • improved touch screen
  • improved EVF
  • WiFi smartphone control
  • focus peaking
  • latest image processing engine
  • auto HDR mode
  • ability to assign MySets to the mode dial
  • automatic lens IS priority for when using lenses with OIS
  • 1st curtain electronic shutter
  • color creator
  • Live Composite
  • improved HD video
  • intervalometer
  • cut-down version of the ’2×2′ control system of the E-M1

And will almost certainly have the newer features of the PEN E-P5:

  • 800 AF points
  • Super Spot AF
  • 1/8000th sec shutter (but please keep the nice shutter noise of the E-M5)
  • flash sync 1/320th sec
  • timelapse movies
  • AE bracketing +/- 6EV at 9fps: 3 or 5 frames in 2.0/3.0EV steps, 7 frames in 2.0EV step
  • movie functions: magnified focus view; change Picture Mode using Fn button; 4x one-push movie zoom
  • PhotoStory

The big question is what features will make their way down from the E-M1?

It would be reasonable to expect to see the following as a minimum:

  •  +/- 5 stop exposure compensation instead of +/- 3 stops so I can do spot metering adjustments better
  • the improved IS
  • phase detect AF – after all, the Four Thirds dSLR users need a more affordable camera to migrate to than just the E-M1
  • improved movie functionality: audio level controls, etc

And some new enhancements to keep up with the latest:

  • 4K video and 120fps 1080HD video as with the Panasonic GH4
  • high ISO score must be BETTER than the E-M1 which was a little disappointing given the much better score of the cheap PEN E-PM2
  • optional artificial shutter release louder SOUND so subjects can hear you take the shot

And PLEASE introduce a radio TTL wireless flash system

  •  I am NOT a fan of the current visible light one and a radio TTL flash would be awesome indeed!
  • Perhaps it could be based on WiFi technology given that the new cameras will already have this!

Best cameras in 2014

Written by admin on September 25th, 2014

Its 2014, and compact, light, fun, versatile, high image quality mirrorless cameras, in particular, Micro Four Thirds cameras are perhaps the best options for most people rather than dSLRs.

There are now only a few areas where dSLRs outperform these mirrorless cameras:

  • extremely shallow depth of field or very shallow DOF with zoom lenses  - here a full frame camera – such as a mirrorless Sony or a full frame dSLR, is the way to go
  • the best AF tracking of fast moving subjects – although the GH-4 and E-M1 have made great improvements in this area
  • radio remote TTL flash – there are no systems currently compatible with Micro Four Thirds cameras and flashes as yet, but you can still do remote TTL flash or manual radio triggered flash

If the above are not a priority to you, then a Micro Four Thirds camera will be a much better choice as:

  • they and their lenses allow a much more compact and lighter kit better suited to travel and hiking, and you are more likely to take them with you
  • they are not a burden and weigh you down
  • the image quality is perfect for most situations, and most people will not be able to tell any difference from a dSLR image
  • they are fun to use with their touch screen controls, full remote control by smartphones where you can view the image on the phone, select a subject to AF on, the trigger the shutter and the image is sent back to the phone so you can upload to the internet – fantastic for holidays or for group selfies
  • AF is not only FASTER it is more accurate for portraits – they can even detect the subject’s closest eye and focus on it
  • video and live view is far easier to use
  • there are so many choices of camera and lenses to suit everyone – you can even use them with almost any lens ever made – albeit in manual focus mode


Sports, action or wildlife:

  • Canon 7D Mark II - perhaps the only cropped sensor dSLR worth considering in 2014
  • Nikon D4S - very expensive pro dSLR
  • Canon 1D X - very expensive pro dSLR
  • Panasonic GH4 – has the BEST video – 4K capable and has the best AF tracking of the mirrorless cameras (when used with Panasonic lenses)
  • Nikon D7100 – cropped sensor dSLR for Nikon fans
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 – great weatherproofing, the best image stabilisation, and like the GH-4, the best hand holdable telephoto reach and lightest for hiking

General purpose, high image quality, versatile camera, great for travel or hiking :

 Relatively compact interchangeable lens travel cameras with viewfinders:

  • Olympus OM-D E-M1pro features, weatherproof, freezeproof, smartphone control, fast AF, reasonably good AF tracking, fantastic image stabilisation but largest of this group
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5inexpensive, weatherproof, compact, fast AF for static subjects, great image stabilisation, but poor AF tracking and not great for AF of fast moving subjects
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10inexpensive, compact, fast AF for static subjects, good image stabilisation, smartphone control, but not weatherproof and poor AF tracking and not great for AF of fast moving subjects
  • Panasonic GH-4 – larger dSLR styling, no sensor based IS, but still Micro Four Thirds and has the best video and AF tracking
  • Fuji XT-1 - stylish, but lacks many features of the OM-D cameras such as touch screen, IS, etc and lens range is far less, but otherwise, a nice camera
  • Panasonic GM5very compact, smartphone control, good video, but minimal physical controls and poor flash x-sync speed

Relatively compact fixed lens cameras with viewfinders:

  • Panasonic LX-100large sensor, smartphone control, excellent 3x zoom lens, 4K video, fast AF
  • Fuji FinePix X100Tlarge sensor, smartphone control, excellent lens for low light but no zoom

Relatively compact cameras with viewfinder AND long zoom ranges:

  • Panasonic FZ1000 -  small 2.7x crop sensor, smartphone control, 16x zoom lens, 4K video

Pocketable cameras but no viewfinder:

  • Panasonic GM-1ultra-compact Micro Four Thirds interchangable lens camera, large sensor, compact 3x zoom lens, WiFi, touch screen
  • Sony RX110 - ultra-compact 4x zoom, fixed lens, small 2.7x crop sensor, improved version of the popular RX100 adding tilting LCD and WiFi
  • Olympus PEN E-PL7compact Micro Four Thirds interchangable lens camera, large sensor,  new “selfie” mode, great image stabilisation, WiFi, touch screen, optional EVF



Olympus “Open Platform” to allow special Micro Four Thirds remote camera modules with lenses to be controlled by smartphones

Written by admin on September 17th, 2014

Olympus have now announced they will also enter this new genre of a basic camera without viewfinders or memory cards to be controlled by smartphones which will store the images via WiFi.

It is an extension of their current Micro Four Thirds camera technology which already allows one to view a live image that their camera is seeing through their smartphone and select an AF point and remotely control the camera with the image being sent back to the smartphone.

Obviously, if this is all one is doing, one does not need a viewfinder or memory card on their camera and you just need a cheaper “camera module” with a lens – hence the “Open Platform” technology.

I suspect they will also extend this technology to the Google Glasses-like patent they have registered – so you might control the camera using your glasses and the image then gets saved to the smartphone in your pocket.

It may open up all sorts of possibilities – although these probably can be achieved already with existing cameras.

However, the “Open Platform” is aimed at allowing 3rd party developers to create their own apps to control the cameras and come up with potentially novel applications.